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Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco

July 20, 2006

July 20, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, July 20, 2006

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Dwight Alexander; Michael Antonini; William Lee; Kathrin Moore; Christina Olague; and Hisashi Sugaya

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT DWIGHT ALEXANDER AT 1:48 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator; Sarah Dennis; Dan Sider; Glen Cabreros; Elaine Tope; Susan Cleveland-Knowles – Deputy City Attorney; 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.

1a. 2006.0274D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

230 DUNCAN STREET - north side between Church and Dolores Streets; Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 6593 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy required review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2006.02.07.3990, to demolish an existing 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 the demolition.

(Proposed for Continuance to July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

1b. 2006.0276D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

230 DUNCAN STREET - north side between Church and Dolores Streets; Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 6593 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy required review of new residential building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.02.07.3988, proposing to construct a four-story, two-family residential building with two off-street parking spaces 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 new construction.

(Proposed for Continuance to July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

2a. 2006.0385D (A. STARR: (415) 558-6362)

2300 VALLEJO STREET - north side between Fillmore and Steiner Streets; Lot 044 in Assessor's Block 0558 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of dwelling unit mergers, of Building Permit Application 2006.03.27.7562, proposing to merge two units into one. The property is located within an RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Proposed for Continuance to July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

2b. 2006.0386V (A. STARR: (415) 558-6362)

2300 Vallejo Street - north side between Fillmore and Steiner Streets; Lot 044 in Assessor's Block 0558 - Request for a Rear Yard Variance per Planning Code Section 134 proposing to add a square bay window, 3' deep by 9.5' wide, modify the existing fire escape and alter the roofline at the rear of a four-story, two-family house. Portions of the referenced addition would be within the required rear yard. The property is located within an RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

(Proposed for Continuance to July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

3. 2004.0745E (C. ROOS: (415) 558-5981)

2420 Sutter Street - Residential Care and Medical Office Facility north side between Divisadero and Broderick Streets, in San Francisco's Western Addition Neighborhood (Block 1052, Lot 023) - Hearing on Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration. The project site is about 14,609 square feet in size. It contains an approximately 9,000-square-foot, three-story (30-foot-tall) medical office building on about one-third of the site and a 25-space surface parking area on the remaining two-thirds of the site, both owned and occupied by the San Francisco Foundation for Psychoanalysis. The project sponsor, Sunrise Development, Inc., proposes to demolish the existing building and surface parking, and construct a six-story, 65-foot tall building with approximately 6,880 gross square feet (gsf) of replacement medical office use on the ground floor to be occupied by the Foundation, an approximately 45,712-square-foot residential care facility for frail elderly, containing 58 rooms. There would be about 46 parking spaces On-site common open space would total about 5,480 square feet, to include a rear yard of approximately 3,000 gsf., a second floor terrace of approximately 1,600 gsf, and common balconies totaling approximately 880 gsf (about 220 gsf/balcony), on floors three to six. The building would be U-shaped in plan view, with the U opening to the rear of the building above the ground floor. The project site is located in the Western Addition Neighborhood of San Francisco. The site is within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Use district and a 65-A Height and Bulk district. The project requires Conditional Use authorization and may be subject to the City's Inclusionary Housing ordinance.

(Proposed for Continuance to August 10, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

4. 2006.0745C (I. WILSON: (415) 558-6163)

2420 SUTTER STREET - north side between Divisadero and Broderick Streets; Lot 023 in Assessor's Block 1052 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 303 and 712 to develop a lot greater than 10,000 square feet and to develop non-residential uses greater than 6,000 square feet; and under Planning Code Section 271 to exceed the required bulk limitation. The project is located in an NC-3 District and a 65-A Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to demolish the existing building and surface parking and to construct a six-story 65-foot tall building with approximately 6,880 square feet of replacement medical office use on the ground floor, an approximately 45,712 square foot residential care facility for frail elderly, containing 58 rooms and common open space. The project includes approximately 46 parking spaces in two levels below ground.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approve with conditions.

(Proposed for Continuance to August 10, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

5. 2002.1263U (J. SWITZKY: (415) 575-6815)

