9. (J. IONIN: (415) 558-6309)
DISCRETIONARY REVIEW POLICY - INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION ON PROPOSALS TO SIMPLIFY AND EXPEDITE THE REVIEW OF DISCRETIONARY REVIEW CASES.
Daniela Kirshenbaum - Pacific Heights Residents Association/Neighborhood Network
- Everyone is asking for a smooth, well functioning and well operating City Planning Department/Commission. She understands their concerns.
- The situation has come to a point that home owners have to see which planners have good tempers and which ones are ill tempered.
- Many people have real concerns about neighborhood character.
- She realizes that this policy will be looked at closely. She is available as well as other neighborhood representatives to help in this process of problem solving.
Terry Milne - Bernal Heights Design Review Board
- Neighborhoods need to be able to have hearings about development plans.
- The design review boards work to help homeowners not have to come to Discretionary Review hearings.
- The restrictions on DR's are going to be counter productive since staff has not taken into consideration several points that would require technical education and corrections.
- Only Commission action can direct staff to get more information.
- Without Commission action there is no other way to get satisfactory conditions on the project about infrastructure elements.
- When there is a conflict between the developer and the neighbors, the Commission becomes a neutral arbitrator of the case.
- One problem with having community boards, is enforcement. Community boards do not seek to enforce what was decided upon.
- The system must allow the public to raise complaints to a neutral arbitrator. There has to be a system to allow the balance of power.
Ron Miguel - President of the Planning Association of the Richmond District
- Sometimes neighborhood associations act as design review boards and sometimes as administrative screening boards.
- The idea of revisiting design review has been on everyone's mind for quite some time.
- Clarity and consistency are key words on this issue.
- It is fact that one can get different opinions on the same project from different planners.
- He commended the Commission for taking up this issue.
- The Planning Department has already been very responsive in looking at some of the ideas that have been out there in reforming the DR process.
- The single most important thing to change the process would be engaging early on in the pre-application review meeting. A quick yes or a quick no is better than a maybe.
- The very specific process of DR's should be limited to cases that have significant neighborhood impact.
- She really appreciates the part of this DR report that talks about the pre-application process.
- The quality of life was worth the amount of money they paid during a DR process a few years ago.
- She questions the suggestion of charging for time and materials.
- There are plenty of people who would volunteer to become a Discretionary Review board.
- He has filed four DR's over the years.
- He feels that this is a delaying tactic. The process should only take 30 to 40 days.
- This would allow time to get cases processed rather quickly.
- The Planning staff does not travel to sites to see the neighborhood and be able to determine if a house will become a monster house.
- Staff has written letters opposed to things that are in 311 notices and the public has to write a DR to support staff.
- The dimensions that are on drawings are not always correct
- The process should be made as fast as possible.
- DR's are important to him.
- The current system does not work.
- There has to be some accountability.
- DR's are very important.
- DR's are the only means in which residents can protest a project that is within code that is a detriment to the neighbors.
- The affects of DR's are lifetime consequences to citizens.
- The computation of cost does not take into account one really important cost--moral and the mileage that these cases puts on the staff.
- DR cases wares staff down as much as DR cases wares Commissioners down.
- These cases do not need to take up so much time.
- She endorses the staff recommendation on this issue.
- The pre-application process is not a new one. This was required several years ago. The problem with not doing the pre-application is that staff does not give the complete information to the applicants. The initial consultations should be taken back as it was in the past.
- Staff recommendation should be based on the volume increase in projects.
- The Department is very biased pro developer, pro special interest groups, and pro density.
- The Department is required to comply with prescribed standards.
- Planning review and determination is also very biased.
Rom Morgan - Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
- He advised the Department that the DR process is a very unique tool and if taken away it would devastate the Department.
ACTION: Public Hearing Closed for Today.
AYES: Antonini, Bradford Bell, Boyd, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee
10. 2003.0389D (T. WANG: (415) 558-6335)
111 LOBOS STREET - south side between Capitol and Plymouth Avenues; Lot 047 in Assessor's Block 7104 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2002.07.15.1446, proposing to demolish an existing two-story, single-family dwelling. The project also proposes to subdivide the existing lot into two separate lots and construct a new two-story, single-family dwelling on each of the two lots in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.