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March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, March 16, 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 1:38 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning; Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator; Dan Sider; Amit Ghosh; Rick Crawford; Michelle Glueckert; Elaine Tope; Cecilia Jaroslawsky; Mary Woods; Isolde Wilson; Adam Light; 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. 2006.0046D (J. PURVIS: (415) 558-6354)

137 PORTER STREET - east side south of Benton Avenue; Lot 018 in Assessor's Block 5826 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.09.14.2861 proposing the construction of a three-story, two-family dwelling in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) Use District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District and within the Bernal Heights Special Use District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve the project as revised.

(continued from Regular Meeting of February 23, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to March 23, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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 February 16, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to April 13 April 6, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued to April 13, 2006

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.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 16, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to April 13 April 6, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued to April 13, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

3. 2003.0410E (W. WYCKO: (415) 558-5972)

3575 Geary Boulevard Senior Health Services Facility & Affordable Senior Housing ProjecT - Certification of Final Environmental Impact Report - The project site is at 3575 Geary Boulevard between Arguello Boulevard and Stanyan Street in Assessor's Block 1083, Lot 2 and Assessor's Block 1084, Lot 4. The site is zoned NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and is in an 80-A Height and Bulk District. The project sponsor proposes to develop a senior health services facility and 30 supportive housing units for independent seniors with special needs, to be operated by the Institute on Aging (IOA), as well as an additional 120 affordable dwelling units for independent seniors, built by BRIDGE Housing. These uses would operate in a new six-story building totaling 177,600 gross square feet (gsf), with approximately 122,140 gsf used for the supportive housing units for independent seniors and affordable housing units for independent seniors, and approximately 55,450 gsf for IOA senior health services and program space. On the sloped project site, the new building would be up to 72 feet in height along Geary Boulevard and up to 59.5 feet in height along its frontage at Almaden Court. The first floor of the building, a portion of the second floor and a portion of one below-grade level of space would be devoted to IOA's offices, senior health services facilities, and meeting space. The proposed senior health +services facilities would consolidate, replace, and expand similar existing IOA operations in the area. A portion of the second floor of the building would also be devoted to 30 supportive housing units for independent seniors with special needs. The upper four stories would provide a total of 120 studio, one- and two-bedroom units affordable to seniors earning up to 50 percent of area median income. A one-level, underground parking garage with 67 spaces, and a ground floor loading area within a porte-cochere with two loading spaces totaling approximately 37,200 gsf, would be provided for use by IOA staff, service providers, and residents. The existing single-screen, 33,000 gsf Coronet Theater, and an adjacent surface parking lot with 93 parking spaces, would be demolished to accommodate the project. The project would require a conditional use authorization, authorization as a Planned Unit Development (PUD), and approvals by the Department of Public Works and Department of Parking and Traffic.

Preliminary Recommendation: Certification of the Final EIR

(Proposed for Continuance to April 6, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

4. 2003.0410C (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)

3575 GEARY BOULEVARD - south side between Arguello Boulevard and Stanyan Street; Lot 2 in Assessor's Block 1083 and Lot 4 in Assessor's Block 1084 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Sections 121.1, 121.2, 134, 135, 140, 151, 152, 271, 303, 304, 712.11, 712.21 of the Planning Code to allow a Planned Unit Development on an approximately 45,920 square-foot lot for the construction of a 54- to 72-foot high, six-story mixed-use development consisting of up to 150 senior housing units, and approximately 55,500 square feet of senior program spaces for office, senior health services, and meeting rooms, and up to 67 underground parking spaces, in an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial District) Zoning District and a 80-A Height and Bulk District. The Planned Unit Development would include exceptions to rear yard, dwelling unit exposure, usable open space, off-street parking, off-street loading, and bulk limit requirements of the Planning Code.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 9, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to April 6, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

5. 2004.0160U (J. RUBIN/J. JARAMILLO: (415) 558-6310/558-6818)

CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION TO ADOPT INTERIM CONTROLS FOR AREAS OF THE EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS AND CENTRAL WATERFRONT - Public hearing on a resolution adopting interim zoning controls that would establish Mixed-Use Residential, Employment and Business Development, and Urban Mixed-Use areas for sections of the Mission (generally bounded by Guerrero, Division, Potrero, and Cesar Chavez Streets), Showplace Square/Potrero Hill (generally bounded by 7th, Bryant, Potrero and 26th Streets, and I-280), East SoMa (generally bounded by Mission, 7th, Harrison, 4th and Townsend Streets, and the Embarcadero), and the Central Waterfront (generally bounded by Mariposa Street, I-280, Islais Creek, and the Bay). The Mixed-Use Residential area would support residential development; the Employment and Business Development area would support production, distribution and repair (PDR) activities, including digital-media; and the Urban Mixed-Use area would require limited amounts of PDR space associated with a wide array of other uses, including housing. The proposed interim controls would also establish overlay areas including, but not limited to: 1) a Design and Showroom district intended to support those activities in the Showplace Square area and 2) an Arts and Technology district intended to encourage activities interrelated with the California College of Arts and nearby development in Mission Bay.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 16, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to April 20, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued to the call of the Chair

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

6. 2003.1183E (W. WYCKO: (415) 558-5972)

55 Francisco Street Project - Appeal of Preliminary Negative Declaration. The project site at 55 Francisco Street (Assessor's Block 0056, Lot 006), also known as 1789 Montgomery Street, is approximately 48,714 square feet in size and located on the southern side of Francisco Street in the block bounded by Francisco, Montgomery, Chestnut, and Kearny Streets. The project site currently has a three-story, 284-space parking garage and a seven-story office building. The proposed project would involve the addition of three new levels atop the existing parking garage with 51 residential dwelling units (approximately 57,999 gross square feet). The existing office building on the project site would remain as it is. The proposed project would also involve reconfiguration of the existing parking by removing 81 independently accessible public parking spaces and creating valet parking for 203 vehicles on the first two levels of the garage, and providing 59 independently accessible parking spaces on the third level for the proposed dwelling units. The project site is zoned C-2 (Community Business), and is within a 65-X height and bulk district and Waterfront Special Use District #3. The proposed project would require Conditional Use authorization for the proposed Planned Unit Development (PUD).

