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City and County of San Francisco

November 18, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

12:30 P.M.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

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

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Hasz



THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE PRESIDENT DAMKROGER AT 12:38 P.M.



STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Tina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Planning Director – John Rahaim, Chief Finance Officer – Elaine Forbes, Neighborhood Planning Chief – Kelley Amdur, Tim Frye, Tara Sullivan, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary


A. PUBLIC COMMENT

SPEAKERS: Michael Levine, re: Was a public hearing held for retaining the two balconies at the Mutual Bank Building at 710 Market St?; Dan Weaver, re: Landmarking for historic street lights at Market Street, Golden Triangle, and Van Ness Avenue; Gee Gee Platt, re: Belli Art Building, Van Ness Light Standards, Muni substation at Turk and Fillmore – a City landmark; Bradley Weidmaier, re: Urged the Commission to review and make a statement for 2750 Vallejo Street; Alex Beuk – SF Architectural Heritage, re: Training and workshops by Heritage for Mills Act when amendments are adopted by the Board of Supervisors; Peter Warfield – Library Users Association, re: asked the Commission to agendize in the future Page and Turnbull’s report on Park Branch Library, Library and Planning Department’s non-attendance of meetings of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force.


B. STAFF REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Department Work Program and Budget (J. Rahaim: 415/558-6411)

Planning Director John Rahaim:

Article 10 and 11 – The Planning and Historic Preservation Commissions responded to the proposed legislation with modifications and those modifications were transmitted to the Board of Supervisors (BOS). We have not heard back. The BOS is likely to produce a new version of the legislation but we have not heard the specifics.

The HPC is the Planning Department’s second commission. On the discussion about minutes and how they are constructed and done: We try to comply with the law and make sure we have the right documentation. We are in the process of making sure the minutes essentially are the same way they are constructed for the Planning Commission. We are getting some additional technology to help tape them so the tapes are available.

Some have raised the issue of potentially televising the meeting. There is a fairly substantial cost to that. It was a six-figure number we estimated to televised your meeting. We can talk about putting that into the budget request for next year. We need to be aware that it cost $150,000 to do the Planning Commission every year. We need to have a discussion of how to do that, how best to make sure we document your meeting so that the public can be aware of what happens here.

Our new Annual Report – The first one we’ve done in almost a decade. The report is Charter mandated for all boards and commissions. Our Department is unique in that we staff two full blown commissions. The document describes the Department. It’s a good tool to document not only what we’ve done in the last year but an overall view of the Department. Everyone realizes that the web page has a lot of information; sometimes we find it useful to have a piece of paper in our hands to describe what we do and how we do it to the public, to visitors, to whomever. I’m pleased we have been able to issue this report this year. I want to thank the staff that are involved – AnMarie Rogers, intern – Jasal Galvin, Gary Chen, Alicia John-Baptiste, David Alumbaugh, Bill Wycko, all who collectively put this together

For whatever reason, last year when the charter amendment came forward we were looking at the impacts. We did not budget additional funds to staff HPC. I can’t tell you specifically the reason for that. The primary thought was that since we had already been staffing the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB), the demand would not be that much greater. In retrospect, I think that was probably a mistake. Whether additional funds are forthcoming given the budget year is a big question. It’s important to think about what additional funding demand we will have to support your work. What we have tried to do to get you up and going is to make sure that we at least match the funding levels that we have for the Planning Commission in terms of staff. And we are pretty much there. You may recall Linda’s role. Linda spent about half of her time prior to the existence of the HPC as an operations manager for this Department. She oversaw the clerical staff and all the administrative function of the Department. In her new role she’s no longer doing that work and instead is acting as your secretary. We think we are at the point where we are about equal in terms of staffing two commissions. The questions come, what additional resources does this Commission and the Planning Commission need to do the kind of work that we really want to do and how best to make the request in the budget cycle.

