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August 10, 2006

August 10, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, August 10, 2006

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Vice President Christina Olague; Michael J. Antonini; William L. Lee; Kathrin Moore; Hisashi Sugaya

COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Dwight S. Alexander

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE-PRESIDENT OLAGUE AT 1:35 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator and Acting Director; Dan Sider; Tom Wang; Kelly Amdur; Joshua Switzky; Alicia John-Baptiste; Glen Cabreros; Dan DiBartolo; Carol Roos; Isolde Wilson; Michelle Glueckert; Michael Li; Cecilia Jaroslawsky; April Hesik; Rick Crawford; Linda Avery – Commission Secretary

Commission Secretary Avery: Prior to taking care of our regular Commission business, we would like to have a statement read in honor of our past Commissioner and former Supervisor Sue Bierman. Then we would like to observe a minute of silence in her honor.

Zoning Administrator Badiner: I would like to read a statement from Director Macris who is out of town. Sue's passion for San Francisco was remarkable. She treated all citizens fairly regardless of circumstances or status. What set her apart was not her general regard for people as individuals. In every San Francisco person she found joy everywhere. She was the best of America. San Francisco was privileged to have Sue as a citizen and an advocate for these many years. There are a number of members of staff who are here also in recognition of Sue.

With that, we ask that we have a moment of silence in her honor.

Thank you.

  • 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. 2006.0522C (M. LI: 415-558-6396)

550-552 Golden Gate Avenue- north side between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street, Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 0763 - Request for Conditional Use authorization to establish a surface parking lot for up to 25 vehicles within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and a 130-E Height and Bulk District. The project site is currently vacant.

Preliminary Recommendation: Disapproval

(Proposed for Continuance to September 21, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

2. 2006.0668C (A. Hesik: (415) 558-6602)

222 Columbus Avenue - northeast side between Pacific Avenue and Broadway, Lots 26-31 in Assessor's Block 0162 - Request for Conditional Use authorization to establish a financial service (d.b.a.  First Republic Bank ) of approximately 118 square feet. The financial service would consist of two automated teller machines located in the interior of the building within vacant existing ground-floor commercial space. The proposed use is not formula retail as defined in Section 703.3 of the Planning Code. There would be no physical expansion of the existing building. The site is within the Broadway Neighborhood Commercial District, Washington-Broadway Special Use District No. 1, and a 65-A-1 Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Proposed for Continuance to September 21, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

3. 2006.0084D (M. SMITH: (415) 558-6332)

980 CORBETT AVENUE - west side between Portola Drive and Hopkins Avenue, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 2826 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.08.11.0076, proposing to construct a one-story vertical addition, a three-story rear horizontal addition, and alter the front façade of a single-family dwelling, located in a 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 project as proposed.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 22, 2006)

(Proposed for Continuance to September 21, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

4. Commission Comments/Questions

  • Inquiries/Announcements. Without discussion, at this time Commissioners may make announcements or inquiries of staff regarding various matters of interest to the Commissioner(s).
  • Future Meetings/Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Moore:

  1. I ask that we move items 9b and c off the Consent Calendar.
  2. There are a couple of observations I would like to share.

Commissioner Sugaya

  1. First, I apologize for recusing myself at the last minute [on item 14].
  2. Last week I had concerns over the Trinity Plaza issue with the wind studies that were conducted and to MEA.
  3. I'd like to have a report back on when studies that have been conducted for other high rise buildings and the results there of; and to see whether or not if anything, say within the last I don't know how many years, resulted in mitigations that affected the design of the project.
  4. Sometimes I'm aware of times where we said we need to put shielding at a pedestrian level or a deck or things like that.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. We'd be happy to get that to you.

Commissioner Sugaya

  1. Along that same note, in answer to a request with respect to a design proposal along the lines that Mr. Badiner mentioned, because it was part of the design I was told it doesn't have to be included as a mitigation.
  2. There were other mitigations that were suggested.
  3. That specific one was not suggested.
  4. I was informed that because it was part of the proposed design it doesn't need to be &
  5. I want to have this staff be alert to any changes to that particular feature that would affect the wind at the ground level.
  6. Second, as a new commissioner, and having followed the news previously as a member of the public, I know that there were discussions or a process under way to find a new Planning Director.
  7. Since joining the commission, I haven't heard how this process is proceeding.
  8. I would like to have a calendared item to get a report back about what that process was in terms of a sort of report and how the Commission and staff and city are planning to move forward in seeking a new Planning Director.
  9. Lastly, in terms of last week's hearing, with respect to the Chinese Council residence, I was rather – I don't know the right word – concerned with the way that item was handled. Especially after we took the 3 to 2 vote to continue it.
  10. I won't get into specifics here but I think the staff and others have been put on notice that perhaps it was not handled exactly correctly.

Commissioner Moore

  1. Regarding Trinity Plaza, I would like to add that the concern I had about how the project occurs also includes parking.
  2. Since the building is like an interlink building the parking strategy, what we get and when is unclear.
  3. I want to make sure we stay on top of how that plays out in reality.
  4. Second, I would like to propose to the commissioners that we add working meetings that speak specifically about the architecture of larger projects.
  5. We receive presentations, but the discussion of the merits of the architecture is barely brought to this body.
  6. We owe it to each other to hear each other and be aware of concerns we have.
  7. Last week we were not capable of talking about architecture and while we had some discussions individually, I think the full issues or concerns of architecture were not addressed.
  8. I hope we can broaden our own discussions to be informed.
  9. Lastly, I would comment on Commissioner Sugaya's thoughts about the appropriateness of follow up on Saint Elmo.
  10. I want to say that I experienced a level of discomfort, without going into detail, that can be avoided next time.

Commissioner Lee

  1. With all due respect to commissioners, it would be helpful that you get the package a week ahead of time and there is ample opportunity to talk to each one of the planners [that has a case on the next week].
  2. I've always called the planners to talk about the issues and the opposition.
  3. Regarding last week, and both of you are fairly new here, we have long hearings and get into a lot of debates.
  4. My suggestion is not to ask the Department to come to you with issues because they don't know what areas you have expertise or questions on.
  5. Call each one of the planners, which I do every week.
  6. They can answer all your questions.
  7. I don't disagree with last week.
  8. There should have been more communication.
  9. When I came on this commission I met with the Director of Planning in '95. I was at that time a member of the Planning Commission.
  10. I found them to be very helpful.
  11. My suggestion is to talk to the planners there.
  12. Second, to the staff, I got a request from the Hong Kong Government regarding the city's Planning Code. Hopefully it got to Dean.

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. I received a copy of that and staff is preparing a response.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I would like to continue with what Commissioner Moore brought up – the question of design.
  2. It's something I commented on before.
  3. Whenever possible if project sponsors can come to the Commission early and let us see what they have in mind, it's more beneficial to us.
  4. It could be a situation where we have a beneficial project that provides housing or one of many things we may want.
  5. You are sort of in a bad position.
  6. You don't want to not approve it because it's a good project for a lot of purposes, but the design is not something you feel is appropriate.
  7. I think, if I understand it correctly, the Commission does have a role in what is approved; in the ultimate approval authority.
  8. It would make sense that project sponsors come to us early in the process and works with the commission to elicit our ideas on it.

Commissioner Lee

  1. For the two new commissioners: We had two presentations done by the San Francisco AIA.
  2. If I could ask the Commission Secretary if you can remember when we had the presentations to email the two commissioners and they can look it up.
  3. I agree with our new commissioner that we didn't have an architect since I've been on the commission.
  4. It's helpful to have the input of an architect. I need to learn more about architecture.
  5. The background is that the AIA has stated that we need to be different and to think of things differently.

