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

September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

San Francisco

Historic Preservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers – Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

12:30 P.M.

Regular Meeting

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



STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Aaron Starr, Tim Frye, Pilar LaValley, Shelley Caltagirone, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary


SPEAKERS: Ellen Egbert – Bernal Height Resident, re: nominating Bernal Branch Library as a local landmark, [unnamed speaker] – re: history, Peter Warfield, Bradley Wiedmaier – re: style


Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

1. Status of the Landmarks Board Work Program:

· In 1999 and 2000, the Landmarks Board (LB) established a set of 5 priorities in which they could select 8 to 10 properties to be on the Landmarks Board's work program. They are 1) They directly engage the cultural and social history of San Francisco, 2) go to neighborhoods that are not represented or have been under-represented in the program in previous years, 3) to involve ethnic and cultural communities and communities of interest, 4) public places and common grounds, and 5) architecturally significant buildings.

· In 2003 the Planning Department established the San Francisco landmark evaluation forms to facilitate landmark designation process. Every two years the Landmarks Board held public hearings and solicited comments and suggestions from the public on which buildings and sites that should be on the Landmark Board program. After two or three hearings the Board made their selection of 8 – 10 properties.

· From the early to the middle part of 2000, the Landmarks Board had a lot of success in getting buildings initiated or designated as city landmarks and had buildings become part of Article 10 – the Labor Temple, Red Stone Building, Music Concourse, Jose Theater, Names Project Building, Conservatory of Music, Doggie Diner Sign, and James Lake Bath People Laundry Building.

· The program, according to Mark Luellen, our former Preservation Coordination, the program itself in the last year or so might not have been that successful for a number of reasons: the buildings on the Landmark Board's list didn't have a lot of information from which staff could work on, or it required a lot of staff's time pulling them away from normal assignments. During the last 2-3 years, we do not have many buildings on the LB list that went very far.

· Based on my experience as a technical specialist during this period, the ones that were most successful in getting adopted as city landmarks were the ones that came in with the most information at the beginning of the process. That means having all the necessary background information, materials, and often times, a designation report.

· For this current fiscal year, there is not a line item in our budget to have a Landmarks Board work program. It is not to say we wouldn't work on it [a work program]. Should HPC initiate one, we will do our best to do the evaluation and be responsive in a timely manner. As it has always been in the past, more information contained in the completed forms and evaluation would certainly help to move the review process along.

NOTE: The following commissioner comments were made during Matters of the Commission:

Commissioner Martinez:

· What are the specific details of the landmark projects and their status? I could approach the Historic Preservation Funds Committee for funds to complete this work by staff, or outside consultants, or possibly graduate students.

· The reports have to be finished before staff can even review them. The necessity of staff review is down the line.

Commissioner Chase:

· Funding for the current Planning Department's budget is through June 2010. Probably we will not do anything. Even if we urge initiation of landmarking of any items, we would have to find a source of funding from the Planning Department to secure that work. There is no staff time budgeted to do landmarking. The Fund Committee is the best available source.

Commissioner Martinez:

· The report is not even finished. They are not ready to be landmark. First is to finish them [the report].

Commissioner Chase:

· I get your timing on this. Yes, we need the partially completed work completed.

· My concern is about how to deal with something we could begin today and going forward with no budget.

Commissioner Martinez:

· The Preservation Funds Committee is paying a large portion of what staff is doing now.

Commissioner Chase:

· That's correct, but that would take an adjustment to them being agreeable, or for additional funds to be provided.

Commissioner Martinez:

· We can ask the Preservation Funds Committee to provide funding for the next fiscal year for staff time to finish this up if they decided they like these projects.

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· The Landmark Preservation Program had about 10 properties or sites. I can go over them now if you want to get an idea of where they are in the process.

Commissioners Chase and Martinez:

· Let's wait two week until everybody is here. Staff could report the status at the next hearing.

Items 2 through 5 complete the Staff Report and Announcements:

2. Status of park Merced:

· We are doing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. We plan to publish the Draft EIR in April 2010 and it will go before you sometime in May 2010.

3. North Beach Branch Library:

· We have an item on the Regular Calendar for the initiation of North Beach Branch. We are still in the process of finalizing our Historic Resources Evaluation Response (HRER). We would like to have that for your discussion by the next hearing on September 16, 2009.

4. HPC Review and Comment Letters on Draft EIRs:

· We are compiling all review and comment letters from the beginning of this year. They should be ready for you at the next hearing

5. Planning 101 Training

· We'll go over the organizational layout of the Planning Department, what and how we do things, and introduce how historic resources are handled per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

President Chase:

o Requested staff put training dates on the next agenda for dates in October and/or November of this year


ACTION: Informational only – no action required




2. Election of Officers (Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing)

Commission Secretary, Linda Avery:

· On February 4, 2009, the first meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), the Commission elected interim officers. The final election of officers was to take place again when there were at least six members seated on the Commission. You now have all seven members appointed and seated. You are opened to receive nominations and discussion for the election of officers for president and vice president.


ACTION: Charles Chase was nominated and elected as President; and Courtney Damkroger was nominated and elected as Vice President.

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

ABSENT: Buckley

3. Discussion of the creation of an Architectural Review Committee

(Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing)


ACTION: Historically the Landmark Preservation Advisory Board had an Architecture Review Committee (ARC), and the HPC will continue it. Commissioners Hasz, Wolfram, and Martinez will serve as members of this Committee. President Chase will be the ex-officio member serving only if there is an absence.

