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City and County of San Francisco

July 12, 2001

July 12, 2001

 

SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING COMMISSION


Minutes
Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Thursday, July 12, 2001
1:30 PM
Regular Meeting

PRESENT:          Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Joe, Lim, Salinas, Sr.
ABSENT:          Fay

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT THEOHARIS AT 1:40 P.M.


STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Gerald G. Green – Director of Planning; Larry Badiner - Zoning Administrator; Amit Ghosh; Jill Slater; Isolde Wilson; David Alumbaugh; Kelly LeBlanc; Alison Borden; Tina Tam; Andrea Wong; Scott Sanchez; Tim Woloshyn; Mathew Snyder; Patricia Gerber - Transcription Secretary; Linda D. Avery - Commission Secretary

A.          ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE
                    
1.          2000.961EZC                               (TURRELL: 558-5994)
          1101 O'FARRELL STREET - Appeal of a Preliminary Negative Declaration. Assessor's Blocks 713, Lot 033, and Block 720, Lots 28, 35, 36, 38. The proposed project would demolish the existing 15,000-square-foot, three story, Urban Life Center building containing social service and office uses, and construct a 297,000-square-foot, 240-foot-tall structure with 240 units of senior housing. The project includes approximately 86 on-site below-ground parking spaces. The project also would seismically upgrade St. Mark's Lutheran Church and relocate about 5,000 square feet of social services space from the Urban Life Center building to the adjacent Martin Luther Tower. The 80,400-square-foot site is located in an RM-4 (Residential, Mixed: High Density) Zoning District within the Western Addition neighborhood. Lots 28, 35, and 36 of Block 720 are within an 80-B Height and Bulk District; the remainder of the site is within a 240-E Height and Bulk District. The proposal would require approval of a lot subdivision and merger, a height reclassification, and Conditional Use authorization for a Planned Unit Development. The Project would also require a Certificate of Appropriateness for seismic upgrade of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, City Landmark No. 41.
Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Negative Declaration
(Proposed for Continuance to August 16, 2001)

ACTION:          Continued as proposed
          AYES:           Theoharis; Baltimore; Chinchilla; Joe; Lim; Salinas, Sr.
ABSENT:          Fay


2a.          2000.961EZC                               (WOODS: 558-6315)
1101 O'FARRELL STREET - southwest corner of O’Farrell (a.k.a. Starr King Way) and Franklin Streets, Lot 33 in Assessor’s Block 713 and Lots 35 and 36 in Assessor’s Block 720 - Request to reclassify the existing Height and Bulk Districts of Lots 35 and 36 from 80-B to 240-G; and reclassify the existing Bulk District of Lot 33 from 240-E to 240-G in an RM-4 (Residential, Mixed, High Density) Zoning District. The existing Zoning District would not change. The reclassification is being sought to allow the development of a 240-unit senior housing facility (St. Mark’s Square).
Preliminary Recommendation: Pending
(Proposed for Continuance to August 16, 2001)

ACTION: Continued as proposed
          AYES:          Theoharis; Baltimore; Chinchilla; Joe; Lim; Salinas, Sr.
ABSENT:          Fay

2b.          2000.961EZC                                         (WOODS: 558-6315)
1101 O'FARRELL STREET - southwest corner of O’Farrell (a.k.a. Starr King Way) and Franklin Streets, Lot 33 in Assessor’s Block 713, and Lots 35 and 36 in Assessor’s Block 720 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization under Sections 253, 303 and 304 of the `Planning Code to permit a Planned Unit Development for the construction of a 23-story, 240-foot tall, 240-unit senior housing facility in an RM-4 (Residential, Mixed, High Density) Zoning District and a 240-G Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Pending
(Proposed for Continuance to August 16, 2001)

ACTION: Continued as proposed
          AYES:           Theoharis; Baltimore; Chinchilla; Joe; Lim; Salinas, Sr.
ABSENT:          Fay

B.          COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

          3.           Consideration of Adoption – draft minutes of May 24, and June 7, 2001.

ACTION: Approved as corrected
          AYES:           Theoharis; Baltimore; Chinchilla; Joe; Lim; Salinas, Sr.
ABSENT:          Fay

4.          Commission Matters
Baltimore: She would like to have an updated presentation/workshop on the economic forecast presentation which was made by Mr. Gosh in 1998 and then again in 1999 regarding interim controls.
Salinas:          He is concerned that the Commission does not have the ability to have representatives from various agencies attend hearings so Commissioners can ask questions related to the project.

C.          DIRECTOR'S REPORT

5.          Director's Announcements
          None

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

                    B of S:
                    - Appeal of a Conditional Use at Fell and Laguna – Upheld CPC approval

                    B of A:
- 129 Randall Street - 4 story building, CPC required the removal of the 4th floor. Board of Appeals overturned the Commission's action and approved the project with a setback of 14 feet on the 4th floor and significant design changes.


7.           2001.0602TZ                                                   (GREEN: 558-6411)
SOUTH OF MARKET AND SHOWPLACE SQUARE/POTRERO HILL COMMUNITY PLAN AREAS – Informational presentation on the potential  Policies and Procedures for the proposed South of Market and Showplace Square/Potrero Hill Community Plan Areas. Such policies and procedures for these two community plan areas would be necessary after the expiration of the IPZ Interim Controls on August 5, 2001, and would remain in effect until permanent controls are adopted.
Action: Non Action Item. Public comment and Commission deliberation only.

