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September 14, 2006

September 14, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, September 14, 2006

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Vice President Christina Olague; Michael J. Antonini; William L. Lee; Kathrin Moore; Hisashi Sugaya

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Dwight S. Alexander

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE-PRESIDENT OLAGUE AT 1:37 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Dan Sider; Kate Conner; Rick Crawford; Dan DiBartolo; Sara Vellve; Steve Wertheim; Linda Avery – Commission Secretary

A. CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

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

1. 2006.0854D (E. Watty: (415) 558-6620)

4531-4533 20TH Street - south side between Douglass and Eureka Streets, Lot 050 and 051 in Assessor's Block 2749 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of dwelling unit mergers, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.07.06.5760, proposing to merge two condominium dwelling units into one single-family home. The property is located within a 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 proposed.

(Proposed for Continuance to September 21, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander

2a. 2005. 0307D (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

368 CAPP STREET - west side between 18th and 19th Streets; Lot 047 in Assessor's Block 3590 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2005.01.06.2659 to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District with a 50-X Height and Bulk Designation. The project also includes the new construction of a three-unit building.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take DR and approve project as proposed.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 27, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to October 26, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander

2b. 2005.0329DD (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

368 Capp Street- west side between 18th and 19th Streets; Lot 047 in Assessor's Block 3590 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of new construction as a result of housing demolition, and a request of Discretionary Review, of Building Permit Application No. 2005.01.06.2663 for the new construction of a three-unit building in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District with a 50-X Height and Bulk Designation.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take DR and approve project as proposed.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 27, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to October 26, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander

3. 2006.0798C (A. STARR: (415) 558-6362)

1723 UNION STREET - south side between Octavia and Gough Streets; Lot 001B, in Assessor's Block 0544 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 121.1, 303 and 725.21 to allow a personal service use with a use size greater than 2,499 sq. ft. in the Union Street Neighborhood Commercial District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The project consists of establishing an approximately 11,300 sq. ft. gym (dba Crunch) in a space that was previously occupied by a retail-clothing store (dba Georgiou). No expansion in the building envelope is proposed, although the proposal will increase the existing floor area from 10,157 sq. ft. to approximately 11,300 sq. ft. through interior alterations. No onsite parking is proposed or required.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Proposed for Continuance to October 5, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander

4. 2006.0821D (S. MENDRIN: (415) 558-6625)

1372-1374 UNION STREET - north side between Polk and Larkin Streets; Lot 015 in Assessor's Block 0525 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.12.05.9511, proposing to construct horizontal and vertical additions to the existing two-unit, two-story over basement structure to provide additional living area for each unit and to accommodate a garage in the ground floor in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Proposed for Continuance to October 12, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Alexander

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS (Tape IA)

5. Commission Comments/Questions

· Inquiries/Announcements. Without discussion, at this time Commissioners may make announcements or inquiries of staff regarding various matters of interest to the Commissioner(s).

· Future Meetings/Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Antonini

- I noticed in the newspaper this week a report in regards to a business improvement district in mid-market that is being planned.

- There was a report that Supervisor Daly had asked for.

- I forget the details but they are not really that important.

- My understanding was that the business improvement district is funded by the merchants and property owners in the area.

- I am trying to understand what authority the City has over the use of those funds. Maybe the City Attorney could explain it or I can take [get] my answer at a different time.

Susan Cleveland Knowles, Deputy City Attorney

- I am not aware of the article or the funds but we can get you an answer.

Commissioner W. Lee

- This past Tuesday I happened to read the New York Times.

- This relates to the two lectures we had form AIA [American Institute of Architects] regarding thinking out of the box and looking at the structure of some of the buildings.

- This article talks about China and a place called Chong-Chin that it is backward in comparison to other parts of China.

- They are actually designing buildings that are inspired by Michael Kandrea.

- It occurred to me, why we are not doing something more in this line?

- I want to have staff take a look at this and give us some thoughts.

- Commissioner Moore has done work outside of the United States and maybe she could help us out also in looking at buildings.

- As a Planning Commission, there might be some things we could look at.

