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City and County of San Francisco

January 26, 2006

January 26, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO
PLANNING COMMISSION
Meeting Minutes
Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Thursday, January 26, 2006
1:30 PM
Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Sue Lee; Dwight Alexander; Michael Antonini; Shelley Bradford-Bell; Kevin Hughes; Christina Olague; William Lee

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT SUE LEE AT 1:40 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris - Director of Planning, Larry Badiner - Zoning Administrator, Sharon Young, Mary Woods, Cecilia Jaroslawsky, Viktoryia Mass, Glenn Cabreros, Daniel Sirois, Tina Tam, Jonas Ionin, Craig Nikitas, Linda Avery - Commission Secretary


A. CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

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

1a. 2005.0541XCV (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)
49 KEARNY STREET - west side between Geary and Post Streets, Lot 2, in Assessor's Block 310 - Request for a Determination of Compliance 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 a 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 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 lots narrow width of 20 feet.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 12, 2006)
(Proposed for Continuance to February 16, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Continued as proposed
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

1b. 2005.0541XCV (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)
49 KEARNY STREET - west side between Geary and Post Streets, Lot 2, in Assessor's Block 310 - Request for a Conditional Use authorization to exceed the principally permitted dwelling unit density, for the subject property, which is in the C-3-O Zoning District and a 80-130-F Height and Bulk District. See Item "a" above for a project description.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 12, 2006)
(Proposed for Continuance to February 16, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Continued as proposed
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

1c. 2005.0541XCV (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)
49 KEARNY STREET - west side between Geary and Post Streets, Lot 2, in Assessor's Block 310 - Request for the granting by the Zoning Administrator of residential open space and parking variances; for the subject property, which is in the C-3-O Zoning District and a 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 January 12, 2006)
(Proposed for Continuance to February 16, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Continued as proposed
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

2. 2005.1042D (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)
69 GARCIA AVENUE - northeast side between Idora Avenue and Edgehill Way Assessor's Block 2936A Lot 001D - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005 0714 7578 to construct a new single family dwelling, 4 stories over a garage in the front and 2 stories in the rear, on a steeply sloping vacant lot in an RH-1(D) (Residential House, One Family Detached) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not Take Discretionary Review and Approve the Project.
(Proposed for Continuance to April 6, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Continued as proposed
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

3. 2004.0646E (R. DEAN: (415) 558-5980)
263-265 DOLORES STREET - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration - construction of three-unit residential building. The proposed project is the construction of a new four-story, three-unit residential building to the rear of an existing three-story, three-unit residential building. The project would result in a total of six off-street parking spaces provided at ground level in the new building. The proposed project includes demolition of an existing carport/storage structure. The proposed project site is located on the eastside of Dolores Street between 15th and 16th Streets, Assessor's Block 3556, Lot 30. The project site is located in the RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low Density) District and within the 40-x Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of December 8, 2005)
APPEAL OF PRELIMINARY MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION WITHDRAWN

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

4. Commission Comments/Questions
Commissioner Antonini:
- 730 Great Highway with no commentary on the specific merits of the case one way or another, but rather that this is something I think should be considered fairly simple. We see another continuation on a CAD Ex Appeal. This is an issue that I think the CAD Ex is questioned and how timely the appeals have to be is an area that is probably going to have to be handled on a State level. Hopefully we will see some remedies in that direction to try to expedite this in this regard in the future.

5. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: In accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the San Francisco Planning Commission, the President and Vice President of the Commission shall be elected at the first Regular Meeting of the Commission held on or after the 15th day of January of each year, or at a subsequent meeting, the date which shall be fixed by the commission at the first Regular Meeting on or after the 15th day of January each year.


NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT: Sue Lee
ACTION: Approved
AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

NOMINATION FOR VICE PRESIDENT: Dwight Alexander
ACTION: Approved
AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

6. Director's Announcements

Director Dean Macris
- Reminded the Commissioners that next week we have calendared the first discussion of the Department's 2007 Budget.

