To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body
Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco

October 9, 2003

October 9, 2003


Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, October 9, 2003

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Michael J. Antonini, Shelley Bradford Bell, Edgar E. Boyd, Lisa Feldstein, Kevin Hughes, Sue Lee William L. Lee William L. Lee



STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Larry Badiner - Acting Director of Planning/Acting Zoning Administrator; Judy Boyajian - Deputy City Attorney; Jonas Ionin; Amit Ghosh; Teresa Ojeda; Nora Priego - Transcription Secretary; Linda Avery - Commission Secretary


      The Commission will consider a request for continuance to a later date. The Commission may choose to continue the item to the date proposed below, to continue the item to another date, or to hear the item on this calendar.


      1. Consideration of Adoption - Draft Minutes of September 25, 2003.

      SPEAKER(S): None

      ACTION: Approved

      AYES: Antonini, Bradford Bell, Boyd, Feldstein, Hughes, S. Lee

      EXCUSED: W. Lee

      2. Commission Comments/Questions

          Commissioner Bill Lee

          Re: Department of Building Inspection

          - There is an overlap between the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection regarding the notification process (311 and 312). He is looking for a way that both departments can work together so that there is more of a transparency and smooth transition with approvals from both departments.

          - He requested a joint hearing between the DBI and Planning Commissions.

          Commissioner Bradford Bell:

          - She agrees with Commissioner Bill Lee and would like to have a joint hearing our commission and the DBI Commission.

          - She also suggested that we have a joint hearing with the Arts Commission. The Arts component of the General Plan has not been updated in many, many years.

          Commissioner Antonini:


          He suggested having a joint hearing with the Board of Supervisors and/or Land Use Committee to expedite the process (land use applications) and eliminate as much duplication as possible.


      3. Director's Announcements

          Re: November 6, 2003:

          - There will be a discussion of the demolition policy under Discretionary Reviews.

          Re: Commissioner Bill Lee's comment on noticing under DBI:

          - This is an item that will continue to be discussed because it is quite important for both departments.

          Re: Requests to Staff that Result in Work Assignments from the Planning Commission:

          - If the Commission has any requests for work they would like done by Department staff, or have questions that would constitute a staff work assignment, it is important that you make those types of requests or ask those questions of the Director or Acting Director. [Mr. Badiner read part of Charter Section 4.102 relative to powers and duties of Boards and Commissions.] It makes it easier for us [the Director or Acting Director] to understand your concerns and monitor staff work. It also avoids multiple direction and confusion for staff.

          - As always, if a commissioner has a need for clarification on any particular project that is scheduled to come before them, they are welcome to contact the appropriate staff person.

      4. Review Past Week's Events at the Board of Supervisors (BOS)/Board of Appeals (BOA).

          BOS - None

          BOA -

          Re: 32 Rivali Street

          - This was a third story addition to an existing two story house. The Commission did not take Discretionary Review. The DR requestor was concerned about scale and impact upon light and air. The BOA upheld the Commission's decision +5-0.

          Re: 701 Lombard Street

          - A Zoning Administrator (ZA) determination was issued regarding the height.

          - The Commission did not take Discretionary Review. The appeal was on the ZA's letter of determination on the height. The BOA upheld the ZA determination +5-0.


          5. (J. IONIN: (415) 558-6309)

          DISCRETIONARY REVIEW POLICY - Initiation of Intent to allow administrative review of some Discretionary Review cases, and to establish criteria for administrative discretionary review through amendment of Planning Code Sections 311 and 312.

          Preliminary Recommendation: Adoption

          (Continued from Regular Meeting of September 11, 2003)


          (+/-) Terry Milne - Bernal Heights Design Review Board

          - His committee agrees with the pre-application idea.

          - His design review board acts in a similar way.

          - Regarding the entire proposal, the board agrees that there is a need to have a Planning Commission meeting to deal with various types of Discretionary Reviews.

          - Although it seems that the words light and air have become "buzz" words, they should be considered with more significance. The General Plan and the Planning Code call for mid-block open space. He believes that every little bit of back yard is precious.

          - In the proposal there is no differentiation between residential characters.

          (+/) Katy Gough - Bernal Heights Neighborhood

          - She has read the agendas and she noticed that there have been 193 DRs since November of 2002 and were not included in the Department's proposal. The Commission has decided on 126 cases, of these, 48 were mandatory - either demolition or mergers. Of those, all were automatically approved. The other cases included 34 percent that were denied or plans were modified either by the staff or by the Commission. Another 8 percent of the cases were withdrawn, some by the staff.

