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

September 7, 2011





Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting



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

COMMISSIONER ABSENT:             Hasz and Johns




STAFF IN ATTENDANCEJohn Rahaim - Planning Director, Pilar LaValley, Sophie Hayward, Tim Frye – Preservation Coordinator, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary






No item from this calendar was proposed for continuance.




SPEAKERS:   Nancy Wuerfel, member of the Little House Committee, stated that there is an ongoing loss of buildings acknowledge to be of historic value or located in a potential historic districts through major alteration applications or demolitions approved.  She urged the Planning Department (Planning) to make a record of collective values of historic buildings and to require the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) to return each revision of the addenda to the site plan to the Planning staff to follow through the entire review process; F. Joseph Butler, Architect in San Francisco, talked about the flaw in the environmental review process, particularly categorical exemptions and the HRERs and how they could weaken the integrity of buildings in potential local districts; Bland Platt couldn’t stay to join the discussion of Item 9 on the HPC Calendar and requested a red line version of the Articles 10 and 11 amendments; Katherine Howard, Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance, brought to the attention of HPC that the Recreation Open Space Element which governs open space acquisition will be brought to the Planning Commission in October.  She stated that she had not seen much about the HPC’s role in the document and urged the Commission to consider reviewing it; Dr. Ann Clark urged HPC to protect Golden Gate Park; Mike Buhler, SF Architectural Heritage, would not be able to join the discussion of the amendments to Articles 10 and 11.  He requested a red lined version and asked the HPC not to take action today because Supervisor Wiener’s proposed changes to Articles 10 & 11 need to be considered.




Preservation Coordinator Tim Frye:

1.                550 Jersey Street – In September 2000, a building permit was filed to construct a horizontal addition with a raised 2nd floor height by 2 feet and to replace the foundation.  311 neighborhood notification was sent and the Planning approved the permit in March 2001.  The permit expired in March 2002 and the new owner in February 2011renewed the expired permit with DBI approval. In July 2001 a complaint was filed with Planning regarding work performed at this site without new neighborhood notification.  The renewed permit was revoke but reissued with no additional neighborhood notification in August because the Zoning Administrator determined the project was substantially complete and the project had not changed in scope.  On August 17, 2011 at the HPC hearing, the public raised concern about the project’s construction.  In response to HPC request, Tina Tam from the Planning Department and Joe Duffy, DBI Inspector, visited the site and confirmed that the roof of the structure had been constructed 2 feet taller than the original approved permit.  Planning asked the Project Sponsor (PS) to either file a new permit to legalize the work which would require new neighborhood notification, or to reduce the project scope based on the original permit.  The PS agreed to file for a revision to comply with the original permit.

2.                2807 Clay Street – There was a question regarding Planning’s CEQA review of this project in comparison to another project on Green Street.  2807 Clay Street, a known historic resource listed in Here Today, proposed a vertical addition with a 13 foot setback that would be minimally visible from the public right-of-way.  After additional study of 3-D renderings which showed an almost 24 foot setback,  Planning felt the project met the requirements of the checklist and would not require a full Historic Resource Evaluation Report (HRER) because it sufficiently demonstrated the minimally visible setback requirement and would not trigger the definition of demolition under Article 10 of the Planning code.  The project on Green Street required a full HRER analysis by preservation staff because it proposed a large underground parking structure, a 3rd building on the site would obscure a critical side yard and the building in the back of the property.  The project also proposed raising the building in the front facade along with other very visible changes.  These changes were not “checklistable” and would require a full analysis according to the requirements of CEQA.  [Mr. Frye added the HRE actually determines: 1) if the project is in fact a historic resource; and 2) if the changes proposed impacts the resources’ ability to convey its significance.

SPEAKERS:   Nancy Shanahan spoke generally about the use of the checklist and its use was questionable to her under the law; Nancy Weurfel spoke in regards to 550 Jersey Street; Denis [Casey], owner of 740 Green Street - the building adjacent to 2807 Clay Street, spoke about the hurdles and limitations he had encountered for developing his site under the HRER process in comparison to 2807 Clay Street.  He asked the HPC to review 2807 Clay Street’s roof deck, pent-house, and light-well; Victoria Stein, Wife of Denis [Casey], asked that the 2807 Clay Street light-well be sized  match her building’s and that the penthouse be relocated because of firewall issues; Joe Butler, Architect in San Francisco, asked how could the standard be different for 2807 Clay which after all has only the word “potential” in front of it or it would be before the HPC for a C of A.

NOTE:            On 550 Jersey Street, Mr. Frye responded to Commissioner Martinez’ questions that the facade has a good amount of the original fabric left at the site that the applicant planned on reinstalling; that the expanded bay of the structure would be removed; that the moldings would be either a reproduction of the original or restoration of the materials; and that Commissioner Martinez’ concern about re-noticing would be passed on to Mr. Sanchez, the Zoning Administrator.  On 2807 Clay Street, Mr. Frye would report back to the HPC on the status of the parapet, the light well, and the stage of construction of the project.  Planning confirms whether the addition would be visible or not from the street by site visit; request for models; or, check drawings and topography on the site.  Minimally visible is less that half the story.  The addition would be visible but Planning has determined with an almost 24 foot set back, the historic building would still be the dominate structure on the site and the addition would be located at the rear of the property.

ACTION:         Informational only – no action required.




