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




Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting




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




STAFF IN ATTENDANCETina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, Elaine Forbes, Alicia John-Baptiste, Kelley Amdur, Tim Frye, Angela Threadgill, Michael Smith, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary









Recording started during Public Comment.

Katherine Howard – the lighting at Beach Chalet soccer field would be three times as much compared to South Sunset Playing Field and trees would be taken out at the Murphie Windmill and Mills Wright House locations where views from there would be impacted.

Bradley Wiedmaier – Architectural Historian, re:  Requested HPC to support his campaign to make parcel file photos in the Recorder Assessor’s Office assessable to the public regardless of whether or not the parcel owner gave permission.





1.         HPC’s 2010-2011 Budget Discussion                                                  (E. Forbes)


Assistant Director Alicia John-Baptiste:

The Work Program presented today was not a balanced Work Program, meaning the Department anticipated fewer resources than allocated to the Work Program currently.  It showed how the Department would allocate resources if it had the same level of resources going into the next fiscal year as it did this fiscal year.  The Work Program is meant to provide information as a way for the Commission to become familiar with the Department’s services and the level of effort to allocate to those services, specifically around the Preservation Work Program.  The Department is asking the HPC for feedback and guidance for services which HPC believed are priorities and the Department would use that as it makes its decisions and see how best to support the Commission going into the next fiscal year.

The HPC is aware that when this Commission was developed there was no funding source identified for the work that is needed in order to be effective for the Commission.  The Department managed through that this fiscal year, but the Department is looking for more specific direction from the HPC for next fiscal year.

The Department will be presenting to this Commission and the Planning Commission next week, Thursday, January 28th, in a Joint Hearing a more detailed budget.  It still won’t be balanced, and at that point, the Department will again ask HPC for direction in terms of choosing among the various balancing options that needs to be considered before going to the next fiscal year.

The trade-off decisions around how to allocate resources is assuming we have fewer resources next year than this year.

Some of the items affecting our work loads for next fiscal year:

        The Action Plan has thirty service items the Department has taken on to improve efficiency and effectiveness.  It is intended to be a two year program from 2008 to 2010 and expires at the end of this fiscal year.  Many of the key elements of the initiative have been implemented or will be implemented by this summer.  The Department believes because of the efficiency put in place through the Action Plan, it can accommodate additional resources into the Neighborhood Planning Division.

        What the Department shows now in the Preservation Work Program is a shift to meet the needs of the Commission – increasing needs to application review and staffing the Planning Information Counter with preservation planners.  The Department wants to have a discussion with the HPC about finding a funding source to meet the needs of the Commission

        Eastern Neighborhood reviews -The Department has instituted a number of reforms in this area over the last couple of years, including the use of a consultant pool, community plan exemptions which is a more condensed environmental review process, and improved transportation functions.  These efficiencies allowed the Department to shift staffs away from supporting private applications, especially with the reduction in environment review applications and applied toward supporting city projects, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Recreation and Open Space Element, the Preservation Element, and the Community Safety Element.  These items have been in the Work Program for some time but the Department has not been able to adequately resource them.  Hopefully they can be done this fiscal year.

        The City Wide Program has completed a number of area plans over the last one and a half years – the Eastern Neighborhood, Market/Octavia, Balboa Park, etc, and with the completion of these area plans, the Department is able to move staff to some new projects, including sustainable city strategy.  Also smaller projects that supports sustainable development such as the Central Subway Corridor, Candlestick Park, Transbay, and Parkmerced.  With the adoption of these area plans, the Department is shifting focus in long range planning to plan implementation.  A lot of effort was put into these community processes over the years around how development should occur and the Department now feels the responsibility to make sure these plans are implemented as had been directed by the community and the policy makers.  The Department is hoping to give more attention to this in the next fiscal year.