Chief Finance Officer Elaine Forbes: [She went over the “FY2009/2010 Work Program and Budget Update” through a PowerPoint presentation. The following pertains particularly to the HPC]:

The Preservation Program was impacted by the HPC being formed and Articles 10 and 11. There continues to be quite a strong demand for preservation staff at the Public Information Counter and on applications. The result is we needed to discontinue the preservation work related to landmarks and historic districts so we could make staff available for the preservation related applications. This is part of how we dealt with balancing the FTE we have left and matching it to the work. One note is that 8.47 FTE is on the Preservation Program. The total preservation effort is actually 11 FTE if we count the preservation technician specialist that is related to the general applications that were in Item 1 of our Neighborhood Planning work program. To get into the nuts and bolts of our funding this year, the total preservation budget is about $1.7 million dollars. You’ll see 9.9% is coming from our general fund. It’s importantly in that the 9.9% we have about $150,000 for subsidies of applications we don’t charge for cost. I am pointing out this number because I am going to talk about this. We have our Historic Preservation Fund Committee (HPFC) grant awards, State grants and our application fees. You can see the application fee is about 70% of our total funding for preservation. This is quite a shift from our prior year where the general fund picked up a larger proportion of this work. I understood from the Director and also from Kelly Amdur and Tina Tam that this group has had an interest in us funding landmark designations that you initiate. You can see from the numbers we just presented we didn’t assume that in the budget. But there is some room because that subsidy we have for private preservation applications, because our volume is down, we could assume that subsidy for this Commission this year. For next year, we would need to put a budget request together. It’s quite small; it would be about $44,500 and that’s 30% of our general fund subsidies for our private applications. It’s 250 hours of staff time, it’s about 0.16 FTE. It doesn’t include the time already spent on the library designations. I’ve put in here what’s required and Tina could provide better information. Designations would include research, designation, designation report, case report, presenting before you, the Land Use Committee and the full Board. I understand from Tina it is a large effort. It takes quite a few staff hours. Looking forward to next year, the budget process is one where we have a long and arduous priority setting process. It will begin with us coming to you and to the Planning Commission to ask what your priorities and funding requests are - it maybe to televise or maybe a certain number of hours for landmark designations, etc. We will work with our commissions, look at our resources, the Mayor’s budget instruction and your request and come up with our balanced budget which we present to the Mayor’s office in mid February. At that point the Mayor’s office would come back to us, there may need to be more cuts, we may need to find more sources, etc, until we get to the BOS in June. The BOS would do their priority setting and eventually by the end of June we will come out with our own final budget numbers which we then allocate through our work program and through the division of our departments. That is the process. We will be back to you in January to get your requests and talk about our financial picture.


Commissioner Damkroger:

Under the subsidies, I noticed the Mills Act is there. Having overseen the Mills Act Program, I think what we have in San Francisco, the fee is very high. It would cost far more than the program that I had run to process individual applications. Is that actually a subsidy for Mills Act?

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

It is. How the fee schedule is set is based on a couple of early Mills Act applications from 2005-2006. The fee is $17,000 for commercial and $8,000 for residential. At the time, our early applications were costing $1,700. We decided to subsidize the residential applications of the Mills Act. Over time, as we have more experience with them, the hour effort would go down. We recalibrate our fee every two years based on what it is actually costing - because it is a new program and there’s a lot of city attorney’s hours, assessor’s hours, Planning Department staff. There actually is a subsidy at this point for the residential applications.

Commissioner Wolfram:

Has the Department been exploring the opportunity to involve college students’ course work for the designation work? Whether they could partner with a college or a university program to have Planning Department staff supervise the course work of the designation reports?

Director Rahaim:

It’s a good idea. That’s the first I’ve ever heard of it. We can certainly have a discussion. It still requires supervisory time....

Commissioner Wolfram:

It would require a different type of time. It would more of a supervisory thing, but research would be done for the course work and students would be on a schedule. The benefit of having students doing it as opposed to a non-profit is the schedule might be better maintained.

Director Rahaim:

It’s a good thing worth exploring

Commissioner Martinez:

Actually my question is in terms of this whole question about whether or not this Commission costs more that the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB). To me, we have to go back a couple of years to where the LPAB was actually functioning. I don’t think it was funded for the last year of the LPAB. If we are talking about reviving some version of the LPAB program in terms of a dollar amount, we need to go back three years.