(Proposed for Continuance to May 25, 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

7. Consideration of Adoption:

  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting on October 6, 2005.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting on November 3, 2005

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 9, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

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

EXCUSED: S. Lee

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

8. Commission Comments/Questions

Commission Secretary Avery

  • Reminded the Commission that their Statements of Economic Interest were due prior to April 1st.
  • Also reminded the Commission that the annual Conflict of Interest training that is hosted by the City Attorney's office. This is a mandatory meeting and this year they will take roll. Will look forward to seeing all the Commissioners there.

Commissioner Antonini

  • Comment on an article in this weeks Chronicle regarding a project in Palo Alto that is close to transit and an urban infill type situation where there is a strong desire of the public to not have to drive long distances to be able to be closer to urban areas where they live.
  • What was instructive about this was that it had a couple of components that would make it unbuildable in San Francisco today.
  • The first was that it had sales to homeowners in the 100% to 120% Bay Area median income.
  • The other thing it had was that it allowed two parking spaces per unit.
  • It also had a high percentage of affordability.
  • The point I'm trying to make is that we have to be flexible in our policies to address all segments of the population. I think that if we pass too many restrictions, we are going to send a whole segment of the population away from San Francisco as we have seen with the middle class.
  • This project wouldn't get built today in San Francisco. And if the parking restrictions were passed, it wouldn't get built in the future.
  • The key is that it should be an elective situation. We should not be forcing people into situations where they have to conform rigidly, because if we do we are going to drive a lot of it away because of some of our policies.
  • The lesson I got out of that article is that we have to be flexible in our policies if we are going to address all segments of the market place.
  • Otherwise all the revenue that can come out of these projects will be going to other places and we will end up with no market-rate housing and no affordable housing.

Commissioner Hughes

  • Just in response. I would speak on behalf of a certain amount of regulation. Absent some sort of regulation efforts in the past to have the market control itself have not been successful. There have been several examples of that in California. The idea that an unregulated market is going to be beneficial in the long run has proven not to be the case. Some sort of appropriate regulations are beneficial for everyone.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

9. Director's Announcements

None

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

Board of Supervisors - Dan Sider of Department staff reporting

  • 690 Market Street, the Chronicle building. Supervisor Peskin has introduced an ordinance that would repeal the conditional landmarking on that property. That measure did pass on first reading on Tuesday. The vote was 10 to 0 with Supervisor McGoldrick absent.
  • · Introduced by Supervisor Peskin on Tuesday an amendment to the Jackson Square Special Use District. This would change the text of the Planning Code such that an institutional use on the ground floor of a property within this SUD is allowed only with the Commission's conditional use authorization. It would also expand the map area of this SUD to include the Colombo building on the corner of Washington and Columbus Streets.
  • · Supervisor Mirkarimi introduced on Tuesday another zoning map amendment at the northwest corner of Divisadero and O'Farrell Streets. This is an up zoning from an NC-2 classification to an NC-3 classification. This is designed to allow an office building for Kaiser Permanente.
  • · Supervisor Maxwell's proposed Residential and Industrial Compatibility and Protection Ordinance. This is an ordinance that would amend the Administrative Code rather than the Planning Code. While this ordinance is an important piece of public policy for the City, we don't see that it significantly alters how you or the Department does their jobs. The ordinance does set city policy by affording protection on industrial businesses from nuisance actions by new residential neighbors. It also requires that on the sale or lease of a property within 150 feet of an Industrial Zoning District for residential use, that a notice be issued from the seller of the property to the buyer disclosing that the property is near industrial uses and may be impacted by those uses. The ordinance affords the Department the review of residential projects near industrial projects. Although we currently do this, the ordinance formalizes this a bit more. As this is a modification to the Administrative Code rather than the Planning Code is has not been transmitted to you for your review. However, we would be happy to schedule this for your further discussion.
  • · Last Friday, Mayor Newsom did veto the C-3 Parking Ordinance.

Board of Appeals - Zoning Administrator reported

  • 1450 24th Avenue. This was a building application for a 6-bed residential care facility. The Board of Appeals upheld our issuance of that Building Permit.
  • 869 North Point. The Department signed off on the permit because the sponsor agreed to modify their project based on staff recommendation. The permit was appealed to the Board of Appeals. At the last minute, the environmental document was appealed to the Board of Supervisors. So it was taken off calendar at the Board of Appeals and will now be heard at the Board of Supervisors.
  • 2429 Sutter Street is a proposed project. Nothing has been filed yet. They asked for a Zoning Administrators Determination. This is proposed to be a facility for persons with Alzheimer's. The question was does the inclusionary housing requirements of the Planning Code apply? I determined that was a broad definition but that it did include an Alzheimer's facility. The Board did tend to agree with me, but continued the case because there is pending legislation that needs to be examined more and that might address this.

11. (A. GHOSH: (415) 558-6282)

Discussion on the consideration of interim controls on the Eastern Neighborhoods planning project and the implications of recent Board action regarding the 2660 Harrison Street project on CEQA determinations.

SPEAKERS:

Steve Vettel – Morrison and Forester

  1. Supports the staff recommendation that you move as quickly as possible to adopt the permanent controls. What you really need to do is get the Draft EIR published under the interim controls because the analysis is there. Other projects can incorporate that Draft EIR analysis. You don't need permanent controls or a Final EIR to reference that analysis.
  2. I encourage you to direct your staff and direct the consultants to get that Draft EIR and permanent controls published as soon as possible.

Joel Russ – Founding Board Member of San Francisco Friends School

  1. Will speak briefly on our project at 250 Valencia Street, the former Levi Strauss building, and the implications that the 2660 Harrison decision will have on us.
  2. Staff has explained to us and we understand what the impacts are.
  3. We purchased the building about a year ago.
  4. It has remained fallow for about 5 or 6 years.
  5. The adaptive reuse of this building into a school will just be pretty remarkable for this Mission area.
  6. We recognize that the 2660 decision will have a major impact our timeline and our limited funds.
  7. We do look forward to upcoming entitlement process and working with the community and the Commission.

Kathryn Hunter – Head of School at the San Francisco Friend School

  1. We are one the very few Quaker Schools west of Philadelphia.
  2. We are founded on the Quaker values of simplicity, peaceful problem solving, social justice, silent reflection, and service to others.
  3. We bring these values to life is the daily life of our children and teachers.
  4. Our building is currently located in the Castro in a leased facility.
  5. We are a kindergarten through 4th grade school with currently about 160 students.
  6. But we are growing rapidly and we will run out of space in about a year.
  7. When we opened our door about 4 years ago, we immediately began a search for a permanent home for our school and 250 Valencia is that home.
  8. We know that the values of our school match the values of the neighborhood and we look forward to being part of that vibrant area of the city and hope that you can help us move our project forward.

