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

June 19, 2008 - Special

June 19, 2008 Special



Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, June 19, 2008

3:30 PM

Special Meeting




STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: John Rahaim – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Ken Rich, Steve Wertheim, Dan Sider, Jon Swae, Bill Wycko, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.


Items 1, 2, and 3 were called and heard together

1. (Tapes IA; IB; IIA; IIB; IIIA) (K. RIch (415) 558-6345)

EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS COMMUNITY STABILIZATION FEE AND PDR REPLACEMENT PROGRAM (BOARD OF SUPERVISORS FILE NUMBER 080777) - Informational presentation on an ordinance introduced at the Board of Supervisors. This ordinance would amend the Planning Code to add Sections 319A et seq. to create a community stabilization fund and PDR replacement fund and impose fees on specified new developments in the Eastern Neighborhoods, as defined herein; make a declaration of policy concerning pending residential development projects in the Eastern Neighborhoods that are compliant with the current Planning Code; and make environmental findings and findings of consistency with the General Plan and priority policies of Planning Code Section 101.1.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational Presentation; No Commission Action requested


Tony Kelly, Potrero Hill Boosters

- Instead of having a lot of Potrero residents repeating the same thing, we are going to show you how we feel and how we got here, what the stage of the pipeline presentation is, and what the pipeline proposal should be.

- We have a history of negligent Eastern Neighborhoods brought up by planning policies that consistently ignores neighborhoods' needs.

- Just last year, staff's recommendations were that developers had certainty since February 2004 that fees were on their way and staff was recommending for either no grandfathering dates for pipeline projects or a date of February 12, 2004 or earlier.

- There is a lot of pressure from the developers and you do not have to match their expectations of their speculations.


- From hearing from members of the community, we feel that the current plan really operates from a deficit model to wanting to attract developers.

- Our vision is to help the plan become the kind of plan that honors neighborhoods, residents and local businesses who have made those places desirable.

- From 1999 to 2007, we have under produced on every single category of affordable housing below the 120% level and we have over produced to almost twice the amount of units that we thought that we need above the market rate.

- We would like to argue for the grandfather date of February 12, 2004, to be a rational date and not February, 2007. Our desire date would be February 2001.

Jeffrey Leibovitz

- Endorsed everything that Kelly Tony said and hoping that the Commission takes it into consideration seriously.

Fred Snyder

- Concerned that in the neighborhood, currently large employments, over 20 employees, is closed due to the health care requirements and we are heading into a bad situation to even back it up with this plan.

Gordon Crespo

- Argued to make a slight modification to allow conditional use approvals for grandfathering in our district, 16th and Deharo Streets.

Dick Millet

- Reiterated Kelly's Tony remarks on the pipeline projects.

- Requested to take a good look at the Showplace Square zoning boundaries because there is only one property zoned UMU in the middle of it allowing housing.

Eric Tao

- There are already many existing fees being paid by the developers that would benefit the community.

- To look at the community impact fee as the only source of benefit to the neighborhood, it would be not looking at the entire picture.

Colleen Colter

- Supported the grandfathering provision and requested that this Commission adopt the date that staff is recommending.

Greg Fulford

- It is imperative that the Commission adopts the grandfathering recommendations of staff to prevent small builders to leave the City.

Michael Leavitt

- People living and doing business in the City require and deserve a degree of regulatory certainty in order to have the information available to make critical decisions that we all make to foster a vibrant business community and City.

Jim Meko, Western SoMa Citizens Taskforce

- I understand the need for interim policy for PDR loss and replacement and in terms of the Eastern Neighborhoods I trust that the policies reflect the general direction of the proposed zoning.

- In terms of Western SoMa, Planning staff had to go back to resolution 16202 for some guidance but really it does not reflect reality and we had nothing to replace it with.

- Next Wednesday we are going to be voting to release our draft community plan. It is definitely better.

Philip Lesser

- We are against the band on formula retail on Mission Street and Valencia Street. A lot of PDRs are small shops and many of them are vacant now.

- I ask that you segregate the decision on the pipeline projects from the rest of the Eastern Neighborhoods decision.

Suzanne Greg

- Expressed support for developers present at the hearing and asked to consider the financial hardships to the developers waiting for a long time for this process because even construction cost have gone up.

Kevin Kropp

- The myth that all developers are super rich needs to be taken off the equation here because many are putting their lives on the line every time they go for a project.

Yuham Kang

- Most developers in San Francisco are small and medium size companies making a living and I am here in support of them and hoping that you see them the same way we do.

Susan McCarthy

- It is important that the Commission adopt the grandfathering recommendation and move the pipeline along to ensure that the source of funding continues to exist for investments in the City.

Jaime Trejo, MAC

- Remember that the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan is really about increasing affordable housing, stabilizing PDR and neighborhoods.