          SPEAKER(S):
(+) Kepa Askenasy, Potrero Hill
-          Complimented the Planning Department on the work done so far
-          Asked the Commission to support the Planning Director on reaching out to their community
(+) Julie Milburn, member of 7th Street Commercial Street Association
-          Has been working long and hard with the people of Dogpatch. We have achieved a high level of consensus about what the feelings are and how we'd like to go ahead. We are thinking very much along the same lines.
-          For our area, at the bottom of Potrero Hill, we feel that imposing interim controls is very unnecessary.
-          What we lack and what we need is some oversight. We know our community; we know exactly what traffic controls should be.
-          Long term business members have come and stated that with the development in Mission Bay, portions of our area are going to change in years to come.
-          We need professional planning. We need someone who is going to listen to us about what we need
(+) Bob Meyers
-          The General Plan for South of Market identifies SLI areas as the only areas where housing is allowed–low income housing. Since 1989, when the plan was adopted, as far as experts can tell, not one unit of low income housing has been built.
(+) Jim Chappell, President of SPUR
-          Referred to a letter sent to the Commission about extensive dialogues on this subject with the Department for a number of years.
-          He had serious reservations about this policy in general. This resolution before you today, in particular, is very inflexible. We have no greater need in San Francisco today than housing. There are no shortages of places to work or places to rent for work in the City, but there are certainly shortages of places to live.
-          The map shown called  Housing Opportunity Areas presented by the Department should be called the  Fantasy Map.
-          This resolution gives every benefit-of-the-doubt to PDR, and really penalizes housing. PDR is not created equal.
(+) Steve Vettel
-          Representing a company that has a site under contract on 601 King Street. This was an office project that was in the beauty contest last year.
-          Is supportive of the Department's policy.
-          When considering this policy, it is really important to have the flexibility to consider a residential project in the proper location. With this policy, you will have the flexibility and the ability because all of these sites are currently zoned NR-2. So, any residential project of one unit and above is going to require a conditional use permit. You will then have the opportunity to consider all the impact of that project, including the impact it might have on PDR.
(+) Steve Kuklin
-          Applicant for the 601 King Street Project
-          Believes that there are many properties that may be appropriate for residential development within this protective IPZ zone
-          Regarding 601 King, we have been trying to developed that site for the last 2 years as an office and residential project
-          The 601 King Street property is located between Mission Bay on right and Shipley Square on the left. We are proposing a 250-unit residential project.
(-) Alice Barkley
-          Part of the problem is community planning.
-          This is a small area like the SOMA where we are supposed to preserve all of these (housing and industrial). This Commission already had a policy that said no housing and no office south of Cesar Chavez.
-          90% of this area is industrial and (the community) said that we do not want housing there.
(+) Andrew Junius
-          Specifically commenting on the SOMA Community Plan Area. The proposed controls, specifically the third bullet point that says  discourage office development for conversions that are not permitted as a principal use as per the base SOMA zoning district.
-          Called to attention a not very well used portion of the Planning Code, Section 803.5. This is a section that allows office space in historic landmark buildings where the underline zoning would not. It is a way of allowing a historic building to have a little more flexibility to obtain tenants and to allow the building to be preserved. This affects a very small number of buildings in the South of Market area, but it is a very important way to insure that these historic buildings have a little more flexibility to maintain their premises and maintain the historic structure.
-          Hopes that this policy does not conflict with that. It is also well understood that this small number of building would be able to take advantage of that Section of the Planning Code.
(-) Dick Millett
-          Regarding the 601 King Street Building: This type of building is designed to be turned down. The warehouses on the Showplace are design differently, but the Buttler buildings are expandable.
-          Land use is something else. Comparability, living in PDR, depends on the market.
(-) Jim Meco
-          There is not a whole lot SOMA community input here today, because it was not really clear to us that we were schedule today
-          We had a very successful community forum where Mr. Ghosh spoke, but there was no mention of this.
-          Some of you are consentrating with your ability to pat yourself on the back for the success in the IPZ and these Interim Controls
-          He questions the success just by looking at the range of customers he lost in the SOMA.
(-) Sue Hestor
-          We are going backward. We started 3 years ago. We started with the Planning Commission policy. Now two years into the Interim Controls we are back to the Interim Controls and now back to the Planning Commission policy--that does not look that much different
-          There should be a list of all the vacant buildings, because a lot of those buildings were occupied by dotcommers that have now gone out of business.
                              ACTION:           Meeting held. Public hearing closed. No action required
          
D.          REGULAR CALENDAR

8.           (WILSON: 558-6602)
Planning Commission consideration of adoption proposed changes to the rules for the 2001-2002 Office Development Annual Limitation Program.
          (Continued from Regular Meeting of June 21, 2001)

          SPEAKER(S):
(-) Sue Hestor
-          Respectfully requested that the Commission re-institute an allocation period that is other than a year.
-          Developers have no incentive to do anything other than be first out of the box. With this first-come-first-served provision, they do not have any incentive to go beyond the requirements of the law, because as long as they can get the application in first, they can knock the other guys out of line.
(-) John Bardis
-          As the Commission, you have the authority in that you can approve or disapproved a project. You should be using that authority appropriately.
-          People who are making the applications should have the responsibility to fulfill what you have authorized them to do.