David Cincotta

  1. I was the attorney representing the 2660 Harrison Street project.
  2. It is absolutely essential that we do complete this EIR process as quickly as possible; to resolve some of these issues around PDR and affordable housing.
  3. We believe that nothing is more important than to devote as many resources as possible to complete that process.
  4. The project was a good one.
  5. We don't know what the project will look like once the process is complete, but we heard load and clear that what we need to do is complete the EIR process and we would encourage you to do that.

Michael Yarney

  1. Project sponsor for 25 Lusk Street
  2. I really glad to hear that the community and staff want to see the Draft EIR completed as soon as possible.
  3. I think that is the best solution to this problem.
  4. I do think there are some projects that fall outside of the NC and R districts that can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, like 25 Lusk.
  5. We were issued a categorical exemption for our project and I think that it is appropriate given the facts and circumstances of that project in light of 2660 Harrison.

Sue Hester

  1. I want the message to not be just the EIR. It's the zoning controls.
  2. We are dying because we don't have zoning controls. We have a little map that says  Housing.
  3. There is nothing that says how to build a neighborhood.
  4. So your staff has got to get up to speed and fast and move it.
  5. People in the Mission want to have those discussions. People in the Central Waterfront want to have those discussions. People in the South of Market and Showplace Square want to have those discussions.
  6. An EIR is not something that just comes out of the air, it's an EIR for a project and you need a project defined that they can analyze.
  7. The project definition has to include how you are going to change MUNI routs; how you are going to sort out truck traffic from residential uses; how you are going to provide pedestrian environments in residential areas that abuts permanently zoned PDR; how you sort out all of these issues.
  8. We want to have that discussion.
  9. We want staff to have those meetings and we want those meetings to inform the EIR because an EIR that comes out for this nebulas thing is not going to be an EIR that is worthwhile.
  10. It has to be for a project, so move the project.

Calvin Welch – Council of Community Housing Organizations

  1. I would like to second the remarks just made and add a couple more.
  2. When this Commission adopts a General Plan Element that says it is the policy that 64% of the housing needed to be approved meet low and moderate-income affordability levels, that is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco.
  3. To have no interim controls, to have no plans, to have no proposals in a major eastern neighborhood re-zoning to even approach those numbers is a serious planning problem.
  4. When you have a General Plan that calls for transit first, and you have project after project approved in a part of the city that has virtually no transit, there is a fundamental planning problem that can only be addressed by rather robust planning.
  5. So this is a call, and I think the Board of Supervisors clearly understands that this is a call on the part of this Commission, and on this Department to begin planning and talking about if we are going to transform eastern San Francisco from being the working place of blue collar employment to housing a workforce that doesn't even work here, then how are we going to get from here to there?
  6. So far, approving project after project and changing facts on the ground is not planning.
  7. I think 2660 is that challenge before you.
  8. If you are not going to do interim controls, if you are not going to define how you are going to address these policies, then perhaps someone else needs to.

ACTION: Meeting held for discussion only. No action was taken

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.

None

E. PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS WHERE THE PUBLIC HEARING HAS BEEN CLOSED

At this time, members of the public who wish to address the Commission on agenda items that have already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the public hearing has been closed, must do so at this time. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

SPEAKERS:

Todd Mavis
  1. Regarding 943 Church Street
  2. Our Structural Engineer and Architect are here to answer questions if you have any regarding the issues before you.

Alec Bash – Representing the DR Applicant

  1. Presented graphics of the neighborhood context to show how the sunlight will be impacted with the proposal.
  2. Thinks the neighborhood will be better served by preserving three-story buildings instead of four-story buildings.
  3. Showed how views would be impacted by the proposal.

Arnie Lerner – The Neighbor's Architect

  1. Came up with an alternative design that only added one story to the building.
  2. He showed pictures of various homes that showed one or two stories on the street and three or four stories on the back.
  3. They all take advantage of their yards just like the alternative proposal.
  4. The alternative proposal is consistent with the existing pattern on the steeply sloping street.

Rita

  1. I live next door to the subject building.
  2. Showed her building. It has 2.5 stories in the front and four stories in the back. The lowest is a garden apartment, which is perfectly charming apartment. It makes use of the whole building – of the whole floor.
  3. The passageway to the lower flat in our building will be rather dark after two stories are added on to the building next door.
  4. Read a statement from the tenant in the lower flat who could not be at the hearing, but opposes the project.

Sheri Bash

  1. Throughout this process the developers have given some erroneous information, have withheld information, and made commitments that they have failed to fulfill.
  2. There are no four stories on the block as has been submitted to you.
  3. There are no five stories in the rear as this one would be if built with two more stories.
  4. As our alternative proposal shows, it is not necessary to add two stories to get an additional three bedroom, two-bath unit that they have set as their goal.
  5. The lower level can be excavated to a greater or lesser extent.
  6. We serious doubt the garden level would cost the $375,000 more than the garden plan would do as was presented to us for the first time last week.

Sue Hester

  1. We have terraced streets in San Francisco.
  2. We have to pay attention to the street patterns.
  3. Telling a developer that it is okay to break the pattern and fill in an area so no one can use that area is very strange.
  4. The message the Commission should be giving is to respect the neighborhood pattern and respect the way we build on hills.
  5. I don't think it is a good message to say you can have two stories to build when you are out of the neighborhood pattern.

Kevin Chang – Project Sponsor

  1. I'm really surprised that the lines have been drawn so clearly.
  2. A world where there are saints and sinners about where people's motivations can be questioned so easily, and the issue of value can be drawn so clearly in black and white. I think the issues are very complex.
  3. If I were a politician I would be careful about making a statement and having it mis-read so clearly as the neighbors have.
  4. The neighbors have presented the street pattern as  saw tooth. But even within that pattern there are some homes that don't fit the pattern. This brings us back to the basic issue that there is no pattern to the street.
  5. Our proposal is set back 15 feet from the street. It breaks the visual pattern on the street.
  6. That is what we are really talking about – the visual pattern.
  7. We tried to really work with the neighbors.
  8. I urge the Commissioners to talk to our engineers who have created facts to offer.

