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Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco
May 11, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, May 11, 2006

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Sue Lee; Michael Antonini; Kevin Hughes; William Lee; Christina Olague

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Dwight Alexander and Shelley Bradford-Bell

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT SUE LEE AT 1:37 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning; Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator; Alicia John-Babtiste – Chief of Administration; Elaine Forbes; Craig Nikitas; Dan Sider; Kate Conner; Rick Cooper; Kelley Amdur; Joshua Switzky; Linda Avery – Commission Secretary

  • 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. 2006.0373TZ (K. RICH: (415) 558-6345)

Japantown Special Use District - [Board File No. 060266] Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Mirkarimi adding Planning Code section 249.31 establishing the Japantown Special Use District for property generally bounded by Bush Street, Geary Boulevard, Laguna Street and Fillmore Street, and requiring a conditional use permit for any change in use in the district not otherwise prohibited.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 20, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to May 25 May 18, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued to May 25, 2006

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

2a. 2003.0159CV (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2527 Mission Street - east side, between 21st and 22nd Streets, Lot 026 in Assessor's Block 3615 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 161(j), 303, and 712.70 to allow a reduction in the off-street parking requirement for dwelling units within a NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District with a 65-B Height and Bulk designation, and in the Housing/Mixed Use Zone as designated by Planning Commission Resolution No. 16727. The project also includes a Variance request for the off-street parking requirement for the proposed office and retail uses.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 13, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to June 1, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

2b. 2003.0159CV (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2527 Mission Street -east side, between 21st and 22nd Streets, Lot 026 in Assessor's Block 3615 - Request for Off-Street Parking Variance under Planning Code Section 151 to require off-street parking be provided in the minimum quantities specified per each principal use of a building over 5,000 square feet of gross floor area. A total of 13 independently accessible off-street parking spaces are required as a result of the proposed new uses on the first and second floors and none are provided. The Zoning Administrator will consider the variance application concurrently with the Planning Commission.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 13, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to June 1, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

3. 2004.0973C (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)

7070 CALIFORNIA STREET (a.k.a. 229 - 32nd Avenue) - north side on a through lot to El Camino del Mar between 32nd Avenue and Lincoln Park; Lot 37 in Assessor's Block 1392 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Sections 209.3(g), 303 and 304 of the Planning Code to modify a previously approved Planned Unit Development under Motion No. 13678 for Case No. 1994.003C for a private elementary and middle school for girls (Kindergarten through grade 8), The Katherine Delmar Burke School, to allow the construction of a new two-story arts and sciences building, and the renovation of existing facilities, in an RH-1(D) (House, One-Family Detached Dwelling) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The Planned Unit Development would include an exception to rear yard requirements of the Planning Code.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 20, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to June 1, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

4. Consideration of Adoption:

  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of April 27, 2006

SPEAKERS:

Deputy City Attorney Kate Stacy

  1. Wanted to talk a little about how the Commission adopts its minutes.
  2. Charter Section 4.104 requires all commissioners to vote yes or no on all matters unless that commissioner is excused by a vote of the Commission.
  3. Even where minutes are being adopted, commissioners may not be automatically excluded from that vote because they did not attend that meeting.
  4. The Commission could follow one of two routes:
  5. The Commissioners could vote on those minutes even though the commissioner was not present at that hearing because a vote on the minutes is different from a vote on a permit. It doesn't have the same adjudicative and due process implications. So a commissioner could vote on minutes for a meeting that you did not attend because you generally are aware of the accuracy of your secretary in transcribing the minutes. You may or may not get public comments on those minutes. You may or may not get commissioners comments on those minutes. Or you could review the file and the tape if you are interested in that meeting. But you can vote on the minutes without going back and reviewing the file and the tapes the way that commissioners are required to do on a permit.
  6. The other option for the Commission is to actually vote to excuse a commissioner from voting on the minutes. That would have to be a separate action taken by the Commission each time the vote is made.
  7. I just wanted to make sure the Commission was aware of that requirement and to think about how you want to vote on the minutes.
  8. Even if you weren't present at a meeting, I wanted to be sure that the individual commissioners were aware that you could vote on those minutes based on other evidence in the record.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

EXCUSED: Hughes

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

5. Commission Comments/Questions

  • Inquiries/Announcements. Without discussion, at this time Commissioners may make announcements or inquiries of staff regarding various matters of interest to the Commissioner(s).
  • Future Meetings/Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Planning Commission.

None

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

  1. Director's Announcements

Zoning Administrator Badiner reported

  1. Wanted you to know that I signed off at the request of the Department of Building Inspection on another emergency demolition this week.
  2. I signed off on an emergency demolition that the Director of Building Inspection determined was an imminent safety hazard at 543 to 547 Grove Street. This was a project under construction. It was a Victorian and it was under renovation. Because it was under renovation, there were no firewalls in there. When it caught on fire it went up pretty dramatically I am told.
  3. It is unfortunate.
  4. I then asked the Department of Building Inspection to prepare for me a record of the emergency demolitions over the last five years.
  5. Our recollection was there is probably a maximum in the past of about five per year of these imminent safety hazards that needed to come down right away.
  6. Both Sections 311 in the residential districts and 312 say we don't issue demolition permits until we have replacement structures, except where there is an imminent safety hazard.
  7. We obviously want to keep a tight reign on these to comply with the intent of the Planning Code.

