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Public Hearings 
 

October 18, 2007

October 18, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

October 18, 2007

1:30 PM

SpecialRegular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

COMMISSIONER ABSENT: Olague

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT ALEXANDER AT 1:39 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Elizabeth Watty, Glen Cabreros, Cecilia Jaroslawsky, Tom Wang, Aaron Starr, Sara Vellve, Michael Li, Jonas Ionin – Acting 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. 2007.0514T (S. EXLINE: (415) 558-6332)

Amendments to Planning Code Section 315/Inclusionary Housing: Alternative Rehabilitation for Rental - Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Daly as part of Board File No. 070444 that would amend portions of the Planning code to allow a new alternative to meet the requirements of the Residential Inclusionary Affordable Housing ordinance by allowing payment to a nonprofit to acquire and rehabilitate units for permanent affordable rental housing if the number of units is 25% greater than the amount provided under the existing off-site alternative.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 20, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to October 25, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

2. 2007.0701C (A. HOLLISTER: (415) 575-9078)

1400 Grant Avenue - northeast corner of Grant Avenue and Green Street, Lot 019 in Assessor's Block 0115 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization to establish a small self-service restaurant (d.b.a.  Honeydoo Frozen Yogurt) of approximately 1096 square feet within the existing ground-floor retail space. No physical expansion of the existing building is proposed. This site is within the North Beach Neighborhood Commercial District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation:

(Proposed for Continuance to October 25, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

3. 2007.0461C (A. HOLLISTER: (415) 575-9078)

448 BROADWAY- north side between Montgomery and Kearny Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 0144 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization to operate a business under this application between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM. Specifically, the project proposal is to extend the hours of operation of the subject business (dba  Broadway Express ) to 3:00 AM. No construction is proposed under this application. This site is within the Broadway Neighborhood Commercial District, and a 65-A-1 Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to October 25, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

4. 2005.0842D (A. LIGHT: (415) 558-6254)

1135 -1139 GREEN STREET - south side between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in Assessor's Block 0125, Lots 115-117 - Request for Discretionary Review on Building Permit Application No. 2005.06.16.5311 for a project proposing to construct a two-story basement structure containing a five-car garage and storage space by excavating behind an existing, high retaining wall supporting three existing row houses in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) Zoning District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

This case was the subject of an appeal of the issuance of a Categorical Exemption from environmental review under the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appeal was heard by the Board of Supervisors, who upheld the Categorical Exemption.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take discretionary review, and approve project as proposed.

(Proposed for Continuance to November 1, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Jamie Charry

- Require that a 311 notice be sent out and hold this Discretionary Review hearing until after those notices are sent.

- This request was made last week due to the massiveness of this project.

Kathleen Courtney, Russian Hill Neighborhood Association

- I'm in support of this continuance until the 311 notice is filed.

- If this massive construction does not need the 311 notice, what kind of projects does?

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

5. 2006.0997C (C. Jaroslawsky: (415) 558-6348)

1864 8th AVENUE - east side of 8th Avenue, between Noriega and Ortega Streets; Assessor's Block 2044, Lot 003A - Request for Conditional Use Authorization for residential demolition of an existing single-family dwelling (pursuant to Board of Supervisors) Resolution 122-07) and the construction of a new, two-family dwelling. The rear of the property faces Laguna Honda Boulevard and Reservoir. The subject property is within an RH-2 (Residential House, Two-Family) District, and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to December 6, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

6. 2007.0162D (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

2908 ULLOA STREET - between 30th and 31st Avenues; Lot 041 (formerly lot 017) in Assessor's Block 2395 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2006.07.20.7180, to construct a new, two-story-over-garage, single-family dwelling in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve with recommendations.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to December 6, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

7. 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 Antonini

- Thanked staff for the information on 1880 Mission Street update.

- From my reading, a permit is about to come out and I would like to continue to have updates on that if it is possible.

- This is a way that we really find out where the projects are going and what happens with them after they are approved; to see what obstacles might exist and what happens in individual instances.

- I think it is an important project at that intersection and it would be interesting to see what happens. Thank you for that information.

Commissioner Moore

- I want to bring the Commission's attention to an article by John King regarding sustainability and the status on one building.

- It is an article about Tom Main and the green aspect of the Federal Building which he denies really being his intent and I found it rather amusing.

- I hope you all read it. I brought the article and you should read it as a major contradiction itself.

- Secondly, the Transit Oriented Development. The Government voted down a measure for transportation impact fees regarding Treasure Island.