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

Board of Supervisors - reported by Dan Sider of Department staff
- Supervisor Daly's Proposed Ordinance to acquire require this body's review of condominium conversions subject to the condo lottery. This ordinance was finally passed. The vote was 6 to 3. Supervisors Dufty, Elsbernd and Ma voted no.
- 690 Market Street - Supervisor Peskin has put forward an ordinance that would repeal the conditional landmarking of 690 Market. As we understand it, conditional landmarking was set forth and put into place some time ago. Work on the building is taking place. Currently, it is the nature of that work and the historical quality of that work that we believe has prompted this introduction.
- Supervisor Maxwell made two introductions:
1) A formal introduction of an ordinance to amend the below market rate unit inclusionary housing requirements of the Planning Code.
You may recall in your discussions a number of weeks ago of Supervisor Daly's BMR ordinance that Supervisor Maxwell put forth a memo outlining eight points for modification in his ordinance.
This new ordinance introduced on Tuesday would embody the eight points put forward by Supervisor Maxwell. It does not include the points covered in Supervisor Daly's ordinance. We will be presenting these to you in a condensed form when you review Supervisor Daly's ordinance on February 9.
2) Also put forward by Supervisor Maxwell and in coordination with our Department and the Redevelopment Agency, are Interim Controls for the Hunters Point Shoreline Area. This is collaboration with the redevelopment process there, and is put forward so that the City can more effectively stage the implementation of that redevelopment area. The specifics of the controls will be for a later date when we can have the Citywide Unit report to you on Interim Controls, and our vision for that area.
Board of Appeals - reported by Zoning Administrator Badiner
- Election of Officers - Frank Fung was elected president and Randall Marks Knox as vice-president
- The Board has requested that they have an opportunity to review and comment on the Dwelling Unit Merger Policy prior to adoption by the Planning Commission.

8. (S. DENNIS: (415) 558-6814)
HOUSING PRESENTATION - Presentation by the Mayors Office of Housing and the Planning Department at the request of the Planning Commission. The presentation will explain the City's existing housing policies as expressed in the General Plan, the Planning Code, and other City ordinances. It will also provide a status report on the City's various housing programs, including its current inclusionary housing ordinance. This item is informational only; no action is required.

SPEAKERS:
Matt Franklin - Director of the Mayor's Office of Housing
- Given the flurry of activity around the inclusionary housing and given that so much of your work is focused in the housing arena, I think this type of discussion is long overdue.
- So we're very pleased to be here.
- Let me say in my mind you are clearly the hardest working commission in city government. I appreciate that and applaud you for that and offer my congratulations as well to Chair Lee and Vice-chair Alexander. I think it is a testament to this body that you are working very well together.
- I'd like to do a survey, an overview of the city's activities as it relates to affordable housing.
- We provide information in terms of need. And then also in terms of activity at the city level-what the various city departments are doing by way of affordable housing in addition to the inclusionary housing and other issues that you are very familiar with.
- Page 2 of our agenda touches briefly on need. Our objectives and priorities are affordable housing portfolio and pipeline inclusionary housing and a little bit about public housing.
- Page 3 shows familiar stats. The city has about 330,000 dwelling units and households. About 65% of those are renter households. 35% are owners.
- This is a different proportion than the state where about 43% are renters and 57% owners. The national statistics are virtually the inverse of San Francisco.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does an annual calculation for regions across the country.
- For ours they have chosen to create a three county region - San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties.
- We know that those two counties have higher incomes on average than we do.
- This Area Median Income (AMI) does pull us up a bit from our true San Francisco.
- [Using a power point presentation he showed charts with statistics that gave the average household size in San Francisco; household income sizes; rent burden-households that are spending more than 30% of their income on their rent; and how this is broken out by income/number of people; seniors housing and income; number of homeless in the city.]
- HUD requires, and we prepare a five-year consolidated plan that my office coordinates that lays out our priorities and our strategies for affordable housing as a city.
- We just completed that last spring for the next five years.
- We identified three top priorities: to create housing opportunities for the homeless; to create affordable rental opportunities for individuals and families with incomes up to 60% of Area Median Income; and to create homeownership opportunities for individuals and families with incomes up to 120% of Area Median Income.
- [Continuing, the report was detailed on programs, strategies and priorities.]
Marna Schwartz
- I'm here as a homeownership counselor and also an active member of the Housing Justice Movement.
- As you saw, San Francisco's housing crisis is felt at each level of affordability.
- You should encourage a range of affordable housing opportunities.
- The natural inclination is to focus on individuals at the top of the 100% AMI limit when they can strike below market units.
- Requiring something to be built at each income level based on the needs of the community would help to increase the number of units available to a broader range of constituents.
Calvin Welch - Representing the Council Community Housing Organizations
- He handed out a document - the Action Agenda adopted at the July 16th Housing Justice Summit.
- This is a slightly different take on affordability planning and policies than that which Director Franklin gave.
- It is not necessarily contradictory.
- It simply represents the thinking of front-line faith and community based organizations that are addressing not only health and social service issues, but also affordable housing issues for extremely low-income San Franciscans, seniors and families with children.
- I just simply want to urge you to pay attention to what is before you all.
- The Mayor's Office of Housing will do what the Mayor's Office of Housing does, and the Council Community Housing organizations will work with them to try to maximize the production of permanently affordable housing in San Francisco.
- There may be differences in opinion from one administration to another, but I think the over all production figures that Matt laid out to you shows the broad arc of affordable concerns of providers who are the principal providers of affordable housing and opportunities in San Francisco.
- What is before us, however, is what you all are going to be doing over the next year in the Eastern Neighborhoods and it is of critical importance.
- I was somewhat saddened that there is no reference to the Housing Element in this discussion.
- The Housing Element set affordability goals that demonstrate conclusively that the housing crisis we face is an affordability housing crisis.
- Unfortunately, that does not seem to inform the planning process in the Eastern Neighborhoods.
- The overwhelming housing type being discussed, proposed and planned for are market rate condominiums.
- If you take a look at applying the affordability goals and the Residence Element and the Housing Element of the plan adopted by this body to the rezoning options in the Eastern Neighborhoods, we have some rather sobering figures.
- We have a huge deficit of affordability that needs to be addressed by policies from you all.

