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City and County of San Francisco

April 19, 2001

April 19, 2001

 

SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING COMMISSION


Meeting Minutes

 

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, April 19, 2001

1:30 PM

 

Regular Meeting

 

 

 

PRESENT: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, Theoharis

ABSENT: None

 

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT THEOHARIS AT 1:36 p.m.

 

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Gerald G. Green, Director of Planning; Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator; Rick Crawford; Elizabeth Gordon; Dan DiBartolo; Michael Li; Tina Tam; Blake Washington; Nora Priego, Transcription Secretary; Linda Avery, Commission Secretary

 

 

A. ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

 

1a. 2000.863BV (WONG: 558-6381)

2712 MISSION STREET - west side between 23rd and 24th Streets, Lot 003 in Assessor’s Block 3643. The subject property seeks an authorization for a proposed office development under the smaller building reserve, pursuant to Planning Code Section 321. The proposal is for a change of use from "Retail" to "Office" and for the renovation and expansion of an existing 27,831-gross-square-foot building into a 30,847-gross-square-foot building by enlarging a mezzanine within the existing structure. The subject property falls within a NC-3 (Moderate Scale Commercial) Zoning District and a 50-X/80-B Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Disapproval

(Continued from regular meeting of April 5, 2001)

PROJECT WITHDRAWN

 

SPEAKER(S): None

ACTION: Project Withdrawn

1b. 2000.863BV (WONG: 558-6381)

2712 MISSION STREET - west side between 23rd and 24th Streets, Lot 003 in Assessor’s Block 3643. The subject property seeks a parking variance for the reduction of required off-street parking, pursuant to Planning Code Section 151. The project proposes to provide five parking spaces for the conversion of 30,847 gross square feet of office space on a site, which presently provides no off-street parking spaces. The subject property falls within a NC-3 (Moderate Scale Commercial) Zoning District and a 50-X/80-B Height and Bulk District.

(Continued from regular meeting of April 5, 2001)

PROJECT WITHDRAWN

 

SPEAKER(S): None

ACTION: Project Withdrawn

 

2. 2001.0035E (BUFORD: 558-5973)

ISSUANCE OF TAXI MEDALLIONS – CITYWIDE - Appeal of Preliminary Negative Declaration. The San Francisco Taxi Commission, City and County of San Francisco, proposes to issue approximately 500 additional taxi permits ("medallions"). After implementation of the project, the number of taxi permits available in the City would increase from 1,381 to 1,881, an increase of approximately 36%. New permits may be issued if supported by a finding that additional permits are required to meet the public convenience and necessity. Once issued, the permits would result in 500 additional taxis in use. Operation of taxis in the City limits is subject to regulation and review by the San Francisco Taxi Commission. Proposition K, a 1978 initiative ordinance governing the operation of taxis in the City, requires that the permits, once issued, be operated continuously.

Recommendation: Pending

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 5, 2001)

(Proposed for Indefinite Continuance)

 

SPEAKER(S): None

ACTION: Continued Indefinitely

AYES: Baltimore, Fay, Salinas, Theoharis

 

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

 

3. Consideration of Adoption - draft minutes of March 15, 2001

 

SPEAKER(S): None

ACTION: Continued to April 26, 2001

 

4. Commission Matters

Commissioner Salinas: He has had the good fortune of participating on two other Commissions: Park and Rec and Police, yet he has been greatly disturbed about the comments being made about this Commission. Although he is not asking for appreciation, it is unfortunate, and it does the public a disservice, to demean the work that this Commission does.

 

Commissioner Theoharis: She has a letter for a continuance for the project located at 4038 17th Street. This project was granted a continuance last year. The sponsor waived the streamlining act for a one-time, 90-day continuance. The City Attorney mentioned that this could be done only once. This matter is scheduled for May 10th and the sponsor would like to reschedule for June 7th. Therefore, another continuance cannot be granted so the project will be heard on May 10th. Staff should notify sponsor of this rule.