Santos

  1. Structural engineer for the project.
  2. We are not disputing that you can create subterranean, habitable space under the street.
  3. We are simply stating that by doing so we are going to be triggering the need for underpinning both properties on both the north and south side and the cost associated with that endeavor.
  4. I'm here to respond to any technical questions you may have.

  1. CONSIDERATION OF FINDINGS AND FINAL ACTION – PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED

12. 2005.1034D (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

943 Church Street - east side between 21st and 22nd Streets, assessor's Block 3619 Lot 043 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.06.14.5053 to add a second unit and to construct a two-story addition to the existing two-story, single-family dwelling in an RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low Density) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk district.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and modify the project.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 2, 2006)

NOTE: On February 9, 2006, following public testimony, the Commission closed the public hearing and entertained a motion to take Discretionary Review and remove the 4th floor. The motion failed on a tie vote of +3 –3. Commissioners Antonini, Bradford-Bell, W. Lee voted no and Commissioner S. Lee was absent. The item was continued to March 2, 2006 by a vote +6 –0. Commissioner S. Lee was absent.

SPEAKERS: None

MOTION: To take DR and approve with the removal of the 4th floor

AYES: Hughes and Olague

NAYES: Antonini, S. Lee and W. Lee

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

RESULT: Motion failed

MOTION: To continue to March 23, 2006

AYES: Hughes and Olague

NAYES: Antonini, S. Lee and W. Lee

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

RESULT: Motion failed

ACTION: The request for Discretionary Review failed to receive the necessary four votes. In the absence of a successful substitute motion, this project is approved as proposed.

13. 2001.1149E (D. SOKOLOVE: (415) 558-5971)

SUNOL/NILES DAM REMOVAL - Certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report prepared for the removal of Niles and Sunol Dams, which are located in the Niles Canyon reach of Alameda Creek in Alameda County. The purpose of the project is to remove barriers to fish passage and reduce an existing public safety hazard. Both dams are considered historical resources and are individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources.

NOTE:The public hearing on the Draft EIR is closed. The public comment period for the Draft EIR ended on December 7, 2005. The Planning Commission does not conduct public review of Final EIRs. Public comments on the certification may be presented to the Planning Commission during the Public Comment portion of the Commission calendar.

Preliminary Recommendation: Certify Environmental Impact Report

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: without hearing, continued to April 6, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

G. CONSENT CALENDAR

All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Planning Commission, and will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the Commission. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Commission, the public, or staff so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing.

14a. 2005.0541XV (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)

49 KEARNY STREET - west side between Geary and Post Streets, Lot 002, in Assessor's Block 0310 - Request for a Determination of Compliance and Request for Exception under Section 309 of the Planning Code to permit conversion of an existing office building to approximately 7 residential dwelling units, with an exception to the Planning Code rear yard requirement, for the subject property, which is in the C-3-O Zoning District and an 80-130-F Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to convert the existing office use on the top seven floors of the subject building to approximately 7 dwelling units (one per floor at approximately 1,200 square feet), retaining the existing ground floor retail use. Some common residential open space is proposed for the rooftop of the subject building, but less (perhaps none) would be provided than the minimum required by the Planning Code due to roof size and depending on new fire code restrictions. No parking would be provided in order to preserve the building's historic façade, to avoid creating automobile/pedestrian conflicts, and also due to the subject lot's narrow width of 20 feet.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 16, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Sue Hester

  1. I am asking the Planning Department to do is pay attention and start making lists.
  2. I've had to make list for the Planning Department so many times.
  3. Downtown office buildings – I made the list because the Planning Department didn't have a list. Live/work, business service – you are having a spate of conversions from office to housing. You don't have a list. You don't know cumulatively how many exceptions have been asked for.
  4. I know a lot of exceptions have been asked for on an awful lot of these projects.
  5. Dwelling unit exposure and open space are the usual. I don't generally have an issue with parking.
  6. But I do have an issue on open space
  7. Until you have a presentation from staff that says here is the x number of project we've approved and we have another x applications, and the cumulative effects of all of these changes will be what.
  8. You need to have an informed conversation.
  9. All of these projects get categorical exemptions. They have no or minimal environmental review.
  10. Can we figure out how we are creating a neighborhood downtown folks rather than just approving everything?
  11. I intentionally walked up Market Street after 7 p.m. after a meeting and it was dead.
  12. How are we making this into a viable residential area, particularly in the C3-0?
  13. We are not taking into account the residents in an earthquake downtown.
  14. If an earthquake happens in a 26-story conversion building at night and people have to walk down 26 floors&
  15. Can we find out what we have in the pipeline cumulatively now instead of just approving all these project without any context?

Dan Sullivan – Representing the Project Sponsor

- It has been in the process since last June.

- This project contains all of the elements that are goals of the city

  1. It preserves a building that has a high rating and is desirable to maintain.
  2. It creates a situation where it has no curb cuts.
  3. It retains ground floor commercial.
  4. It has everything the city is looking for.
  5. After a year of process, we say wait a minute, let's look at the cumulative effect of housing in this area.
  6. Granted, people who move into this area might find themselves urban pioneers in that there isn't a lot of street life.
  7. But I walk in downtown all the time. On Sunday morning, there is no street life either.
  8. This is the kind of project where the time frame makes it more and more difficult to retain a building that provides this kind of character.
  9. These are small units.
  10. The people who live here will be urban.
  11. This area is not very busy off the peak hours.

ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

MOTION: 17206

14b. 2005.0541XV (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)

49 KEARNY STREET - west side between Geary and Post Streets, Lot 002, in Assessor's Block 0310 - Request for usable open space and parking variances; for the subject property, which is in the C-3-O Zoning District and an 80-130-F Height and Bulk District. The Zoning Administrator will hear the variance application concurrently with the Planning Commission. See Item "a" above for a project description.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 16, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: The Zoning Administrator granted the variances subject to the standard conditions of approval and a payment into the Downtown Open Space Fund

H. REGULAR CALENDAR

15. 2005.0838C (M. GLUECKERT: (415) 558-6543)

1135 Evans Avenue - between Middlepoint Road and Keith Street; Lot 014, Assessor's Block 4602A - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 711.83 and 790.80 to install a wireless telecommunications facility consisting of three panel antennas, two GPS antennas and related equipment. The antennas and equipment are proposed in Location Preference 2 (Preferred Location – Co-Location Site) according to the Wireless Telecommunications Services Siting Guidelines, as part of Verizon Wireless' telecommunications network within an NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 23, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Jason Smith on behalf of Verizon Wireless

  1. I have read staff's report and draft conditions and concur with them
  2. I'm available for any questions.

ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Alexander, Bradford-Bell, and Olague

MOTION: 17207

16. 2005.1089C (E. TOPE: (415) 558-6316)

4041 GEARY BOULEVARD - entire south side of the block between 4th and 5th Avenues, Lots 001a, 003, 050, 051 in Assessor's Block 1540 - Request for Conditional Use authorization pursuant to Planning Code Sections 303, 712.59, and 790.15 to allow operation of an automobile repair use (service center for San Francisco Toyota) in a Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial District (NC-3) and to allow the continuation of an automobile parking lot (on lot 003) in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family), District. The entire project is located in a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to convert an approximately 22,300 square foot one-story with mezzanine, retail grocery store (formerly occupied by Cala Foods) with 30 outdoor parking spaces to an auto service and repair shop (including office space, a parts storage area, and an approximately 600 square foot retail space), with 24 outdoor parking spaces and approximately 26 new interior service bays.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 9, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

John Court – One of the owners of San Francisco Toyota

  1. We currently have five locations – one on Van Ness and four on Geary.
  2. We knew that this location was just what we were looking for to help make our business more efficient; to add technicians and workers to out parts department; people and lubricators and detailers to help us clean up cars and service the cars.
  3. The building had a history. It was a Ford Dealership in the  40s,  50s,  60s and  70s.
  4. Consolidating the car service and sales at the different locations will help us be more efficient and improve traffic conditions.
  5. Knowing how important neighborhood relations were, we hired an outreach consultant. We met with members of the Planning Association for the Richmond and have their support for the project.
  6. We have also had a community meeting and invited residents who live within 300 feet.
  7. On both occasions, most people expressed a desire for some type of retail on Geary Boulevard–on the Geary side of the building to make it attractive to pedestrians.
  8. We are not opposed to expanding on that.
  9. Although we have requested the hours of operation be extended to midnight, for the first few years of operation we don't plan to use that. However, as we grow in operation, we think there will be a need for later hours of service.
  10. Jeff Butler – Project Architect
  11. Including pictures and diagrams, he gave a detailed presentation of the history, existing conditions, and proposed project.

Jim Salinas – on behalf of the Carpenter's Union

  1. I'm here to support the project sponsor.
  2. This is the type of project we were hoping to support.
  3. This is a company that is struggling to maintain a presence here.
  4. It does provide a great service for the city.
  5. It does have employees that are working under collective bargaining agreements.
  6. This business is contributing back to the community in a very positive way.
  7. He asked the Commission to support this project.

Mark Gleason – Teamsters 65

  1. We represent half the work force.
  2. Our members are the park service workers that are out there – about 30 or so in my bargaining unit.
  3. Before stopping here today, I looked up the zip codes we have on our roster.
  4. A little over half of them are residents.
  5. I can't tell you how frustrating it has been in my capacity over the many years to watch our membership and members of blue collar service workers moving out of San Francisco County across the bay into wherever.
  6. We are certainly asking for support for this project.
  7. We are also hoping you will look kindly on the request for expanded hours as well.
  8. We have every reason to believe that those expanded hours will mean more jobs for our work force and additionally are going to be servicing a very thriving hybrid vehicle department that Toyota has that is certainly beneficial to San Francisco as well.

Doug Donnellon – Co-owner of San Francisco Toyota

  1. He submitted letters of support from the community; from David Heller, President of the Business Association; and one from Mr. Lindsey, owner of the building.

June Lynch

  1. I am a resident of the Richmond District and have been for over 40 years.
  2. The loss of Cala made a big impact on the community, especially the elderly and the disabled.
  3. I had major concerns about pedestrian safety.
  4. I admittedly got in touch with the consultant and the Toyota people were very gracious to meet with me.
  5. The Toyota management people have assured me that there is going to be a focus on the issues of pedestrian safety and they have given back much to the community.
  6. I was very happy that I had the opportunity to meet with the Toyota management before we had a community meeting.
  7. I hope you will consider what they are trying to do.

ACTION: Approved as amended:

  • Hours of Operation are Monday thru Friday, 7:00 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Retail is located within the building with a Geary Blvd. Frontage.
  • Replace original condition #9 with language offered by staff on landscaping

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

ABSENT: Alexander, Bradford-Bell and S. Lee

MOTION: 17209

17. 2005.1205C (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

4151 24th STREET - south side between Castro and Diamond Streets; Lot 36 in Assessor's Block 6506 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Section 161(j) for the removal of one off street parking space required for dwellings for a Project that will replace the parking space with ground floor commercial space. This project lies within the 24th Street Noe Valley Neighborhood Commercial District and within the 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approve the project as submitted.

SPEAKERS:

Bill Riddle – Applicant and Architect of the project

  1. I agree with what the planning staff has said and 'm here to answer any questions you might have.

ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Alexander, Bradford-Bell, and Olague

MOTION: 17208

18a. 2005.0488CEV (T. Tam: (415) 558-6325)

25 LUSK STREET - north side between Townsend and Brannan Streets; Lot 22 in Assessor's Block 3787 - Request for Conditional Use authorization, pursuant to Planning Code Sections 817.16 and 890.88(c) to allow construction of up to 26 single room occupancy units. The project will include a two-story vertical addition to and conversion of an existing two-story-above-basement building with the existing Business -Service use in the basement retained. The property is in an SLI (Service, Light Industrial) District and a 65-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 2, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to April 13, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

18b. 2005.0488CEV (T. Tam: (415) 558-6325)

25 LUSK STREET - north side between Townsend and Brannan Streets; Lot 22 in Assessor's Block 3787 - Request for a Rear Yard, Parking, and Minimum Dimensions for Usable Open Space Variance, pursuant to Planning Code Sections 134, 151, 135(f)(1), and 135(g)(2). Whereas the Planning Code requires a minimum rear yard of 15 feet for SRO projects in the South of Market Base District, the project proposes an inner court instead. Whereas the Planning Code requires a one parking space for each 20 units with a minimum of two off-street parking spaces, the project proposes none. While the proposed project would exceed the minimum usable open space area required under Section 135(d)(2), the proposed project would not comply with the minimum horizontal and vertical dimensions for some portions of the proposed private and common usable open space.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 2, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to April 13, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