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.

SPEAKERS:
Mitchell Schoenbrim
Re: 1409 Castro Street
- When I moved to the block 12 years ago, it was predominantly residential and the property in question had three rental units, all of which had been habited by renters since the early 1920s.
- Soon after the current owner purchase the building, he converted one of the units (1403) to business.
- I appealed this change and as a result I have a letter of determination from the Planning Department that concludes that 1409 Castro Street was a perfectly legal habitable dwelling unit.
- Therefore, the owner's statements that it is not legal and cannot be legalized are false.
- Please turn this project down and help retain living spaces in San Francisco.
Tony Kelly - Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association
Re: Interim Controls in Eastern Neighborhoods
- At last week's meeting I expressed the lack of community process in considering the Interim Controls.
- It was inappropriate to initiate interim controls.
- The fact of the matter is you were misled. There is no community based planning process for the Interim Controls in the communities of Eastern Neighborhoods.
- The process to consider the permanent controls is going to be damaged by the Interim Controls that the staff has put before you.
- These Interim Controls that are proposed don't represent community based planning, pure and simple.
- They represent political infighting within the Planning Department and that is why there are all sorts of new concepts and discussions not brought back to the community.
- They are trying to run it by you without going back to the community first.
- The Eastern Neighborhood rezoning process is too large and too important to give away with poorly drafted interim controls.
- So if you care about community-based planning, and if you care about the commitment to community-based planning the Department and the Commission have made, or if you care about good planning at all, you will discard or postpone consideration of the proposed interim controls and direct the staff to follow a more honest planning process.


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: None

F. CONSIDERATION OF FINDINGS AND FINAL ACTION - PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED

9. 2005.0565C (S.YOUNG: (415) 558-6346)
2110 CLEMENT STREET - north side between 22nd and 23rd Avenues; Lot 009 in Assessor's Block 1411 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Sections 717.27, 186.1(b) and 303 of the Planning Code to legalize the extension of the hours of operation of an existing nonconforming full-service restaurant ("My Favorite Cafe") from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Outer Clement Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD) and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. No exterior modifications will be made to the existing building envelope.
Preliminary Recommendation: Disapproval
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)
NOTE: On September 15, 2005, following public testimony, the Commission closed the public hearing and continued the matter to December 15, 2005, by a vote +4 -0, to allow the operator to comply with the existing conditions. Commissioners Hughes, W. Lee, Olague were absent.
NOTE: On January 5, 2006, by a vote +4 -1, the Commission passed a motion of intent to approve for 9 months, at the end of which the project sponsor can apply for a new Conditional Use authorization for unlimited time. Commissioner Hughes voted no. Commissioners Bradford Bell and Olague were absent. Final Language on January 19, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Approved as amended:
- Hour of operations: 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday
6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, W. Lee
EXCUSED: Olague
ABSENT: Hughes and Alexander
MOTION: 17179