          - The commission should deal with the problem of crowded agendas and overworked Planning staff by focusing on its policy of mandatory review instead of stripping the 10 percent of the cases that neighbors believe are significant to their quality of life.

          (+/-) John Carney

          - He believes that the Commission is doing a tremendous job even though he does not agree with everything they have approved or disapproved.

          - He believes that time limits should be incorporated into this proposal.

          - The right of appeal should be incorporated as well.

          (+) Jeremy Paul

          - There has always been an effort to reform Discretionary Review procedures. A lot of progress has been done with the current Commission and he encourages the Commission to continue doing a great job.

          (+/-) Paul Wermer

          - He emphasized the benefits and the need for the pre-application process that is being proposed.

          - Communication with neighbors is marginal, at best.

          - The pre-application process is great but it should be expanded to all noticed neighbors. This will be significant in reducing Discretionary Reviews.

          (+/) Marilou Lascari - Neighborhood Network

          - She appreciates the time staff, Jonas Ionin, has been spending with many of her neighbors.

          - The Network enthusiastically supports the pre-application process. This single step would significantly reduce the number of Discretionary Reviews brought before the Commission.

          - She proposes a six-month trial of the pre-application process.

          - If the pre-application process is as successful as she believes it will be, it will tremendously reduce the amount of time and work that staff needs to be involved.

          (+/) Ron Miguel - PAR

          - As soon as the process is initiated, he will return to speak in more detail.

          - He recommends that the Commission proceed with the agenda item.

          (+/) Daniela Kirshenbaum

          - Communication is the key to ease the Discretionary Review process.

          - She would like to continue working with Jonas Ionin and speak on things that need to be dealt with.

          (+) Kate White - Housing Coalition

          - She supports that the Commission move forward on this.

          - Discretionary Reviews take a lot of the Commission's time.

          - The Coalition believes that it makes a lot of sense to move Discretionary Reviews to a more administrative level.

          - There needs to be an opportunity to deal with appeals as well.

          (+/-) Donna Salazar - Community Boards

          - She supports the pre-application process.

          - A trial period of this would be a very good idea.

          - Community Boards are more than happy to help the Commission with the process in any way.

          (+/) Dick Millet

          - He thinks that the Commission is trying to close the door on the public.

          - When 311 notices go out, it is important that these notices are legible.

          - Some of the planners are not responsive to the requests of the public.

          - The planners always say that the Discretionary Review requestor and Project Sponsors should deal with their differences without a middleman to help them through any questions.

          (-) Marilyn Amini

          - She did not obtain the proposal until last Wednesday so there was not enough time for the public to respond in writing and allow the Commission time to review this.

          - She hopes that there will not be administrative review of Discretionary Reviews.

          - If there were a successful pre-application process in the San Mateo County area then it would be good to adopt it. But there are still cases that cannot be solved at that level.

          - Establishing clear criteria communicated before the Discretionary Review process would be a good idea.

          ACTION: Approved Initiation

          AYES: Antonini, Bradford Bell, Boyd, Feldstein, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee

          MOTION: 16675

5:00 P.M.

6. 2000.465M (T. OJEDA: (415) 558-6251)

          HOUSING ELEMENT OF THE GENERAL PLAN - The fourth public hearing on the City's Housing Element of the General Plan is scheduled before the Planning Commission on October 9, 2003. The Planning Department will summarize Planning Commission and other public comments, offer staff response to these comments, and provide the Commission information on next steps towards the adoption of the Housing Element.

      Preliminary Recommendation: Direct Staff to Commence Environmental Review.

          (First Public hearing held on May 1, 2003, continued to second public hearing held on June 5, 2003 and third public hearing on July 21, 2003.)


          Jeremy Paul

          - He spoke on the breakdown between policy and practice.

          - This is a core environmental issue.

          - There are neighborhoods that are fighting any type of density.

          - Many people are moving away from San Francisco. The housing responsibility needs to be taken very seriously.

          - Housing needs to be created. This document takes a great deal of thought and it should be passed.

          Paul Wermer

          - This is not a zoning document but a template on what zoning will be based on.

          - This document tries to address a lot of issues, but he is concerned that the document is extremely vague and has contradictions.

          - There are assumptions of a land use element that is not written.

          - One of the great things about this city is its neighborhoods, and this document does not state anything about neighborhood character.

          Maria Souza - PAR - Richmond District

          - She thanked everyone for contributing all the comments on this document.

          - The September 18 draft is not very different than the February 2002 draft.