19a. 2005.0032DV (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)

1043-1045 FRANCISCO STREET - south side between Larkin and Polk Streets; Lot 020 in Assessor's Block 0477 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2004.02.10.6005S, proposing to construct a one-story horizontal addition over the existing one-story extension at the rear of a two-story over basement, two-family building, in an 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 project as revised

(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 2, 2006

SPEAKERS:

Steve Williams – Representing the DR requestor

  1. Not one single change has been made in a year. No height reduction, no depth reduction, no setbacks, no change in design from the loft-like appearance that it presents to the street, zero.
  2. The deed in the name of Selma Development Corporation.
  3. The site permits and alteration permits already done are in the name of Soma Development Corporation.
  4. The Letterhead and all the applications before the DR was filed were in the name of Soma Development Corporation.
  5. Those are facts.
  6. The 311 notice in this case was faulty as a matter of law and must be reissued in my opinion.
  7. If you look at the 311 notice, the project description does not include any mention or any description of the extensive changes to the façade of the building, including a substantial change to the height of the building on the streetscape.
  8. In fact, if you saw from my submitted letter, the comments from staff seem to be totally unaware that changes were being made to the front.
  9. We have people wait 4, 4.5 hours to testify, the Neighborhood Association folks come up and say don't build a loft-like building on Francisco Street. Don't change the façade and the Zoning Administrator dismissed it all saying there's no changes on Francisco Street.
  10. The current building is 37 feet tall.
  11. The proposed building is 40 feet tall.
  12. Don't give the developer, who won't give an inch to the community, something that wasn't properly noticed and of course the public has not seen its rights on.
  13. The same is true for the rear addition.
  14. When we met with the developer last year we said 15 feet at the rear for a single story is ridiculous.
  15. He said that is a mistake and signed off on drawings that I have submitted to you that said the height of the new addition at the second floor would not exceed 11 feet.
  16. We ask at a minimum that you enforce that agreement.
  17. If the developer had honored that agreement we wouldn't be here now.
  18. We were still willing to settle for that written agreement.
  19. There's a second set of drawings that were submitted that has the 11 foot height change that are signed off on.
  20. I have those for your review if you like.

Rich Garvin

  1. I live at 1035 Francisco Street.
  2. I was here in January and nothing personal, I was sincerely hoping that I would never have to see this room again.
  3. I thought after our first session we would be able to reach a settlement in this case and move on and try to be good neighbors after a very stressful year or so.
  4. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do so.
  5. Yu have it in front of you that he signed off and agreed to reduce the rear addition height from 15 feet to 11 feet.
  6. He signed off on this on May the 3rd of last year.
  7. That is really what I'm asking for.
  8. This affects the light that comes into the only window I have in my bedroom.
  9. If you were willing to do that I would be happy with the project and look forward to going forward.
  10. I hope that you are willing to accept DR and make this very small modification to the plans–modifications that were agreed to in writing on May 3rd of last year.
  11. If there are additional costs to modify the plans back to 11 feet, I'd be happy to take care of those costs if that's a hardship.

John Loughran

  1. I'm here again representing the Russian Hill Association.
  2. This crest on the bay window is a large protuberance that slops up so it is a large cap on the bay window.
  3. That was not clear at all in last month's plans and was never in the notice that was the 311 notice.
  4. From the streetscape, the uphill house, Mr. Wong's house is the same level as the house in question.
  5. Now with this bay window, not only does it push out to what's a very narrow sidewalk but it also goes up 2.5 or 3 feet. It certainly makes that house higher than the uphill house on the streetscape view.
  6. Also, the bay window from the context of the neighborhood is radically different from the facades of all the other houses up and down the block.
  7. There is a lot of neighborhood concern about that particular point.

Jeanine Loughran

  1. My family has lived on Francisco Street for 30 years.
  2. It's a wonderful neighborhood and we enjoy it tremendously.
  3. I'm surprised we are here because when the new owner invited my husband and I over, I understood him to agree to lower the height of the addition three feet.
  4. He also said he was going to put in bay windows similar to the ones across the Street.
  5. Today I saw pictures of the front of the house for the first time. The bay windows don't look like the ones across the street and they are higher than the roof line. That is another new thing that was not in the original plan.
  6. I hope that we can come to a compromise and that all parties are happy with this.
  7. But obviously this is all new information to a lot of us.

Kim Linoleus – Representing the Project Sponsor

  1. We were here on February 2nd. At that time you expressed concern with the level of detail in the plans presented to you.
  2. We made the mistake of using plans with less detail for the Planning Commission and I apologize for that.
  3. This is a very modest project.
  4. We have a two-unit building
  5. The bottom unit is 1800 square feet and the top unit is approximately 1200 square feet.
  6. This is merely a one-story horizontal addition over the existing one-story master bedroom at the rear.
  7. While the allowable height limit is 40 feet, the rear of the building would be only 23 feet and 17 feet below what is allowed by the Planning Code.
  8. The addition is contrary to what the DR requestor said, it would add only 647 square feet, which is well documented in the plans.
  9. It will not change the building's footprint and will maintain a total building area just over half what is allowed. It will not overhang any existing building, and in the rear, the roof will be flush with an existing overhang.
  10. John's project concept is featured in an AIA publication that he will show you in a few minutes.
  11. The project has minimal impacts on the DR requestor and the other neighbors.
  12. There is a 10-foot easement between the DR requestor and John's building that provides an unusual buffer for light and air.
  13. The DR requestor's building remains significantly larger than John's building.
  14. The DR requestor's building is 3 stories in the rear while John's will be only 2. The DR requestor's building extends further to the rear than John's by 8.5 feet.
  15. John's addition will have no impact on any window in the DR requestor's house that is not already translucent.
  16. Although not part of the DR request, John's front bay window is merely 20 inches higher and the remainder of the building remains at the exact same height and the rear of the bedroom will not be visible from the street.
  17. There's been some suggestion that Planning Department staff has not been on top of this.
  18. I respectfully disagree.
  19. Ms. Woods, the planner, has visited the site. Detailed drawings have been on file with the Planning Department since April of 2005, if not before. The Zoning Administrator has correctly informed the Commission that the DR requestor must show extraordinary circumstances.
  20. The public was absolutely properly informed about the changes to the dimensions to the rear of the building and the public was informed about the relationship of John's master bedroom and the front window to the adjacent properties from the outset.