10. 2005.0965C (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)
724-730 VAN NESS AVENUE - (east side between Turk and Eddy Streets) and 650 - 660 Turk Street (north side between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street) - Lots 4 and 8 in Assessor's Block 742 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Sections 303 and 352 of the Planning Code to modify a condition previously imposed in Motion No. 16443 for Case No. 2001.0535CV, which approved the demolition of the existing structures on the site and the construction of a 141-unit (subsequently changed to 130 units) residential project with ground floor retail spaces and a garage containing 51 (subsequently changed to 52 parking spaces) automobile parking spaces, 40 bicycle spaces and two service vehicle loading spaces, in an RC-4 District (Residential-Commercial Combined Districts, High Density) and the Van Ness Special Use District, and a 130-V Height and Bulk District. The proposal would modify Condition No. A(5) of the approval Motion to allow the project sponsor to designate 12 percent of the total number of units built as Below Market Rate (BMR) units, rather than a fixed number of 19 BMR units, and to offer those BMR units for sale or rental, rather than rental only.
Preliminary Recommendation: Pending
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)
NOTE: On January 19, 2006, following public testimony, the Commission passed a motion of intent to approve by a vote +5 -0. Commissioners Alexander and Bradford-Bell were absent. Final Language on January 26, 2006

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Approved
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, W. Lee
NAYES: Alexander and Olague
ABSENT: Hughes
MOTION: 17180

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.

11. 2005.1020D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)
4222 22ND STREET - north side between Worth and Douglass Streets; Lot 014 in Assessor's Block 2766 - Staff Initiated Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.05.20.30.10, to convert a two-family structure into a single-family dwelling; minor modifications to the existing three-story, two-family dwelling 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 submitted.

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Antonini and Hughes

H. REGULAR CALENDAR

12. 2003.1108E (V. MASS: (415) 558-5955)
450 FREDERICK STREET - lot 012 of Assessor's Block 1262, bounded by Stanyan, Beulah and Shrader Streets - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration for the proposed demolition of a single-family residence and construction of a three-unit residence. The existing building is a 1,755-gross-square-foot (gsf) one-story-over-garage, single-family home, constructed in approximately 1897. The proposed project would result in the construction of a 5,550-gsf, four-story, three-unit residential building. The approximately 1,240-gsf ground floor would be used as a garage for the proposed three off-street parking spaces. The remaining three floors would each contain one two-bedroom dwelling unit. The proposed project would rise 40 feet from street level to the top of the parapet. The site is zoned RH-3 (House, Three-Family) and is in a 40-X height and bulk district.
Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)

SPEAKERS
Stephen Williams - Representing the Appellant
- We reached an agreement that was just signed in the hallway a short time ago.
- We are withdrawing our appeals based on a radical revision of the plans of the project.
- They [the developer] have agreed to submit highly revised plans, reducing the project substantially and cutting it down.
- We have agreed to support the revised plans.
- They do need a small variance in the rear yard, which we have also agreed to support.
- As part of our agreement, if the variance and the revised plans are not approved, we will be back here.
- All the parties have agreed that the settlement will not waive any of our appeal rights.

ACTION: No Commission action. The appeal of the Preliminary Negative Declaration was withdrawn

13a. 2003.1108DD (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
450 FREDERICK STREET - north side between Stanyan and Shrader Streets; Lot 012 in Assessor's Block 1262 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2004.01.13.3883 proposing to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-3 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. One additional request for Discretionary Review of the Demolition Permit Application has been filed by a member of the public.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the demolition.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)

SPEAKERS:
Jarrod Igerman Jared Eigermam, representing Project Sponsor
- Thanked Ross Mirkarimi who brought the parties together.
- The project was originally proposed as three units with a 40-foot squared off roof.
- It was a flat roof, and under the terms of the settlement it will be reduced to two units and will have a pitched roof.
- The entire building is going to be setback about three feet to match the setback to the west of one of the appellants - that is what requires the variance. - We will have to encroach into the backyard by three feet.
- We are hereby amending the project description before you and the appellant withdraws on all matters.
- But as Steve says, this it contingent on getting a variance.
- If the variance is not granted, then our settlement won't work and we are back where we were.
ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved demolition.
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Alexander and Hughes

13b. 2004.0275DD (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
450 FREDERICK STREET - north side between Stanyan and Shrader Streets; Lot 012 in Assessor's Block 1262 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of new residential building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2004.01.13.3877 proposing to construct a new four-story, three-unit dwelling in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. One additional request for Discretionary Review of the Building Permit Application has been filed by a member of the public.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)