Dean Macris, Director

- Shortly, we are going to issue a policy bulletin that would give priority in processing green buildings.

- Your comments just reminded me that we are working on that and probably will release that next week as a Director's Bulletin.

- We are moving more into the direction of promoting certain things that are in the City's interest.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- Next week under Director's report, Mr. Nikitas will give us a presentation on the elements of building design.

Commissioner Moore

- Comparing what the experiment that has been done in China and what we are doing here, it is really two worlds.

- Partially because our building industry applies methods and materials that are very close to what is being done here.

- It would be very interesting to read your article and explore what you are suggesting.

- It would open the door for much more advanced design.

- On a different matter: last week I found myself perplexed by a comment on a project and realized that the use of sanborn maps could potentially put us into a wrong frame of mind.

- One, I would suggest that when these maps are used staff should insert a disclaimer stating when these maps were originated so all the commissioners can see that they are not necessarily the existing conditions.

- Two, I would like to ask planning if there are other tools that we could use to show the existing conditions? For example, maybe they could use Google that will let us go up to 2,000 feet over a block and get very recent photography of an area.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- It has been our recent practice to include overhead photos. We do not use Google but we use another agency.

- We will add to the sanborn if they are not updated. We do try to include overhead photos and we will make sure that staff includes them.

Commissioner Moore

- Is Planning using GIS mapping?

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- We use GIS mapping for certain cases. I do not think that everybody on staff is familiar with GIS because we have not provided as much training as we should.

- It is more typically used in our Citywide section. But on cases that might come to you about a single property, there may not have a lot of use of it.

Commissioner Moore

- I would appreciate if the Commission gets an update on where you are at so we can help to keep track for all of you that make use of these tools.

Commissioner Sugaya

- It terms of being able to look at aerials and oblique aerials, Mr. Badiner pointed out that they are using a different system.

- I think the same system is on line at the local.live.com that is a Microsoft site. Having the address, you could get aerial looks and oblique aerials down to a fairly decent resolution.

- Secondly, I met with Neil Hart before the meeting started. He presented me with some information in response of a request I made a few weeks back with respect to the Historic Preservation Element.

- He said that they are going to have a meeting in September and presented a schedule on how the element would be moving forward. [He thanked Mr. Hart.]

- I would ask Mr. Hart and Mr. Luellen, together with Rachel Force, to consider what the public participation aspect of this particular process would be.

- What do they anticipated in terms of public hearings? Is there any kind of community workshops / outreach?

Commissioner Olague

- I have a couple of requests and one is in regards on the Housing Element. I was wondering where we are in the cycle?

- When is the next Element do? What is the process is going to be in terms of community input? I just want to know what the schedule is looking like currently.

Amit Ghosh

- The next Element is due in 2009. ABAG and the local jurisdiction are just getting together to determine the methodology for assessing regional housing needs.

- There is a schedule and I can report on it next week because I do not have it with me.

- What we have planned once it is in place is that we would start our own work with the city in revising the new element by the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Commissioner Olague

- If you could provide the schedule in the packets as well as give a report during this period, it would be great.

- I also had some requests related to the Market – Octavia Plan. I would like to see a list of all the documents related to the plan.

- I would also like to have it broken down by quadrants in terms of neighborhoods with some information on how we see the plan being implemented.

- I would like to know if there is going to be community participation and how they are going to be engaged.

- Finally, when members of the public come with a DR, I am not sure how much communication / education the public receives on what their responsibility is as a requestor and understanding the process as fully as they should.

- Is there any list of instructions?

Mr. Macris, Director

- We are trying to get the material by next week and you will be getting the entire packet

Mr. Banider, Zoning Administrator

- The application and actually the 311 notice have brief instructions and the planner's name.

- Most people decide to contact the project sponsor or the planner who gives advice. It is both written and through personal contact.

Commissioner Lee

- Last week Deborah Walker gave an excellent presentation on the Art Task Force findings. I do not know what we normally do. Do we send a thank you note to people that we invite to present in front of us?

- She did such a good job that I would like to request that we send a thank you note to Deborah Walker from the Commission.

