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January 6, 2005

January 6, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO
PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

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

Thursday, January 6, 2005

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Dwight Alexander; Michael J. Antonini, Shelley Bradford Bell,
Kevin Hughes, Sue Lee; William L. Lee, Christina Olague

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: None

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT BRADFORD BELL AT 2:00 p.m.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris - Interim Director of Planning; Larry Badiner - Zoning Administrator; Dan Sirois; Tammy Chan; Joshua Switsky; Nora Priego - Transcription Secretary; Linda Avery - Commission Secretary

A. CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

      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. 2004.1106D (S. SNYDER: (415) 558-6543)

        252 HOLYOKE STREET - east side between Felton and Burrows Streets; Lot 6 in Assessor's Block 5976 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2003.09.19.5209, proposing vertical and horizontal front and rear additions to the single-family dwelling in an RH-1 (House, One-family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

        Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve as proposed.

      (Proposed for Continuance to January 27, 2005)

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued to January 27, 2005

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

      2. 2004.0798D (M. SMITH: (415) 558-6322)

            2070 30TH AVENUE - east side between Pacheco and Quintara Streets, Lot 003M in Assessor's Block 2149 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2004.01.26.4825, proposing to construct a two-story horizontal addition at the rear of a single-family dwelling, located in a RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

        Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

        (Continued from Regular Meeting of December 2, 2004)

      (Proposed for Indefinite Continuance)

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued indefinitely

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

        3. 2004.0393C (G. CABREROS (415) 558-6169)

            2443-2445 CLEMENT STREET - south side between 25th and 26th Avenues; Lots 035 and 036 in Assessor's Block 1457 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization under Planning Code Section 717.11 to allow development of a lot greater than 5,000 square feet in area in the Outer Clement Street Neighborhood Commercial District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The project proposes demolition of three non-residential structures and new construction of a 40-foot tall, four-story, mixed-used building with one ground-floor commercial space and nine residential units.

            Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

        (Continued from Regular Meeting of November 4, 2004)

        (Proposed for Indefinite Continuance)

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued indefinitely

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

      4. 2004.1033Z (P. LORD: (415) 558-6311)

        ASSESSOR'S BLOCK 0185 REZONING - Consideration of an Ordinance amending the San Francisco Planning Code by amending the Zoning Map of the City and County of San Francisco, Section Map 2, to change the use district designation of Assessor's Block 0185, Lots, 005, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 043, and 048 (mid-block South side of Pacific Street between Hyde Street and Larkin Street) from NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial District) and RH-1 (Residential: One Family) to RM-1 (Residential, Mixed: Low Density, making finding pursuant to Section 302 and, making findings of consistency with the priority policies of Planning Code Section 101.1 and the General Plan.

      Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

      (Proposed for Indefinite Continuance)

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued Indefinitely

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

      5. Commission Comments/Questions

        EXECUTIVE SESSION

            1. Review of resumes and applicant pool for the Director of Planning position.

        ACTION: The Subcommittee voted to disclose no information

        Commission Secretary:

        Re: Various Items

        1) 2005 Planning Commission Meeting Schedule will go before the Commission on January 13, 2005.

        2) Rules and Regulations will be scheduled on February 10, 2005.

        3) It is important to notify the Commission Secretary or her staff whenever a Commissioner will either be late or absent. She passed a 2005 calendar so that Commissioners can indicate when they believe they might be absent.

        Commissioner William Lee:

        Re: Rincon Hill Plan

        - He thanked Marshal Foster for the information he provided him regarding the Rincon Hill Plan.

        - He received a copy of the ABAG report and there was very interesting information on San Francisco.

        Re: Entertainment Commission

        - Is there one person that the permitting section of the Entertainment Commission can work directly with at Planning?

            Zoning Director Badiner Responded:

            - He has been working with the Entertainment Commission and will be speaking about some introduced ordinance(s).

