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

September 15, 2010





Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting




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

COMMISSIONER ABSENT:             Buckley




STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  John Rahaim – Planning Director, Kelley Amdur – Director of Neighborhood Planning, Tim Frye, Sophie Hayward, Tara Sullivan, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary








SPEAKERS:  Catherine Howard, Friends of the Music Concourse, requested that a Certificate of Appropriateness be required for concession stands at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park; Jakkee Bryson requested the HPC to pull together an ADA compliant policy for the City’s historic and non-historic buildings; Jill Fox, Member of India Basin Neighborhood Association, brought to HPC attention that historic landmark #250, the Shipwright’s Cottage at 900 Innes has been fire damaged and the Historic Docks are falling down in Hunter’s Point.  She asked if it’s possible to agendize an item in the future to develop general rules and guidelines for the care and maintenance of identified historic buildings; Joe Butler, AIA and member of Little House Committee, commented on over-the-counter permits for Category B buildings over 50 years old; Ray Hartz, Director of SF Open Government, commented on the two items that were closed for public comments at the last hearing; George Williams, representing SPUR, commented that perhaps the provision in Old St. Mary’s legislation that the sale of TDR proceeds must be used for on-going maintenance and rehabilitation of the building is a good idea, but it raised havoc for a number of projects and for lenders because under the loan agreement they have the obligation as to how to use the value of the property.  He also brought into focus Transbay Transit Center to the HPC that TDR is necessitated in order to provide capital for the project.  He urged all – the HPC, Planning Commission, and others to rethink the TDR scheme; Nancy Wuerfel, requested that HPC agendize an item to protect properties mentioned by the two previous speakers - Butler and Fox; Gee Gee Platt asked how would a concern citizen/neighbor appeal a project that didn’t need CEQA, and how could it be done.




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

Discussion of Article 11 minor scopes of work and delegation to Planning Department.

(Continued from regular hearing of 9/1/10)


Mr. Frye broke down the discussion into several components: 

The 36 letters of Minor Alteration:  He went over a few samples with the HPC and noted all letters of minor alteration were submitted to interested parties and the HPC. The Department did not receive any comment on these projects.  There would have been an appeal process if there was any objection, but there was none.

Storefront, Sign and Awning standards – the documents are in draft form and need to be updated with better samples, photos, and language from Proposition J.  Staff has engaged the public - Gee Gee Platt and the Union Square Business Improvement District - for their comments. The amended resolution reflecting these comments would come back to HPC in the Fall of 2010 for review and formal approval.

Resolution – Amended Whereas, No. 3 c and d, and discussed the definition of Ordinary Maintenance and Repair, and Installation of Rooftop Equipment being minimally visible.

Exhibit A – Department simplified the phrase ‘Minor Alteration Permit to Alter” to “Minor Permit to Alter”.  Mr. Frye brought to the attention of the HPC that if a request for hearing is filed, notification will follow the standard hearing noticing requirement of the HPC.  This will be based on what the Commission agrees to as adopted by the Board of Supervisors with the code clean-up.


SPEAKERSRay Hartz, SF Open Government, reminded HPC that delegating any authority does not remove their responsibility.  He preferred a 21-day notification period; Aaron Peskin has not heard from staff 1) what’s going to be done with the 36 minor alteration permits issued by the Zoning Administrator in contravention of Proposition J; 2) staff’s intent on what they want to do on the not vested. He recalled Commissioner Hasz’s suggestion to look at the 36 permits to see what should be delegated to staff.  Gee Gee Platt wanted HPC to see most of the storefront requests.  Regarding the substantial heights and minimal visibility, she was not sure what half a story set-back is.  She suggested that using something more definitive would be helpful.


Commissioners Martinez and Wolframdiscussed the scopes of work on Ordinary Maintenance and Repair. Commissioner Chase suggested staff refine the definition on what is repair and replacement.

Commissioner Hasz and Chase asked whether the letters of Minor Alterations could be provided formally as part of the agenda or packet because it would help HPC understand the quantity and breathe of the requests, where the bulk of them come from, and to define delegating responsibility for staff approvals.  Mr. Frye responded that including Minor Alterations in the packet would be onerous because it would require distribution of 17 full size packets and analysis for every awning, for example, within the Kearny, Market, Mason and Sutter District.  The Department suggests that we send letters to the HPC, include the letters in the HPC correspondence folder, and put Minor Alteration as an agenda item for discussion.  If something that is a concern, the letter could be pulled off, or revisited at that time.  This would provide an opportunity for discussion.

Commissioner Chase commented that part of the urban clutter was allowing the installation of new signs without the removal of old signs, their respective conduit, transformer boxes, and repainting over them.


NOTE:   At the close of the discussion, Mr. Frye summarized outstanding issues that would be brought back to the Commission: 1) The 15-day vs 21-day notification; 2) agreement about photos on the 11x17 sheet outlining the scope of work; and 3) resolve Ordinary Maintenance and Repair issues.