- We should be talking about transit orientation development in general and I would ask that we schedule a special hearing to do so.

Commissioner Alexander

- I think we have a time slated for our end of the month meeting that we have not calendared and I suggest we do that.

- I know the applications for those funds are due in February and there is money available that we can take advantage of those funds for transit and infrastructure.

Commissioner Moore

- We could treat that discussion as a separate issue because we had all responded to Secretary Avery's request of whether or not we are available and I understand some of us are not available on that day.

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- I rely upon Linda for calendaring issues and since she is not here today, we will figure out a date to do that.

Commissioner S. Lee

- I just wanted to acknowledge receipt of the report by Elaine Forbes on the Department's contracting the RFP process.

- Some of us are more familiar with the City's RFP process but this department does not have a history of contracting out until recently.

- I think that the Commission really has not had a discussion about its role in the process for determining what is contained in the RFP and that comes up particularly with the Transbay and what our role is.

- In fact, if a consultant is hired, what is the relationship between the consultant, contract and the role of this Commission?

- I think at a future time, we should talk about that because I suspect that as the workload of the department gets heavier we would be relying more on outside consultants.

- I think it would be a useful discussion for the Commission to have because we do not want to be handed a report at the end of the process and we have no idea how this report came to be.

- On the list from Commissioner's request, I made a request back in May about the department's internal assessment of its work practices and how staff performs and how we stack up compared to comparable organizations in other jurisdictions.

- I notice in Elaine's report that there was a preliminary draft report from the consultant a year ago and a new contract renewal was actually issued this fiscal year for $10 or $11 thousand dollars.

- I would really request that we have a status report on that report because I would like to know how this department performs in relation and comparison to other departments.

Commissioner Alexander

- I would support those two items be added to our calendar to have a full discussion.

- I think it is important with regard to looking at business practices and I know we had the consultant looking at that and how the department was functioning.

- It is important that we step back and take a critical look at those things as we look at the direction the department is headed.

Commissioner Moore

- This would be a discussion to involve the new director; it would be interesting to have a discussion to go over that and compare what he is used to.

Commissioner Antonini

- I certainly would be supportive.

- It is often stated there is a belief that our process is inefficient in San Francisco and it takes longer to get through the process relative to other jurisdictions. I can not say whether this is true or not.

- A study like this would be a good one and if the assessment is such that we are more efficient it is something that we can hang our hats on.

- If it is not, we can take corrective actions to try to make it more efficient.

Commissioner Sugaya

- At a previous meeting we had some projects that were presented as moving forward with different plans and permits or seeking anchor tenants.

- I was wondering if those projects from Bush and Pine Streets and the others are coming back for any type of design review, or is that past?

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- 500 Pine and 350 Bush Street -- we are going to sit down with staff to review it and if there are significant changes we will certainly bring it back to you as an informational item.

- 801 Market -- they expressed an opinion that until they had an anchor tenant they were not moving ahead. I do not think we are reviewing their design at this time.

Commissioner Sugaya

- There were two things that I mentioned in that hearing; one was to provide the existing evaluation of wind for that building, especially the alley. And Mr. Reuben agreed.

- I think that 801 was going to provide some kind of report from the leasing agent who was not able to make the meeting. If you could follow up on that.

- I will be leaving today at 5:30p.m.

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- I also hear that you want the policy back for the Commission's review and we will do that. It is not scheduled yet but we will prepare some proposal for you.

Commissioner Moore

- There was one thing to be added to those 3 projects and that is I think they fall into the green venue of taller buildings.

- That is an important aspect and I know it will affect design.

- Mr. Nikitas was actively pursuing a design on the Pine Street building.

Commissioner W. Lee

- A couple of weeks ago regarding the housing situation in the State and Bay Area.

- I think I asked staff to find out economic data regarding the foreclosure rate in San Francisco.

- Is there a way that we can track on the high rises we approved in the last 5 or 6 years that are being built or sold to find data regarding how homes are either rented or sold?

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- I do not know. I would ask Dr. Ghosh about that.

Commissioner W. Lee

- If there is foreclosure, how many were rented or sold out?

- My concern is that it is getting closer to San Francisco. We are going to have an economic downturn and I do not think we can predict it.

- Maybe you can give us some data so when we deliberate on these decisions on high rises we can take that into consideration.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

8. Director's Announcements None

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

Anmarie Rodgers

Land Use Committee

A- Full Market Octavia Plan including the area amendments, planning and map amendments. As a full committee decided to send the plan out of committee with a recommendation to approve, which the Full Board approved. The Land Use Committee needs more time and the next hearing has not been set yet.

