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Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco
June 3, 2009

San Francisco

Historic Preservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers – Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

12:30 P.M.

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda



STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Pilar LaValley - Planner, Michael Smith – Planner, Matt Weintraub – Planner, Tara Sullivan- planner, Mark Luellen – Team Leader, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary



Peter Warfield: Asked for Commissioners' assistance and advice on branch library improvement program of the Park Branch Library in the Haight Ashbury. He brought up two concerns. They are the product and the process of the improvement of the Library.

Bill Sugaya: He considered the Landmarks Board to be the best in the history of the City and will be looking forward to this Commission maybe besting that reputation.



Tina Tam, HPC Preservation Coordinator

a) 1268 Lombard– clarified the applicant of the property reactivated the two permits and they were on hold in the Planning Department up until the time the building was demolished.

b) Memo to the Clerk of BOS on revisions to Article 10 and 11– highlighting HPC comments on what was being proposed at the April 8th hearing.

· For today's hearing, a matrix was presented that outlines the differences and similarities between HPC and Planning Commission's comments and recommendations.


There was no formal report and announcement, but President Chase initiated a change in the order items would be heard. Item 9 – Japantown Neighborhood Plan would be heard after item 11.


a) 1268 Lombard- Review of Draft Letter

MarlenaByrne, Deputy City Attorney – With regard to investigations: in general, the City Attorney's Office would not get involved in an investigation unless requested by a city department and after it has conducted its own internal review. In regards to requesting a third party review, under state law, the City is required to rely on its own staff to do the work. In limited circumstances where the department does not internally have its own expertise, it could then convene a peer review panel to review the work that DBI has done.

Commissioner Martinez– Asked the two departments, DBI and Planning Department, to look at the relationship of evaluation procedures between them. Even though individual participants in either department followed the procedural process, the demolition happened. He questioned if there is a deficiency in the process that allowed this to happen or if there wasn't any abuse of the process.

Commissioner Hasz– When the building was abandoned through the Ellis Act was there damage inflicted to warrant an emergency demolition? He would be interested to see how to scope the building when the Ellis Act triggered abandonment.

President Chase– Asked to include in the revision of the letter a provision for a third party reviewer in DBI for a greater level of scrutiny when there are vacant and dilapidated buildings that pose an imminent threat.

Commissioner Damkroger– The letter will be revised to reflect looking at the process in paragraph 2 and incorporating Charles' suggestion about peer review within DBI in paragraph 3. She will see if she can find exemptions for emergency situations in order to have a third party review.


Joe Butler, Bill Sugaya, Johanna Street, Peter Warfield

b) Adoption of the Draft Commission Minutes of San Francisco Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission Joint Hearing of April 2, 2009.

ACTION: Approved the April 2 minutes.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda


4. 2009.0361A (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

355 Bryant Streetis located in Assessor's Block 3774, Lot 075-018. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to clean and repaint exterior elevations, to replace four contemporary windows with compatible new windows, to replace two original wood windows in kind, and to repair and rehabilitate retained wood windows. The subject property, formerly known as the General Electric Company Warehouse, is a contributing structure to the South End Historic District and is located within a MOU (Mixed Use Office) District with a 65-X Height and Bulk limit.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


ACTION: Approved as drafted.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

MOTION: 0012

5. 2009.0357A (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

930-932 MINNESOTA STREETis located in Assessor's Block 4106, Lot 006. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace transoms and fixed windows above front entrances, to replace basement exterior door, and to remove and replace masonry planter in front yard setback. The subject property is a contributing structure to the Dogpatch Historic District and is located within a RH-3 (Residential House – Three Family) District with a 40-X Height and Bulk limit.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


ACTION: Approved as drafted.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

MOTION: 0013

6. 2009.0399AU (M. Smith: 415/558-6322)

333 Dolores Street, east side between 16th and 17th Streets, in Assessor's Block 3567, Lot 057. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace in-kind all exterior windows within Saint Joseph's Hall with new wood windows that have divided lites that match the original windows. The subject property is designated as Landmark No. 137: The Notre Dame School. It is within a RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


ACTION: Approved as drafted.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

MOTION: 0014


7. 2009.0399AU (M. Smith: 415/558-6322)

333 Dolores Street, east side between 16th and 17th Streets, in Assessor's Block 3567, Lot 057. Informational Presentation to update the Commission on the continuing use of three (3) temporary portable classrooms on the site, as required by Planning Commission motion No. 16683, which authorized their installation. The subject property is designated as Landmark No. 137: The Notre Dame School. It is within a RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.


ACTION: No Action Required

8. Elegant Pit Stops - The Auto/Garage Row Historic District (M. Kessler, UCD)

of San Francisco

Mary Isosaki, Jack Gold, Peter Warfield

Commissioner Haszasked was this an agendized item for a one time presentation. If anyone has any kind of subject, how does HPC decide which ones get to come and present rather than just a short public session?

