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

September 1, 2010





Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting




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




STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  John Rahaim – Planning Director, Kelley Amdur – Director of Neighborhood Planning, Tim Frye – Acting Preservation Coordinator, Tara Sullivan, Jonas Ionin – Acting Commission Secretary








SPEAKERS:  Art Persyko, Resident of Pacific Heights - in support of preserving the Clay Theater as a community theater that serves residents of San Francisco and the Bay Area; Rebecca Sills, San Francisco Film Society - in support of saving the Clay Theater and would negotiate with the landlord for a lease to make it the home of the Film Society in the event that the current tenant leaves.  She would hope to agendize the issue in the future with the HPC; Catherine Howard, Friends of the Music Concourse – 1) Extended an invitation to HPC for the Music Concourse restoration ceremony and expressed thanks to the former LPAB for having the space protected; 2) The SFPUC was starting the EIR for a 30-foot high and approximately 40,000 square foot Water Treatment Plant in the western end of Golden Gate Park; 3) The EIR for the Soccer Athletic Fields hasn’t started and would like very much for the HPC to write a letter to express their concerns; Zack Stewart,  Architect - thanked the HPC; Anita Denz,  Resident of Pacific Heights and Member of the Victorian Alliance - in support of saving the Clay Theater; Lee Goodin - read the Examiner editorials regarding Transbay Terminal and the North Beach Library; Jim Warshell, Vice President of the Victorian Alliance - urged HPC to weigh in on the outpour of public support from a wide and diverse group for 280 Divisadero Street on the initial hearing of the project when HPC evaluate it; Joan Wood, Native San Franciscan - urged HPC to preserve San Francisco heritage and to remember why they were elected; Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government - had concerns and thought it was inappropriate not allowing the pubic to comment on two items on the agenda where public comment was closed; Peter Warfield, Library Users’ Association - said HPC meeting minutes do not summarize what members of the public say, and urged the HPC to allow full public comment on items 6 and 7; Sara Kliban - said San Francisco is an amalgamation of taste and style from 1800 to now.  She urged HPC to think twice before changing the legacy of the City and thanked HPC for being conservation conscious; Sue Cauthan, member of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force - said she knew HPC got a lot of pressure from developers and a major daily newspaper company. She commended HPC for being strong and doing the right thing for San Francisco; Carol [Verberg], North Beach resident - asked HPC to consider the amount of community input that came with the work under their jurisdiction.  She commented that nowadays the loudest and the most strident would be heard the most, but thought that when the process works it way with great care through community deliberation, that all would be taken just as seriously.




1.                                                                                                       (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

Discussion – Identification of Article 11 minor scopes of work and potential delegation to Planning Department (Dept.)


Acting Preservation Coordinator Frye presented a memo that included the outline of the proposed Minor Alteration / Permit to Alter Requirements and Scopes of Work.  His goals were 1) to clarify what should be considered as minor alteration for delegation to Planning Staff under Article 11; and 2) to determine what would be the review and notification process associated with that.  If delegation is to occur, the Department would like the HPC to adopt criteria listed on the memo, and recommend that this delegation be implemented as an interim procedure that expires within one year to allow a review of the process.  On the memo, the Department included a process to initiate hearing requests for minor alterations for the HPC and the public.  The process would work like this: 

        A building permit application is filed.  The Dept. would draft findings and issue a letter of Minor Alteration Permit to Alter that would be sent to HPC and any interested parties that are listed on file with the Department

        With this letter, instead of 10 days, there would be a 15-day notification request period.  If no request for hearing is filed at the Department, the permits would be approved on the 16th day.  If a request for hearing was filed with the Department, a re-notice would be sent to the applicant, the project sponsor and all interest parties that a hearing would be scheduled at the HPC.

        A hearing would be scheduled where in the HPC would have to make two determinations – 1) if the project meets the definition of Minor Alteration; and 2), was the Department consistent in the application of the criteria.

        Based on those two determinations, there would be four anticipated outcomes - HPC would approve, disapprove, modify, or request for new information under Major Alteration.

      Mr. Frye stated the Department was open to any suggestions the HPC might have for developing more specific criteria or guidelines for these scopes of work.  The Department would bring revisions back at the 9/15/10 hearing.


Commissioners Comments and Questions:

Commissioner Buckley asked how Minor Alterations would be notified.  Would it be on the agenda or tagged in the Department and DBI’s system; and how would the public find out when minor Alteration applications for permits are filed?

