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City and County of San Francisco
Public Hearings 
 

November 15, 2007

November 15, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

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

COMMISSIONER ABSENT: Moore

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE-PRESIDENT OLAGUE AT 1:40 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, AnMarie Rodgers, Jonas Ionin, Nannie Turrell, Rosemary Dudley, Ken Rich, Joan Kugler, Tom Wang, Adrian Putra, Aaron Hollister, 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. 2005.0490E (J. NAVARRETE: (415) 575-9040)

3500 19th STREET - northwest corner of Valencia and 19th Streets - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration for the construction of a 5-story, 50-foot-tall building totaling approximately 29,829 square feet, with 17 dwelling units, 17 off-street parking spaces, and about 2,852 square feet of retail space. The project site (Block 3588, Lot 012) is in the Valencia Neighborhood Commercial District and a 50-X Height and Bulk District. The project site is in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan Area and is subject to the Housing/Mixed Use Guidelines. The proposed project would require a Conditional Use Authorization.

Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration

(Continued from Regular Meeting of October 25, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to January 10, 2008)

SPEAKERS

Tim Doherty

- I support the continuance and I've called repeatedly to the contact telephone number posted, left messages, and have not yet received any response back.

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

2. 2005.0490C (T. FRYE: (415) 575-6822)

3500 19TH STREET - at the northwest corner of 19th and Valencia Streets; Assessor's Block 3588, Lot 012 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Planning Code Sections 121.1 and 726.11 to construct a five-story, 17-unit mixed-use development on a 10,000 square foot lot. The property is located within the Valencia Neighborhood Commercial District with a 50-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approve with Conditions

(Proposed for Continuance to January 10, 2008)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

3. 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. The project will demolish the three existing buildings on the property, containing 7 dwelling units, combine the lots into one parcel, and construct a new 4 story tall, mixed use building with 22 dwelling units, ground floor commercial space and underground parking.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of November 1, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to January 10, 2008)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

4. 2007.0725C (E. OROPEZA: (415) 558-6381)

2200 Mission Street (Aka 3417-19 18th Street) - southwest corner of Mission and 18th Street; Lot 001 in Assessor's Block 3589 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Planning Code Section 303, to revise findings per Planning Commission Motion No. 16264. The 23 unit mixed-use project, currently under construction was approved as rental housing. The amendment would eliminate this requirement, within the NC-3 (moderate Scale) Neighborhood Commercial District, the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Restricted Use Subdistrict, and a 50-X/65-B Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Proposed for Continuance to January 10, 2008)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

5. 2005.0893E (B. Bollinger: (415) 575-9024)

1650 BROADWAY - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration. The proposed project at 1650 Broadway includes the merger of two vacant lots (Assessor's Block 0570, Parcels 10 and 11) and construction of a new eight-story, approximately 80-foot-tall, 85,200 gross square foot (gsf) residential building with 34 units and a two-level subterranean parking garage with 49 independently accessible spaces. The 13,624-square-foot project site is located on the north side of Broadway, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in the Pacific Heights Neighborhood and is currently being used for private parking. The project site is within a RM-3 (Residential, Mixed, Medium Density) use district and an 80-A height and bulk district. The project would require Conditional Use authorization for the portion of the building height above 40 feet in a residential zoning district, and a variance for rear yard modification.

Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration

(Proposed for continuance to January 17, 2008)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

6. 2006.1354D (S. VELLVE: (415) 558-6263)

1166 HAIGHT STREET - north side between Baker and Lyon Streets, Lot 014 in Assessor's Block 1235 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.10.19.5970 to install a below-grade garage to create approximately eight off-street parking spaces for a building containing twelve units located in an RM-1 (Mixed, Low Density) and 40-X Height/Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Continued from Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to February 7, 2008)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

7. 2007.1099C (C. Teague: (415) 575-9081)

30 29TH STREET - north side, between Mission Street and Tiffany Avenue, Lot 30 in Assessor's Block 6596 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Planning Code Sections 303, 703.3, 703.4, and 781.5 for a formula retail, small self-service restaurant (Subway) in a NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Zoning District, a 40-X Height and Bulk District, and the Mission Street Fast-Food Subdistrict.

