6. Director's Announcements
Re: Budget Process
- Contained in the Mayor's budget is total revenue for the Department made up of general fund fees as well as grant and work orders totaling about $13,585,699.00. This is a slight increase over what the Department originally proposed. This is under the assumption that the Department will be generating a lot more fees than relying on the general fund. The increase is affording the Department to increase full time employees. These positions will be specific to environmental review, neighborhood planning, code enforcement, etc.
Staff has been asked by Supervisor McGoldrick to give a presentation before the Land Use Committee on July 14, 2003 in order to set priorities as they relate to process.
The budget committee met yesterday (June 11, 2003), and the department presented the work program. In general we presented what the department is capable of carrying out and what the budget constrains the department from doing. Supervisor Daly provided staff with 14 questions and asked that these questions be answered before the next meeting.
Regarding the supplemental from revenue the department felt was generating from fees: It was the department's estimate that there would be a balance of about $700,000.00 from fees at the end of this fiscal year. The department felt that it is important to utilize this revenue and apply it to the work program, specifically for the environmental review of the Eastern Neighborhoods. This amount was referred to the Controllers Office and the Mayor's Office. The Controller's Office questions the amount and is not prepared to certify this figure. However, they are prepared to acknowledge that there will be revenue at the end of the fiscal year and did provide this recommendation to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee voted to allow the staff to utilize whatever amount the Controller will certify and apply it the Eastern Neighborhoods environmental process as well as any additional review work that is related to this. The Budget Committee agreed that approximately $3,000 to $4,000 would be released so that the department could prepare for and ultimately enter into an agreement to prepare an EIR for the Eastern Neighborhoods. A remaining balance of about $527,000 would be left in reserve and would only be released after the staff would appear before the Finance Committee to communicate would this revenue would be used for. The figure of $527,000.00 has to be certified by the Controller's office.
The fee adjustment was not before the Finance Committee for a couple of weeks.
On June 26, 2003, staff will be before the Budget Committee. Prior to that there will be the budget analyst report.
7. Review of Past Week's Events at the Board of Supervisors and Board of Appeals
Land Use Committee Meeting of June 9, 2003:
Staff responded to Supervisor McGoldrick's resolution urging our Department to make it a high priority to do environmental review on the Housing Element. He gave an update to the Committee that we are still seeking public input and will not issue a decision on environmental review until after the next public hearing on the Element.
Full Board of Supervisor's Meeting of June 10, 2003:
Re: 2690 Harrison Street
This Conditional Use appeal of the 54-unit residential project was considered. The Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition had filed the appeal with support from five members of the Board of Supervisors from the Planning Commission's March 20, 6-1 decision. The appeal was first heard on May 23 and then continued by the Board to this past Tuesday's meeting so that mediation could take place between the project sponsors and the appellants. Bill Sugaya, a member of the Board of Permit Appeals who was not acting as a member of the Board was selected to be the mediator. The parties never actually met, but a shuttle diplomacy of sorts was conducted by Mr. Sugaya who reported to the Board that the appellants did not agree to the changes that were offered by the sponsor.
What was passed by the Commission:
Affordable units: 5 one-bedrooms and 2 two-bedrooms.
As amended by the Board: 4 one-bedrooms and 3 two-bedrooms; And urging that up to three units be made available to Section 8 vouchers and HOPWA recipients.
Re: J-10 Wharf Project
The F-Alioto Fish processing tenats of this pier have filed an appeal to the statutory exemption from CEQA review for the emergency demolition that was issued on April 15. The pier had been deemed in danger of imminent collapse by the Port and has been vacated. The Board overturned the Department's exemption from environmental review after hearing from a new expert, a structural engineer who testified on behalf of the project sponsor and who put into question just how imminent is the threat of the collapse. Paul Maltzer from staff had already been working on an EIR for the pier, given the determination that it involved the loss of an historic resource, which, under CEQA guidelines, automatically triggers an EIR. So with the Board overturning the exemption, the Planning Department will now proceed with the EIR on the demolition of the J-10 Wharf pier that was already in progress.
Re: O'Shaugnessy Dam Negative Declaration Appeal
There is an effort by a member of the Board to work out a resolution to the appeal. The item was continued until this coming Tuesday, June 17. The appeal has been filed by the group "Restore Hetch Hetchy" and the Sierra Club.
Board of Supervisors Hearing of June 17, 2003:
Re: Secondary Units Environmental Exemption Appeal
The Planning Department's environmental review exemption to the secondary unit legislation has been appealed by two groups: The Coalition to Protect our Neighborhoods and the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods. Assuming that the Board upholds the Department's exemption on June 17, 2003, the Secondary Unit ordinance is to be considered by this Commission the following week on June 26, 2003 when the Commission will have the opportunity to make a recommendation to the Board on the merits of the ordinance.
