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December 16, 2004

December 16, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO
PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, December 16, 2004

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Michael J. Antonini, Kevin Hughes, Sue Lee, William L. Lee, Christina Olague

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Dwight Alexander and Shelley Bradford Bell

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE PRESIDENT SUE LEE AT 1:35 p.m.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris - Interim Director of Planning; Larry Badiner - Zoning Administrator; Nora Priego - Transcription Secretary; Linda Avery - Commission Secretary

A. CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

      The Commission will consider a request for continuance to a later date. The Commission may choose to continue the item to the date proposed below, to continue the item to another date, or to hear the item on this calendar.

      1. 2004.0458E (J. NAVARRETE: (415) 558-5975)

          566 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE - Appeal of Preliminary Negative Declaration - The proposed project would include demolition of an existing 4,344 gross-square-foot, one-story retail/commercial building and rear storage building and construction of a five-story, 50-foot-tall mixed-use building which would contain 32 residential units on the second through fifth floors and retail/commercial use on the ground floor. The residential use would be 27,491 gross square feet (gsf) in area, and the retail/commercial space would be 4,344 gsf in size. The ground floor and basement levels would include 32 parking spaces designated for the residential use with ingress and egress from South Van Ness Avenue. The ground floor would contain the commercial space and residential lobby. The 12,253-square-foot site is located within the C-M (Heavy Commercial) zoning district and within a 50-X height and bulk district. The proposed project requires a conditional use authorization for residential use in the C-M district.

              (Proposed for Continuance to January 20, 2005)

          SPEAKER(S): None

          ACTION: Without hearing, item continued to January 20, 2005

          AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

          ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford Bell

          2. 2004.0560E (J. NAVARRETE: (415) 558-5975)

          785 BRANNAN STREET - Appeal of Preliminary Negative Declaration - The proposed project is the construction of a five-story, approximately 50-foot tall, 29,653 gross-square-foot (gsf) residential building with 56 single room occupancy (SRO) units. The ground floor would contain a lobby, a manager's office, a community room for the residents and 8 SROs. The second through fifth floors would include 12 SRO units on each. No off-street parking or off-street loading would be provided. A 900-square-foot roof deck would be provided as common usable open space meeting the requirements of the Planning Code. The project site is 6,124 square feet in size and currently used as a 20-space surface parking lot, located on the northeast corner of Brannan Street and Gilbert Street in the South of Market District. Pedestrian access to the building lobby and the community room would be through one door mid-lot on Brannan Street. All of the units would be rental units designated as permanently affordable to households with income not exceeding 50% of the City's median income. The project site is zoned SLI (Service Light Industrial) and is within a 50-X height and bulk district. Conditional Use authorization is required for SRO units in the SLI district, and parking, rear yard, and permitted obstruction variances would be required for the proposed project.

            (Proposed for Continuance to January 20, 2005)

          SPEAKER(S): None

          ACTION: Without hearing, item continued to January 20, 2005

          AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

          ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford Bell

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

      3. Commission Comments/Questions

          Commission Secretary:

          - In the special hearing at 12:30 today the Sub Committee decided to hold an Executive Session on January 6, 2005, which will begin at 12:00 noon in room 421. The discussion will consists of reviewing applications for Director of Planning position.

          Commissioner Antonini:

          Re: Rincon Hill EIR

          - He as well as the other Commissioners has received a lot of correspondence on this item.

          - Many of the comments address the fact that when the project comes back before the Commission it should include the comments and issues that the Commission and the public have expressed.

            Zoning Administrator Badiner responded:

            - There are a lot of concerns with the Rincon Hill Plan. Staff plans to sit with Commissioners on an individual basis to go over the plan and explain it in detail.

            - The public hearing will be scheduled in the middle of January.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - The Zoning Administrator responded to this issue because he (Dean Macris) has to excuse himself because of previous involvement on this project.

          Commissioner Olague:

          - When the Commission sees projects that are zoned M-1 or are being proposed for housing, she would like to see some background information from Long Range Planning staff.

          - When Senior housing projects come before the Commission, she would like to know what are some of the amenities located around the project. What is the neighborhood character, etc.

          Commissioner S. Lee

          Re: 785 Brannan Street

          - This project was continued today to January 20, 2005. Will the project be heard that same day also?