        In the current fiscal year the Department was able to retain a number of staff positions through shifting its work to support public projects that received stimulus dollars on behalf of other city departments such as the Ports.  In the next fiscal year much of the stimulus funding would expire.  The whole group of staff supported through these revenues from other departments would be less available.  The Department is working with those departments to try to think creatively to fill in those sources and to continue to work on these important public projects.

        Internal initiative - the Department is trying to resource for the next fiscal year to update its computer system and permit tracking system.

        We are trying to accommodate increasing demands to address requests for  public records information.

The Department is proposing to add a grant writer position in next year’s budget to find ways to diversify revenue sources.

The Department is operating on the principle that we will make every effort to retain staff during this economic down-cycle.  During this cycle it is an appropriate time to do long range planning and internal process improvements.

Chief Finance Officer Elaine Forbes:  [She went over the “FY 2010-2011 – Financial Condition, Preliminary Balancing Options, and Work Program” using a PowerPoint presentation that she had used with the Planning Commission on December 17, 2009.]

Director of Neighborhood Planning Kelly Amdur:  [She gave an overview of Neighborhood Planning Work Program contained in the PowerPoint “FY 2010-2011 – Financial Condition, Preliminary Balancing Options, and Work Program.”  She also presented a broad picture of the proposed work program for the Neighborhood Planning division and gave details of the preservation work.]


SPEAKERS:      None

ACTION:            Informational presentation and discussion only – Although the Commission did not take any action, there was an expressed general consensus from commissioners that the Department should finish the survey work that has been started.  The Commission expressed that finishing the historic districts that have been started has to be a priority, not starting new things.   In relation to fees, it was expressed that projects under one million dollars are not happening and are being killed by the permit fees being asked for.  The fees are killing the work/the economy in San Francisco.  Smaller projects can’t afford it, they can’t borrow through development.


Preservation Coordinator Tam:  Had a couple of items to report –

        Golden Gate Park Soccer Fields - In 2007 the Planning Department received a general plan referral for a proposal to renovate a total of six athletic play fields.  At that time the Department made a determination that the project is consistent with the Planning Department policies and in balance with general conformity plan and issued a Categorical Exemption under Class I of California Environment Quality Act.   Golden Gate Park play fields proposal calls for change from natural to synthetic turf, renovate existing bathroom facilities, upgrade ADA pavement, install new light standards, bleachers, benches, and included addition of one new soccer field to be located at the southern part of the existing four soccer fields.  Recreation and Park representative Howard mentioned today that the soccer fields are located on the western part of Golden Gage Park near the Beach Chalet building which is designated as a local landmark.  In the designating ordinance, the boundaries of the landmark site is limited to the footprint of the building itself. It has brought to our attention recently that we do need more information to evaluate the impact of potential historic and national resource concerns related to this project.  We received from the Department of Recreation and Park a new environmental review application we had asked for.  A new determination will be issued within the next month or so.

        Vending Cart at the Music Concourse – The Department of Recreation and Park requested to postpone the informational presentation to the HPC until it further defines their proposal.


Commission Secretary Avery:

        Commented on a complaint filed at the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (SOFT) against the Department for deficiency in HPC minutes – On the January 14th I took samples of the last three months of HPC minutes to SOFT.  One member of the SOFT was there and acknowledged there was no quorum but decided to move the hearing forward.  Mr. Warfield from the Library Users Association was there as well as Mr. Bradley Wiedmaier  to restate the complaint, express their concern and ultimately acknowledge that  improvements were made to the minutes but felt it was not consistent as far as they were concerned.  I stated that the Department was meeting the requirements of the Administrative Code and the Sunshine Ordinance.  The disagreement around the complaint was the definition of summary of comments from the public.  Another member of the SOFT came later during the hearing and the two members seemed to be satisfied with our effort and asked that we continue with the effort.  I offered to attend training classes offered by SOTF and asked the commission for information about them.  I also stated that I would continue working on and producing the minutes as required by the Sunshine Ordinance.