SPEAKERS: Same as item 13a.
ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved per the agreed revisions [as stated in item 13a] and upon the granting of a variance
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Alexander and Hughes

14. 2004.0400D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
730 GREAT HIGHWAY - east side between Balboa and Cabrillo Streets; Lot 003 in Assessor's Block 1595 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application Nos. 2003.05.29.5813 and 2005.10.18.5856 proposing to construct two three-story, two-unit buildings (four units total) on the vacant subject lot in an RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The subject lot is bounded on three sides by the Ocean Parc Village Planned Unit Development.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and Approve
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 12, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Without a hearing, continued to February 23, 2006
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

15. 2004.1160D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
2426 GREENWICH STREET - north side between Scott and Pierce Streets; Lot 008 in Assessor's Block 0512 - Request for Discretionary Review of Demolition Permit Application No. 2005.03.10.7193 proposing to demolish a two-story, single-family-residence 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.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)
DISCRETIONARY REVIEW APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

15b. 2005.0922D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
2426 GREENWICH STREET - north side between Scott and Pierce Streets; Lot 008 in Assessor's Block 0512 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.03.10.7197 proposing to construct a four-story, two-unit 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.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2006)
DISCRETIONARY REVIEW APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

16a. 2005.0620D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
2929 STEINER STREET - west side between Union and Green Streets; Lot 004 in Assessor's Block 0538 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2005.04.22.0687, proposing to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve demolition.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2005)

SPEAKERS:
April Ford, representing Project Sponsor
- At the last Planning Commission hearing for this project on December 15, 2005, the discussion was held on satisfying the total cost for repair rather than meeting the minimum to meet the 50% threshold to allow the demolition.
- The first soundness report only indicated the 64% upgrade cost to replace safety inhabitability that had been met on the project.
- We did come back with a further study on the soundness report that does indicate what we needed to meet the minimum 75% replacement costs, which also indicates the deferred maintenance upgrade cost.
- We ask that the church [project sponsor] be allowed to move ahead with staff recommendations.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved the demolition
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Alexander and Hughes

16b. 2005.1112D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)
2929 STEINER STREET - west side between Union and Green Streets; Lot 004 in Assessor's Block 0538 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of new residential building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2005.08.18.0678, proposing installation of a landscaped garden / open space in lieu of a residential replacement building in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve with modifications.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 19, 2005)

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 16a
ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approve as modified by staff
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford-Bell, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Alexander and Hughes

17. 2005.0726D (D. SIROIS: (415) 558-6313)
231 SURREY STREET - south side of Surrey Street, between Lippard and Chenery, Lot 059, Assessor's Block 6732 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.04.26.0891 to construct a three-story horizontal addition to the rear of the existing single-family dwelling for which the sponsor wishes to use the alley at the rear during construction. The project site is located in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take discretionary review and approve permit application as submitted

SPEAKERS:
Elizabeth O'Campo, Discretionary Review requestor
- I reside at 34 Leopard and I asked for the DR on concerns of the unimproved easement located down from the Surrey Street project.
- I learned of the plans to use this public roadway for vehicles.
- For 50 years there has been no vehicle activity on the easement.
- Although the project sponsor states it was previously used as a thoroughfare, it has since been altered and is no longer an easement with an opening at both ends.
- The land has gone undeveloped as a road. It is unstable in places.
- A huge amount of brush and debris still exists at both ends of the easement.
- My family and the residents at 32 Leopard have been the only people for the past 50 years who kept this easement clear and clean for our safety against fire.
- These plans to refurbish a house put my home at great risk for damage.
- I ask the Commission for your understanding in this matter.
- If you deem this to be public access that you help make these concerns conditions that the project sponsor is responsible to make the easement clear of all debris from entrance way and beyond work site.
- My concern is that the easement stops right at my home where vehicles could be at my bedroom window or back up into my room
- I asked that the Department of Public Works be the one to come and walk the easement and review the circumstances.
- I ask that the Sponsor put down some kind of ground covering and have plans for future maintenance.
John Wansly, Project Sponsor
- I want to start by saying that I have assured all of my neighbors, including Ms. O'Campo that I will improve the alleyway, clear the brush and make it passable for vehicles in a very safe way.
- I have repeatedly informed her verbally and in writing that I will work with her to minimize disruption from noise and enhance the whole construction use of the alley so that her property does remain safe.
- In the event that it becomes damaged in any way, I will cover any damage to her property.
- My ability to use the Alley way will greatly facilitate access to the back of my house, enhance my ability to economically conduct the construction, and is very important to me.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved
AYES: S. Lee, Antonini, Bradford Bell, and Olague
NAYES: Alexander, Hughes, and W. Lee

