To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body
Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco
New Page 1






Meeting Minutes


Hearing Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


12:30 P.M. 




Regular Meeting



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


STAFF IN ATTENDANCEJohn Rahaim – Director Planning, Sarah Jones, Sophie Hayward,

Tim Frye – Preservation Coordinator, and Jonas Ionin – Acting Commission Secretary






1.         2011.0926H                                                                    (P. LaValley: 415/575-9084)

1355 MARKET STREET (aka 1301-1363 MARKET STREET), south side of Market between 9th and 10th Streets, in Assessor’s Block 3508, Lot 001.  Request for a Permit to Alter to demolish the 9th floor addition (added in 1941) on the western portion of the building, to construct a new mechanical room on roof, and to install a roof deck with amenities including benches, planter boxes, and a green wall.  New openings for access to the roof deck would be made in the newly exposed west elevation of central tower portion of the building.  The subject building, historically known as the Western Furniture Exchange & Merchandise Mart, is a Category I (Significant) Building in the C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District and the 120-X-200-S Height and Bulk District.

Recommendation: Approval

(Proposed for Continuance to November 16, 2011)



ACTION:         Continued as proposed

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






Preservation Coordinator Frye:

2.         Modern Architecture & Landscape Design Historic Context statement receives Governor’s Historic Preservation Award – This is the second award the context statement has received.  The ceremony will be held on November 17th in Sacramento.  The first reward was from the California Preservation Foundation.

Mr. Frye added the following:

·                     Two historic preservation interns at the Planning Department this Fall: Casey Noel and Dany Medved.  Casey will work on digitizing and updating historic districts in the National and California Registers and files for the public online database; Dany will work on evaluating additions on small scale residential buildings and developing recommendations for compliance with the Secretary of Interiors Standards.  Both will present to the HPC when the project are complete.

·                     Informational presentation requested by Recreation and Park Commission. He and Mary Brown will be leaving around 3 p.m. to present on the Planning Department’s community outreach process and community sentiment, including Duboce Park within the proposed Duboce Park Historic District.





3.         President’s Report and Announcements - None

4.         President to appoint Commissioner to attend the next scheduled Planning Commission hearing regarding proposed adoption of Articles 10 and 11.

NOTE:  The probable date of either December 8th or 15th for the Planning Commission to hear the proposed adoption of Articles 10 and 11 was not set yet.  President Chase, and Commissioners Martinez and Johns plan to attend the hearing when a date is confirmed.

5.         Review and finalize draft letter to BART regarding the identification of the Glen Park BART Station in the Glen Park Community Plan Historic Resource Survey.


Commissioner Martinez thought the draft letter should express HPC’s appreciation for BART to inform HPC about any projects or changes that might affect the historic district.  Commissioner Hasz would like to stay in contact and to establish a cordial relationship early on with BART.  President Chase will work with Mr. Frye on the completion and issuance of the final letter to BART.

6.         Consideration of Adoption:

              a.        Draft minutes of Hearing of May 4, 2011

              b.        Draft minutes of Hearing of October 19, 2011


ACTION:         Approved

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

7.         Disclosures

[On August 17, 2011, at a public hearing on its Rules and Regulations, the HPC approved continuing its practice of allowing Ex Parte Communications with required disclosure.]


Vice President Damkroger received a letter from SF Heritage; received emails from the Golden Gate Park Organization and from Nancy Shanahan, both regarding Articles 10 and 11

Commissioner Martinez also received a letter from SF Heritage; received emails from the Golden Gate Park Organization and from Nancy Shanahan, both regarding Articles 10 and 11

Commissioner Wolfram had conversation with Supervisor Wiener about Articles 10 and 11.

President Chase had a brief conversation with Supervisor Wiener and received email communications regarding Articles 10 & 11

8.         Commissioner Comments/ Questions

Commissioner Martinez 1) thought the HPC should review, in the form of an informational presentation, the Historic Preservation Resources Section in the Residential Design Guidelines used throughout the City.   This would help the Commission to understand how it is used, implemented, and how things get done for things that are not in the district; and 2) would like to have an update on Dolores Park since the period of significance for the Latino history has been taken out of the Park recently.  Commissioner Wolfram would also like to include in the informational presentation how the design process for the big retaining wall in the playground of the Park went through.

Vice President Damkroger had heard that things were going on at Stow Lake Boathouse and requested the Recreation and Park brief the HPC on their proposal for rehabilitation and plans as agreed earlier.  According to Mr. Frye, the only work that happened was the painting of the Boathouse and the architect was still working on the proposed drawings. He will bring plans to the Commissioners once they are ready.



9.         2007.0558E & 2007.0789E                                                (S. Jones: 415/575.9034)

TRANSIT CENTER DISTRICT PLAN AND TRANSIT TOWER.  Commission Review and Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).  The Transit Center District Plan proposes new policies and controls for land use; building height and design; street network; historic preservation; and sustainability. The Plan area is bounded generally by Market, Steuart, and Folsom Streets, and a line east of Third Street. The Plan would permit approximately six buildings with heights ranging from 700-1,000 feet.  The EIR analyzes at a project level the Transit Tower, a proposed 61-story, 1,070-foot-tall (including sculptural element) building with about 1.3 million square feet (sf) of office space, about 16,500 sf of retail, and subgrade loading and parking for about 300 vehicles (480 valet spaces). The Transit Tower project site is located at 425 Mission Street (Block 3720, Lot 001), on the south side of Mission Street between First and Fremont Streets, immediately north of the new Transit Center currently under construction.  The DEIR concluded that the changes to zoning controls in the Transit Center District Plan could lead to demolition or substantial alteration of historical resources in the Plan area.

