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Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco

March 03, 2003

March 03, 2003

Minutes of Special Meeting & Calendar

Supervisors Chambers - Room 250

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Monday, March 3, 2003

4:00 PM

PRESENT: Antonini; Boyd; Feldstein; Hughes; Lee
ABSENT: Bradford Bell; W. Lee
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Gerald G. Green - Planning Director; Larry Badiner - Zoning Administrator; Amit Ghosh; Miriam Chion; Nora Priego and Patricia Gerber - Transcription Secretaries; Linda D. Avery - Commission Secretary


EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS BRIEFING AND INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION ON LAND USE OPTIONS - Informational presentation and public hearing to consider the various land use options resulting from the workshops of the Community Base Planning Process for the Eastern Neighborhoods. This will be an opportunity for interested parties to contribute to the formulation of a preferred zoning option for each of five neighborhoods, including Bayview Hunters Point, Mission, Showplace Square/Potrero Hill, South of Market, and Visitacion Valley. No action will be taken at this meeting.


Don Watson

- At the Edge of Bayview Hunter's Point there is a Labor/Unionist community that is working in Islais Creek to create a historic park that includes a coper crane. This was from the coper ships that came to Islais Creek around 1984. We would like to preserve it as a maritime/blue collar project.

- He would like some housing built on the south side of the creek.

Robin Chiang, President Friends of Islais Creek

-We have been working hard to keep vandalism away from this area.

- For the past several months we have been dealing with homeless encampments.

- Asked the Planning Commission to consider extending the little transit village from 3rd Street over to Islais Creek so there would be permanent residents to keep the place up; or perhaps it could be turned into a mixed use PDR.

Langston G. Sclocum Sr.

- Working to return the Bayview Hunters Point Neighborhood to a predominantly single-family residence area with low density, and making parking essential in our area.

- The new Master Plan for high-density housing is being opposed throughout the whole southeast section.

Shirley Moore

- Spoke regarding the lightrail and the liability of the shops and businesses on 3rd Street.

- At this juncture lightrail is coming through. It will resurrect 3rd Street. There are 84 businesses and shops on 3rd Street, and it is imperative that these businesses remain viable and accessible by auto traffic during construction.

Francisco Da Costa

- In planning for the City and County of San Francisco we need to keep in mind the commercial vacancy that is all over the City.

- We cannot build more housing in areas where there is a lot of pollution.

- In the Hunters Point Neighborhood, 65% of the people own homes. The rest rent--just the opposite from the rest of the City.

- Planning is good, and building housing is good, but we need to improve the quality of life here.

- It is not good to have housing very close to the so-called "dirty business." By dirty business I mean the concrete company. There is a lot of dust from this company.

- It is not good to have families living near by.

Andrew Bozeman,

- Commended the Commission for allowing the public to express their concerns.

- Pollution is a very high concern in the area.

- People who move into housing that is close to this business are being taking advantage of.

- Open space, beautiful space where you can relax is something that is at a very low level in the Bayview.

Ron Morgan

- Asked the Commission to include the Bernal Heights neighborhood when considering planning changes along Bayshore Boulevard.

Steve Vettel

- Of the three alternatives being discussed today, only one reflects the objectives and the planning that went into the concept plans. That is Alternative C, the higher housing alternative. What the concept plan did was come up with five activity notes on Bayview Hunters Point: four in the area along 3rd Street, and one that is out on the Isslais Creek.

- Option C was developed to reflect the concept plan very well.

- Height limits are only 50 feet in this area. We are not talking high-density high-rise housing, but moderate scale housing.

Eve Bach

- Expressed concerns about doing zoning just at the point when a redevelopment plan is on track for adoption. The Redevelopment Plan will override the zoning.

- It is not clear to us what is accomplished by putting in new zoning at all. Once the redevelopment plan goes into effect, the zoning will have no impact, not if the redevelopment plan for Hunters Point is the same as any other redevelopment plan in the City that overrides the zoning. Why are you doing this? And will this have a shelf life of more than a year?

- There is very strong desire to have a very strong commercial sector with small businesses in place. Where Big Bucks has come in other cities, even established small businesses have had a hard time competing.

Bob Craft

- This district is really growing and is very active.

- Asked the Commission to keep the area affordable for everybody.

Chris Witteman

- As a resident of Bernal Heights he did not receive any kind of notification that there would be any planning process in the area.

Julia Viera,

- What you see on Third Street has no relationship to the surrounding hard working middle class, urban suburbia that is populated by folks who urgently want a town center that is inviting, safe, and accessible.

- We do not want a canyon of potential slums.