- Secondly, we all receive an email from Supervisor McGoldrick. Apparently the DA is asking for an input or feed back. Do we have a policy in the Commission to take a look at their proposed legislation and provide feed back directly to the Supervisor?

Ms. Avery, Secretary

- You can do it either way - personally or as a Commission. If you do it as a Commission, it needs to be calendared.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- We can discuss this under the legislative matters. A couple of those items are being generated by the legislation that is coming up.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT (Tape IA)

6. Director's Announcements

None

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

Dan Sider

Land Use Committee

A- Supervisor Maxwell has recently introduced an ordinance requiring a Conditional Use for any formula retail establishment in Show Place Square, Central Waterfront or Potrero Hill. Supervisor Sandoval was added as a co-sponsor and it was sent to the full Board with a recommendation for approval.

B- Supervisor Ma introduced in January, 2005 an ordinance requiring a Conditional Use authorization for all massage establishments. It was reactivated and sent to the full Board with recommendations for approval.

Board of Supervisors

A- Introductions:

a. Supervisor Elsbernd made two introductions relating to grocery stores. One requiring a Conditional Use authorization for any project that involves a change of use or demolition of an existing grocery store. The second matter would exclude grocery stores from our existing definition of a formula retail use.

There are a lot of introductions and Supervisor Sandoval's ballot measure this November would require Conditional Use for any formula retail use in the City. The City Attorney's Office is actively investigating how that could be panned out.

b. Supervisor McGoldrick's ordinance regarding community improvements on the Eastern Neighborhoods was put forward on August 15. As an amendment to the Administrative Code rather than the Planning Code, this matter typically would not come to you for your review.

We have scheduled an informational hearing for you next week to brief you on this matter.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

Board of Appeals

- 400 Powell Street was up for a rehearing request. Original decision was upheld and the request for rehearing was refused.

- 1590 Bryant Street. Commission decision was upheld.

8. (Tape IA) (S. WERTHEIM: (415) 558-6612)

HAIGHT ASHBURY FREE CLINICS, INC. (HAFCI) ABREVIATED INSTITUTIONAL MASTER PLAN (IMP) - Zoning Administrator announcement of the receipt of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc (HAFCI) Abbreviated Institutional Master Plan (IMP) pursuant to Planning Code Section 304.5. The Planning Commission has the discretion under Planning Code Section 304.5(d), to hold or not hold a public hearing on an Abbreviated IMP. If the Commission requests a hearing, it would be scheduled for a later date.

SPEAKERS

Ted Lowenberg

- I am one of the several people that filled complaints against the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic for their blatant violation of the permanent Conditional Use permit.

- Complaints were filed in February of 2002 and we were told that they would be responded to. They never were.

- We were told that they would have to file an Institutional Master Plan that was going to be available within three months.

- Here we are almost five years later and nothing has been done. I requested a copy of the Master Plan.

- I insist that you have a full public hearing where citizens can give their opinion about the desirability of having this facility and its effects upon the community.

Fred Horsfield, Clinic Representative

- The buildings that are being vacated are 409 Clayton Street, 529 Clayton Street and 1692 Haight Street.

- The first two were originally residential buildings.

- The clinic has gone through some changes in trying the find ways to increase their efficiencies and integrating its various programs to match the integrated services that they provide.

- The [proposed] property was previously occupied by an administration providing similar services not as complete as what we will have.

ACTION: Continued to September 21, 2006

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Sugaya, and Olague

ABSENT: Alexander and Lee.

9. (Tape IA; IB) (L. BADINER: (415) 558-6350)

DEPARTMENT'S POLICY ON GARAGESInformational presentation on the Department's draft policy for review of new garages in existing structures.

SPEAKERS

Ed Bedard - Board Member of Friends of 1800

- We have become very concerned about the policy of garage additions to historic structures in San Francisco.

- I have some letters in support of re-evaluating how the applications are handed out.

- We believe that garage additions to buildings over 50 years old should be directed to the Landmarks Board to have a discretionary review to consider it or not.

- Victorian buildings that we have here are something to protect.

- It is a concern that a proposed amendment to the Market – Octavia Plan states that garages would be discouraged.