Preliminary Recommendation: Pending

(Proposed for Indefinite Continuance)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

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

ABSENT: Moore

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

Adoption of Commission Minutes– Charter Section 4.104 requires all commissioners to vote yes or no on all matters unless that commissioner is excused by a vote of the Commission. Commissioners may not be automatically excluded from a vote on the minutes because they did not attend the meeting.

8. Consideration of Adoption:

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of September 20, 2007

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of September 27, 2007

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of October 4, 2007

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of October 11, 2007

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of October 18, 2007

· Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of November 1, 2007

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

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

ABSENT: Moore

9. Commission Comments/Questions (Tape IA)

· 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 circulated to Commissioners a link to a website that has a lecture series being put on by the City of Brisbane on their Bay Lands projects.

- They are having a number of different speakers coming from around the country to address various aspects of a particular project and community development as a whole in Brisbane.

- It is very interesting because they have some well known people coming to that little community and I was surprised that they are undertaking such a program like this.

- I do not have the link with me but I am sure that if you go to City of Brisbane, you will be able to find it.

- This Friday there is an architectural author named Charles Jencks doing some lectures on urban design. They have other speakers addressing greening and other things.

- I encouraged people to take a look at it. It is not that far away.

Commissioner Antonini

- I just wanted to comment on an item in general that relates to a property that was appealed yesterday before the Board of Supervisor on a Categorical Exemption.

- Mr. Badiner probably would bring that up during his report.

- My point is not to talk specifically about this project, but the whole process situation and how there are some problems.

- I think we need to have an understanding of what comes first in some of these instances.

- This happens to be a situation where there was a Categorical Exemption by staff, allowed to come before us in companion with a Discretionary Review, which was not granted, and then the appeal comes after those facts.

- My concern is that we see some others and I am not entirely sure that the appeal's elective body, in this instance being the Board of Supervisor, is the best state-wide policy to have.

- As long as that is in place, I think we need a more efficient system by which this is being done so we do not have a situation where projects are dragged out for years.

- It is considerably expensive for the project sponsor and staffs time to get an expert opinion on the historical nature and other issues that may surround the Categorical Exemption. Then towards the end an appeal is filed and they have to go through a lot of city time adding to the cost of the project.

- I think we need more certainty in the process and I would like to ask staff for some sort of explanation as to the process and what could be done to perhaps expedite this in the future --perhaps trying to have more logical or chronological order for these things to occur.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- I believe that we have a CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] special hearing coming up and I think it is sometime in January and that might be appropriate as part of that discussion.

Commissioner Olague

- I have a concern about an item that suddenly appeared on the advanced calendar and when we get further into our rules discussion I would like to see certainty with even our advance calendar.

- I was surprised that we have a very crowded calendar on December 6th with a lot of somewhat controversial projects and then we have an item on the design concept of the 55 Laguna project.

- Going further down to the December 13 calendar, we have a 10a.m. special hearing on the Chinatown City College Campus and 4p.m. time-certain for the Eastern Neighborhoods that will take about two hours at minimum.

- In addition to those items, we have 16 other items and now, never seen before on any of the calendars, we have the 55 Laguna EIR [Environment Impact Report] project. I do not know how we are going to possibly complete a calendar like this before 2 a.m.

- I have heard comments of how people are falling to sleep up here.

- We are really going to have to make a special [meeting] or take turns going to the back because I do not see how any of us are going to be able to get through this calendar in a reasonable alert way and really give respect to the projects, project sponsors, and the public.

- I just want to know why 55 Laguna could not be heard another day.

- I heard from the project sponsor that they have some datelines around the UC Berkeley agreement.

- I actually want to suggest that we meet on the 20th [December] just to hear that item because I do not think that is feasible to have it on December 13.

Commissioner Alexander

- What we would do is take 55 Laguna and several of the other cases from December 13 calendar and have a hearing on December 20.

- I think we have a consensus from all the Commissioners to do that.

Commissioner W. Lee

- I think that many of these projects need to be heard this year or they will lose on finance. It makes sense to have a hearing on the 20th.