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

Board of Supervisors:

Dan Sider of Department staff reported

- First, Text and Map changes to the Planning Code related to the Transbay Redevelopment Plan. You reviewed these changes about a year ago. They had been tied up in legal matters. Those matters have been resolved. On unanimous vote, the Board did pass on second reading this package of Planning Code changes.

  1. . On second reading and after some amendments with respect to accessibility, this was passed into law by a vote of 7 to 4. Supervisors Alioto-Pier, Elsbernd, Ma and Dufty voted against this item. It is now before the Mayor for his consideration.
  2. Also of interest is an ordinance put forward by Supervisor Peskin that would preclude condo minimization of certain properties if certain evictions have taken place, particularly evictions under the Ellis Act for owner move-ins and evictions related to the displacement of seniors and disabled people. This item was heard on first reading at the Board this week. It did pass by a vote of 7 to 3 with a few amendments. The applicability of changes to this ordinance would apply in particular to properties with these sensitive evictions happening as of 2005. The previous date had been 1999.
  3. The fourth and last item I'd like to bring to your attention was the hearing on Wednesday at the Land Use Committee. All three of the ordinances that are pending that would affect the below market rate unit requirements of the Planning Code were heard at the Land Use Committee. These are supervisor McGoldrick's ordinance that would decrease the threshold of BMR applicable from 10 units to 5 units. Supervisor Daly's ordinance would adjust upward the percentage of affordable units required of a certain project as well as the affordability requirements. There were some amendments made to these different ordinances. In particular, Supervisor McGoldrick's ordinance was amended such that a fractional computation would now be allowed for buildings with between six and nine units. In other words, these smaller projects would not have to provide a single unit of affordable housing. Rather, an in lieu fee based on a fraction of the unit that would otherwise be required can be paid to the Mayor's Office of Housing. As it moves through the process, we'll be sure to keep you updated on not just this one particular ordinance, but the other two as well. With respect to the other two, I would add that they have been folded into one ordinance. Supervisor Maxwell's ordinance and Supervisor Daly's ordinances were essentially folded into Supervisor Daly's such that the item will now be entered as a single item. The ordinances were amended without objection to July 12th. The July 12 date is after the expected completion of the Department's study on affordability levels or sensitivity analysis.
  4. In wrapping up, there were two introductions from this week that I think you might find interesting.
  5. First, a zoning map amendment near the intersection of Cayuga and Sliver on land considered as an NC-3 parcel rather than the RH-1 designation it currently enjoys.
  6. As a final matter, an extension put forward by Supervisor Ammiano on the moratorium on check cashing establishments in the city. Our Department, the Supervisor's staff, and the Treasurer's Office have been working toward permanent regulation of these uses. We believe that just a little bit more time is needed to fine-tune those controls.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I would be interested in having an informational presentation on the Peskin legislation regarding preventing condo conversions under certain circumstances.
  2. My question is simply does that also apply to TICs or only conversion of condos? As you know, if we have over two units that are being converted to condos, we have to go through a lottery system anyway. I'm wondering what that in between situation would be on a property that had been removed from the rental market through the Ellis Act.

Response:

  1. The ordinance as currently drafted would apply only to condo maps.

Board of Appeals

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.

Eileen Boken – SPEAK

  1. Read a letter from the Zoning Administrator to the Director of Elections regarding the Laguna Honda Hospital Public Health Care Facility:
  2.  The ordinance would be a misapplication of the Planning Code. The Code is not intended to address concerns of this nature. For example, creating a LHSUD, a zoning district would in our estimation give the Planning Department a degree of operational control over hospital admittance.
  3. The Department does not engage in operational issues related to land use. With regards to the specifics of LHSUD. The Planning Department does not have the capacity or tools to distinguish patients with a primary diagnosis or psychiatric or behavioral issues or who might pose a threat to Laguna Honda's safe environment. It would seem to the Department that the Health Department could not disclose such diagnoses without violating patient privacy. Further, the term  safe environment is not defined and has no Planning equivalent. These positions seek to substitute the Planning Department for a medical person's determination. The Department believes such determination should remain within the Health Department and the restrictions proposed by the LHSUD should be placed upon Laguna Honda Hospital through other means from the Planning Code. With regard to occupancy period controls, the Planning Department would not be able to monitor short-term versus long-term care as defined and would have to rely on the project sponsor for such determination. It is possible to make a land use distinction between short-term and long-term care impacts. However, the break between short and long-term care would be closer to a month for land use impacts. There is little distinction from a land use perspective between a three-month and a three-year stay.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I think I would like to see some further calendaring of this particular issue so we have a chance to get a determination from the City Attorney as to if this is within our jurisdiction.

President Sue Lee

  1. Asked City Attorney Stacy to respond
  2. I believe that there is a Government Code Section that prohibits us from taking positions on ballot measures.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. That would seem to apply to the comment too would it not?