Commissioner Damkroger asked how to provide the public with information on standards for Minor Alteration scopes of work?

Commissioner Martinez asked if the permit applications could be posted on the web and would there be extra fees for the permits.

Commissioner Chase brought up that in one previous HPC hearing, public notice on Minor Alterations was discussed as being part of the staff report at Commission hearings or being part of the item on the regular agenda where staff identifies for the HPC the number of alterations that have been submitted for review, approved and appealed. In delegating the responsibility to staff, these statistics are important to the HPC.

Commissioner Wolfram commented on the memo that contemporary design, rooftop mechanical equipment, wireless telecommunication work should be more narrowly defined in the proposed Minor Alteration / Permit to Alter scopes of work.

Commissioner Hasz suggested the HPC look at the 36 Minor Alteration permits approved last year as a package/sample.


SPEAKERS: Gee Gee Platt opposed the delegation to staff anything other than ordinary repair and maintenance; and staff needed to expand and develop the materials more fully for discussion to begin; Ray Hartz said he would follow the process closely to determine whether or not the recommendation presented are reflective of the actual circumstances; Aaron Peskin said 36 permits were issued when Proposition J does not allow their issuance until the HPC delegates that authority.  He suggested that HPC look at those as samples in figuring out what should be minor and major and to see what kind of things would fall within the type of projects that the HPC reviewed; Bradley Wiedmaier has a concern about storefront alterations - that many wonderful remnants of storefronts that were passed down have been removed and as a result has lessened the historic framing of the buildings; Zack Stewart expressed that Planning’s employees should be shifted under the jurisdiction of the HPC.


NOTE:   After Commissioners’ discussion and public testimony, Director Rahaim clarified that the HPC is just not delegating something to staff.  The HPC is delegating something to the staff that will have the authority to approve certain types of projects according to the guidelines; and whether something comes to HPC or not is the guideline that staff has to use.  The item was continued to September 15, 2010.  At that hearing Mr. Frye would 1) provide the storefront, awning, and sign guidelines; 2) revise the procedures based on HPC and public comments heard today; 3) provide the 36 letters of determination that have been approved since Proposition J.




2.         President’s Report and Announcements:  None


3.         Consideration of Adoption:

              a.        Draft minutes of Regular Hearing of August 4, 2010

              b.        Draft minutes of Regular Hearing of August 18, 2010


SPEAKERS:      None            

ACTION:            Approved August 18th, 2010 and amended August 4, 2010 minutes – Page 3, last paragraph Commissioner to Commission

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


4.         Disclosures

Commissioner Damkroger spoke with Brett Gladstone and Mark [Cobert] regarding 280 Divisadero; spoke with Nancy Shanahan regarding Articles 10 & 11; and received many emails and phone calls regarding 280 Divisadero – some of which she couldn’t reply to.


5.         Commissioner Comments/Questions

Commissioner Damkroger asked the status on Theaters Landmark Designation.  Mr. Frye responded it was conducted under the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board.  The survey/report on single-screen theaters might have been developed by the Mayor’s Office in 2006, but there hasn’t been any movement for a number of years.  The Department has the data in-house but it’s only in draft form.

Commissioner Buckley asked what landmarks data the Department has in GIS format and could it be made permanent on the Department’s web-site.  Mr. Frye responded that the Department was working on it and planned to bring information back in late October.  The historical data maps could be a permanent data base on the web.




6.         2008.0312A                                             (T. Frye for S. Caltagirone: 415/558-6625)

280 DIVISADERO STREET, Assessor's Block 1238, Lot 023, east side between Haight and Page Streets.  Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to convert the carriage house located at the rear of the subject property to a residential unit, resulting in a de facto demolition of the existing building per the demolition standards set forth in Section 1005(f) of the Planning Code and the construction of a new residential building with attached garage. The carriage house is a contributing feature of the Charles Hinkel House property, San Francisco Landmark No. 190.  The site is zoned NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.  At the 7/21/10 hearing public comment was closed on this matter.  The Historic Preservation Commission will only hear public comment on new information received by the Historic Preservation Commission since the 7/21/10 hearing.

(Continued from February 17, 2010 Regular Meeting, April 28, 2010 Special Meeting at Site, May 19, 2010 Regular Meeting, and July 21, 2010 Regular Meeting.)

Preliminary Recommendation:  Disapproval


PRESENTERS:         Richard Zillman – Project Sponsor; Mark [Cobert] – Preservation Architect; Brett Gladstone – Representing Project Sponsor.