            - Paul Lord of staff can be a contact person at Planning. He does not issue permits because those are distributed throughout the department. But he can be a point of contact.

        Commissioner William Lee:

        Re: Entertainment Commission

        - When speaking with Bob Davis, he mentioned that when they have requests there is no one to contact.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - Planning staff will contact Bob Davis to communicate this information to him.

        Commissioner Antonini:

        Re: ABAG Report

        - He would like all Commissioner to receive a copy of this report.

        Re: Mayor's Office of Housing

        - He received a report from Matt Franklin from the Mayor's Office of Housing and would also like all Commissioners to receive a copy.

        Commissioner Bradford Bell:

        - Wished everyone a Happy New Year.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

      6. Director's Announcements

        Re: Personnel

        - There has been progress in the personnel area of the department.

        - This month there will be workshops at the Planner IV level speaking about management, administration, document keeping, productivity, etc.

        - For this budget cycle, we must submit the budget to the Mayor's Office by February 22, 2005.

        - Staff has already been holding meetings on creating a new fiscal budget.

        - There was an idea to have a Planning Commission workshop on January 27, 2005 but it will be moved up to January 20, 2005.

        - He has asked Larry Badiner and Amit Ghosh to give brief descriptions of what some of the initiatives are in the two parts of the department.

            Zoning Administrator Badiner responded:

            - The proposed workshop will consist of the process of identifying what direction and ideas the department is moving in.

            - It will not be as detailed as counting the number of FTEs, etc.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - The information is based mostly on where the department wants to go in the next 18 months.

            - Then staff will go back and discuss the more detailed information.

            Zoning Administrator Badiner responded:

            - A CAO, has been hired and will be dealing with Personnel, Finance and Information Services.

            - Alicia JohnBaptiste, who is the Acting Finance Manager at MUNI, will be joining the department in the third week of January.

            - She will blend into the management style of the department and give it a formal management technique.

            - A billing clerk will not be hired yet since it is appropriate for Alicia to hire this person.

            - The Planner I through V lists are at DHR. Formal lists will be issued the first week of February.

            - Jeff Tully will be coming back to the department. He is an experienced preservation planner.

            - Jean Paul Samaha, will be leaving the department. That position is filled from an on-going list and an appropriate way to fill this position will be looked at.

            - There are Planner III positions that are permanent. We are looking at the list to fill these.

            - The interviews for Environmental III are done and there have been offers to two candidates.

            - Progress is being made on hiring for the positions approved in the budget.

            Re: Neighborhood Planning

            - There are major backlogs.

            - The hiring of the new planners will help with this backlog.

            - We are about seven positions down so the three positions coming in February will help a lot.

            - Staff is exploring the idea of putting money in the budget.

            - There is a plan to obtain information on someone who has experience on Planning processes.

            - One idea might be to look at the way the department is colleting fees.

            - The fees are coming in very strong. The projected fees show about $1 to $2 million dollars above what was anticipated for this fiscal year.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - There is a lot of good information today.

            - The notion of having an outside expert planning firm look at how the department and the Commission does business is a good idea.

            - There are three ways to approach the work load problem: 1) more productivity with what one has; 2) hire more people; or 3) look at the way the work is being done in the first place.

            - The 90-day analysis is being worked on right now.

            Amit Ghosh responded:

            - The Citywide Action plan had a very good two months.

            - There were various items related to Citywide that were approved and/or reviewed by the Commission in the last few months.

            - The Balboa Park EIR will get under way in February. The consultant will be selected by the end of January.

            - There has been progress in the scoping of the Eastern Neighborhoods EIR.

            - The Housing Element public outreach will be starting soon. This is due in 2007.

            - There are also published Planning reports that are available on the website. One is the extension of the Better Neighborhoods in the Mid-Market area that extends the Better Neighborhood provisions.

            - Copies of the Downtown Monitoring Report will be available soon as well as the Housing Inventory.