333 Fremont Street - Motion to Approve In-Kind Agreement to Satisfy Rincon Hill Community Infrastructure Impact Fee Requirement per Section 318.3(e). The Planning Commission approved a project at 333 Fremont Street on June 16, 2005, that includes approximately 88 dwelling units. Planning Code Section 318.3(b)(i) requires payment of $11.00 per net occupied square foot of residential development for the Rincon Hill Community Infrastructure Fund prior to issuance of site permit. The project required a payment of approximately $769,142. On March 14, 2006, the project sponsor deposited the full amount of its required fee, plus interest, into an escrow account payable to the City, pending approval of an In-Kind Agreement that would credit the sponsor for a portion of the fee in exchange for publicly-accessible improvements in accordance with the Rincon Hill Plan. The project sponsor has entered into an In-Kind Agreement with the City, to the satisfaction of the Planning Department and City Attorney, to construct, and dedicate a permanent public easement on, a mid-block pedestrian pathway on the project site. The Planning Department recommends a fee credit equal to construction cost of the pathway improvements (approximately $240,000) plus the value of the public easement ($333,200), or approximately $573,200 total. The City would thus draw from the escrow account the difference of the full fee and this credit, or $195,942, and deposit this amount in the Rincon Hill Community Improvements Fund.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Continued from the Regular Meeting of July 13, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

Adoption of Commission Minutes- Charter Section 4.104 requires all commissioners to vote yes or no on all matters unless that commissioner is excused by a vote of the Commission. Commissioners may not be automatically excluded from a vote on the minutes because they did not attend the meeting. A vote on the minutes is different from a vote on a permit; the vote doesn't have the same adjudicative and due process implications.

6. Consideration of Adoption:

  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of February 2, 2006.
  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of June 1, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee and Olague

EXCUSED: Moore and Sugaya

7. Commission Comments/Questions

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

Commissioner Lee

  1. After last week's discussion on Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, I'm thinking of how we can expedite the process.
  2. I'd like to ask the Planning Department to work with other city agencies to develop a good neighborhood policy - one similar to the one we had with the Entertainment Commission.
  3. Given the opposition we had last week, and we expect more opposition, we should have a template that sets forth more criteria that includes stipulating there will be security; the grounds will be kept clean; there will be certain areas in the building where there are ADA bathrooms; etc.
  4. My strong suggestion is that Planning take the lead, but you should have the Health, Police, Building and Fire Departments involved.
  5. We need something to help the applicants and we should take the lead of this process.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. Commissioner Lee I think you are correct in that the process as put forth in the ordinance is very complicated.
  2. We have taken sort of the lead in contacting and working with the Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to inform them of their rights.
  3. We put out an FAQ on the Medical Cannabis coverage, which perhaps we should do on other ordinances, but we don't. We went the extra step on that. Mr. Sider has taken the lead on that.
  4. I believe there are criteria in the ordinance with respect to security, ADA, and neighborhood outreach.
  5. If not, we can develop criteria and draft conditions.

Dan Sider

  1. The Medical Cannabis Act provides the Department of Public Health the opportunity to impose operational standards; to impose good neighbor conditions; and impose, I believe, what we are getting at here.
  2. It's not to say we can't take that further and impose our own requirements.
  3. The interdepartmental program has been exceptional.
  4. The Department of Health and Building Inspection has worked toward a cohesive program.

Commissioner Lee

  1. The inquiry I would have is maybe you can report back to us next month on what the total process would be – my understanding is that Health doesn't distinguish from the marijuana candy or foodstuff.

Dan Sider

  1. We will get you a response.

Commissioner Lee

  1. I'm looking at the process. What steps you have to take.
  2. I like what the Entertainment Commission has done for the good neighborhood policy to minimize impacts of noise and drinking and parking.
  3. A lot of the nightclubs we have approved.
  4. Given the neighborhood opposition last week and we expect more, that at least we will have a better sense of what is required of all the clubs.

- Secondly, I have a question to ask the City Attorney's Office - to give us the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its application to nonprofit housing.

  1. This Act was put forward because of Enron and World Com and a lack of transparency by the Board of Directors. And I found out recently that it would affect all nonprofits.
  2. I don't know the trigger point and its impact on nonprofit housing and their Board of Directors.
  3. If you can give us a sort of verbal or written analysis in the next couple of weeks.
  4. Is this Act going to overwhelmingly be expensive for nonprofit housing programs to implement?

Commissioner Moore

  1. I would like to pick up the question on the discussion of last week on MCD and suggest a working meeting.
  2. I stated in last week's meeting that I felt the tools we have to look at these applications are insufficient.
  3. What is really much more important is to understand the broader implications of the applications currently pending.
  4. In addition, I think it requires an understanding of where the current non-licensed facilities are and how many.
  5. To educate myself, I called the Environmental Health Inspector. There are 36 operating facilities in the city.
  6. They are not disbursed.
  7. They are clustered in tight walking distance to each other. As they are coming up to apply for licensing we will have an issue in front of us we can't solve.
  8. Out of the 36 facilities, 5 of them have submitted applications, which are pending.
  9. One of them, I assume I'm allowed to say, happens to be in the proximity of the Moscone Center.
  10. I know we will be in the same position as last week.
  11. I'm not taking a stand for or against the approval of that facility or any others.
  12. We are dealing with a process where the city of San Francisco and the State of California has agreed to let these facilities operate and there was an evident need last week by people who clearly spoke of the need.
  13. We are totally unequipped to respond to that.
  14. I suggest a working meeting, which is proactive.
  15. Quickly bring together those departments that are participating in regulating and guiding these operations and expand on them.
  16. I will be happy to pass this map.
  17. I don't have to explain. This map is telling and it does not speak to a peaceful future to how this will happen in the city.
  18. Look where the clusters are of existing facilities.
  19. I'm saying this with a certain amount of urgency because I believe we are not equipped to deal with this.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. We will discuss it with the Director and Secretary and President and schedule it and determine when it would be appropriate to schedule something.
  2. I think it might be useful to provide you with background materials of the Medical Cannabis discussion and legislation that came through and approved six months ago, correct?