Pauline Peele

- Would like to maintain the positive part of the Bayview, while we enlarge and support with better shopping along the new Third Street corridor.

- Do not raise the height more than 40 feet.

- Also concerned about parking.

Barbara Kyle

- It is really important that any planning for Bernal Heights include the people who live there.

- Encouraged the Commission to remove from the maps any reference to what is called PDR Large Commercial because that really is a Big Bucks development.

Tim Shinner

- He did not get any notification about any rezoning/planning in the Bernal Height neighborhood.

- Make neighborhood streets more pedestrian friendly.

- Asked the Commission to consider how they can tie this rezoning of the area to the traffic issues common both in Bernal Heights as well as Bayview Hunters Point? This could be something of value to his neighborhood instead of a negative thing with more traffic and more Big Bucks stores that many of us are not in favor of.

Martha Bradigan

- Regarding Bayview: People who have lived there for many years are being displaced.

- Expressed concern about loosing a large number of industrial and auto repair shops in the South of Market area.

- Need to preserve the residential in South of Market by keeping those height limits where they are.

Craig Freeman

- Concerned about the height limits and parking requirements.

- It is not realistic to have one unit of parking per residential unit because in most situations there are two or three cars per unit.

Luther Greulich

- Concerned that there is no zoning category exclusively for medium and light industrial.

- Small and medium size businesses are being squeezed out of the City by the fact that housing is moving in.

Nancy Boas

- Agreed with SPUR, that this plan is counter-productive.

- Urged the Commission to give SPUR's economic team a serious opportunity to be heard because they have some good ideas.

- Many of the neighbors were not notified, so the neighborhood reports are not necessarily representative of the entire community.

Gutta Reichert

- In support of Option C in the South of Market, which adds more housing and commercial.

Anthony Faber

- In opposition to the plan in the South of Market.

Jim Haas

- South of Market is not one large homogeneous district. The east area is different from the central area around 6th Street where a large group of Filipinos live, which is different from the west area which has a different mix of residences, retail uses, and so forth.

- The planners need to go back to the South of Market and meet with the neighbors from 6th Street, the people from the east area, as well as the people from the west.

Jason Ortega

- In the South of Market, developers will start building around our properties. This process will result in eviction notices or an increase in rent because of the pressures the landlords will get from developers.

- We oppose the plan and demand that they go back to the community and do community planning the right way.

Louise Bird

- In the South of Market, she supports Plan B, which is moderate housing and moderate PDR.

Jeffrey Libowitz

- Thanked the Planning Department for bringing together the workshops that were well attended by the South of Market neighbors.

- Recommended that height limits remain as they are.

- Nighttime entertainment should be conditional. All SOMA would like to see nighttime entertainment. He thinks that it is extremely beneficial to the economy of the City. He also thinks that we have neighborhood that we need to protect and the only way you do that is through the Conditional Use process.

Robert Hauser

- Commended the Planning Department for the effort they put into this process. It was incredibly beneficial for the entire neighborhood--specifically SOMA.

- Housing should be the preferred zoning alternative for SOMA. It is very satisfying personally to take part in the future of this great City.

Charles Breidinger

- Thanked the Planning Department for all the hard work they have done rezoning the South of Market.

- Concerns: If you look under the two currently proposed zonings for the area around the Caltrain station, you will see that proposal A and Proposal B designated this area as a court for PDR.

- This is a waste of housing opportunity. And since this a major transit hub, we should try to encourage housing along this resource situation.

Toby Levy

- Very concerned about the quality of life issues in the South of Market.

Douglas Lynn

- When we had the dot-comers under SLI, a lot of the properties were developed such that they really are not useful for services at the moment.

- Would like to see that the zoning is change to residential/commercial.

James Collins

- We need to zone this area for working people, for good jobs, for small businesses and working families.

Robert Meyers

- Complimented staff for their diligence, patience and effort on holding the workshops.

- It was clear at these workshops that most participants agreed on the need for more housing and mixed uses, not PDR preservation. Specially, as other speakers have said, east of 4th Street.

- Encourage the Commission to support the zoning options that are based on reality and promote housing and mixed use.

Jim Meko

- Quality of life has not been discussed. Community values have not been discussed. They claimed they have spoken with members of the communities, but none of us were involved in this process.
Vicki Hart (read a letter from the San Francisco Flower Growers Association)

- This Association feels that the right zoning for their area would be residential/commercial use.

- The merchandizing property owners on the 6th Street corridor, between 6th and Bryant, also feel that they want to be zoned for residential/commercial use.

Terence Alan

- Asked the Commission and Planning Staff to reconsider entertainment and defer many of the decisions that consider where entertainment can and can't occur in this area to the Entertainment Commission. They will have a process very similar to this every time someone wants to do entertainment in San Francisco.