ACTION:           Approved as amended:
                    -          The memorandum from the Director of Planning dated May 24, 2001(Revised June 20, 2001) proposing modifications to the Rules of the Office Development Annual Limitation Program imposed by Sections 320-323 of the Planning Code was presented to the Planning Commission and public testimony was received on the matter on June 21, 2001. An updated memo dated July 5, 2001 was presented to the Planning Commission and public testimony was received on the matter on July 12, 2001.
          AYES:           Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:                    Fay
          MOTION No.          16185

9.          2000.586X (LeBLANC: 558-6351)
1 POLK STREET (AKA 2 FELL STREET) - the northwest corner of Polk and Fell Streets, Lots 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in Assessor’s Block 814; Request under Planning Code Section 309 for Determinations of Compliance and Request for Exceptions for Building Permit Application No. 2001/06/25/2306. The requested exceptions to 309 include: (1) an exception to the rear yard requirement as permitted in Code Section 134(d); (2) an exception to ground level wind current requirements as permitted in Section 148; and (3) an exception to the height limit permitted by Section 260(b)(1)(G). The project proposes demolition of three (3) one and two-story commercial structures and a surface parking lot, and the construction of a 17-story, 200-foot tall building containing 179 dwelling units (9 of which would be available at below-market rates), 9,950 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and approximately 130 parking spaces in a below-grade parking garage. The site is within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 200-S Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

          SPEAKER(S):
          (+) Chris McDonald, project sponsor
-          The Bowbay family had owned this property for over 100 years, and had it not been for the City's foresight and efforts in developing Civic Center Plaza and focusing on the renovation of City Hall we would not be here.
-          The other factor that brings us here is the City's requirements for housing.
-          Very pleased with Mr. Bowbay and the direction that this area is taking. It is a vital area now.
-          This is an area that we see as sustainable with remarkable growth
(+) Don McDonald, Project Architect
-          Gave a description of the project
(+) Martin Hamilton, President of New College of California
-          We are involved in the project in some way, because we are selling our transferable developments rights for the project.
-          New College of California is very pleased to have such development next door
-          We are actually benefiting because we are selling our rights
(+) Craig Adelman, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC)
-          Supports the project
-          Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation is a non-profit neighborhood development corporation that works around the Tenderloin and central city area, primarily developing low income affordable housing
-          TNDC in a partnership with Citizen's Housing has acquired the site across Market Street at 10th and Market. It (TNDC) is in the process of developing about 300 units of affordable housing on that site.
-          This project will compliment the housing in the area.
(+) Catherine Ronan, Principal, New Middle School in the Tenderloin
-          Grateful to be able to support this proposal.
-          The developers are good neighbors and they have made an incredible gesture to help us in developing this new middle school in the Tenderloin.
-          The school we are opening this Fall is a catholic school that is designed for low income students. It will not only serve catholic students, but students of all faiths
-          The presence of this school in the Tenderloin is really going to assist the community and help the children.
-          This particular housing project has been incredibly supportive of the neighborhood
(+) Jim Haas
-          For a hundred years Civic Center has been the home of government, arts and culture. It has not been a residential neighborhood. It is now on the edge of becoming one
-          The project is significant in the sense that is a well designed building. It is really the precursor of what can be a number of housing projects in the area
(-) Phillip Morgan
-          Concerned as an organization with all the discussion going on about what is located in the neighborhood related to what is called a business. We are not a business. We are a legal aid program that represents the lowest income population in San Francisco. Our clients are among survivors of domestic violence, people who have been evicted from their homes, people who lost necessary funds to live, and the construction is their concern.
-          Concerned about all the activities that are going on. Mitigation measures are not really articulated in the Negative Declaration.
-          Hoping to have a good relationship with the developer as the construction progresses
(-) Ora Prochovnick, Faculty and Clinical Director of New College of Law
-          Concerned that the mitigation factors described in the Negative Declaration do not seem to pay attention to the use that is currently going at the property adjacent to the project.
-          Mitigation factors seem to describe what needs to be done with businesses around the area. There is no real business use going on--just legal services for low income clients
-          Noise disruption to our students during construction is of great concern to them in terms of how we/they are going to function with classes.

ACTION:           Approved as amended:
Change to the conditions of approval that relate to the duration of the entitlement. The Project must begin construction within 3 years of the date of the Motion.
          AYES:           Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Joe, Lim Salinas
ABSENT:                    Fay
          MOTION No.          16186

          10.          2001.0232L           (BORDEN: 558-6321)
                    1338 FILBERT STREET - (AKA 1338 FILBERT COTTAGES) - historically known as the Bush Cottages (1907-1930s) and the School of Basic Design and Color (1940s), north side of Filbert Street between Polk and Larkin Streets; Assessor’s Block 524, Lots 31, 32, 33, and 34. Request for Planning Commission recommendation on the proposed landmark designation of four, two-story wood frame cottages sited among brick walkways, patios, and mature plantings, which was initiated by the Board of Supervisors. The subject property is in the RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
                    Preliminary Recommendation: Pending
                    (Continued from Regular Meeting of June 14, 2001)


