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August 19, 2009

San Francisco

Historic Preservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers – Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

12:30 P.M.

Regular Meeting

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

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT CHASE AT ­­­12:35 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Sophie Hayward, K. Dischinger, John Billovits, Abigal Keifer, Moses Corrette, Brett Bollinger, S. Caltagirone, Aaron Starr, Tim Frye, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary

Time: 12:30 P.M.

FOR FULL COMMISSION CONSIDERATION

PUBLIC COMMENT


SPEAKER(S)

Aaron Goodman – re: Park Merced Library

Alice Carey – re: HPC comments on nominations

Peter Warfield – re: Park Brach Library nomination


STAFF REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Discussion on the environmental review and approval process of the Ortega, Merced, and North Beach Branch Libraries.

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· Designation of 2055 Union Street, aka the Metro Theater – on July 27, the Mayor signed ordinance #175.09 designating the Metro Theater as Landmark No. 261. The proposed designation came before the HPC back in March of this year. Discussions among the HPC members were about what should be included and what features to be preserved. At the end, HPC was unable to obtain a majority vote to either approve or disapprove the landmarking. Hence, the proposed designation went forward to the Board of Supervisors on a procedural approval without specific recommendations. Based upon the language in the final ordinance adopted by the supervisors and signed by the Mayor, work on the interior was included. There was language in the ordinance that said other features in the auditorium are significant and the project owner would make all effort to save it.

· The Ortega Branch Library – the Board of Appeals held a public hearing on August 5, 2009 on the appeal of a demolition permit. The appeal was filed by Inge Horton. At the hearing there were many speakers, both in support and in opposition to the project. There were members of the Board that were concerned about insufficient notification and outreach to the community, but the majority of the Board did feel there was adequate outreach to the community at large and there was a lengthy public process. The Planning Department followed proper procedure and the Board of Appeals concurred with the Department's determination. The vote for the appeal was 3 to 2. That vote denied the appeal and upheld the permit.

· The Merced Branch Library – the Categorical Exemption (Cat Ex) was issued in June. The building permit to alter the building was approved by the Building Department in July. No appeal was filed for the building permit nor the Cat Ex Certificate. The Department issued a notice of exemption last week.

· The North Beach Library – the Planning Departing is in the process of conducting a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The Notice of Preparation was issued and the timeline for the draft EIR is sometime in 2010. The draft EIR with historic resource impact would go before the HPC and would be calendared for public hearing.

Commissioner Martinez:

· For Merced, notification did go out to people who were on the historic preservation notification list?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· Correct. For Merced we concluded the library was a historic resource. However, the alteration proposed was not a significant impact for the purposes of CEQA. A Certificate of Cat Ex was issued and people on the preservation list were notified.

Commissioner Wolfram:

· For Ortega, what kind of research was done to determine that it was not a historic resource?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· Information submitted by the Library Department, members of the public, and materials from Carey and Company, the consulting firm that did the North Beach Library, were used to make the determination.

Commissioner Wolfram:

· I thought at the Carey and Company's North Beach report did consider that it would be a historic resource... the Ortega Branch...somewhere stated that?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· It appeared, from the preservation staff, that the Carey and Company report was used for the Merced Branch Library evaluation and not so much for the Ortega Branch Library.

Commissioner Buckley:

· Investigation into the Ortega Branch - was that only about the building or was it taken into account the whole civic center community aspect of that block?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· The overall master plan was not looked at. When the Department got new information, it was re-evaluated and was concluded with the same determination.

Commissioner Buckley:

· I'm confused on how those decisions were made at staff level.

President Chase:

· Requested that the Planning Staff responsible for this speak to this issue.

Sophie Hayward:

· The review of the Ortega Branch Library project was conducted prior to the receipt of the Carey and Company report for North Beach, which included information of all the Appleton and Wolfard libraries. The review was conducted based on information submitted by the Library's staff for the Ortega Branch Library. As with any Historic Resources Evaluation Responses (HRERs), they were not brought to the HPC prior to issuance of their reviews. At the interim, they were assigned and reviewed by the Preservation Coordinator.