        Commissioner Bradford Bell:

        Re: Home Depot

        - The EIR for this project will be scheduled when?

            Zoning Administrator responded:

            - There are still some issues that need to be dealt with. He will provide a date in the future.

            Interim Director Macris:

            Re: Housing Element

            - There is a lawsuit with the previous Housing Element. Staff has discussed what is the best approach in this situation and they have agreed to begin the new process and work with the people who have contentious feelings about the previous process in order to be more successful this time.

            - There has been good cooperation from the Mayor's Office, Redevelopment Agency, DHR, etc.

            - Staff intends to use the resources of the Mayor's Office for all the work in Planning. The City should be working in a unified way. He has been working to be involved with these entities.

        Commissioner W. Lee:

        - He sits on the Rate Fairness Board for the PUC that has developed a concept called Capacity Fee. Because a sewer plan and a water system have been built from Hetch Hetchy, the developers would benefit from that. He has been thinking that this might be done at Planning. Is there a way to access a Planning Capacity fee to make up for all the things that have been done before? Take the funding, but only earmark it for Planning Use.

            Zoning Administrator Badiner responded:

            - Staff had proposed that and the Commission reviewed it a few months before. Right now it is at the Finance Committee and will be discussed perhaps the third week of January. Staff is pursuing collecting fees for environmental and planning.

        Commissioner W. Lee:

        Re: Merger of DBI and Planning

        - Someone should start looking at the process and efficiency of the condo, street use and map and DPW.

        - Planning should take a look at what should stay at DBI and what should be merged with Planning.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - There have been meetings every two weeks with DBI about this topic. Staff is taking steps on what should be integrated.

        Commissioner Antonini:

        Re: Housing Element

        - What general outreach is being done for the general public?

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - The ideas are still in the beginning phase. Perhaps an outside party that facilitates these things. Nothing has been settled yet.

        Commissioner Antonini:

        Re: UC Berkeley

        - Will the UC Berkley title be maintained or will it be sold to the City?

            Amit Ghosh responded:

            - It is not being sold but there will be a long-term lease.

        Commissioner Antonini:

        - Whenever a/the process can be expedited is a good thing.

        Commissioner Olague:

        Re: Health Impact Assessment

        - She requested that the Department of Public Health come to the Planning Commission and provide a presentation on this assessment.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - He knows that there is a draft available and will be meeting with them in the near future.

        Commissioner Olague:

        Re: Citizens Housing

        - Is there an update on this?

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - In about a week he will have more information on this.

        Commissioner Hughes:

        Re: Housing Element

        - Is one of the items on the lawsuit the contention of whether or not a determination of a negative declaration was appropriate or not?

            City Attorney Boyajian responded:

            - She knows that the primary/only issue is a CEQA issue, asserting that there should have been an EIR and not a Negative Declaration.

      7. Review of Past Week's Events at the Board of Supervisors and Board of Appeals

        BOS -

        - There were two appeals at the Board: 1) Negative Declaration for 329 Bay Street. The primary issue was a loss of a tree that was being taken down by the construction of the building. The Negative Declaration was reversed by a vote of +6-4 and there was a request of a cumulative analysis on the loss of other trees as a result of recently approved projects in the immediate area. 2) 100 Felton Street for the installation of a six-panel antenna on an existing church. The appeal was upheld by a vote of +10-0.

        - The Formula Retail was passed on the final reading this week. That would create conditional use for retail use on Haight Street.

        - Pending legislation: Supervisor Amiano's introduction of the SRO -- there has been an amendment to this ordinance with limits to very low income households that are 50% of median income and/or extremely low income households that are 30% of median income. This will be scheduled within the next few months before the Commission.

        - There was an Upper Market/Castro place of entertainment. There are a number of bars in the Castro and upper Noe Valley that have established a place of entertainment. Not all of the projects have a permit for a place of entertainment. This ordinance would be exempted from the Conditional process that would require a hearing before the Entertainment Commission. If the Board approves this, later projects would have to come through for a Conditional Use.