Chris Slattery represents 4th Street Association

- We would like to maintain the character and improve the quality of our neighborhood.

Robert Scott

- Opposes the proposed plan regarding the height limits under the guidelines in the South of Market.

Jason Bon

- Concerned about height limits in the residential areas. We should have strict guidelines in that area.

- Conditional use for entertainment in the area should follow some rules.

There have been a lot of different industries in the South of Market and toxic clean up should occur. These are the things that could affect not only the builders but also other people.

Jim Chapel

- When the Planning Department sets out to work with the neighborhood to maximize housing production, it does an excellent job. We saw this in the Market-Octavia Better Neighborhood 2002 Program, in which there is rezoning for housing on private land.

- Unfortunately the Eastern Neighborhood Rezoning process started out with exactly the opposite goal. Instead of trying to make the neighborhood more livable and instead trying to solve the City's housing crisis, the Department started out with an assumption that the vast majority of the City's historical industrial land must remain zoned for industry at a time when there are millions of square feet of historically zoned PDR in the City that is simply vacant.

- An no time has there been any credible study to determine that there is a demand for land zoned for PDR; that there will ever be any demand for this land; and if the land is so zoned that the uses will come, or that the jobs will be well paid, or even that the jobs will go to San Franciscans.

- The Department's zoning for SOMA and the Mission in particular will represent a step backward for the City. The Showplace Square Plan is perhaps the most forward-looking proposal. Even though here height limits are too old to effectively make use of the land for housing.

- SPUR urges the Commission to consider the three following actions: 1) First of all, assure that there is money to complete the environmental review of the Market-Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan and the Balboa Park Better Neighborhood Plan; 2) wherever feasible, choose the height housing option; and 3) wherever land is rezoned for housing in historically industrial area, make sure the height limit is at least 85 feet.

Roy Recio

- Our issue as the Filipino community is that we have never been accounted or respected basically.

- We come into this meeting without the proper knowledge to know exactly what we are doing. We are trying to learn the mechanics in ten minutes.

Bill Barnes

- Raised an issue that came up in SOMA. The area on 6th Street, north of Harrison and south of Folsom was not included in the current zoning maps of the proposals that were handed out. These maps were pulled from the Planning Commission website. In the zoning alternative that area is not included, and this raises some questions.

- In the actual book that was handed out, there are multiple maps of the plan area with different boundaries. When I talked to staff about it, I realized that they are really over-worked and just would like to encourage the book; that all plan area boundaries (would) be roughly the same. The same is also true when you look west of 10th Street, because part of that area was an overlap--again with the Better Neighborhood 2002 process. Between 10th and 12th Streets, south of Mission, that area is not included.

David Menkel

- For those who are not familiar with this part of the City, it is roughly a triangle of the design district, between 16th, Bryant, and just below 280. It is a defined neighborhood with established design institutions. It is kind of a gateway between Mission, SOMA, Potrero Hill and Mission Bay.

- It has an extremely established set of design institutions: showrooms, furniture, interiors, contracting, landscape, architecture, planning and graphic design businesses, art institutions, and the California College of Arts and Crafts, which is one the first design schools in the United States.

- As we look out of our own part of the design district, we look across to a 43 acres campus being developed by UCSF. This has been an appropriately dense mixed use neighborhood of labs, culture buildings, housing and open space--a perfect compliment to the design district's mixed use conditions. But we have evolved over 20 to 30 years and it is on the verge of really reaching its full potential as part of this planning process.

Bill Poland

- He noted a couple of things from the staff presentation: 1) when talking about residential they rely solely on ABAG to come up with the housing estimates and what is required for San Francisco. When it comes to PDR, they rely on their internal calculations. I would request that they use sources such as the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, the Urban Land Institute, and/or SPUR to get some reliable numbers, because the stuff they concocted over many months ago was really written before they even started the workshop process and it hasn't changed; and 2) furniture showrooms are medium PDR and not comparable with housing.

Patrick Cartney

- Concerned about the height and land use in the design district. This district has many large block buildings, many of which are up to 85 feet in height. The new structure should follow that context and strengthen the historic scale and character of the area. 85 feet allows for the construction of more housing. 40, 50, and 65 feet obviously allows for less housing. 85 feet is not tall enough to block views. Views are already blocked by the future Mission Bay with buildings that will be up to 120 feet tall. The freeway is over 65 feet.

- Buildings near 7th Street should 85 feet tall. Taller height along the freeway and adjacent to Mission Bay is not unreasonable.

- It is a better urban solution to an abrupt drop in height.