B- Ordinance to amend the definition of a Liquor Store – Continued for one week

C- Inner Clement Neighborhood Commercial District – It would allow limiting the number of full service restaurants and bars. Passed.

D- Resolution to initiate landmark designation for 690 Market Street, the Chronicle building. Passed.

E- Polk Street Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District Amendments – It would change the use size. Passed.

Full Board

A- Resolution to initiate landmark designation for the Mary Allen trees at 1661 Octavia Street. If it were to be finalized, it would be the first trees to be landmarked for cultural reasons in the City.

B- Ordinance to exempt wind turbines in Bernal Heights Special Use District to allow three feet additional height. Passed.

C- Interim Controls requiring a Conditional Use in the Bernal Heights Neighborhood called Joy Brewster. Amended and Passed.

D- Introductions:

a. Amendment to the Union Street Neighborhood Commercial District that would allow a limited number of full service restaurants by Conditional Use.

b. Planning Code Amendment that would allow for the reconstruction/rehabilitation of movie-theater marquee signs.

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

Board of Appeals

A- 2283 -97 Market Street – General Advertisement sign by Clear Channel. Property owner and Clear Channel could not come to an agreement on the lease rate and Clear Channel removed the sign. There was a lot of support for the property owner. Overturned the permit and required replacement of the general advertisement sign.

B- 2498 Lombard – Sign. It was approved in 1981 to be 7 feet high. Project Sponsor wanted to legalize the sign and the permit was issued allowing them to bring it back to the proper size. Upheld letter of determination.

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

None

E. 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.

Item 10 taken off consent

10. 2007.0720G (Tape IA) (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

545-547 Mission Street - south side between First and Second Streets, Assessor's Block 3721, Lot 082 - Request to change Article 11 designation from Category V (Unrated) to a Category III (Contributory). The subject building is a five-story, heavy-timber and steel framed, commercial/light industrial loft building with Renaissance Revival-style details constructed in 1906. The building is within a C-3-0 (Downtown Office) District and a 550-S Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt the resolution to approve the designation change

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

RESOLUTION: 17500

Item 11 taken off consent

11. 2007.0872C (Tape IA) (E. WATTY: (415) 558-6620)

2150 Irving Street - north side between 22nd and 23rd Avenues; Lot 024 in Assessor's Block 1728 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization, pursuant to Planning Code Sections 711.44, 781.2, and 790.91, to allow a small self-service restaurant within the NC-2 (Neighborhood Commercial, Small-Scale) District, Irving Street Restaurant and Fast-Food Subdistrict, and 65-A Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

SPEAKERS

Roberto

- Consider that there are 36 food establishments in the six block area between 19th and 25th Avenue.

- Parking is at maximum going up and down Irving Street and we do not need another food establishment.

Irene Lee, Owner

- We have a lot of dessert establishments but nothing to cater low fat, non-fat, low sugar desserts.

Roy, Project Sponsor

- I want to make sure that this business is different because we are offering fat-free, low in sugar frozen yogurt which is very different than the traditional ice-cream.

- Our theme is to promote healthiness and good diet in the neighborhood.

Derek

- I do believe that the yogurt establishment would be a good addition because currently there are no healthy dessert alternatives on the Irving Street corridor.

Norman

- Requested information on how they are going to create handicapped accessibility with the 300 square feet.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

MOTION: 17501

12a. 2006.0129D (Tape IA) (M. SMITH: (415) 558-6322)

4322 25th STREET - north side between Diamond and Douglass Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 6540,Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of residential demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2006.09.19.2710, proposing to demolish a one-story, single-family dwelling, located in a 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

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved demolition.

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

12b. 2007.0043D (M. SMITH: (415) 558-6322)

4322 25th STREET - north side between Diamond and Douglass Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 6540,Mandatory Discretionary Review under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of a new residential building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.09.19.2715, proposing to construct a two-story over garage, single-family dwelling, located in a 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 as proposed

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved new construction.

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

F. REGULAR CALENDAR

13. 2006.1454C (Tape IA) (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)

440 - 35TH AVENUE - east side between Geary Boulevard and Clement Street; Lot 034 in Assessor's Block 1466 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization to allow demolition of a single-family house and the construction of a new two-family building, pursuant to the Board of Supervisors' interim zoning controls requiring conditional use authorization for the demolition of a residential structure. The site is located within the RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approve with Conditions

SPEAKERS

Tony, Project Sponsor's Representative

- We think that this proposal is appropriate for a large lot that is currently under use.