Director Rahaim:

In terms of the actual LPAB initiating designations - is that what you are talking about?

Commissioner Martinez:

The LPAB had a program of starting a landmark designation for ten sites every year and we went through public process where the public came to talk about what was in front of them to initiate designation. It kind of floundered the last couple of years. Things were taking too long as the budget for it dwindled. But historically, quite a few things had been landmarked. These were basically individual buildings. I think we have ten partial or incomplete designations left over from the LPAB. I think we have to go back two or three years to see what the budget for that program was for the LPAB.

Director Rahaim:

I think as Elaine has said, we did have enough FTE allocated that we actually decided, because of the budget crunch, to remove and shift to other resources. I am perfectly happy to have a discussion with the Commission about what your priorities are in terms of budget requests. That would be a healthy discussion to have. If we had a budget from previous years that was set and discussed for landmarks, we should look at that.

Commissioner Martinez:

Because you never know what designations might turn up that need to get done in the middle of the year that no one could have anticipated in the work program. etc. The other question I have is about the subsidies from public applications. I didn’t understand that whole....

Director Rahaim:

Elaine can explain that better. The applications that come through are primarily from the BOS and Mayor’s Office. They don’t have a project sponsor in the typical sense, and therefore nobody we can charge a fee to. This is fairly common. There are a number of things from elected officials that come through our office that we subsidize application costs.

Commissioner Martinez:

There was some talk about transferring. You had an allocation that could be transferred?

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

There are two items and the first one that Director Rahaim was talking about is work that is generated that we can’t charge to the BOS etc. The second item would be the subsidies that we are not charging full cost. We are talking about the Mills Act. It seems we are charging full cost. We are not charging for the residential. We don’t charge full cost for landmark designations. An individual comes in with a landmark application and we don’t charge full cost for C of As that are at the lowest constructing value. Our fee schedule says cost would be 80% higher and we say, for pricing reasons, we are going to subsidize that application to encourage it being...and that’s where I was saying we don’t have as many applications this year because we have a down turn, so your applications could essentially be subsidized and that’s where I came up with a number we could conceivably allocate this left over.

Commissioner Martinez:

My other question is about landmark designation for the Library. Shouldn’t the Library pay for that?

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

We called the Library about paying for it. Because their bond has already been allocated, it isn’t that easy just to put in a new application fee. They felt it was our designation and that we should bare the cost.

Commissioner Buckley:

When an applicant comes in there is a fee structure. The Library is an applicant, so they should bare the cost of whatever the planning costs are.

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

I think there was a question of who the applicant was in this case. They believe we are the applicant. We believe they are the applicant.

Commissioner Buckley:

Regardless there is a CEQA issue that has to be dealt with

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

They pay those fees. They pay the associated fees with the CEQA determination. It was the initiation.


Commissioner Buckley:

This may be a question for the preservation planner. CEQA identifies the historic resource and someone who owns the resource wants to change it. The cost in evaluating that, whether it becomes a landmark or not, should be borne by the entity that is making the proposal.

Director Rahaim:

The CEQA process is entirely different from the initiation process in local landmarking. CEQA is all covered through the environmental fees, but whether something is proposed for designation, that process is completely a separate process that requires its own staff effort that is essentially separate from CEQA the process.

Commissioner Buckley:

But the process in determining whether it should be a landmark or not is part of the proposal. If I, as a private developer, come in and I have a historical building and the department is trying to figure out what the ultimate disposition of that building should be - that’s part of the process. It is not necessarily a CEQA process but it is a legally designated process whether it’s a landmark building or not.

Director Rahaim:

Right, but that is completely separate from CEQA. CEQA does have its own fee structure. The environmental review process has a whole fee structure associated with..... that’s paid for. Whether something that’s initiated as a landmark, it’s capped under those fee.

Commissioner Buckley:

Why can’t it be covered by those fees? We need to figure out whether it’s a landmark or not. They are proposing a change to it and we have to make that decision.

Planning Staff Tim Frye:

We are making a similar determination of whether the building is landmark worthy or not. Per Article 10, it’s based on the information required by this body that makes it a different format and process than a CEQA determination that requires the additional work.