Commissioner Sugaya

  1. Just to continue on that note for a second
  2. After my vote last week a lot of people said to me that it appeared to be contrary to the line of inquiry I was taking in my comments before the vote.
  3. That is because I felt that after listening to Commissioner Moore and rethinking the case a bit, I thought that it should probably have been continued.
  4. I don't know the protocol of whether a motion for continuance overrides an existing motion that has been made.
  5. At least that's been the experience at the Board of Appeals and I didn't make that motion at that time.
  6. Secondly, I believe there could have been a way, perhaps, that maybe through continuance we could have looked more closely based on Commissioner Moore's concerns about the more specific kinds of ways we could have conditioned the application and let it exist, perhaps under a more tight condition.
  7. I don't know what those would be.
  8. Commissioner Lee also, I think was going into a similar direction and he said he didn't know what the conditions might be either.
  9. That would have been an opportunity for the staff to have worked something out and brought it back.
  10. It wasn't a vote for the facility, as much as a vote that said perhaps we should have continued the matter.

Commission Secretary Avery

  1. A motion to continue does take precedence over a motion on the floor for action.
  2. In the absence of your rules – and your rules are silent on this – Roberts Rules of Order governs.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I have a question in regards to the comments of Secretary Avery.
  2. Historically what we have done when a motion is on the floor - we vote. And if it is unsuccessful an alternate motion of continuance could take place.
  3. Are you saying a motion to continue can be brought forward even while a motion is on the floor?

Commission Secretary Avery

  1. Yes.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. My comment was in terms of inclusionary housing.
  2. Part of this entire discussion had to do with the changing of income levels to base it on the median income in San Francisco as opposed to the three counties, which previous or currently is the figure that is used.
  3. I think if that can accurately be done there is nothing wrong as long as our figures are up to date. Because there was a huge increase in work force income between 2000 and 2004 as presented in a previous report.
  4. I would like to see a report, if it's possible, in regards to that percentage of the work force excluded by these various measures.
  5. I don't believe that was in there.
  6. We talked about the impact on building and whether or not it would be a deterrent for the production of housing.
  7. I don't think in the report it deals with what percentage of the work force is excluded as you start using the San Francisco figures and then concurrently, drop the percentage of income allowed from a hundred percent, for example, homeownership to a proposed 80 percent or whatever level is determined.
  8. If we only service inclusionary housing for a small percentage of the work force, which is more accurate because many people would like to live in San Francisco that work here, then it is not a good policy whether or not it is economically feasible for developers or not. That's of secondary importance.
  9. The first importance is to address the housing needs of all segments of the population.
  10. Any study or policy that goes forward without a study like that is incomplete.

Commissioner Olague

  1. I appreciated the comments that Commissioner Moore just made regarding the cannabis issue.
  2. I also felt we could have used more information and more discussion and analysis from staff and the Department of Public Health (DPH).
  3. By the time we got to the discussion both representatives from the Health Department left. We were unable to ask for their input around the issue.
  4. I'm hoping if DPH can't stay for the entire meeting, maybe they can have written analysis or opinions on a particular application or site or operator.
  5. I'm not sure what type of input they would lend but I think it is important.
  6. I want to thank Commissioner Moore for the map.
  7. I think she is right, I think we will run into a lot of issues.
  8. We will build a lot of constraints around it.
  9. I support the working group.