 

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

5. Director's Announcements

 

Re: The Housing and Land Use Committee

Currently this committee has its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursdays at the same time as the Planning Commission hearing. The committee will be rescheduling their meeting to an earlier time on Thursdays.

 

6. Review of Past Week's Events at the Board of Supervisors and Board of Appeals

BOS None

BOA None

 

D. CONSIDERATION OF FINDINGS AND FINAL ACTION -- PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED

 

7. 2001.0194D (CRAWFORD: 558-6358)

999 GREEN STREET - between Taylor and Jones Streets, Lot 029 in Assessor's Block 0127, Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2000/09/15/0634, proposing to convert a 106-unit building to a 105-unit building in an RM-2 (Residential, Mixed, Moderate Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. Specifically the proposal will merge two dwelling units into one on the 29th floor. No exterior alterations are proposed.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review, and approve the project as proposed.

NOTE: On April 12, 2001, following testimony the Commission closed the public hearing. The matter was continued at the call of the Chair to April 19, 2001.

 

SPEAKER(S): None

ACTION: Project Withdrawn

 

E. SPECIAL OFFICE DEVELOPMENT ANNUAL LIMIT HEARING

 

Following the regular calendar, the Planning Commission will convene into a Special Office Development Annual Limit Hearing to hear and act on projects being considered under Planning Code Sections 320-325 during the 2000-2001-approval period. (Individual item language will make clear the action being proposed.)

 

8a. 2000.277BXC (CRAWFORD: 558-6358)

801 MARKET/44 FOURTH STREETS - Assessor’s Block 3705 Lot 048, north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Planning Code Sections 320-325 (Office Development Limitation Program) for allocation of up to 136,600 gross square feet of office space for a 12-story building within a C-3-R (Downtown, Retail) District and within a 160-S Height and Bulk District. The project will add a third building to the existing Pacific Place buildings I and II above the existing loading dock on the north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 1, 2001)

NOTE: On March 8, 2001, after public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. The item was continued at the call of the Chair to March 22, 2001. The item continues to be subject to Commission consideration, deliberation and action.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission considered new plans that modified the project to fit within the remaining square footage for the 2000/01 approval period. Following discussion, the Commission continued this matter to April 19, 2001, to allow more time to review the revised plans by both the Commission and the public.

 

SPEAKER(S):

(+) Timothy Tosta – Steefel, Levitt and Weiss

- He believes that the written materials are detailed and sufficient to achieve the support of the Commission.

- He is available for questions.

(+) Rev. Townsend

- He endorses and supports this project.

- He has worked closely with the developer and a local neighborhood community based nonprofit corporation who will be negotiating to build housing. The money, which will be allocated to this housing development, will greatly reduce the cost of this housing.

- There is tremendous support for this project.

- We need to start talking about low-income housing. This is not only a good project but the benefits attained from this project are wonderful.

- The non-profit corporation, which will develop housing, is called Agape Outreach Center.

(+) David Zainer – Plant Construction Company

- They are a union based company.

- The developer has mentioned that if this project is approved they will be able to construct it.

- He would like to see this project go ahead and create more jobs for people.

(+) Carmen Johnson

- Founder and Executive Director of Agape Outreach Center.

- They are excited that this developer has made a commitment to invest in a community-based organization and build low-income housing.

- They are excited about the workshops and community meetings they held.

- They are really excited about what they are doing.

- This project will help many people to stop living on the street and be able to get jobs, education and training.

- Please support and approve this project.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

MOTION No. 16140

 

8b. 2000.277BXC (CRAWFORD: 558-6358)

801 MARKET/44 FOURTH STREETS - Assessor’s Block 3705 Lot 048, north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Request under Planning Code Section 309 (Downtown Code) for Determinations of Compliance, for construction of a 12-story building including 136,600 gross square feet of office space. This project lies within a C-3-R (Downtown, Retail) District and within a 160-S Height and Bulk District. The project will add a third building to the existing Pacific Place buildings I and II above the existing loading dock on the north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 1, 2001)

NOTE: On March 8, 2001, after public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. The item was continued at the call of the Chair to March 22, 2001. The item continues to be subject to Commission consideration, deliberation and action.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission considered new plans that modified the project to fit within the remaining square footage for the 2000/01 approval period. Following discussion, the Commission continued this matter to April 19, 2001, to allow more time to review the revised plans by both the Commission and the public.