Commission Buckley:

It doesn’t really matter because there’s a cost to it and the Planning Department has to pay that cost somehow.

Planning Staff Tim Frye:

It comes down to how much information the HPC needs to make that determination of whether they want to move forward with the landmark designation. We do have a consultant that we require the applicant to hire to evaluate the building and we either concur or evaluate that evaluation. After that there is a case report, a motion and several other types of documents that are required, and that’s the portion that is costing that additional fee that we are not sure how to allocate - if HPC is completely content with a CEQA determination and our analysis of an EIR to move forward and carry that through the designation process - that’s a call by the city attorney, the preservation coordinator and the director. It is just a matter of format and process, and what the Land Use Committee wants, what the BOS wants to see in all of their different processes. Those documents are related

Commissioner Damkroger:

The second question I had was the issue of the excess in the general fund for land mark designations. There are approximately 250 hours of staff time in excess. It doesn’t include the time spent on the Library initiation, so you need to deduct that amount from it. Maybe it would be worth knowing what that final sum is for staff involvement and determining how much we could get with this Library initiation in order to know we have enough left there to do a sufficient job.

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

To answer Commission Buckley’s question about what is produced for the initiation or the definition for landmarking – we actually need a designation report, a DPR form that’s required for you to go ahead and make your recommendation to the BOS. The CEQA process in which the Library is pursuing has its own consultants do their historic resource evaluation. These are two separate documents. I understand some of the information can overlap and can be shared, but they are two separate documents that have to move forward respectively for what they are trying to do. To respond to Commissioner Damkroger’s question about the 250 hours, how much can we do with that – that’s approximately six weeks of staff hours? Based upon my experience working on designations, that’s not a lot of time. That could perhaps be time for staff to review designation reports proposed by the consultants, review and provide our comments and edits to them, prepare our case report for you to consider for your decision-making process. It would also cover time to go ahead to bring forward the report and the case recommendation to the Land Use Committee and the BOS. I don’t see how that time, 250 hours, can be used to do the research or the preparation of the report itself. We are more than happy to collaborate with somebody, either on the Commission or in the preservation community or someone who would be willing to volunteer hours to help produce the report. The 250 hours would not be enough to do one designation let alone the 7 libraries you initiated two months ago.

Commissioner Martinez:

My last question is about televising. Would the cost be different if you didn’t do it live? What about doing audio and a VHS file and put it on the web?

Commission Secretary Linda Avery:

We are doing a digital recording and when the device is purchased for us, I can upload it the next day. The cost is a couple of thousands for the equipment

Commissioner Martinez:

We have two plan areas - the Eastern Neighborhood and Market Octavia. They are obliged to bring the historic district nomination for the result of those plans to this Commission. We are talking maybe ten historic districts altogether, at least. Right now there is a pending request for the Historic Fund Committee to pay for those designations. That’s a big expense.

Director Rahaim:

The Eastern Neighborhood and Market Octavia surveys are being completed. The question is at what point and to what extent the Department would bring those initiations forward to you, or do we simply identify those places where the surveys have found them eligible?

Commissioner Martinez:

The Market Octavia area plan is mandated to be brought forward. I expect the Fund Committee would agree to pay for those. The Fund Committee has a limited amount of money. There are things we need to do – the 10 incomplete sites left from the LPAB program, the Van Ness light Standards, the Sunshine School, the Appleton-Wolfard Libraries, and some others like Park Merced. What is the cost to do all the things that we ought to be doing if the Fund committee wasn’t paying for it? There was some community participants wanting to move these things forward. We need to see the big overview so we can then see how much we still feel needs to be done that we can do. We don’t have a full picture of all the things this Commission ought to be doing just to be doing as the LPAB was doing.

Director Rahaim:

This was exactly what Elaine suggested, that we come up with a laundry list of everything and then talk about setting priorities.

Commissioner Chase:

It is important to recognize that the public who stands before us and speaks to issues want some kind of resolution. When the Commission, like the Library, feels that it is an important issue and initiates landmarking, there are expectations that it’s going to be done. The question of not having enough money to do that is a disconnect between process and the ability to perform. It places the Commission in a difficult position knowing that and trying to communicate that to the public that yes, that may be your wish but we may never see that report within the lifetime of the project or lifetime of the members of this Commission if not recognized within the budgeting process.