Commissioner Sugaya

- We heard a case last week about the high rise on 9th Street and there was a good deal of discussion with respect of where the garage entrance/exit might be and whether it could be on Laski alley.

- On the existing drawings, there is a roll-up door on Laski and if staff can work with the sponsor to clarify what that door is for. And at least two parking spaces next to that wall are eliminated so it looks like there is a way to maneuver.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- We will look into it and we are working on looking into Laski to make it a better access.

Commissioner Antonini

- I am also fine with the December 20 hearing and that would take some pressure from those days.

- If we are going to meet on that day, I would only ask that we calendar at time certainty and probably distribute it enough to balance the calendar.

Commissioner W. Lee

- I would like to request to invite Ted from the Controller's Office for the Eastern Neighborhoods presentation.

- He has come up with an economic report for the job creation and the future of San Francisco and I think it ties to the whole PDR [Production, Distribution and Repair] issues.

- If we could have staff, the secretary of the Commission or the director invite Ted Eagan to give us a review of these findings and how that would be applicable to the Eastern Neighborhoods.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

[Revisited after item 15]

10. Director's Announcements

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- Commissioner Antonini asked about the Geary Street project. That item is being appealed to the Board of Supervisors on an encroachment permit issue.

- I think it has something to do with the garage. And while it is pending before the Board of Supervisors, the two parties are working it out.

- I had said that he Board of Appeals could not get a quorum but I neglected to say why. There was an unexpected death in the family of one of the Commissioners.

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

AnMarie Rodgers

Land Use Committee

NONE

Full Board

A- Fringe Financial Service RUD - This item was heard by this Commission on September 20 and at that time you recommended approval with additional consideration: (a) DBI [Department of Building Inspections} staff be trained to implement it correctly. That has happened already; and (b) to cover the entire City. At the last hearing, Supervisor Sandoval requested that the legislation be split so that he could extend the new fringe financial to the area that he is currently proposing in the Excelsior as an alcohol restricted use district. Passed.

B- Ordinance modification of liquor store to remove prohibitions on grocery stores and similar uses – This was heard at this Commission on September 20 and you recommended disapproval. This week the Board passed the ordinance with an amendment that would place further prohibitions on grocery stores such that they could not sell the so-called  fortified liquor within alcohol restricted districts. Passed.

C- Resolution Urging Hayes Streetbe converted to a two-way street – This is a non-binding resolution for MTA [Municipal Transportation Agency] to restore two-way traffic on that street. Passed.

D- 2 CEQA Appeals – Continued to December 4th

- Categorical Exemption for 2721 Pierce Street

- Determination of Exemption for 3424 Jackson Street

E- New Legislation – Ordinance that would prohibit formula retail in an area generally described as along Mission, Valencia and 16th to 24th Streets. It was introduced by Supervisor Ammiano.

Larry Badiner, Zoning Administrator

376 Eureka Street – You had a discretionary review on this case about an addition to a small cottage. It went to the Board of Appeals and on the day that it was going to the Board of Appeals the Categorical Exempt was appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

It was supposed to be heard in October and it was continued out to yesterday.

There were some discussions between the project sponsor, Board of Supervisors and the neighbors appealing it. Ultimately the appeal was withdrawn and people were comfortable with the alternatives. The alternative flew because some of the Supervisors were not comfortable with it and the original project was before the Board. Categorical Exemption was overturned.

Board of Appeals

NONE

D. GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT – 15 MINUTES

At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

SPEAKERS

Tony Gantner, North Beach Merchants Association

- Our Association's goal is that the City College North Beach Chinatown Campus be built as soon as possible in the right way pursuant to the rule of law.

- Instead, there is a perfect storm opposing the downtown property's interest and opposition [from] neighborhood associations. They all have legitimate criticism and concerns.

- Unfortunately, this Commission was by-passed by City College, which before acquiring its property for the proposed campus should have submitted a formal request for General Plan consistency pursuant the public resources code section 21151.2

- As I understand that provision, it applies for schools and college districts.

- The failure of City College to submit a General Plan consistency request through this Commission may well be ground for law suits that are on the horizon.

- It is not too late to come up with some sort of compromise.