Vice President Olague

  1. I want to comment on the Trinity Plaza discussion.
  2. I feel there were a couple of issues that were not vetted out here.
  3. I think sometimes when we are too quick to call the question it prevents really creating a deeper discussion about issues like trinity that will have a big impact on tenants in the mid-Market area.
  4. One concern I had that was outstanding in the inclusionary requirements for that project as well as the condo mapping.
  5. I know it was in the form of the resolution, the last motion we made. It will be vetted out at the Board. They have the ultimate decision making authority on that piece of our motions that were made here.
  6. I just felt uncomfortable with the way there was sort of a &
  7. I felt rushed during the last part of that discussion.
  8. I hope in the future we can respect each other's desire to continue to debate and discuss items like the Trinity so it &
  9. It felt a little unfinished when we closed last time.
  10. Also, there's the question of the Market Octavia Plan that's coming up September 7th. I know it's an intent to initiate certain amendments.
  11. I do hope we give a lot of attention to working sessions as Commissioner Moore discussed around the architecture.
  12. I think there are other areas of the Market Octavia Neighborhood Plan that deserves a lot deeper discussion and oversight than a couple of hearings.
  13. I hope that we can figure out a way to deepen our discussion on that when that item comes before us in September and October; when its calendared as the actual adoption of the CEQA findings, certification of the EIR and General Plan amendments.
  14. I hope we have time to hear from neighbors and others.
  15. Many of us were not part of the discussions taking place for years. Our Department was involved in the discussions for years. We have not been.
  16. A lot of attention should be given to that matter.
  17. On the Chinese Council, I will bring my comments up later today when we get to that.
  18. Also, I herd comments made that the name of the Plaza should be changed to Sue Bierman Plaza. I want to put that out there for food for thought.

Commissioner Moore

  1. I want to dispel any fear that we are trying to make Planning hearings longer.
  2. I do believe that a thoughtful discussion about architecture properly presented goes a long way over what we get - and that's throwing together 11 x 14 plans, which is not doing anybody any justice. We misunderstand the architect and the intent of the building.
  3. Architects and developers are sharing the thoughtfulness.
  4. I'm using it as a suggestion to help us use better judgment.
  5. Commissioner Sugaya mentioned calendaring a Planning Director progress hearing. Is there a process for calendaring such an item?

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. I will discuss that with the Director and we will get back to you on the timing for such a hearing.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

5. Director's Announcements

Zoning Administrator Badiner

  1. Commissioners, just a couple of items in response to some of your comments.
  2. We will assure there is enough time for Market Octavia for you to be involved in that discussion.
  3. You are correct it has been going on for a long time.
  4. There was a lot of consensus in the neighborhood.
  5. I think, on the other hand that it has been going on so long there are new players and new ideas coming in and the consensus needs to be re-consensed.
  6. We will make sure you have time to be involved in that.
  7. In terms of design, my recollection in consulting with Mr. Nikitas was that the first AIA presentation was at the end of February and second was a month ago.
  8. He [Mr. Nikitas] is preparing in concert or in support of one of our priority policies of bringing design to the forefront and working harder on design.
  9. Mr. Nikitas is preparing a presentation that we expect to be before the Commission mid to the end of September.
  10. We want to do something similar to the AIA. The AIA is a wonderful resource. We also have other views and supported views. I don't want to say we have differences.
  11. The only other thing I would say is that I've talked to a number of you over the past week. I understand some of your concerns. I have been in close discussions with Mr. Macris. I suspect that on his return we will want to talk as individuals and try to make sure things go smoothly.

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

Dan Sider of Department staff reported

  1. There was no Board of Appeals this week.
  2. There are four items of note at the Board of Supervisors - two actions taken and two emerging pieces of legislation.
  3. First reading of Mirkarimi's Medical Cannabis Dispensaries trailing legislation on grandfathering notice and proximity changes passed 9 to 1 with Elsbernd against and Ma absent.
  4. The final component of our fee package was heard favorably by the Budget and Finance Committee yesterday and forwarded to the full Board for next week.
  5. Supervisor Alioto-Pier has put forth an ordinance that would require your conditional use authorization for any changing use of an existing primary or secondary school to any other use. This is something you will review in the next coming months and will go to the Land Use Committee.
  6. Supervisor Sandoval put forth a ballot measure yesterday at the Department of Elections. Should the voters pass this measure, which will be on the November ballot, conditional use will be required from this body for any formula retail use in any neighborhood/commercial district in the city. We have had formula retail legislation for a couple of years. We have pockets of the city where formula retail is prohibited and other parts where it is required and broader swats where only notice is required. Should this pass conditional use would be required in the areas where it is prohibited.

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.

SPEAKERS:

Dorothy Peterson, Vice President of the Shoreview Residents Association

  1. I sent to you a letter last week. It deals with an issue that's important to all of us.
  2. There was a settlement between the City and our owners.
  3. As part of the settlement the owners are supposed to adhere to City, State, and Federal regulations. None of those have been adhered to.
  4. One the City and State regulation in particular deals with the first right or refusal.
  5. It has been triggered by the sale of our properties.
  6. It's very important because if it's not addressed, then this is the biggest land grab since reconstruction. These are not suggestions. They are regulations.
  7. All we are asking is, look into it, because it could mean that we rightfully own. There are people like Ms. Jackson, Ms. Westbrook, and several others who fought hard for us to have the right to own those properties in Hunters Point
  8. The only thing I can ask is who is watching out for the watchdog?
  9. A bond resolution was pushed through yesterday to go to the Board of Supervisors.
  10. Again, over the objections. Look into whether or not these regulations have been adhered to.
  11. It seems that the City is rushing headlong to fulfill it's part of the bargain of the settlement but no one is asking is the second party fulfilling it's part of the bargain.
  12. If this bond resolution is pushed through, it is to the detriment of the residents.
  13. Tax money would leave Bayview Hunters Point to go to a corporation.
  14. There is something grossly obscene about a billion dollars corporation on the backs of a community.

Sue Hestor

  1. I will ask for something you already have a report on.
  2. There have been three large PUD's approved in the past 5 years that have a lot of attention and are anchored by grocery stores. In particular, the one on Alemany Boulevard.
  3. I request that the staff go over the terms of PUD's and whether or not it is an enforcement mechanism.
  4. If a grocery store, which was the big feature for the development goes bust, does the developer have the responsibility to put in a new grocery store or not?
  5. We've had trouble with Albertson's in the City and there at least two of them in the PUD's approved by this Commission.
  6. If we are giving extra other things for a retail facility, is there the ability to enforce those conditions?
  7. I have no idea what the answer is.
  8. I have not pulled those PUD resolutions.
  9. I think it's a question that needs to be asked.
  10. What do you do when a national chain strips the City of grocery stores?
  11. We have had grocery store problems in several neighborhoods.
  12. Secondly, whoever put the flowers and photo [of Sue Bierman] here I thank you.
  13. She was the longest Planning Commissioner we had and she was my friend as well.
  14. I know you and a lot of the staff knew her.
  15. She supported the Planning Department and the Planning Commission.
  16. I will miss her and I think the city will miss her.

E. PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS WHERE THE PUBLIC HEARING HAS BEEN CLOSED

At this time, members of the public who wish to address the Commission on agenda items that have already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the public hearing has been closed, must do so at this time. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

SPEAKERS:

RE: Item 7 – 85 Saint Elmo Way

Adriane Concus

  1. I am here to oppose the project at 85 St. Elmo Way.
  2. My family and I are the backyard neighbors.
  3. I oppose this project because it's not in compliance with the Planning Code regarding height.
  4. The project proposed a separate structure in violation of one dwelling per lot.
  5. It contains 3 separate units.
  6. The project is situated on the lot only eight feet from the property lines of adjoining neighbors and it violates rear yard setback lines and open space.
  7. The encroachment into the rear yard and the space that increases the living property creates a mega mansion in a neighborhood zoned for single-family homes.
  8. If I or any other neighbor were to bring this before the Commission, it would be flatly denied.
  9. At the time of purchase of Monterey Heights' property we know that the building and land use runs with the land in addition to the City's prevailing Planning Code.
  10. A good neighbor is someone who adheres accordingly.
  11. All Monterey Heights' homeowners have the right to remodel and expand their home.
  12. They give little merit to the unenforceable conditions of approval.
  13. This project would create an unwanted compound in the midst of a residential, single-family neighborhood and is not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.
  14. The Planning Commission is charged to protect the character of our San Francisco neighborhoods and I urge you to vote no.