- Right now, we are losing a lot of historic fabric and the public right to discourage the use of cars.

Tom Radulovich, Executive Director of Livable City

- It is a great step in the right direction. It needs to be stronger than a review at the counter.

- We want to look at policies or additional controls.

- I live in the Mission Dolores neighborhood and on 18th Street you have these double wide garage doors coming right up to the property line on the Victorian and Edwardian character.

- It really affects the character of the street. There is an affect on pedestrians and bicyclists.

- A lot of the Victorian and Edwardian houses are set back. On the garages coming to the property line, you would have a version of a suburban house.

- Maybe there should not be parking requirements for historic buildings.

Steve Williams

- I will show you one that will come before the Commission not long from now. This is 2564 Sutter Street, a protected building. It is on the City's survey.

- This is 4 stories with a garage under and this is what we are seeing on a regular basis.

- The garage is part of the problem of the alterations being approved. And according to the Department; this is the preservation of this resource.

- The disconnection is that we have a standard to live up to, which is the Secretary of Interior Standards and the City is not applying them.

- Preservation is the highest treatment and it means to preserve the resource in place as it is.

- The second tier of the Secretary Standards is rehabilitation.

- That's the only approach that permits additions and alterations for contemporary use.

- Every project you get that looks like this is a rehabilitation when the mandate to the City and its code is preservation

- If we are going to talk about preserving the resources, we have to do that.

- If we will rehabilitate them with additions, including garages, we need to change the codes and how we apply them.

Ted Lowenberg

- I heard about the matter this week and I was troubled by the fact that what seems to be going on is the idea that there is a degeneration of historic values.

- Victorians magically became historically valuable or interesting without input from the public. Should this be City policy?

- The United States Constitution talks about due process as a right.

John Bardis

- This City has a policy of trying to preserve affordable housing.

- A garage is the most against our housing resource in this City.

- There are about 400,000 units of housing in San Francisco and only one fourth of them are single family.

- We have a big problem in maintaining the middle class and families in the City.

- I would be curious to see how much the affordability of housing is addressed and what the Department is recommending supporting City policies.

John Pollard

- I am before the Commission asking you to give us guidelines on how you want us to go through the permitting process.

- It was brought up before that our business has shut down. 40 percent of our San Francisco business is putting in new garages. 96 percent is structure upgrading of existing garages.

- In the past nine years, we have been able to receive permits over the counter on a regular submittal.

- We have had no complaints regarding these garage permits in nine years.

- 85 to 95 percent of the cost of a garage is seismic mandatory structure upgrade to protect the property and the community.

Fred Pavlo

- We have been in business for 25 years putting in more than 300 garages in the City.

- The idea of restricting people putting in garages is crazy.

- People are afraid to drive around the block at 2 in the morning and that is a fact.

- It seems that the policy is to not issue garage permits.

- When you remodel a property, it does increase the property value and when the building is sold the property taxes go to the city.

Dr. William Nute

- I have always envisioned living in San Francisco, if I could have the opportunity, and I would want a garage for my small practice to alleviate going around the neighborhood all day and night.

- I like to see us minimizing black top and paved surfaces and get the number of automobiles off the street.

- It is my understanding that in most areas reducing the number of automobiles parked on the streets reduces crime and vandalism.

- I think it is a good policy and I applaud the notion that we would get automobiles off the street and have on site parking for all vehicles, if possible.

- I concur that all garages put in should be done sensitively, architecturally appropriately and be sensitive to the neighborhood with public input.

Todd

- It needs to be discussed. We would not agree with everything in it but it is good to be out here and talking about it.

- I would like to support as part of this the seismic encouragement for property owners.

- Particularly on historic buildings, we want to look at the benefits the garages provide in addition to getting the cars off the street.

- It should be included in the determination if it is a preservation issue - seismic retrofitting and preserving the building.

David Fix

- I am concerned about the unusual discretionary moratorium.

- Policies should have proper public hearings rather then leaving it to the discretion of the people at the Planning Department.

- Garages are good for the neighborhoods. One cut out might take away a public space, but it creates 2-3 garage spaces.

