Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Contractors began installing a permanent fence around the perimeter of McCoppin Hub last week, enacting plans, which date back to 2015, to close the public plaza at night. The fence is meant to put an end to the homeless population’s use of the hub for sleeping and alleged drug use by making it accessible during daytime hours only – a model already in use at the nearby skatepark and dog park.

Not everyone is happy about the eight-foot-tall, black-painted metal fence going up around the plaza. When the contractors showed up to begin work on it, they found two wooden signs hung up in the plaza that seem to be making fun of the neighbors’ complaints that the homeless population is making the park dirty.

One reads, “Welcome to McCoppin Sewer: The Most Pisselegant Park in San Francisco.”

The other, larger sign reads, “Welcome to McCoppin Pigstye Histerical Landmark: Winner of the Pissbucket Award Three Years Running, and also Winner of the S.F. Pisselegant Trophy in 2004.”

A passerby, who lived in the neighborhood, said he believed a homeless occupant of the plaza had created the signs. He expressed worries that the fence would block off the park for residents or might even end up fencing sleeping people in.

Responding to complaints, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim secured funding for the fence that is being built in a collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Public Works. A temporary fence has been up around the plaza since February.

The idea to enclose the plaza received a mixed response from the community. Many have argued the fence is necessary to curb the nighttime activity that makes it hard for neighbors to enjoy it. Others believed closing the hub is discriminatory to the homeless population that sleeps there.

Since its renovation in 2014, getting people to the plaza has been hard; the U-Haul store next door doesn’t draw much neighborhood traffic to the plaza, and efforts to bring in food trucks, such as the popular Off the Grid event, have failed because of the lack of foot traffic.

One of the men installing the fence, Ricardo, said the work would be done by the end of the month.

“It’s kind of a nice park,” he said, “but it’s kind of…They don’t take care of it. They need to take care of it.”

Thanks to Michael Petrelis for tipping us off. 

Photo by Lola M. Chavez
Photo by Lola M. Chavez
New fence going up around McCoppin hub. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

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  1. “Alleged drug use” from the “alleged needles” and “alleged crackpipes” spread generously throughout the park. Jury still out on drug use guys.

  2. Wow, if I didn’t know any better I’d say this story just fell into your lap. I’ve been on this story since Saturday,, and sent alerts to several email addresses for Mission Local folks.

    Then today, I posted an update,, which has been generating a good number of comments.

    Would have been nice and neighborly of you all to mention my calling attention to the fence going and reporting over the past few days.

    1. Michael: Our apologies. We did indeed get this as a tip from you and we intended to credit you, but a new writer wrote it up and I wasn’t in the office before this went up. We have added an acknowledgement. Best and thank you, Lydia

  3. If the park is not used by many people, maybe it can be a future site for affordable housing? The city already owns the land and it’s close to transit.

    1. Bingo! In this city open space is a liability since nobody wants to deal with the street people who use it as a toilet and shooting gallery. It’s prison mentality. Instead of addressing the problem, punish everybody.

  4. Sounds like this “public” park/space/plaza is only for certain members of the public. How new San Francisco!

  5. That park was only used by homeless people. That’s what happens when homeless people take over public space. They monopolize and denigrate it as they are unable to take care of themselves much less the space they occupy. If you don’t believe me check out the junk piles that accompany any of the homeless tents in the city. These people need to be off the streets. Not in prison but also not necessarily in housing in SF either which is one of the hardest places in the state to build new housing. We can’t allow the homeless people to misuse public space which should be kept clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

  6. Progressive politics is a huge failure and just enables despair and degradation. It belongs in the dust bin of history along with Communism, another good sounding idea that was also not sustainable.

  7. Hi Lydia,

    Many thanks for the acknowledgement of my reporting about the development’s with the fence at the hub. Your note goes a long way toward maintaining Mission Local’s good relations with the community!

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