 

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 8a

ACTION: Approved as amended: Jessie Street to remain open during construction.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, Theoharis

MOTION No. 16141

 

8c. 2000.277BXC (CRAWFORD: 558-6358)

801 MARKET/44 FOURTH STREETS - Assessor’s Block 3705 Lot 048, north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Request under Planning Code Section 219.c for professional or business offices not offering on-site service to the public in a C-3-R (Downtown, Retail) District. This project lies within a C-3-R (Downtown, Retail) District and within a 160-S Height and Bulk District. The project will add a third building to the existing Pacific Place buildings I and II above the existing loading dock on the north side of Jessie Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 1, 2001)

NOTE: On March 8, 2001, after public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. The item was continued at the call of the Chair to March 22, 2001. The item continues to be subject to Commission consideration, deliberation and action.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission considered new plans that modified the project to fit within the remaining square footage for the 2000/01 approval period. Following discussion, the Commission continued this matter to April 19, 2001, to allow more time to review the revised plans by both the Commission and the public.

 

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 8a

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, Theoharis

MOTION No. 16142

 

9a. 1998.281BC (GORDON: 558-6309)

185 Berry Street - bounded by Third, Berry and Fourth Streets and China Basin Landing; Lot 5 in Assessor’s Block 3803. Request under Planning Code Section 321 for authorization to deduct up to 49,500 gross square feet of office space from the City’s office development annual limit Reserve for Smaller Buildings. The property is within a M-2 (Heavy Industrial) District, the Mixed-Use Area of the IPZ (Industrial Protection Zone), the proposed Ballpark Vicinity Special District’s South End Office District and a 90-X Height and Bulk District. This notice serves as public notification of the Planning Department’s initial determination of the net addition of gross square footage of office space under the Planning Code. Please note: This request has been amended. This amended request for office allocation reduces the total amount requested from 120,000 gross square feet of office space to 49,500 gross square feet of office space.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 22, 2001)

NOTE: On March 8, 2001, after public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. The item was continued at the call of the Chair to March 22, 2001. The item continues to be subject to Commission consideration, deliberation and action.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission considered a revised proposal that would reduce the total square footage of the project to 49,500 square feet. Following discussion, the Commission continued this matter to April 19, 2001, to allow the sponsor to submit new plans, to allow the new project to be properly noticed, and to allow adequate time for Department staff, the Commission, and the public to review the new plans.

SPEAKER(S):

(+) David Cincotta – Representing Sponsors: McCarthy Cook and Payne Weber

- He would like to talk about the residential portion of this project. The first time a residential portion of this project was considered was many years ago and there was an alternative to study residential. This was in December of 1999. In the last month and a half, there has been more consideration on residential. The most significant reason is seeing the mixed-use reality of Mission Bay. There has been more construction for office and residential space.

- The parking and traffic situation will be addressed through allowed valet parking. They meet the demands for valet parking.

- They have talked to their supporters and they are still in agreement with the new proposal.

- The voluntary contributions for childcare, etc., are still in place.

- The design conditions were worked out with Mission Housing Development.

- Because of the change of the focus of this project, they felt it was an opportunity with a fresh design team. MBH architects are familiar with the area.

(+) Andres Grecci – MBH Architects

- They have been involved with designing Brannan Square, Moma's Restaurant, 177 Townsend Mixed Use project, and they have an understanding of where the neighborhood is going and what it needs.

- They first looked at PacBell Park as a basis of where they should start.

- There were a series of elements, which were very important in attaining the desired design.