- We worked closely with staff to arrive to the current building design, footprint and scale.

- We also worked closely with interesting neighbors on several occasions including immediate neighbors and a letter of support from them has been provided for you.

- We have communicated and responded effectively with the department and the neighborhood.

- It complies with the design guidelines and the policy code section 101.1

- We think this is a sensible project and request that you approve this application as proposed.

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

MOTION: 17502

Item was continued to be heard at 3:00p.m.

14. 2007.0722D (Tape IA; IB; IIA) (C. JAROSLAWSKY (415) 558-6348)

2348 9th AVENUE - south side between San Marcos and Mendosa Streets; Lot 017 in Assessor's Block 2338 - Staff Initiated Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007.02.09.3797, to legalize construction done without proper permits on a lot containing a single-family dwelling. The permit would abate a NOTICE OF VIOLATION on the property for illegal construction. The project does not meet Residential Design Guidelines with regard to mid-block open space. The project site is in an RH-1 (Residential, House, One-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and approve with conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 4, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Brett Gladstone, Project Sponsor Representative

- The compromise that I suggested to Mr. Fong, and if the Commission agrees, was to be allowed to redesign it and present in two weeks to discuss with him so we do not redesign tonight by committee.

- What would be eliminated are the entire lower area; lower deck, trellis and the concrete area.

- The clients have the legalization of the room and we do not understand why staff is asking to set back three feet of the deck when other properties have similar ones.

- They have permits for those constructions but what did not happened was the 311-notice.

- Planning implies that each permit did not have drawings showing the previous work and that is not true.

- The posts were put up to merely install windows to prevent impact of the western wind. It was never with the intent to build another room.

- In fact, there was never a room there nor is there one now.

John Ma, Owner

- I have lived in Salinas for 60 years and have taken care of my in-laws.

- We are retired, getting old and planning for the future; it would be best to move to San Francisco.

- We put our savings together to purchase this house. We come three to four days a week and eventually we will move there permanently.

- We all take care of the building and take responsibility.

- We are asking for a chance to correct the mistake we have made.

Susan Ma [Spoke in Chinese] Translated by her daughter

- I worked all my life as a factory worker and retired two years ago when the company moved to Ohio.

- Every time we come to San Francisco to visit my son, Doug, it is a 4 hour trip and we place a great burden on him.

- We made a mistake by asking him to look for a three bedroom with a deck. We built a little at the time because of economic reasons.

- The deck opposite to the bedroom is the most important. More so than the one on the top.

- Our family's tradition is to be together and move to where ever the younger members are where the social network exists.

Doug Ma

- I have a background in architecture and my family asked me to start a project.

- When we started in 2004, our neighbor dropped by to see if we had building permits; the neighbor was Mr. Fong.

- Two and a half year later, Mr. Fong notified me that he opposed our construction for the reason that it would block his view to the west.

- Our engineer and I worked hard to make the addition stable. Some people have mistaken the beams and plywood as an intent to build extra rooms not shown on plans.

- Our work all has permits except the improper action of enclosing part of our deck because of the wind.

Diana Ma

- My family and I deeply regret that our construction has angered our neighbor. We have seven neighbors who support us.

- We do not deny mistakes that we have made and are willing to face the penalties to correct what we have done improperly.

- We have worked with Planning for the last year and in each instance we have provided explanation as well as proof.

Steven

- The home owner wishes to increase the living area of his home to accommodate family visits.

- I have visited the home and the proposed modifications to this house have very little impact to the neighbors.

- I think that there has been miscommunication. Please approve.

Brewster Fong

- I oppose Mr. Gladstone's question to continue this matter to negotiate. There is no negotiation because they built an illegal addition.

- The owners engaged the deceptive practice of serial permits to obtain the permits.

- The permits are not legal and valid because they obtained 3 different permits with 3 different names that were obtained over the counter.

- The stairs are proof of the deceptive practice. The notice of violation from November 10, 2006 says that those stairs were not shown on any of the permit applications.

Don Silva

- Expressed concerns about this project. There was no 311 notification with all this constructions going on.

- Mr. Ma has chosen the path of serial permitting as opposed to going through the normal ramifications in presenting a complete set of plans in front of the Commission and staff to go through it.

- Take a closer look at exhibit A in the packets because things were done with serial over the counter permits or no permit, which means the construction is illegal. The structure should be removed.

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved with conditions including the 3 foot setback on either side of the room and allowing the lower deck to remain out to the first structural column.

