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Public Hearings 
 

November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, November 1, 2007

4:00 P.M.

Regular Meeting

* * * TIME CHANGED FOR THIS HEARING ONLY* * *

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee and Sugaya

COMMISSIONER ABSENT: Alexander and Moore

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE-PRESIDENT OLAGUE AT 4:04 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Ken Rich, Adam Varat, Jonas Ionin, Mathew Snyder, Adam Light, Joan Kugler, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.

A. CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

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

1. 2007.0920C (J. IONIN: (415) 558- 6309)

3322 FILLMORE STREET- east side between Lombard and Chestnut Streets, Assessor's Block 0492, Lot 014 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization under Planning Code Section 703.3 and 703.4 to establish a new formula retail store (d.b.a. Urban Outfitters) in an NC-3 (Neighborhood Commercial, Moderate-Scale) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Proposed for Continuance to November 15, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

2. 2006.1227C (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

5735-5757 Mission Street - southeast side between Whittier and Oliver Streets Lots 038, 039, 040 of Assessor's Block 6473 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization under Planning Code Sections 711.11 and 711.39 to develop a lot greater than 9,999 square feet in area and to demolish residential units above the ground floor in the NC-2 Small Scale Neighborhood Commercial District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation:

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 25, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to November 15, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

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 October 25, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to November 8, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

ADDENDUM

2006.1248KXCV (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

55 NINTH STREET - east side between Market and Mission Streets; Lot 063 in Assessor's Block 3701 - Request for a Section 309 Determination of Compliance and Request for Exceptions. The proposed project is to construct a 17 story, approximately 205 foot tall (including mechanical penthouses) new mixed-use building at the existing vacant lot, containing approximately 260 dwelling units, approximately 3,000 square feet of ground level commercial space, and a garage with a capacity of up to 113 parking spaces (98 residential spaces and 15 commercial spaces). The project requires separation of towers, rear yard, comfort-level wind, parking, and bulk exceptions pursuant to Section 309(a). The project site is located within a C-3-G (Downtown General Commercial ) District and a 200-S Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Proposed for Continuance to November 8, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Philip Gerrie, The Friends Meeting House

- We are in support of the continuance because we are working with the developers and need some extra time.

Andrew Junius, Project Sponsor's Representative

- We are in support of the continuance because we are hoping to work out a number of issues.

Alex

- I'm supporting the continuance for next week.

ACTION: Without hearing, continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

2006.1248KXCV (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

55 NINTH STREET - east side between Market and Mission Streets; Lot 063 in Assessor's Block 3701 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization to allow additional square footage above the base FAR of 6.0 to 1 for dwelling units that will be affordable for a minimum of 20 years to households whose incomes are within 150 percent of the median income, for the project described in item above.

Preliminary recommendation: Approval with conditions

(Proposed for Continuance to November 8, 2007)

ACTION: Without hearing, continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

2006.1248KXCV (D. DIBARTOLO: (415) 558-6291)

55 NINTH STREET - east side between Market and Mission Streets; Lot 063 in Assessor's Block 3701 - Request for usable open space dimension and dwelling unit exposure variances in connection with the mixed-used project described in item above. The request for variances will be considered by the Zoning Administrator.

(Proposed for Continuance to November 8, 2007)

ACTION: Without hearing, continued as proposed.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

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 Sugaya

- I would like to pass out copies of Ken Garcia's column that was in the Examiner on the 30th with respect to Academy of Arts University potential purchase of the Flower Mart site.

- This points out that the previous rumor maybe further along than we think.

- Perhaps staff can take a look into it and give us some information at some future time on what kind of zoning and land use applies in that area.

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- I would be happy to do it at some future time or I can do it under Director's Report.

Commissioner Olague

- I would like some information on the bicycle plan - just to understand where we are at with it.

- That could be on a later date during Director's Comments.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT (Tape IA)

5. Director's Announcements

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- The Parcel Information Database is the basic database that we as staff use. It tells us the zoning, cases and a variety of different pieces of information.

- It is the first thing we search into when any Commissioner or member of the public asks what we can tell them about a project.

- We have been trying to get it on the website for public access for a long time.