18. [REVIEW AND COMMENT] (T. TAM: (415) 558-6325)
72 TOWNSEND STREET - northwest corner of the intersection of Townsend and Collin P. Kelly Jr. Streets, Lot 3 In Assessor's Block 3789. The proposal is to construct a six-story vertical addition on the existing single-story warehouse in order to create 74 condominium dwelling units. The property is located within the Rincon Point- South Beach Redevelopment Area and the South End Historic District. Pursuant to the Owner Participation Agreement (OPA) with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (Landmarks Board), and the Planning Commission must review and comment on the proposed project prior to Redevelopment's acceptance of the OPA.

SPEAKERS:
Andrew Junius - on behalf of the Project Sponsor
- This is a very old building. It was significantly rehabilitated in the year 2000.
- It really wasn't much of a success and has been vacant ever since.
- Hence the new project is before you and the Redevelopment Commission.
- We are well into this process.
- We have already been twice to the Landmarks Board.
- We have already been twice to Heritage and presented to their Issues Committee twice. They are in support of option 2A as well.
- The PAC for the South Beach Redevelopment Plan has seen the project twice and is also very happy with it.
- And importantly, a couple of weeks ago we had a very well attended neighborhood meeting at the site.
- Lots of positive input and feedback there.
- I think we have done a good job in our due diligence and outreach.
- The Redevelopment Agency is in the process of preparing a draft EIR focusing on the historic issue.
- That document will be out in the next month of so.
John Eller, Architect for the project.
- The neighborhood is in the South Historic District.
- It is adjacent and very close to a similar project.
- We think that this project is going to do a very much better job of preserving the historic building, the warehouse that is there now.
- We need to make clear that this project is a rehab project.
- 75% of the project is being preserved and it is existing.
- That is an alteration and rehabilitation as opposed to a significant redo of the project.
- The Neighborhood is populated by other buildings around the South Beach Marina.
- We enjoy a wonderful location in the city.
- Our intention is to save 75% of the building and most critically the first structural bay of the building that fronts Townsend.
- {Through a power point presentation, he gave a detailed overview of the surroundings, the existing site and building, and the proposed project.]

ACTION: Meeting Held. No Action

19. (C. NIKITAS (415) 558-6306)
UPDATE ON THE REVIEW OF RESIDENTIAL DEMOLITIONS - Informational presentation regarding proposed changes to criteria for the review of applications to demolish dwelling units, including future initiation of Planning Code amendments to require Discretionary Review for those demolitions not presently subject to Conditional Use authorization.
Preliminary Recommendation: Discussion only - No action to be taken at this hearing
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 5, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Without a hearing, continued to February 9, 2006
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Hughes, Olague, W. Lee
ABSENT: Bradford-Bell

20. POLICY UPDATE (J. IONIN: (415) 558-6309)
DWELLING UNIT MERGERS - Mandatory Discretionary Review Policy for Dwelling Unit Mergers. The update includes modified criteria and administrative relief for certain types of mergers.
Preliminary Recommendation: Approval.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of January 12, 2006)
NOTE: On November 10, 2005, following public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing and continued the matter to January 12, 2006, by a vote +5 -0, Commissioner Hughes and Lee were absent. Public hearing remains open to address any new information presented.