        - There was an amendment proposed to Section 139 of the Planning Code that was introduced by Supervisor Daly. This amendment clarifies that any money from the Downtown Park Fund should not be used for the construction or financing of parking garages.

        BOA - None

D. GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT - 15 MINUTES

      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.

        Jeremy Nelson

        Re: New Planning Director

        - He submitted a letter that listed various national and international websites where a job announcement could be posted.

        - There was consensus among the Commission to use a wide range of search locations for this position.

        - He knows that from the seven he submitted, only one had the job description posted.

        - He knows that the Commission cannot disclose the names and resumes of candidates, but it would be good to know the number of candidates and whenever there are new submit ions.

        Andrew McCarthy

        Re: Mid-Market

        - There was a document that was handed out about Mid-Market and he would like to have a copy of that.

        - When does Dr. Ghosh have a date in mind to discuss Mid-Market projects?

            Dr. Amit Ghosh Responded:

            - The document is available on the Planning Department website and at the Department. It is called The Policy Guide to Considering Reuse of the University of California Berkley Extension Laguna Street Campus.

            - There is no set date for the Mid-Market presentation.

E. REGULAR CALENDAR

      8a. 2004.0364D (D.SIROIS: (415) 558-6313)

        451 FAXON AVENUE - west side, between De Montfort & Holloway, Lot 009, Assessor's Block 6939 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application 2003.11.24.0975, to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-1 (Residential, One-Family) District and in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

        Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the Demolition Permit.

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued to February 17, 2005.

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

      8b. 2004.0651D (D.SIROIS: (415) 558-6313)

        451 FAXON AVENUE - west side, between De Montfort & Holloway, Lot 009, Assessor's Block 6939 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of new residential buildings in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2003.11.24.0979, proposing to construct a three-story, single-family residential building with two off-street parking spaces in an RH-1 (Residential, One-Family) District and in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

        Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the New Construction Permit.

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Without hearing, item continued to February 17, 2005.

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

      9. 2004.1262DD (D. JONES: (415) 558-6477)

        4470-4472 23RD STREET - north side of 23rd Street between Alvarado and Elizabeth Streets, Lot 018 in Block 2801 - Request for Discretionary Review for building permit No. 2004.09.07.3426 to increase the depth of the existing second-story, increase the width of the existing rear extension, and install a new roof deck for the existing two-story over garage, two-unit dwelling. The property is located in the RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

            Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the building permit as submitted.

        SPEAKER(S): None

        ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved the project.

        AYES: Alexander, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

        ABSENT: Antonini

      10. 2002.0449E (T. CHAN: (415) 558-5982)

        375 FREMONT STREET - Public Hearing on Draft Environmental Impact Report - Assessor's Block 3747, Lot 6 - The proposed project is a residential development of approximately 378,720 gross square feet consisting of 250 dwelling units and about 250 underground parking spaces. The project site is located about mid-block on the eastern side of Fremont Street in the block bounded by Folsom, Fremont, Harrison and Beale Streets. The 18,906-square-foot site (approximately 0.43 acres) currently contains a two-story, approximately 46,500-square-foot office building, the Hjul Building, which was constructed in 1929 as an industrial building and subsequently converted to office use. The existing building is listed in four local surveys of historic resources. The office building would be demolished, and the site would be excavated for a five-level below-grade parking garage and a 300-foot-high, 33-story residential tower. Vehicular access and two loading docks would be on Fremont Street. The site is within the existing Rincon Hill Special Use District/ Residential Sub-District and the proposed Rincon Hill Mixed Use District. The site is in the RC-4 (Residential/Commercial High-Density) Zoning District, the 250-R Height and Bulk District, and the proposed 350-R District.

        Preliminary Recommendation: No action required.

        Note: Written comments will be received at the Planning Department until 5:00 p.m. on January 6, 2005. January 11, 2005.