Re: 1017 Ocean Avenue
- The appeal of the Conditional Use was filed by 20% of surrounding property owners. The project is to install three wireless antennas on this 3-story, multi-use structure as part of Verizon's wireless network (NC-2 District).
Board of Supervisors Hearing of June 24, 2003:
Re: 40-50 Lansing Street
- This is a Conditional Use appeal of an 82-unit residential project. The appeal was filed by five members of the Board of Supervisors (Daly, Ammiano, Gonzales, Sandoval and Maxwell). The appeal of the Negative Declaration has already been appealed and upheld unanimously by the Board of Supervisors. Now the CU appeal hearing has been set for the June 24 meeting of the Board.
Re: 3725 Buchanan Street
- This is a Conditional Use appeal of eight Verizon Wireless antennas. The appeal was filed by 20% of surrounding property owners.
RE: 1812-1816 Green Street
- There was a question whether this building was two units or one. If it were a two unit building it would be a dwelling unit merger and it needed to come before the Commission. For about 50+ years the building was a two unit building. There was a tenant that moved between the units until ultimately the Ellis Act forced them out of the building. Permits were filed for modifications to the building that said the existing use was two units and the proposed use was two units. There was a three R report that stated the building was a single-family house (although three R reports are not official reports). There was never a permit that said there were two units with a desire to make it one unit. If this was a dwelling unit merger it needed to go before the Commission. The BOA upheld the Zoning Administrator's determination to suspend the permit so it should go through the process and come before the Commission.
RE: 111 Manchester Street
This project came before the Commission under Discretionary Review. The building was three stories over garage. The Commission sent the project sponsor away to work with the neighborhood. The project sponsor made minor changes to the original drawings. The Commission asked the project sponsor to eliminate the top floor and move the building forward which would require a Variance. This is what the neighborhood wanted. The project sponsor did not do that. The Commission started modifying the project and decided to deny the demolition permit and the new construction permit. The Commission was in favor of a demolition but did not want to approve the demolition without a replacement structure. This was appealed to the BOA. The project sponsor submitted new plans that removed the top floor but did not move the building forward. The BOA did overturn the Commission decision and determined to make the building smaller.
Re: 20 Tank Brewery on 11th Street
- A new restaurant wanted to go back in at this location because it had nighttime entertainment. The Zoning Administrator determined that there was an illegal use that had dropped the nonconforming nighttime entertainment [permit]. There was a dot com there, so the non-confirming nighttime entertainment permit was abandoned. The Board overruled the ZA determination that the dot come was intended to be an Internet café use and was going to be using the nighttime entertainment use. This was not clear to him. So the project remained as a nighttime entertainment use.
8. Eastern Neighborhoods Community Planning Process Update
- She lives in India Basin.
- It is vital that the Planning Commission create a zoning category that provides community benefits. This would include designations for parks, open space, community gardens, recreation centers, athletic fields, historic sites, community centers, public schools, and waterfront and actual bay access.
- All of these items are proportionately lacking in the East site of town and in the Planning process.
- Although it is wonderful to increase housing and business opportunities, it is useless to make it at the expense of making this a livable City.
- He owns a property between third and fourth on Brannan Street.
- He attended all of the meetings. They were well attended and very informative.
- There are some things that need fine-tuning. For example, in South Park due to it's unique nature and its need to be protected, heights are a concern.
- It would be a mistake to hold back an EIR for the east of fourth street corridor.
Kate White - Housing Action Coalition
- She would like to applaud the Planning Department for their diligence on this plan.
- There is still a lot of work to be done including urban design, looking at public amenities, and refining some of the zoning designations.
- She looks forward to working with the Planning Department on this plan.
- Plans B and C are very appropriate for the City.
- She recommends that the Commission direct staff to move forward with preferred options with each neighborhood, immediately begin the EIR, and approve the emerging Easter Neighborhood Plans.
- She asks that the Commission really look at housing developments coming before the Commission that are in the Industrial Zoned Areas.
Bryan Robinson - Bayview Heights/Candlestick Point Neighborhood Committee
- There are some concerns about rezoning plans. For example, some of the proposals would change the densities and therefore change the character of the neighborhoods.
- There are some organizations that are working to preserve the fabric of neighborhoods.
- Some of these organizations have not been adequately heard by the Planning Department to give their input on this plan.
Julie Milburn - CCAC/7th Street Commercial Association
- The Showplace Square/Potrero Hill process was very well presented.
- At the moment there are rumors that it would take many years to get the zoning. And that it will happen permit by permit as it has happened in the past.
- She would like to know what the time table is and how her organization can help?