- Alicia John-Baptiste has been working with Real Estate, Department of Telecommunications and Information Services.

- Our staff, Brian Smith and Alton Chin, has gotten it up on our website and it is a wonderful resource for the public.

- We are very excited about providing more information and transparency so people can do it themselves without having to call up the Information Counter.

- This took a lot of effort and we need to acknowledge Ms. Baptiste, Brian Smith and Alton Chin.

- That is on our home page which is www.sfgov.org/planning and there is a link in the middle of the page to get there.

- The Academy of Arts: As we know and are very aware of, they are in contract to purchase the Flower Mart. That site is zoned SLI, Service Light Industry, in the South of Market area.

- As I understand it, the Flower Mart is divided into two parcels. One is owned by the Flower Marketers of Italian heritage and the other is owned by the Flower Marketers of Japanese heritage.

- The Board of half of this has entered into a contract with the Academy of Arts to sell. That does not mean that the tenants of the Flower Market are in full support of that.

- The zoning would allow the Academy of Arts in two different ways:

-One: an educational institutional is a permitted use without requiring a hearing in front of the Planning Commission; and

-Two: as an art activity that is strongly encouraged in the South of Market that includes schools of art activities.

- We do not know what they are proposing to use it for.

- It would be considered a permitted use and I suspect that someone would request a discretionary review hearing for anything that they wan to comment on.

- As the Commission knows, we cannot stop the sell of a property. We do not control ownership but only the use of property.

- We are keeping close tabs on it. We are blending it into the Institutional Master Plan and obviously that has to come to you. Anything they do must conform to that plan.

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

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

Land Use Committee

A- Required Conditional Use for the change of use of an elementary of secondary school – This item was heard by this Commission on November 2nd, 2006. Since that time the Supervisor has been working with the school district to develop its own public notification process. It was continued for one week to allow further time to address the issue.

B- Resolution urging Hayes Street to be converted to a two way street. This was originally part of the Market Octavia Plan and the EIR found significant but unavoidable impacts for such a conversion. This Commission made overriding consideration and this non-binding resolution urges MTA to restore 2-way traffic on that street.

Full Board

A- Polk Street Neighborhood Commercial Controls reducing the size limits from 3,000 to 2,000. Passed.

B- Inner Clement Street Neighborhood Commercial District – This would allow a limited number of new full service restaurants and new wine and beer uses. Passed with one year sunset.

C- Ordinance to modify liquor store definition to allow grocery stores to open without having accessory liquor as opposed to principal liquor and not requiring conditional use. Passed with an amendment that would place further restrictions on the grocery stores meaning that could not sell the so called  fortified' liquors.

Board of Appeals

- 3424 Jackson Street - Categorical Exemption. Continued to November 13.

7. (Tape IA) (K. RICH (415) 558-6345)

EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS PROGRAM - Staff will present to the Commission a brief update on the overall project schedule for the Eastern Neighborhoods Program and discuss options for structuring upcoming hearings at the Commission. No new substantive information on the Eastern Neighborhoods Project other than schedule information will be presented.

Preliminary Recommendation: informational item, possible action

SPEAKERS

Sue Hestor

- We are heading in the right direction. I encourage staff to engage in conversation instead of reading scripts, as proposed by staff in today's presentation.

- Let us figure out what the issues are, highlight them, talk and think about them.

ACTION: This is an information only item and action by the Commission is not required. However, Vice President Olague, as presiding Chair, formed a sub-committee (Olague, Moore and Antonini) to work with staff on structuring upcoming hearings/events.

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

Sue Hestor, Attorney for the Flower Mart

- The Planning Commission adopted a policy for an automatic hearing when PDR uses where being displaced. That is resolution 16209.

- The Flower industry is a distribution industry and all of the businesses in the Italian flower market have gotten eviction notices.

- They have been told to go out of business after Christmas by the Academy of Art University.

E. REGULAR CALENDAR

8. (Tape IA; IB) (A. VARAT: (415) 558-6405)

Van Ness Avenue BRT Project (informational only) - The Van Ness Avenue BRT Project is evaluating project alternatives for enhancing bus service and improving urban design on Van Ness Avenue. Staff will give introduction and describe Planning Department role. Guest speaker Rachel Hiatt of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority will present the project.