Jim Meko, Chair of the Western SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force

- The due process for the Eastern Neighborhoods and Western SoMa is that we do not communicate that much. We just met yesterday afternoon after 18 months of planning.

- Eastern Neighborhoods did their zoning first. Western SoMa is currently writing our community plan and then we will get to the zoning.

- The perspective for the Eastern Neighborhood is basically how much housing can be added and how many jobs we will have to loose.

- We are coming into this through with the perspective of our vision, values and principles.

- We petitioned to leave the process because SoMa is already a vibrant mixed used community and although the existing zoning has loop holes, we want to fix it not re-invented.

- Trying to merge our process with the Eastern Neighborhoods at this point would put us back to the beginning of this process.

- We already have a good process and it is moving along expeditiously.

- When we presented our progress report, there was two hours of public comment from neighboring areas praising our process and wishing that they could have one of their own.

- The Board of Supervisors if considering such of process in any future neighborhood community planning process.

- We would certainly benefit from improved communication with Eastern Neighborhoods.

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

David [1100 Oak Street]

- The issue is a matter of morality, honesty and public trust.

- One signature on the petition asking for disapproval is from a dead person. There was room for discussion on this matter but never for compromising on dishonesty.

Mark Brenan [1100 Oak Street]

- The process gets diverted when individuals forge signatures. On the petition, there is one from a dead person and two other signatures were duplicated in two different places.

Cynthia Silverstein [Golden Gate Park Stable Renovation]

- I'm in support of the project and thank the Planning Department staff, Recreation and Park Department and this Commission because it is going to rehabilitate the historical riding aspect through the park.

Tim [Golden Gate Park Stable Renovation]

- Spoke in support of the project because it would provide a facility that will give the youth of San Francisco a way to experience riding horses, which is a historical use of the park.

Jessica Willer [Golden Gate Park Stable Renovation]

- Supports this project because it would make San Francisco an even better place for all families with the value that this facility would bring to children with special needs.

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

12. 2007.0838C (Tape IA) (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 November 1, 2007)

Note: On November 1, 2007, following public testimony, the Commission passed a motion of intent to disapprove by a vote of +5 -0. Commissioners Alexander and Moore were absent. Final Language November 15, 2007.

ACTION: Disapproved

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

NAYES: Antonini

ABSENT: Moore

MOTION: 17512

13. 2004.0194E (Tape IA) (N. TURRELL: (415) 575-9047)

GOLDEN GATEPARK STABLE RENOVATION PROJECT - Block 1700, Lot 001 -Certification of Final Environmental Impact Report. - The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) is proposing the rehabilitation of the four stables built during the Works Progress Administration (WPA), demolition of the Golden Gate Park (GGP) Grandstand and ancillary structures, construction of three additional stables, and expansion of the existing arena. The existing WPA Stables would be rehabilitated to meet current seismic and building code standards and the stalls would be reconfigured to increase their size. The number of stalls onsite would total 46 after completion of the project. The demolition of the GGP Grandstand would allow for the expansion of the arena to 130 feet by 122 feet (15,860 sq. ft.) from its current size 8,576 sq. ft. The arena would be covered and lit. Other project components include construction of a retaining wall along the south end of the expanded arena to protect the all-purpose trail running east-west on the southernmost side of the site; construction of a hay barn and feed storage building totaling 1,600 sq. ft; construction of a 200 square foot manure bunker adjacent to the hay barn; use of multiple-use paths to nearby arenas, resurfacing of pathways, road, and parking lot; landscape improvements, and installation of perimeter fencing. The goal of the Proposed Project is to bring the historic activity of horseback riding back to the GGP Stables. The project site is located within the boundaries of Golden Gate Park, Lot 1, south of John F. Kennedy Drive between Spreckels Lake, GGP Stadium, and Lindley Meadow; and east of the GGP Police Stables. The site is located within a P (Public Use) zoning district and OS (Open Space) Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Certify the Final Environmental Impact Report.

Please note: The public review period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report is closed. The Planning Commission does not conduct public review of Final EIRs. Public comments on the certification may be presented to the Planning Commission during the Public Comment portion of the Commission calendar.