President Chase:

· Asked if the Planning Staff answered Commissioner Buckley's question.

Commissioner Buckley:

· No, but not sure when would be the right time to....

President Chase:

· It might be appropriate to have a separate discussion about process and procedures.

· Instructed staff to calendar that at the next most convenient time.

Commissioner Buckley:

· The HPC needed to look at these kinds of designations in context. There was incredible context in the Ortega Library that might or might not be the same as the building itself.

· As a planning historian, the HPC might want to make sure it understood the context when looking at these decisions.

Commissioner Martinez:

· This was when the issues involved in the discussion around the re-writing of Article 10. Commissioner Buckley was not part of that ongoing discussion.

· Might be re-visited at some point.

Commissioner Buckley:

· One final comment to point is out that San Francisco Heritage ran an article about all the Appleton and Wolfard libraries around 8 years ago. They were all considered historic resources. This was not new information; it had been there for quite some time.

· At that time, the Ortega Branch was proposed to be renovated instead of demolished.

President Chase:

· There is technically no action for this item.

· Instructed that the hearing move on to public comments.

SPEAKER(S):

Alice Carey – Carey and Company, Aaron Goodman – Parkmerced Residents Organization, Clarice Moody – Resident of Sunset, Charles Moody – Resident of Sunset, Dan Ryan - Resident of Sunset, Bernice Lassiter, Sue Cauthen – Chair for the City Supervisors Library Advisory Committee, speaking for the Coalition for the Better North Beach Library, Kim Drew – Resident of Noe Valley, Donna Bero – Executive Director of Friends of the Library, Zach Steward – Architect, David Tornheim – Resident of the City, Sal Busalacchi – Friends of Appleton- Wolfard Libraries, Joan Wood - Friends of Appleton- Wolfard Libraries, Howard Wong – Architect and Friends of Appleton- Wolfard Libraries, Carol Mo – Resident of Sunset, Marian Chatfield- Taylor – Work from the SF Public Library and in charge of the her neighborhood library campaign, Deborah Oppenheim – Resident of the City, Peter Warfield – Executive Director of Library Users Association, Bradley Wiedmaier, Deborah Fisher-Brown – Friends of the SF Public Library, Dorothy Danielson – Resident of the City, Inge Horton, Charles Higueras – Architect, former Library Commissioner, Jill Bourne – Deputy City Librarian, Nancy Shanahan – Western Region of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Ellen Egbert

PRESIDENT'S REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

None


MATTERS OF THE COMMISSION

2. Election of Officers

(Continue to September 2, 2009 hearing)

3. Discussion on the creation of an Architectural Review Committee

(Continue to September 2, 2009 hearing)

Item taken out of order and follow Item 1

4. Selection of a HPC member to participate in the properties selection in Market and Octavia augmentation survey.

This item didn't need a vote. Commissioner Martinez volunteered and was accepted by other commissioners to participate in the survey evaluation process.

5. 1268 Lombard Street – Draft letter from the Commissioners to the Building and Planning Departments regarding the Departments' processing of the emergency demolition permit, and a request for further investigation of the matter including a review by the City Attorney's Office.

(Continue to September 2, 2009 hearing)

Item 6 taken out of order and followed Item 1

6. Luis Herrera's Letter to the Historic Preservation Commission.

SPEAKER(S)

Luis Herrera – City Librarian, Peter Warfield – Library Users, Tamara Gonzales Schenlov – Library Campaign Organizers, Friends of San Francisco Public Library, Anne Wintroup – Friends of the Library, Debra Dole – Representative of the Library Counsel, Aaron Goodman – Park Merced Residence Organization, Sal Bruosalaski – North Beach Resident, Rodri Meyer, Sue Cauthen – Coalition for Better North Beach Library

Comments from the Commissioners

Vice President Damkroger:

· Had questions about how the review process is conducted.

· Asked how a project library of this magnitude, like Ortega, did not get historic evaluation by a preservation professional.