- Wider streets required taller buildings to create appropriate street wall proportions. San Francisco is urban, not suburban. Indeed, some of the most famous San Francisco neighborhoods have height walls.

Bill Smith

- Attended many of the Showplace Square Potrero Hill workshops and heard many of the issues related to urban planning and design.

- The design district is a walkable hub among these neighborhoods that also creates a vibrant 24-hour residential/academic/business/design oriented community.

Jim Bucola

- In the early 70's his family owned one of the design showrooms.

- The prestige of this whole area has risen because of the involvement of the design center.

- there is no way I would have imagined the up swinging in property values to where it is today.

- This type of mix works extremely well, and I encourage it.

- One thing they have in common is the affordability of the rents -- for showrooms, housing, and restaurants in the area.

- At night, when leaving, it is very dark. He hopes in the future it will light and vibrant with people in the area enjoying the restaurants and other amenities of that area. This complex has gone to great extremes to keep it clean and make it safe for the residents.

Tim Trendway, CEO, San Francisco Design Center

- There are presently four residential mixed use project proposal within the San Francisco District plan area. Together these projects represent over 1450 units of new housing, including 190 affordable housing units. The affordable housing units alone represents a direct subsidy from the developers of nearly $36,000,000. The 1450 new households would bring nearly $100,000,000 of annual disposal income to the City-- money that would otherwise be expended elsewhere.

- The proposed projects collectively include a net increase in retail and design showroom space of over 60,000 sq. ft., and providing opportunities for roughly 250 new permanent jobs. In addition, over 900 construction jobs will be produced by these projects.

- The construction and development of these projects would bring an estimated $4.6 millions of direct tax income to the City. This includes $2,000,000 in school fees, $860,000 in transfer taxes, and $1.7 million in City payroll taxes.

- Once these projects are completed they would bring an additional $8.1 million in annual tax revenues from increased property taxes, sales, payroll and parking taxes.

- Lastly, the developers have collectively volunteered over 2.3 acres of land, with roughly 19% of the land area to be devoted to publicly accessible open space.

- These projects represent just a fraction of the potential of this area.

Mary Murphy

- When I talked about the Design District, I talked about the area that is at the base of Potrero Hill in the Design District.

- The Design District has developed over the last 20 years into an area of many design businesses and institutions. One that has, I might add, many design, not PDR jobs, that are well paying jobs. The City Planning Code recognized the distinct nature of this area over a dozen years ago and created the Showplace Square Special Design District. That code section, which was passed in 1988, states that the " Design District there was intended to facilitate the transition of the Showplace Square Area, from its former industrial character to an area of design showrooms. The showroom type activity enhances the Showplace Square Area, and attracts investments, developments, and other designs improvements."

- The stakeholders that you have heard today, combined with the codes specific zoning in 1988, illustrates that this is no longer an industrial area. Moreover, this is an area where housing is not just appropriate, but is necessary for the continued vibrancy of this neighborhood and the design uses that are within it.

- The stakeholders that you have heard today have participated in the community planning process. They happen to know this area intimately and have been in the area, many of them, for over 20 years. Their vision for this area is consistent with the voices that they heard repeatedly in the community planning process. Housing is not only compatible with the design uses that already exist, but housing is complementary to them.

- The notion presented by the Department today, that of design and furniture showrooms, is medium PDR, and therefore incompatible with housing. I would suggest respectfully that it is also inconsistent with the indisputable facts that are found in other design district worldwide. It is even inconsistent with the code that was passed in 1988.

- This neighborhood is an ideal location for the development of housing. Housing that will create the critical mass necessary to support the many amenities this community wishes to see in this area -- such as transit, open space, retail, and the safety of a 24 hour-a-day dynamic neighborhood.

Martin Jaffe, Dolby Labs

- Our concerns are to make sure the definition of medium PDR, that the Planning Department has yet to draft, covers what we do. This includes our licensing, promotions, and executive functions so we can stay in the City and continue to expand our businesses.

Babette Drefke, Potrero Hill Boosters

- This is a chance to correct past mistakes. The City has been developed backwards. Potrero Hill and the Waterfront have the finest weather in the City. Homes where families could be raised in the sunshine; where they could raise fruit trees and vegetables.

- Industry and offices should be built in the foggy areas where people are inside and unable to enjoy the fine weather. Now there is a chance for planners to correct the earlier mistakes and build homes in the sunny areas.

- Parking space should be required with all housing. Potrero Hill has so many hills, and a car is necessary to get around. Muni service for the Hill is lacking.

- The Planning Department's policy is to build housing where transportation is. Transportation should service where housing is.