Bill Drypolcher

- We just ask for certainty and not speculations.

- Fairness has to be displayed and reflected in the grandfather date that is going to be confirmed. January 19, 2007 is very representative.

David Sternberg

- There needs to be certainty and it is important that all be decided specifically on very specific districts so there is certainty when somebody comes in with their project.

Josh Nasvick

- Urged the Commission to adopt the grandfathering provision to the Eastern Neighborhood fees effective August 30, 2007.

Brett Gladstone

- Advocated for the August 30, 2007 as a date for grandfathering because that was the date when the Commission started discussing to impose exactions for projects.

Frank Nolan

- Suggested August 30, 2007 as the grandfathering date because on that date the Planning Commission voted and approved the binding resolution that imposed higher exactions for projects moving forward.

Jim Abrams

- Supported the grandfathering policy presented by the Planning Department and requested to extend the policy to include the most projects possible like the ones requesting some type of up zoning.

Shawn McCarty

- The project at 81 Brannan, 771 housing units, has had significant down zoning over the last eight years and the affordable housing breaks it. It would not work.

Debra Walker

- Should the Commission determine that grandfathering does make sense, February 12, 2004 may be a date for consideration because it is the date that resolution 16727 makes the developers aware that new permanent zoning controls were coming as part of this planning process.

Lauren Ladd

- Shared her experience of having a project on the process for eight years.

- Urged the Commission to be objective, clear and concise in establishing planning criteria.

Jean Snyder

- To make an informed decision, The Planning Commission needs basic information like what PDR has been coming to the Eastern Neighborhoods, what businesses become legally non-conforming, how much vacancies exist in proposed PDR blocks?


- We support the grandfathering date that staff proposed and we want to make sure that our project at 1240 Minnesota Street be grandfathered in.

Chris Durazo

- Urged the Commission to have the grandfathering date beyond February 2004.

- The implementation is not good enough because the way it is written is not detailed and puts aside a lot of the hard issues.

Scott Kiper

- We need to build houses that we can afford. Keep that in mind when imposing exactions.

- Supported February 12, 2004 as the date for grandfathering.

[No name stated]

- We understand that there have to be fees paid but the fact is that we submitted our plans conforming to the law.

Roger Ryan

- For this Eastern Neighborhood plan to move forward with credibility is for the Planning Commission to approve a grandfather clause for projects already in the pipeline.

- San Francisco needs more housing.

Stephen Mcelroy

- Supported the date of August 30, 2007 for the grandfathering clause.

Seamiss Carring

- Asked to think about all the workers waiting for these projects to move forward.

- Supported the date of August 30, 2007.

Jeff Rocca

- We absolutely need certainty in the process and the date that we found out about the $10 exaction was August 30, 2007.

Louie Ravano

- Supported August 30, 2007 for grandfathering clause because that was the date that Planning Commission voted and approved a binding resolution that imposed higher exactions on projects moving forward.

Charles Bradinger

- All these developers have been holding these lots for 4 or 5 years paying property taxes. Construction costs are going up.

- Imposing more fees, it would create very difficult hardships.

Joe Cassidy

- It seems that there are a lot of anti-small builder feelings at these meetings.

- We are part of the City; living and working in the City.

Mark Brenan

- As for the grandfathering, this Commission voted to impose higher expectations for projects moving forward as of August 30, 2007.

- All these fees are making it too expensive to build.

Jim Keith

- What everyone needs in this process is certainty and fairness and this Commission has done a good job in recognizing that and always trying to weigh the balances.

- August 30, 2007 was the date that the fees were clear, $10.

Jim Kavanagh

- Certainty and fairness is the reason why most of the people are here.

- This Commission should be encouraging small builders to stay and do business in San Francisco and imposing new policies retroactively, it would create a great hardship.

Kieran Buckley

- I think it is only fair to ask to play by the rules.

- These developers have paid all other fees and property taxes for many years.

Dan Kerley

- Supported August 30, 2007 as the grandfathering date because these developers followed the process and adding more fees would create hardship for their families.

John Kerley

- Going back to the 1980's in the Downtown Plan, there was always included a grandfather clause.

- August 30, 2007 is the date you should take.

Maurice Casey

- It seems to be unjust to impose more fees on developers while they have waited for 5 to 8 years to build.

Ger O'keeffe

- Without some level of predictability and certainty of Planning Code implementation, small builder projects are at risk of becoming financially unfeasible by the time it gets the entitlement.

- Supported staff's recommendation of August 30, 2007 to grandfather pending code compliant projects.

Paul O'Driscoll

- I strongly urge you to release projects that are allowable under grandfathering provision and allow us to get back to what we do best, building affordable homes very much needed in San Francisco.