- One of these elements was a transitional floor to tie the addition to the existing building. This floor occurs in the fourth floor, which would tie the housing and the office elements.

- Another big element was that the towers would break down the long mass of the building with more vertical elements. This building was too horizontal and too long.

- The courtyard, which is between two buildings, needs to be revitalized.

- The building now feels like a whole building instead of an existing building with an addition.

- Linking this building from what it was to what it could be and the changes in the neighborhood is a very important element, and keeping the existing curtain wall does it.

(+) Jeffrey Liebovitz

- He is speaking on behalf of the members of the Rincon Point/South Beach CAC; he would like to thank the project sponsor for considering a resolution to request removing the gates at the end of the wharf along Mission Creek and allow more activities along the wharf such as leashed dog walking.

- This public benefit will help address item 3 of the CUA, where the project sponsor seeks a rear yard exception for residential units. They support the development of the additional 68 residential units.

- This Commission and the developer are giving back to San Franciscans and the public what BCDC mistakenly gave away many years ago in its infancy of the Bay Conservation Development Commission Permit Negotiations process. Today BCDC would never allow public improvements along the waterfront to be closed off with gates.

- This condition will allow for another segment of the continuation of the bay trail and make a natural connection to the shoreline improvements in Mission Bay and along Mission Creek. They are still troubled by the 5-to-8-year time frame in which this action will occur. He would like to have an amendment for the removal of the gates with the completion of the N2 block of Mission Bay or two years after issuance of the CUP whichever occurs first.

(+) Dick Millet – Potrero Hill

- He has been watching this project for many years and had problems with the building being too tall and the parking problem but this has been resolved.

- The whole community in this area is new.

- He hopes that the overhead wires will be removed, since they didn't show in the renderings, so he assumes that they have taken them out.

(+) Sue Hestor

- This is a really huge improvement.

- The improvements are stunning and are worthy of the Commissioners' approval.

- The waterfront should be opened up as quickly as possible.

- The nature of China Basin is changing so dramatically.

- This is a much better design.

ACTION: Approved as amended in conditions of approval regarding design and timeframe of authorization/scheduling.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

MOTION No. 16143

 

9b. 1998.281BC (GORDON: 558-6309)

185 BERRY STREET - bounded by Third, Berry and Fourth Streets and China Basin Landing; Lot 5 in Assessor’s Block 3803. Request per Planning Code Section 304 for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow: (1) a Conditional-Use Authorization per Planning Code Section 215(a) and 227(m) for an amendment Case No. 98.281C to allow up to 125 units of housing in a M-2 (Heavy Industrial) District; (2) for an off-street parking exception per Planning Code Section 304(a) to allow valet/attendant parking within the on-site parking garage in order to provide the 230 off-street spaces required under Section 151 of the Planning Code for the project, or in the alternative, allow valet/attendant parking within the on-site parking garage and reduce the parking requirement for the office use to 191 spaces to be consistent with pending South End Office District legislation (would apply to the project site once implemented); and (3) for a rear yard per Planning Code Section 304(a) exception for the residential units proposed at the site (in this case the interior pedestrian courtyard and the air space above is where the rear yard for the proposed units would be located per Planning Code Section 134, there is currently no rear yard situated within the existing development nor would it be physically possible to provide one on the site without removing floors of the adjacent Wharfside building). No rear yard is proposed. The property is within a M-2 (Heavy Industrial) District, the Mixed Use Area of the IPZ Industrial Protection Zone), the proposed Ballpark Vicinity Special District’s South End Office District and a 90-X Height and Bulk District. Please note: this PUD amends and combines into one Case Nos. 98.281C, 98.281V and 2001.0179V.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of March 22, 2001)

NOTE: On March 8, 2001, after public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. The item was continued at the call of the Chair to March 22, 2001. The item continues to be subject to Commission consideration, deliberation and action.