3.         President’s Report and Announcements - NONE


4.         Consideration of Adoption:

              a.        Draft minutes of Hearing of May 18, 2011



ACTION:         Approved

AYES:             Martinez, Matsuda, Wolfram, Damkroger and Chase

ABSENT:        Hasz and Johns


5.         Disclosures


Commissioner Damkroger received email from Joe butler on Item C; from Nancy Shanahan on Articles 10 & 11; from Telegraph Hill Dwellers regarding 1460 Montgomery; she did a site visit to 1460 Montgomery with Aaron Peskin, Nancy Shanahan and Michael Barron

Commissioner Matsuda did a site visit with Messrs. Peskin, Rudy and Barron

Commissioner Martinez received email from Joe Butler about Clay and Jersey Street; from Nancy Shanahan about 1460 Montgomery, from Nancy Shanahan about Articles 10 & 11; a call from Aaron about Montgomery Street; and did a site visit to 1460 Montgomery

Commissioner Wolfram received some emails from Nancy Shanahan regarding Articles 10 and 11 and 1460 Montgomery

Commissioner Chase received email and telephone communications on 1460 Montgomery


6.         Commissioner Comments/ Questions


Commissioner Damkroger would like to learn more about the Recreation Open Space Element and had sent the request through the Chair to agendize the item in the middle of September.  Commissioner Chase would be interested to know what historic resources are involved.  Commissioner Martinez stated that San Francisco does have historic landscapes and spaces and found it peculiar that historic resources were not mentioned in the Open Space Element.  He believes HPC needs to comment on it.

Commissioner Damkroger would like the check list and some issues raised here today to be part of the CEQA training that might happen soon.  Commissioner Martinez thought the check list was kind of how things fell through the cracks and should be part of the discussion, especially around the issues of renewing permits and around known potential resources.  Preservation Coordinator Frye was working with the Environmental Review Officer for a tentative schedule on September 21 to present CEQA training.  The fallen into the cracks issue might be a DBI issue and was slightly different from the CEQA process. Commissioner Chase urged Planning staff to help calendar a presentation or a meeting with DBI.  He thought what happened to the two properties were clearly process issues and not about not knowing or not being interested about these resources from Planning or the Commission.  He found it unfortunate that these resources have to be damaged in the process and the review and evaluation of the two properties, 550 Jersey and 2807 Clay Streets, was a good indicator that we were not, somebody was not doing their job.  He thought the DBI and the CEQA process were separate tracks and they should be separate.




7.         2011.0524A                                                                (P. LAVALLEY: 415/575-9084)

1460 MONTGOMERY STREET, east side between Greenwich and Filbert Steps. Assessor’s Block 0085, Lot 026A.  Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for horizontal rear addition and rear deck.  The subject property is a contributing structure to the Telegraph Hill Historic District and is located within a RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District with a 40-X Height and Bulk limit.

Preliminary Recommendation:  Approval

(Continued from Regular Meetings of July 20 and August 3, 2011)


SPEAKERS in opposition of the project:  Mark BiHner, Resident of 237 Greenwich; Jose Morales; Michael Barron; Joe Luttrell, President of Telegraph Hill Dwellers Denis St. Onge, Resident of 60 Darrell Place; Nancy Shanahan; Aaron Peskin; Jay Fisher, Friend of Michael and former resident of San Francisco.

ACTION:         The Commission directed the Project Sponsor to the Architectural Review Committee at the next hearing on September 21, 2011 and to continue the item to a date to be determined with a re-noticing requirement.

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

ABSENT:        Hasz and Johns


8.         2011.0809H                                                                (P. LAVALLEY: 415/575-9084)

1095 MARKET STREET, southeast corner of Market and 7th Streets, Assessor’s Block 3703, Lots 059.  Request for a Permit to Alter to construct two enclosed fire egress stairs in the building light well at east elevation as part of the rehabilitation and reuse of the 9-story building as a hotel/hostel.  The subject building, historically known as the Joseph D. Grant Building, is a Category I (Significant) Building in the C-3-G (Downtown General) District with a 90-X Height and Bulk limit.

Recommendation: Approval with conditions.


PRESENTER: Carolyn Kiernat - Architect from Page and Turnbull; [Bevin Jerns] - Engineer


ACTION:         Approved either Option A or the Project Sponsor (PS) not to articulate any recess or indentation on the vertical facade on the street.  PS to work with Planning Staff to finalize wall finishes.

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

ABSENT:        Hasz and Johns



9.         2011.0167T                                                               (S. HAYWARD: 415/558-6372)

            Planning Code Controls for Historic PreservationThe Commission will consider a proposed Ordinance sponsored by the Planning Department that would amend the Planning Code controls for Historic Preservation, including but not limited to Articles 10 and 11.  The Planning Commission reviewed proposed amendments on August 5, 2010 and recommended approval with minor modifications of various Code Sections to the Board of Supervisors.  The Historic Preservation Commission began a parallel review of the proposed amendments in 2010 on the following dates: July 21st, August 4th, 18th, September 1st, 15th, and 29th, October 6th 15th, and 21st, November 3rd and 17th, and December 1, 2010.  The Historic Preservation Commission is considering further modifications prior to sending recommendations to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, and began this re-review at its August 17th, 2011 public hearing.  

 Preliminary Recommendation:  Approve with minor modifications.

(Continued from Regular meeting of August 17, 2011)


SPEAKERS:   Nancy Shanahan

ACTION:         Passed a motion of intent to approve Article 10 with modifications made at this hearing (not including recommendations from Supervisor Wiener’s Office); and continued the review of Article 11 to September 21, 2011.

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

ABSENT:        Hasz and Johns




The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ACTION:           Approved

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



Last updated: 9/27/2011 3:42:53 PM