Preliminary recommendation: Informational only, no action requested.

SPEAKERS

Rachel Hyatt, Senior Planner at the San Francisco Transportation Authority

- We have been working on the environmental review for this project.

- The two priorities of the Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] routes are identified as Van Ness and Geary.

- The feasibility study was the first stage to confirm that the BRT is feasible and that the community is interested in getting an initial sense of the benefits and impacts.

- That was completed in December 2006. The Authority Board and the MTA Board approved this report and called for the next phase, which is the Environmental Review.

- We are just at the beginning stages. We have just closed our public scoping period.

- We had public meetings in early October and are preparing a summary of it.

- We have a Citizens and Technical Advisory Committees and we are working very closely with MTA and the Planning Department.

- We expect to have a draft EIR in the middle of 2008.

- The segment of Van Ness that we are studying for BRT extends between Mission and Lombard Streets. However, the routes currently operating on Van Ness do continue to other parts of the City.

- We have a potential time line for implementing the project and we are showing an open for service stage for 2011.

- The project would cost between $85 to $90 million dollars. Proposition K provides $20 million and that would match a federal grant of up to $75 million.

ACTION: This is an informational item that does not require Commission action.

Item 9 was taken out of order followed item #13

9. (Tape IIA) (M. SNYDER: (415) 575-6891)

5800 3rd Street - Informational item on the 5800 Third Street Project. The Commission approved this residential project in the summer of 2005. The project sponsor has been working with the Mayor's office and the Department to revise the project, changing the configuration of the retail component to include a grocery store. The project, as revised, is in general conformity with the project that the Commission originally approved.

Preliminary Recommendation: Informational presentation, no action required.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: This is an informational item that does not require Commission action.

10. 2005.0842D (Tape IIA; IIB) (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.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 18, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Jamie Cherry, Discretionary Review Requestor

- I am requesting once again that you continue this hearing because the Planning Department failed to mail the mandatory notices as required by section 311 of the Planning Code.

- The Russian Hill Community Association is requesting that this project be subject to the strictest of scrutiny and critical examination by this Commission.

- This massive construction project is in a residential neighborhood and will impact significantly one of the City's treasured historical resources.

- This project jeopardizes both the structure and the integrity of this historic resource on a block that is considered a potential historic district.

- The cumulative affect of this proposed project and other projects on the 1100 block of Green Street is having a significant adverse effect on the community.

- This is one of four projects currently taking place on Green Street that have violated the Planning Code.

- I request that if it is approved that it be subject to these conditions: (1) if the retaining wall is damaged during construction, the building permit is to be rescinded and wall repaired to its original condition; (2) building application is to describe the complete project and any mid-level storage units are to remain in perpetuity as non-habitable space; (3) only one public on-street parking space is to be eliminated to provide driveway access to the garage; and (4) street trees are to be preserved in place by the design of the curb cut and garage door location.

Michelle

- I am concerned about this project because of the scale, the failure to notify the neighborhood of an enormous project, and the rubber stamping of it.

- If it is approved, I urge you to take discretionary review with the conditions stated.

Richard

- I have three points that I would like you to consider: (1) preservation of the tree in front of the proposed project in direct relation with the retaining wall; (2) massive construction on this property is inappropriate; and (3) the Planning Department's own definition of building envelope.

Tami Twarog

- I request that you consider the damage to the stability of the unique character of the neighborhood that this project would have.

Hiroshi Fukuda

- This is another case of notification failure, just like the Market Octavia Plan.

- This is not going to be an ordinary garage.

Kathleen Courtney

- The neighborhood did not get notification about this project. At the least, we are asking that if you want to approve it, take discretionary review and set conditions as stated before.

John Bardis

- There has not being proper notification to the neighborhood. Notifications have been done before with smaller projects and it should have been done with this one as well.

- You should continue this project, or at least take discretionary review with conditions previously stated.

Brett Gladstone, Project Sponsor Representative

- There are conditions of approval proposed and we do not have a problem with some of them under some circumstances.

- The retaining wall and the storage is something that we agree with.

- Regarding the trees, we have redesigned the architectural of that driveway and actually it is going to be 5 feet from where our curb cut starts.