On March 22, 2001, the Commission considered a revised proposal that would reduce the total square footage of the project to 49,500 square feet. Following discussion, the Commission continued this matter to April 19, 2001, to allow the sponsor to submit new plans, to allow the new project to be properly noticed, and to allow adequate time for Department staff, the Commission, and the public to review the new plans.

 

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed in item 9a

ACTION: Approved as amended for conditions of approval regarding design and timeframe of authorization/scheduling.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

MOTION No. 16144


 

F. REGULAR CALENDAR

 

10. 2001.0072C (DiBARTOLO: 558-6291)

501-503 Laguna Street - northwest corner at Fell Street; Lot 035 in Assessor’s Block 0819. Request for Conditional-Use Authorization pursuant to Section 720.83 of the Planning Code to install a total of three antennas within a single cylinder on the roof and five equipment cabinets in the basement of the existing two-story, mixed-use building as part of Sprint’s wireless telecommunications network within the Hayes-Gough Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD) and a 50-X Height and Bulk District. As per the City & County of San Francisco’s Wireless Transmission Services (WTS) Facilities Siting Guidelines, the proposal is a preference 6 (limited preference site).

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

 

SPEAKER(S):

(+) Robert Crebs – Representing Project Sponsor

- This petition complies with the San Francisco Municipal Code, the WTS Sighting Guidelines and the Federal Communication Commissions Radio Frequency Emissions Standards.

- The design is visually unobtrusive.

- The proposed installation is necessary for this area.

- All sites of a higher preference were considered or pursued yet they were not technologically feasible or not available for lease.

- A CU is allowed if the proposed structure is necessary or desirable for and comparable with the neighborhood and the community.

- This facility will ensure communication when LAN lines are not working and it will increase safety for residents and citizens of San Francisco from wireless phones.

- Bilingual community meetings were held.

(-) Erick Olsen

- He is here to address the health concerns. He is a property owner directly around the corner from the proposed site.

- Although the studies up to date have been inconclusive, there is a certain amount of evidence that there are health hazards with these antennas.

- His main question is what can he do to try to block this or find research, which he can present to the Commission, to deny this project?

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

MOTION No. 16145

 

11. 2000.1195C (LI : 558-6396)

547 HOWARD STREET - south side between 1st and 2nd Streets; Lot 110 in Assessor's Block 3736. Request for Conditional-Use Authorization pursuant to Section 219(d) of the Planning Code to establish an office use at the ground floor level which will not offer on-site services to the general public within the C-3-0(SD) (Downtown Office Special Development) District and a 350-S Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to demolish the existing two-story-over-basement office building and construct a five-story-over-basement office building containing approximately 11,000 square feet of gross floor area.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

 

SPEAKER(S):

(+) Steve Vettel – Morrison and Forrester

- The only issue in this CU is if it's appropriate to have the office space extend to the ground floor and basement. They believe it is. The site is so small that it is not feasible for the ground floor to be used for non-office uses.

- The site is only 25 feet wide.

- Part of the ground floor is taken by the exit stairway.

- There is no other frontage for retail or personal use.

- The only option is to have the office space extend to the basement.

- It is not practical to have a mixed-use building.

- The open space requirement on this site is only 230 sf. Because the site is so small and so constrained it is not feasible to put that on the ground floor of the site.

- The most feasible thing to do is to extend the sidewalk and put in some benches and some landscaping.

(+) Jim Tanner – Tanner Architecture

- One of the things that happen in the front of the building is that this building does not have any access anywhere other than through the front of the building. Two exits are required by the Building Department. One exit is through a corridor. The second exit is through the back of a stair. By code this exit is allowed to go through the office space lobby. If there was a retail functions on the ground floor, it would have to have it's own exit.

- There is less than 20 feet of frontage to do this.