- You are concerned about the environment rather than people driving around looking for a space.

- There needs to be an official policy and not an unofficial moratorium.

Joe Buttler

- We need to know which of the buildings historic resources are affected. They are not every building.

- The City has an obligation to preserve those historic resources.

- When a building comes to the Planning Department for a garage, and if it is going to have an affect on that building, it does deserve more carefully scrutiny.

- The Landmarks Board is appropriate for that.

ACTION: No action required of the Commission. Informational only

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:

Judith Berkowitz, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods.

- I would like to speak about pre-application policy within the DR [Discretionary Review] process.

- We think pre-application is good and should not be eliminated because everyone could benefit from it.

- As currently written, there is no real enforcement language. It needs to be strengthened rather than eliminated.

- We urge you to strengthen your pre-application review policy to require project sponsors to have a pre-application meeting with these five criteria:

a) Notice the factual description of the proposed modifications, b) owner and occupants of property within a 300 foot ratio must be noticed, c) meeting must be held at convenient locations, d) time should be between 6 – 8p.m on weekdays or noon to six on weekends, and e) the proposed project architectural non-reduced drawings should be provided at the pre-application meeting.

Sue Hestor

- I want to follow up on Commissioner Olague's comment on the discretionary review procedure.

- It is really hit or miss in terms of how people present their case - whether they give documents to you or even understand the rules.

- The level of information in the public about when packets go out and what is in it is really sketchy.

- I really would hope that a standard plain language letter is developed that is given to DR requestors.

- People file the form and they think they are done. They do not know they have to submit something in brief to the Commission nine days before the hearing.

- People think that they are supposed to just do everything here and they get stuck on their three-minute limit.

- I would ask you to have standards and take things that have fallen into the cracks. Tell the people the process they are in on one page.

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. 2005.1192D (Tape IB) (S. Vellve: (415) 558-6263)

519 – 33RD Avenue – west side between Geary Boulevard and Anza Street; Lot 002 in Assessor's Block 1511 – Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2005.12.20.0777 proposing to demolish an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-2 (House, Two-Family) Zoning District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved demolition

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

ABSENT: Alexander

10b. 2006.0059D (S. Vellve: (415) 558-6263)

519 – 33RD Avenue - west side between Geary Boulevard and Anza Street; Lot 002 in Assessor's Block 1511 - 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. 2005.12.20.0776 proposing to construct a new three-story over garage, two-family dwelling in an RH-2 (House, Two-Family) Zoning District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the new construction.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved new construction

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

ABSENT: Alexander

11. 2005.0570D (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

1750 8TH AVENUE - east side between Moraga and Noriega Streets. Assessor's Block 2042 Lot 002 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2004.0928.5368 to construct a new third story on the existing dwelling and to develop a second dwelling unit. The addition will not extend any further to the front or rear than the existing 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.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 7, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to October 19, 2006

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

ABSENT: Alexander

F. REGULAR CALENDAR

12. 2006.0905R (Tape IB; IIA) (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

400 BLOCK OF JESSIE STREET PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY - between 5th Street and Mint Street, providing street frontage for Lots 003, 006, 009, 010, 011, 034, and 079-112 in Assessor's Block 3704 - Request for a General Plan Referral from the Department of Public Works. The proposal is to convert the portion of the Jessie Street public right-of-way between 5th and Mint Streets from an automobile thoroughfare with on-street parking and sidewalks to a public plaza.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adoption of Draft Resolution finding that the project is consistent with the General Plan and Planning Code Section 101.1 Planning Priority Policies

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 7, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Michael Yarny, Martin Building Company

- This is a partnership on a public/private project.

- The Department had provided staff for our two community workshops along with the Redevelopment Agency.

- The Mayor's office also has been involved.

- Supervisor Daly's office has been very supportive of the process and will hopeful carry the legislative component and introduce it to the full Board.

- This project is on public land and dedicated to the City. It is also committed to having the project done with union labor.

- The closure of this plaza has been discussed for many decades.

- Our design process has been guided by some principle basic values being inclusive. The edges will be active and the center will be open for a range of uses.