- The goal here is to create a five car garage in a three owner occupied condominium and provide an elevator within the garage for residents and elderly visitors.

- Another goal is to reframe the large retaining wall from failing due to lateral forces behind the wall.

- This long block contains parking on only one side of the street and the public benefit from the project is to alleviate the difficult parking shortage.

- This project has a lot of support from the community, the Planning Department, San Francisco Heritage, and the Landmark Board. [Submitted letters of support.]

Russ Naylor, Architect

- Looking at exhibit F in the package, it really shows that you can not make less impact with the minimum size garage door and paint it to match the wall.

- We actually moved over the garage door to make sure that we preserve the trees as well.

- We need to keep in mind that this is a three-unit building and only five spaces allowed; it is taking three family's cars off the street.

- Those basements have to be there for the garage to reinforce the old foundations of the cottages to not have another disaster where these things may slip down the hill.

Tom Mingle

- He read a letter from John White supporting the proposed project because it would add parking spaces on the block.

Kevin Dill

- Spoke is support of the project and read a letter from the immediate adjacent neighbor, Sandra, who is also in support because it would provide off-street parking.

Penny Clark, Co-Chair Russian Hill Neighbors

- Read a letter from the President, Bernie, expressing the support of the neighbors because it complies with the Residential Design Guideline's recommendation relating to garages.

Lynn Jefferson, North Beach Neighbors

- Requested that the Commission deny the discretionary review and asked that in the future perhaps there is a way that the neighborhood can work with the Planning Department to come up with ways to stop situations like this.

Taylor Glass

- I'm in support of the construction. I'm also speaking on behalf of Carolyn Rodgers who could not attend this meeting and supports garages on historic properties for being a key strategy in improving preservation tools.

- It provides stability of ownership and residency, encourages investments in historic buildings, and increases accessibility to historic buildings.

Naomi Moore

- I'm in support of the project because it would be an advantage to the neighborhood by having five existing cars taken off the street and by providing accessibility to elderly visitors.

Jay Turnbull, Principal of Page and Turnbull – Preservation Architects

- We have written two letters with comments about this project and we do conquer with staff's recommendations that this project meets appropriate preservation standards.

- San Francisco Architectural Heritage supports this project and has written a letter to that effect.

Pat Buscovich

- I was hired to preserve that wall and not damage it. I was also hired as a pier review for the design and during the construction administration.

- If there would be a problem during construction, we will stop and meet immediately with the Building Department and Planning to resolve the issue.

Bob Mahony, President of Soil and Engineering Construction

- We were contracted by the owners to do the project.

- Looking at the project right now, there is a retaining wall that is like 100 years old with a building setting on top of it.

- When you are considering the effects of an earthquake, the wall is certainly not in a state that is expected to come through.

- This project means going behind the wall and structurally tighten into the wall with new design techniques, which means supporting the structure and improving it significantly.

- We considered different ways to do the project but the geology is very unfavorable making it unsafe for the people working there.

- We had a lot of conversations with peer review and a separate structural engineering company.

Steve

- The only thing that would change from the outside is the garage door and everything else is underground. With all these engineers everything should be fine.

Chris Arrott

- This project is big and you should continue it because of the need for notification.

- We are living with anger, upset, fear and uncertainty. I invite the Commission and the department to look at the neighborhood and see what is happening.

Joe Butler

- I would support this project with the conditions proposed by the Russian Hill Community Association.

- It is very important that the recession of the permit be coupled with any damage to the wall.

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved with conditions

-No windows in the retaining wall.

-Three trees to be preserved.

-Any structural damage to the wall, the project will be stopped and the Building Department consulted.

-Curb cut to be 11 feet - 9 feet for the cut itself and 1 foot on each side.

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

ABSENT: Alexander, W. Lee and Moore.

11. 2007.1111T (Tape IIB) (T. SULLIVAN-LENANE: (415) 558-6257)

Amendments relating to Planning Code Sections 260(Bb) [Board File No. 07-1291] - Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Daly amending Planning Code Sections 260(b) by adding subsection 260(b)(1)(A)(i) to allow mechanical equipment and screening changes that do not exceed three additional feet in height and do not contain new occupiable floor space in any C-3-G Zoning District; and adopting findings. Preliminary Recommendation: Approval.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 25, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued indefinitely.