- Height should be kept low along the waterfront because we all should be able to enjoy the views.

- Mixed-use development is not desirable. Nightclubs next to residential brings constant trouble because of the noise at all hours. Trucks and other business traffic should not be encourage to travel in residential districts.

- The City failed to recognized the real cause of the shortage of affordable housing. The Rent Board and its rules and regulations that affect landlords are the real problem.

- Property owners are withholding units that could be rented because they no longer have control of their properties.

George Guenther

- In its final draft of 2002/03, the Housing Element of the General Plan stated that more that 50% of the housing units were constructed before War World II and they are still in good conditions.

- Me and many of my neighbors are concerned about the infrastructure required to bring a significant expansion of both housing and job-creating commercial development.

Judy West

- PDR is not relevant. This is terribly confusing and a real waste of time. She thinks that the concerns that the Planning Department is trying to address today came from the problems we had with dot com businesses coming into industrial buildings and not providing the required parking.

- The issue has to do with the complexity derived from the classification of these different buildings or businesses. ...with even more and more classifications and micro-zonations of all the different businesses. It makes things terribly confusing and very difficult. Plus, it is not serving us as it should.

- We need to deal with transportation and parking issues--they are really a big concern.

- If the Planning Department, instead of spending all this money on expensive EIRs that are required for rezoning, could stick with our existing zoning, which allows everything, even housing as a conditional use, and come up with some meaningful guidelines for conditional use for housing, we would not need all this rezoning.

- Planning Department has done an inadequate analysis. If they are trying to protect the PDRs, I think they really haven't done so.

Liza Schiller

- Regarding the Showplace Square Potrero Area.

- We have designed this alternative plan, because we would like to enhance elements that are so unique to our community. We feel those elements are not adequately addressed by the alternative zoning plan presented by the Planning Department.

- This planning area has historic and design oriented characteristics that deserve the opportunity to flourish while allowing other kinds of land uses the opportunity to become part of the fantastic neighborhood that Potrero Hill is.

- We like the variety and diversity of Potrero Hill, and we feel it is essential to reinforce these elements in the Showplace Square Area.

Rod Miner

- The Potrero Hill Showplace Square community alternative-planning map offers a balance approach to growth. It successfully addresses the Citywide need for a mixture of new housing and also protects existing small light industrial and design businesses while encouraging new ones.

- Among many things, our plan calls for the addition of new public open space. We also propose to reinforce the existing character and scale of our area by implementing design guidelines for new projects. We believe our plan will create a vibrant new neighborhood.

- Height of buildings is a major concern in our neighborhood. The City's own guidelines, which were approved by the Planning Commission, call for the maximum building height in the Showplace and North Potrero area to not exceed the elevations of the interstate 280 freeway. This area is roughly 7th Street, from 16th and Brannan.

Supervisor Maxwell

- Thanked everybody for their commitment. This process is going a long way to make San Francisco a better place to live. We do not always have it right and sometimes we need to do better organizing. People who are waiting, people who have large groups--we need to think how to do this better. Overall, our heart is in the right place. We are starting a process and it is good that we continue our process. Have faith and commitment and just hang there we us. We will do better each and every time. But the public is the most important reason we are doing this. You are the planning. You are the community and the neighborhood.

Kepa Askenasy

- Came here to ask the Commission to consider an alternative plan based on many meetings with the Planning Department.

- We are really the gateway to many neighborhoods in the City. We also have clustering already happening in our Showplace Square Area -- cultural Institutional uses, some housing, and some developers that wish to develop in this zone.

- We agree on allowing that to happen. Where we differ is perhaps on some density and heights, but basically we are not too far off.

- Also, blending of the new plan with the existing hill. What we have done is limit the growth within this area to RH-2 and RH-3, which is what exists there now. The small M-1 will go to just those sizes were they go larger as they go up.

- Keeping mixture of housing, PDR and open space.

Dick Millet

- San Francisco cannot grow geographically. We are a small land-locked city.

- We are zoned for two to three single family structures. So most of the land use is zoned single family.

- We have approved conversions of duplexes to single family in RH-2 districts

- We are allowing a lot of self-storage uses. Some of them are own by land use attorneys--we are talking PDR.

- We do not want to eliminate garages so we will not have place to put our cars. When we do not have cars, we can use our garages for self-storage.

- When we address open space, we talk about it in zoning, in a arithmetic way. But we do provide a mechanism to guarantee that we get it at the time that the development goes in. When we pumped 3,000 people in this area, or 9,000 like one of the plans said, how are we going to fix it? So we do not get 9,000 in there and we are guarantee that we get the appropriate open space. Transportation is also giving us a problem too.