Deputy City Attorney Stacy responded

  1. I would have to get that Government Code Section and get back to the Commission on that answer.

Zoning Administrator responded

  1. At this time I think it might be instructive to understand how I drafted that letter.
  2. I was requested by the Director of the Department of Elections as a representative of an affected department to analyze the ability to implement or not implement. Not to take a position.
  3. I was very careful there. The department obviously can't have a position pro or con on it.
  4. But what would be the impact upon the department in the ability to implement? That is all I did in that letter.
  5. I did not take any position pro or con, and have no position pro or con on the issue.
  6. But [I] raised the implementation concern.
  7. I think that is the standard of procedure the Director of elections requested affected departments to comment on the ability to implement or not implement.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I'd like you (Deputy City Attorney Stacy) to check the Government Code Section and get back to the Commission on that.

E. REGULAR CALENDAR

8. (A. JOHN-BAPTISTE (415) 558-6547)

Planning Department Budget and Proposed Fee Structure: The Planning Commission will meet to consider adjustments to rates, fees and fines, including but not limited to fee collection, allocation, and disbursements relevant to the operations of the Planning Department during Fiscal Year 2007 and beyond.

Informational Only.

SPEAKERS:

Sue Hester

  1. I'm concerned about one of the miscellaneous fees and I don't know how it's being handled.
  2. It costs $105 to get a Zoning Administrator's determination.
  3. There is a high volume of ones that a low fee is perfectly appropriate for confirming the zoning.
  4. To confirm whether there is any outstanding issue on a project could be relatively quick and I'm sure the Department answers relatively quickly.
  5. On the broader requests like, is a million square-foot project a pre-existing office building, the stakes and necessary research for a determination are very high.
  6. Getting a pre-existing office determination for a million square feet for $105, how much are they paying their attorneys to get that? I'd bet the client paid a pretty penny for that determination.
  7. To further exacerbate the inequity, if I want to challenge determinations that the developer paid $105 to get, the fine for me is $400.
  8. I've paid a lot of these $400 fees.
  9. I would think that maybe the Board of Supervisors and the Zoning Administrator should tier those kinds of recommendations.
  10. It's the most invisible thing that happens in the Planning Department.
  11. They're not published.
  12. You find out about them by mere happenstance.
  13. I want to know what is going on with the miscellaneous fees.
  14. Also, I would note that the fee for the Planning Commission's agenda haven't been billed or collected at least two or three years.
  15. I know because I've paid them every time I got a bill.
  16. Collecting a fee is also as important as billing – than not billing it.

ACTION: Informational only. No action taken. Will be calendared for hearing and action on June 1, 2006.

9. 2006.0143C (K. CONNER: (415) 575-6914)

3692 18th Street - north side between Dolores and Guerrero Streets; Lot 027 in Assessor's Block 3578 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Sections 710.44 of the Planning Code to allow a small self service restaurant less than 1,000 square feet in area (an ice cream parlor) within the

NC-1 (Cluster, Neighborhood Commercial) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Sam Mogann – Project Sponsor

  1. I'm one of the owners of what is going to be the Buy Rite Creamery, and ice cream shop located across the street from the market I've owned the last 8 years–Buy Rite Market.
  2. It's going to be independently owned by myself and my wife and Chris.
  3. Buy Rite Market has been in my family since 1964. Our family has had a presence and been involved in the community for the past 42 years.
  4. We have been great supporters of our local community.
  5. We hire as much as we possibly can from the local neighbors.
  6. We work really hard with the businesses in the community to support each other and to provide the services that the neighborhood needs.
  7. We feel that the ice cream shop is small and will be a nice addition to the neighborhood.
  8. It will provide a great amenity for visitors to Delores Park.
  9. The ice cream itself is going to be made in-house.
  10. We're going to be using dairy from a family owned, local organic farm based in Marin.
  11. We're going to use all organic fruits for our sorbets and making our own cookies and cakes for the ice cream cakes we'll be making as well.
  12. The ice cream will be made in small batches.
  13. It's all about being fresh and spontaneous with the seasons.

ACTION: Approved with the removal of condition #11 (it was included in error)

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

MOTION: 17243

10. 2004.0892EKC (R. COOPER: (415) 558-6374)

1844 Market Street - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration – The proposed project at 1844 Market Street (Assessor's Block 0871, Lot 16) is the demolition of an existing two-story 32,000 gross-square-foot (gsf) commercial building, built in 1909, and construction of a new 153,254 gsf, eight-story, 80-foot-tall residential building with about 5,470 square feet of ground floor retail/commercial space and about 114 residential units. The project would also include a below-grade parking garage with 85 parking spaces, with ingress and egress from Waller Street. The site, which is located in the Hayes Valley area of the Market and Octavia Street neighborhood, is in the NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) zoning district and an 80-A height and bulk district. The project would require Conditional Use Authorization as a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Mitigated Negative Declaration

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 20, 2006)

SPEAKER:

