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

June 5, 2008 - Special

June 5, 2008 Special



Special Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, June 5, 2008

6:00 PM

Special Meeting




STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: John Rahaim – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Ken Rich, Sarah Dennis, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.


(Tapes IA; IB; IIA; IIB; IIIA)

1. 2004.0160EMTUZUU (K. RIch: (415) 558-6345)

Eastern Neighborhoods PROGRAM - This is the second of a series of public workshops at which the Planning Commission will consider the entire Eastern Neighborhoods Program and direct staff on any modifications that should be made to the proposals. At the end of the hearing series, the Commission will be requested to certify the Environmental Impact Report and take a number of additional actions to approve the Eastern Neighborhoods Program, which are described below.

Members of the public may review a copy of the proposals at the San Francisco Planning Department office at 1650 Mission Street 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, at the Public Library (the Main Library 100 Larkin St., the Mission branch library, 300 Bartlett St., and the Potrero branch library, 20th Street). An electronic copy of the proposed amendments and actions is available at Printed copies at full printing cost and CD-ROM copies at no charge are available from the Department, by contacting (415) 575-9097 or

Proposed Topics for Planning Commission Hearings

A list of proposed topics for each of the workshops is available on the Department's website at These topics may be changed at the direction of the Commission. Be advised that due to the nature of the public hearings, the Commission may continue any particular hearing item and/or may not hear all items at the hearing. To confirm the final Commission Hearing schedule, on the week of the hearing please visit: or call Eastern Neighborhoods Information line at 575-9097.

Hearing #2 – June 5th, 2008 6:00 pm (Commission workshop & public comment)

Staff will lead a discussion with the Commission on the following aspects of the four Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans: Staff will lead a discussion with the Commission on the following aspects of the four Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans: housing in the Eastern Neighborhods, including zoning proposals and affordable housing proposals; strategies for developing and funding neighborhood improvements in the four neighborhoods, including impact fees and other funding sources; the plans' overall implementation proposal to balance costs and revenues; and other related topics. At this hearing, Planning Department staff will present information and the Planning Commission will hear public comment on the subjects discussed at the hearing. The Planning Commission also may entertain discussion of any topics related to the Eastern Neighborhoods program.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational Presentation and Public Comment; No Commission Action requested at the June 5th hearing.

The Planning Commission will hold a series of public hearings beginning on May 15, 2008 to consider Case No. 2004.0160EMTUZUU, and would include adopting a Motion to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report and adopt CEQA Findings and consider resolutions to approve amendments to the San Francisco General Plan, Planning Code and Zoning Map and resolutions to approve Historic Resources Interim Procedures and Public Benefits Program and Monitoring Procedures related to the four Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans – the Mission, Showplace Square/Potrero Hill, Central Waterfront and East SoMa Area Plans. Hearings are currently scheduled for May 15, 2008, May 22, 2008 (continued to June 12th), June 5, 2008, June 12, 2008 and June 19 2008. The Commission will consider and receive public comment on specific aspects of the Plans and proposed amendments at each hearing. The series of hearings will culminate in a public hearing to consider adoption actions on or after June 19, 2008.

The project encompasses a significant proportion of the San Francisco land area in the southeast quadrant of the City, encompassing:

East SoMa (the eastern portion of the South of Market district), bounded generally by Folsom Street on the northwest, the Rincon Hill Plan area (essentially, Second Street) on the east, Townsend Street on the south, and Fourth Street on the west, with an extension to the northwest bounded by Harrison, Seventh, Mission, Sixth (both sides), Natoma, Fifth, and Folsom Streets;

the Mission, bounded by 13th and Division Streets on the north, Potrero Avenue on the east, César Chávez Street on the south, and Guerrero Street on the west; the Showplace Square/Potrero Hill district, generally bounded by Bryant Street and 10th Street on the northwest, Seventh Street on the northeast, Interstate Highway 280 (I-280) on the east, 25th and 26th Streets on the south, and Potrero Avenue on the west; and the Central Waterfront, bounded by Mariposa Street on the north, San Francisco Bay on the east, Islais Creek on the south, and I-280 on the west.

The project Areas are comprised of the entirety or portions of 437 Assessor's Blocks. Specifically, on or after June 19, 2008, the Commission will consider the following actions:

Case 2004.0160E – Certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report and adoption of CEQA Findings on the Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans.