- We are still doing suburbia style, big-box development. What are we doing with that type of design in the City and nobody fought it?

John de Castro, President, Potrero Booster Neighborhood Association

- The community alternative is conceptually correct. We believe that it is moving in the right direction. It is between Option A and Option B.

- We are building an expanded neighborhood in Potrero Hill, with a population that is going to significantly impact our infrastructure.

- We also thinks that our neighborhood commercial (NC) zones need to be looked at. We discovered that over 20 neighborhoods have NC zones.

Avery McGinn

- It has been an exciting process to go to the Planning workshops and become part of developing this exciting new area in the City.

- He is encouraged to stay intimately involved as the details begin to work out. What do we mean by PDR? What do we mean by commercial? We have a very active group that wants to stay active throughout all of this process, making sure that we continue the marvelous livability we have in Potrero Hill. It is a fabulous neighborhood and we want to see it expand to the bottom of the hill to SOMA.

Nancy Anding

- A recent construction in Potrero Hill is what motivated us to create our own community-based plan.

- Poor planning results and poor quality designs create problems.

- Zoning and the Master Plan, is not just about use designation and height. It also includes mandated setbacks; it speaks to vertical and horizontal additions or modifications; open space; and should also reinforce these industrial/residential guidelines.

- The community workshop results showed housing as a top priority.

Ed Lortz

- Concerned about zoning and heights--emphasizing the height of the freeway adjacent to 7th Street is only about 40 feet.

- Also concerned about bulk, open space and design guidelines.

- Our plan allows for about 2500 housing units, which is what Option A proposed in the last workshop that we attended. Now it has jumped to 3800 on the website and the handouts tonight.

- There is a lot of development pressure in the Potrero Hill area and we are concerned about that.

- The map that we worked on, contained many compromises between developers, residents, transit concerns and needs, and concerns expressed by the Boosters. We feel this is a better compromise than the other proposal. We feel that this plan should be consider by you very seriously as we continue this process.

Kate White

- Her primary concern is based on ABAG projections, and the difference between projections and need.

- The Draft Housing Element takes a good look at the original housing needs using ABAG produces. Projections are based on existing zoning and what they sort of think will happen.

- If we really want to shape development we really should look at need. What your Housing Element looks at is a cost for 2700 units annually.

- In term of Showplace Square, we feel Option C, the height housing, really makes sense, particularly for this neighborhood. The Mission and SOMA are areas where Option B makes more sense.

Fritz Maytag

- Urged the Commission to think about the fact that there is inherent conflict between residential and industry. It is fundamental.

- Industry requires capital and long-term financial commitments. If you give industry a zone we will take it.

Don Adams

- Commended the Planning Staff for their efforts in their review of the conditions of the Eastern Neighborhoods.

- There is a need for housing, in particular family housing, which is affordable to moderate and low income people.

- Industrial land represents some good opportunities for development such as housing.

- We need to be strategic when rezoning industrial land to allow housing. Especially as optimal conditions for each are sometimes in conflict. Industrially zoned parcels that are to be converted to mixed use should be selected carefully.

- Rezoning land to more intensive use confers additional value to the land owner and the developer. That is were the rezoning for housing and mixed use has been appropriate. It is reasonable public policy to demand a higher threshold of public benefit in exchange for the added land value that confer to the land owner.

- By public benefit uses, I am referring to uses that are beneficial to the neighborhood and City at large as affordable housing, larger family housing, PDR space, and public open space.

Desiree Almendral

- The Planning Department presentation was a result of the of the community demands to be included in this process.

- Our goal is to remind people that the planning process is not about codes, development, or money. It is first and foremost about us, the people.

- In addition to the Planning Department's workshops, MAC held workshops to familiarize the community with the planning process. We conducted surveys of peoples wants in the community, and surveys for land use changes in the Mission.

- People are concerned about the lack of industrial jobs and affordable housing. You will hear about necessary steps that we must make together--the Community, the Planning Department, and you, the Commission, in order to proceed with the planning process in the Mission.

- Please respect the process that has included the valuable time of the Planning Department and the people of the community. Do not disregard the work that has already been done. Include the people's plan and integrate it into the process. The EIR must start immediately. We must move forward not backward.

Bill Murphy

- Opposed the Department's proposed plan.

Roselyn (unclear last name)

- We need affordable housing

- We need you, the Planning Commission to take their recommendations seriously, and plan for the community, by the community.

(-) Ada Chan, MEDA/MAC

- The people planning process involved 100 if not a 1000 participants in the neighborhood.

- We actively engaged the community in thinking about the issues that we're going to be faced with in the planning process.