SPEAKER(S):
(+) Winifred W. Siegel
-          Had the opportunity to look into the history of the 4 cottages and what comes through all the documentation is significant.
-          First significance: The National Register connection is with the earthquake--the 4 cottages were built in 1907 in the first wave of replacement housing for survivors.
-          As was typical of that immediate post earthquake period, the cottages were built by craft builders not architects.
-          The housing was high density to house more people, rustic, small scale and not much decoration.
-          The decision of the Mathews-Bush family to re-build eventually meant that the family would continue their ownership of the property from 1895 until 1945.
-          The cottages are significant also for the way they connect us with the early 20th century history of this part of Russian Hill.
-          The third significance is the connection with the history of art in San Francisco through the cottages' 25 years ownership by Marian Hartwell, a teacher at the California of Fine Arts.
-          We have a unique and beautiful place. A place that is connected to major historic events, its type of architecture and its extraordinary garden setting and its ownership by artist/teacher–Marian Hartwell
(+) Joseph Butler, Little House Committee
-          This proposal was brought to the Landmarks Board as part of their work program in July 2000. In October 2000 Mr. Willis expressed that the building should not to be included in the work program. The Landmarks Board declined to include them and faced with a number of cottage situations like these, they instead, decided to write a context statement for cottages citywide in San Francisco.
-          We brought this issue to Supervisor Peskin in January of this year and he initiated the Landmark designation through the Board of Supervisors.
-          With regard to the period of significance: in 1951, when she added 22 inches to the height of each cottage, she did so not as an artist but as a landlord
(+) Dr. Robt Squeri
-          Urged the Commission to approve the landmark designation for these cottages
(+) William Winn
-          Lived right across the street from the cottages
-          Please approve landmark status of these beautiful cottages that contain and have preserved part of the history of this City.
(+) Penelope Clark, Co-Chair, Design/Zoning Committee of Russian Hill Neighbors
-          The Russian Hill Neighborhood Association's Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the landmark designation of these cottages.
(+) Aldo Caccamo
-          These cottages are of a unique character and architecture that is very rare in the City.
-          Supports the landmarks designation.
(+) Gerry Crowley, President, Telegraph Hill Dwellers
-          She came to support her neighbors on Russian Hill
(+) Francisco Centurion
-          These are one of the few layouts with gardens in the front and open space that give the neighborhood character. We would like to preserve it.
(+) Steve Williams
-          Landmarking viably sound buildings is an important part of the City's overall housing plan and maybe the only way to ensure their survival. Supports the landmark status.
(+) Marjorie Leet Ford
-          This is a very romantic and enchanting site left in this neighborhood.
-          Please preserve these cottages.
(-) Alice Barkley
-          This particular landmark designation was in fact dropped from the department's work program. But it was not dropped just because the owner objected--it does not work that way. It was dropped in part because your staff, conducted a very lengthy site visit and saw the conditions of these buildings and the conditions of the retaining walls.
-          Regarding the association with the earthquake in 1907--most of San Francisco in the northeast area was rebuilt after the earthquake because it was burned. That alone cannot establish any significance. Secondly, in terms of the history--relying on an association with Mary Hartwell, yes, she was good, but that does not make the building that she lived in of landmark quality or establish the kind of significant contributions that warrant that link.
-          Your staff asked the author and supporter for additional information, nothing was forthcoming. This information has been asked for for 4 months and I can only assume it is because there is not anything else they can provide. They have stretched the facts as far as they can.
(-) Peter A. Culley, Structural Engineer
-          In his opinion, there is a condition that he would call unstable stability that exists at this particular time.
-          In the past, the buildings have settled because the wall above these properties has tilted out and is forcing them to lean in.
-          They were, after all, rather modest structures that were built after the earthquake and are not, under any circumstances, constructed to take this kind of movement.
          (-) Kevin M. Kearney, Kearney & O'Banion Inc.
-          A general contractor specialized in the renovation of 19th and early 20th century buildings.
-          Estimated that the price of renovating these cottages would cost 1.6 or 2.0 millions dollars, depending upon correction of the retaining walls.
-          Disagreed with supporters that stated that these buildings are habitable in their current state. In fact, the wall mentioned has crashed the building in the back. The condition of the rest of the buildings is in very poor shape.
(-) Steven Scarrucca
-          The procedures' short comings demonstrate that this is really the opening salvo in a development battle. Suggested to the Commission that this is not an appropriate use of landmark legislation
-          This wonderful open space is very charming and old and should be replaced.
-          Do not grant landmark designation.
(-) Erika Cuneo
-          Representing her grandmother that owns a property adjacent to the retaining wall.
-          The retaining wall is going to be replaced if the landmark status is granted.
-          We understand the need to preserve landmarks in the area, but in these circumstances, we just do not think it is necessary.
-          Urged the Commission to oppose landmark designation.
(-) Jerry DeMartini
-          One of the victims of the retaining wall situation.
-          It would cost a lot of money, which I do not have, for me to be able to fix the retaining wall.
-          This has damaged his foundation.
-          These are not cottages they are shacks!
-          There are not even livable.
(-) Erica Sevens
-          Disapprove the landmark designation.
(-) John Willis, Property Owner
-          These cottages are not habitable and get flooded during the rainy season.
-          During the last 10 years that he has lived there, it has taken a considerable amount of work to make them even a little livable.
-          We have submitted evidence that these building were altered, and much renovation will be required to bring them up to code.
-          Landmark designation would result in replication and not preservation.

ACTION: Disapproved Landmark Status
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Lim, Salinas
          NAYES: Joe                              
ABSENT:          Fay
                    MOTION No. 16187


          11.          2001.0361C (SANCHEZ: 558-6679)
1634-44 PINE STREET - north side between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street; Lot 007 in Assessor’s Block 0647. Request for Conditional Use authorization pursuant to Section 712.61 of the Planning Code to allow the conversion of an automobile repair establishment (Midas) to an automobile rental establishment (Hertz) within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and a 130-E Height and Bulk District.
                    Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions.
                    (Continued from Regular Meeting of June 14, 2001)

SPEAKER(S):
(+) Jim Cameron
-          Restricted conditions should not be attached to this particular use permit.
-          Last minute addition was a further concession.
-          City has very strange regulations today concerning commercial signage--all signages.
-          Believes that none of their tenants nor the landowner should be held hostage with the conditional use permit process, or held to a different standard than other tenants or landlords in the City.