John Chiapello – Project Owner

  1. The original application for DR claimed a loss of light and air.
  2. There is no loss of light and air.
  3. There is a 10-foot easement that runs down between the two properties to the east and Mr. Garvin's property is a full story larger than our proposed addition.
  4. [He went on to give the details of the process he has gone through in response to the DR request, showing how all the points Mr. Williams and other brought out were satisfied].

Lorraine Fedorak

  1. I am John's partner
  2. This will be our home. We are not developers who will flip the property or cause undue stress on the neighbors.
  3. We want to live there and be part of the community.
  4. John and I have reached out to the neighbors. We have met a number of them. They have hosted us in their homes and we have also been able to bring them to our place to show them the plans and walk around both stories, showing them the area that we hope to develop as our master bedroom.
  5. As mentioned, the top unit where we will be living currently has 1200 feet and we hope to have more than one bedroom where we will be living.
  6. We are looking forward to being part of the community for many years to come.

Gary Bell

  1. I'm here on behalf of the property owner.
  2. On the variance request.
  3. The criteria for approving a variance are to show some hardship.
  4. The fact here is that there is 36% of the properties on the same block that already have part of their building extending into the required rear yard.
  5. Included in that 36% are both adjacent neighbors to John's house.
  6. The hardship here is that there are others who have the right that he is asking for.
  7. The DR requestor has said that his light and air is impacted and in fact you've heard that there is an easement between the two buildings that 10 feet wide that protects his light and air.
  8. The Planning Code allows no setback along the property line.
  9. In this case, we have a 10-foot setback.
  10. The DR requestor says his privacy is affected in his bedroom.
  11. In fact his bedroom is one story higher and in front of or beyond the addition that will be built.
  12. The addition doesn't extend into the rear yard at the ground level. It is one level above the ground and it extends to the extent of the existing eave.

Rev. Arnold Townsend

  1. I don't live on Francisco Street, although I used to.
  2. I am here because I have been a friend of John for a long time.
  3. We have worked together in the past and I have never known John to be a residential developer.
  4. He has done some commercial development, but he has never been a residential developer.
  5. I think they are the kind of people that we need in this city.
  6. One of the things I find fascinating is that somehow light and air is going to be obstructed by a building that is smaller than the requestor's building.
  7. To be honest, it might obstruct the view.
  8. I live on Fillmore Street and if I could just get them to move the Federal building, I could probably see the bay. I've tried and the government isn't listening to me yet and they won't move it so I have to live with the fact that that is a view I don't have, as much as I would like to.
  9. So instead, I look at my fireplace and I'm grateful for that.
  10. Everyone has a right to request a DR. We're not suggesting someone doesn't have that right.
  11. But it is a serious process and it shouldn't operate at a whim.
  12. I really would suggest that you not take DR on this and that you approve John so he can be about the business of living in San Francisco and being a contributing member of this society here in San Francisco.

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved as staff recommended

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

19b. 2005.0032DV (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)

1043-1045 Francisco Street - south side between Larkin and Polk Streets; Lot 020 in Assessor's Block 0477 - Request for a Rear Yard Variance to allow the construction of a one-story horizontal addition over the existing one-story extension at the rear of a two-story, two-family building. The last three feet of the addition extends into the required rear yard pursuant to Section 134 of the Planning Code. The project site is in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

(continued from Regular Meeting of February 2, 2006)

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 19a

ACTION: The Zoning Administrator closed public hearing and granted the variance

20. 2006.0113D (I. WILSON: (415) 558-6163)

2935 PACIFIC AVENUE- south side between Broderick and Baker Streets; Lot 027 in Assessor's Block 0976 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.07.18.7797, proposing to alter the front facade; alter the roofline; remove the existing exit stair at the west property line and build a new exit stair with firewall; add a balcony at the second floor of the west side of the building; add balconies at the rear of the building; add an elevator and stair penthouse to the roof; raise the parapets at portions of the roof. The property is located within an RM-2 (Residential, Mixed, Moderate Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and remove the elevator penthouse and parapet wall at the light well on the east side of the building.

SPEAKERS:

Boyd – Representing the DR requestor

  1. Mr. Brayton lives on the top floor of 2919 Pacific Avenue, east of the subject property at 2935 Pacific Avenue.
  2. Mr. Brayton's bedroom, bathroom and kitchen windows all enjoy light and air from his light well with the exception of two north-facing windows in his apartment. These light well windows constitute all of the windows in his apartment.
  3. The light well abuts the light well of the subject building.
  4. At issue today is an elevator penthouse, which the developer proposes to build immediately to the south and west.
  5. My client is concerned that the elevator penthouse will negatively impact the light afforded to all three of the apartments in the building that have windows on the light well.
  6. My client believes that allowing the construction of the elevator penthouse would conflict with the city's General Plan, which is designed to ensure housing that represents good housing standards for all city residents, including the standards for light and air.
  7. The original plans for this project show a proposed internal elevator stopping before it reaches the roof.
  8. To my knowledge, no neighborhood opposition was filed.
  9. The subsequent plan, which is before you today, has the elevator climbing to the roof.
  10. It is being opposed because of the negative effect on the neighborhood light well.
  11. We have suggested that the developer move the elevator penthouse away from the light well.
  12. The developer has stated that at this late date it would be impractical to relocate the elevator because the elevator shaft has already been framed on the inside of the building.
  13. In response, I would submit that the date is too late to be applying for an application for an elevator penthouse.
  14. This should have been proposed at the inception of the project and discussed before the framing began.
  15. It's simply too late to be asking for this addition.
  16. Our second concern balances the utility of the elevator penthouse with the utility of the adjacent light well.
  17. I would respectfully submit that the utility of light pouring into three of the units in this building overrides the utility of having an elevator climbing to the roof of a single residence, especially where there is an alternative stair access to the roof.
  18. The developer has stated that the owner wishes to provide roof access to his elderly parents who will be living in the building.
  19. However, there are two features on the roof–a spa and a view deck–which are accessed not just by taking the stairs or the elevator to the roof, but also by then climbing additional stairs up to the spa and up to the view deck.
  20. One who can climb the additional stairs to the two roof features can certainly climb the internal stairs to the roof and not rely on an elevator to do so.
  21. Therefore, I believe the utility of the elevator to the roof is very small and the utility of light is very great.
  22. Finally, I'd like to say we have reviewed the architect's shadow plans and feel there will be a significant impact from the elevator shaft most times of the year.