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, Moore and Sugaya

NAYES: S. Lee and W. Lee.

ABSENT: Olague

Item taken out of order followed #13

15. 2007.0490D (Tape IA; IB) (T. WANG: (415) 558-6335)

189 MERCED AVENUE - southeast side between Garcia Avenue and Kensington Way; Lot 010 in Assessor's Block 2924 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007.01.19.2128, proposing to construct a partial third-story to an existing one-story over garage, single-family dwelling in an RH-1(D) (Residential, House, One-Family, Detached Dwellings) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 4, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Richard Reinholdt, Discretionary Review Requestor

- After the third addition, I am not asking for a flat roof but a lower roof similar to the one they have now, which would reduce the height of it.

- The project as proposed is going to add to the height, disrupting the flow down the block.

- I had consulted with an experienced contractor in San Francisco. He showed that they can tie the roof of their addition into the existing one -- keep it sloping, knock out the dormers to tuck them into the roof itself and it would make a big difference.

- Interestingly, a few weeks ago you disapproved a project at 67 Madrone, which was a third floor addition for the same reasons that I am talking about this one.

- Putting on the roof as currently designed, is going to break what is a collective look to the block.

- It is not going to be in character with the neighborhood and all we are asking is to take it down to something more reasonable and much more in keeping with the neighborhood.

James Rochell, Architect

- Mr. Wang illustrated all the points related to this project.

- The ceiling is only 9 feet and we are trying to make the remodeling look as if it was design that way in the first place.

- The total amount that this roof is going to be raised is only 6 feet and 3 inches.

- I think this is a good project and hope you will approve it.

Sten Lundquist, Owner

- The sole issue is that our addition blocks part of his view and he knows that view is not protected so he has cast a very wide net on that. The entire request is based on exaggerations.

- Our proposed roof line delivers the continuous original architectural style of the house.

- There is nothing extraordinary about the dimensions of our project. It is well set back from the street and we have reduced the proposed roof to the minimum to address the requestor's concerns.

Katherine Wait, Owner

- We have strong community support for our project because we have gone to such great lengths to have architectural consistency.

- Included in the packet is a petition from our neighbors that includes 16 signatures -- nearly everyone within the 150-foot radius.

- 10 other neighbors sent letters after they found out that the requestor filed for this hearing.

- The addition is modest and is designed to accommodate our growing family. Please keep in mind the needs of family housing in the City.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

16. 2007.0594D (Tape IIA) (A. STARR: (415) 558-6382)

4811 GEARY BOULEVARD - south side between Funston and 12th Avenues; Lot 32F in Assessor's Block 1532 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of medical cannabis dispensaries, of Building Permit Application 2007.03.30.7704, to legalize an existing medical cannabis dispensary (dba The Hemp Center) within an NC-3 (Moderate Scale, Neighborhood Commercial) 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 October 11, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Katheline Cappeti

- I have been working with the City for the last eight years.

- We were rezoned from a retail space to a Medical Cannabis Dispensary in 2004.

- We have the permits and have operated within all legal requirements.

- We have a filter on the roof because in my mind if you do not allow people to smoke on site, they will smoke on the streets.

- We have tried to be a good neighbor and comply with all City regulations. We feel that we do well to the community.

Barry Carter

- Spoke in support of this establishment.

- They are a good positive influence in the neighborhood.

Jason Chan

- Requested approval of this project because it continues providing safe access to marijuana patients.

Richard Danola, Landlord

- I support this project because her business provides a much needed service in this area.

- The other dispensaries are mostly in the Market or South of Market Street corridor, which unfortunately is not very convenient or safe for most patients.

Sasha Minski

- A lot of our patients are from the City but a lot of them come from far.

- People need to medicate themselves and many cannot do it in the places where they live.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved.

AYES: S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

NAYES: Alexander and Antonini

ABSENT: Olague

17. 2007.0910D (Tape IIA) (S. Vellve: (415) 558-6263)

3439 SACRAMENTO STREET- south side between Laurel and Walnut Streets, Lot 070 in Assessor's Block 1020 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of dwelling unit mergers, of Building Permit Application No. 2007.04.10.8413 proposing to merge nine dwelling units into eight dwelling units in a four-story mixed use building located in the Sacramento Street Neighborhood Commercial District, and 40-X Height/Bulk District.

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

SPEAKERS

Joel Yodowitz, Project Sponsor Representative

- For staff, this proposed merger satisfied at least 3 of the 5 criteria and I believe it meets 4.

- This is to create a communicating doorway between the two units. There will be no other physical construction.