President Chase respondedthat this was a one time presentation and it was at the request of the Chair. If one has something to bring to the Commission, there can be a discussion of whether to agendize it.

ACTION: No Action Required

NOTE: Item 9 was taken out of order and followed item 11.

9. (M. Weintraub: 415/575-6812)

Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan Historic Resource Survey – The survey includes basic documentation of more than 500 individual properties located within the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan Area (bounded by California Street to the north, O'Farrell and Ellis Streets to the south, Gough Street to the east, and Steiner Street to the west), research and identification of properties associated with the historic development of the cultural community of Japantown, and evaluation of selected properties according to established criteria for determining historic significance, in order to inform the community heritage preservation strategies of the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan. Survey materials include: Historic Context Statement; Physical Heritage Report; Traditional Cultural Property Evaluation Report; 504 Primary Records (DPR 523A forms); 16 DPR Building, Structure, & Object Records (DPR 523B forms); District Record (DPR 523D form); and Survey Findings Report. The hearing includes informational presentations by staff and consultant. No action is required of the Historic Preservation Commission.

SPEAKERS: Bob Hamaguchi, Jack Gold, Paul Osaki, Courtney Okahara, Rosaline Tone, Mary Isusaki, Bill Sukaya, Alec Kawa, Jeffrey Chuhuma

EXCUSED: President Chase

NOTE: Following public testimony, Commissioner Matsuda stated she owned property in the area. After a discussion with the City Attorney's Office it was determined that she has a conflict and could not participate in this item. At that point the Commission lost its quorum for this matter. Vice President Damkroger established a committee of the remaining members of the Commission (Damkroger, Hasz, and Martinez) that could hear and participate in future hearings regarding Japantown Better Neighborhoods Plan Historic Resource Survey

Commission Secretary Averyannounced the formal creation of the committee to hear and participate in this item in the future.


10. 2009.0383U (T. Sullivan: 415/558-6257)

Amendments to the Building Code regarding Vacant and Abandoned Buildings [Board File No. 09-0554]. Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Chiu amending the Building Code by adding Section 103A.4 to require the owner of a vacant or abandoned building to register the building with the Department of Building Inspection, require the owner to maintain the grounds and the exterior and the interior of the building in good condition, and provide that a property in violation of the requirements is a public nuisance; and by amending Section 110, Table 1A-J to establishment an annual fee.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt Resolution


ACTION: Approved as amended: put in font size large enough to be seen on signage in front window; add a requirement that out of state owner are to have local maintenance; and paint and ventilate the plywood panels boarding up windows on vacant buildings; require alarm systems and grills as an option for security of vacant buildings if DBI decides it is appropriate; include an appeal procedure for hardship situations; owners should be required to state the cause for the vacancy and any future plans for the building; neglect, negligence and intent should be further defined and monetary penalties could be adjusted accordingly; water lines should be cut off at main to prevent potential water damage in buildings by vandalism or neglected pipe breaking that go undetected for a period of time.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda


11. 2008.1327U (A. Starr: 415/558-6362)

1818 CALIFORNIA STREET, the Lilienthal-Orville Pratt House, City Landmark # 55, north side of California Street between Gough and Franklin Streets, Assessor's Block 0641, Lot 004 Consideration of adoption of a resolution recommending to the Board of Supervisors approval of a Mills Act historical property contract for 1818 California Street, Lilienthal-Orville Pratt House, City Landmark #55. The Mills Act authorizes local governments to enter into contracts with owners of private historical property who, through the historical property contract, assure the rehabilitation, restoration, preservation and maintenance of a qualified historical property. In return, the property owner enjoys a reduction in property taxes for a given period. The subject property is within a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt Resolution

SPEAKERS: Hester Bon Nakamura - owner

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda


12. (S. Middlebrook: 415/558-6372)

Draft Preservation Element of the San Francisco General Plan - Request for Review and Comment. The Planning Department seeks comments on the current draft in order to produce a final draft Preservation Element to bring before the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission for endorsement at a future date.

Preliminary Recommendation: Direct staff to draft written comments of the Commission.


ACTION: The Commission endorsed with comments: elimination of the sentence in the 2nd paragraph under History, or, put in a sentence that characterizes the status of African American in San Francisco prior to 1906; under Benefits of Historic Preservation - put in inherent value of historic properties of artistic significance; under Cultural Benefits - add the importance of cultural continuity; and mention the inherent value of great quality work to culture as a whole; under Objective 4 and Policy 4.2, use the appropriate level of the Secretary of Interior guidelines.

AYES: Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda


NOTE: The Commission requested that the library do an overall informational presentation on improvements they plan for their properties

Adjournment: Approximately 4:00 p.m.

The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, September 2, 2009.


ACTION: Approved

AYES: Hasz, Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Madsuda, Wolfram

ABSENT: Buckley

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:55 PM