ACTION:           Approved
          AYES:           Theoharis, Baltimore, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:                    Fay and Chinchilla
                    MOTION No. 16188          

          12.          2000.1279C                                          (TAM: 558-6325)
522-524 CLIPPER STREET - north side between Diamond and Douglass Streets, Lot 9 in Assessor’s Block 6545 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Section 121(f) to allow the subject lot to be subdivided into two lots. One of the newly created lots will have a width of 19 feet, which is less than the required 25-foot minimum. The proposal also includes construction of a new four-story, single-family dwelling on the newly created 19-foot wide lot. The property is located in a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
                    Preliminary Recommendation: Disapproval

SPEAKER(S): None
ACTION: Without hearing, continued to 7/26/01
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:           Fay

          13.          2000.1275C (TAM: 558-6325)
401 TARAVAL STREET - southwest corner of Taraval Street and 14th Avenue; Lot 1 in Assessor’s Block 2411. Request for Conditional Use authorization to install a total of three panel antennae on the building rooftop and an interior equipment shelter in the basement of an existing two-story over basement commercial office building as part of a wireless telecommunication network (Sprint PCS), pursuant to Planning Code Section 711.83, in a NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The site is a Location Preference 3.
                    Recommendation: Approval with conditions.
                    (Continued from Regular Meeting of June 21, 2001)

SPEAKER(S):           None
ACTION:           Without hearing, continued to 7/26/01
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Chinchilla, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:           Fay

14.          2000.0333C                               (WONG: 558-6381)
639 MISSOURI STREET - east side, being a through lot to Texas and 22nd Streets, near the intersection of Sierra Street; Lot 060 in Assessor’s block 4101: Request for Conditional Use Authorization to allow for a Planned Unit Development, containing up to 92 dwelling units, approximately 7,495 gross square feet of ground floor retail space, approximately 5,135 gross square feet of office space and approximately 154 parking spaces on a 49,725 square foot site. The project proposes the following three exceptions: (i) modification of the required 25% lot depth for the rear yard setback; (ii) minor deviation from the provisions of height measurement as taken from Sierra Street; and (iii) an increase in the number of permitted dwelling units from 82 dwelling units, as of right, to up to 92 dwelling units. The subject property is in an M-1 / IPZ buffer (Light Industrial / Industrial Protection Zone buffer) zoning and a 40-X height/bulk district.
Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

SPEAKER(S):
(+) John Sanger, representing Project Sponsor
-          In the last 6 months they have had six neighborhood meetings
-          They are here today with an agreement with both of the neighbors--signified both by the signature of 28 neighbors to an agreement between the project sponsor and surroundings neighbors with the support of the Potrero Boosters Association, and by the support of others expressed by other mediums of communication.
-          The revised project involves 67 units, including 7 affordable units
-          Reduced the height of the building on Missouri Street by one story and reduced the number units from 92 to 67. Redesigned the corner building on Texas and Sierra Streets in order to provide setbacks above the plaza level on both streets according to the neighborhood's request to open up that corner.
-          In additon, the project sponsor agreed to a number of requests by the neighborhood, which now you have included in the conditions of approval.
(+) Claire Pilchner
- Supports the project wholeheartedly
(+) Ralph Wilson
-          Our neighborhood contains modest size residences of small scale, some light industrial and public housing of modest density.
-          Our neighborhood had fought long and hard to reduce the project density and mass and to mitigate the traffic and parking problem this would cause
-          Acknowledged that the developer and the architect made some important compromises just to create a better plan.
-          Project is still too high.
-          Concerned about the retail component of the project which lacks dedicated off-street parking and which many fear can result in serious traffic problems.
(+) Marilyn Curry
-          Lives half a block away from the proposed project.
-          Speaking today to support the current modifications and hopefully to further improve the project to make it fit into the neighborhood.
-          The height of this project is a brutal benchmark for transitioning into a residential neighborhood.
-          Fears that it would set a precedent for the development project on the adjacent property.
-          Would like to request that the Commission reduce the retail. Without designated off-street parking, double parking would create a serious traffic hazard.
(+) Jonathan Hardy
-          In full support of the modified proposal.
-          Neighborhood has worked hard for the compromises in these plans.
(+) Joseph Schaller
-          In favor of the project.
(+) Scott Johnston
-          Supports the project with the recent revision of the plans.
-          Have some reservations about the amount of retail.
(+) Susan Tiger
-          All the changes are very good. Supports all modifications, but still thinks they din't go far enough.
(+) Unknow speaker
- Approve Modified plans. It is a good plan. It would help the neighborhood.
(+) Matt Stroker
          - Supports retail space in the area.

ACTION: Approved as amended:
Under conditions of approval, Item No. VI was deleted and Items VII through X were re-numbered                    
          AYES:            Theoharis, Joe, Lim, Salinas
          NAYES:            Baltimore
ABSENT:                              Fay and Chinchilla
MOTION No.           16189

At Approximately 7:30 PM the Planning Commission convened into a Discretionary Review (DR) Hearing to hear and act on Discretionary Review matters.
          (+) = Supports Discretionary Review
          (-) = Does not support Discretionary Review

15a.          2000.1157DV                                         (BORDEN: 558-6321)
1 SATURN STREET - east end of Saturn Street, adjacent to the Saturn Steps; Lot 9A in Assessor’s Block 2626. Proposal is to demolish the existing single-family dwelling and to construct a new two-family dwelling, under Demolition Permit Application No. 2000/08/09/7450 and Building Permit Application No. 2000/08/09/7442. This project requires justification of a rear yard variance concurrently with the Discretionary Review. The subject property is in the RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as submitted.
          SPEAKER(S):           None
ACTION:           Discretionary Review Withdrawn

15b.          2000.1157DV                               (BORDEN: 558-6321)
1 SATURN STREET - east end of Saturn Street, adjacent to the Saturn Steps; Lot 9A in Assessor’s Block 2626. REAR YARD VARIANCE SOUGHT: The proposal is to demolish the existing two-story, single-family dwelling and to construct a new three-story, two-family dwelling within 6 feet of the rear property line. A 15-foot rear yard is required. The subject property is in the RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and is in a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
          SPEAKER(S):           None
ACTION:           Zoning Administrator Closed Public Hearing and Granted the Variance

16.          2001.0511D                                (BORDEN: 558-6321)
315 AND 319 EDGEHILL WAY - (AKA 325 and 335 Edgehill Way) - south side of the loop at the top of Edgehill Way; Lots 12 and 13 in Assessor’s Block 2934. The proposal is to construct two single-family dwellings, one on each of the existing vacant lots, under Building Permit Application Nos. 9805710’S’ and 9805711’S’. The subject property is in an RH-1 (D) (Residential, House, Detached Dwellings) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as submitted.