          - She is not opposed to the policies on affordable housing.

          - Policies are not needed to advance market rate housing. Policies are needed to advance affordable housing.

          Kate White - Housing Action Coalition

          - She urges the Commission to direct the Planning staff to start environmental review.

          - San Francisco can house low-income to moderate income as well as people from different countries.

          - There has been a lot of phobia and hysteria about this housing element.

          - This document is the housing element and not the parking element.

          - San Francisco is a transit first city and housing for people should come before cars.

          Charlotte Maeck - Pacific Heights

          - She understands that this document is a policy. It will not become a rule.

          - San Francisco needs a policy and a practice.

          - She thanked Commissioner Antonini for raising questions on this issue.

          Barbara Austin - Francisco Heights

          - The housing element is an ill-defined document.

          - There are many questions and comments that have not been included in this document.

          Joan Mettler - Glen Park

          - She urges the Commission not to approve the policies of the Housing Element that would allow secondary units to be built, especially in single family housing, without the requirement of one parking space per one housing unit. Nor to allow new housing to be built near transit streets without the one garage space requirement for one housing unit.

          Bob Bardell - Golden Gate Valley Neighborhood Association

          - He opposes those changes to the housing element that negatively impacts neighborhoods and neighborhood character.

          - He urges the Commission to retain the present language on secondary units.

          Peter O'Hara - Cow Hollow

          - The statistical data in the housing element is dated and does not reflect the current information related to San Francisco.

          - Without a valid data base it is reckless to allow this document to pass.

          - It is far better to forego state and federal funding than pass something that will not lead to good housing.

          - Even if the funding is received, the City is stuck with bad housing.

          - The right type of housing is necessary for San Francisco.

          Jeff Hagan - President of Francisco Heights Neighborhood Association

          - There are many, many people that are leaving San Francisco.

          - Little or no notice or outreach has been done.

          - For the sake of funding, this document is being rushed. This is not adequate because of the many people it will affect.

          Rich Worner - Jordan Park

          - He submitted more than 100 letters of residents of San Francisco who oppose this document.

          - The Planning Code was finally changed in 1972.

          - Neighborhoods need to maintain their character and parking should not be changed.

          Libby Benedict - Vice President of the Francisco Heights Neighborhood Association

          - San Francisco was built on a human scale. It is not a big city but it is a big town.

          - She appreciates the work that the Commission does, but the lay person is trying to understand that this is not a one size fits all city.

          Judy Berkowitz - East Mission Improvement Association

          - The various drafts of the housing element are not very different.

          - There are 8 ½ pages of deficiencies.

          - This document also contains out-of-date data.

          - The four policies: 1.1,1.8,2.6 and 11.7 should be looked at closely.

          - To include notices in the water bill as suggested by Commissioner Sue Lee was a good idea but to her knowledge it has not been done.

          Greg Hylton - Jordan Park

          - The housing element is troubling and [he] is adamantly opposed to it.

          - This is just an attempt by big developers to take over without voter's approval.

          - This document will cause catastrophic parking problems and will diminish the beauty of San Francisco.

          - The idea that the housing element is a solution to the affordable housing problem is cruel.

          - The housing element is illegal in various aspects.

          - There are various organizations that were not included in this document.

          Sara Lee Keropian - Francisco Heights Neighborhood Association

          - She is opposed to the housing element.

          - She hopes that the Commission will retain the part of the housing element related to parking.

          - The density and the parking in various neighborhoods is very much a problem.

          Lois DeCastro - St. Mary's Park Improvement Association

          - The association unanimously voted to oppose the housing element.

          - If the housing element passes as written it will become the target of large developers.

          Paula Romanousky - Treasurer of the Francisco Heights Civic Association

          - It is well received to hear the concerns the Commissioners have on the issues and problems facing this City.

          - San Francisco is a very livable City.

          - Section 101.1 should be maintained.

          Rozanne Junker - Francisco Heights Civic Association

          - She is concerned about transportation, parking availability, and the City's infrastructure.

          - She urges the Commission to carefully consider this proposal.

          Julie Marcus - Francisco Heights Civic Association

          - She urges the current housing element as is.

          Rose Hinson - Jordan Park Improvement Association

          - She agrees with many of the people that believe that the current housing element should be maintained.

          Steven Hinson

          - This is earthquake country and building six story buildings in transit corridors is not a good idea.

          - He does own a car and is not going to go to Costco on MUNI.

          John Geordani - Jordan Park Improvement Association

          - This City is very special for a lot of people who live here.