President Alexander

  1. I think we have consensus [for scheduling a discussion on MCD].

Commission Secretary Avery

  1. I will let you know this week a date for the discussion.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

8. Director's Announcements

None

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

Dan Sider reported:

Full Board of Supervisors:

  • 1327 7th Ave Neighborhood Commercial rezoning – passed unanimously on first reading
  • McGoldrick's Below Market Rate threshold change – passed on 1st reading unanimously
  • Western SOMA SUD passed on 2nd reading 10-1 (Alioto-Pier voting against)
  • Western SOMA Formula Retail CU & Neighborhood Notice Requirement passed on 2nd reading unanimously
  • Western SOMA Urgency Ordinance for Interim Moratorium on Formula Retail – passed on first and only reading 9-2 (Alioto-Pier and Elsbernd voting against)

Land Use and Economic Development Committee:

  • Daly and Maxwell's Below Market Rate amendments, forwarded to full Board with recommendation
  • Jackson Square SUD – also forwarded to full Board with recommendations

Sarah Dennis reported on Inclusionary Housing

  • The Inclusionary Housing Study and the piece of legislation related to the McGoldrick's proposal passed at first reading. To respond to Commissioner Olague, inclusionary housing requirements are now on five units or more. Now the requirement is 10 percent for on site. It would not require that a 5-unit building round up and provide a whole unit. They are allowed to pay a fractional fee. That is the gradation of the ordinance that is not straightforward.

Susan Cleveland-Knowles, Deputy City Attorney

  • At the Board there was a significant amendment on the date of McGoldrick's ordinance. As proposed it would be immediately effective on projects with five or more units that did not have their zoning applications. At the Board, Supervisor McGoldrick made an amendment where most are grandfathered. Only those projects that have not submitted an application on or before July 18, 2006 would be subject to the requirement. Buildings with 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 units that have not submitted an application would be subject. If you have already submitted your application you are not subject to the requirements.

Sarah Dennis

  • Also, yesterday, the Land Use Committee forwarded the second piece of legislation – the Daly/Maxwell legislation that would increase the inclusionary requirements from 10 and 12 percent if constructed on site to 15 percent. And from 15 and 17 percent if constructed off site to 20 percent.
  • It collapses our requirements to one set. We no longer will distinguish between the as-of-right and conditional use. We have a single set of requirements for all projects. These increases will only apply to new projects.
  • All projects in the pipeline are exempt with the exception of the projects that have submitted applications but not received planning approval and who will receive a rezoning that will allow them to increase the amount of housing they can build on their site.
  • Everyone is grandfathered with the exception of the projects that receive rezoning.
  • The theory is that the property owners will receive a benefit via the rezoning that increases what they can build or sell and therefore have the ability to pay for the increased requirements.
  • There are other changes in that legislation that included changes to San Francisco AMI, restrictions to off-site development, and other procedural requirements.
  • There are questions on whether the Commission will get to comment on this.
  • The Commission will not have the opportunity to comment on the specifics that were passed by the Board yesterday.
  • However, there were several points added to the legislation that requests future efforts of the Planning Commission and the Planning Department.
  • The legislation directed the Planning Department to explore increasing affordable housing requirements for projects within community planning areas that are targeted for greater density and for expedited approval.
  • It directed the Planning Department and the Mayor's Office of Housing to consider proposals to distinguish building that are under and over 120 feet in height to determine if it makes sense to apply differential requirements to projects above and below that size.
  • And if we feel they appropriate, propose legislation to direct those changes.
  • The third point they directed was to direct the Mayor's Office of Housing to study and propose revisions to the way the in lieu fee is calculated.
  • That is something that the Mayor's Office of Housing will do between now and September first.
  • If this results in proposals to change the inclusionary housing requirements, whether for increased affordable housing for plan areas or building types or increased fees, those will come back to Planning in the form of trailing legislation for your recommendation.
  • So you will see those issues.

Commissioner Olague

  • Requested a list of those projects that are going to be subject to this, and those that are going to be exempted.
  • She also requested a clear definition of pipelines – pipeline projects.

Sarah Dennis

  • By pipeline, what the ordinance is referring to is any project that has made any first filing for planning, environmental, etc. are therefore considered in our pipeline.

Commissioner Olague

  • Are they considered exempt or subject to this ordinance?

Sarah Dennis

  • They are considered exempt from the increased requirements unless they fall into that rezoning category that allows them to build more housing units or square footage.

Commissioner Olague

  • Of those projects, I'd like to know which are conditional uses and which are as-of-right. I think that is an important distinction.

Commissioner Antonini

  • This relates to your report from last week that talks about the fact that in the coming fiscal year the city plans to spend over $200 million toward 6,000 units of affordable housing.
  • Of those 6,000 units, what percentage of those units came into being because of inclusionary units being built either on or off site?
  • And in terms of the $200 million, what part comes as a result of in lieu fees for affordable housing?

Sarah Dennis

  • I don't have those figures today, but I can come back with them.