Susan Zinsky – representing the Homeowners Association

  1. The Association owns the building/property directly to the west of the proposed project on the Waller Street side.
  2. The Commission should not sign the negative declaration because the initial study offered in support of it is inadequate and/or the conclusions therein are not supported by the evidence in the following respect.
  3. As you are aware, this proposed negative declaration is conditioned upon the project obtaining eight variances and/or deviations from the Planning laws of the city.
  4. That being the case, it can hardly be said that there is not a significant impact on the environment as reflected in the Land Use laws of the City and County of San Francisco.
  5. There is a statement that esthetic concerns are not properly considered.
  6. That is not the case in the recommended checklist to the conducting of an environmental review esthetics are listed and therefore they are properly considered in determining whether here is a significant impact on the environment of the neighborhood in general.
  7. Beginning with the initial study statement that these variances must be approved beginning with the initial study statement that these variances must be approved in order for the project to justify a negative declaration, it is stated that obviously the Planning Code applies.
  8. The final sentence of Planning Code section 712.1 states that the NC-3 district which this is in, is primarily composed of two to four-story buildings.
  9. I don't know why that was left off when the other part of the provision was entered into the record via the initial study and the recommendation to you.
  10. This project would clearly violate that mandate.
  11. The initial study also says that a PUD would be required to allow the density proposed.
  12. But the PUD, Section 304, limits any deviation from density to the greatest density allowed.
  13. That is only one unit for 400 square feet.
  14. Even if they could get that, it would only justify 57.5 units, not what they are proposing.
  15. The initial study speaks of compliance with the proposed Market and Octavia Plan.
  16. This is a plan dated in 2002, not yet passed.
  17. I don't see how it's relevant given that it's been around since December of 2002, what is the probability that the current version going around will ever become part of the land use planning?

William

  1. Susan and I live at 71 Waller.
  2. I'm an architect.
  3. I come to you in order to protest this project primarily because of the design issue.
  4. It is quite brutal.
  5. I suggest that the design axis for this project, being as crude as it is, if it were approved in the current form, would seriously harm the quality of design and quality of architecture in the area.
  6. The [project's] design logic is fairly simple, and that is to get as many square feet of rentable space into a void to the extent possible.
  7. I have the sense that the Planning Commission and the Planning Code's primary responsibility is to protect and manage air and light.
  8. I would suggest that every one of these variances that are required to realize this project would substantially harm the distribution and free passage of air and light, not only for the neighbors, but also for the people living in the projects themselves.

Andrew Junius – for the Project Sponsor

  1. We support the staff's decision.
  2. Keep in mind that rules of CEQA are pretty clear on this subject.
  3. In order to acquire an EIR, there has got to be substantial evidence of a significant effect on the environment.
  4. Nothing else you've seen in the packets or anything that you've heard yet so far today and anything really to the record has provided that. So I would hope you deny the appeal and affirm the negative declaration.

ACTION: Mitigated Negative Declaration was upheld

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

MOTION: 17244

11. 2004.0892EKC (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

1844 MARKET STREET - north side of Market Street on a through lot that also fronts Waller Street, between Laguna and Octavia Streets, Lot 016 in Assessor's Block 0871 - Adoption of environmental findings related to the adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Section 303 to allow development on a lot larger than 10,000 square feet, and under Planning Code Section 304 for a Planned Unit Development ( PUD ) to allow a greater density than would otherwise be allowed in the NC-3 district and to allow modifications to the following Code requirements including rear yard setback, bulk, measurement of building height, projection of bay windows, dwelling unit exposure, loading and off-street parking. The project would demolish the existing 2-story commercial building on the site and construct an eight-story mixed-use building with approximately 5,500 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial space, about 113 residential dwelling units, and up to 85 off-street parking spaces, on the subject property, which is in an NC-3 Zoning District and an 80-A Height and Bulk District. The subject site also lies within the Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan (MOP) area.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 20, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Andrew Junius – for the Project Sponsor

  1. I think all of you are aware of the site, 1844 Market
  2. It is adjacent to the LGBT Center, Lincoln parting lot, and the old Sue Mills site.
  3. Sue Mills moved out of the building last year to another part of the city.
  4. One of the key goals of the Plan [Market an Octavia Plan] is to encourage alternatives for using cars.
  5. I think this project does a good job of that.
  6. I think there will be four car share spaces within the building, 80 parking spaces for over 113 units at a .75 ratio of spaces per unit.
  7. All parking is going to be below grade and there will be stackers to maximize the efficient use of the site.
  8. There is no parking for the retail space, and there are six MUNI lines directly in front of the site on Market Street.
  9. We believe the project really does strike a good balance between providing automobile storage for residents and furthering the transit goals of the city.
  10. The team has also done a great deal of outreach to the neighborhood over the last year and a half.
  11. We've had four formal meetings with the Hays Valley Neighborhood Association. And two other organized neighborhood meetings.
  12. These were all very well attended and gave us guidance early on in the process on the design of the program.
  13. David Johnson – Project Architect
  14. I'm pleased to bring before you a project that is an important example of what can be achieved through the collaboration of developer, architect, neighborhood and the city.
  15. This prominent site presents a very exciting opportunity to revitalize the significant stretch of Market Street and provide new housing and retail.
  16. But most importantly, to reinforce the new direction of the Market Octavia Plan.
  17. One constraint and a major factor that influenced the form of this project was the desire by all parties to create the maximum amount of housing with the most livable floor plans that could reasonably be accommodated on the site.
  18. This limited to some extent our ability to create a more sculptural form.
  19. Another significant constraint we encountered was the mid-block location of the site.
  20. In a sense we sought to create the dynamics of a corner building without a corner to work with.
  21. [He gave a detailed presentation on the project's design and how it integrates into the neighborhood.]