          - San Francisco is different because of the diversity of the neighborhoods.

          - Although the housing element is well intentioned it might not be very good.

          - Off street parking should be maintained for many projects.

          - He urged the Commission to look closely at everything that everyone has mentioned.

          Mary Beth Starzell - Richmond District

          - People were not invited to give their comments long ago.

          - Now this document is two years late and who is responsible for this? - The Planning Department and its personnel.

          - People need to have faith in government.

          - Single-family homes are being demolished and in its place are four story buildings that are being built.

          - The Commission should lead the way to ask planning staff to be respectful to the public.

          Bob Starzell - Richmond District

          - There is more theory in transit than there is reality.

          - People plan and hope but the dreams are very difficult to achieve.

          - MUNI is very successful.

          - If staff is going to put in place a new housing element, it should require that MUNI would upgrade the transportation system.

          James 0'Hara - Jordan Park

          - This is a unique and special place that has neighborhoods that enable people to live in a very successful way.

          - He is opposed to the housing element.

          - He urges the Commission to retain the present policy on secondary units.

          - Section 207.2 language should be retained.

          Grover Wald - Jordan Park

          - The plan presented is more a nightmare than a dream.

          - This is just a recipe for disaster.

          - This proposal will disrupt the wonderful characters of each neighborhood.

          - He opposes this General Plan because it lacks rationality, concern for the survival of well-established neighborhoods, and the transportation system.

          David Natcher

          - He is a San Francisco resident.

          - He is very concerned about the process, which seems to have left a lot of people out of it.

          - It is very important for the Commission to understand that the people of the City will be living with the results of having passed this document.

          - He encourages the Commission to take the time to get additional input and see the long-term results of this document.

          Marilou Lascari - Save Our Neighborhoods

          - There has been a lot of explanation on this but since when does one approve policy that the public does not want to be enacted.

          - The ill-advised policies should be eliminated.

          - Policies 1.1, 1.8, 2.6 and 11.7 should be eliminated.

          Ron Lichty - Sunset District

          - This is very bad policy based on false premises.

          - This housing element sets the tone of the future.

          - This document is not rezoning.

          - Everyone in San Francisco should know about this and the concept that the Planning Department has notified everyone is nonsense.

          - In-laws are illegal.

          Mark Fighera - Francisco Heights

          - When he hears everything that is being proposed, it scares him.

          - Everyone that he knows have cars.

          - If proper parking is not built, it will be a mess.

          - He urges the Commission to retain the policy of one off street parking space per unit.

          - Section 101.1 should be retained.

          Annemarie Conroy

          - This City is not a transit only city just a transit first city.

          - The housing element makes changes to city policies.

          - The housing element is the guiding element that zoning polices will be based on.

          - If this document is passed, there will be disastrous results to neighborhood characters.

          - The impact of this document is irreparable.

          Cynthia Cole - Precidio Heights Association of Neighbors

          - She is opposed to the housing element.

          - She is against Supervisor Peskin's secondary units legislation.

          - The legislation is contrary to Proposition M.

          - It is also contrary to the City's current general plan.

          - There is no support for this legislation in her neighborhood.

          Brad Reed

          - He opposes the housing element in its current form because it will destroy the character of the neighborhoods.

          Amy McPhee - Francisco Heights Neighborhood

          - She is against the housing element.

          - She is alarmed at the policies that are coming through.

          - San Francisco works. It is not broken. Policies need to be enhanced.

          Kathryn Hecht

          - She is disconcerted that the Commission is basing their comments on outdated data.

          - If this housing element is passed it will do more harm than good.

          Penelope Clark - Russian Hill Neighborhood Association

          - The policies being considered do not have any policies for affordable housing or housing for large families.

          - The push to have market rate housing at the expense of the quality of life of residents seems to make no sense.

          - Because of Proposition M, many units would have to be built.

          Joy Small - Jordan Park

          - There is a revolt amongst the neighborhood associations against actions being taken to eliminate them and change them.

          Bette Spencer - Richmond District

          - Her neighborhood would be affected by an 80-foot height limit.

          - Does the Commission want to be friendly to families or friendly to developers?

          Francisco Centurion - Russian Hill Neighbors/Architect

          - He completed Penelope Clark's testimony:

          - The result of implementing these flawed policies is that neighborhoods will have a decreased quality of life and there will be less family housing and more suburban housing. This is not smart growth. This is greed driven stupid growth.

          Kelly Whatts

          - These policies are not standard development policies.

          - He is pleased to see so many people come out.