          SPEAKER(S):
          (+) Tim Colen, President, Edgehill Neighborhood Association
-          This is really a bad project. This is a highly unusual case and there are there many reasons why, even until now, these lots have not been developed.
-          This meeting is an exact repetition of the Landmark hearing.
-          The developer took the case to the Board of Appeals and lost.
-          The developer said that the Planning Commission did not have the discretionary power to turn down a project that met zoning laws and building codes.
-          What this case proved is that the Commission can turn down a residential development if it is determined that the project is unsuitable for the location.
-          Nothing has change on Edgehill except for 2 landslides--one a massive land failure in 1997 only 15 feet away from this project site; which is 50 feet away from one of our neighbors home that was condemned and demolished only 4 years ago.
-          Here are some of the project's flaws: 1) it's been repeatedly proven that this site sits on some of the most geologicly (unstable) land in the Bay Area; there is a long history of landslides in the area, all of them related to human alterations of the slopes and vegetation. Additional geological sheer zones were documented during an investigation of the site. In spite of these no further investigation was required. 2) The developer argues that this project has been approved by the City Structural Advisory Committee (SAC), but what SAC determined was ignored. What SAC found was the project simply met the building codes and that is all. In addition, SAC only reviewed within the boundaries of the two subject lots, there has been no review whatsoever of the surrounding area including the street or adjacent properties, safety issues outside of these lots has simply not been considered. 3) There should be no illusions here. How many homes are being considered here today? We documented that this is a 5 lot, 6 home project. The developer intends to build 2 homes at a time in order to evade the requirements of CEQA and other requirements. We call this illegal serial development. 4) Edgehill Way has very unusual liability characteristics; it is a dedicated non-accepted (street). In fact, it is a private street. We are facing a situation where approval is being considered for structures to be build on (the) cliff, in an area known to have repeatedly had slope failures. Yet the City has repeatedly denied any responsibility for this street. 5) This developer proposes to widen a 10 foot wide street by 4 feet. This will be a large complex construction project in and of itself, involving more drilling and excavating deep into these steeps slopes. We were told that the proposed widening would provide both improved emergency vehicle access and additional street parking. We think that is physically impossible and is dangerous to our neighborhood.
-          Urged the Commission to determine that this is not a sensible project for this neighborhood or for the City itself.
          (+) Neil Eisenberg
-          This is a serial development. That means when you are looking at the design of these two houses, you are doing so out of context with the other 4 homes that will be developed.
-          In the absence on having the total picture before you, it is hard for you to say that this is in character with the neighborhood.
-          Secondly, the geological information that we have received so far is inadequate.
-          In this case, these homes are proposed to bet 5500 square feet--triple the size of the adjacent homes. They are out of proportion with the neighborhood. And who knows how the other 4 home are going to be designed in the future.
-          The City's policies specifically provide for open space. The design question is what (open space) can you see from the area?
-          Our office has been the attorney for Edgehill Way for two years, yet we had never heard from the developer with respect to a compromise on the design.
-          This is a classic case where you should take Discretionary Review.
          (+) Darren Van Hoff, Senior Engineer, Nino and Moore, Geotechnical Consultant
-          Have been involved with this project since September 1988.
-          Reviewed the documents that the developer has provided and have been given the opportunity to observe the large diameter borings that were lodged down the hole. Were also at the site and recognized the conditions out there. On the large diameter borings we noticed that there were sheer zones filled with clay--sheer zones that are similar to the one that caused landslides in the past.
           (+) Howard Ellman, Attorney, representing Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Albert
-          They live directly across the street from the proposed project.
-          Part of their consternation and connection with this project builds on a point that Mr. Eisenberg made--the road improvement, which is an intergrowth of this project, which is required. In order for this project to go forward, it must be considered in connection with this application.
-          It was originally designed with tight backs that encroached on the Albert's property. That design was just presented to DPW. It was then discovered that (earlier information was inaccurate and the new was) not given to the Albert's. When they discovered this, they called attention to the fact there was an encroachment. The initial response from the developer was that there was no encroachment. When it was discovered, he agreed to pull back and to a redesign. The redesign was filed with the Planning Department last week and has just been reviewed by the geotechnical people.
-          Even though the original proposal said that the original tight backs were required for structural safety, those tight backs have been significantly reduced.
          (+) Jerry Klein
-          Was a member of the Planning Commission on January 14, 1992, when this project came before the Planning Commission.
-          In no way can he be characterized as anti-development.
-          When this project came to us, there were signs that this was a very dangerous site, lacking proper access, landslides, just not a proper site for development. The Commission then voted unanimously to require the Zoning Administrator to review the cumulative effects of any development and to record our (concerns) and require a full EIR
-          This site is not appropriate for development. Nothing has physically (changed) to make these lots safe. The only thing that has changed has been the house's prices.
-          The proposed building of 2 units is (part of) a serial development
          (+) Bob Wilson, President of the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association
-          Opposed to development on this particular site
-          Discretionary Review process for this project could not be complete without an EIR which will include an independent geotechnical analysis of the proposed building site
-          EIR is justified since the project site is within 50 feet of another housing development where a major rockslide and mudslide occurred a few years ago. Edgehill Mountain is a fragile area, particularly on the western and southern slopes of the hill.
-          The development of 3 homes on Kensington Way approximately 200 feet below the site, was nearly a disaster because of the excessive excavation of the hill site, which required the construction of an emergency containment wall some 50 feet high to contain and secure the hill site.
           (+) Bob Passmore
-          The neighborhood association requested that I appear before you because I worked for the Department from 1960 until two years ago. During that time, this site and many other sites on Edgehill Mountain came to the Department for review.
-          The project that is before you, two single-family dwellings rather that a one single-family dwelling is a little different in concept than the one the Commission denied under discretionary policies in 1987. It is essentially the same height, the same size, (and) the same number of bedrooms that are been proposed. It has basically improved in terms of the visual appearance. The problems that existed at the time the Planning Commission thought that this project was inappropriate are not different. In fact, there is more information for the Planning Commission to be concerned, with because of the mudslides that occurred in 1997. The developers for the project on Kensington Way did not anticipate the landslide.
-          Based on the material before you, there are various elements to this project that you do not have sufficient information on.
-          Geotechnical materials are not as complete as they should be because of the problems of encroachment with the adjacent property.
-          There are issues of how well the traffic will work during construction. Five bedroom homes could create a considerable amount of traffic.
          - This is the wrong project for this particular site
(+) Patrick Hannon, speaking of behalf of Isabel Wade
-          Approve Discretionary Review or at least recognized that this is a 6 lot development project that will impact the entire mountain.
-          Edgehill Mountain's open space is a vital and valueable component of our City's urban forest
-          As a new member of the open space advisory committee, he is extremely disturbed by the apparent disregard of the previous open apace committee's recommendation that this land remain open space.
-          Have the concerns of the community been included in your deliberations regarding this development?
-          San Francisco does not have very much open space
-          We must be vigilant against hasty decisions that may squander this precious resource
-          Urged (the Commission) to examine the entire scope of this project and the potential negative impact on the Edgehill Mountain open space before making a final determination.
(+) Jack Frankel, former President, Edgehill Neighborhood Association
-          Supports Discretionary Review
          (+) Steve Ellis
- Lives immediately next to the proposed project
          - Concerned about the safety of the house as well as his personal safety
- This is not a two home project
-          This a monster project
(+) Ron King
-          Concerned about the width of the road. With a 4 foot decrease there would not be enough space to get a fire truck through there in case of an emergency.
-          This activity, because of the hill, is a massive undertaking.
-          Concerned about the safety of the hill as well as the neighborhood
          (+) Joan Kingery
-          Deny the project
-          We need to preserve the open space
          (+) Yalan King
          - Concerned about parking and safety. There is a significant parking problem.
-          Homes in the vicinity of the proposed project are composed of 1 or 2 car garages
-          In most of the City there is a calculation that is based on the square footage of the structure along with the number of bedrooms that corresponds directly to the number of car spaces that are going to be developed for the homeowners and visitors.
-          1500 square feet with 5 bedrooms is not adequate. At a minimum we are going to have more cars blocking access.
-          The area where this project is proposed to be built is the narrowest road and there is absolutely no room for any parking. No one is taking in consideration the additional cars and the incremental traffic. How will this contribute to the existing difficult road access that we encounter?
-          Requested a full Environmental Review.
          (+) Adam Duddley
-          Concerned about the safety issue. Particularly concerned about how they will go about construction on these sites. What are the staging plans? Where will the vehicles park that are needed for the construction (to bring the materials, equipment, etc.) that will not block access?
          (+) Donna Caravelli
-          Urged the Commission to reject this proposal by the developer to build 6 structures on the lot in question.
-          Concerned about the amount of water that runs off the hill during the rainy season. The water has nowhere to go. This becomes a raging river.
-          This affects the entire neighborhood
-          Would like to know the impact of the erosion, and who is going to pay for it.
          (+) Craig King
-          Against the proposed project because of the history of the mudslide in the 1997.
(+) Joan Barr
-          My house is on top of the hill directly over this project
-          Has lived on the neighborhood for 36 years
-          The landslide in 1997 weakened the foundation of her house
-          There is no way, if there is a fire, that any fire engine can get through. This is a very narrow street.
(+) Joan Gerardo
-          Urged the Commission to take Discretionary Review based on the overwhelming argument by Mr. Klein.
(+) Henry Cohen
-          Lives two blocks from the proposed project.
-          It changed owners in order to be developed.
-          I Know for a fact that the condition of the hill it is very unstable
- Urged the Commission to ask the developer to have a geological study of the hill done.
          (-) Harry O'Brien, Project Sponsor
-          The question is not whether or not the City and the developer have a special responsibility to take care of the development of the site--that is a given, that is why this application has already been in process for over 3 years
-          After the mudslide in 1997, the City imposed a moratorium on construction. The result to that was in the year 2000 permanent controls required review by the structural advisory committee. This project went to the structural advisory committee in 1999, voluntarily.
-           This is not a project that has not undergone careful review by the appropriate agencies and careful engineering by the project sponsor's team.
          (-) Eddy Gutierrez
-          Born and raised in the neighborhood.
-          This would be an asset to the neighborhood.
-          All the information you need is before you. Please do not delay this project any further.
(-) Warner Schmalz
-          The size of the building is considerably small
-          There are 4 parking spaces on the property
-          There is no blocking of the street
-          These buildings meet the requirements of the building code. The Planning Code specifically allows for (development on) deep down slope lots.
-          This is not a surprise project in the City
(-) Laurie Regalia
-          Urged Commission to approve this project
(-) Larry McAuliffe
- There is no reason why this construction couldn't be approved
          (-) Mary Naughton
          - These homes would be a beautiful asset to the neighborhood
          (-) Mathew Carlin
-          Born and raised in the neighborhood.
          -          Would like to see the project go forward.
          (-) Brandon Lawlor
          - In support of denying Discretionary Review
(-) Julie Keith
          - Long term resident of San Francisco and opposes the Discretionary Review
          (-) Barry King
          - It would be an asset to the neighborhood
          (-) John Curran
          - Urged the Commission to deny Discretionary Review
          (-) Pat Shires, Geotechnical Engineer
          - Spoke about the geological aspects of the hill
          (-) Jim Keith
          - In support for the project
ACTION: Take Discretionary Review and disapprove project
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:          Fay, Chinchilla
          17.          2001.0261DDD (WOLOSHYN: 558-6612)
                    322 28TH AVENUE and 326 28TH AVENUE - east side between California and Clement Streets, Lots 037 and 038 in Assessor’s Block 1406. Requests for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application Nos. 9920290 and 9920291, proposing to demolish an existing one-story, single-family dwelling and construct a three-story over garage, two-family dwelling at 322 28th Avenue, and Building Permit Application Nos. 9920288 and 9920289, proposing to demolish an existing one-story single-family dwelling and construct a three-story over garage, two-family dwelling at 326 28th Avenue, in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.
                    Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve the project with modifications.
                    (Continued from Regular Meeting of May 17, 2001)
          
