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City and County of San Francisco




Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, February 3, 2010



12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting




COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:         Chase, Damkroger, Hasz, Martinez

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT:           Buckley, Matsuda, Wolfram




STAFF IN ATTENDANCETina Tam – Preservation Coordinator, John Rahaim - Planning Director, Shelley Caltagirone, Moses Corrette, Pilar LaValley, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary







Mark Duffett – President of SPEAK, the Sunset Parkside Education Action Committee, re:  Would like to pursue landmark application for the [Flash Pool Building] and Mother’s Building and bring the completed application to the HPC as soon as possible.

Peter Warfield – Library Users Association, re:  1) Stated minutes in some cases have progressed but don’t think it is sufficient; 2) Park Branch Library - Urged HPC to document the agreements reached with regards to not landmarking in exchange for improvements and to schedule review of plans and progress at HPC in six months or perhaps sooner.

Bradley Wiedmaier – Independent Member of San Francisco Preservation Consortium, re: 1) Thanked HPC for helping his campaign for opening the Assessor’s file photos to public access; 2) Quoted a cost of $30,000 to $40,000 to SFGTV to televise the HPC hearings as compared to $75,000 from budget discussion this fall or winter; 3) There is room for improvement to state an individual’s position in the minutes.




1.     HPC’s 2010-2011 Budget Discussion – Response to the questions raised at the January 28, 2010 joint public hearing with the San Francisco Planning Commission and discussion regarding the HPC’s recommendation on priority setting for the Department’s work program.


Planning Director Rahaim

Budget Schedules – The HPC has today and February 17th to discuss the budget, the Planning Commission has February 4th [11th] for further discussion and on February 18th they must act on the budget.  The budget is due to the Mayor’s Office on February 22nd.

Out of the $4.5 Million deficit, the Department is able to solve about $3 Million through a combination of revenue sources including a modest fee increase, leaving about $1.5 Million deficit.  This figure translates to about 11 Full Time Employees (FTE).

The three unions which represent Planning staff has set up a Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) to look at and develop recommendations to resolve the remaining $1.5 Million deficit.  Recommendations are not finalized at this time.

There are three to four major issues that come from the joint HPC and CPC meeting last week –

        Several members among the HPC felt the Department’s first priority is the permit review process; the second is district designations; and the third is decreasing staff effort relative to the sustainable strategy required in Senate Bill 375 dealing with regional planning and transportation issues.

        Consider different processes to deal with district designations, perhaps outsourcing the work.

        The HPC hearings should be televised.

        Compared the various cost of HPC to Landmark Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB) by quantifiable costs and non-quantifiable costs.  Three quantifiable costs are 1) Attorney cost of about $45,000 as an increased cost for reviewing reports and CEQA findings now that HPC is a Chartered and therefore formal decision making body; 2) Additional administrative cost of about $69,000 for staff to do minutes and other support functions; and 3) the additional health coverage cost of $21,000 for this Commission to cover 4 of the 7 Commissioners who chose to use it.   That totals about $132,000.  The non-quantifiable cost is additional staff time spent on CEQA reviews, HRER(s) and preparation time on these documents.  More time is being spent on these non-quantifiable than the LPAB had spent before.

It’s a question of how the Department spends the resources to complete designation work and implement surveys.  Staff necessary to do permit review is slower than the Department would like.  How much do we cut from that in order to do the other functions of the Department?

Sustainable development strategy – the Department proposed 4 FTE and the minimum to do the required to do the work, as asked by Commissioner Damkroger, is about 2 FTE.  It is possible that the Department could do that.



Jack Gold – SF Heritage – re: 1) Raising fees associated with project review is onerous; 2) Focus on designations; and 3) do a spreadsheet comparing HPC and LPAB budgets.

Bradley Wiedmaier – Architectural Historian and Member of Preservation Consortium – re: 1) Applauded Planning Department’s efforts to keep staff; 2) Suggested a progressive permit fee structure based on size of projects; 3) Supports televising HPC hearings; and 4) Moving forward the district designations.

Peter Warfield – Library Users Association – re: 1) Needed more time to study the memo; 2) Questioned additional administrative staff support to Commission Secretary Avery; and 3) Asked whether televising HPC hearings is a mandate under the law.

ACTION:  Informational/discussion only.  Although the HPC did not take action, they did decide to write a memo and present it to the Planning Commission at its February 11, 2010 hearing when this item is scheduled for consideration.  Commission Secretary Avery would collaborate with HPC to list key points around televising HPC hearings, finishing area plans with designations, sustainability initiative, fees, and staff retention.


Preservation Coordinator Tam with other Staff Report items:

Mission/Dolores Survey is currently scheduled for the 3/17/10 HPC hearing.

Market/Octavia Draft Augmentation Survey is scheduled for the 4/12/10 HPC hearing.

The HPC recommendation for initiation of both districts and individual properties in these areas and the overlapping properties between Mission/Dolores and Market/Octavia is scheduled in May or June.




2.         President’s Report and Announcements



3.         Consideration of Adoption:

            a.      Draft minutes of Regular Hearing of January 20, 2010



Bradley Wiedmaier – Added “supporting the appellant” for 2750 Vallejo Street in the draft minutes of January 6, 2010 under Public Comment

Peter Warfield – Noted the considerable reporting in the minutes of Commissioner’s own discussions under Matters of the Commission.