ACTION: Approved as amended:  Sec. 309 to be brought before the Commission after it is properly noticed.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

MOTION No. 16146

 

12a. 2000.264CD (MARTIN: 558-6616)

1087 MISSISSIPPI STREET - east side between 23rd and 25th Streets, Lot 049 in Assessor’s Block 4224. Request for a Conditional-Use Authorization to allow the construction of two dwelling units in an M-1 (Light Industrial) Zoning District and the Industrial Protection Zone Buffer, per Planning Code Section 215(a) and Planning Commission Resolution No. 14861, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 5, 2001)

 

SPEAKER(S):

(+) David Silverman – Reuben and Alter

- This application was filed over a year ago and has gone through many changes.

- The project complies with all the IPZ resolutions, residential requirements, no variances are required, etc.

- This will be a positive contribution to the neighborhood.

- He, as well as the project architect, is available for any questions.

(+) Bill Minky

- He owns the warehouse at 1050 Mississippi.

- This project will be an improvement all around.

(-) Dick Millet – Potrero Boosters

- Are there any drawings of this building?

- Was a 311 notice ever sent out?

- The building is too large and the parking doesn't work since the entrance is too narrow.

- He has a problem with the fact that the two lower floors are 100% lot coverage and the windows are set back for light and air.

- The buildings next door are lower than this project.

- The east side of Mississippi Street is big and brutal.

- There is too much PDR in this project. It's designed as a loft. The elevator access doesn't work either. The units, which will be for sale, will have two cars and this can cause problems in the parking area.

(-) Elena Myers

- She lives on Mississippi.

- She is also concerned about the height of the building. They look like lofts.

- She would like to have a restriction imposed so there is no overnight sleeping in the industrial units. This would protect them from the overuse of size in residential.

- The street is very jammed during the day. This project should have its own loading dock.

(-) Favian Lanoy

- The 12-foot door is in compliance and is a requirement by the City.

- There is no problem for cars to move in and out of the garage.

ACTION: Public Hearing Closed. Project continued to April 26, 2001. Public hearing will be open to address the parking problems/solutions.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

 

12b. 2000.264CD (MARTIN: 558-6616)

1087 MISSISSIPPI STREET - east side between 23rd and 25th Streets, Lot 049 in Assessor’s Block 4224. Staff-initiated request for Discretionary Review for the demolition of an existing, vacant industrial building and construction of housing and space for production, distribution and repair businesses in an existing industrial building space in an M-1 (Light Industrial) Zoning District and the Industrial Protection Zone Buffer per Planning Commission Resolution Nos. 14861 and 16079; and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. NOTE: This project was previously noticed for hearing on February 22, 2001, and has since been modified. The previous notice stated that the ground and second stories would be occupied by office space.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as proposed.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of April 5, 2001)

 

SPEAKER(S): Same as those listed in item 12a.

ACTION: Public Hearing Closed. Project continued to April 26, 2001. Public hearing will be open to address the parking problems/solutions.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

 

G. SPECIAL DISCRETIONARY REVIEW HEARING

 

At Approximately 3:30 p.m. the Planning Commission convened into a Special Discretionary Review (DR) Hearing to hear and act on Discretionary Review matters.

 

13. 2000.1274DD (TAM: 558-6325)

1851-31st Avenue - west side of 31st Avenue, between Noriega and Ortega Streets, Lot 11 in Assessor’s Block 2068. Request for a Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2000/07/13/5054S to demolish an existing 11-foot, one-story horizontal extension and to construct a two-story horizontal extension approximately 37 feet (including stairs) at the rear of an existing two-story, single-family dwelling in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve the project with modifications.

 

SPEAKER(S):

(-) Ambrose Luck – DR Requestor

- He has lived in his home since 1988.

- The reason he is here is because he received notification that his neighbor would extend his property in the rear yard.

- He was surprised because when he purchased his property in 1988, he found out about the zoning in the area and realized that his neighbor's house had illegal rooms.

- His property suffered a fire and he has lived in it since then.

- His neighbor never uses the garage door to park their cars.

- He found out that the electrical permit hasn't been approved since the fire.

- With all the space they have their request is not logical since his neighbor's kids are older now.

- The whole basement in his neighbor's house is illegal.