Mr. Jeremy Lieberman

  1. I received the plans late Friday and reviewed them and remain opposed to the project.
  2. In the last three months I've become an expert in architecture.
  3. The Planning Code states the Commission may grant a conditional use that's compatible with the neighborhood or community if that use will not be of harm to the welfare & ; that such use will not affect the General Plan.
  4. The project fails to meet many of the established policies.
  5. Many people in the neighborhood do not desire the project.
  6. There is no one in the neighborhood that really wants to see this project as planned to be built.
  7. The project will not benefit or improve the beauty of this neighborhood.
  8. Multiple structures on one project site are out of character with the single-family homes on the block.
  9. This project is not necessary for the rest of the neighborhood.
  10. It will reduce commuting by staff members who work on the premise.
  11. It will increase activity and traffic during non-business hours.
  12. Thereupon there is ample off street parking on the property.
  13. The scale is excessive. A more modest proposal could achieve 9 bedrooms with less rear setbacks.
  14. The proposal is harmful to the neighborhood. It will reduce mid-block open space and will block open space on the property.
  15. The harm will arise by the unwillingness of the applicant to grant inspection during construction and publicly admit access by fire and utility services.

Laurie Bernestein

  1. I live across the street from the proposed addition and object to it.
  2. I would like to address two issues. One is a safety issue and the concessions that were made by the Council and his representatives.
  3. In terms of the gentlemen who spoke last week from the State Department, one of the current concessions was that the State Department would be given phone numbers that could be contacted in case of emergency.
  4. If there is an emergency that arises because of something that occurred at the residence but affected a neighbor as was the case several years ago when there was a fire in a home two doors down, but there was no issue on the property and nobody was allowed on the property.
  5. If the Fire Department or PG &E have to go through the State Department to receive access to the property there could be severe damage done to existing homes in the neighborhood.
  6. The other issue I have is although there have been conditions of approval that have been given to the neighbors by the representative of the Council General they are not enforceable because it's at the discretion of the Council General as to whether or not anybody, any inspection can be made.
  7. I think it would be a good faith initiative by the Council General if initial inspections were allowed.
  8. If the property were sold to a non-diplomatic enterprise would the Planning Commission mandate inspections that were not allowed previously?

Peter Schweikhardt

  1. I am at 116 Saint Elmo Way, a couple doors down and across the street.
  2. After the meeting last week I reflected on the remarks. There was a remark that said something like it's not clear what the opponents want. I thought perhaps it's true. I looked at my objective as describing concerns rather than prescribing solutions.
  3. A second later it appears negative and suggest a view that I don't hold, personally.
  4. I do not oppose an increase in the amount of space that the Council General has and the People's Republic of China.
  5. I oppose the shape that that proposal has taken so far.

Deborah Stein, representing People's Republic of China

  1. I want to thank you very much in this last week. The purpose of the continuance was to allow neighbors that were not part of the homeowner's negotiation to review the plan.
  2. We gave the plans to the neighbors who testified last week, the ones who gave their address.
  3. On Monday, members of the homeowner's association met to review this.
  4. I had 12 to 20 phone conversations with Susan from the Homeowner's Association and Mark Campbell who felt that they were not being represented by them.
  5. We have consensus and China added a new condition.
  6. You will see conditions number 3 adds a condition that China will give 24 contact information to the State Department to ask the State Department to provide to San Francisco's emergency officers for any emergency involving this property.
  7. In discussions with Mr. Patton representing the other homeowners, there is a question, what about mandatory DBI inspections?
  8. As we heard last week, the City cannot condition issuance of a permit.
  9. I want to stress that the People's Republic invited DBI to look at the construction and may do so in the future.
  10. There was concern of whether or not this project would increase impacts to the neighborhood.
  11. It won't. It is going to house existing employees who are there.
  12. The People's Republic will work with good neighbor issues.

Leaa Zhang, Project Architect

  1. With photos, gave a further review and description of the project.

John Bielan

  1. I live at 66 Saint Elmo Way with my wife
  2. We've lived there for 30 years and live directly across the street from the Chinese Council.
  3. They are good neighbors, accommodating and un-obstructive.
  4. I think their proposal is reasonable and accommodating to our needs as it can be.
  5. We don't oppose the Chinese Council's proposal.

David Bisho, President of Home Association and West of Twin Peaks Central Council

  1. The west of Twin Peaks Council is against this project because it would violate the City's zoning for RH-1 properties.
  2. It would allow more than one dwelling unit per lot and more than one kitchen per lot.
  3. It would look like a compound or mid sized hotel with 10 bedrooms and four kitchens and a four-story addition.
  4. It would result in a palace look that would intimidate all the houses around it.
  5. It is out of character and is not within the Residential Design Guidelines.
  6. This would no longer be a single-family house and the coming and going of activities would affect the neighborhood.

Robert McCarthy

  1. I want to point out how the West of Twin Peaks Council works.
  2. Only the neighborhood association that's affected can be allowed to make a motion.
  3. Before they were worked out which were acceptable by the homeowner's association, they requested the Twin Peak's Council to oppose the projects, which they did.
  4. In this instance they worked long and hard with Mrs. Stein to reach the compromise.
  5. The Twin Peaks Council has not had a meeting since then and has not recognized that the organization that made the request is accommodated and supports the projects. It is important for you to note that.
  6. The second thing is the question of the enforceability of the CC&R's. This Commission and the Board of Appeals when Commissioner Sugaya served on it and when I did, we were reminded by the Zoning Administrator and the City Attorney that you can't involve yourself with the legal discussions.
  7. The fact is this is a unique lot. It's almost an acre. Including this addition the building will occupy only 24% of the lot and 76% of the lot is preserved as open space.

  1. CONSIDERATION OF FINDINGS AND FINAL ACTION – PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED

7. 2005.0659C (T. WANG (415) 558-6335)

85 SAINT ELMO WAY- southeast side between Monterey Boulevard and Yerba Buena Avenue; Lot 032 in Assessor's Block 3049 - Request for Conditional Use authorization, pursuant to Planning Code Section 304 Planned Unit Developments, to allow construction of an addition to the existing residence of Consul General of the People's Republic of China, with a modification of rear yard requirements in an RH-1 (D) (Residential, House, One-Family, Detached Dwelling) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of August 3, 2006)

NOTE: On August 3, 2006, following public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing. Following some Commission deliberation, this matter was continued to August 10, 2006 by a vote of 3 to 2. Commissioners Antonini and Lee voted against and Commissioner Alexander was absent.

SPEAKERS:

Germany Leiberman [speaking on the continuance of this item until 5 p.m. or later]

  1. Last minutes changes, we were several hundred miles away.
  2. We got an e-mail notification after the close of business hours last night that the agenda item had changed.
  3. We tried to notify other neighbors who have strong opinions about the matter.
  4. It is difficult to get on the phone and extremely difficult for people who work to change their schedules with less than 24 hour's notice to arrange childcare, which is a reasonable expectation.
  5. We have been here ready to go and concerned about the process.

ACTION: Approved as amended to require a licensed architect throughout the project.

AYES: Antonini, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

NAYES: Moore

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17305

G. CONSENT CALENDAR

All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Planning Commission, and will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the Commission. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Commission, the public, or staff so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing.

ALL ITEMS ON THE CONSENT CALENDAR WERE TAKEN OFF CONSENT AND HEARD AND CONSIDERED AS SEPARATE ITEMS.