- The capital for the project is coming from a community facility district and in-lieu fees for open space at the 88 Howard Street Hotel.

- Maintenance would be covered by the formation of a community benefit district in the Central Market area along with the additional funds donated by the 88 Howard Hotel and fundraising.

- A little history: it was constructed in the 1870's and has been in its current form since 1877.

- The great fire and the earthquake did much damage to the area, but it survived.

- There was another proposal for this site in the 50's. The scheme never came to fruition.

- There is not a lot of open space in a very dense area of the city. In doing the design, we took a careful look at existing open spaces that are similar in respect to mid-plazas.

- Traffic was an issue to the neighbors and a few have been resolved. This diagram shows the traffic improvement measures that we hope to implement with our neighbors.

- This proposal is going to enhance the capacity of Stevenson Street to create a no-stop zone at the intersection of Stevenson and fifth.

- It would allow cars on Stevenson and exit gracefully when traffic has stopped and to eliminate the south bound left turn lane off fifth and to add capacity to the Mission garage.

- We are creating a water shed to capture the run off that usually flows into the sewer system and in some events pollute into the bay. We are going to treat that on site.

- The idea is to have a very open space that is lined with active uses but flexible and can be used by many different people in the community.

Tom Radulovich, Executive Director of Livable City

- We are supportive and excited about this project for a number of reasons.

- The first is because it is creating a fantastic, wonderful, public space in San Francisco.

- Secondly, the way that is going to be paid for is incredible. There is a little money for creating good public spaces.

- Lastly, this is integral to the City's on going effort for the pass two decades to really create a walk-able downtown.

LaTrana, Senior Action Network

- We are in support of this new Mint Plaza because it gives us a useful space for seniors and people with disabilities to use the area.

- We want this Mint Plaza to come into being in the near future.

Dana, Deputy Director of San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.

- I am here on behalf of the organization to speak in the support of the project.

- We were an active participant in the workshops to encourage community participation.

- It is our hope that part of the plan would include the development of Jesse Street into an open plaza.

- The Mint Plaza would contribute to the success of the museum model

- The site will be an attraction increasing the number of visitors to the museum and contribute to the Plaza's use as a public art space promoting education and a destination for residents and tourists.

Tony Juda

- I am in support of the Jesse Street Plaza or the Mint Plaza.

- It is going to be an oasis for everybody who works in the neighborhood to be able to get out, relax and get fresh air.

Lea, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

- We do not have many great spaces, besides our parks, that we can really call public spaces.

- I hope that you keep in mind having Fifth Street as an official bicycle route and add it to the list of creating good solutions to help further improve this area.

- You will probably hear in the coming months about other projects in this area and we are concerned about rumors of the idea of additional parking.

- We are very concerned about valet parking on Market Street, more parking in this well dense area.

- We are thrilled that there is positive planning and great thinking about great public spaces.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Lee, Moore, and Olague

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

RESOLUTION: 17308

13. (Tape IIA; IIB) (D. SIDER (415) 558-6697)

DISCUSSION OF THE MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT - Review and comment on the recently adopted citywide regulatory framework for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (MCD's). By request of the Commission, staff from the Planning and Health Departments will provide general information and be available for questions.

Preliminary Recommendation: No action required.

SPEAKERS

Ken Zato, Manager MCD Program for the Health Department

- The Health Department's primary role is to issue the permit to operate.

- We conduct a minimum of two inspections per year. We respond to public complaints and issue notices of violation, suspend and revoke permits to operate.

- In December of 2005, we met with all the City's agencies and came up with a plan to make a presentation to the applicants on how to get a permit.

- It is a complex problem and therefore we had a workshop on January, 2006. It was open to the public with a good turn-out.

- We put a website for the public and applicant to get more information, applications and forms on how to obtain a permit from the Health Department.

- We have worked with the City's Attorney Office. Recently we've had meetings with the Building Department because of violation notices about odor, and we've had meetings from the clubs.

- We met with six of the seven applicants that applied for a permit to operate.

- The first step is the application process with a fee of $6,091. This is a non-refundable fee. We have made referrals to City Planning, Fire, Police and Building Departments.