2.         President’s Report and Announcements:  None


3.         Disclosures

Commission Wolfram met with Ms. Mizner and representatives of the Bureau of Architecture regarding the Board of Supervisor’s ramp, Item 5, on today’s agenda.


4.         Commissioner Comments/ Questions

Commissioner Wolfram asked the status on policy discussion for vacant buildings HPC heard regarding 1600 Larkin and 900 Innes.  Mr. Frye responded that he contacted Lawrence Kornfield of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) but a formal request was required.  Staff was drafting the letter but DBI will decide when their staff is available.  Commissioner Martinez informed that the BOS has passed that legislation and would like staff to report on the status of 900 Innes to see whether it is at a point of enforcement required by the legislation.  Commissioner Damkroger wondered if SF Heritage should contact property owners of 900 Innes.  Commission Chase asked this item be agendize and echoed the commissioners’ issues on the Vacant Building policies.  He commented that one of the big items the public ends up paying a great price for is the notion of dilapidated buildings and code enforcement.  Historically, it’s been a difficult thing for the community to deal with, but it continues to erode the neighborhood.  The notion around trying to get better cooperation with DBI was the key to the issue.

Commissioner Martinez spoke on:

Music Concourse – He would like to agendize the Music Concourse to discuss whether a C of A is required for concession stands as brought up by Katherine Howard under Public Comment.  He would like an explanation of why a C of A is not required for permanent objects like bicycle racks.  Commissioner Damkroger was interested in the cumulative impact from all bit by bit changes and thought there should be a plan for the Music Concourse area.

Permits Already Approved – He would like a report from staff on the status of the storefront permits that HPC approved to see if legal action needs to be taken to clarify the legal status.

Over the Counter Approval – To address Joe Butler’s concern about over-the-counter permits for Category B buildings, he requested staff to report on the Department’s drawing requirements on minor repair for window replacements.

Commissioner Damkroger suggested to post on the web HPC adopted policies on historic buildings and ADA access.  She thanked the National Trust Heritage paper for an editorial written about HPC’s vote at the September meeting on the North Beach Library.




The following two consent items were removed from the Consent Calendar and were heard as part of the Regular Calendar.


5.         2010.0677A                                                                    (S. Hayward: 415/558.6372)

Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place (City Hall) – Assessor’s Block 0787; Lot 001, on the block bounded by McAllister, Grove, and Polk Streets and Van Ness Avenue.  The subject property is the Board of Supervisors’ Chamber in City Hall, a contributing structure to the Civic Center Historic District, local San Francisco Landmark Number 21.  The site is zoned P (Public) with an 80-X Height and Bulk limit.  The proposal is a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness in order to make the president’s dais and the clerk’s desk in the Board of Supervisors’ chamber accessible to persons with disabilities.  The scope of work for the proposed project is limited to the president’s dais and the clerk’s desk within the Board of Supervisors’ chamber in City Hall.

Preliminary Recommendation:  Approval


PRESENTER:   Susan Mizner - Director of Mayor’s Office on Disability; Stanley So - Department of Public Work

SPEAKER:        Jackkee Bryson filed a complaint on the temporary ramp that was done without a permit in City Hall’s Supervisor’s Chambers.

ACTION:            Approved as amended by staff and Martinez

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

ABSENT:           Buckley

MOTION NO:    M0079


6.         CONSERVATION EASEMENT                                            (T. Frye: 415/575.6822)

4705 3rd STREET SOUTH - Assessors Block 5311; Lot 011, City Landmark No. 8: SAN FRANCISCO OPERA HOUSE.  Recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to grant a Conservation Easement, encompassing interior and exterior features of the subject building, to San Francisco Architectural Heritage to meet a condition required by the National Park Service's Save America’s Treasures Grant Program.  Preliminary Recommendation: Approval


RECUSED:        Commissioner Chase


PRESENTER:   Director of Bayview Opera House

SPEAKER:        Judy Nemzoff - Program Director of SF Arts Commission, Mike Buhler - SF Heritage

ACTION:            Approved as amended by staff

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

ABSENT:           Buckley





7.         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 of 7/21/10, 8/4/10, 8/18/10 and 9/1/10)

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


NOTE:   The Commissioners discussed sections 1004.1, 1014a, 1006.3, 1006.8 under Article 10 in detail with Planning Staff.  Aaron Peskin, Gee Gee Platt and Mike Buhler made public comments during the discussion.  Ms. Sullivan would have Article 10 redrafted for the Commission to take a vote and start the discussion of Article 11 at the next hearing.  Pending a room’s availability in City Hall, a special all day meeting on either September 29th or October 13th would be calendared for the discussion on Article 11.     






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 5:38:06 PM