          - He had not heard of any outreach from the Planning Department.

          - He would like to see a little more outreach.

          - He rode his bicycle here because parking is bad. He cannot image how parking will be after this is passed.

          Dan Liberthson - Miraloma Improvement Club

          - Many people have expressed their opposition to this draft document in its current form.

          - The Miraloma Improvement Club opposes this document in it's current form.

          - The relaxation of the parking requirements will cause chaos. People will still have cars and use them.

          - The Miraloma Improvement Club also opposes the legalization of secondary units.

          John Lowry

          - He is not in support of the bulk, density and height limitations in this document.

          - This document is a very far-reaching plan.

          - To say this document is consistent with Proposition M is not true.

          Sara Lowry - SON

          - She realizes that there is a horrible need for housing, especially affordable housing.

          - In order to pay for all this, you need business.

          - She supports the comments that everyone has said.

          Andrew Bozeman - SON

          - This is a very complex effort and he is very disappointed that this document is just a template.

          - He urges the Commission to take another look at this and maintain the character of the neighborhoods and keep the parking policies.

          - He attended workshops and does not see the results of these workshops reflected in the draft document.

          Francisco De Costa - SON

          - He thanked the constituents of this city for coming here today and expressing their concerns.

          - Today the discussion is on the housing element, transit corridors and a life that has been destroyed by concrete jungles.

          - It is time that calibration is done on city planners. There is no accountability or no transparency.

          Sheila Mahoney - SON

          - She is disappointed about the attempt to fix San Francisco.

          - Maintaining neighborhood character has been very difficult already.

          - If the housing element would have been approved already many of the projects currently in the Planning Department would have been three to four stories taller.

          - Stop all the zoning changes unless there is neighborhood approval.

          Bernie Choden - San Francisco Tomorrow

          - A policy is an administrative directive intended to be implemented.

          - This very much-improved draft still lacks direction.

          - The City Charter can be amended.

          - This is not a question of habit but a question of commitment.

          Linda Jofuku - Japan Town Task Force Incorporated

          - Her task force has developed an award winning concepts plan.

          - She asks that the Commission take their concepts plan into account.

          - She respectfully requested an opportunity for input be her task force.

          - The task force has not been invited to be involved in the housing element.

          - She is concerned with the Geary corridor.

          Oscar Grande - MAC/PODER

          - The housing element should be passed. There have been enough amendments. It is very hard to hear Commissioner Antonini stall or belittle people's comments.

          - There is no affordable housing built in mostly Caucasian neighborhoods.

          Ramona Albright - Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods

          - She thanked the Commission for the time they have spent on this document.

          - She read a motion was passed recently regarding the passing of Proposition M as it relates to the housing element.

          Eric Quezada - MAC

          - "Not in our City" is a very troubling thought.

          - There is some common ground that this document could be based on.

          - He believes that there should be protection for cities.

          - There should be a great deal of precipitation.

          - He urges the Commission to give their comments on moving this housing element forward consideration.

          Eileen Bokan - SPEAK

          - More hearings are needed on this.

          - The planning process itself is very problematic.

          - The planning proposes long range plans, but the Department does not have sufficient resources.

          - There is a large turn over for planning staff--which has doubled in one year.

          - There are inexperienced staff doing the work.

          Jerry Longoria - SOMCAN

          - He strongly supports this plan and affordable housing.

          - He does not want to move out of San Francisco to find a decent place to live.

          - He urges the Commission to approve this plan and think about it with their hearts and not their pockets.

          Jose Morales - MAC

          - He emphasized the need to preserve affordable housing for seniors and disabled persons.

          - All his neighbors feel that if there is not affordable housing, there will be a disaster.

          - He urged the Commission to pass the housing element.

          Ken Reggio - Executive Director of the Episcopal Community Services

          - He is concerned with homelessness in the City.

          - They provide supportive housing for homeless people and children.

          - Permanent affordable housing with support services is the solution to homelessness.

          - They recently opened a home for homeless families.

          Chris Manitsas

          - The elderly who don't drive still have relatives that come to visit them and require parking.

          - There was overwhelming opposition to the parking policy and the secondary units policy discussed at a neighborhood meeting that Dr. Ghosh attended. All the issues discussed were not included in the current draft document.

          Mark Atkinson

          - Wonderful things have happened in this City since he started living here 10 years ago.

          - Some people question if an apartment building is an appropriate environment for families. He thinks it is because he lived in an apartment building with his family in New York.

          Steven Aiello - Zero Design Co.

          - He is a pro-housing citizen.