2.         President’s Report and Announcements

Commission Chase:

        Reported that he and Commissioner Damkroger appeared before the Mayor’s Disability Council to discuss the inter-relationship between what HPC does with issues associated with universal access to historic properties and what they do.  The assumption that HPC has power over what happens to building is translated into that it can adjudicate all the issues around accessibility, which is not really the HPC purview or place.  We do have that [power] in reviewing applications that come before us and with the subset of buildings that are within our direct purview in how we deal with accessibility access in the approval process.  We went through a number of examples, and one was the Mills Wright Cottage in Golden Gate Park recently submitted to us where we had actually increased the level of accessibility.  This was an opportunity to increase a dialogue with the Disability Council to promote that historic preservation is not an enemy but a friend to the disabled community.  We should work towards developing a policy of mutual agreement on accessibility with historic building.  Primarily the interest is in public buildings where public business is taking place to provide universal access to all, not just wheelchair accessibility that ADA requirements call for, but also looking at other aspects of all the impediments that may have come to members of the disabled communities to access public activities.  The reference to the North Beach Library was part of the issue on accessibility that stimulated the request for HPC to come before the Council.  Our response to that, in the landmarking of those properties, does not preclude universal accessibility to that property.  It is actually the responsibility of those who design the renovation and rehabilitation to meet that requirement.


3.         Consideration of Adoption:

            a.      Draft minutes of Regular Hearing of December 16, 2009


SPEAKERS:      None

ACTION:            Approved the minutes as corrected to add Bradley Wiedmaier’s question re: 2750 Vallejo Street still on the agenda as an informational item, and change Adjournment from 1:43 P.M. to 4:43 P.M.

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


4.                 Disclosures

Commissioner Wolfram Buckley:  Met with the architect of the Filbert Street Cottages for a site tour.

Commissioner Martinez:  Initiated a contact with Chris VerPlanck over the Sacred Heart nomination.

Commissioner Chase:  Contacted Mr. Junius, attorney for the Filbert Street Cottages.

Commissioner Damkroger:  Had an offer to tour [Filbert Street Cottages] but did not take the offer.  She would like to discuss the opportunities for the HPC to do full commission tours from time to time.


 5.                 Election of Officers


ACTION:         Charles Chase as President and Courtney Damkroger as Vice President

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


6.         Commission Comments/Questions

Commissioner Martinez:  Asked for a time frame to agendize 2750 Vallejo Street as an action item to write a letter to the Board of Appeals.  Preservation Coordinator Tam responded it is scheduled for February 3 in the advance calendar.

Commissioner Wolfram:  Asked to agendize an item to modify the HPC Rules and Regulations.  Commission Secretary Avery reminded them that there is a 10 days noticing requirement to hear this item and that a copy of the document would be in their packets for the next hearing.

Commissioner Martinez:  Requested that an item be agendized around the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis and findings on buildings that don’t have impacts in the historic resource evaluation even though they don’t meet the Secretary of Interior Standards.  Preservation Coordinator Tam responded it would be scheduled in March or April as CEQA Part II.  Commission Chase:  Commented that it should be agendized as a discussion rather than action the first time around




The Commission will consider a request for continuance to a later date.  The Commission may choose to continue the item to the date proposed below, to continue the item to another date, or to hear the item on this calendar.


7.         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 December 16, 2009)

(Proposed for indefinite continuance)


ACTION:         Approved for indefinite continuance.

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




All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Historic Preservation Commission, and will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the Commission.  There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Commission, the public, or staff so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing


8.        2009.1104H                                                                  (A. Threadgill: 415/558-6602)

456 Post Street - located on the north side of Post Street between Powell and Mason Streets, Lot 009 in Assessor's Block 0296.  Request for a Permit to Alter for the reconstruction of a third floor exterior balcony, including a new terra cotta balustrade and underside ornamentation based on physical and pictorial evidence, as well as, extensive repairs to the south elevation, including repointing of masonry, patching or replacing damaged masonry, and gentle facade cleaning of the San Francisco Lodge No. 3 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  The subject building is a high-rise, steel framed, brick and terra cotta-clad Spanish-Gothic architectural resource rated as a Category I (Significant) Building in the Kearny-Market-Mason-Sutter Conservation District under Article 11 of the Planning Code.  The subject building is in a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) Zoning District and an 80-130-F Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


Note:  Commissioner Chase disclosed that the firm for which he works has an interest in Items 8 and 9 and asked to be recused.