        SPEAKER(S):

        (+) Theodore Brown - Attorney

        - In April of 2002, an environmental document was filed. He was told that the process would take about 12 months. They are now in the 33rd month. It has been 33 months and $12,000 a page for the report.

        - There have been three different staff members that have reviewed this EIR.

        - There were 8 traffic studies done for this site. The EIR took so long that the Planning Department started a new traffic model and everything had to be changed to be project specific.

        - Two totally complete wind studies had to be done.

        - The building initially was not listed as a historic resource but the process has lasted so long that the building has become historical.

        - This is a supper complete and detailed document that he had not seen before.

        - He would like to have a timely hearing before the third year is up.

        (+) Lou Blazej

        - He is representing the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

        - This is a very detailed document and he would like the same for the project the Archdiocese has.

        - This project has taken too long to process.

        - This project and the one for the archdiocese should have been heard together.

        - He recommends that a Negative Declaration should be done.

        (+) Steve Wilson - Council for the Archdiocese of San Francisco

        - It is important to meet the housing needs.

        - There are timing concerns here.

        - The Commission should instruct staff to move this project along expeditiously.

        - There is no cumulative environmental impact. This is key to whatever comes next.

        - There are a few exceptions: 1) there is an inconsistency in the project height and unit size; 2) the impact of population increase is not taken into account so that there is no guesswork. This is the same story with the wind study; 3) Two projects should have a normal separation as mentioned in the hearing of November 29, 2004.

        (+) Reed Diment - Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association

        - The EIR is inadequate because it fails to thoroughly reflect the impact that this project would have on the Rincon Hill area.

        - It does not portray the cumulative affect that approval of this project along with the other pipeline projects would have on the area.

        - There will be no area left for the Commission to plan when the EIR for Rincon Hill comes before the Commission.

        - The present project is inconsistent with the restrictions on the site.

        - If the accepted changes for these requirements are approved, the opportunity will be lost that the staff undertook to create a diverse and family oriented community.

        - It is not good to just look at individual projects.

        (+) Azalia Merrell - Carpenter's Union

        - She is speaking on housing and employment.

        - Projects like this puts many people to work.

        - This project will provide work force housing.

        - There is no housing shortage, there is an affordable housing shortage.

        (+) Jim Salinas, Sr. - Carpenter's Union

        - He is always surprised that there is a deficit of housing.

        - There are a number of benefits if the Commission approves this and moves it along.

        (+) Andrew McCarthy

        - This is an adequate EIR.

        - This building has been reviewed on several separate occasions by several entities.

        - On each review, the building was not determined to be a historical building.

        - Staff now contends that the building is a building of significance.

        - The Commission should reject the contention of significance.

        ACTION: Hearing Held. Public Comment is Closed. No Action Required by the Commission.

      11. 2004.0420M                      (J. SWITZKY:  (415) 575-6815)

        SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE PLAN -  Resolution of Intent to Initiate Amendments to the General Plan necessary to incorporate the Bicycle Plan in whole by reference into the General Plan and amend sections of the General Plan that are relevant to bicycling, including the Transportation Element and Downtown Area Plan, according to the goals of the Bicycle Plan. The San Francisco Bicycle Plan is the result of a two-year collaborative planning process involving the Department of Parking and Traffic, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and many other agencies and organizations.

            Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution of Intent to Initiate Amendments to the General Plan.

        SPEAKER(S):

        (+/-) Winchell Hayward

        - He only opposes a few items of this proposal.

        - He would be surprised if the suggestion that bicyclists and pedestrians should have access on bridges, highways and freeways would be implemented because of financial considerations.

        - Adding bicycle lanes on trails that pedestrians use would be quite dangerous because many trains are single track and only intended for pedestrians.

        ACTION: Approved

        AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

        MOTION: 16924

F. PUBLIC COMMENT

      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))

None

Adjournment: 3:49 p.m.

      THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2005.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:15 PM