- Do we believe that PDR are important? Yes

- Do we believe that Land Zoning is necessary to protect those uses? Yes

- What do we feel are our needs for housing? We do believe in housing, but we believe there is need for affordable housing. This is not just a belief, it also shows up in the housing element that just recently came out.

- If a transitional land use is going to occur, if we are going to loose working class jobs, and industrial PDR jobs, we want housing and development, and businesses to be develop in those areas that serve the working class people in our community.

- The people's plan is very similar to the Planning Department's Option B--which 75% of the people who attended community planning meetings support.

- If development occur in these areas, we would loose the small-independently owned businesses, auto repair, contractors, plumbers, etc. What will come up in their place? The kind of housing that will result because of the lot size would not be affordable.

Kyle Fiore

- Asked the Commission, that until the permanent controls are set in place in the Mission, to take care when making decisions based on strategies that will protect the integrity of the Northeast Mission Industrial Zone as an economically affordable and viable district for businesses devoted to production, distribution and repair.

- 20% of the office space outside the financial district, lies now unoccupied. Industrial occupancy and rent in the northeast Mission continue to be high.

- The light industrial size furniture manufacturer, small wholesale enterprisers, auto and other repair shops in the zone, provide literally thousands of entry level and blue collar jobs accessible to the Mission immigrants and working class population.

- Production, distribution, and repair space in the Mission is imperative.

Chris Terroso

- According to the housing element, 56% of San Franciscans are low to moderate income.

- City projections indicate that in the next five years, with the existing zoning, we would be over built in market-rate housing, which serves those earning well over 120% of medium.

- In order to meet citywide housing goals, 2 out of 3 of all housing built must be below market rate.

Eric Quezada, MAC

- I believe that a lot has been done. This process tonight is indicative of how difficult it is to carry out a planning process, a community-based planning process.

- What is before you now is that we need to preserve PDR. We do this by providing new opportunities for housing that meets the communities needs and goals.

- We do not need to continue to build extremely expensive housing that very few people can buy or rent, particularly those who live in the Mission District. Why do we continue to develop this type of housing?

- At some point in the near future you will have to make a decision. And the question is, if we are not ready to go forward with the EIR, why should they put a project before you to move forward?

- You need to take into account what has been done in the community, what is being said in the community, and the history of the last few years, when those projects come before you.

- There is a lot potential to work out some plans with developers and with the community, so the community benefits. The threshold is to meet everybody's goals, not just the developers, and not just a small percentages of San Franciscans or others that can afford to live in that type of housing (market-rate).

Charlie Sciamas, MAC

- Asked the Commission to include very strong community benefit standards for the long term zoning controls they will be adopting.

- The project at 2690 Harrison Street lies in an area that is squarely in the middle of the Mission Industrial Zone. It is also in an area where neighbors and residents, through the community planning process and the people's plan, have identified an area that makes sense to transition from industrial use to housing. This transition does come at a cost because good living wage jobs are been eliminated. We should have higher standards for housing that will come in their place. This standard should address the day-to-day struggles of residents and workers in the Mission. For example, there should be a higher number of affordable units, more family size units, deeper affordability to insure that low income and very low income residents of the Mission also get access to new housing, and also permanent affordability to insure that tenants are not displaced down the line to market rate conversions.

Chris Zelig

- Spoke about the importance of the interim controls and also the need for good policy, between when IPZ expires--at the beginning of July, and the implementation of permanent controls.

Oscar Grande

- People need industrial jobs, accessibility, diversity, and a living wage. People need family affordable housing that is stable, decent, and ample. People need strong communities, culture, traditions, and prosperity.

- The longer this Commission takes to move forward the Mission rezoning proposals, the more our community becomes powerless and our actions meaningless. The longer you take, the more back room deals are cut with money interest and with personal agendas, the more the community looses faith in our Planning Commission.

Curtis Eisenberger

- PDR is inconsistent. The definitions of PDR varies from district to district. It is unfair. It is based in large measure on faulty data and incomplete data.

Mark Snyder

- If you take all these blocks of businesses and eliminate them as suggested in Option C, there will a tremendous loss of jobs.

- Property owners in the NEMIZ have spent millions of dollars refurbishing former factory buildings that were setting empty. They now have hundreds of small businesses that generate more jobs and income for the City than the factories ever could have.

Fred Snyder

- The NEMIZ is the only neighborhood that the Planning Department has ever tried to rezone; and that took place in 1992-1994. It was a community process.

- Biotech was the big buzz word then. Now we are going to go Biotech only. Everything else will become nonconforming.