8a. 2006.0413XV & 2002.1077E (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

149 MASON STREET - west side between Ellis and Eddy Streets, Lot 017 (formerly Lot 2 and a portion of Lot 3) in Assessor's Block 0331 - Adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration pursuant to CEQA and Request under Planning Code Section 309 for Determinations of Compliance with Exceptions for the construction of an 8-story, approximately 85-foot tall building containing 56 dwelling units, approximately 980 square feet of ground floor retail space and no parking. All of the units are proposed to be affordable studio units for formerly homeless individuals. The project will be the subject of a concurrent variance hearing before the Zoning Administrator for usable open space and dwelling unit exposure. This project lies within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 130-F Height and Bulk District.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 20, 2006)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS:

Rev. Cecil Williams

  1. We are proud to have the opportunity to talk about a project that we feel strongly meets the needs of so many people in San Francisco.
  2. Affordable housing is critical as we read and look at television in this City and we want to provide, good effective efficient affordable housing.
  3. We have already built a 52-unit housing complex that has received some nine national awards. It's already built. We've had it for six years.
  4. I remember someone saying, within six months this place will be torn down.
  5. I invite anybody, I don't care where he or she is from, to come and see our present housing complex.
  6. It's one of the best in urban America. There is no doubt about it.
  7. I am proud of it and what we did and how we did it.
  8. What we are doing here with the two units seems a direction we must go.
  9. It's a direction that says, people come first and make sure there is enough room and space and there are bathrooms and special kitchen facilities.
  10. It's a direction that says that the poor might benefit from it. And not only the poor, but the homeless; we are talking about families.
  11. We are talking about two units that will meet a great need in the City and County of San Francisco.
  12. I'm proud to have the opportunity to come to you. I want you to know that when you pass this and give us an open door; you are really doing something for a large number of people.
  13. We have been to the Board of Supervisors and community groups and all sorts of responsible community groups in the City because we wanted them to know about our project.
  14. We wanted them to know about the housing complex and we've been there.
  15. I think you will find we have gone to people from every walk of life and especially to people who will benefit from this project.
  16. Let me say that we are concerned about the people who are still outside. The people who had to stand on concrete and the people who sleep on the streets and the people who have nowhere to go.
  17. In the future we need a housing complex where people not only have shelter but we also have places for people to go and be proud of what they are doing, reading rooms, places for them to eat.
  18. We've got some of these already but places for them to be a part of what we call the community.
  19. This is our community. We want to continue to make it our community.
  20. We must include those who are in great need.

Paula Collins, Development Manager for the Corporation

  1. In response to a question from Commissioner Lee on why didn't we build higher? Commissioner, we thought it made sense to look at the existing zoning in this area. And the fastest way to get the housing was to stay within the building envelope dictated for this site.
  2. That doesn't mean we will not continue to build housing. We will be back.

[Name not given]

  1. I live at 55 Mason Street where this spot is going to be.
  2. Any housing in San Francisco is important.
  3. Some of the people come here from different states and countries.
  4. What we see now is you got the homeless. The SRO's are catching a lot.
  5. We want to make sure it includes bigger units.
  6. The CW building - what I learned in the last five years is that they have the best houses. They get their own kitchen and more functions.
  7. We also want you to pay hand to SRO's they are celebrating 5 years.
  8. We are in the City and going through a lot of changes now.
  9. Unstable managers and people moving. Space is important.
  10. You get out of these small spaces. We join San Diego, L.A. and San Francisco. We have SRO's in New York.
  11. We are joining the world market of Asia and Tokyo; of people who live in smaller spaces; building new buildings. Space is important.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Olague, Moore, Lee

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17299

8b. 2006.0413XV (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

149 MASON STREET - west side between Ellis and Eddy Streets, Lot 017 (formerly Lot 2 and a portion of Lot 3) in Assessor's Block 0331 - Request for a Variance from the Code requirements for usable open space and dwelling unit exposure for the construction of an 8-story, approximately 85-foot tall building containing 56 dwelling units, approximately 980 square feet of ground floor retail space and no parking. All of the units are proposed to be affordable studio units for formerly homeless individuals. Common usable open space for the dwelling units would be provided on a 2nd floor terrace and on balconies located on floors 3 through 8. The balconies located on floors 3 through 8 do not meet the minimum dimensions for common usable open space set forth in Section 135, and 28 of the 56 dwelling units face a rear yard area that does not meet the requirements of Section 140. This item will be heard by the Zoning Administrator. The Project also requires approval under Planning Code Section 309. This project lies within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 130-F Height and Bulk District.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 20, 2006)

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 8a.

ACTION: Zoning Administrator closed public hearing and granted the variance.

9a. 2006.0691CVX & 2002.1077E (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

125 MASON STREET - west side between Ellis and Eddy Streets, Lot 018 (formerly Lot 4 and a portion of Lot 3) in Assessor's Block 0331 - Adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration pursuant to CEQA and Request for Planning Code Section 309 Determinations of Compliance with Exceptions for the construction of a 14-story, approximately 130-foot tall building containing 81 affordable dwelling units for families and parking for 13 automobiles and one loading van. Common usable open space would be provided in two terraces on the second floor and in a 9th floor deck. The project also requires conditional use authorization pursuant to Section 124(f) for FAR greater than 6:1. The project will be the subject of a concurrent variance hearing before the Zoning Administrator for dwelling unit exposure because 46 of the 81 units face open areas that do not meet the requirements of Section 140. This project lies within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 130-F Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

SPEAKERS:

Rod Henmi for Michael Willis Architects

  1. I would like to begin by first putting the building into context with this first drawing.
  2. You can see this is the project site that the neighboring buildings actually open to the sides, rather than backyards. They don't face backyards.
  3. These two buildings have their back windows face the side.
  4. As you can see, the buildings on our side of the street are of varied heights.
  5. There is some consistency on both sides of the streets for a street wall approximately 80 feet high. On the other side of this street, there are varied heights.
  6. These buildings are 80 to 90 feet high and they are directly across the street from our site.
  7. This building is oriented 90 degrees to the sight plan; the same way as the site plan orientation.
  8. We tried to orient our building in a manner that was sympathetic and comfortable for the neighboring residents.
  9. This building is an L shape with the largest base facing the south to grab the most available sun. That's the major courtyard. The other is used as a space and quiet reading space.
  10. The idea is that the building would be reinforcing of the street wall by this height that's compatible with the two sides.
  11. There is a deep recess in the middle that creates more texture to the street.
  12. It has a recess that leads to the opening at the base and projecting bay window that has a slight taper to lead to the entry space.

Paula Collins

  1. As his delegate speaker in this particular project, as with the prior project we have fantastic development partners.
  2. We would be remiss in not mentioning TNBC who is the development partner on the first building and this one is Millennium Partners.
  3. We have the ability and opportunity to take advantage of great collaboration with the community, an organization that's respected with an excellent development partner in the City in Millennium. And two architectural teams that can meet and work jointly and do address many of the issues that Commissioner Moore has raised about having design that reflects the quality of the support of services and the living environment that will happen in the building and the neighborhoods.
  4. We are joint venturing this project.
  5. We, being Glide Economic Corporation are not only venturing with them to not only satisfy but to take advantage of their enthusiasm for creating affordable housing, really creating the affordable housing.
  6. They became aware of the Reverend and his activities and a partnership was formed.
  7. They are contributing equity to make this project happen.
  8. We believe because of that contribution we can deliver units faster than what was communicated.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17300