SPEAKERS:     Peter Warfield asked the HPC to lift the restriction on public comment for this and the next item; Gee Gee Platt agreed with Planning Staff’s recommendation.     

Motion:              Motion to approve the project as proposed by Project Sponsor

AYES:                Buckley, Hasz, Wolfram

NAYS:                Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger, Chase

NOTE:               Motion failed (+3, -4)


ACTION:            Disapproved the project as per findings of Planning Department

AYES:                Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger, Chase

NAYS:                Buckley, Hasz, Wolfram

MOTION NO:    M0078


7.         2008.0968L                                                                           (T. Frye: 415/575-6822)

APPLETON & WOLFARD LIBRARIES NORTH BEACH BRANCH –  North Beach Branch Library, 2000 Mason Street: Assessor's Block 0074, Lot 001; Adoption of A Revised Resolution Recommending Designation to the Board of Supervisors of the North Beach Branch Library as a San Francisco Landmark under Article 10 of the Planning Code, and Making Findings in Support of Such Recommendation.  The property is zoned P (Public) and/or Open Space (OS).  The item was heard on June 16, 2010, and the Commission passed a resolution recommending to the Board of Supervisors landmark designation under Article 10 of the Planning Code, without findings.  Accordingly, the item is now before the Commission to make the required findings.  At the 7/7/10 hearing public comment was closed on this matter.  The Historic Preservation Commission will only hear public comment on new information received by the Historic Preservation Commission since the 7/7/10 hearing.

(Continued from regular hearing of 5/19/10, 6/16/10, and 7/7/10)


SPEAKERS:      Ray Hartz, SF Open Government - commented on public comment being closed on this item; Gee Goodin, North Beach - spoke in favor of the proposed library; Howard Wong commented on the extensive public media campaign of an article from SF Chronicle that had been frustrating to the preservation community; Peter Warfield spoke in favor of landmarking the North Beach Library; Joe Butler, AIA, gave design perspective on making North Beach Library handicap accessible; Karen Mauney-Brodek, Recreation and Park, remarked that supporters of the proposed North Beach Library Master Plan did not come today because public comment was closed; Joan Wood spoke about how a development in Los Angeles had incorporated and retained historic aspects of the Old Century Plaza Hotel; Richard Ow spoke in favor of expanding the library in whatever form or shape to accommodate the growing community; Bradley Wiedmaier spoke in favor of landmarking the library; Sue Cauthen spoke in favor of landmarking.


ACTION:            Adopted the resolution as amended

AYES:                Buckley ,Martinez, Matsuda, Damkroger

NAYS:                Hasz, Wolfram, Chase



8.         2010.0080T                                                                     (T. Sullivan: 415/558-6257)

Amendments to the Planning Code, including but not limited to Sections 121.2, 136.1, 151, 185, 186, 201, 204.2, 205, 205.1, 205.3, 207.2, 209.3, 209.8, 217, 249, 303, 309, 311, 340, 317, 602.25, 602.26, 607.1, 790.44, 803.2, 803.3, 3 890.133, 890.44, 703.2, and various sections of Articles 7, 10, and 11.  Ordinance sponsored by the Planning Department that would amend the Planning Code.  The proposed amendments are mainly clerical clean-up in nature, with Sections 121.2, 136.1, 151, 185, 186, 201, 204.2, 205, 205.1, 205.3, 207.2, 209.3, 209.8, 217, 249, 303, 309, 311, 340, 317, 602.25, 602.26, 607.1, 790.44, 803.2, 803.3, 3 890.133, 890.44, 703.2, and Articles 7, 10, and 11 being amended.  The focus of this hearing will be on Article 10, Section 309, and parts of Article 11.

(Continued from regular hearing of7/21/10, 8/4/10 and 8/18/10)

Recommendation: Approval of Proposed Ordinance with modifications to Board of Supervisors.


NOTE:   The Commissioners discussed various sections of Article 10 with Planning Staff and opened the discussion to the public.  The speakers were [Stu Bartoli], Gee Gee Platt and Mike Buhler who made comments on the various sections being discussed.  Following discussion, the Commission continued the item.


ACTION:            Continued to September 15, 2010

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









The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ACTION:           Approved          

AYES:              Hasz, Martinez, Wolfram, Damkroger, Chase

ABSENT:          Matsuda, Buckley

Last updated: 10/14/2010 5:33:17 PM