Clint Bryton – DR requestor

  1. There are a couple of windows in my condominium that provide direct sunlight. One is my living room-it is in the corner. It is the only one that I get any direct sunlight from coming from the south. It also provides some heat and also there are windows in the kitchen that look out over the light well that will be impacted by the elevator penthouse.
  2. I'd also like to say that I have been in Gail Schecter's condominium, which is the unit below mine, and I have seen that she has very limited light to begin with and if in fact this elevator penthouse will be put up, it will greatly affect the remaining light that she will receive.

Gail Schecter

  1. I think you've heard a little bit about my issues.
  2. I really oppose the addition of the structure–both the tower and the parapet–on an area that is adjacent to my unit.
  3. This argument has been going on for about 5 or 6 years.
  4. The original plans date back to 2000. There has been plenty of time for these people to think about what they want to do with the elevator and these other issues.
  5. Six of my windows face this building and this is the only access I have. I don't have any other source of light for the windows and it affects five of my rooms.
  6. I rely now on a small patch of sunlight for a brief period each day.
  7. A substantial number of my neighbors are also affected.
  8. We are talking about a tiny light well, but it is really crucial.
  9. I heartily approve of the staff recommendations to remove the elevator penthouse, remove the parapet wall surrounding the edges of the building and provide an open railing that's set back.
  10. A simple set back of 3 feet 6 inches on a deck that is about 3,000 square feet on a house that is about 8,100 square feet is not much to ask.
  11. I hope that you will grant us our 3 feet, 6 inches.

David Cincotta – Representing the Project Sponsor

  1. This home has been the dream home of Mr. Sturmon. He bought the house 7 years ago this month and has never lived in it.
  2. He started construction about a year and a half ago and has been constantly working on it.]
  3. There have been constant revisions.
  4. It has been a difficult process because the adjacent buildings have 12 condominium owners each for a total of 24 condominium owners.
  5. Because he knew this was going to be his home, he conscientiously worked out agreements with owners over the years.
  6. There have been several revisions.
  7. We attempted to have agreements with Ms. Schecter over 5 years ago but she was one of the only neighbors who wouldn't sign an agreement.
  8. Originally on the roof was proposed a kitchen, a kitchen sink, a refrigerator, a gas stove, and a dishwasher. All that was already on there. That's been removed.
  9. The height of this roof has been lowered two feet from what it was originally.
  10. With these revisions we think there is minimal impact to the adjacent neighbors.
  11. We don't object to the staff recommendation to take DR because we are willing to accept the condition of setting back the parapet.
  12. We are even willing to accept some modification to the design of the elevator.
  13. The previous owner who lived there knew of the revisions to this project and disclosed that there was a project.
  14. I don't know if he disclosed the portion about the elevator penthouse, bet he was aware of it.
  15. In fact he preferred it to the kitchen that was going to be up there.
  16. I urge you to modify the department's recommendation.
  17. We have no problem with putting a railing in.
  18. We'd like it to be at the edge.
  19. You can put an open railing. Putting it at the edge is equally sufficient.
  20. If it is light and air that is the issue here, we are prepared to make the north and west walls of that elevator glass so that light will pass through it.
  21. The walls on the south and eastern side abut the buildings. The south side has more impact.

Wes Sturmon – Project Owner

  1. There is no developer in this process.
  2. I am having it built by a team of people that work with me.
  3. We have tried to constructively work out all the issues that have come up in 7 years on this house with our neighbors and we have done that in all cases except for these two DR requestors.
  4. We want to be good neighbors.
  5. In some cases we have offered to pay for improvements in buildings on the other side.
  6. We have agreed not to work on weekends and have restricted the work hours during the week, even though it has been a very long process.
  7. Regarding the penthouse: I do have elderly parents.
  8. The issue of getting up to the roof is a different issue than getting to one particular deck, which is difficult to get to. But that isn't a requirement in our case. It is just a view deck in the front. It is purposefully long and narrow and placed behind a shed to minimize the impact on the light well.
  9. The elevator is long and thin from east and west.
  10. The light study our architect did show there is an extremely small impact most of the time.
  11. I think with glass, if we were allowed to go forward with that compromise, would make the impact even less.
  12. Just a couple of corrections:
  13. There are actually two light wells. One is on the north and one is on the south.
  14. The light well for the north, which is the one in question, indents into both buildings.
  15. I would guess it is about 10 to 15 feet inside.
  16. One of the reasons we did this design is because the previous owner of the top unit, which is now occupied by, I believe, Mr. Brayton, a guy named John Spencer, was fully supportive because he asked me to make some modifications like removing the pergola, which would have had more impact.
  17. We made it a narrow, longer elevator in an attempt to try to minimize that problem.

ACTION: Took discretionary review and approved staff recommendation

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

ABSENT: Alexander, Antonini and Bradford-Bell

21. 2006.0209D (A. STARR: (415) 558-6362)

1638 LAKE STREET - north side between 18th and 17th Avenues; Lot 009 in Assessor's Block 1341- Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.11.21.8667 proposing to extend the second story approximately 12' 6 into the rear yard, and to extend the first story approximately 19' 6 into the rear yard on a four-story, one-unit building in an RH-1 (Residential, House, Single-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation- Do not take Discretionary Review and approve project as submitted.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to April 20, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander, Antonini and Bradford-Bell

22. 2006.0090T (J. SWITZKY: (415) 575-6815)

Off-Street Parking in C-3 Zoning Districts - Ordinance (File 060036) introduced by Supervisor Alioto-Pier on January 10, 2006 and referred to the Planning Commission on January 18, 2006, amending the San Francisco Planning Code by amending Sections 123, 151.1, 151.2, 154.1, 155, 155.5, 157, 166, 167, 204.5, 303, 309, 790.10, and 890.10 to alter controls regarding required and allowed off-street parking for residential uses in C-3 zoning districts, Floor Area Ratio exemptions and incentives related to parking, bicycle parking, car sharing (including definitions and certification of car sharing organizations), separating housing costs from parking costs, urban design requirements for parking, and adopting findings.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 9, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to March 23, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford-Bell

  • I.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: 6:30 p.m.

THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None

AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee

EXCUSED: Alexander

ABSENT: Hughes

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:21 PM