Zoning Administrator Badiner reported on the Board of Appeals

  • I heard a variance on 585 Kansas Street.
  • I see a lot of variances for eliminating the parking for apartments.
  • People are coming in to legalize or they want to add a small unit but not provide the parking.
  • In most of the city, every unit requires one parking space.
  • Studies have shown that small affordable units have a reduced demand on parking.
  • I have imposed conditions of approval that require these units to be affordable units like the inclusionary units.
  • I have been doing that over the past 2 or 3 years and realized I was doing it as it came up.
  • I've been trying to do it more systematically.
  • In this case the issue came up and the sponsor in the variance hearing said this would be an affordable unit.
  • I think they were using the phrase affordable because it was small.
  • I said I will impose it as an affordable unit and I got a response that it was acceptable.
  • The inclusionary rank level is one hundred percent affordable if it was for sale, but more likely it was rental, it would be 60 percent of the median income.
  • The sponsors have reconsidered what they said and sent it to the Board of Appeals and it was overturned by the Board of Appeals [on the Bases that] the Zoning Administrator is making new policy.
  • I am inclined to ask for a rehearing on this.
  • I think these are variances and they are asking for an exception form the code.
  • As long as there is a nexus between the condition and what they are asking for, I think it is possible to impose such conditions.
  • It is not a policy matter that needs to be brought before the Planning Commission.
  • I want to let you know because I know we had this discussion in cases before you where there was a variance before me and we felt it was appropriate to put the condition on the variance because we were eliminating the parking.
  • I knew you would be concerned about it.
  • I may ask for a rehearing, which is rare for me as a Zoning Administrator, but I think it is an important issue.

Commissioner Olague

  • I think it is an important issue and I hope you call for the rehearing. Keep us informed.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  • If I choose to have a rehearing request, I will copy you and keep the Commission informed in the process.

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.

Sue Hestor

  1. I want to revisit an issue I brought up before that was triggered by the hearings on inclusionary housing.
  2. The head of the Mayor's Office of Housing two days ago said at the end of his testimony – and the hearing had been continued to get date on projects that are coming through the Planning Department – said that  it is hard to get good date from the Planning Department on the pipeline.
  3. That is an absolute fact.
  4. In intervening periods I was getting lists winged to me by Supervisors and members of the TACK asking for my help to figure out which of the projects of the Planning Department was approved and constructed and which ones are pending.
  5. That was the thrust of what they were trying to figure out.
  6. I am pleading with the Department to back down from the position of vesting case numbers and tracking solely in permit processing.
  7. You have an Administrative Officer. She has different sets of skills than people with planning degrees.
  8. I know how hard it is to get really good information.
  9. Projects are assigned case numbers and assigned a different case number by a different planner – the same project.
  10. I would be glad to talk to someone who wants to really solve the problem.
  11. If the Mayor's Office of Housing says that they can't depend on Planning on pending housing projects&
  12. Your planning reports involve efforts by the staff.
  13. They have to go back and figure out the data all over again.
  14. I'm pleading with the department to get rational. To vest file management, case numbering and all of that in Ms. John-Baptiste or someone she designates.
  15. Close out cases.
  16. Don't allow cases to have case numbers and pay a fee three years later.
  17. People open case numbers because there is a flurry of  I want to beat legislation and get a application in.'
  18. There are cases on here that were pending that have  01 case numbers. They should not be pending at this point.
  19. There are  pending projects that are under construction.
  20. The 311 notices are legal documents.
  21. They are not filed. You can't retrieve them.

Rachel Fox – Attorney at the Tenderloin Housing Unit

  1. I want to ask you to provide further protection to tenants by policing the permit process more strictly in regards to units that are supposed to be illegal.
  2. Presently, someone can apply for an over-the-counter permit and remove units from housing and there is a tenant that has no opportunity to complain or request discretionary review.
  3. In particular, 1530 McAllister is a building I am working very closely with the tenants.
  4. The landlords are two realtors, a woman named Laura Rogers and [the other name was unclear].
  5. Their plans are to merge units.
  6. This building is occupied by a wide range of tenants – from a 10-day-old baby to a woman who is almost 90 years old (an African-American senior).
  7. We have the support of neighbors. They want something to be done.
  8. I'm asking you to red-flag 1530 McAllister Street
  9. Don't let it slip through the cracks.
  10. Hopefully there can be something stricter, something that requires a permit holder to check off – even if the unit is illegal – if the unit is occupied.
  11. If so, that there be an opportunity for the tenant to request discretionary review.

Mr. Robinson, Jr. – tenant of 1530 McAllister Street

  1. We get an eviction notice about two months after the new landlord bought the building.
  2. They want all the tenants out.
  3. Sent us a package of $2,300 and said they would send the balance after we vacate the building.
  4. We decided not to take the money.
  5. They have upped it to $10,000 to vacate and they will give us the other five when they sell the building.
  6. I don't think that's quite fair.