          SPEAKER(S):
          (+) Stephen Williams
-          These houses are sound. The number one priority policy of Master Plan and the Resident Elements requires that you save existing sound housing.
-          Developer submitted these preposterous reports that claimed that each of the houses would cost $300,000 dollars each to bring them up to code. In reality, it would cost about $43,000 to repair them, and only $15,000 to 18,000 to bring them up to the building code. Please look carefully at these reports.
          (+) Marcia Epstein-Wilson
-          They are out of character with the neighborhood.
-          Urged the Commission to opposed this project.
-          This project will impact seriously on the privacy, light and space of the neighborhood.
(+) Pattie Weinstein
-          Oppose demolition of this property and the construction of two four story buildings on the site.
-          It will destroy the character of the neighborhood.
-          There will be an enormous traffic impact.
(+) Ann Gomes
-          Opposed to the construction of this project.
(+) Barbara Hartley Morse
-          Oppose the building of this project with the addition of 13 bedrooms to one block. It will impact severly the parking problem that we already have in the neighborhood.
(+) Ron Karpowicz
- The proposed project is out character with the neighborhood.
-          It is not the right design for this neighborhood.
-          It will destroy the light coming into his house.
(+) Scott Karpowicz
-          Opposed proposed project.
-          Will eliminate air, light, and space in his backyard.
-          Concerned about the traffic problems.
(+) Nancy Scotton
- Parking in the neighborhood is a serious problem.
(+) Cheryl Karpowicz
- Opposed project.
(+) Taylan Coppola
-          This monstrous development will ruin my view and light.
(+) William Shepard
- Opposed to this project.
(+) Hiroshi Fukuda
- Opposed project.
-          Affordable housing--rent control units and middle income units will be removed from the City stock of rental units.
-          Studies have indicated the San Francisco Housing is the least affordable.
-          This type of project shows why we are having a housing crisis.
(+) Arnold Thompson, representing the project sponsor
-          This project fits right in with the character of the neighborhood.
-          Parking off street will be provided.
-          The neighbors next door support the project.
- This project will provide family housing in this City, which is really in need of it.