(-) Sandra Wong – DR Requestor

- Her house is adjacent to the subject property.

- She requested that her neighbor not construct an extension.

- She will agree to an extension only if the recommendations from the Planner are imposed: 1) reduce the two-story horizontal extension from 30 feet to 25 feet so that subject property will not be out of character with the neighborhood; 2) increase setback from 3 feet to 4 feet in accordance with the residential design guidelines; 3) eliminate all side facing windows on the proposed extension to ensure neighbor's privacy; 4) issue a notice of special restrictions so that proposed extension will not be used as a separate unit.

- She stresses the setback to be important because if the extension is not set back, the rear yard boundary fence will have to be moved 3 inches over onto her property. This would have a big impact on her since it would cause an impact on air, light and privacy.

- She agrees with the planner's recommendations and if these recommendations were put forth she would have no problem with the construction of the extension.

(-) Shirley Luck

- She lives at 1847 31st Avenue.

- Her objection is that the neighbors will construct something legal from an illegal construction.

- In the past, the neighbors have not applied for permits; that's why there is an illegal construction.

- Her home suffered a fire and her car was burned because of her neighbor.

- Her neighbor will build a kitchen in the basement because there is an elderly person living there and this is very dangerous.

(-) Mable Wong – DR Requestor

- Throughout the years, her neighbors and their contractors and handyman have done construction without permits.

- Most of the time she is not home but when she comes home her neighbor and their contractor do construction work yet walk all over her property.

- If the extension is built, this will cause a negative impact on her property.

- Her neighbor is constantly constructing even on Saturdays.

- Her neighbor's house should be monitored by the Building Department because there is a lot of illegal construction going on.

(+) Ahmad (last name unclear) – Representing Project Sponsor

- He has been making many calls, between the planner and the sponsor and the neighbors.

- Displayed a photograph of the subject property.

- He has been working with the planner and agrees with her recommendations.

- The only issue he is not in agreement with is to have a 4-foot side reduction, reduce it to 3 feet.

- The project sponsor has paid the penalties for the illegal construction.

- The square footage of the home is quite small.

(+) Sue Wong – Project Sponsor

- Although her neighbors are describing her as a bad person, she is not.

- She believes that there is bad communication.

- It is impossible for her to move the fence by herself.

- She does admit that she installed an illegal kitchen in the basement because she is supporting her parents that live there.

- She is a business owner so she is a very responsible person.

- She would like the Commission to approve the plans.

ACTION: Take DR and approve with staff recommendations: 1) reduce the two-story horizontal extension from 30 feet to 25 feet so that subject property will not be out of character with the neighborhood; 2) increase setback from 3 feet to 4 feet in accordance with the residential design guidelines; 3) eliminate all side-facing windows on the proposed extension to ensure neighbor's privacy; 4) issue a notice of special restrictions so that subject extension will not be used as a separate unit. Add an amendment stated by Commissioner Chinchilla: Project Sponsor is to complete a site survey to establish the location of the property lines. The project Sponsor is to share this information with the adjacent neighbors.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

 

14. 2001.0220D (B.WASHINGTON: 558-6263)

2625 – 23RD AVENUE - west side of 23rd Avenue, between Vicente Street and Wawona Street; Lot 003 in Assessor’s Block 2473. Request for a Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2000/11/13/5509s, proposing to enclose an existing lightwell located on the northern side of an existing single-family dwelling. The proposal also includes an infill under the existing second floor. The proposed alteration occurs within the permitted building envelope in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the building permit application as submitted.

 

SPEAKER(S):

(-) Michael Davis – Representing DR Requestor

- Staff recommendation is based on many false premises: the significance of the light source, and the planning policy issues involved.

- The pictures displayed by the planner are misleading.

- In light of the current energy crisis, construction that uses exterior light source should be encouraged rather than be eliminated.

- Issues that were requested in the DR request have not been dealt with.

-The Residential Design Guidelines were not followed.