9b. 2006.0691CVX (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

125 MASON STREET - west side between Ellis and Eddy Streets, Lot 018 (formerly Lot 4 and a portion of Lot 3) in Assessor's Block 0331 - Request for Conditional Use authorization pursuant to Section 124(f) for FAR greater than 6:1 for the construction of a 14-story, approximately 130-foot tall building containing 81 affordable dwelling units for families and parking for 13 automobiles and one loading van. Common usable open space would be provided in two terraces on the second floor and in a 9th floor deck. The Project also requires approval under Planning Code Section 309. The project will be the subject of a concurrent variance hearing before the Zoning Administrator for dwelling unit exposure because 46 of the 81 units face open areas that do not meet the requirements of Section 140. This project lies within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 130-F Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 9a.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17301

9c. 2006.0691CVX (K. AMDUR: (415) 558-6351)

125 MASON STREET - west side between Ellis and Eddy Streets, Lot 018 (formerly Lot 4 and a portion of Lot 3) in Assessor's Block 0331 - Request for a Variance from the Code requirements for dwelling unit exposure for the construction of a 14-story, approximately 130-foot tall building containing 81 affordable dwelling units for families and parking for 13 automobiles and one loading van. Common usable open space would be provided in two terraces on the second floor and in a 9th floor deck. The project requires a variance because 46 of the 81 dwelling unit faces open areas that do not meet the requirements of Section 140. The Zoning Administrator will hear this item. The project also requires Planning Commission approval under Section 309 and conditional use authorization pursuant to Section 124(f). This project lies within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial) District, and is within a 130-F Height and Bulk District.

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed for item 9a.

ACTION: Zoning Administrator closed public hearing and granted the variance.

ITEM 10 WAS TAKEN OUT OR ORDER AND HEARD BEFORE ITEMS 8 AND 9.

10. 2002.1263U (J. SWITZKY: (415) 575-6815)

333 Fremont Street - Motion to Approve In-Kind Agreement to Satisfy Rincon Hill Community Infrastructure Impact Fee Requirement per Section 318.3(e). The Planning Commission approved a project at 333 Fremont Street on June 16, 2005, that includes approximately 88 dwelling units. Planning Code Section 318.3(b)(i) requires payment of $11.00 per net occupied square foot of residential development for the Rincon Hill Community Infrastructure Fund prior to issuance of site permit. The project required a payment of approximately $769,142. On March 14, 2006, the project sponsor deposited the full amount of its required fee, plus interest, into an escrow account payable to the City, pending approval of an In-Kind Agreement that would credit the sponsor for a portion of the fee in exchange for publicly accessible improvements in accordance with the Rincon Hill Plan. The project sponsor has entered into an In-Kind Agreement with the City, to the satisfaction of the Planning Department and City Attorney, to construct, and dedicate a permanent public easement on, a mid-block pedestrian pathway on the project site. The Planning Department recommends a fee credit equal to construction cost of the pathway improvements (approximately $240,000) plus the value of the public easement ($333,000), or approximately $573,000 total. The City would thus draw from the escrow account the difference of the full fee and this credit, or $196,142, and deposit this amount in the SOMA Stabilization Fund as part of the required transfer of up to $6 million from the Rincon Hill Infrastructure Fund to the SOMA Stabilization Fund per Section 318.6(b)(2).

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

Continued from the Regular Meeting of July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17302

H. REGULAR CALENDAR

11. (A. JOHN-BAPTISTE: (415) 558-6547)

PLANNING DEPARTMENT ADOPTED FY 2007 BUDGET

Review of the Planning Department's adopted FY2007 budget and work program. Informational presentation.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Meeting held to provide updated information. No Action.

12a. 2005.0089DDDDDDDDDDDE (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)

2121-2123 LEAVENWORTH STREET - west side between Greenwich and Filbert Streets, Lot 002 in Assessor's Block 0094 - Requests for Discretionary Review of Demolition Permit Application No. 2005.02.24.6183 proposing to demolish an existing four-story, two-unit building in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the Demolition.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of August 3, 2006)

Note: On June 15, 2006, following public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing and continued the matter by vote +6 –0, to require two meetings between the Project Sponsor and the neighborhood and for the Project Sponsor to secure and clean up around existing building. Commissioner W. Lee was absent. Public hearing will remain closed unless new information is introduced. On August 3, 2006, the Commission re-opened the public hearing and continued this item to allow time for the public and the Commission to review the new material submitted.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Prior to this hearing, all discretionary review applications were withdrawn.

The matter is no longer before the Commission for consideration or action.

12b. 2005.0387DDDDDDDDDDD (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)

2121-2123 LEAVENWORTH STREET - west side between Greenwich and Filbert Streets, Lot 002 in Assessor's Block 0094 - Requests for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application Nos. 2005.02.24.6188 & 2005.02.24.6189 proposing to construct two, five-story, three-unit buildings in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of August 3, 2006)

Note:On June 15, 2006, following public testimony, the Commission closed public hearing and continued the matter by vote +6 –0, to require two meetings between the Project Sponsor and the neighborhood and for the Project Sponsor to secure and clean up around existing building. Commissioner W. Lee was absent. Public hearing will remain closed unless new information is introduced. On August 3, 2006, the Commission re-opened the public hearing and continued thisitem to allow time for the public and the Commission to review the new material submitted.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Prior to this hearing, all discretionary review applications were withdrawn.

The matter is no longer before the Commission for consideration or action.

13. (L. BADINER (415) 558-6350)

AFFORDABILITY CONDITIONS FOR PARKING VARIANCES - The Commission will hold an informational hearing to provide advice to the Zoning Administrator regarding affordability conditions for parking variances.

SPEAKERS:

Susanna Susoeff

  1. I need to understand a little better first before I make my comments. What does the affordability requirement mean?
  2. If I an understanding you correctly, certain variances granted would have to do with me providing the second unit as affordable housing to someone else.
  3. My project is on 1130 Harris Street. I'm the owner of the property.
  4. This property has been in my family for 75 years or more.
  5. For the entire time it's been a two unit dwelling. The City did not reflect that.
  6. Many years ago I don't know if it was required but the property was used as a second unit for rental.
  7. I'm coming for parking on August 23rd.
  8. This has been a yearlong project to get this put through for various reasons. But my main aim is to restore the property to a two-unit residence as it has been used for many years.
  9. The restriction that's been, I need a variance for is that there's an additional off-street parking and the property has an area in front of the lower unit, which is the second one that a car fits in and that's how it was used in my family for all those years.
  10. But by definition, to me, affordable housing means somebody has to pay more so someone else can pay less.
  11. Having a really strict restriction and not taking this case by case or allowing fluctuation and discretion would mean I'm the one that has to pay more so somebody can pay less.
  12. I believe that's unfair and discriminatory to me and limits my usage of this property.
  13. This is true all over San Francisco but particularly on my block.
  14. Making things more restrictive discourages people from acting in a legal manner.
  15. Many people don't want to go through the effort and expense that's incurred in doing it legally.
  16. It's expensive and may not go through so a lot of people may do it illegally.

Brett Gladstone

  1. I'm not representing anyone. I don't have a variance on this.
  2. Keep in mind clients come to my law firm and they are in a situation where they live in a unit that's illegal and they don't discover it until they were doing improvements or bought it and didn't know they were illegal.
  3. They have to get a parking variance to legalize what they are in or be kicked out.
  4. There are a lot of circumstances like that.
  5. I wonder how in that instance you would make an affordability requirement to the people that are already living there.
  6. I have concern about the fact we spent a year analyzing what the inclusionary requirements should be if building 5 [units] and over and sometimes we are dealing with building only 2-4 units.
  7. If we add affordable units to 2-4 we have an inclusionary requirement of 20 or 30 percent.
  8. I'm wondering if we have a strong policy to keep families in the City.
  9. Mr. Badiner mentioned the in-laws that were moving it and couldn't afford it. If there were an affordability requirement this would be an example of how that runs counter to that policy.
  10. We need to look at it carefully. If we do it, I hope we have written criteria.
  11. As a lawyer, it's hard to advise people when we are not sure what's going to happen at a hearing and years in advance of buying the property.
  12. If I don't know the rules, God help them.
  13. I'm looking forward to a further discussion of this.