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

ABSENT: Alexander, W. Lee and Moore.

12. 1996.281E (Tape IIB; IIIA) (J. Kugler: (415) 575-6925)

CENTRAL SUBWAY PROJECT (Phase 2 - Third Street Light Rail) -Informational presentation on the Proposed Project. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) is proposing construction of the second phase of the Third Street Light Rail project. A supplemental environmental document Draft SEIS/SEIR) has been prepared to meet the requirements of both CEQA and NEPA and analyzes updated information from the original EIS/EIR that was certified in 1998. The goal of the proposed project is to provide Muni Metro rail service from 4th and King (current terminus of Phase 1-the T-Third line) to Chinatown in a mostly subway configuration. Three alternatives are evaluated: Alternative 1-No Project/Transportation Systems Management; Alternative 2-Enhanced EIS/EIR Alignment; and Alternative 3 –Fourth/Stockton Alignment. Alternative 1 includes the T-Third Line and associated bus changes. Alternative 2 would use King, Third, Harrison, Kearny, and Geary as well as Fourth and Stockton and have two portals (Third St. for southbound and Fourth St. for northbound rail traffic) with a shallow tunnel crossing under Market Street. There would be four underground stations at Moscone, Market, Union Square, and Chinatown. Alternative 3 would operate exclusively on Fourth and Stockton Streets with a deep underground crossing of Market Street. There would be three underground stations at Moscone, Union Square/Market, and Chinatown. There are two options; Option A would go underground between Townsend and Brannan, while Option B would go underground between Bryant and Harrison (under the I-80 freeway) and have an additional surface station north of Brannan Street. A Public Hearing on the environmental document will be held at the Commission meeting on November 15t, 2007. The Public Comment period will close on December 10, 2007.

Preliminary Recommendation: No action requested – informational presentation.

SPEAKERS

John Phungi, Central Subway Program Manager

- I would focus this presentation on the program, project goals and objectives, alignment alternatives, proposed station layouts and alignments, and the proposed project schedule.

- The supplemental process began in June, 2005 with a notice of scoping.

- A series of successful reviews have been conducted with City Planning and the Federal Transit Administration.

- It is estimated that responses and comments generated from the public review period will be addressed by June, 2008 with a release of the final supplemental document for July, 2008.

- The T rail program will connect communities along the Third Street corridor to the Convention Shopping areas in the Chinatown District in downtown San Francisco decreasing traffic congestion by 50 percent.

- The interim Embarcadero service will discontinue when Central Subway is constructed as the alignment will travel either up on Third or Fourth and Stockton Streets depending on which alternative is selected as part of the supplemental process.

- The T Third line will become an independent line operating in its own subway.

- [Showed photographs of the alignments and daily basic traffic congestion on Stockton Street].

- The project complies with the City's Transit First Policy.

- We have conducted over a hundred presentations to date and the public has provided considerable input as demonstrated in the three alternatives.

- The delivery schedule is anticipated for 2008 and that would conclude the environmental process allowing the project team to enter into the final design.

- We anticipate the construction to start in 2010 and scheduled to begin revenue service in 2016.

- The draft document is available in various locations for public viewing.

- Copies are available at the Planning Department Public Information Counter or by calling (415)575-6925.

ACTION: This is an informational item that does not require Commission action.

Item 13 was taken out of order and followed item #8

13. 2007.0838C (Tape IB; IIA) (J. IONIN: (415) 558-6309)

1100 OAK STREET (a.k.a. 401 DIVISADERO STREET), northwest corner of Oak and Divisadero Streets, Assessor's Block 1215, Lot 016 – Request for Conditional Use authorization under Planning Code Section 703.3 to establish a new formula retail store (d.b.a. Batteries Plus) in an NC-2 (Neighborhood Commercial, Small Scale) District, the Divisadero Street Alcohol Restricted Use District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

(Originally on the Commission's Regular Meeting calendar of September 27, 2007)

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Mathew Brennan, Project Sponsor Representative

- The only issue that the neighborhood has is that this is a formula retail.