Susan Zinsky – Representing the Homeowners Association

  1. The initial study says that the project is consistent with the proposed Octavia Plan.
  2. That is not really relevant now.
  3. However, even under that plan, the height proposed here would exceed the maximum in that Plan of 85 feet on Market Street because the project proponents want to measure the 85 feet from the height or the high side of the property – the corner right next to our building.
  4. As it slopes down towards Market Street, the result would be that it would actually be higher than the 85 feet allowed on Market Street under the proposed Plan.
  5. Why can't the design be compatible on the Waller Street side with the residential character–lower character–and if it is desirable to have a complete coverage on the Market Street side, that can be accomplished as well.
  6. The evidence set forth in the report is inconsistent with the conclusion that this eight-story building, plus mechanical over the top of that is inconsistent with the vicinity.
  7. Thus the findings actually admit it is incompatible with the character of that part of the neighborhood.
  8. I want to note that there is a depiction in the materials that is misleading because it makes it look as though an 80-foot building is slightly taller than our building, which is four stories and 40 feet tall.
  9. There is a traffic problem in the neighborhood.
  10. There is never any parking on the street.
  11. It is very important that the residents who move in there have a place to park their cars.
  12. The loading zone is important here from experience.
  13. I know there is no place for anyone, even if they have a loading zone.
  14. It will be very dangerous. You can't see around cars and it is already crowded out there.
  15. The traffic flow will be impacted by this many people coming and going.
  16. There is no stop sign there and it is full of traffic because everyone uses the streets parallel to Waller now to get onto the freeway entrance.

William

  1. I think it is a gross misrepresentation to suggest that this project will be occupied by less than an automobile population that is less than downtown.
  2. It will be a selling point for the project that you can get from this project onto the freeway more easily than in any other point in San Francisco.
  3. There is no retail loading on Market Street.
  4. All of the retail loading is designed to take place on Waller Street
  5. All of the garbage collection is going to take place on Waller Street.
  6. There is no provision for move-in or move-out, which is required for any project.
  7. Right now there is a school across the street. In the morning parents bring their kids there and drop them off.
  8. Waller Street becomes impassable between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. in the morning.
  9. To this existing situation on Waller Street, you are now going to add garbage, loading for the retail, and the 85 cars coming out of the building to go to work.
  10. The problem is a ten-pound project in a five-pound bag.
  11. The project treats Waller Street as an access alley.
  12. I think this is a wonderful site.
  13. I think there needs to be more design work and I would recommend that you require that design work before you grant entitlement to the project.

Gilbert Criswell

  1. I sympathize with my neighbors to the north of Market
  2. But this development will bring a new day for my neighborhood and community as well as San Francisco.
  3. It will bring new life to an area that has been neglected for decades.
  4. I have lived across from the address of 1844 Market Street for more than 12 years.
  5. 12 years of blight, litter, dirt and prostitution, used needles, broken condoms and alcoholics.
  6. More over, it has been 12 years of living with limited choice in retail.
  7. Sound government policy and process should be part of your decision-making process by this commission.
  8. I urge the Commission to take the advice of its own department staff and approve it.
  9. Listen to the voice of reason from a person that will be directly impacted by this development.

Rebecca Rice

  1. I have lived across the street from the proposed project at 19 Pearl Street for over 15 years.
  2. I'm very much in favor of the project.
  3. I think this would make Market Street starting at Octavia Boulevard the visual gateway to upper Market.
  4. I also think this will spur further improvement in the blocks around both the Castro and Van Ness.
  5. The design of the building I think is right for the location. It looks very nice.
  6. As far as the transit is concerned, I commute on the S Market to downtown in the morning between 7 and 8 a.m. It runs every ten minutes and hardly has any people on it. There are dozens of bus lines going in all different directions. I don't think that would be an impact.

Dale Risden

  1. I own the property at 1870 Market Street.
  2. I'm immediately adjacent. The Gay Community Center is on one side of the project; I'm located on the other.
  3. I participated in the Market Octavia Plan. I've also participated in improvements in that area.
  4. This is a derelict lot. It has been derelict for years.
  5. I literally recently had to move my business off of Market Street because I couldn't continue to have my employees harassed.
  6. I am so happy to see this development.
  7. Over the last year and a half, this development has made every opportunity to meet with me, ask what concerns I had, what improvements ought to be made.
  8. I saw them meet with the Hayes Valley Association who actually created the Market Octavia Plan. They're the ones that have let the effort.
  9. It is really hard for me to understand at this late moment why they are making objections when all along they've had opportunity to be able to do things to change the building in a better way.
  10. I'd also like to state that following the Market Octavia Plan, when I develop my property, I'm looking at a 7-story building and intend to provide absolutely no parking because I can't do it coming off of Market.
  11. Any future development there, according to the Market Plan, will have no parking unless you have access to the rear of another street.
  12. That's what future development will be.
  13. The block is derelict and this will completely change that neighborhood.
  14. I look forward to its construction.