This public hearing is intended to assist the Commission in its preparation of comments on the DEIR. Comments made by members of the public at this hearing will not be considered comments on the DEIR and may not be responded to in the Final EIR (FEIR).  The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the DEIR on November 3, 2011.  Written comments on the DEIR will be accepted at the Planning Department until 5:00 p.m., November 14, 2011.



NOTE:            The HPC would write a letter with staff assistance in developing that letter to include their comments to the Planning Commission.

10.       2011.0167T                                                                   (S. Hayward: 415/558-6372)

PLANNING CODE CONTROLS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION.  The 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, and continued the review at its September 7th, September 21st,  October 5th, 2011, and October 19th, 2011 public hearings.

Preliminary Recommendation:  Approve with modifications.

(Continued from Regular meetings of August 17, September 7, 2011, September 21, 2011, October 5, 2011, and October 19, 2011)

SPEAKERS:   Brian Chu, Director of Community Development for the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH), stated that under Section 58.1, MOH is required to perform environmental reviews for certain federally funded programs that includes Community Development Block Grant Program, Emergency Shelter Program, programs out of Redevelopment Agency, Housing for person with AIDS Program, Department of Public Health, Human Services Agencies Projects, Recreation and Park, Housing Authority, and projects under Section 106.  MOH uses the Programmatic Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Advisory Council National Preservation and the City and County of SF (CCSF) to expedite many projects that would normally have been sent through SHPO.  Upon review of Supervisor Wiener’s proposed amendments, Mr. Chiu realized the legislation might have unintended consequences that might affect MOH’s ability to move these projects forward because the potential of non-conformity with the Secretary of Interiors Standards would place our Certified Local Government (CLG) status in question. He cautioned and expressed hope that adoption would not end up in endangering our CLG status; Eugene Flannery – Certifying Environmental Review Officer for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, stressed the importance of the Programmatic Agreement (PA) and the implications of losing our CLG status.  The PA took 14 years to come into fruition.  It was signed into affect in 2007 and was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board.  The PA primarily covers HUD funded programs and any special purpose grants enacted by the Congress and sent to CCSF.  MOH is responsible for Section 106 and the National Environment Policy Act Review that covers Recreation and Parks, DeYoung Museum, Asian Art Museum, The Old Mint, and hundreds of projects through supplemental grants. All these would be implicated by the loss of CLG status. Without the status, MOH would loose the right to do certain things that they currently have under the PA.; G. G. Platt thought the CLG status was also called out in Proposition J; Mike Buhler – SF Heritage, highlighted some major issues detail in his letter submitted earlier to the HPC that Heritage 1) did not oppose Economic Hardship Standards but felt it would be better to de-couple that process with the current sets of amendments; 2) opposed the voting requirement of property owners before any historic district nomination for it would impose a defacto burden on historic districts that is not imposed on other types of zoning amendments and would create a dangerous precedent; and 3) strongly opposed the proposed provision that excludes features that are not visible from the public right-of-way from designation; Sarah Karlinsky – Deputy Director of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), commented that 1) the Secretary of Interiors Standards is appropriate for landmarks but not for vacant parcels and non-contributory buildings in historic districts to meet this high standard;  and 2) in regards to the local interpretation of the Secretary of Interior Standards, she asked the City Attorney to look at whether CLG status is jeopardized by coming up with a set of completely new Secretary of Interiors Standards or the problem has to deal with local interpretation of the new Secretary of Interiors Standards;  Eugene Flanery clarified that MOH is required by federal law to use the Secretary of Interiors Standards; Steve Vettel, [Firm name not clear on recording], focused comments on Section 1111, the issue of demolition of contributory buildings in downtown.  He felt the current draft did not make a clear distinction for significant and contributory buildings and elevates all contributory buildings to almost the same status as significant buildings whether or not they transferred TDR; Julian Gellert – Legislative Aide from Supervisor Wiener’s Office, said the advice her office got from the City Attorney was it’s fine to have localized interpretation standards of the Secretary of Interiors Standards.


Deliberation on Article 11

ACTION:         Approved Article 11 as submitted to the Commission

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



Deliberation on Supervisor Wiener’s proposed amendments to Articles 10 & 11

SPEAKERS:   Mike Buhler, Sarah Karlinsky, Ingle Horton, G.G. Platt, and Steve Vettel all contributed to the discussion on Supervisor Wiener’s proposed amendments.

ACTION:         Continued to November 16, 2011as an action item

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



The minutes was proposed for adoption at the Regular Meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ACTION:           Approved

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

ABSENT:          Johns


Last updated: 12/14/2011 10:18:19 AM