· Asked why the group of Appleton & Wolfard buildings were not reviewed as a potential district in the process.

· Suggested the Library, as a give back to the city, designate more libraries as local landmarks.

· Regarding Merced Branch Library, a Cat Ex was issued - the proposal did not meet the Secretary of Interior's Standard, but was found it would not result in adverse impact – the Planning Department responsibility was to try and assist the library so that it does meet the Standards. Suggested one way was to bring the proposal to the HPC, who would be happy to help.

· Supported HPC investigating a multiple property designation

Commissioner Martinez:

· Asked Herrera if a preservation architect was included as part of the design team for the Park Branch Library and the Merced Branch Library. (Response from Herrera was negative.)

· Asked Herrera if a preservation architect was included in the peer review. (Response from Herrera was there was a peer reviewer but he didn't know her credentials.)

· Quoted part of Herrera's letter  We welcome the opportunity to present a more in-depth overview at a later date of the entirety of the BLIP program including our landmark Carnegie libraries, the modern era branches, and our ongoing historic preservation efforts. Commissioner Martinez asked if he meant that. (Response from Herrera was positive.)

Commissioner Wolfram:

· The Planning Department wasn't really involved until the building permit process had happened. In June 2009, the construction document was 100% complete and subsequently closed on June 6. It didn't seem like there was much time for the Planning Department to comment.

· Was curious about the Library was relying on the Planning Department staff to give an evaluation of historic resource and comment on the plan.

· Asked if the Library was allowing time for Staff to comment, because the document had already been done. (Staff planner Hayward responded that when she reviewed the project when the design was completed and there was conversation about some alterations to the design but it was probably too late at that point)

· I second Commissioner Damkroger's comment about the review process and believe the commission was able to have input on it.

· In the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), there are about 35% of the Appleton & Wolfard libraries being demolished, and that is a substantial number.

· Stated that we are all on the same side; that there shouldn't be a divide between preservation and meeting the needs of these libraries; that we want great libraries but we would like them to meet the preservation needs as well.

Commissioner Martinez:

· Suggested HPC calendar a discussion of whether or not to initiate a group designation at the next commission meeting as an action item.

· Discussion would explicitly exclude Ortega Branch Library because it will probably be demolished by the time the Commission meets again.

· The Carey and Company report suggested that there might be grounds for group designation. He asked Tim Fyre of the Department's staff if any further studies had been done on other libraries besides the North Beach Branch and would he be able to speak about individual branches as contributors.

President Chase:

· Confirmed that Tim Fyre believed that by the next hearing in September he'd be able to come back with a recommendation. (Tim Fyre responded that by next hearing on September 16 he would have HRER completed, which would take into consideration the other libraries that previously were not evaluated)

Vice President Damkroger:

· Suggested staff to look at the historic report for the North Beach Branch Library and that it would make sense to discuss the multiple property district and the North Beach Library together. (Tim Frye responded that currently the only report that staff was using was the Carey & Company report.)

Commissioner Buckley:

· In June 2009, on the Merced Branch, the Planning Department issued a HRER and subsequently the Planning Department issued a Cat Ex. What was the relationship between that process and this Commission?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· In a June or July HPC hearing, the Commission asked to see the final HRER for the Appleton and Wolfard libraries. Whether or not the review of the actual project should come to the HPC is something not required in the Planning Code. Merced Branch Library is not a city landmark, nor in the historic district. Therefore a Certificate of Appropriateness was not required for these buildings

Commissioner Buckley:

· The response determined that the branch was a historic resource for the purpose of CEQA. Was there no mechanism by which that would trigger some review by the Commission? The next action was a Cat Ex.

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· The Planning Department has an Environment Review Officer (ERO) who does the environmental determination. The Department does not clear the environmental determination with the HPC.

Commissioner Buckley:

· According to Article 10, is there not some connection between the responsibilities of the Commission to act on that determination?

Sophie Hayward:

· The determination for the Merced Branch Library project was that although it did not meet the standards, it was not a significant impact to the historic resource. It fell within the window between the standards and the significant impact. The addition did not meet the standards and did not constitute a significant impact to the historic resource. Therefore, a Cat Ex was used rather than an EIR.