Peter Howells

  1. I'm a resident and homeowner at Octavia and Hayes Street, about two blocks away from the project.
  2. I'm also a small business owner who owns the café directly adjacent to the property.
  3. I've been walking past that property for many years as a resident.
  4. As has been stated before, this is one of the biggest eyesores on Market Street between Van Ness and Castro. It is a magnet for garbage, graffiti, homeless, even when partially occupied by the previous owner, Sue Mills, it would often become an encampment.
  5. A large abandoned property continues to attract garbage and is unattractive for street traffic, which is not good for my business.
  6. I'm in strong support of development in general on that property and I feel they have done much to get comment and feedback from the neighborhood.
  7. As a business owner and resident, I feel satisfied that Bay Rock has addressed the concerns I had in the community meetings while remaining a viable sort of residential and commercial development.
  8. They have produced a design that will benefit both our block as a business, but also the neighborhood in general.
  9. It is attractive and is consistent with recent residential development in the City that has also drawn public praise.

Adam Millard-Ball

  1. I live about two blocks from the proposed development.
  2. I am also a Board member of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.
  3. We would like to acknowledge the efforts the staff and developers have made.
  4. This design is vastly improved from what we saw last year.
  5. We really are looking for something that sets the tome here for future development on this stretch of Market Street and is also consistent with the Market Octavia Plan.
  6. Our only concern is Waller Street.
  7. We hope planning staff can address those for the developers as they go forward.
  8. The main issue relates to parking.
  9. This development is proposing .75 spaces per unit, which is actually quite a bit more than the maximum that would be allowed by right in the Market Octavia Plan.
  10. .75 spaces are allowed only by conditional use, such as unbundling of parking.
  11. We are also cognizant of the need to secure parking in this development.
  12. The neighborhood supports less parking for several reasons: This is a half block from the new freeway off ramp and we don't want this to be a kind of bedroom development for Silicon Valley where people just can park and then drive onto the freeway in the morning.
  13. We hope to ensure that people live and shop in the neighborhood.
  14. It is also an issue of attracting lower income households as well.
  15. Overall we really appreciate the fact that the developers have come a long way. It is a much better development than it was.
  16. Raising the benchmark should be the Market Octavia Plan.
  17. We really hope that when this comes before you, you take prompt action to approve a Plan according to its original spirit because without it, it makes it very difficult for the Neighborhood Association.
  18. We're looking at each project on a very piecemeal basis, which is not the best use of anyone's time and also brings less consistency between developments.

Ed Bedard – Castro Area Planning and Action

  1. We support bike, transit oriented infill projects on Market Street and other goals of the Market Octavia Plan such as reduced parking and traffic calming.
  2. More active uses on Market Street help to create pedestrian friendly environment that strengthens the ties between the Castro Area and Octavia Street, especially the Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
  3. Parking should not be a requirement in this area at all.
  4. While we are glad to finally see projects with less than one to one parking in this area, we would support even less parking.
  5. While the massing of the project is varies and responsive to the scale of the other buildings on the Market Street side, the architectural expression and detailing leave much to be desired.
  6. The Waller Street side of the project needs to be more responsive to the residential scale of the street, especially at the sidewalk level.
  7. This project will set the standard for future development in the corridor, and as a PUD, high quality design is required.

Robin Levitt

  1. I'm on the Board of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.
  2. I live at Lilly Street and Octavia, which is abut two and a half blocks from this project.
  3. Contrary to what you've heard earlier today about Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association opposing this project, and why I'm not speaking for the neighborhood Association, I think in general the neighborhood looks very favorably upon this project.
  4. It is true that the block is very blighted and this project will do a lot to enhance the neighborhood.
  5. It will also add much needed housing to the neighborhood.
  6. So we generally support this project.
  7. And I appreciate all the work that Bay Rock and the architects have done to work with the community to develop a building that enhances this part of the neighborhood.
  8. They have really come a long way in developing the design for this project.
  9. Having said that, I just have a couple of concerns about the project.
  10. I want to echo what was previously said about parking.
  11. The Market Octavia Plan does call for .5 spaces per unit and I think that this project should be consistent with the Market Octavia Plan.
  12. The Market Street bike route and the Valencia Street bike route converge there.
  13. I think it is very important that this project provide secure accessible bike parking, at least one bike space per unit.
  14. Another point I'd like to make is about the architecture.
  15. As I said, the design of the project has evolved and it's gotten much better.
  16. This is a prominent site.
  17. It is actually two buildings–one building facing Market Street, and one building facing Waller Street.
  18. The Waller Street side really deserves to address some of the residential character of that side of the project.
  19. The Market Street side is very prominent. It is a gateway to the city. It is a gateway to the Castro. It is also a gateway from the freeway. So it really deserves extra attention.
  20. I hope the Planning Department will continue to work with them on that.