4. Appointment of a HPC member to the Historic Preservation Funds Committee (HPFC)


ACTION: An appointment of Commissioner Martinez to the HPFC was made at a previous HPC hearing. President Chase formalized this appointment with a letter signed and sent to Michael Cohen, Director of the Economic and Workforce Development Department.

5. 1268 Lombard Street – Draft letter from the HPC 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. (Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing)


ACTION: In the absence of commissioner's comments and/or revisions, the draft letter is considered approved. The final letter will be signed by President Chase and sent to both the Building and Planning Departments.

6. Discussion of Initiation of the Park Branch Library as a City Landmark

(This item was taken out of order and followed item 8.)

SPEAKERS for Renovation of the library

Richard Magarey – Chair of the Steering Committee of the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, Ted Lounger – President of Height Ashbury Improvement Association, Loraine Locus – Resident Height, Kate Tray nor – Resident, Catherine Deleon, Anne Wondrous

SPEAKERS for Landmarking the library

Inga Horton, Howard Wong – Architect, Bradley Wiedmaier, Vincent Marsh – Acting Chair of Preservation Consortium, Aaron Goodman, Peter Warfield

ACTION: Following discussion, President Chase directed that this item be placed on calendar for the next hearing as an action item.

7. Adoption of Commission Minutes (Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing)

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


ACTION: Approved the draft minutes with a correction to July 15, 2009 minutes - changing Columbus to Columbia.

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Chase

ABSENT: Buckley and Damkroger

Following are general matters of concern to Commissioners that are not on the agenda:

Commissioner Wolfram:

· At the last meeting, Commissioner Buckley asked about ways this Commission could help to move Articles 10 and 11 along at the Board of Supervisors (BOS) to facilitate the Board acting on this.

Commissioner Martinez:

· What we could do is analyze and comment on the last draft that was submitted by SPUR and the AIA. This Commission can review that draft and comment for the benefit of the BOS.

Commissioner Chase:

· If there has been a review and analysis of the legislation by others and if we could get a copy of it, that might be informative for the Commission to have and could enable us at some point to read it to discuss what we might do with the information.

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

· We will track down the  new versions and review them against the recommendations that you made, against the similarity and differences we did between the HPC and the Planning Commission

Commissioner Chase:

· That will come under Matters of the Commission

Commission Secretary Linda Avery:

· Matters of the Commission is a non-action item or category for the Commission to bring up matters of concern to you that could be, but is not always, on your calendar. If it is to be for discussion, the item would need to be on the calendar. Otherwise the item can only be brought up or mentioned by a commissioner and the President or Chair, or a majority of the Commission members would direct staff to calendar the item for discussion and, if necessary, action. If you want to take action, you must stipulate that on the calendar. All items on calendar are subject to public comment. Do you want this on calendar as an action item?

Commissioner Chase:

· We need to see it to be able to talk about it before making a decision. We need an opportunity to discuss rather than to act.


8. Initiation of Landmark Designation of the North Beach Branch Public Library and a Multiple Property Listing for the Appleton and Wolfard Libraries.

(This item was taken out of order and followed item 10)

SPEAKERS: Luis Herrera – Executive Director, SF Public Library, Karen Maliney-Broder – Planner from Recreation and Parks Department, Pat Tura – Community member who endorsed the Master Planning process, Alex Bevk – SF Architectural Heritage, Aaron Goodman – Represent Self, Catherine Lam – China Town Community Development Center, Fay Darmawi – Parent, Julie Christensen – Friends of Joe Dimaggio Playground, Inge Horton, Brad Wiedmaier – Represent Self, Sue Cauthen, Anne Wintroub – Friends of SF Public Library, Joan Wood – Friends of Appleton and Wolfard Library, Howard Wong - Friends of Appleton and Wolfard Library, Tan Chow – Resident of North Beach Public Housing, Teresa Dal Santo – Represent Children of North Beach, Abby Herget – North Beach Resident, Dorothy Danielson – Resident of North Beach, Ellen Egbert – Resident of Bernal Height, David Tornheim – Resident of the City, Vincent Marsh – Acting Chair of the Preservation Committee Commission for the City, Peter Warfield – Library Users Association

ACTION: Following discussion, the item was continued to September 16, 2009 to allow the Library staff to do a full presentation

AYES: Martinez, Wolfram, Matsuda, Damkroger, Hasz


ABSENT: Buckley

9. 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 August 19, 2009 hearing.)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Item was taken out of order and followed Staff Report and Announcements)

SPEAKERS: Alex Bevk – SF Architectural Heritage, Marvin Lambert – neighbor, Eliot Sutro – Project Sponsor

ACTION: Approved with conditions recommended by staff and conditions of the HPC that the windows are cable and weight and not friction; that the siding shown on the plans are cedar or redwood, that the heating elements installed were done with permit; that there is no notice of violation on the property; that there be a site visit by staff to confirm.

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT: Buckley

RECUSED: Matsuda

MOTION: 0025

10. 2009.0476A (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 94 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.

(Continued from the August 19, 2009 hearing.)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

(This item followed item 9 and after Staff Report and Announcements)

SPEAKERS: Patrick McErnie – Project Sponsor, Alex Bevk – SF Architectural Heritage, Tim Colen – Executive Director of SF Housing Action Coalition

ACTION: Approve with conditions that project sponsor work with staff to include the four conditions originally provided; installation of the interpretive display; improve rhythm of the vertical bays to conform more closely with the existing piers; as well as the alignment of the south elevation; to use a different finish for the front elevator tower.

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

ABSENT: Buckley

MOTION: 0027

Adjournment: 5:07 p.m.

The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Hasz, Martinez, Wolfram, Damkroger

ABSENT: Buckley, Matsuda, Chase

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