Fergus O'Sullivan

- The building industry really needs to get going and start working.


- We support what is happening but we need the grandfathering because we have invested our savings on these projects.

Grace Shanahan

- Resolution 16727 does not mention anything about impact fees.

- Supported August 30, 2007 as the date for grandfathering because it was the date that the Planning Commission voted and approved a binding resolution that imposed higher exactions for projects moving forward.

Jim Taskett

- Requested to consider increasing height limits along 17th Street to allow more PDR spaces and housing.


- Supported August 30, 2007 as the grandfathering date for pipeline projects.

Sue Hestor

- Resolution 16727 and staff's report on May 31, 2007 explains what was happening at that hearing and there was no impact fees discussion because there was a need for a nexus study.

- Many developers have built in the City without giving anything to the community. This is their chance.

- We are losing low income families for the lack of affordable housing. We need those fees.

Eric Quezada

- There are broader interests and needs of the community that also needs to be addressed, not only the developer's interest.

- This is an opportunity to look at and make some policy decisions.

- The 2004 is a compromise date because we started this process much earlier than that.

Nick Pagaulatos

- Asking for rules? One of the rules is that the rules are changing and that has been in the process for a long time.

- If we are going to talk about fairness and justice, let us do it from the perspective of our communities who are really the ones going to be impacted by this process.

Noreen Barn

- I support grandfathering for all pending projects because they were, at the time of submission and now, code compliant and are not speculating on the rezoning process.

- Supported the August 30, 2007 as the grandfathering date.

Greg D'Martini

- The prospects of developing the house where I grew up seem to be impossible.

- I urge you to make a decision and move things forward.


- Requested a clear and definitive criteria for grandfathering projects for which applications where filed prior to ruling on the Eastern Neighborhoods EIR.

- Supported the August 30, 2007 as a grandfathering date.

[No name stated]

- The ABAG report states that San Francisco needs to produce 12,315 additional units of market rate housing to meet the demands.

- Supported August 30, 2007 as the grandfathering date.


- The non-binding Maxwell resolution is being used to substantiate January 19 as the grandfathering date and in which a line of that resolution states that it would affect pending projects.

- The resolution was meant to find alternative strategies to help raise the levels of affordability.

[No name stated]

- Urged the Commission to consider places like the Rainbow store that does not own the property, and to allow relocation within the area if the landlord demands higher rents.

- I would like to know where the implementing ordinance is going to be amended and ask you to consider allowing enough time for public review.

John O'Connell

- The Commission voted and adopted a resolution about the exactions on August 30, 2007, resolution 17481.

Joe Bass

- The need for affordable grandfathering use is something the Commission needs to consider.

- The 1200 block of Minnesota and Indiana is the perfect situation where you can apply 24 feet of PDR below and housing above.


- Opposed to the rezoning of the Mission District because every time that the City rezones, many people are displaced.

- All of this should have community input.

ACTION: No action is required of the Commission. Informational Only

2. (K. RIch/b. wycko: (415) 558-6345/575-9048)

Interim PDR Loss and Replacement Policy - Review of an interim policy regarding new and replacement PDR (production, distribution, and repair) space under CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) for projects throughout the Eastern Neighborhoods and related areas. Continued from May 15, 2008.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational Presentation; No Commission Action requested

SPEAKER(S): Same as those listed on item 1

ACTION: No action is required of the Commission. Informational Only

3. 2004.0160EMTUZUU (K. RIch (415) 558-6345)

Eastern Neighborhoods PROGRAM

Hearing #4 – June 19, 2008 – (Commission workshop & public comment)

Staff will lead a discussion with the Commission on the following aspects of the four Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans: Implementation of the plans, including the zoning map, zoning controls, other implementation measures taken by the Planning Department and other City agencies, and the measures taken to ensure that the plans are implemented. At this hearing, Planning Department staff will present information and the Planning Commission will hear public comment on the subjects discussed at the hearing.

SPEAKER(S): Same as those listed on item 1

ACTION: No action is required of the Commission. Informational Only

Hearing #5 - June 19, 2008 - (Commission workshop & public comment)

Staff will lead a discussion with the Commission on the following aspects of the four Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans: policies for addressing projects in the Eastern Neighborhoods which have already submitted applications to the Planning Department (the  pipeline ). Staff will also facilitate a discussion regarding Commission direction on changes to the Eastern Neighborhoods programs as proposed. 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 Commission may also discuss any and all other subjects related to the Eastern Neighborhoods Program.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational Presentation and Public Comment; No Commission Action requested at the June 19 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, 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 26, 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.

SPEAKER(S): Same as those listed on item 1

ACTION: No action is required of the Commission. Informational Only

Adjournment: 10:00 P.M.



ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Borden

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