David Dupree

  1. I'm a member of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association but I'm speaking for myself only.
  2. I've been at meeting between the Association and the developers where they have listened to us and taken into account our comments and seemed to be very responsive. I commend them for that.
  3. One of the projects of our Association has become a thing called  living Streets.
  4. I have talked to a Project Manager at Bay Rock and he's been receptive to coordinating with the potential developer of the next block to create a living street.
  5. One thing I've worked on is putting art on the walls of the buildings. He has been willing to look at being involved–bringing art or sculpture to Waller Street.
  6. I believe this would affect any blandness of architecture along there.
  7. I do support the .75 parking.
  8. I've talked with a number of residents in the area and they are indicating their willingness to even pay for parking spaces, for a dedicated parking space off-street of $150 to $200 a month. Because most of the parking in the area is on street or in rather inaccessible garages.
  9. I walk through the area every morning at 8:15 a.m.
  10. More mornings than not, the traffic does move along Haight, along Oak and into the area so that I've actually timed particular cars not taking more than five minutes to actually get onto the freeway.

Tom Radulovich – Transportation for a Livable City

  1. Many speakers said this is a prime location for housing that is oriented to transit, walking and bicycling. There are a number of things that we'd love to see in this project.
  2. One would be car sharing. There is no car share pod that is immediately adjacent, but putting a City Car Share pos in this project would be great.
  3. The other is unbundling parking.
  4. That is a requirement in the Rincon Hill Plan that would be required in C-3 later today.
  5. It is just a good idea to do.
  6. The third thing I'd say is the importance of secure bike parking.
  7. In the Rincon Hill Plan and in the C-3 legislation there is a requirement for secure bike parking; I believe it is one space for every other unit. There is also a requirement that bike parking be secure–a bike room or bike lockers. And not down in the garage. You should be able to access the bike parking without having to go up and down the ramp the cars use because that is dangerous.
  8. As was mentioned, this is at the intersection of the two most important bike routes of the city–Market Street and Valencia Street. It is a great location for cycling.
  9. I'd ask you to have secure parking as a condition of approval as well as accessibility, not using the ramps that the cars use.

Stuart Gruendl – Head of Bay Rock Residential

  1. When we first discovered the site, I was asked for help by being told that there was this great expanse of eyesore.
  2. We set up coordination with Neighborhood Services to police the site and secure the site.
  3. I was asked to create some active retail here.
  4. The long frontage we're creating, wide expanses of glass replace dead space and gathering spots for all the images and figures that have been out there.
  5. We have about 5500 feet that increases the livability of the neighborhood. It also acts as a welcoming entry statement to the community itself.
  6. More importantly, the proposal for retail here leverages the great asset of Market Street.
  7. Our strategy with this is not to get rich off the retail. We are creating a lot of value upstairs in the development.
  8. But we made a commitment to the neighborhood not to use formula retail.
  9. We want to be actively outreaching. We've done significant outreach with about 26 Market Street businesses similar to the Buy Rite People. We'd love to have those people in there.
  10. The market community, grocer community is telling us they can't compete with Safeway that close.
  11. However, we feel we can still gain some sort of type of hybrid in the area.
  12. So we're very hopeful and positive about activating the street but we're not going to get rich on it.
  13. We're going to subsidize it because we think it sets the tone for the eye level portion of this.
  14. On the residential design on Waller Street, we've made significant eye level improvements there as well.
  15. It is occupied by stoops along Waller as well as garage doors.
  16. We've given several schemes to staff.
  17. We're working on the details.
  18. I think it is going to be very neighborhood contextually friendly on that side of the street and I appreciate your support here today.

ACTION: Approved incorporating the amendments that staff passed forward regarding the environmental, and the condition that this conditional use is approved with regard to the design finding only insofar as the Director of Planning is satisfied that it is achieved at an over all outstanding level of design or it would come back to you; and with the change in condition H on bicycle parking – it will go to 35 [spaces] at street level and be secured.

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

NAYES: Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

MOTION: 17245

12. 2006.0450T (J. SWITZKY: (415) 575-6815)

C-3 District Parking Modifications - Consideration of an Ordinance amending San Francisco Planning Code by amending Sections 102.9, 151, 151.1, 154, 155, 155.5, 166, 167, and 309 to modify controls in C-3 Zoning Districts regarding required and permitted off-street parking and loading, design of access to off-street parking and loading, separating parking costs from housing costs, and Floor Area Ratio as related to accessory off-street parking, and to modify controls in all districts regarding bicycle parking and car sharing, and adopting environmental findings and making findings of consistency with the priority policies of Planning Code Section 101.1 and the General Plan.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with minor technical modifications

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Daniel Shifrin – Zipcar

  1. There is a section of the language in C-3 that attempts to revise the definition of car sharing that is recommended by the transportation research board that concerns us to a degree.
  2. We understand the car sharing definition is necessary for the C-3 legislation and just submit that the language in the draft be modified to reflect the generally accepted definition of car sharing nationwide.
  3. We feel that the current transportation research board recommended definition sufficient to identify true car sharing operations: with  the membership program alternative to car ownership program such that persons or entities permitted to use vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.
  4. We feel that certification process would increase costs for car sharing operators in the city while creating a level of geography that would stifle the growth and important transportation solution for San Francisco residents.
  5. Other cities have policies that are successfully stimulating growth in this category and without a burdensome certification process or more elaborate definition.
  6. Basically what we're saying is there is already a definition generally accepted around the country and in this legislation it seems that you
  7. Re just trying to create another level of definition and trying to be creative.
  8. We recommend that developers be allowed to choose a car-sharing operator based on competitive assessment.
  9. We are in strong support of C-3.
  10. We think it is a great benefit to the city, for residents and something we would certainly like to participate in.
  11. We're worried about the burdensome effect and the costs associated with the certification process and the level of bureaucracy this may create.