Vikki Hart - SOMA
- She attended the March 3, 2003 meeting and is representing the Flower Mart area.
- She would like to know how her organization could be involved in the process?
- She would like the Flower Mart area changed from commercial to residential category.
- He has been involved in the Showplace/Potrero Hill presentation, which was very well presented and very thorough.
- There is a vision book that has been distributed to all Commissioners.
- Everybody wants to see a mixed use in this area.
- They are in favor of Option 2 with some tweaking as mentioned in the vision book.
Ed Lortz - Save Potrero
- He has been living in Potrero Hill for 18 years.
- His group in going forward in a community planning process.
- This process takes the best parts of option A and option B.
- Potrero Hill residents also want mixed use in the area.
Kepa Askenasy - Save Potreto
- There have been numerous meetings with the neighborhood. There has been a website developed to receive comments. There is an email list, a mailing list, etc. There will be further outreach through house meetings as well as an 18th Street fair.
- Heights and density are the only issues for which a lot of discussion still needs to take place because there is some difference of opinions.
Ada Chan - Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition
- 23rd and Harrison is a perfect example of what exactly the community needs and what is actually approved.
- The community benefits need to match each neighborhood's interests.
- She would like to suggest a long-range planning check off to make sure they are in the spirit of the long-range planning that is happening in the neighborhood.
- The Mission is still not finished with their community planning process.
- There are questions that come to his mind around the issue of transitioning all of the southeast neighborhoods.
- There should be some reflection on how this transition happens.
- The housing element does need to include the zoning changes that happen in the future.
Cris Durazo - South of Market Community Action Network
- She would like to speak on the issues spoken by the Director earlier.
- She is not in favor of starting over again.
- There are standards already in the neighborhood.
- She wants safe streets, clean streets, etc.
- There is existing zoning that people like. The problem is that it has not been enforced.
Charlie Sciammas - Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition
- He would like to speak on the project at 2690 Harrison, only because it sheds light on the larger planning issues that everyone is struggling with. This project was 80% one-bedroom units in a neighborhood that is 70% family households. It was also a project that had a very low level of affordability in a neighborhood that had many low-income residents.
- There is no mechanism in place to address this. There is a general plan referral but a housing element referral is not happening effectively. He is interested to hear from staff on how this housing element is being referred to.
- She was interested in the Director's comments on the budget.
- She would like the Commission to move forward first on the Showplace Square.
- SOME neighborhood wanted to go back and look at the goals.
- The Mission District was presented as a whole neighborhood to be looked at.
- The options for the industrial district should not be moved forward as a preferred option.
- She likes the idea of community benefit zoning.
Jim Meko - SOMA Leadership Council
- Planning in the last five years has hurt SOMA.
- The community on 6th Street includes a variety of people.
- There are organizations that have been pulled together to do a better planning job.
Karen Nolan - SOMA Leadership Council
- She does not know much about Planning but she would like to have certain improvement to the South of Market area.
- Community planning process should involve the entire community.
Quintin Mecke - SOMA
- He would like to thank the Director for attending the meetings.
- The important thing right now are the steps to be taken to move things along.
- He would like a focused process with directed goals.
- There is a lot of planning knowledge in the SOMA district.
- His concern is that the department not move forward with SOMA with a preference.
Betty Traynor - Neighborhood Parks Council
- They are doing an open space study to find out where there is a need for it.
- People always want more parks.
- She agrees with the first speaker to have a community benefit category.
Robert Mayers - City Planning Consultant
- He proposed a compromise for SOMA.
- He has attended all the meetings, which were well presented.
- He disagrees with the critics of the setting of the goals.
- Housing with an affordable component plus mixed uses was generally favored especially east of 4th Street was a consensus from the attendees.
- He strongly disagrees. He proposes a reasonable compromise that the area east of 4th Street be included in an EIR.
- He feels that staff is concentrating too much on the process not on the job to be done.
- We have forgotten why there is a process.
- There is a delivery crisis for building housing.
- We need to go back and create a housing model.
Judy Berkowitz - East Mission Improvement Association
- The workshops in the Mission were a flawed process.
- She did not even know that anything had been going on.
- She would like to participate in the process.
- There has not been full participation in the Mission.
- The Mission and North Potrero Hill EIR need to go together.
- Most of the dot coms and live work projects have been done in the SOMA, Mission, and some in Potrero Hill.
- The problem of notices needs to be solved.
- There is a need for about 70% of affordable housing.
- He encourages that by August we should have policy guidelines in place to move forward projects during this interim period.
- There should be some structure by which the Commission can judge projects.
- He urges the Commission not to focus on interim controls but to focus on updating policy guidelines that reflects the communities and all the thinking that has been going on.
ACTION: Public meeting held. No action required.