· Under several versions of the proposed revision of Article 10, the HPC does not review Cat Ex. It does review EIRs and can provide comments on EIRs.

· The requested copy of the HRER was included in your packet. It wasn't something the HPC was acting on.

Commissioner Buckley:

· The administrative act that the code called on whether it needed an EIR or Cat Ex or not....

Sophie Hayward:

· The determination of the correct level of the environmental review under the Administrative Code is made by the ERO, Bill Wycko, not by the HPC.

· In this case, the critical difference was that Merced was considered a historic resource, not a landmark as designated under Article 10. Were it a landmark, it would be here before the HPC for review for a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Commissioner Buckley:

· Anyone in the public could appeal a Cat Ex.

Sophie Hayward:

· CEQA determinations are appealable to the Board of Supervisors.

Commissioner Martinez:

· Asked other commissioners how they felt about scheduling a discussion initiating a process for a historic district as an action item.

Vice President Damkroger:

· Suggested that those who had not yet seen these libraries should do so between now and the next meeting so that people could discuss with the possession of some knowledge, although the buildings can only be seen from the outside due to closures of the libraries.

Commissioner Martinez:

· Requested staff give everyone the Carey and Company report and the Appleton and Wolfard documentation.

Commissioner President Chase:

· Confirmed this would be heard on September 16, 2009.

7. Adoption of Commission Minutes

a. Draft Minutes of Regular Hearing of June 3, 2009

b. Draft Minutes of Regular Hearing of June 17, 2009

c. Draft Minutes of Special Hearing of June 17, 2009

d. Draft Minutes of Regular Hearing of July 15, 2009

(Continue to September 2, 2009)

Commissioner Wolfram – Requested a discussion with staff relating to the Secretary of Interior Standards application in HRER.

Commissioner Martinez – Requested the status of the Landmark Board Program

Commissioner Damkroger – Requested the status of Parkmerced and the National Trust Memo

Commissioner Buckley – Requested the status of Articles10 and 11. Wants to discuss what the HPC could do to bring it forward at the Board of Supervisor for adoption.


CONSENT CALENDAR

Item 8 was pulled from Consent Calendar by Commissioner Martinez and followed item 11.

8. 2009.0315A (S. Hayward: 415/558-6372)

1 Carleton B. Goodlett Place (City Hall), east side, between McAllister and Grove Streets. Assessor's Block 0787, Lot 001. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of a non-penetrating photovoltaic system to include solar panels, a weather station, and interior display kiosks. City Hall is San Francisco Landmark No. 21, and is a contributor to the Civic Center Historic District. The site is zoned P (Public), within an 80-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKER: None

ACTION: Motion to approve with the information kiosk taken out of the Certificate of Appropriateness

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

Motion No.: 0023

9. 2009.0325A (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

598 2nd Street (aka 300 Brannan Street), northeast corner of 2nd and Brannan Streets, in Assessor's Block 3775, Lot 008. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness removal of existing storefront, windows, and metal roll-down door and installation of new metal and glass storefront system, doors, windows, and canopy within three existing ground floor openings on the Brannan Street elevation, and installation of one tenant sign. The subject property, formerly known as the Blinn Estate Building, 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 with conditions

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved as recommended by staff.

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

Motion No.: 0020

10. 2009.0598A (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

943-945 Steiner Street, west side between Fulton and McAllister Streets. Assessor's Block 0778, Lot 003 - Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace the rear deck and windows at secondary facades. The property is designated as is a potentially compatible building within the Alamo Square Historic District. It is zoned RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved as recommended by staff.

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

Motion No.: 0021

11. 2007.0007A (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

750 2nd Street, west side between Townsend and King Streets, in Assessor's Block 3794, Lot 002A. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish an existing, one-story with mezzanine industrial building and construction of an eight-story with mezzanine residential building with ground floor retail and parking. The subject property is a non-contributing structure to the South End Historic District and is located within a MOU (Mixed-Use Office) District with a 105-F Height and Bulk limit. The project also requires Large Project Authorization from the Planning Commission, which is scheduled for public hearing on September 10, 2009.