- After all the City's agencies have approved, we will have a Health Department hearing within 45 days of the City Planning hearing.

- 10 days prior to the Health Department hearing, the applicant shall post the notice for the public.

- At the time of the Health Department hearing, we have to have the approval from all agencies.

- Before giving the final permit, we can give a provisional permit to start construction to comply with building codes, handicap accessibility, lighting, etc.

- We ensure that all City agencies' code requirements are complied with before issuing the final permit.

Shawna, Director of Sanctuary Collective

- I have come up here to open lines of communication to eliminate roadblocks coming up.

- We have to work out the fine print of the implementation of this new legislation.

- The goal of this is to provide equal safe access to 11,000 plus patients in San Francisco.

- I want to highlight a few of the pertinent concerns that came up over the last year.

- The first one is ADA and the need for reasonable ADA provisions.

- I believe this will be addressed in upcoming trailing legislation. However, the grandfather collectives who are serving the patients for years without issuing complaints, and with access mobility bound patients should not be taken to the level of a new building.

- The second issue that is often raised in the patient community is that we would like and feel that these operators can and should sign on to a non-profiting statement.

- That statement then could be signed off in a compassion program as being a condition of the permitting process.

- Many of the problems that come up in the neighborhoods are well intended but not thought out well in terms of the compassion program.

Cathy Smith, Director of Hope Net on 9th Street

- There are many different ideas and we all have different information.

- The cannabis community that is here tonight has an extraordinary amount of information we would love to give to you.

- We want to meet with you one on one and share thoughts.

- You should all read proposition 215 and it would answer a lot of your questions.

- Also, SB 420 is another legislation paper written by Mr. Leno that would help you understand a lot about the laws and what we are allowed to do and are not allowed to do.

- I personally think that each district should have their own MCD so no one would have to go very far to get what they need.

Johnny Knoll, Director of Sanctuary Dispensaries

- A lot of good concerns were brought up when you were having your discussion about this legislation. Different people have different views because of social history.

- I want to caution you that being too discriminating against dispensaries and not issuing many permits will cause the problems of parking and traffic to get worse.

- Consider making sure to have as many dispensaries open as possible.

- This would cause dispensaries to operate along the guidelines you would like to see rather than large epicenters of cannabis distribution.

Kevin Reed, Green Cross

- A year ago, there were 36 dispensaries in the city. Today there are 30 and only 7 have applied.

- I think that the City's wishes of making there be fewer dispensaries is going to happen by just implementing the new regulations.

- We need to give the regulations a chance to see if they work. Each dispensary operates differently.

- You need to meet these places [people]. It is hard to make these decisions when you do not know exactly what is happening.

Michael

- Not for profit is not for excessive profit. There are no written prescriptions but only written recommendation. There are limits and controls on these dispensaries.

- I would like to know, on my behalf and the behalf of other dispensaries, if there is anything we can do to help provide the staff or the Commission or other agencies with information that would make this process easier for the applicant's?

- In my dealings with it, nobody really understands what is going on in dropping off the permits.

Martin

- We are finding it extremely difficult to find areas in the green zone.

- Landlords and property owners are willing to rent but not tied to the green zone.

- We are one of the few dispensaries to promote positive effects of vaporization.

- If more dispensaries use vaporizers, it would alleviate second hand smoke and smell issues.

- There is an aspect to this permit process that lacks communication between the applicant and the various offices that are involved.

- Let us know how we can help in terms of information on how we have been operating for many years.

ACTION: Discussion only. No action required

14. 2006.0650D (Tape IIB; IIIA) (K.CONNER: (415) 575-6914)

285 ASHTON AVENUE – west side between Pico Street and Head Street; Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 6923 – Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2006.02.27.5445, proposing construction of a horizontal addition to the rear of the subject dwelling and a vertical extension that involves raising the structure approximately three feet, in a 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 as submitted.

SPEAKERS:

Stephen Feiner, Discretionary Review Requestor

- I live at 295 Ashton Avenue with my wife and three children. We live next door to the property.

- My neighbor, who lives behind me, sent a letter supporting my side.