Grace Shannon

  1. I'm one of the neighbors of 1530 McAllister Street
  2. I want to bring it up that the radar that the realtors purchased this building for profit.
  3. They are not doing an owner move in. They are going to merge them and take housing from our depleting housing stock.
  4. This building, it's across the road from me.
  5. It reflects the diversity of San Francisco.
  6. It has seniors in this. A lady who is 89 years old.
  7. Daily I see Meals on Wheels deliver to her.
  8. There are young families. There is a couple that had a new baby. I saw them bringing their baby, 10 days old, to the hospital for a checkup.
  9. It is a disgrace what is trying to be done to these individuals.
  10. One senior has been there since 1979. It's the only home he knows.
  11. I believe there is a protest being planned next Thursday in support of the residents and what's attempted to be done to these people.
  12. I will be supporting as well as others.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. I am emailing the Department to ask that I be noticed of permits on this. Ms. Fox can also file a block book notation to be noticed of permits on this. She, or anyone, would have 10 days that we would hold a permit, to file discretionary review.
  2. That might be the best thing to do on that case.

E. 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.

10a. 2005.0328D (R. CRAWFORD; (415) 558-6358)

554 LONDON STREET - north side, between Russia & France, Lot 009, Assessor's Block 6272 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application 2005.01.13.3188, to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 15, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved the demolition

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

10b. 2005.0332D (R. CRAWFORD; (415) 558-6358)

554 London Street - north side, between Russia & France, Lot 009, Assessor's Block 6272 - 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. 2005.01.13.3192, proposing to construct a three-story, two-family residential building with two off-street parking spaces in an RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 15, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved the permit for new construction

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

11. 2005.0402D (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)

2477-2479 SUTTER STREET - south side between Broderick and Divisadero Streets; Lot 022 in Assessor's Block 1076 - Staff Initiated Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application 2004.03.02.7604, to construct horizontal and vertical additions to the existing two-story, two-unit building resulting in a four-story, three-unit building in a RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 13, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

C.J. Higley – Representing the Project Sponsor

  1. We are only here at the request of the Commission from several years back.
  2. To our knowledge there is no opposition to the project.
  3. The only opposition there had been was Mr. Williams who is here today on another project.
  4. I think he can confirm, if requested, that his concerns were addressed.
  5. We ask that you move this project on.

Steve Williams

  1. I filed a discretionary review four years ago. It was a demolition that evolved to a remodel and I continued negotiating with the builder.
  2. It is in a built up area.
  3. It is a beautiful house but it is on a block of Sutter Street in an area where six-story buildings are going in and a large parking garage.
  4. I would have liked to see the house saved as a single-family home.
  5. We reached an agreement with substantial setbacks on the remodel.
  6. I dismissed my DR and we are in support of the project.

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved the proposed project with instruction to staff to remove the instruction to automatically bring this back to the Commission for discretionary review in the future.

AYES: Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

EXCUSED: Alexander

F. REGULAR CALENDAR

12. 2006.0409D (E. TOPE: (415) 558-6316)

1 BELGRAVE AVENUE- south side at the end of Belgrave Avenue, east of Shrader Street; Lot 024 in Assessor's Block 2662 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.07.07.7059S, proposing to add an approximately 200 square foot first floor addition and an approximately 180 square foot second floor addition to the rear of an existing two-story over garage single-family dwelling in an RH-1(D) (Residential, House, One-Family, Detached Dwellings) 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 June 1, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Steve Williams – Representing the people next to the property

  1. It is extraordinary when a building is over a foot over the property line
  2. It's extraordinary when the city needs a variance and as a condition requires an easement. That's extraordinary when by oversight there exists an illegal condition at the site - the stairs.
  3. This is not about views. The views are in the front of the buildings. You see the entire city.
  4. Why is this important to my clients?
  5. It clouds their title.
  6. If there is a question about the variance or integrity or what it means, future development or sale of the site is going to be difficult.
  7. Number one Belgrave was constructed illegally.
  8. It was built over a foot over the property line.
  9. There was a survey that found it was over the property line.
  10. The city required 1 Belgrave to obtain a variance.
  11. This is not your normal type of easement.
  12. It's an easement of convenience.
  13. It is not an easement of necessity.
  14. If you look at the drawing used by the planner, they could easily move to the other side and enter from there.
  15. This was merely for convenience sake so they didn't have to have the expense of moving the entrance, which would be easy to do.
  16. I urge you to read the conditions placed in the easement carefully.
  17. They say if you ever change the stairs or building or deck in the back you loose this convenience.
  18. We have a letter from one of the original makers of the easement. They are not all dead.
  19. The other issue is – we found out yesterday what happened in 2001 after the first permit was rejected at the Board of Appeals because of the easement.
  20. The city says they don't interpret easements but they did then and we are talking about it now.
  21. We got a copy of the permit in 2001.
  22. The stairs were reconstructed back in 2001. And changed and altered.
  23. A new footing was created.
  24. A new firewall without a variance.
  25. This is a non-conforming use. It doesn't have the benefit or variance or permit that would legalize it.
  26. You shouldn't be issuing a permit for the site as long as they have the illegal situation.
  27. The stairs go along a third of the lot line.
  28. They are in violation of the Building Code.
  29. They were never legalized by the variance.
  30. They are more than two feet too narrow under the Building Code.
  31. We would like clarification on this issue because once this permit was issued and the stairs were rebuilt in 2001, it was required they become code compliant or receive outside approval, which they have not.