          - He is an architect of single-family dwellings.

          - The housing element contains information of where the City needs to go.

          - It is impossible for a two-income family to purchase homes.

          - There is a lack of supply of housing.

          - The greatest change in neighborhood character is an increase in the cost of housing.

          David Bisho - West of Twin Peaks Association

          - The association is opposed to this document for the following reasons: lack of proper notification and public input; no meeting or workshops in any western neighborhood for the purpose of public participation and development of the final draft; the final draft promoting new housing conflicts with Prop M; the final draft promotes new market rate housing at the expense of family housing; and the final draft's policies are based on old and outdated data.

          Calvin Gladney - Bridge Housing Coalition

          - He supports moving forward with the housing element because it encourages higher density in the City.

          - Increasing density would bring more affordable housing to the City.

          - There are many parts of the housing element that will bring clean affordable housing to the City.

          Peter Nichol - Bridge Housing Corporation

          - He is here in support of the housing element.

          - San Francisco is one of the most dense cities in the country and this allows for a rich cultural and economic activity for the City.

          - Increasing the density allows for more affordable housing.

          - There are many parts of the Housing Element that will allow Bridge to do what they do best.

          Desiree Almendral

          - She has been working on development in the City.

          - She has seen how families have left.

          - She is in favor of the housing element because it will help curb reckless development.

          - The character of neighborhoods also includes diversity and culturally rich areas.

          - There are people that don't have to worry about parking because they have to worry about having a roof over their heads.

          Jean Amos - Friends of Noe Valley

          - She feels that the housing element violates the spirit of Prop M.

          - Many people in her neighborhood have worked hard to have a reasonable growth policy.

          - This document does not address the full needs of the people in this City.

          - Although the document allows for affordable housing, it neglects the character of the neighborhoods.

          - She does not know how this document will convince people to stay out of their cars.

          Claire Pilcher - Friends of Noe Valley

          - They have been involved in planning issues for a long time.

          - She is shocked at the lack of quality design that is being proposed now.

          - Transit first is a joke.

          Joan Girardot - Marina Civic Improvement and Property Owners

          - This document will cause radical gentrification in this City.

          - The political bias in this draft document is very transparent.

          - This document cannot be based on false data.

          Courtney Clarkson

          - She looks at this housing element and would say that the Planning Department has not done this because it appears that they are taking the easy way out.

          - The Planning Commission is constantly approving spot zoning projects.

          - She would like the Commission to take this document back and look at it very closely.

          - If this is approved, it will change the face of the City forever.

          Robert Laws

          - He is opposed to this draft document.

          - City planning has to be driven by the most meticulous type of analysis.

          - This document fails to do many things.

          - This document cries out for an environmental document.

          Bud Wilson - West of Twin Peaks

          - The non-profit people are being misinformed if they believe that the housing element provides affordable housing.

          - The vast majority of the residential homeowners are not aware of this hearing. If everyone knew about this, this meeting would have to be moved to Davies Symphony Hall.

          Robert Friese - Jordan Park

          - He was caught by surprise by the number of provisions in the housing element.

          - He requested more time to find a compromise.

          - The explanation of transit corridors has not been given enough explanation or thought.

          Ron Pierce - Jordan Park

          - He strongly opposes this housing element.

          - There is an extremely diverse community speaking here tonight.

          - When he reads this document, it does not seem to be a very intelligent document.

          - This draft document will change the character of the neighborhoods.

          - This document should be given into the hands of the people of San Francisco because they are the ones who approved Proposition M.

          Mike DeCastro - St. Mary's Park

          - There are a lot of high-density projects without parking requirements.

          - This plan calls for the "manhattanization" of San Francisco.

          - These changes pose a threat to hard working families.

          - He lives in one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the City.

          - The Commission needs to rethink this plan completely.

          James Collins - 6th Street and Mission Agenda

          - The east side of San Francisco is the most needed for affordable housing.

          - There are families and disabled citizens who live in SRO hotels.

          - A mother cannot prepare a proper meal and prepare her children for school.

          - This document needs to be approved and make the proper changes that need to be made.

          Bill Murphy - Mission Agenda

          - He is a third generation San Franciscan.

          - Living in an SRO hotel is not a very nice place to live in but this is what he can afford.

          - He would love to move into a clean small studio.

          - There is just not enough affordable housing.

          - Increasing density in transit corridors will do a lot to build affordable housing.

          Marty Borrego - Mission Agenda

          - He has lived in San Francisco most of his life.

          - This City is based on one people, one heart, etc.