ACTION:         Commissioner Chase recused from participation in items 8 & 9

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


On the item:


ACTION:         Approved

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

RECUSED:     Chase





9.         2010.0006U                                                                        (M. Smith: 415/558-6322)

2301 San Jose Avenue, northwest corner of San Jose and Geneva Avenues, in Assessor's Block 6972, Lot 036.  Request for Review and Comment on the nomination of the Geneva Office Building and Power House (Landmark No. 180) to the National Register of Historic Places.  The subject property is located within a P (Public) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution recommending nomination to the National Register of Historic Places


PRESENTERS:      Nicole Avelyn – Executive Direction of the Geneva Car Barn, She gave an overview of the project

SPEAKERS:            Daniel Weaver – Board Chair of the Geneva Office Power and House, re: Affirmed the Geneva Power House in the future to Landmark File #180; Bruce Bonacker – Architectural Committee for Friends of Geneva, re: Full recognition of Geneva Office and Power House as historic building.

ACTION:                  Approved a resolution recommending the nomination to the National Register of Historic Places under criterion A and C. 

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

RECUSED:              Chase



10.       2009.1141U                                                     (M. Smith forA. Starr: 415/558-6362)

2266 California Street, northeast corner of California and Webster Streets, in Assessor's Block 0637, Lot 011.  Request for Review and Comment on the nomination of the Temple Sherith Israel to the National Register of Historic Places.  The subject property is located within a RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution recommending nomination to the National Register of Historic Places


PRESENTERS:      Michael Corbett – Preparer for the nomination

SPEAKERS:            None

ACTION:                  Approved a resolution recommending the nomination to the National Register of Historic Places under criterion A and C. 

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



11.       2009.1138U                                                     (M. Smith forA. Starr: 415/558-6362)

554 Fillmore Street, southeast corner of Fillmore and Fell Streets, in Assessor's Block 0828,Lot 022.  Request for Review and Comment on the nomination of the Sacred Heart Church to the National Register of Historic Places.  The subject property is located within a RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution recommending nomination to the National Register of Historic Places


PRESENTER:   Christopher VerPlanck – President of Kelley and VerPlanck Historic Resource Consultants, re: Stated reasons why this project has eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places; Robert Pritachard – Member of  Save Our Sacred Heart, re: The sale of Sacred Heart and its unknown future for reuse gave rational for landmarking the project now.

SPEAKERS:      Meryl Easton – Member of Save Our Sacred Heart, Architect, and former President of Victorian Alliance, re:  Spoke in favor of the nomination.

ACTION:            Recommended nomination and to include HPC comments that the building represents an amalgamation of styles in the Bay Area by local architects as an evolution of Romanesque as it moved toward the West Coast; it reflects the changing social character of the neighborhood that includes a constituency of African-American Catholic population; and it is eligible under Criterion C.

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



12.      2009.0412A                                                               (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

1338 Filbert Street, Filbert Street Cottages, north side between Polk and Larkin. Assessor’s Block 0524, Lot 031 – Request for a Certificate of Appropriate-ness to rehabilitate the cottages and site for residential use.  The Filbert Street Cottages are San Francisco Landmark No. 232.  The site is zoned RH-2 (Residential, Two-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District. Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions


SPEAKERS:      None

ACTION:            Without hearing, item continued to February 17, 2010

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

NAYES:              Buckley       




The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, March 17, 2010


ACTION:           Approved

AYES:              Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:          Buckley, Hasz


Last updated: 3/24/2010 12:30:27 PM