ACTION: Final EIR Certified

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

ABSENT: Moore

EXCUSED: Sugaya

MOTION: 17513

G. REGULAR CALENDAR

Item 14 was taken out of order and followed item 21

14. 1999.0536E (Tape IB) (J. RANGE: (415) 575-9018)

CHINATOWNYMCA RENOVATION AND BUILDING ADDITION PROJECT - Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The proposed Chinatown YMCA Renovation and Building Addition Project (proposed project) is located at 855 Sacramento Street in the Chinatown neighborhood. The project site is located mid-block on the south side of Sacramento Street on the block bound by Sacramento Street to the north, Grant Avenue to the east, California Street to the south and Stockton Street to the west. The proposed project would include additions to and renovations of the existing YMCA to create a larger, integrated facility containing approximately 48,750 square feet (sf) of expanded recreation, community services and residential uses. The proposed project would include three elements: (1) extensive interior renovation of the existing three-story-over-basement/ground floor, 45-foot-tall, 25,950-sf building; (2) construction of a new three-story, approximately 39-foot 9-inch-tall, 19,350-sf east wing addition; and (3) construction of a new four-story, approximately 32-foot 4-inch-tall, 3,500-sf rear addition to the existing building along Sabin Place. The proposed project would result in a total of 25 residential hotel rooms, a new aquatic center, new wellness center and expanded community center. The Draft EIR was released October 17, 2007.

Preliminary Recommendation: No Action Required

Note: Written comments will be accepted at the Planning Department's offices until the close of business on November 30, 2007.

SPEAKERS

Bill Worthington, YMCA

- Spoke in support of the EIR [Environmental Impact Report] and the accuracy of the document.

Don Whitney

- Requested that a measure be put in to ensure that the 25 residential rooms be for the public and not be changed to office space once it is finished.

Richard Fong, Residents Representative

- Concerned with losing the residential units and with the lack of consideration for people's significance.

ACTION: Item is for public comments only. No action is required of the Commission.

15. 1996.281E (Tape IB; IIA) (J. KUGLER: (415) 575-6925)

CENTRAL SUBWAY PROJECT- (Phase 2 - Third Street Light Rail) - Public Hearing on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (EIR) - 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.

Preliminary Recommendation: No Action Required

Note: Written comments will be accepted at the Planning Department's offices until the close of business on December 10, 2007.

SPEAKERS

Wells Whitney, Chair of Renew San Francisco

- We support the EIR [Environmental Impact Report}. We have met several times with MTA [Municipal Transportation Agency] and are very familiar with the document.

Tony Gantner, North Beach Merchants Association

- We support the central subway project.

- Currently there are four stations planned with a suggestion to provide a 5th station at Washington Square Park, which would take care of the park when the equipment is removed.

Stephen Taber, SPUR

- We are very favorable towards this project and there are a couple of things that should be taken into account: the transferability between transit lines and adequate capacity.

David Chiu

- The document compressed the need of the project and there are two aspects that I would like to suggest as an addition on section 6.3: (1) details on construction impact for merchant displacement/relocation; and (2) mitigation impact on traffic during the six years of construction.

Marlene Tran, Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance

- Supported the central subway because it is a crucial link between Chinatown and the Visitacion Valley.

- At a later date I would like to address passenger safety, language access and maintaining the current bus lines in the Visitacion.

Bonnie Shtu, Visitacion Valley Parents Association

- I worked with over 200 parents and their families that rely on public transportation. It is very important that the MUNI bus lines remain the same during and after construction of the subway.

Ken Nim, President of Visitacion Valley Community Development Center

- We support the central subway with two precautions: (1) employment opportunities with higher paying salary and long lasting jobs; and (2) opportunities for local contractors.

Wayne Hu, Director of Chinese Chamber of Commerce

- Although we support this project, the EIR does not adequately address mitigations to support small businesses in Chinatown.

Sabina Chen, Executive Director of the Chinese Cultural Center

- The potential site for the Chinatown Station does not necessarily adversely affect the eligibility of Chinatown to be a historic district.

- The SEIR [Supplemental Environmental Impact Report] should address the design of the replacement building and the Central Subway station in Chinatown should be culturally appropriate to the community.