          - There are a lot of people who suffer in this City.

          Jeannette Fisher-Konadio - San Francisco Development Corporation

          - She is concerned with affordable homeownership.

          - She urges the Commission to consider the affordable homeownership aspect of the element.

          Cris Peterson

          - He just moved to the City about one year ago.

          - Despite the repeated exertions that everyone owns a car, it is not true.

          - He is in favor of the components of the housing element that would increase affordable housing and reduce parking requirements.

          - It is important to be sensitive to the character each neighborhood has.

          Norman Rolfe

          - Housing for people is more important than housing for machines.

          - Many people in San Francisco do not have a car.

          - This document is heading in the right direction if it increases housing in transit corridors.

          - Density does not necessarily mean high-rise.

          - This document is a step in the right direction.

          Katherine Roberts - SF Greens

          - She does not own a car and has lived here since 1975.

          - She lives in Cole Valley.

          - She is very disturbed that this plan goes against Proposition M.

          - There has been a lot of destruction of communities because of the auto development community.

          - This plan is a major step in the right direction.

          Bruce Windrem - Bay Area Dysfunctionists

          - This is a matter of zoning.

          - He lives in the tenderloin, is homeless and does not have car.

          - He will help preserve the neighborhoods of people with cars if they will help people who don't have a place to live obtain shelter.

          - This document will undo a lot of evils.

          - He was not informed of this until just today and has not really looked at the document.

          Judy Duffy

          - This issue is mostly about saving the character of neighborhoods.

          - The neighborhoods are very unique and contribute to tourism.

          - The uniqueness of the neighborhoods is why many people decide to stay in the City.

          - The legislation of Supervisor Peskin will crowd neighborhoods.

          - It is important to talk to the neighborhoods and find out what they are looking for.

          Barbara Meskunas - CSFN

          - There are a lot of people who were brought here under false pretenses.

          - This element proposes many things that are a misconception.

          Pauline Peele - Bay View District

          - Reducing parking areas that are close to neighborhood services is a good idea, but there are neighborhoods that do not have neighborhood services.

          - Allowing higher density does not discourage existing housing.

          Dick Millet

          - He finished the testimony of Ms. Eileen Bokan who was not able to finish:

          - The department has not consistently reached out to neighborhood associations or incorporated community input.

          - ABAG has drafted a housing element revision work plan. This plan states that community participation consists of ongoing community involvement and activities.

          - Outreach to community organizations has only been a small part of the housing element revision process.

          - Practice speaks louder than words.

          - What he sees is that there have been 400-foot towers on the waterfront recently approved. This is very high density.

          Olivia Nava - Laurel Heights

          - She just became aware of this issue.

          - She is opposed to this document and the policies.

          - She is concerned about the lack of notice to San Francisco residents.

          - This document would impact the ability of families to live in the area.

          Anita Theoharis

          - There is a homeless problem as well as a low-income problem.

          - The zoning will be changed with this document.

          - Transit first does not mean transit only.

          - Transit needs to be looked at closely before this document is passed.

          - She implores the Commission to address the issue of the housing element.

          Richard Schaefer

          - When policies are being considered, many things are not presented as they are.

          - Since the Commission is a city agency, they should consider not allowing a city on top of high-rises.

          Serena Bardell

          - She has lived here for 50 years.

          - There is a conflict between the Planning Department and the people who live here.

          - If the housing element is passed, it will not take long to see the extinction of a beautiful city.

          - There will never be enough space for every soul to live here.

          Beatrice Laws

          - The residents of this city want to be heard.

          - The outreach to the residents regarding this issue has not happened.

          - More affordable housing is necessary but it should not be done at the expense of eliminating the character of neighborhoods.

          Cris Durazo - SOMCAN

          - The housing element is supposed to ensure affordable housing for San Franciscans.

          - SOMA has absorbed all the affordable housing that has been built.

          - Adequate housing is needed in SOMA.

          - Demolition of sound housing is a real problem.

          Dorcas Maureen Bender - Merced Manor/Preserve Our Neighborhoods

          - She submitted petitions of residents who are opposed to this document.

          - Neighborhood character should be preserved.

          - People have purchased property in certain areas because they want to live in certain areas.

          - San Francisco is too beautiful a city to destroy.

          Sue Hestor

          - The supply of good will toward the Planning Commission is bone dry.

          - The Commissioners and staff have ignored the housing element for the last 10 years.

          - People in the eastern part of the City are desperate about affordable housing.

          - The Commission is abandoning both the east and west parts of the City.