Thomas Shuen

- PDR is production, distribution and repair within existing infrastructures that can not move a 40 foot container around, and with the environmental requirements any of these production facilities could survive to mix with the residential area. Furthermore, San Francisco is the high labor area. Mixing this idea is not realistic.

- Secondly, when you do the development of a building you also create jobs. They are San Francisco's jobs. We have to look at things realistically and plan a way that everybody in the City could benefit.

Bill Murphy

- Believes that the people's plan for the private sector can accomplish the affordable housing goals in the following manner: 1) eliminate controls over the number of units and instead look to FAR, height and setback limits, and rear yard requirements to level the playing field among different uses--similar to Rincon Hill and Downtown Planning Concepts; 2) exempt designated public benefit uses from being counted in the FAR--light industrial, community or cultural facilities, and childcare are targeted and are prioritized in the community planning process; 3) promote design flexibility within the building envelope in order to increase the ability of new development to provide increased community benefits; 4) provide bonus FAR and additional lot coverage and/or height for inclusion of designated public benefits; 5) provide additional development as a ratio of affordable housing density bonus benefits with this proportional benefit for larger units to serve the high proportion of families in the Mission.

Milton Gaines

- Urged the Commission, Dr. Ghosh, and Director Green to please listen to the input from the Mission Coalition for Economic Justice and Jobs.

Phil Lesser

- Concerned about height, bulk, and parking.

Jamie Guerrero

- Concerned about personal safety and crime.

Wendy Phillips

- Spoke regarding the housing crisis that still continues for families in the Mission District.

- Asked the Commission to keep in mind the needs of the people that live in the Mission.

Supervisor Chris Daly

- In 1977, he was evicted from his apartment in the Mission District.

- From 1995 until the Board of Supervisors passed the Interim Controls in the Mission District, this Planning Commission was at war with the neighborhood. Land use was one of the most contentious political topics in this City--always has been and probably always will be.

- There was wholesale displacement affecting seniors, immigrants, families with kids, small business, and mom and pop businesses in the neighborhood that predominantly impact the Latino working-class.

- Interim Controls are up very soon. The new State law preempts the Board, in all likelihood, from passing an extension to those interim controls. As many of the speakers from the Mission expressed here tonight, it is up to you now. It is up to you to decided whether you once again declare war in name to the new coalition in the Mission District--a front group for property owners who are looking to maximize their profits.

- All the people that came to all those meetings, packing the O'Connell High School, the Planning Commission meetings--those are the people that are watching for their bottom line. It has nothing to do with money. It has do with their families, kids, businesses, livelihood, and integrity of the neighborhood.

- And, if you declare war again on the Mission District, I have confidence in the community and neighborhood. That they will fight back and will defeat you.

David Dempsey

- The northeast side of the Mission is a neighborhood that over the last twenty years blacks, Latinos, gays, whites, business people, artists, just a great many people, have invested their hearts and soul to turn this into the most compelling little neighborhood in the United States. A destination neighborhood for people to come and see what we have done in it.

- The only reason that MAC and MEDA want to take us out is because they are jealous of our success.

Amie Fishman

- Is PDR space necessary? Why is it coming back? One of the things we've seen is that PDR was pushed out by skyrocketing rents. And why is that land not filled again by new PDR business? Because the landlords are sitting and speculating, waiting for the highest and best use to come through.

- Zoning is really crucial. It has to go beyond the economic bubble and booms and buzz. If we do profit driven planning, everybody will loose.

Jim Hallan

- Respectfully asked the Commission not to change the northeast side of the Mission too dramatically.

- Supports affordable housing in the area, but it is important to maintain the character of the neighborhood.

Sue Hestor

- All the property owners that have spoken previously have mentioned that an assessment district is needed before they start conferring enormous amounts of housing in this area.

- We need an assessment district so that they pay the infrastructure cost and do not just get the windfall profit.

- The property owners think that they can manipulate the process and the City will give in to them.

- The people in the community have been struggling--in the Mission and Potrero Hill as well.

- Figure out where we can build housing that makes sense for the community. It makes sense because it connects to people in the community. It connects to commercial areas, to services, and it connects to transit.

Todd Jabbie

- Asked the Commission to take into consideration all the comments and suggestions that hundreds of people have made attending the different workshops sponsored by the Planning Department, as well as all the speakers in tonight's meeting.

ACTION: A public hearing to receive public comment only. No action by the Commission.


At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.


1) SUE Hestor

Re: Move Public Comment to the front of the calendar

2) Judy West

Re: Northeast Mission Warehouse District

3) Todd Jabbie

Re: Rezoning the neighborhoods in '99. Bond was passed for subsidized housing. How much money was spent in this process?

Adjournment: 9:58 p.m.


Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:05 PM