-There are a number of false issues related to permits and non-permitted construction.

- The project sponsor has implied that this is new construction when it really is not.

(-) Stan DeBella – Owner of adjacent property

- He displayed photographs, which were displayed by the planner and explained that the window that is on the lightwell is providing most of the light in the bathroom.

- The dining room window is brightly lit and that all the other detail is being washed out. This is the only significant light source.

- There is a window in the dining room which is facing east but the next house is blocking it.

- The sponsor proposes to increase his kitchen space at his expense. There are windows that already existed.

(+) Joan Ryan – Project Sponsors

- They believe that their project is in compliance with all the codes.

- Mr. DeBella's parking concern has been resolved by the adding of a structural steel beam in their garage level. This would provide two off-street parking spaces as well as one in their driveway. This would effectively create 3 off-street parking spots.

- Professionals have designed the project.

- Accordingly, their family room downstairs is not a defacto 2nd unit. It has been designed in compliance with regulations.

- Their lightwell is not in their property grant deed as an easement for his property line windows or exterior plumbing.

- The dining room window and toilet room window will be affected. Both rooms have other windows, which are larger and operable.

- There are other windows, which will not be affected by the construction.

- Mr. DeBella's copper piping is only accessible by their light well and with a ladder. This work was not done with a permit. Mr. DeBella's toilet room window, which is a property line window, was done without a permit as well.

- They have tried to resolve issues with Mr. DeBella and his family through personal dialogue as well as with the San Francisco Community Board.

- They have also offered compensation for the closing of the dining room window.

- They enjoy living there but the flat has become quite small for their growing family.

- With the enlargement of their kitchen, they realize that they will be impacting their neighbor's house. They are sensitive to this and are willing to compensate their neighbor for this.

(+) John O'Sullivan – Project Sponsor

- They would like the Commission to approve their project since it's in conformance with the Planning Code.

- The property line windows at his neighbor's house are redundant.

- Mr. DeBella asked him for permission to go through his light well and look at the plumbing. He didn't know that the work did not have a permit.

(+) James DeVoy – Project Architect

- There is a letter that he sent to the Planning Department which states that there is no way to verify when the lightwells were constructed.

- The property line windows were completed after his client's lightwell was created.

ACTION: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve project with staff recommendation that a Notice of Special Restrictions will be recorded with the property. The NSR will state that the downstairs addition will not be converted into an illegal separate unit.

AYES: Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Salinas, and Theoharis

 

H. PUBLIC COMMENT

 

At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting with one exception. When the agenda item has already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the Commission has closed the public hearing, your opportunity to address the Commission must be exercised during the Public Comment portion of the Calendar. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

 

The Brown Act forbids a commission from taking action or discussing any item not appearing on the posted agenda, including those items raised at public comment. In response to public comment, the commission is limited to:

 

(1) responding to statements made or questions posed by members of the public; or

(2) requesting staff to report back on a matter at a subsequent meeting; or

(3) directing staff to place the item on a future agenda. (Government Code Section 54954.2(a))

 

SPEAKERS:

1. James Meyers

Re: 25 Rio Way

- There is a DR matter next Thursday and he showed a picture of the property. This project is located at 25 Rico Way in the Marina District. Many homes have an  established Marina home style. Yet this home does not attempt to keep within the Marina style. It appears to be an  ultra modern design.

- He lives at 27 Rico Way. There are many homeowners that are concerned about this project.

- The owners of 25 Rico Way obtained 15 or 17 homeowners stating that they were in support of the property. But unfortunately, the project sponsor mentioned that he (James Meyers) was in support of the project. So when the rest of the neighbors knew that he was in agreement, they signed the support petition.

 

2. Patricia Vaughey

Re: Orientation Courses are important to the Department

- She has discovered that many planners have gone through  indoctrination courses yet others have not.

- These orientation courses are very important.

- If a planner has not gone through any orientation courses, they should.

 

Adjournment: 5:15 p.m.

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:11 PM