          - She has some questions on SROs and their appropriateness.

          Commissioner Olague:

          - Has Supervisor Amiano introduced legislation on defining SRO housing to include low income housing?

            Zoning Administrator responded:

            - He is not that familiar with the legislation but knows that there is an affordability component on SROs.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

      4. Director's Announcements

          Interim Director Macris responded:

          Re: Supervisor Maxwell's legislation

          - This came before the Board on Tuesday and it was adopted as interim controls on an +11-0 vote.

          - This type of legislation is usually less than unanimous, so this vote was surprising.

          - This action was taken with an amendment that would exclude some projects on 17th street.

          - The interim controls, which to some extent is a moratorium, would deal with projects that were filed after November 23, 2004. The projects that were exempted were projects that were filed prior to November 23, 2004. The projects in environmental review will continue with the review.

          - Included in the legislation are provisions that include:

          - A 90-day analysis that includes the supply and demand of PDR space. This analysis is underway. There is no reason to believe that it will not be completed by the 90 days. Pending the outcome of this, there will be an analysis of what this information is saying, particularly in the Showplace area.

          - He is pleased that this has happened this way.

          Commissioner Olague:

          - What do the amendments consist of?

            Zoning Administrator responded:

            - - The original language of the ordinance, even before it got to the Board said no project that is not in conformity with these controls can even be subject to environmental review.

            - Supervisor Maxwell said that the permits could not be processed but can continue with environmental review in order to not put a total hold on things.

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

          BOS - None

          BOA - None

D. GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT - 15 MINUTES

      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. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

          Richard Marquez:

          Re: Affordable Housing

          - Will the City build more affordable housing?

          - How will the Commissioners respond to this question?

          - Before the holiday break, the question to meditate on is: Can the public and the Commission together initiate a new conversation on inclusionary zoning and off-site requirements?

          - If 12% is not enough, can this go higher?

          Kate White

          Re: 18th and Alabama Affordable Housing

          - She spoke about this a few weeks ago asking for a status report on this and nothing has been said.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - There are 60 cases to be assigned to a planner. This number is growing and not shrinking.

            - This is one of the reasons why there is no information on the above mentioned project.

            Zoning Administrator responded:

            - Staff is trying to take care of priorities.

            - Code complying projects take priority over non-complying projects.

            - In May/June, Citizen's Housing applied for an environmental application, as well as Conditional Use and text and map changes for the Alabama project.

            - If PDR is not replaced on a 1 to 1 basis, then a cumulative examination of the loss of PDR needs to be done.

            - The Maxwell interim controls need to be examined as well.

            Interim Director Macris responded:

            - This is an excellent project.

            - The danger is that these folks have funding from the State. If too much time passes, the funds will be lost.

            - This is a project that is replacing truck parking.

            - He will be speaking with the City Attorney to find a way to speed things up because of the importance of the project.

          Commissioner Hughes:

          Re: Backlog

          - Is 5 months an excessively long wait for a Variance?

                Zoning Administrator responded:

                - He recalls that recently it would take about 2 months to process a Variance.

                - He feels that there is an increase in the amount of wait time.

                Interim Director Macris:

                - He requested that a work program and workload discussion be scheduled on future calendars.

          Commissioner S. Lee:

          - She feels this is an excellent idea.

                Interim Director Macris responded:

                - The Mayor came to the Planning Department to meet with staff yesterday.

          Commissioner Antonini:

          Re: Replacing the PDR Space

          - Is there a difference in replacement whether or not the last or existing PDR firm is not operating or is not even there?

                Interim Director Macris responded:

                - There is no distinction that could be made.

                Zoning Administrator responded:

                - He thinks that there is some discussion on the policies regarding vacancies. He believes that it is three years.

          Commissioner W. Lee:

          - It is important for the Commission to know if other agencies are slowing down the process of projects, and if there are issues that the Commission should know about.

E. REGULAR CALENDAR

      6.

      2004.0632R (D. ARGUMEDO (415) (558-6284)

          WESTERN ADDITION REDEVELOPMENT PLAN, GENERAL PLAN REFERRAL ON - WESTERN ADDITION PROJECT AREA A-2 REDEVELOPMENT PLAN AMENDMENTS - Pursuant to Section 4.105 of the San Francisco Charter and Section 2A.53 of the San Francisco Administrative Code, Consideration of the General Plan Conformity findings of Amendments to the Western Addition Project Area A-2 Redevelopment Plan.