- The language of proposition G simply provides neighborhoods an opportunity to ensure that stores conform to existing neighborhood needs and to ask for amenities such as parking and appropriate signage.

- It sets forth five criteria under the Planning Code to consider: (a) existing concentration within the district, (b) availability of similar retail use in the district, (c) compatibility, (d) vacancy rate, and (e) existing mix of city wide serving retail users and neighborhood serving uses within the district.

- This project meets those five criteria under the Planning Code. It is both necessary and desirable as neighborhood serving.

- It would be a franchise owned and operated by two locals and would not compete with any of the local merchants.

Jim Kirk, Owner and Project Sponsor

- My wife and I are going to be the owners and operators of Battery Plus. We have been residents of San Francisco for 30 years.

- Looking at the franchise model, we decided to select this franchise for a number of reasons: its uniqueness, it offers a wide variety of batteries, and it offers a recycling program.

- Battery Plus has 300 stores nation wide but only two are going to happen here and it would also be locally owned.

- There would not be significant changes to the store.

Karen Wing

- I'm opposed to the Battery Plus because see it a chain store and would not be like the more neighborhood friendly stores in the area.

Michael Smithwick, Board of Alamo Square Neighborhood Association

- The Association is strongly opposed to this particular business to open at this location because of the study done sponsored by the Mayor's Office, the Department of Public Works and Planning.

- The vision statement developed in that study emphasizes locally serving retail and independent businesses.

Richard Kay, President of the Height – Divisadero Neighbor and Merchant Association

- Our association is one of three major association that have voted in opposition to the Battery Plus application.

Jesse Fink

- This is about proposition G keeping formula chains out of the neighborhoods.

- There is no support from any of the neighborhood groups for this application.

Bryan McKeon

- I'm opposed to this application and if we are to discuss proposition G and Planning Code 303c part 1; this is about the neighborhood speaking loud and clear about what is desirable for the neighborhood.

Cynthia Marcucci, Member of the Height/Divisadero Neighbors and Merchants Association

- I oppose this project because the neighborhood has worked vigorously to make sure that retail growth in the corridor preserves the unique character of the neighborhood.

Audrey Agustin-Kirk

- I am in support of Battery Plus because I believe that it would be unique, independent, part of the community, enhancing that corner, well lighted, and well maintained.

Dean Preston

- This neighborhood has been a consistent voice resisting chain stores over the years because this is a key block to future planning and what goes into this location matters.

Larry Griffin, Member of NOPNA Board

- The proposed owners of this business never came to our group and this is not something that we envision in the Lower Divisadero corridor.

Patricia Vaughey, Planning Association of the Divisadero

- The owners never came to us.

- You should be very careful because this is a piece meal motion to turn this into a formula retail building.

Sommer Peterson

- I'm concerned that small businesses would not be able to open with the rent being so high.

- The neighborhood is going to change with these large retailers.

Dan Nguyen-Tan, Board member of NOPNA

- Our board voted vigorously and strongly in opposition to this proposal and we have collected over 450 signatures throughout the neighborhood.

Jarie Bolander, NOPNA Board member

- The neighborhood does not want this business there and our Association is opposed to it because it would bring more traffic to the area.

Andrew Robbins, NOPNA Board member

- We all strongly oppose this project.

David Tornheim, Central City Progressive

- [Submitted a petition with 461 signatures opposing this chain store.]

- I'm concerned with the high rent, which is double what the previous tenant paid and will only attract large retails.

[No name stated]

- A neighborhood is going to be concerned about any change and this is in fact a green business that is going to serve the future San Francisco in many ways.

- These are the businesses we want to attract to this area.

Mark Brennan, Landlord Representative

- Spoke in support of this application. The previous tenant was also a chain store.

- There are liquor stores, medical marijuana clubs, dry cleaners and restaurants within three blocks on Divisadero Street. What is the neighborhood's character to keep?

[Inaudible]

- The Battery Plus would provide a good service to the neighborhood by providing batteries that are hard to find and also with the recycling program.

ACTION: Intent to disapprove with final language on November 15, 2007.

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

ABSENT: Alexander and Moore.

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

Silvia Johnson

- Agreed with the project and is thankful for the building process.

Adjournment: 8:57 P.M.inmemory of Gene Coleman

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