SPEAKERS:
Brett Gladstone
- Speaking on behalf of myself.
- First of all, I do believe that staff didn't intend in writing the new 7 criteria that appeared before you a few months ago to make it much harder.
- They were trying to clarify some of the rules and some of the rules didn't make sense or some of the criteria didn't make sense.
- I just want to emphasize that hundreds of people are dissuaded from going into the unit merger applications.
- They talk to staff, attorneys, real estate brokers, their friends, and they read articles that mention the unit merger policy and about families fleeing San Francisco.
- When I go through the process and criteria with prospective clients, a lot of them are discouraged and don't take it on.
- I've seen people go through tens of thousands of dollars for consultants and the Board of Appeals.
- It's just painful to watch.
- I hope that sort of an informal group of people will be put together to work on these criteria.
- I hope mine will be looked at.
Unclear name
- [Read a letter from Jonathan, a neighbor]
- I haven't had a chance to review this criterion that was issued today.
- But something you may want to look at: were there any involuntary tenant displacements prior to the merger request? Are families combining units for them to live in a building they've occupied for numerous years, or were there involuntary evictions? Is the merger request to accommodate an expanding family or not?
- Is the city doing all it can to provide development of family housing for all income categories? Not just low or moderate income, but all income categories of people.
Judy Berkowitz - Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods
- The Coalition is indeed looking at this. We are in the process of discussing it. We have not reached a decision on what we feet about it yet.
Sean Ryan
- I had a hearing before you guys about nine months ago.
- I was rejected and then you were overturned on appeal.
- We have three friends who have been discouraged from doing a merger here.
- They have kids and now need to leave the city.
- If that is the goal of this plan, to get larger families out of the city, this is an effective way to do it.
- Realistically I think we need to come back with all the data recently of school closings and lack of children in the San Francisco area and take a look at the overall merger policy and say, does this change help that.
- I urge you to really look at these changes in a much more sophisticated way than I can do and decide, is it helpful to families?
- There are other criteria for low and moderate-income housing, for singles, et cetera.
- But it is the overwhelming discussion point among my group of friends with two or more children - can the city be any more hostile to families than it already is?
- And this feels like it becomes more hostile.
Brook Turner - Executive Director of the Coalition for Better Housing.
- Tonight I speak to you as a person who is pushed out of San Francisco.
- Because of the need to house my family, we couldn't afford to stay here in San Francisco.
- I've been approached by a number of members in my organization who are concerned about the proposed new criteria.
- They believe the new criteria would actually further stop families from staying in San Francisco.
- [Read a letter from Eileen Moore who could not be here tonight and because of her growing family wants to merge her two units into one.]
- We believe the criteria could be changed in a way that both protects tenants and families who want to stay in San Francisco.
- We'd like the opportunity to work with you and the staff to find that balance.

ACTION: No Action. Continued Indefinitely. The Public Hearing remains open.
AYES: S. Lee, Alexander, Antonini, Bradford Bell, Hughes, Olague
ABSENT: W. Lee

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))

SPEAKERS:
Marge Williams
Re: Dwelling Unit Mergers
- I can't tell you how delighted I am that you are having this conversation.
- I'm a 26 year resident of the Mission District.
- In 2004 we actually went through this process as homeowners and merged two units.
- Both of the units had been owner occupied for more than 15 years and the merger was necessary in order to continue to live in it as an artist in San Francisco.
- The merger took 18 months and cost us over $20,000 in legal fees and hundreds of hours of research time to prepare for the hearing.
- The thing I wanted to bring up is the fact that homeowners have hardship around being able to do these unit mergers.
- The outcome for is was that the merger was granted.
- We just think that having specific guidelines that are clearer and easier for people to follow would actually be more a benefit to everybody.
Joe Butler - Architect here in the city
- I came tonight to talk about the Demolition Policy
- Gross square footage is what you should use when you are calculating replacement cost.
- I've seen attorneys who use net square footage or other figures in calculating the replacement cost at $200 a foot.
- Any diminution of the square footage area for buildings makes it much more easy to prove a building unsound.
- Also, the hazard definition is used to describe a structural or other problem with a building that is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the public.
- And yet case reports or soundness reports will come in and foundation costs or structural costs will be in for upgrades for things that aren't there to meet a hazardous condition.
- The building will be shown to not be settling. The building has no indications that anything is leaning or out of plum.
- And yet there is a switch beam in the garage that is holding up a bearing wall and it is not structurally adequate and so those costs are thrown in and staff allows it.
- There is insufficient evidence in a lot of the soundness reports.
- A statement will be made that the garage is 7 feet 2 inches and so it doesn't have to go with the $80 per square foot.
- And yet there is no photograph in the documentation.
- There is no representation from the person who inspected the building that there is a substandard ceiling height, and yet those things seem to fly through too.
- It is frustrating when you set up rules and they are not being followed and staff is not pushing for them to be followed.

Adjournment: 7: 24 IN MEMORY OF PIERO PATRI WHO PASSED AWAY ON JANUARY 14TH

THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None
ACTION: Approved
AYES: Alexander, W. Lee, Hughes, Olague
EXCUSED: Moore, Sugaya


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