                Preliminary Recommendation: Approve the Draft Resolution finding the Amendments are, on balance, in-conformity with the General Plan.

          SPEAKER(S): None

          ACTION: Approved

          AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

          ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford Bell

          RESOLUTION: 16922

      7a. 2004.0205EKCV (J. MILLER: (415) 558-6344)

          1218-1226 LEAVENWORTH STREET - east side between Sacramento and Clay Streets, Lot 023A in Assessor's Block 0220 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization, for height in excess of 40 feet in an "R" District (48.5 feet proposed) in conjunction with the addition of a new floor (containing two dwelling units) to an existing three-story-over-basement residential building (resulting in seven units). A request for a Variance from rear yard requirements will be heard concurrently by the Zoning Administrator. The site is located in an RM-3 (Mixed Residential, Medium Density) District, and a 65-A Height and Bulk District.

          Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

                (Continued from Regular Meeting of December 2, 2004)

          SPEAKER(S):

          (+) John Sanger - Sanger and Olson

          - He submitted letters from neighbors who are in support of the project, maps, photomontages, etc.

          - He displayed a site map showing the relation with the neighbors who have rear yards. Even with the addition of the building it will not create shadows.

          - The project sponsor is willing to remove the stair penthouse and in lieu, extend the extension of the rear yard stair to the roof, if the Zoning Administrator approves this.

          (-) Ray Shiek

          - He has provided a letter to the Commission regarding the height and bulk of the proposed project.

          - For consideration is maintaining the character of the overall building mass from the rear view of the properties.

          - They are requesting that because of the Variance, there should be a limitation on the building height.

          - They are not saying that they don't want the 4th floor, but there should be some limitations on the back stair.

          (-) John Shiu

          - They had some concerns about how this building will change the character of the neighborhood.

          - The neighborhood is on a slope.

          - Most all of the buildings in the area are two to three floors.

          - They are concerned about the precedent this project will create.

          - They have suggested many recommendations to the project sponsor that are still within the Planning Code, but the overall concern is the character of the neighborhood.

          (-) Elizabeth Kronig

          - There is a level of concern by the neighbors.

          - The back side is the only area that is open. She will get an impact on light and air with this building.

          (+) Kyle Holeman

          - They purchased the building knowing that there was a 65 foot limit.

          - He lives in the back unit with his wife.

          - He hopes to add units to the building.

          - He hopes there is neighborhood consent on this project because he and his wife will be living there.

          (-) Garth McNab

          - He lives on Clay Street around the corner from the subject project.

          - His number one concern is that should the property be altered, this should not be precedent for other properties that will want to add floors in the future.

          - If this does, the quality of the neighborhood will then be changed.

          - He is also concerned about the parking in the neighborhood.

          - This area is very difficult to find parking because many properties do not have garages.

          - Parking should be allowed in the building.

          ACTION: Approved as Modified: parking spaces: 6 with up to 8 (2 of which are tandem)

          AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

          ABSENT: Alexander and Bradford Bell

          MOTION: 16923

      7b. 2004.0205EKCV (J. MILLER: (415) 558-6344)

          1218-1226 LEAVENWORTH STREET - east side between Sacramento and Clay Streets, Lot 023A in Assessor's Block 0220 - Request for a Variance, for an obstruction of a new rear wall, constructed over the existing wall below, extending 18 inches into the required rear yard, and for construction of a new exit stair in the rear yard. The site is located in an RM-3 (Mixed Residential, Medium Density) District, and a 65-A Height and Bulk District.

                (Continued from Regular Meeting of December 2, 2004)

          SPEAKER(S): Same as those listed for item 7a.

          ACTION: Zoning Administrator closed the public hearing and granted the Variance (which includes the extension of the new rear stair to the roof). The Zoning Administrator shall review any further additions.

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: 3:16 p.m.

      THESE MINUTES ARE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2005.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Hughes, S. Lee, W. Lee, Olague

EXCUSED: Alexander and Bradford Bell

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:14 PM