Denise Gillman

  1. Some of the applicant's statements on the DR form are somewhat disingenuous. The form indicates that the number of bedrooms will go from three to two. But it appears there will be 4 bedrooms and that two of the rooms don't have code required egress and that would make them unusable as bedrooms.
  2. The existing house is at its legal maximum height.
  3. The proposed project has 6 feet 4 inches between the subject houses. Actually, the distance between the houses will remain a plus or minus 5 feet 2 inches with the encroaching stair and landing which produces the actual separation.
  4. The applicant indicates the changes were made to satisfy the owners of 15 Belgrave. When in fact they were made to satisfy the planning code.
  5. The applicant concludes in section B, item 2, saying the proposed addition leaves 6 feet 4 inches between the project house and its neighbor at its closest point, and 10 feet 9 inches between the houses where the neighboring house angles back.
  6. The first dimension is incorrect.
  7. Plus or minus 5 feet 2 inches will remain between dwellings and the second dimension is meaningless.
  8. The applicant discussed the easement.
  9. In a phone conversation with Elaine Tope of the Planning Department, I described there was an easement.
  10. She indicated the application included vertical addition and if they were aware of the easement it would be part of the application.
  11. She added that the department tells the parties to sue each other.
  12. It doesn't seem good planning policy to put people in that position.
  13. The same situation exists at the side yard encroachment easement.
  14. The Commission should deny or suspend the application pending the resolution of the easement issue.

Nicole Gerotski

  1. Read a letter from one of the original owners of 15 Belgrave who lives in Washington now and couldn't be here today. They believe the easement was one of convenience, not necessity and that the entry for 1 Belgrave can be relocated. They further stated that the project should be denied.

Denise Lapin – DR requestor

  1. My husband and I live next door to the subject property.
  2. We ask that you deny the application before you.
  3. A build out violates enforceable easement to the unresolved matters of code complaint.
  4. We were informed that the city doesn't speak to easements but on past locations the city addresses it.
  5. It violates the code.
  6. The easement states alterations are not permitted and the stairs and platforms are to remain at their current status.
  7. Documents in the Planning Department files raise important points of concern and preclude issuing permits.
  8. A side yard variance has been given.
  9.  The variance application contains false information.
  10. A temporary easement expired months before the application was submitted.
  11. We don't understand how the city granted a variance under these circumstances.
  12. The Board denied the stairs and platforms.
  13. They required them to restore the structures and said any work on the property required a permit issued by us.
  14. We were not approached or applied to for a permit.
  15. Our right to the permit was circumvented by an over the counter application.
  16. The permit is invalid.
  17. There is no evidence that nonconforming structures that encroach on our property have been legalized.
  18. No permits can be issued until it is rectified.
  19. These matters predate the project and should be resolved prior to the issuing of additional permits.
  20. We ask that it be denied until everything is resolved.

Linda Small – Project Architect

  1. I'm not proposing anything within these stairs and platforms.
  2. The platforms that are in discussion are a series of landings within the stairs.
  3. It's a long uphill climb to the house.
  4. Stairs and stair landings – that's the big issue.
  5. My clients want a small addition that is a 200-foot footprint on the bottom.
  6. The easement is 52 feet long. We are not touching that.
  7. My office had a pre-application meeting in June 2005 that was a community outreach meeting.
  8. We submitted to the Planning Department in July of 2005.
  9. At this time we are not aware of the easement placed on the property in 1972.
  10. A 311 notification was sent out in September.
  11. At the request of the neighbors, my clients erected story poles.
  12. Upon learning of the easement in October, the application was stopped.
  13. We immediately changed the drawings and made design concessions to the neighbors reflecting their concerns at the time.
  14. The property line was incorrect on the drawings, which was true because we didn't have a survey.
  15. The easement was not shown because we didn't know of the easement.
  16. We removed a sliding glass door that they objected to.
  17. They said the addition was too tall and blocked light.
  18. The addition was 10 feet 6 inches below the allowable height limit.
  19. But we dropped it another 2 feet making it 12.5 feet below allowable height limit.
  20. And we also brought back the second level 6 feet in from the neighbor's house making it 11 feet from the house.
  21. In the 11 feet, we have a window. It will be obscure glass or stained glass. You can't see in or out of the window they are objecting to.
  22. We conceded to every concession that the neighbors wanted and nothing was proposed in the easement that is in question.
  23. On the drawings, first and middle, except the easement, everything was done to Planning and Building codes and we made revisions to that.
  24. Subsequently, my clients re-positioned the story poles to reflect the changes.
  25. There was an agreement signed between them agreeing that the land survey was accurate.
  26. All these changes were made in good faith and to be good neighbors.
  27. In January we resubmitted the drawings showing all the concessions.
  28. A 311 notice was sent out on February 9th and on March 11th a DR was filed.
  29. We have not proposed construction or change to the existing stairs.
  30. We are asking the city to approve a design that's well within the Planning Code of San Francisco and sensitive to the architectural significant standing that the building has.