ACTION:         Approved the minutes as corrected – to change what Commissioner Martinez meant in Action under Item 4 from Staff was directed to include language dealing with landscape feature for historic and significant trees in the historic resource part of the DEIR to Direct staff to study whether or not the trees along El Camino Real were a historic landscape and a cultural resource; to change, Action under Item 5 from fence to front fence; corrected speaker name under Item 8 from Churney to Cherney

AYES:             Hasz, Martinez, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:        Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda


4.         Disclosures

Commissioner Damkroger lives within 500 feet of 900 North Point scheduled on today’s calendar under the Consent Calendar and asked to be recused.


5.         Commission Comments/Questions

Commissioner Hasz asked to agendize an item to discuss the definition of Disclosure.  Commissioner Damkroger would like to bring to this discussion whether the HPC does site tours and how to do them if HPC decides it should.

Commissioner Damkrogercommented that Black History Month was Friday and that San Francisco State University’s Black Student Union was being recognized as one of the first.  She would support the designation of a plaque to recognize the original founding of Black Student Unions.

Commissioner Martinez asked the Library to present on how the HPC concerns were incorporated into the working drawings of the Park Branch Library.  Preservation Coordinator Tam responded that Merced and Parkside are scheduled for 3/3/10, but would now also include the Park Branch Library.  Copies of Page and Turnbull’s report would be made available




6.         2009.1122A                                                               (S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

900 North Point (a.k.a. 851 Beach Street), Ghirardelli Square, on block bound by Beach, North Point, Larkin, and Polk Streets. Assessor’s Block 0086, Lots 001-058. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace the Bank of America signage at the south façade of the Woolen Mill Building. Ghirardelli Square is designated San Francisco Landmark No. 30 and is listed on the National and California Registers of Historic Places. The site is zoned C-2 (Commercial) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District, and is also within the Northern Waterfront Special Use District No. 2.

Preliminary Recommendation:  Approval


NOTE:            Commissioner Damkroger asked to be recused from hearing this case earlier at Disclosure.

SPEAKER:     Peter Warfield – re: 1) Every item on the calendar requires Public Comment; 2) substantiate the new Disclosure item; and 3) practice proper recusal procedures

ACTION:         Recusal for Commission Damkroger

AYES:             Hasz, Martinez, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:        Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda


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

AYES:             Hasz, Martinez, Chase

ABSENT:        Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda

RECUSED:     Damkroger




7.                                                                                            (S. Caltagirone: 415/558.6625)

2750 Vallejo Street - Informational Presentation and Discussion regarding the appeal of a Building Permit Application No. 2008.08.14.9201. This Building Permit Application is currently under appeal to the Board of Appeals (Appeal No. 09-152) and is scheduled for hearing before the Board of Appeals on Wednesday, February 24, 2010. The Historic Preservation Commission may direct staff to draft a letter from the Commission to the Board of Appeals regarding the appeal of the Building Permit Application approval.


SPEAKERS:     Bradley Wiedmaier – re: Urged that comments and questioning on the compliance with neighborhood standards be conveyed by this Commission.

ACTION:            Continued to February 17, 2010

AYES:                Hasz, Martinez, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:           Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda


8.         2010.0037U                                                                    (M. Corrette: 415/558-6295)

OMI Context Statement - San Francisco’s Ocean View, Merced Heights, and Ingleside (OMI) Neighborhoods 1862 – 1959 Historical Context. The area under study consists of the blocks bounded by Ocean Avenue to the north; Interstate 280 to the east and south; Brotherhood Way to the south; and Junipero Serra to the west. Consideration to adopt, modify, or disapprove the San Francisco’s Ocean View, Merced Heights, and Ingleside (OMI) Neighborhoods 1862 – 1959 Historical Context.

Preliminary Recommendation: Motion to Adopt the San Francisco’s Ocean View, Merced Heights, and Ingleside (OMI) Neighborhoods 1862 – 1959 Historical Context.


PRESENTER:  Woody Labonte – Western Neighborhood Project, re: Appreciated funding received from the Preservation Historic Fund Committee to do this work and urged the Commission to move forward on this project.

ACTION:            Adopted the OMI Context Statement as corrected to correct a couple of spelling errors:  .

AYES:                Hasz, Martinez, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:           Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda

MOTION:          M0046


9.         2009.1145A                                                                    (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

35 – 37 Liberty Street, south side of street between Guerrero and Valencia Streets, in Assessor’s Block 3608, Lot 037 or 090-091.  Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a horizontal rear addition, stair penthouse, and roof deck at rear of building. The subject property is a contributing resource to the Liberty-Hill Historic District and is within a RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District with a 40-X Height and Bulk limit.

Preliminary Recommendation:  Approval with conditions


PRESENTER:  Todd Davis – Architect of the project – gave an overview of the project; 

SPEAKERS:      Keaton Fronck – Owner of Upper Unit – 1) asked which is a better plan to use to better achieve neighbor’s preservation of light and air, the Planning Department or the owners and neighbors in agreement; And 2) asked whether conditioning the 3-foot set-back requirement is relevant to the Certificate of Appropriateness.  Lawrence Syracuse – Owner of Adjacent Property – spoke in support of sponsor’s original plan.

ACTION:            Approved the Certificate of Appropriateness without any condition.

AYES:                Hasz, Martinez, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:           Buckley, Wolfram, Matsuda

MOTION:          M0047





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 1:45:23 PM