- I ask the Commission to consider the finding of the community liaison for the San Francisco Arts Commission with Chinese Cultural Center.

Ronnie Rhoe, Director of Community Development - Chinese for Affirmative Action

- Asked to create and/or tailor programs through MTA, The Local Building Trades and City Build for English learning residents of the impacted neighborhoods in preparation for construction and jobs once the project is operational.

Chen Gon Wu, Ping Yuen Public Housing Improvement Association [Translated]

- We hope that before construction begins, noticing would go out to let the community know what kind of activities would be affected on the ground.

Anna Chang, Community Tenants Association

- Our members are mainly seniors and we support this project because it is very convenient and important.

- Two points that we want to address: (1) that there are enough notices given to the community utilizing more media notification; and (2) increase better service for pedestrian safety.

Doreen McLeod, Cameron House

- We are in support of the project and want to make sure that mitigations are taking into consideration for small businesses and job opportunities to be available for the community.

Leon Chow, Chair of the San Francisco Chinese Progressive Organization

- We support the SEIR and we want to make sure that immigrant workers would get full benefit of the opportunity for the construction phase.

Cynthia Joe, Presbyterian Church in Chinatown

- Questioned what kind of studies have been done on wind, sunlight and shadow on the development next to the church.

- Questioned what is going to be available for those 17 households that would be displaced.

- Mitigation measure should include setback of the interior of the development next to the church and no noise on Sundays.

David Lee, Presbyterian Church

- Requested a representative from the church be involved with the design process if alternative 3b is selected.

Ben Lee, President of Chinatown Photographic Society

- Keep in mind that Chinatown is a living museum and cultural and town when you decide any of the public art.

- The Chinese Cultural Center is the best place to coordinate for that art work because we have a lot of good artists in San Francisco.

Joan Wood

- I do not think that a station on the north of Market Street is necessary and the 6 years of upheaval is not worth it.

- I notice that Metro and Transportation Authority designated six affected neighborhoods. We are not one but we are obviously affected.

- The EIR mentioned two bus lines when there are four and it didn't mention anything about the dirt that is going to be thrown out from Washington Park.

Cindy Wu, Yerba Buena Alliance

- Read a letter from Chi-Hsin Chao stating that there has been communication with consultants from MTA and that the Subway alignment has been modified from Third to Fourth Street.

- This project would benefit MUNI riders connecting to and from Chinatown.

April

- Concerned about re-routing of traffic in the Sixth Street area with senior housing on Fourth Street and a middle school on Fourth and Harrison Streets.

- There should be an extension to analyze the EIR and provide written concerns.

Ernestine Wise

- The central subway would relieve congestion on the surface and the subway would move thousands of people more quickly than bus lines.

Pauline Peel

- This is a promising project with better access to downtown and connectivity of the City.

- Ideally, the proper outreach and cooperation with neighborhoods and stake holders will be forthcoming.

[Inaudible]

- Support the central subway because public transportation is very important for youth because they do not own a car.

- Pay attention to community input on noise issues during construction.

- Youth should be included in the art process because there are a lot of skills in youth but not enough space to express it.

ACTION: Item for public comment on the Draft Supplemental EIR only. No action is required of the Commission.

16a. 2007.1207D (Tape IIA) (T. WANG: (415) 558-6335)

519 29TH STREET- south side between Castro and Noe Streets; Lot 043 in Assessor's Block 6630 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under Planning Commission's policy requiring review of residential demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No.2007.02.26.4920, proposing to demolish a one-story over basement, single-family dwelling 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 permit.

SPEAKERS

John Hughes, Architect

- The soundness report clearly states why this structure is considered a good demolition.

- The foundations function is obsolete. It is made of fracture brick that suffers substantial differential settlement.

- The main beam support, roof rafters, the bathroom floor are all substandard and considered unsafe by today's standards.

- There is substantial dry rot throughout the entire structure.

- Based on the Planning Department's replacement cause formula, we have exceeded the 50-percent threshold by 119 percent. We have also exceeded the 75 percent threshold by 51 percent.