(Continued from the July 15, 2009 hearing.)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

SPEAKERS: none

ACTION: Approved as recommended by staff.

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

Motion No.: 0022


REGULAR CALENDAR

12. (K. Dischinger: 415/558-6284)

Review and Comment on the Survey Integration into the Market and Octavia Plan Area. Last winter the Planning Commission and the Landmarks Advisory Board endorsed the Page and Turnbull Area Plan level survey of the Market and Octavia Plan Area. Following this endorsement, in coordination with the community, staff has developed a recommendation for the integration of these findings into the Market and Octavia Plan as required by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

Preliminary Recommendation: Provide written comments to the Planning Commission.

SPEAKERS: Peter Luis – President of Mission Delores Dolores Neighborhood Association

Kurt Holzinger – Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association

ACTION: Continued to September 16, 2009. The Commission requested the completed Mission Delores Survey information as well.

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

13. 2007.0690E (B. Bollinger: 415/575-9024)

260 Fifth Street ProjectReview and Comments on the Draft Environment Impact Report on the proposed project to demolish the existing two-story warehouse building with approximately 42,000 square feet of interior space and construct a new nine-story, 85-foot-tall residential and retail building located between Clementina and Tehama Streets on Fifth Street (Assessor's Block 3732, Lots 150 and 008). The existing 260 Fifth Street building is located in the CRHR-eligible, Light Industrial and Residential Historic District, identified in the South of Market Context Statement.

Preliminary Recommendation: The Historic Preservation Commission will provide comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and may direct staff to draft written comments of the Commission on the DEIR.

SPEAKERS: Eric Tao – AGI Capital

Jesse Herzog – AGI Capital

ACTION: Staff to write letter for HPC consideration and then forward it to the Environmental Resource Officer incorporating the Commissioner's comments with a copy to the HPC.

AYES: Hasz, Matsuda, Martinez, Wolfram, Damkroger

EXCUSED: Chase and Buckley

14. 2009.0565A (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

1000 Great Highway, Golden Gate Park, west end of park near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Assessor's Block 1700, Lot 001. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for seismic and ADA-accessibility upgrades, window replacement, and re-roofing. The building contributes to designated Landmark No. 210: The Murphy Windmill and Millwright's Cottage. It is zoned P (Public) District and is in an Open Space Height and Bulk District.

(Continued from the July 15, 2009 hearing.)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved Plan B

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

MOTION: 0024

15. 2009.0420A (A. Starr: 415/558-6362)

2113 – 2115 Bush Street, south side of Bush Street, between Webster and Fillmore Streets, in Assessor's Block 0677 and Lot 032. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to legalize work that has already been completed including removing the asbestos siding, removing the historic drop siding, interiorize the exposed plumbing and electrical conduits, installing new drop siding to match the original and replacing the sashes on five of the front façade windows. The subject property is located within an RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low Density) Zoning District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk Limit.

(Continued from the July 15, 2009 hearing.)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to 9/2/09

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

16. 2009.0476A (T. Frye for P. Lavalley: 415/575-6822)

178 Townsend Street, northeast corner of Townsend Street and Clarence Place, in Assessor's Block 3788, Lot 012. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a vertical addition to provide up to 93 dwelling units, ground floor retail and daycare space, and up to 45 off-street parking spaces. The subject property is a contributing resource to the South End Historic District and is within an SLI (Service, Light Industrial) District with a 65-X Height and Bulk limit. The project also requires Conditional Use authorization from the Planning Commission and Variances for rear yard, parking, and dwelling unit exposure from the Zoning Administrator. These cases are scheduled to be heard at a joint Planning Commission and Zoning Administrator public hearing on September 3, 2009.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to 9/2/09

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase


Adjournment:
5:06 p.m.


The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.


ACTION:
Approved

AYES: Buckley, Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:56 PM