Deborah Stein

  1. I actually never represented a parking variance nor do I particularly want to do so in the future.
  2. I am always interested in the rational of the policies and ask the Zoning Administrator if you could clearly articulate the nexus and the affordability housing.

Sue Hestor

  1. I want to encourage Mr. Badiner to think along these lines.
  2. I've been to housing discussions and they discuss what in-law units are; at least the trust of it.
  3. I lived in an in-law for 16 years on 20th Street.
  4. They had no parking in the entire building.
  5. They tend to be more affordable because of their natural nature.
  6. We have to keep struggling to maximize affordability.
  7. I agree with Mr. Badiner, it helps to have the criteria down because it will help him think through things. And the exception for a real family - that should do the public good and encourage that.
  8. At the same time if your mother doesn't move in and you rent it out to people and if the sky is the limit on the rental it's not such good policy.
  9. We are getting a lot of condos that sell for a million dollars.
  10. We are getting extremely few small rentals.
  11. They should be disbursed throughout the City, not all in affordable housing and South of Market.
  12. I lived in the Castro in an in-law and it was created in the 30's for the son when he moved downstairs from this parents.
  13. This is something to think about. The affordable housing community should be encouraged to participate in this discussion.

ACTION: Discussion Only. No Action

14. 2006.0905R (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

400 BLOCK OF JESSIE STREET PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY, between 5th Street and Mint Street, providing street frontage for Lots 003, 006, 009, 010, 011, 034, and 079-112 in Assessor's Block 3704. Request for a General Plan Referral from the Department of Public Works. The proposal is to convert the portion of the Jessie Street public right-of-way between 5th and Mint Streets from an automobile thoroughfare with on-street parking and sidewalks to a public plaza.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adoption of Draft Resolution finding that the project is consistent with the General Plan and Planning Code Section 101.1 Planning Priority Policies.

SPEAKERS ON CONTINUANCE ONLY:

Michael Yarne, with the Building Company, Project Sponsor of Mint Plaza

  1. I understand the difficult position the Commission is in with the President of the Commission, Mr. Alexander, requesting a continuance.
  2. I want to respect your position as commissioners and wanting to honor his decision.
  3. I'm thorn.
  4. I don't know the basis for the request to continue, but it does not do justice to the project.
  5. I can get into great detail, but I'll summarize it in 2 brief reasons.
  6. The first is procedurally. I don't see any reason to continue the item from today because this is a General Plan referral matter. It is not final approval.
  7. This project has a long way to go.
  8. There will be plenty of opportunity for comments by neighbors and Westfield, who are here today.
  9. Why this General Plan referral for a plaza has taken on such importance, I don't understand. [Especially given that there are months of hearings to take place in which matters can be discussed.
  10. In regard to fairness, this process is an open public process.
  11. As a Project Sponsor I can attest to working with the Planning Department, Redevelopment Agency, Art's Commission.
  12. We self designed a process, have noticed several public workshops on the website.
  13. Every proposal and idea and study has been made fully available to the public.
  14. There was no requirement that we do this. We voluntarily did it.
  15. We have been doing outreach including to the folks here today. They have known about the project for well over a year.
  16. I have met with the Principal in one case and with other representatives and there's [been] plenty of time for comment and feedback and ideas. Yet, I have not received anything but silence. I'm disappointed.
  17. I will respect your decision but I think it's important whatever decision you make be binding and that these parties come to the table and raise what they need to raise and share their studies.

Mary Murphy, Council with the San Francisco Unified School District and Urban Realty

  1. We support the request for continuance.
  2. We attended the workshops that my colleague refers to.
  3. We met with Mr. Yarne.
  4. We have concerns about the traffic in the area.
  5. We are trying to ascertain what the traffic will be.
  6. On June 21st we hired someone to study the traffic in the area.
  7. We had hoped by this time we would have the results of the traffic analysis.
  8. We have been aware of this and we are trying to gather the facts, including walking the area with Mr. Yarne.
  9. We wanted to say that Westfield and Urban Realty are supportive of the revitalization of the area.
  10. Westfield contributed to the clean up of Holiday Plaza.
  11. These are people who invested hundreds of millions to this neighborhood and are glad that the building company is moving their company forward.
  12. We would like to see this area improve.
  13. We hope you continue this item so when we come back it's something that everyone feels agreeable to.

ACTION: Without hearing the merits of the case, item was continued to September 7, 2006

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague and Lee

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

15. 2004.0745E (C. ROOS: (415) 558-5981)

2420 Sutter Street - Residential Care and Medical Office Facility north side between Divisadero and Broderick Streets, in San Francisco's Western Addition Neighborhood (Block 1052, Lot 023) - Hearing on Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration. The project site is about 14,609 square feet in size. It contains an approximately 9,000-square-foot, three-story (30-foot-tall) medical office building on about one-third of the site and a 25-space surface parking area on the remaining two-thirds of the site, both owned and occupied by the San Francisco Foundation for Psychoanalysis. The project sponsor, Sunrise Development, Inc., proposes to demolish the existing building and surface parking, and construct a six-story, 65-foot tall building with approximately 6,880 gross square feet (gsf) of replacement medical office use on the ground floor to be occupied by the Foundation, an approximately 45,712-square-foot residential care facility for frail elderly, containing 58 rooms, and about 46 underground parking spaces On-site common open space would total about 5,480 square feet, to include a rear yard of approximately 3,000 gsf., a second floor terrace of approximately 1,600 gsf, and common balconies totaling approximately 880 gsf (about 220 gsf/balcony), on floors three to six. The building would be U-shaped in plan view, with the U opening to the rear of the building above the ground floor. The project site is located in the Western Addition Neighborhood of San Francisco. The site is within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Use district and a 65-A Height and Bulk district. The project requires Conditional Use authorization and is subject to the City's Inclusionary Housing ordinance.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 20, 2006)

Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold the Negative Declaration.

SPEAKERS:

Jim Kaller

  1. I'm an attorney in San Francisco
  2. I wanted to start out by clearing up confusion on what the Center's intensions are.
  3. We are not trying to be bad neighbors.
  4. The problems that the Center has are twofold.
  5. One is a general concern related to the size and scope of the project – whether it is a full EIR or negative declaration.
  6. If you look at the photos and drawings, it gives you a good indication of the changes.
  7. The Russian Center is adjacent to the project.
  8. The current building stands three stories. It has parking on the ground floor and two more stories.
  9. The one being built is six stories. The full 65 feet.
  10. The current building is not a large building.
  11. The new one has to apply for a variance. The photos speak for themselves.
  12. It is 20 feet higher than my client's building and larger than anything around it.
  13. We have four specific concerns that may be related to the conditional use if we get to that this evening, which relates to my client's property and structural and other concerns of what will happen when construction is going on.
  14. On the environmental review – in some ways the two petitions are related.
  15. If this were a project that was not the full 65 feet and not larger than allowed under requirements we would not be concerned about the environmental review.
  16. The appeal mentions three areas.
  17. One is parking.
  18. I should note that my clients have been in this building for many years.
  19. The Russian Center of San Francisco organization goes back decades and they have been at this location for a long time.
  20. They are familiar with the neighborhood and how things changed.
  21. There is already a lot of traffic and congestion and events and movement in and out.
  22. The project that will be built will increase that.
  23. There will be more people in the building.
  24. From a small medical building, it will be a medical and residential facility.
  25. It's a concern from our client's standpoint because a lot of the people that use our facility can't park three blocks away.
  26. There are a significant number of elderly members of the Russian Center.
  27. The Russian Center does not have a parking garage. That is an issue.
  28. There are environmental impacts in terms of traffic congestion and smog and additional cars.
  29. I realize there are two items.
  30. On the environmental impact statement, the issue is do we need a full environmental review?
  31. Our client's position and concern is that because of the nature of the project more review is needed than described in the report.