Richard Carrington – Attorney for the Applicant

  1. So many of the issues raised are not about an easement, but manipulation.
  2. Just as there is no environmental issue, there is no issue with this easement.
  3. The easement is clear in its language and says nothing about granting rights over on the rest of the property.
  4. California law is clear that to have a restrictive easement it has to be stated expressly and it has to be in the document.
  5. Saying somebody wrote a letter about something that happened 30 years ago under apparently bitter circumstances is not legal evidence.
  6. It's a good reason for why we require things to be recorded.
  7. There is no way to know what someone will come along and say later when they say it's sour grapes, this is not what they want.
  8. Raising the issue that the staircase could be moved to the other side: That is not a realistic proposal.
  9. The building that is found so significant, would be torn apart to do that.
  10. The 2001 issue has nothing to do with this.
  11. In that case it is indicated the city told the owner they wanted a wider staircase.
  12. The owner didn't just build on the easement, but encroached onto the Lapin's property, which is a violation of the Lapin's property rights and required to take that back.
  13. The stairs are back to where they are originally.
  14. There is no suggestion there is change to that.
  15. Nor should my clients be vilified for the actions of a previous owner who over stepped the bounds of his property.

Dawn Gross – One of the owners of 1 Belgrave Avenue

  1. I love my neighbor.
  2. I love Denise and she knows it.
  3. When we entered this building this afternoon at the same time, she gave me a hug.
  4. My father passed away last week. She knows this. My mother has breast cancer. She knows this. I had reconstructive surgery. She knows this.
  5. I keep no secrets from Denise.
  6. I trust her with the things that are most precious to me.
  7. This project is making our home a loving environment space for all the people on Belgrave Avenue.
  8. We have never set out to do anything but make that space more approachable so we can have our family come stay with us and enjoy it; so Denise's daughter can come play with us in a playroom, which we simply don't have.
  9. It saddens me that a mere disagreement can strain a relationship.
  10. There have been significant attempts on both our parts to find a middle ground. To find a way where everyone can be happy.
  11. We are unable to come to this and we have come to an agreement just what does the easement mean so we can settle this.
  12. If it means what the Lapins believe it means, we will honor that and not build.
  13. Our interpretation is not such.
  14. We offered to settle this legally. They declined to go the most direct, the most efficient, the most economical route so we can all move on with our lives.
  15. So we are simply at an impasse in that regard.
  16. We love our home. We love where we live and the city. And we adore our neighbors and we want nothing to come between us.
  17. We ask that somebody above find a way to make peace.
  18. However it turns out, we will honor it. We will not fight it and we will respect your decision.

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved with the understanding that the project sponsor will put obscure glass in the window that is in the 11 foot area that is between the neighbor's house.

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

G. PUBLIC COMMENT

At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting with one exception. When the agenda item has already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the Commission has closed the public hearing, your opportunity to address the Commission must be exercised during the Public Comment portion of the Calendar. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

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

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

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

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

None

Adjournment: 3:59 P.M.

THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

NOTE: Per Section 67.18 of the Administrative Code for the City and County of San Francisco, Commission minutes contain a description of the item before the Commission for discussion/consideration; a list of the public speakers with names if given, and a summary of their comments including an indication of whether they are in favor of or against the matter; and any action the Commission takes. The minutes are not the official record of a Commission hearing. The audiotape is the official record. Copies of the audiotape may be obtained by calling the Commission office at (415) 558-6415. For those with access to a computer and/or the Internet, Commission hearings are available at www.sfgov.org. Under the heading Explore, the category Government, and the City Resources section, click on SFGTV, then Video on Demand. You may select the hearing date you want and the item of your choice for a replay of the hearing.

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:22 PM