Case 2004.0160M - Adopt General Plan amendments that would, 1) add to the General Plan four new area plans (the  Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans ), which include the Mission, East SoMa, Showplace Square/Potrero Hill and Central Waterfront Area Plans; and 2) also make related amendments to the following portions of the existing General Plan: the Commerce and Industry Element, Recreation Element, Open Space Element, the South of Market Area Plan, the Central Waterfront Area Plan, the Northeastern Waterfront Area Plan, and the Land Use Index;

Case 2004.0160T - Adopt Planning Code text amendments that would revise Planning Code controls, including, but not limited to controls for land use, height and bulk, building design, density, open space, and parking; establish 13 new zoning districts; amend the South Park District; RTO District, NCT Districts, and Downtown Residential Districts; and make related revisions to the Planning Code necessary to implement the General Plan as proposed to be amended and make related Planning Code Amendments pursuant to the Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans.

Case 2004.0160Z - Adopt Zoning Map amendments that would revise the Zoning Maps of the City and County of San Francisco. Proposed Planning Code map amendments would a) update height and bulk districts, b) apply the RTO District and PDR-2 Districts in the Eastern Neighborhoods, and c) establish 13 new zoning districts.

Case 2004.0160U – Adopt Interim Historic Preservation procedures that would establish interim procedures for additional review of proposed changes to or demolition of historic or potentially historic resources in the Eastern Neighborhoods, pending completion of the ongoing historic resource surveys.

Case 2004.0160UU - Adopt Monitoring and Review Procedures in order to review development activity and progress towards the Eastern Neighborhoods implementation measures.


Jon Lau, Supervisor Maxwell's Office

- My appearance before you tonight is part of an approach that we revised in consultation with the Department leadership and members of the Committee with the intent to work parallel to some degree.

- There is a lot of material to review and to the degree that we can do that in coordination with the Commission and the Land Use Committee with the intent to have an open and clear communication.

- I am here, as I will be in future hearings, to help facilitate communication between the two bodies.

Doug Shoemaker, Mayor's Office of Housing

- We just want to start at the most basic possible level: what would be our goals?

- They are the goals that are reflective in all our housing documents: supportive housing, performance homes for individuals and families, affordable rental housing for seniors, affordable family housing for very low income households, first time home buyers to low, moderate, and middle income household, and market rate housing. The core of the program is what we typically do.

- We are trying to increase the supply of land available for housing. That is the one basic goal for the plan.

- The other piece that gets a lot of attention is the public funding that we are prepared to put in the projects.

- The prioritization of affordable housing is one of the principal public benefits of the rezoning.

Kate Sofis/David Malts, North East Mission Residents Association

- We are here to support the work that has been done looking at the Easter Neighborhoods, specifically the northeast Mission, which we define as streets between Division, 24th, Potrero and South Van Ness.

- The main theme that we want to get across is that we are totally in support of continuing to have strong production distribution type businesses.

- We are concerned about the zone for exclusive PDR not permitting residential. We are asking to continue supporting the kinds of positive developments in our community that comes from a mixture of some residential mixed in with PDR.

- The 16th Street corridor that becomes an access of transit is a great place that we need to actually start thinking about how to go to a truly sustainable living urban environment. We are for pedestrian and bicycle transit.

- We have two ideas to propose for your contemplation: make our whole neighborhood UMU and have some sort of controlled residential in with PDR.

Sarah Karlinsky, Housing Action Coalition

- The two central goals of the rezoning on each of the area plans are: preserve PDR buildings and lands, and to provide a significant amount of housing affordable to low, moderate and meddle income families.

- There is a third goal and I am really hoping that we can start taking this into account when we are thinking about this rezoning, and that is the environmental goal of directing growth into areas that are best served by transit in order to reduce global climate change.

Dan Murphy, Housing Action Coalition

- We have identified certain guidance principles that really inform our recommendations to the City: (a) economic feasibility: we suggest that the programs be simple and flexible in their structure including a wide range of housing, and (b) CM zoned lands are not getting any benefit from the up zoning.

- Concerned that policy makers may be tempted to interject reasonable thinking in response to policy objectives into what is a very thoughtful, fact based analysis.

Jim Salinas Sr.

- Spoke in support of the middle income housing option put forward by the department in the urban mixed use zone because it is an important part of the City's affordable housing strategy.

Steve Aiello, Housing Action Coalition

- There are many things that we like in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. It is well balanced. We are happy with it.

- Consider the following: eliminate RT0 district softcap, and include more UMU zoning along 16th Street between Franklin Square and Potrero Center.