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved as modified:
§          Permit applicant must work with Department staff to improve the design of the proposed project, particularly:
·          That the building at 322-28th Avenue be modified to respect the light and air of the light wells and rear deck of 318-28th Avenue.
·          That the two proposed replacement buildings are architecturally distinguishable from one another, with each having its own design.
·          That landscaping is included in the front setback as required by Planning Code Section 132(g).
·          That an open internal connection be included between the ground floor rooms and the second story for each building.
·          That a Notice of Special Restrictions be placed on each property to restricts the number of dwelling units to no more than two on each lot.
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Joe, Lim, Salinas
ABSENT:          Fay and Chinchilla

          18.          2001.547D (WOLOSHYN: 558-6612)
655 32ND AVENUE - east side between Anza and Balboa Streets, Lot 007A in Assessor’s Block 1575 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2001-0227-3042, proposing to partially infill an existing lightwell on the south side of the building and to add an eight-foot high wall between this lightwell and the lightwell on the adjacent property to the south, in a single-family building in an RH-2 (Residential House, Two-Family) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.          
                    Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve the project with modifications.

SPEAKER(S):
(+) Tony Lim
- Urged the Commission to take Discretionary Review.
(-) Mr. Lau, Architect
- Gave a description of the project and the reasons for the project.
ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and required the remov al of the primary wall
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Joe, Salinas
ABSENT:          Fay, Chinchilla, Lim

          19.          2001.0673D (M. SNYDER: 575-6891)
1521 GRIFFITH STREET - southeast side between Thomas and Shafter Avenues, Lot 8 in Assessor’s Block 4794, mandatory Discretionary Review on Building Permit No. 2001/05/18/9575 pursuant to Planning Commission Resolution 14861, proposing to demolish an existing warehouse structure and construct a new warehouse structure, in an M-1 (Light Industrial) District, a 40-X Height and Bulk District, a Restricted Light Industrial Special Use District, and the Industrial Protection Zone.
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as proposed.
SPEAKER(S): None
ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved
          AYES: Theoharis, Baltimore, Joe, Salinas
ABSENT:           Fay, Chinchilla, Lim
                    
F.          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))

          NONE

Adjournment: 10:45 p.m.

THE DRAFT MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2001.

Action:          Approved
Ayes:                    Baltimore, Chinchilla, Fay, Joe, Lim, Salinas, Theoharis

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:12 PM