- They hired a night care provider and they have to go back and forth through the corridor.

- They have all their activities in the neighborhood. They love their neighborhood and would like to remain there.

- One of the criterions that we believe we meet is number 4 - that the merger brings the building closer into conformance with zoning.

- The zoning would allow the building for 11 units and there are 9; if the proposal is accepted, we go to 8 units which would still be below what is allowed.

- I provided numerous letters of support and I have two more.

Leigh Morris, Owner

- We have a 6 month old daughter in one unit and our two and a half year old son in another unit.

- This arrangement is extremely difficult logistically.

- A door between the units means that we can pass internally instead of having to run up and down the corridor. It also means that we would not have to move out of San Francisco.

- We would like to stay in the neighborhood.

Samuel Browder

- I'm in support of the project because it involves the welfare of children.

- They are very good neighbors and the door would be easy to reverse in the future if necessary.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

18. 2007.0055D (Tape IIA; IIB) (S. Vellve: (415) 558-6263)

2424 WASHINGTON STREET- north side between Fillmore and Webster Streets, Lot 012 in Assessor's Block 0605 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under the Planning Commission's policy requiring review of dwelling unit mergers, of Building Permit Application No. 2006.10.23.5790 proposing to merge three dwelling units into two dwelling units in a three-story three-unit building located in an RH-2 (House, Two-Family) District, and 40-X Height/Bulk District.

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

SPEAKERS

Joel Yodowitz, Project Sponsor Representative

- It is an existing 3 unit building that is proposed to go to 2 units.

- It was built as a single family residence. For a while there were 4 units and then went down to three – all with permits.

- Staff says that we meet 3 out of the 5 guidelines and I submit that we meet all 5 guidelines.

- This is a family with two children and the idea is to combine the third floor with the second floor, which is a small studio to make livable space for the family.

- If you count both sides of Washington and Jackson Street, 37 of the properties are single family residences; 20-percent are two units, 43-percetn are 3 or more units.

- Also, we think that the studio is a deficient unit and the architect would explain the reason.

Joe Buttler, Architect

- This house was constructed as part of a row in 1887.

- In 1937 the owner of this house subdivided it into 4 units and subsequently one of them was merged in 1988.

- 17 of the 21 properties that face onto Washington Street are one or two unit buildings.

- The Housing Code requires 144 square feet for a living room and 70 for the bedroom. With 214 square feet we barely meet the Housing Code for sufficiency for the size of this unit.

- Project Sponsor would like to take the living room, double parlor and the dining room in the middle of the house and create a den and kitchen at the rear with a family room behind that for the children to go play in the yard and be supervised from the kitchen.

- At the back of the second floor there is a unit that DBI has ruled meets the egress code. It's a one bedroom unit and given the construction costs, they might rent that unit.

Doug Higgins

- The building was purchased over ten years ago and over the time our family is growing.

- We love the neighborhood but as it is, it does not properly conform to our need as a family.

- We realize the challenge of this Commission to preserve housing and we are trying to do that as well.

- We have some letters of support from our neighbors.

- This project will support our family and our goals.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved.

AYES: Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

NAYES: Alexander

ABSENT: Olague

19. 2007.0657D (Tape IIB) (M. LI: (415) 558-6396)

958 GEARY STREET- north side between Polk and Larkin Streets, Lot 012 in Assessor's Block 0693 - Mandatory Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007 0625 5080 to maintain operation of an existing medical cannabis dispensary (dba  The Divinity Tree ) of approximately 650 square feet. The property is within an RC-4 (Residential-Commercial Combined, High Density) District, the North of Market Residential Special Use District, and an 80-T Height and Bulk District. There will be no physical expansion of the existing building or commercial space.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take discretionary review and approve the project with conditions

SPEAKERS

Terrance, Project Sponsor Representative

- We are aware of the ventilation problem and with the door open that creates the odor. We will take care of that.

- It does not seem that there is opposition.

Harly Chan

- I'm in support of the project because they have shown the neighborhood and the community that they operate a good and effective cannabis club.

- They have demonstrated good character. They support and have funded a policing program by walking in the neighborhood and keeping the community safe.

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved by imposing the condition to provide ventilation with no smoking on the premises.

AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Olague

G. PUBLIC COMMENT

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

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

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

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

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

SPEAKERS

None

Adjournment: 4:57 P.M.

THESE MINUTES WERE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, November 15, 2007.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Alexander, Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee and Sugaya

ABSENT: Moore

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 10:00:30 PM