Commissioner Buckley:

I understand the difference between CEQA and this process. If CEQA identifies something we don’t have the funds to follow up on, we just designate it because we think it’s one, or do we put it off forever, or does the project sponsor get to do whatever they want with it? I appreciate the Department showing us what the numbers are and we need to go through a priority process to figure out what we can or cannot do. It seems like we have a ton of things that we enumerate that are expected and are part of what the voters put this body together for. We have a lot of thinking to do about that.

The other item/question I have is we seem to be on TV right now. We are on closed circuit and we can’t get a copy of that?

Commission Secretary Linda Avery:

This is exactly what it is. It don’t believe we can, but I will try. I know there are cameras. The cameras equipment is a live feed into this room. It seems to me that we should be able to get a tape [VHS] recording.

Commission Buckley:

It’s better than nothing. We have all expressed our concern that we have to be as visible a process as possible. When people want to come back to see what happened, to play the old style tape, whatever it is, we should find a way.

Commission Secretary Linda Avery:

We definitely have the audio tapes. As soon as we get the equipment for digital recording, we’ll have it available on-line. Whether or not I can get VHS tapes based on these cameras, I’ll find out.

Commissioner Martinez:

Was the Library response about not paying for the nomination for Park Branch Library or for all the Appleton-Wolfard Libraries?

Director Rahaim:

I think it is for all of them.

Commissioner Martinez:

Aren’t they paying for the designation for the Carnegie Libraries, or is the Department paying for all of them?

Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam:

The context statement for the Carnegie Libraries was produced by Tim Kelly who was the president of the LPAB. He brought forth a lot of the background information in the report. We basically responded, provided comments, and forwarded to you, the Planning Commission and the BOS.

Commissioner Wolfram:

About Article 10 and 11 – you said the BOS is doing something. It seems critical that the Department obviously be really involved in that. Do you think there’s something we as a Commission can do to be proactive about that?

Director Rahaim:

My expectation is that there might be a new version introduced by the BOS, but I haven’t seen that yet. We obviously would have to respond. Supervisor Daly was the primary sponsor of that legislation. Although I haven’t contacted his office, that might be helpful.

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Forbes:

If I could just reiterate the proposal to develop your budget request going into next fiscal year - Tina Tam and I will write down many of the things you, the Commission, brought today - size them, cost them out, etc, and come back to you in January to show you your wish list amounts and to show you the Department’s overall financial picture and how to prioritize among that wish list. We may well put in a new general fund request as a result and see how it goes through the Mayor’s process. I also wanted to say, just like you are experiencing the down turn from a couple of year ago, all aspects of our Department have unfunded wish-lists across the Department. We really needed to strip down where we have revenue sources. It is a very difficult time in terms of what we are able to accomplish. I didn’t want you to feel like you are alone, or being given the short end of the stick. It really goes throughout our work program. If that makes sense, we will come back to you in January with your wish list and priority setting.

Commissioner Chase:

In terms of what you’ll come back to us with, I am very interested to understand and it will be very enlightening to the public to understand the kind of man-hours to get from a request for designation through the process. You have talked about 250 man-hours – that might somehow be construed as how we create a designation and the process. I think we need to know more specifically where that time is attributed. I don’t know. We, the commissioners nor the public understand the internal process of these applications. I think it would be a value not only in determining cost but also looking at how it affects the overall picture of what we need to do. A designation a year, reflecting on Commissioner Martinez’ comments about the old LPAB, there was a lot of volunteer time associated with that processes. But if they are doing 10 a year, you know, we are not going to be able to do that. We need to know where the money comes from and those kinds of figures for us to be able to compare that.

Commissioner Martinez:

The process would be good. All these historic nominations, really from my point of view, are precipitated by the area plans. They are really one of the final outcomes of area plans. The BOS and their budget consideration has to understand it’s part of the result of the planning process that they funded and initiated. Our Commission, we should really remember that we could actually have some say in what happens with this budget we are advocating for at the BOS. We should think about taking some responsibility and advocating for what we think we ought to be doing before the BOS and help the Department in getting as much of the funding as we can for the things we care about. It is our responsibility to educate the BOS about why these things are happening and why it is necessary.