- The Planning Department rules state that projects of this size require notification at a meeting at the start of the process. We were not notified.

- We were contacted after the project was submitted to the Department. We called the contact number and left messages and sent faxes and nobody contacted us.

- We were contacted after we filed a request for DR.

- The City Planner stated that the owner's representative said they had a meeting with neighbors and no objections were made.

- We wanted to meet with these people and come up with a compromise.

- In San Francisco, we are seeing a trend towards preserving original architecture by excavation in the basement to gain desired ceiling heights.

- We would like to have the Ingleside Terrace Neighborhood designated as a residential character district.

- My home was built in 1950. Five neighbors in the immediate area have concerns that have not been addressed.

- The minimum ceiling height in the building code is 7 feet, 6 inches. They do not have to have a 9 foot ceiling to get livable space.

- Structural soil engineer does not mention any problems that I would have if I do an excavation.

- We believe this home has architecture and historic significance and it should be brought to the Landmark Board.

- I spoke to a Landmark Board member regarding this project and he believes that this type of project should be brought before the Landmark Board.

Ahmad Larizadeth, Project Sponsor

- It is only a 15 foot extension and we are matching with the existing next door neighbor.

- It is behind the existing garage and there is not much change as far as square footage. The total square footage is 966 sq. ft.

- This is a very moderate and small extension.

- A minimum requirement for ceiling height is 7-feet and 6-inches. Since this property is sitting below the grade in order to have the habitable space, we have to raise the building only 3-feet.

- This property is on the flood zone. Therefore, there is a need to raise this building.

- We had a meeting with the neighborhood association and I have two letters in support of this project.

Mark, Designer

- Basically to address the concerns of flooding, the drainage floods when it rains. It goes over to the property and into the backyard.

- The problem with excavating 3 feet is that the existing finished floor is already below grade.

- We are going to shave the grade to get it where it is. Going another 3 feet would make the windows 6 feet high above the finished floor. It would make a big egress problem for us.

- Currently, this is a 2 bedroom house and we put the majority of the bedrooms for the additional lower level. It would be a very difficult challenge going another 3 feet.

- The neighborhood association contacted us. They were very interested and asked for drawings and it was used to explain the project at the meeting on April 20.

- At that time, they were all excited and supported of the project.

- We are maintaining the property with a modest addition trying to make it sensitive to the neighborhood.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved the project as submitted

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

ABSENT: Alexander

15. 2006.0833D (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

1 Palo Alto Drive (aka 1 Avanzada aka 250 Palo Alto) - Assessor's Block 2724 Lot 003 - Mandatory Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application Nos. 2006 0621 4679 for replacement of four existing small receive-only antennas and the addition a fifth such antenna to the fifth level of Sutro Tower and, 2006 0621 4681 for the addition of four receive-only antennas to the roof of the existing control building at the SUTRO TOWER Broadcast facility. This project lies within the RH-1, Residential House, One Family District and within a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and Approve with Conditions.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to November 2, 2006.

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

ABSENT: Alexander

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))

SPEAKERS

Kevin Reed, Green Cross

- I heard questions asked by the Commission about cannabis and I want to help clarify.

- I believe that out of 30 we have 24 left that are within a thousand feet of a school. That is going to create neighborhood opposition.

- The usage of medical marijuana from patients is not always obvious. I do not look sick and have serious back problems and choose not to take pain medicine.

- Many people do not look sick but they need the medical marijuana.

- There are ideas that these clubs are going to create a bad situation and we have not had a regulated environment yet to see if they would work.

Rachel, Green Cross

- It was great to hear the kind of questions you had for the Health Department.

- The map you saw with the green zone area is an optimistic map. It shows the places that were given the proximity restrictions.

- It does not say that some of the green areas are BART stations, parking lots, Safeway stores and empty lots. That is what we found.

- The situation is even worse than what you see. If you keep caving into it, we will not have any medical cannabis dispensaries by July, 2007.

Adjournment: 6:46 p.m.

THESE MINUTES WERE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, August 2, 2007.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Olague, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Antonini

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 10:00:24 PM