Calvin Welch, Council of Community Housing Organization

- Let me first say that the definition in the Housing Residence Element for the City and County of San Francisco regarding affordable housing has a technical definition and it is that those units able to be afforded by households earning 120% of median income or below. That is the population that I am talking about in my remarks.

- It has been my experience that people earning more than 120% needs less assistance because they do have far more choices than people earning 120% of median income or below.

- If we are going to devote public time and energy to solving housing problems, we should start with that population. This plan would produce only 29% affordability.

- It does not seem that we need special plans to produce market rate housing in San Francisco at a rate twice our stated need.

- The challenge is producing housing that is able to be afforded by people who can not pay market rate. We have not done a good job.

- This plan is negligent of an analysis on how we might use acquisition rehabilitation to produce those needed units. We can do better in the Eastern Neighborhoods than what staff has proposed.

- Are we are dramatically increasing market rate housing for our work force? No. We are not creating new jobs. We are going to end up with fewer jobs in 2025 than we have now.

- What is the public policy that we are pursuing with this plan? When did it become the priority of this Commission to maximize market rate housing production? We are missing targets/opportunities for affordability in this plan.

Nick Pagaoulatos

- One of the keys to meet our affordable housing goals is to identify sites that are both new and affordable development as well as for acquisition and rehabilitation of existing rent controlled housing.

- Beyond the number of units, a thoughtful plan should concern us all with the creation of, but also the location of these units.

- If the City is truly interested in deeply affordable housing and retaining the character of our communities, this is what we propose for NC corridors and RTO zone:

- Fund affordable housing in neighborhood stabilization funds to acquire and rehabilitate small sites along these corridors for most permanent affordability through the creation of limited equity models such as land trusts, and to preserve affordable rental housing by development of a micro site housing policy to protect, preserve, and purchase units under threat of TIC conversion.

Dianne Wu

- The fees for affordable housing are going to be very low - $1 million dollars per year, which is insufficient for the goal of constructing affordable housing.

- I would like to hear alternative models of the nexus fees and the potential revenues for all the infrastructure improvements.

Julie Leadbetter

- SROs [Single Room Occupancy] are 9% of the housing stock in San Francisco, with nearly 2,000 units in the Mission. People currently [living] in an SRO falls between 0% – 20% AMI [Annual Median Income] which is extremely low, with substandard living conditions.

- The plan, as proposed, says that it aims to recognize and promote SROs as an affordable housing resource. But the market rate SROs proposed to be added will serve individuals at 120% of median income and beyond that.

Jaime Guerrero

- SRO residents agree with the resident association that PDR zoning is unsafe for them along 16th Street.

- One of the real intentions behind PDR protection is not really about industries and jobs, it is about preservation of land values.

Eric Quezada, Mission Anti-displacement Coalition

- What is being proposed is too modest for this great opportunity. Staff should go back and give more options in terms of how much further we can go in terms of reaching our goals for deeper affordability.

Jeffrey Leibovitz

- As you go forward, we need to focus on pedestrian and friendly environment for everyone. Work on open spaces at the same time you are working the developments.

Guadalupe Arreola, St. Peter's Housing Committee

- The strategies that are being proposed are not enough to breach the gap of who is living in San Francisco currently and who can afford to rent and buy in the City.

Katie O'Brien

- The Hosing Action Coalition wants to see a vibrant City with open space, housing at all of its affordability levels, and better transit.

- It is imperative that we use the local resources wisely and make sure that the fees are feasible.

Tim Colen, San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

- We support The Planning staff position because they made difficult choices balancing many competitive voices and have largely gotten it right in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. The affordability strategy must stand as it is.

Hershey Hirschkop

- I am here to add my voice in calling for an increase in the number for affordable and supported housing units.

Jaime Trejo, Mission Anti-displacement Coalition

- We oppose the height increase in the Mission Street NCT as a right without an increase in the affordability requirement.

Jazmin Barrera, St. Peter's Housing Committee

- Spoke about the need for affordable rental housing in the Eastern Neighborhoods, particularly in the Mission. Families can not afford to live there any more because the housing available is not affordable or family friendly.

Meredyth Skemp, San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

- We believe it is crucial to direct our growth and development along transit corridors.

- We feel that the affordable housing proposed is very aggressive and unprecedented.

Barry Shotts, San Francisco Chamber

- Concerned that the limits of feasibility are truly being tested by the level of impact fees and affordable requirements.

Menka Sethi

- We support the removal of Conditional Use Permits for housing projects that are made possible by the current Eastern Neighborhoods Plan that allows housing as an as-of-right use in most zones.