Commissioner Buckley:

I would add it’s not just us. We should talk to the whole constituency of people in historic preservation in San Francisco and solicit their input into what our priority should be.

SPEAKERS:

Dan Weaver – Resident of Balboa Park Plan Area, Re: There are no rules set up to deal with landmarking concerns for this plan area, in particular the Pentecost Church.

Gee Gee Platt, Re: 1) The HPC should have its own work program and funding for it; 2) There should be staff allocation to HPC; 3) Get designations done and not count on the Historic Preservation Fund Committee; 4) distinguish CEQA and designation levels of research; 5) Articles 10 and 11 should come in time; 6) Televised recording are in the City Hall Building Management Office; 7) the Department not to subsidize Mills Act residential applications; 8) Staff to designate time to do a landmark designation.

Howard Wong – Friends of Appleton-Wolfard Library, Re: DEIR connection between mitigation measures and funding of land mark designation report.

Peter Warfield – Library Users Association, Re: 1) HPC should require minimum sunshine requirements for minutes to be the top of the list for this Commission and the Planning Department; 2) Agendize the HPC work program; 3) Clarify the cost of landmark designations.

Commissioner Chase closed public comments and said the following:

It’s very helpful for the Commission and I, I can’t speak for the Department. They will take what’s been said seriously in providing us with information that we can help partner to develop a budget or work program for the Commission.

I did have a request from the Deputy City Attorney to speak to on an item under Staff Report and Announcements.

Deputy City Attorney Andrea Ruiz-Esquide:

From the last meeting there was discussion whether general sign consistency findings and section 101 findings were necessary in one of the draft motions. You decided that it wasn’t and we agreed, because it was an amendment to the Administrative Code. It was an administrative act ordinance that you were discussing. I just want to let you know at this hearing you will be considering two other draft motions for the remaining item and these draft motions will have General Plan consistency findings as well as section 101.1 findings. We have determined that these are required because these are final decisions that you are taking on these items for C of A. From now on you’ll be seeing these findings in the draft motions.

C. REGULAR CALENDAR

2. 2009.0966A (T. Frye 415/575-6822)

51-99 GROVE STREET - The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, historically known as the Exposition Auditorium, Assessor’s Block 0812; Lots 001. Bound by Hayes, Grove, Larkin, and Polk Streets. The subject building is a contributing structure to the Civic Center Historic District. It is located within a P (Public) District with an 80-X Height and Bulk limit. The proposal is a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to remove the existing light box sign on the Hayes Street elevation and to install a sign indicating the theater name and an LED marquee to promote theater events.

Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from the Regular meeting of October 21, 2009)



SPEAKERS: Milo Hanke – San Francisco Beautiful, re: Concerned about the signage and that it would not disrupt the character of the Civic Center; also concerned about the sale of naming rights for a civic asset. Michael Levin, re: Opposed new sign as proposed. Gee Gee Platt, re: Encouraged commissioners to look at last election ballot book which covered signage and Proposition E, and information that goes along with the City Historic District Designation and National Historic Landmark Designation.

ACTION: Continued to December 16, 2009.

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

ABSENT: Hasz



3 2009.0037H (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

403-405 Taylor Street - Assessor’s Block 0317; Lots 003 is located at the southwest corner of Taylor and O’Farrell Streets. Historically known as the Hotel Californian, the subject property is a Category I Building within the Kearny-Market-Mason-Sutter Conservation District and is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located within a C-3-G (Downtown General) District with an 80-130-F Height and Bulk limit. The proposal is a request for a Permit to Alter for window replacement; pressed metal ornament replacement; brick replacement; and painting the exterior of the building.

Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

(Continued from the Regular Meeting of November 4, 2009)

PRESENTERS: Jeremy Paul – for Serano Hotel and CREA, Jessica Wallace – Waterproofing Consultant/Architect; Patrick Bouscovich – Structural Engineer, Brad Blemker – Restoration Contractor, Ron Wurgley – Project Manager, Michael Calhoun – Chief Engineer at the Serano Hotel

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved with amendment to condition 1 that all windows above 4th floor be replaced with Marvin metal clad wood window; paint analysis for both facade and transom be conducted of historical coloring of the building and be subjected to review and approval by preservation staff; transom details be revised to match the historic.

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

ABSENT: Hasz

MOTION NO: 0035

4 2009.0947A (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

850 Montgomery Street - (Assessor’s Block 0175; Lots 033) Between Pacific Avenue and Jackson Streets. The subject property was constructed in 1970 and is a non-contributing structure to the Jackson Square Historic District. It is located within a C-2 (Community Business) District with a 65-A Height and Bulk limit. The proposal is a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to install new storefront and entry systems at the courtyard level and on the courtyard side on each of the suspended walkways.

Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

PRESENTER: Carl Shaoliam – Project Architect/ Agent

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved Option C as sketched by Commissioner Chase for use with acoustical panels, or, alternatively, Option A with at least one more vertical mullion if it is all glazed, and with all other conditions and recommendations by staff.

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

ABSENT: Hasz

MOTION NO: 0036

D. MATTERS OF THE COMMISSION



5. Consideration of Adoption:

· Draft minutes of Regular Hearing of November 4, 2009



SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Adopted meeting minutes of November 4, 2009 Regular Meeting as corrected by Commission Damkroger

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

ABSENT: Hasz



6. President’s Report and Announcements

Commission Chase:

Regarding the Sunshine Ordinance issues that have come up, since we are a new commission, I would urge you to be clear about your comments and direction. Clear in terms of making motions, clear about who you are requesting information from – project sponsor, staff, or the public. In terms of our motions, they are certainly being scrutinized for us to be as clear as possible and reflect changes in the recommendations for the draft motion in front of us. It will greatly help the staff. I want to thank Ms. Avery-Herbert for taking the heat on this. Just to publicly state: I don’t think that what’s been [given] to us is particularly fair, but be that as it may, we have to deal with issues in the public form.

7. Commission Comments/Questions

Commission Secretary Avery:

I have a couple of items before taking up the three items under the Commission’s Comments/Questions category. I think you are aware of the training you need to take before the end of the year. I want to remind you that if you have not done them, you should do so. The City and County of San Francisco ID you received a while back has your 5-digit access number on the back of the card. This number should be used to access the online training. Second, when you know you are going to be absent, please send me an email in advance so that if we come across to a quorum problem, I’ll be able to let the President know as early as possible.

a. Discussion of resolutions for LPAB members

Note: Tina is to circulate two resolution samples for recognition of services rendered by former Landmark Preservation Advisory Board members: Bob Cherny, Lily Chan, Johana Street, Bridget Maley, Jean-Paul Samah, and Ina Dearman. Resolutions could be presented to former members at the hearing or at the holiday party.

b. Discussion of HPC Year-end wrap up and achievements

Note: Commissioner Wolfram suggested a press release to coincide with the CLG Annual Report on HPC accomplishments this year -- what the goals are, and what the mission is in fulfilling Proposition J. Deputy City Attorney Andrea Ruiz-Esquide suggested that instead of a press release, maybe a year-end summary with bullet points that highlights achievements and distribute it to the Mayor’s office and to the BOS. Preservation Coordinator Tina Tam stated that the CLG Annual Report will be completed by the end of this year and would be available beginning next year.

c. Discussion of year-end holidays and schedules

Note: i) Commissioner Karl Hasz had offered to coordinate a dinner or year-end holiday event but was absent this hearing. The Commission agreed the year-end dinner would be set for December 16 and would need a 15-day notice. The location still has to be determined. ii) The Commission decided to meet on the first Wednesday in January of next year (January 6, 2010). President Chase announced that he could not attend this meeting.

Other matters brought up by the Commission at the hearing

d. Commissioner Wolfram got a note from the Disability Commission expressing concern.

Commissioner Chase:

I had a HPC calendar meeting with Tina, Linda, and John. John indicated that he would contact Susan Miser (Disability Commission). He specifically wants to know if the information the Disability Commission seeks is required to come from staff or whether one or two HPC commissioners can go to the meeting.