          Ada Chan - MAC

          - Eight out of 72 policies are new. 72 of the policies have been around in the last decade. Has the face of the western neighborhoods completely changed?

          - When people talk about protecting San Francisco, what are they talking about?

          - She urges the Commission to close public comment. The testimonies heard today have not been significantly different.

          - The key concerns are out there, they have not changed.

          - The Commission should close testimony, start the discussion, make the amendments necessary and adopt the housing element.

          Marilyn Amini

          - She has a memo dated October 2, 2003, which she had a hard time getting. It should have been more available to the public.

          - The memo states that the Commission has satisfied state code in the development of this document.

          - It also states that on the 23rd of January, all the public involvement had already occurred.

          - There is no substantial change in the various drafts. The public has not participated adequately.

          - She believes that the Commission should not approve this document and the process should start over.

          Emery Kalman

          - The Planning Department is not in compliance with the Sunshine ordinance since it has violated Section Codes: 67.7a and b; and 67.7-1a.

          - He was here a few months ago and asked how much this project cost and no one ever contacted him.

          - The work done for this document is not well done and a waste of money and public resources.

          - There have been well document testimonies.

          ACTION: Following public testimony, the Commission President closed the public hearing. No action was required of or taken by the Commission. Acting Director, Larry Badiner, informed the Commission that the Department will modify the Draft Housing Element to include the previous Residence Element language on Secondary Units and commence environmental review and report back to the Commission on what environmental review is appropriate. The Department will continue to take written public comment and will hold further public hearings once the environmental document is final.


      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 with one exception. When the agenda item has already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the Commission has closed the public hearing, your opportunity to address the Commission must be exercised during the Public Comment portion of the Calendar. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

      The Brown Act forbids a commission from taking action or discussing any item not appearing on the posted agenda, including those items raised at public comment. In response to public comment, the commission is limited to:

      (1) responding to statements made or questions posed by members of the public; or

      (2) requesting staff to report back on a matter at a subsequent meeting; or

      (3) directing staff to place the item on a future agenda. (Government Code Section 54954.2(a))

Emery Kalman

      - Why isn't the City Attorney present at this meeting?

      - Why does the Commission not follow the Sunshine Ordinance?

      - He would like to have these questions answered in writing.

      - When the Commission directs staff to answer a question from the public, why isn't if followed up.

      Did not state name

      - He had a question, sort of a point of order.

      - Most of the public understood from the silence which followed Commissioner Antonini's comments that the procedure would be essentially as outlined by him. The Commissioner stated that he didn't wish to be inadvertently trapped in the situation. Will the procedure be along the lines that Commissioner Antonini suggested?

      Acting Director Responded:


      John Bardis

      Re: Environmental Review Process for the Housing Element

      - The Environmental review process was not on the agenda today.

      - In addressing the environmental review he would hope that staff would pay attention to Commissioner Boyd's comment on what is happening to payrolls that are being generated in San Francisco by the jobs that are in San Francisco.

      - People are not being able to continue living here.

      - He would like to have on the environmental review a very clear description of what is happening to the economy in San Francisco by not having housing for those commuters.

      - He is speaking on the economic development that would be addressed in the EIR. Staff should be very careful in exploring this issue. The future of this city is how a strategy can be developed economically.

      Marilyn Amini

      Re: Closing Public Comment

      - She would like to know what are the guidelines of closing public comment on a topic that is exceedingly important and that many people have not been aware of?

      - When there is a document that a of more work needs to be done?

      - How can an EIR be started when no one knows how the document is going to evolve?

      - What are the guidelines of closing public comment on a very significant issue and that will affect the City for decades to come?

      - Does there have to be an action?

      - Does only the President make the determination that public comment is closed or does other Commissioners have something to say on this?

      - When public comment is closed, this is a very significant action.

      Commission Secretary Responded:

      - It has been the procedure for at least the last 12 years that at the end of a hearing when the President asks if there are any more speakers and no one indicates that they want to speak, the President, has the right to close the public hearing.

      - I assume it was this way before I became Commission Secretary.

      - Ms. Amini has been to countless hearings where this has been the procedure and it has never been questioned.

      - To my knowledge, the Commission does not have to take a motion to close the public hearing.

      - If this procedure has changed without my knowledge, I would appreciate someone letting me know.

Adjournment: 10:33 p.m.


      SPEAKERS: None

      ACTION: Approved as Corrected

      AYES: Antonini, Feldstein, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee

      ABSENT: Bradford Bell and Boyd

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:07 PM