Mark Dionahice

- We urge acceptance of the plan because developers are waiting to build. All we really need is a clear map to tell which way to go.

Kepa Askenasy, Neighborhood Coalition to Save Potrero

- We would like to have the overlay area removed in its entirety and go back to the community plan for the Potrero to emphasize the current uses and also to look at some alternate sites to accommodate students and artists housing.

Peter Cohen

- The RTO is mapping existing residential neighborhoods. This is not raw industrial land or major conversion. You have got to be careful about how you set a density cap.

- The unit mix seems to be very modest having 40% of units be 2-bedrooms or larger.

- The public benefit is a commitment not just from the developers but from the City on how it is going to be able to help and make sure these things happen.

Jazzie Collins, South of Market Community Action Network

- We would like to see housing for seniors with services; family housing with 2-bedrooms or more; more low income housing for transition; rehabilitation of existing structures; permanent transition housing with no set time limits; and transitional housing for youngsters coming out of the foster care system.

Angelica Cabande, South of Market Community Action Network

- A lot of the aspects presented are theories and how much is reality? Many families are not able to pay for that kind of housing.

Chris Durazo

- The issues are heard over and over again and have not been addressed. We need the housing for the workforce in San Francisco.

Lizbeth Calleros

- There are about 2,000 people living in SROs in the Mission. Most of these people would be displaced because they are not able to afford rent.

- Take into consideration all of this when speaking of constructing affordable housing in the UMU.

Fred Snyder

- I feel that we overlooked the infrastructure because I know in my neighborhood there are a few sewers that are falling apart.

- In the PDR districts, is housing going to not be permitted? Will there be no conditional use for affordable housing?

Dennis Wagner, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative

- We were just struck when we were made aware that our block has been re-designated as PDR-1 from its previous light industrial NC3 use.

- We provide truly affordable organic vegetarian food and look forward to keep providing that service with the possibility of expansion.

Lou Urbano

- In this proposa, Planning allows larger developers a great array of return than smaller developers.

Geary Gee

- The building efficiency in the proposed zoning will eventually drop substantially as additions are added to accommodate higher density, which means less sellable square footage adding less value to the proposed zoning.

Joe Boss

- It is really important to know what the bus routes are going to be, unless we want to encourage automobiles. You need to locate more parking garages if Muni is not going to be serving Potrero Hill.

Jim Meko, South of Market

- I hope that somewhere in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan is a goal to preserve and enhance the existing neighborhood fabric.

Sue Hestor

- The RTO straddles the transit line in the east/west part of the Mission. The RTO should not be extended.

- We need to expand the possibilities of retail at the ground floor level and PDR. Maybe we should have more retail on 16th Street.

Phillip Lesser

- 16th Street should be NCT and the rest of north of Mission should be UMU.

Grace Shanahanan

- A builder has to be assured with a certain level of certainty that the fees will not change during the process. Staff stated in their report that fees could change annually.

Richie Hart

- We feel that the theory of a return on net sales is not acceptable because it allows the larger projects a higher profit margin -- 15.4% for small developers and 18.4% for larger developers.

- The Board of Supervisors has approved many policies with the goal of helping local small retailers.

Noreen Barn

- The report is very good but there is one very important element that is still very vague. How, when and what fees can be changed?

- Small builders depend on hard fact rules in order to plan for all phases of building.


- It is absolutely imperative to start streamlining this and set an amount that is kept that way for fairness to the buyer and the seller of the properties.


- During the presentation we heard a lot said that they are guessing on situations. As developers, we don't have the luxury to guess what would happen because there is too much to invest in a project.

John O'Connell

- The rate of return on sales is unacceptable for small developers.

- The feasible study shows that large developers are probably able to sell with a 4% commission while small developers have to go out and hire a real estate company, pay 6% in sale commissions and 1% transit tax. That needs to be addressed in the study.

Angus McCarthy

- We are trying to make sure that when you come to a conclusion on this plan you consider small developers and the impact fees that might put us out of play.


- As builders, we play by the rules and often those rules have changed. We need a mechanism to provide certainty.

- The rate of return is unacceptable allowing only a 15.4% return when the guys downtown are getting a 22.2% return.

ACTION: No Action is required of the Commission Committee

Adjournment: 11:02 P.M.



ACTION: Approved

AYES: Olague, Miguel, Antonini, Borden, Lee, Moore and 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 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: 11/23/2009 12:06:34 PM