Commissioner Buckley:

If there’s a concern I don’t know what that concern is. We are concerned with accessibility issues, especially in the Architectural Review Committee. If there’s a particular concern, we need to be made aware of it and be able to respond to it.

Commissioner Chase:

I don’t know what the concerns are either.

Commissioner Martinez:

It could be the.........

Commissioner Buckley:

There was an online article. The person who wrote it did a lot of good work involving accessibility issues, but this article is very inappropriate. I don’t want to just be saying we are responding to some concern and don’t know what the concern is.

Commissioner Damkroger:

In the past we had a joint meeting with the Disability Commission and the LPAD about accessibility at City Hall. That may be an option.

e. Memorandum labeled privileged and confidential from City Attorney Byrne

Commissioner Martinez:

We were handed this memorandum. Can we get a discussion of this on the next calendar? It says that it can only be distributed to the public with a vote. But how do we vote if it’s not on the calendar

Commissioner Buckley:

Then it wouldn’t be confidential. Maybe we do a closed session?

Commissioner Secretary Avery:

You have the ability to do a closed session only if the matter for discussion is a pending litigation, or a contractual issue, or a personnel issue. For this memo, I would suggest that either I or Tina speak with the City Attorney about their intent for giving you this memo and if this is something we can calendar for a public hearing as opposed to a close session.

Preservation Coordinator Tam:

I have spoken with Marlena about this extensively and I spoke with Andrea earlier today before the hearing about this memo. I didn’t realize she was going to circulate this today. I recommend that you contact Marlena directly yourself to get your take on why she is doing this and in this fashion.

Commissioner Chase:

I think Tina and Linda need to have a conversation with them about how, when and in what form when it comes to a public hearing. We can’t have a joint conversation around this item until it is not privileged information. If we play the rules of Sunshine Ordinance, we just need to make sure we do that appropriately and in a public form.

Commissioner Damkroger:

I am interested in what everyone’s reaction is and questions are. I would like to know what the conversation is with the attorneys.

Commissioner Secretary Avery:

To the extent that each of you follows the suggestion of Tina, that you each call the City Attorney, I would caution you against calling or following up with an email to everyone. Your conversation with the City Attorney would be your conversation with the City Attorney. And until or unless we have a public hearing, sharing your views on the conversation is inappropriate.

f. Calendaring a discussion on ethics

Commissioner Wolfram:

I suggest adopting some kind of an ethics code for this commission. Specifically, whether we can have some language regarding meeting with project sponsors. I talked to Marlena already and she said we could amend the rules and regulations we already have.

Commissioner Secretary Avery:

That’s true. When I first came to the commission and went to training, that was one of the first things I learned. I will note that I have informed the Planning Commission that if they are going to meet with any one party, they should make themselves available to parties on both sides of an issue. And if they do that, they must announce publicly that they have met with those parties. They do this all the time. I agree you should amend your rules and regulations to reflect what you as a body want. We can put that before you at any point you want to do so. It is truly your collective call.

Commissioner Chase:

I asked earlier on about the issues of amending other aspects of those regulations. I would ask everybody to look at that and begin to think about it so we can talk about this collectively about how we can amend those rules. We probably will not touch all of them, but if issues come to mind about our operating procedures, like what we just talked about, then we may want to address those issues comprehensively at a hearing and consider amendment(s).

Commissioner Secretary Avery:

I will put a hard copy in your packet for the next hearing. It won’t be on the calendar, but will be in you packet. This is for you to review. When you do amend your rules, that amendment needs to be noticed 10 days in advance of the hearing. I need you to look at those rules and decide where you want to amend. Let me know so we can calendar it and I can put out a notice to the public what you are considering amending.

Commissioner Chase:

Speaking about disclosure, there might be a need to simply have within the framework of our agenda “Announcements and Disclosures” before we hear these items.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Discussions only – no actions

Adjournment: 4:06 p.m.



The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, December 16, 2009.

ACTION: Approved

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



Last updated: 12/24/2009 11:02:38 AM