To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body
Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco

June 17, 2009 Regular Meeting

June 17, 2009 Regular Meeting

San Francisco

Historic Preservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers – Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

12:30 P.M.

Regular Meeting

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



STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Angela Threadgill, Shelley Caltagirone , Tim Frye, Tara Sullivan, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary


Peter Warfield – Asked HPC to think about how better to inform the public of HPC's doings.



Discussion of the status of Articles 10 and 11 rewrite, (T. Sullivan: 415/558-6257)

Review of the major changes that the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.

Tara Sullivan– Reported on the status of the rewrite:

The Department has met with the Supervisors to discuss both Commissions' proposals and revisions. Due to the budget, the anticipated date to go to the Land Use Committee would not be until August. She talked about the chart and the three maps mentioned in the memo to the HPC. In particular the third map is the proposed San Francisco inventory that showed all the historic and landmarked buildings that would be in the proposed inventory. Altogether there would be about 15,000 properties. The Department proposed to strike the language in the legislation that would enable the HPC to come up with procedures and guidelines for the alteration and demolition of properties in this inventory because this language seemed to create a mini land-marking process.

Commissioner Martinez – Tried to bring the number down by differentiating between what are already in historic districts or landmarks and what are potential historic districts under the new survey. He discussed the Market and Octavia potential historic districts. At the end the discussion, he said there might be 1,168 to 3,703 buildings deducted from the 15,000 buildings. He suggested adding a caveat to this map by saying some of the buildings will fall under new historic districts. He asked if the HPC had discussed to vote to hear items in the administrative C of A process or not.

President Chase – Responded the public and the Commission could ask to hear it and it would go to the next calendar.


Chase announced that HPC will not hold a meeting on the 1st of July.


1268 Lombard Street - Draft letter from the Commission to City departments regarding demolition of the building, city procedures, and code enforcement issues.

Commissioner Damkroger– Asked was there anything specific the HPC would like to add to the draft letter so that Tina and the Planning Department have something clear to follow through on.

Commissioner Martinez – he would want both DBI and Planning Department to do a report on the possible causes of structure failure and to see if this sort of analysis could be done for the future. Both departments ought to re-examine the permitting process to see if there was any planning or building code violation as well as whether the process was proper appropriate. There should be a report citing dates and who did what and when so we can take a look at it.

Preservation Coordinator Tam – It would be helpful if HPC could spell out what the Planning Department could do that might be different from the Building Department. The Planning Department does not have the expertise to respond to some of Commissioner Martinez's questions that are indicated in the draft letter, but certainly could answer the permitting process question.

Deputy City Attorney Marlena Byrne– I didn't mean to imply that Planning had some specific internal review process that gets carried out. What I was trying to indicate was that our office does not get involved generally until we are requested to do so by a city department. Usually that is following some sort of internal Administrative process that the department has gone through to determine that they in fact do wish to seek our office's assistance in enforcement of any code violations that may have occurred. So it's more that the departments on its own makes a judgment call about that.

Commissioner Martinez – in a nutshell we want both departments to examine to see if there were any code violations as well as whether or not the process was appropriate.

Commissioner Hasz – It seems that a policy situation here would be that every emergency demolition case should come either before the Planning or the Historic Preservation Commission. The engineer who signs off on it sings when they are ordering this, signs that they realize that they are going in front of the Commission(s) to report on their findings on why a building should get demolished. Let everyone know it will be in the public domain if they authorize the demolition.

Commissioner Martinez – concurred with Commissioner Hasz for future situations.

Commissioner Matsuda– As Commissioner Martinez is point out, establish a procedural review process clearly documenting and should there be findings from that process that there were some things that may not have followed correctly that we can say to the City Attorney's Office that maybe the department has exhausted their Administrative channels and we then would want further review from the City Attorney's Office.

Preservation Coordinator Tam– Agreed that the suggestions make sense and requested that the comments be incorporated in the letter to make it very clear as to what you are looking for.

Commissioner Damkroger– stated that she would not have enough time to continue working on the letter, but would be willing to assist until she leaves on July 1.

Commissioner Martinez– stated that he would do it.

President Chase– stated that the revisions would be left to Commissioners Martinez and Damkroger.

Commission Secretary Avery – The letter should come back to HPC for review and will be calendared for the July 15 hearing.


Adoption of Commission Minutes

a. Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of April 15, 2009

b. Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of May 20, 2009


ACTION: Motion to approve after revisions to the April 15th minutes; page 4, under the paragraph beginning  Damkroger recommends – the end of that line should be HABS instead of HAABS

AYES: Commissioners Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger, Chase


4. Informational Presentation on the Branch Library Improvement (Mindy Linetzky)



Andrew Wolfram, Nancy Goldenberg, Donna Bero, Charles Higueras, Connie D'Aura, Anne Wintrou, Julie Christensen, Jack Gold, Marsha Popper, Joan Wood, Inge Horton,

Sue Cauthen, Howard Wong, Karen Mauney-Broder, Peter Warfield

NoteIn light of new information received about the Appleton Warfred libraries that some library buildings have been evaluated and identified as historic resource, the HPC requested that staff and Preservation Coordinator coordinate with the ERO and other planning staff to accomplish the following: 1) to request ERO to review the Categorical Exemption (Cat Ex) status for the Ortega library; 2) to review the environmental document needed for the Merced Branch library; 3) the Department should review the Cat Ex(s) for other Appleton Warfred libraries; 4) to provide that preservation architects meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for qualifications to be involved in the evaluation of library interior renovations; 4) to provide for a preservation alternative; and 5) to provide a preliminary draft of the North Beach Environmental Impact Report to the HPC. Maintenance management for the large inventory of the aging library structures reaching 45 years of age is a concern for the Commission and the public.


5. 2009.0402A (A. THREADGILL: 415/558-6602)

400 CALIFORNIA STREET, Bank of California, located at the northwest corner of Sansome and California Streets, Assessor's Block 0239, Lot 003. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to allow installation of three non-illuminated business wall signs (dba Union Bank of California). The subject property is Landmark No. 3 and is zoned Downtown General Commercial (C-3-0) and is in a 350-S Height and Bulk District. The building is rated as Category 1 (Significant) under the Downtown Plan.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


ACTION: Motioned to approve as drafted.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

MOTION: 0015


6. 2008.0238A (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

3150 Sacramento Street, north side between Baker and Lyon Streets. Assessor's Block 1006, Lot 012. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to make interior alterations and to complete restorative work at the interior and exterior. The property is designated as Landmark No. 240: Presidio Branch Library. It is zoned P (Public) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS: Marsha Popper, Peter Warfield, Kim Fisher

ACTION: The Commission passed a motion to approve with amendments: Department staff is to urge the project sponsor to develop a maintenance plan for the care of the terra cotta columns and to perhaps design a modern railing at the front entrance. The motion was made by Commissioner Martinez and seconded by Commissioner Damkroger.

AYES: Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda

MOTION: 0016

Adjournment: 3:28 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