- Now for the replacement structure -- we worked very closely with the Planning staff on this project and we have come up with a situation that would benefit the City and my client.

- We are taking a small unit off the market and putting a new small unit back into the market.

- We are adding a new unit to the San Francisco housing stock that is a quality family size home with four bedrooms.

- Five thoughts: (a) it provides two new off-street parking; (b) there is no displacement; (c) it is supported by neighbors; (d) we are adding a family size home; and (e) it is a distinctive home that fits well into the surrounding neighborhood.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and approved demolition.

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

ABSENT: Moore

16b. 2007.1210D (Tape IIA) (T. WANG: (415) 558-6335)

519 29TH STREET- south side between Castro and Noe Streets; Lot 043 in Assessor's Block 6630 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, under Planning Commission's policy requiring review of the replacement building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No.2007.02.26.4930, to construct a two-story over garage and basement, two-family dwelling 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 building permit.

SPEAKERS: Same as those listed on item 16a

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved with the requirement that Project Sponsor continued working with staff on cornice design.

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

ABSENT: Moore

17. 2007.0905D (Tape IIA; IIB) (A. PUTRA: (415) 575-9079)

1319 32ND AVENUE - west side between Irving Street and Judah Street; Lot 002 in Assessor's Block 1787 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007.05.08.0700, proposing construction of a two-story, horizontal rear addition to a two-story dwelling 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 by the revised plans.

SPEAKERS

Cynthia Ng [3121 Irving Street]

- The proposed addition would only affect two properties: 3115 and 3121 Irving Street.

- [Showed photographs taken on November 3rd, 2007 that points out a significant increase of shadows within one hour at noon.]

- With the proposed addition, we would loose sunlight and as we get into the winter time, it would increase.

- There is mold on the neighbor's property due to insufficient sunlight. Mold is well known to be a health hazard and it makes the surface slippery, which is a risk factor for potential falls.

- My parents have worked very hard for their home and do not want to loose their quality of life.

- The approval of this proposed project would decrease the direct sunlight throughout the year by up to 100 percent in the winter.

Victor Velayuthan, Project Sponsor

- Originally we wanted to make the extension 22 feet. But after discussing it with the architect we decided to do 17 feet to keep it with the environment of the area.

- We comply with the requirements and we have met with the requestor three times.

- We removed the bay windows and cut back 4 feet on the ground floor to address issues from the requestor.

- I would like to keep the family united. My son is going to live at this property and I live one block away.

Doris, Owner

- Being a widow, I do not want to live by my self and my nephew is willing to live with me along with his fiancé.

- The requestor has trees on their property that actually blocks their sunlight. Therefore, I find the requestor's objection unfounded and unreasonable.

Nahim

- [Showed photographs of the requestor's property and the raise of the fence as well as the trees that block the sunlight.]

- We looked at the plans and make changes based on staff recommendations. We feel that it is feasible and makes sense.

ACTION: Took Discretionary Review and approved the project with the original proposal for ground floor size.

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

ABSENT: Moore

18. 2007.0920C (Tape IIB) (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

(Continued from Regular Meeting of November 1, 2007)

SPEAKERS

David Levy

- Submitted three letters of support.

- This is a great fit for this area and I am here for any questions about the floor plans.

DaveHills, Chief Operating Officer

- We are a very unique retailer. We open a small amount of stores per year.

- We pick locations on the structure and we are much customized and adapt to the community.

- Our product line would add to the area and promote traffic. 90 percent of our products are our own brand.

Robyn White

- I'm opposed to the formula retail because there are 12 apparel boutiques on Chestnut Street. Another is opening this month. There are 35 existing formula retailers in our neighborhood.

Don

- I tried to work with the community and everybody approved the project in the neighborhood.

- The more people that come to the area the more business there would be for everyone.

ACTION: Approved

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

NAYES: Olague

ABSENT: Moore

MOTION: 17514

19. 2007.0461C (Tape IIB) (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 Pizza Restaurant ) 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 November 8, 2007)

SPEAKERS

Badreddine Khelifi, Project Sponsor

- We had the chance to operate this business before and we bought it with a liquor license which we decided not to continue because it might cause some problems.