Tom Radulovich – Executive Director of Transportation for a Livable City

  1. I have to honest, I don't love this legislation that much any more.
  2. It is definitely the product of compromise.
  3. But is has been through the process.
  4. At least we have a broad consensus. This is all something we can all live with.
  5. It is a big step forward for this city.
  6. One of the things that concern me is the provision about how building facades can be treated.
  7. The other thing I think is important is car sharing. We have a certification project process at BART that is very similar after the process that is in here that does not prove burdensome.
  8. We think it is important actually to make sure what is being called car sharing is really doing what we want it to do, which is increase the amount of walking and cycling, increase transit use, and decrease dependence on automobiles.
  9. I don't think that provision should prove burdensome because it is not for us.
  10. Lastly, I would say that there are two unchaptered provisions.
  11. One thing we found in our previous discussion is we do have studies that show lower parking ratios decreased traffic.
  12. The idea that we could do a more comprehensive study, generate a little more light and heat around this question of parking affects travel behaviors – what does unbundling do, what does car sharing do, how do people downtown really get around? Are they driving to work, walking, et cetera?
  13. That is in here.
  14. I'm really hoping that is the study that gets funded and done this year.
  15. We are going to add even with this legislation, 8,000 new parking spaces for the downtown's unanticipated units.
  16. If we get it wrong we're going to screw up downtown.
  17. The City's streetscape master plan that was adopted by the Commission in 1996 does a lot to enhance the streetscape, but I think we need to revise streetscape planning in the Planning Department.
  18. I'm hoping that the follow up to this study will also appear in your current budget.

Sue Hester

  1. We can't seem to do legislation without a major soap opera in this city.
  2. One of the more controversial proposals the last time around was the requirement that parking be pushed out.
  3. That was one of the things that set off developers.
  4. The compromise that is in here is about the three stories above grade is still going to be a problem.
  5. The above ground garages in the downtown generally are bad citizens, and three stories above ground is a lot. They are noise, they are pollution, and they are generally ugly.
  6. One compromise that has good intentions is that you get to have one to one parking if it is a two-bedroom unit.
  7. I think it was the presentation you hade recently on the economic report where a shocking proportion of San Francisco is self-employed people. There are a lot of people that have no offices that have more than a one-bedroom unit and work at home.
  8. The Planning Department doesn't monitor whether two-bedroom and three-bedroom units actually are family housing.
  9. We need to do a reality check on that. You need to commit yourself to figuring out who occupies two-bedroom units and go back and revise this.
  10. If all you are doing is saying you are self-employed and you should use your second bedroom as an office, it's a one to one parking requirement.
  11. I think that's the way it is.

Robert McCarthy of McCarthy and Schwartz

  1. I stand to commend the staff.
  2. We appreciate the efforts of Josh Switzky in making these technical changes because they were just some inadvertent things in the first draft that precluded what was the real intent.
  3. We would urge you to adopt the recommendation of the staff, including the modification proposed by the staff.
  4. I think Ms. Hester is right about the past. Many people have in fact abused their entitlements.
  5. We would urge you to adopt the legislation as proposed by staff.

ACTION: Approved with minor technical modifications

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

RESOLUTION: 17246

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))

SPEAKERS:

Sue Hester

  1. I want to talk about the 300 block of Fremont.
  2. Three weeks from now you are going to have 700 units and two big complexes before you – 343 Fremont, which is the subject of an EIR that I gave written comments on. Across the street, 399 Fremont, which is the consolidated site of the 355-375-395 sites.
  3. That is a rather large amount of housing on a rather small amount of land – one block, right across the street from each other at a very difficult area in terms of transportation.
  4. Because I'm obsessed about tracking this block, I know the schedule.
  5. The thing that troubles me is that you are not going to get the 399 stuff until a week before.
  6. I think it is a lot to digest–two huge projects in that amount of time
  7. I'm telling you that these are coming because I track them.
  8. You should be thinking about whether you think you'll have enough tie given that schedule.
  9. I asked for the schedule and I got it back in an email this morning.
  10. You are going to get 399 Fremont, which is something you haven't ever seen, a week before.
  11. You are going to get the DIR for 340, the comments and responses next week. I don't know if you are going to get the staff report.
  12. But the public has a hard time doing this kind of schedule and I suspect you might as well, because it's only two of many projects you're going to have on the first.
  13. The first looks to be an interesting day.
  14. You're not going to get out of here at 5:25 on the first.
  15. Plan on being here late unless they take things off the calendar.

Adjournment: 5:30 P.M.

THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2006

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: S. Lee, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee

EXCUSED: Bradford-Bell

ABSENT: Alexander, Antonini

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:20 PM