Vice-President of the Russian Center - [A name was not given]

  1. Russian Center is a non-profit organization.
  2. We have a day care center; we have children from 2-3 years old.
  3. We have dance classes for the children.
  4. The Russian Center has been there for 60 years.
  5. We have many elderly members, which is the only place they can come.
  6. If there is no access to Russian Center there is no way we can help them.
  7. We have concerts during the weekend and this is done to help the people who need companionship and need to be with people.
  8. Actually, we have a lot of American children studying and learning Russian dances and song.
  9. We have a museum of Russian culture.
  10. This is a place where people are constantly coming and going.

Steve on behalf of Project Sponsor

  1. The only question before you is whether the negative declaration is sufficient or an additional EIR is required.
  2. I haven't heard anything that was not analyzed.
  3. The project site is zoned at 65 feet.
  4. We are not succeeding that limit.
  5. The building to the east is 65 feet.
  6. This neighborhood includes Kaiser and many large institutional buildings.
  7. This is a project suitable for this mixed-use neighborhood.
  8. The one exception we are seeking is for bulk.
  9. The building is U shaped so more of the units have access to light and air.
  10. It is not giving us additional square footage.
  11. The bulk exception is for the U shape of the building.
  12. I wanted to let you know that they analyzed the parking issues.
  13. They concluded the project would have 8 vehicle trips in the p.m. peek hour. That's one every 10 minutes.
  14. The staff has concerns with how much parking we have – 44 spaces.
  15. Half of it is for medical use and the other half is for Sunrise.
  16. The residents are not driving. They all have Alzheimers or other impairments.
  17. We have over night staff and nursing requirements. There will be 24 hour staffing and a need for parking.
  18. The 21 spots for the Sunrise project will take care of that.

ACTION: Negative declaration upheld.

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17303

16. 2006.0745C (I. WILSON: (415) 558-6163)

2420 SUTTER STREET - north side between Divisadero and Broderick Streets; Lot 023 in Assessor's Block 1052 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 303 and 712 to develop a lot greater than 10,000 square feet and to develop non-residential uses greater than 6,000 square feet; and under Planning Code Section 271 to exceed the required bulk limitation. The project is located in an NC-3 District and a 65-A Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to demolish the existing building and surface parking and to construct a six-story 65-foot tall building with approximately 6,880 square feet of replacement medical office use on the ground floor, an approximately 45,712 square foot residential care facility for frail elderly persons, containing 58 rooms and common open space. The project includes approximately 46 parking spaces in two levels below ground.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of July 20, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Dan - Project Sponsor

  1. I am an officer with Sunrise Senior Living.
  2. I am here to present the project we are proposing at 2420.
  3. The property is located in a mid block, almost caddy corner from the Mount Zion Hospital complex.
  4. This is going to be a structure for the impaired.
  5. Starting with the early stages of Alzheimers.
  6. It is three stories with a lobby on the first floor and two additional stories.
  7. Sunrise is the largest provider of seniors in the world.
  8. We are established in four countries.
  9. The property profile we are trying to do is a 15,000 square feet of land a six-story building.
  10. 58 units of cognitive impairment care and underground parking.
  11. Cognitive impairment is for seniors, particularly those with Alzheimer's.
  12. It is a home environment and has trained staff members.
  13. We do activities of daily living.
  14. If you have relatives that have cognitive impairments you know the difficulties they encounter in waking up in the morning, conducting business, and going to bed.
  15. We are low traffic impactor.
  16. We don't affect schools, parks or libraries.
  17. Our residents are as quiet a neighbor as you can get.
  18. We fill an essential community need and fill up housing stock.
  19. People are giving up their homes to move into a home like sunrise.
  20. In the ten year period from 2000 to 2010 the average population will grow in the United States by 9% across the board.
  21. People 85 years and older are going to grow by 34%.
  22. The amount of people moving into this area needing assistance with cognitive impairment care is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Jim, on behalf of the Russian Center

  1. We have actually only four things we would like to add on this.
  2. Four concerns we hope will be included in any final approval of the conditional use permit.
  3. Some may seem small but are of importance to the Center.
  4. One relates to the reality that during 18-21 month of constructions there will be a lot of trucks and people working on the site.
  5. The Russian Center would like insurance that their frontage and access to their two entrances on Sutter Street would not be used as a staging area for the construction people.
  6. The second point has to do with the excavation that would be a part of this.
  7. As mentioned earlier the Russian Center is old. It has run through renovations a few years ago like a seismic retrofit.
  8. There is concern what that would do during this construction.
  9. What we request in connection to that is that the project sponsor allow, pay for, or coordinate with an engineer on behalf of the Russian Center to make sure there are no structural problems to the Russian Center.
  10. The third thing is a concern of our neighbors.
  11. The Center does have a number of events that attract a large number of people.
  12. They have a ballroom upstairs and a gym in the basement.
  13. Every February they have a Russian festival that draws thousands.
  14. They have dances and balls.

Steve, on behalf of Project Sponsor

  1. The two concerns are under the jurisdiction of other agencies, the Department of Parking and Traffic.
  2. I do not see a possibility we would be blocking their entrances.
  3. We certainly could agree to that.
  4. I think DPT has that jurisdiction.
  5. And DBI has jurisdiction over excavation.
  6. It is to the benefit of the project sponsor to work with the neighbor.
  7. We have been talking to the Russian Center, but it is under the jurisdiction of another agency.

ACTION: Approved with the two modifications to the conditions that staff put forth for conditions 2 and 5; and include the condition that Commissioner Sugaya brought forth on requiring a pre-construction report on existing conditions be identified and when the report is finalized, copies given to DBI and Planning

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee, Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

MOTION: 17304

17. 2005.0737C (M. GLUECKERT: (415) 558-6543)

2601 MISSION STREET- east side between 22nd Street and 23rd Street; Lot 069 in Assessor's Block 3637 - Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Sections 712.83 and 790.80 to install a wireless telecommunications facility consisting of four panel antennas and related equipment. The antennas and equipment are proposed in a Location Preference 2 (Preferred Location – Co-Location Site) according to the Wireless Telecommunications Services (WTS) Siting Guidelines, as part of T-Mobile's telecommunications network within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Zoning District and a 50-X/65-B Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

SPEAKERS:

Alex Moran - Representing T-Mobile

  1. T-Mobile will install four antennas and equipment in the basement and the project would not result in changes to the appearance of the building.
  2. The U.S. Bank building was chosen because it's considered a preference 2 location under the city's guidelines and provides the height to meet the coverage and shows the site to be visually un-obstructive.
  3. Additionally, this site will provide E911 services, which allows law enforcement and emergency personal to locate and respond to 911 calls made from T-Mobile phones.
  4. Under emissions guidelines under the FCC and San Francisco of Public Health, emissions will be less that one percent of the public exposure limit at ground level.
  5. RF levels remain below the limit.
  6. I would like thanking staff and asking that the Planning Commission uphold the staff's recommendations.

John Maymoni

  1. I've been a Mission resident for six years.
  2. I'm a block from this building. I can see it from my front window.
  3. I'm a T-Mobil customer because it's the most affordable plan.
  4. I am here today because my phone does not work well in my neighborhood and I think this will help.
  5. I think my neighbors and I deserve affordable phone service.
  6. I urge the commission to approve this on behalf of neighbors and myself.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague and Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander and Lee

MOTION: 17306

18. 2006.0360C (M. LI: 415-558-6396)

472-474 Grove Street - north side between Octavia and Gough Streets, Lot 016 in Assessor's Block 0793 - Request for Conditional Use authorization to eliminate one off-street residential parking space for the establishment of a hair salon (dba  Selena Salon ) of approximately 1,550 square feet within an NC-1 (Neighborhood Commercial Cluster) District and a 50-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions.