- We believe that operating after hours is going to be more helpful for the Police Department and the neighborhood.

- Two pizza places in the same block would help to serve customers quickly and move people off and out of that area.

- Our place is small and we do not have tables for people to sit there. It is just for take out.

Mohamed

- I support the project because it would help the neighborhood by keeping the streets clean, provide expeditious service, and prevent people from hanging around for too long.

Jim Dudley, Captain of Central Station

- One of my biggest challenges in the district is dealing with the Broadway corridor and the problems that we have had in the evening hours and weekends.

- One of our strategies is to end the night entertainment at 2 a.m. and move people off the street.

- The existent Cable Car Pizza allows people to congregate up to 3 or 4 a.m. and beyond.

- I am tasked to manage the crowd of 30, 40 or more people and the problems that come with it -- different levels of intoxication and too many people waiting for counter service.

- We talked about splitting the crowd after 2 a.m. but on second thought, allowing two places to exceed 2 a.m. it would require our officers to stay that much longer and then police two different venues.

- I would ask that you reconsider the Conditional Use permit of Cable Car and possibly rescinded it so that both places close at 2 a.m.

Karim, Owner

- There are more than half a dozen businesses open to 2 a.m. in the same street.

- I just want to provide food for the people that are around there. And after drinking alcohol, it is good to have something to eat because that helps them get home safe.

Graphiela

- In support of the project because with only one place to provide food, it becomes crowded. Getting the permit would help to alleviate the problem.

Phamie

- Supported the approval of the permit because they are very clean and it would provide more choices for customers without making long lines at the other pizza place.

Nancy Keiler

- They own several businesses and the crime rates have gone down in the neighborhood where they operate.

- They hired from the neighborhood and do not sell alcohol.

ACTION: Continued to January 24, 2008. Public hearing remains open.

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

ABSENT: Moore

20. 2007.0971C (M. WOODS: (415) 558-6315)

3571 SACRAMENTO STREET - south side between Locust and Laurel Streets; Lot 023, in Assessor's Block 1019 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization under Planning Code Sections 303 and 724.52 to establish a foreign language enrichment program for children, in the Sacramento Street Neighborhood Commercial District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District. The proposal is to convert a vacant retail use (formerly a women's clothing store) to a personal service use for a language enrichment program (dba Language at Play) offering classes in French, Mandarin and Spanish to children ranging in age from 1 to 10 years, as well as a retail sales component for its language program products. The proposed project will occupy the ground floor and a small portion of the basement (approximately 2,100 square feet) of a two-story building.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of November 8, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without hearing, continued to January 17, 2008

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

ABSENT: Moore

Item 21 was taken out of order followed item 13

21 (Tape IA; IB) (R. DUDLEY: (415) 575-9068)

JAPANTOWN BETTER NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN - Informational Presentation - The Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan is the latest area plan under the Better Neighborhoods Program. The planning effort was kicked off at a community meeting in March 2007. This presentation aims to inform the Planning Commission of the Plan's schedule and goals, as well as the emerging priorities that have surfaced through community feedback. The presentation will also serve as an update on work to date, and inform the Commission of upcoming events as the Plan moves closer to being before the Planning Commission for adoption.

Preliminary Recommendation: No action requested, informational item.

SPEAKERS

Robert Hamaguchi, Executive Director of Japantown Task Force

- We are very grateful to engage the community in this process and work with staff.

- We have developed a public relations program to engage the community's stake holders.

- In the first phase of understanding Japantown, we conducted 14 out of 9 planned focus group meetings that were attended by 200 stake holders.

- The stake holders in Japantown do not necessarily live and work there. It includes all those interested in our cultural preservation throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area.

- We put together, with Planning Department staff, an on-line survey with a bilingual handout version as well.

- We obtained over 600 responses to the survey and almost 28 percent of them were from our Japanese speaking constituency.

Hiroshi Fukuda

- The survey was very long and did not really address the concerns about height, density and parking; especially with the big project on Gough Street.

ACTION: This is an informational item and no action is required of the Commission.

H. 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: 5:48 P.M.

THESE MINUTES WERE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, December 6, 2007.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

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

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 10:00:31 PM