SPEAKERS:

Emily - Representing family members on this project.

  1. My sister, she has been living there since she bought it.
  2. She wanted to occupy the space on the ground floor and turn it into a salon to create employment for herself.
  3. This also allows her the flexibility of taking care of her kids while running the business.
  4. The premises are not tenant occupied.
  5. We are giving up the one parking space to open the business.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee and Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander
MOTION: 17307

19a. 2006.0274D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

230 DUNCAN STREET - north side between Church and Dolores Streets; Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 6593 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy required review of housing demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2006.02.07.3990, to demolish an existing single-family residence in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not Take Discretionary Review and approve the demolition.

(Continued from the Regular Meeting on July 277 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Harvey Hacker, Architect for the Project Sponsor

  1. I want to thank whoever arranged this little memorial to Sue Bierman. I appreciate it.
  2. This project has an interesting story socially.
  3. The sponsor is an OB/GYN nurse. She worked in San Francisco long enough so that the present audience might include people who were delivered by her as babies.
  4. She lives in a house on Cesar Chaves and bought the project as an investment in the 1980's.
  5. She is approaches retirement. She is experiencing mobility problems due to a knee injury, which is affecting her ability to work.
  6. Her mobility problems are exacerbated by the steep grade of the block.
  7. She has decided to provide for her retirement housing by moving to the flat block of Duncan Street, which includes the subject project.
  8. We designed a unit for someone with impaired mobility with elevators and a modify kitchen and bathrooms if needed in the future.,
  9. The project includes the second unit, which will be the essential key that permits and ordinary working person to afford to build such a house.

James Gabbard

  1. I live on 27th Street, which is behind the property in question.
  2. What appears to me is that the design of the new building is commiserate to the building to the east.
  3. That building is out of proportion to the other buildings in the neighborhood. Most are the size of the building to the west of the subject property.
  4. I really think to keep the neighborhood flavor as it is, we need a building the size of the one to the west.

Silvia

  1. I live on Duncan Street and am raising my daughter as a single mother.
  2. I oppose the current plan and the staff report's failure to look at the character of Duncan Street.
  3. There is a failure of due process.
  4. The report doesn't mention that these are earthquake Victorians.
  5. The buildings are where the railroad went through.
  6. Most are modest with a living space setback from the sidewalk.
  7. Most have vegetation in the front.
  8. This two-unit building is larger than any single living space or any unit or home on the block
  9. It is probably bigger than the combined living space than the two units.
  10. None of this is addressed in the staff report.
  11. The staff report failed to address community concerns.
  12. A number of people made calls and emailed. None of this was described in the staff report.

Paul Ordi

  1. I encourage you to approve the project.
  2. It's not out of scale with the neighborhood and would be a benefit to the owner and the neighborhood.

Barbara, property owner

  1. I've been a nurse for 30 years and it's hard to believe I will need assistance for myself.
  2. I am trying to live as independently as possible.
  3. The house is ADA accessible.
  4. I am working any angle I can to live independently and hope you approve it.

Mary

  1. I think you should approve her project so this lovely, beautiful lady can be a productive part of San Francisco, which she loves an adores.

Pamela Robins

  1. I am speaking in favor of the project.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved demolition

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee and Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

19b. 2006.0276D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

230 DUNCAN STREET - north side between Church and Dolores Streets; Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 6593 - Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy required review of new residential building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.02.07.3988, proposing to construct a four-story, two-family residential building with two off-street parking spaces in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not Take Discretionary Review and approve the new construction.

(Continued from the Regular Meeting on July 20, 2006)

SPEAKERS: Same as item 19a.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved new construction

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee and Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

20. 2006.0570D (A. HESIK: (415) 558-6602)

529-533 VALLEJO STREET - south side between Kearny Street and Grant Avenue; Lot 039 in Assessor's Block 0145 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of dwelling unit mergers, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.03.29.7780. The subject property is a six-story building with five legal dwelling units. The proposal is to convert the number of legal dwelling units in the building from five to four by merging a dwelling unit located on the fourth floor with an owner-occupied unit located on the fifth and six floors. The subject property is within an RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and disapprove the project.

(Continued from the Regular Meeting on July 27, 2006)

SPEAKERS:

Joe - on behalf of Project Sponsor

  1. The building was constructed in 1913.
  2. The merger will bring the building closer into conformance with its original construction.
  3. I agree with the Planning Department, there is no dispute to the guideline.
  4. The purpose of the merger is to provide additional space to the owners.
  5. Removal of the unit would remove owner occupied housing.
  6. That unit was a rental until the tenant left.
  7. Since that time the owners used that unit as storage.
  8. It will bring the building into proportion to the density.

Property Owner

  1. I own the property with my sister Stephanie who has occupied the proposed merged unit for the past year.
  2. I feel there are positive aspects to the merger.
  3. I feel this is good for the North Beach Telegraph Hill Community and my neighbors who are in support of the project to ease the density in the neighborhood and bring back families in the North Beach.
  4. This is a good thing for my tenants, their building is small and it's close nit group.
  5. They want to keep it that way.
  6. I feel this is good for the city because I'm proposing to bring the building back to its original intent of four units like the units up and down the block.
  7. All the buildings were built by the same builder.
  8. The building I own was chopped up over the years.]
  9. I plan on being in the neighborhood for a long time.
  10. I would like my children to live in the area and attend schools near by.
  11. I will not rent out the unit. The merger of the unit will be good for my family and neighbors and tenants of the city.

Stephanie

  1. I currently live in Seattle and I use this as office storage space.
  2. Prior to my brother's engagement, we shared the space.
  3. I don't want this to be permanent.
  4. I would love to see my brother have a family here and I can transition into the city.
  5. I wanted to attest to the fact that I have been using this but I'm in support of everything he said and the family aspect of it.

[No name given]

  1. I am the fiancé.
  2. I think it's important that this project is considered very thoughtfully.
  3. This is a man who has grown up, worked in the city, lived here his whole life.
  4. Some of that is lacking in the area.
  5. The homegrown group gets forgotten about.
  6. We want to have a family and don't want to move to the suburbs like everyone else.
  7. It think it would be nice to look down the street and see children instead of groups of people yelling down the street at each other about parking.

MOTION: To not take Discretionary Review and approve

AYES: Antonini, Moore and Lee

NAYES: Sugaya and Olague

ABSENT Alexander

RESULT: MOTION FAILED

ACTOPN: In the absence of a successful motion, the project is approved as proposed

21. 2004.0750D (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

520 Holloway Avenue - north side between Capitol and Miramar Avenues. Assessor's Block 6937 Lot 018A - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2004 0719 9132 to construct a two-story vertical addition, and side additions to partially fill in the side yards in an RH-2 (Residential House, Two Family) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk district.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not Take Discretionary Review and Approve the Project.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take discretionary review and approved the project

AYES: Antonini, Moore, Olague, Lee and Sugaya

ABSENT Alexander

I. 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: 7:41 p.m. IN HONOR OF SUE BIERMAN

THESE MINUTES WERE ADOPTED AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2006.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

NAYES: None

ABSENT: Alexander

NOTE: Per Section 67.18 of the Administrative Code for the City and County of San Francisco, Commission minutes contain a description of the item before the Commission for discussion/consideration; a list of the public speakers with names if given, and a summary of their comments including an indication of whether they are in favor of or against the matter; and any action the Commission takes. The minutes are not the official record of a Commission hearing. The audiotape is the official record. Copies of the audiotape may be obtained by calling the Commission office at (415) 558-6415. For those with access to a computer and/or the Internet, Commission hearings are available at www.sfgov.org. Under the heading Explore, the category Government, and the City Resources section, click on SFGTV, then Video on Demand. You may select the hearing date you want and the item of your choice for a replay of the hearing.

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:22 PM