To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body
Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco



Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1:00 PM

Regular Meeting


COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:   Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya





STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:  John Rahaim – Director of Planning, Scott Sanchez – Zoning Administrator, Kevin Guy, Kimi Haddadan, Rick Crawford, and Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.



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


            1.         2004.0093E                                                                    (I. NISHIMURA: (415) 575-9041)

SAN FRANCISCO OVERLOOK DEVELOPMENT RESIDENTIAL PROJECT – Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Assessor’s Block 2636, Lots 025 and 028; near the north end of Crestmont Drive, in the Forest Knolls neighborhood. The proposed project would involve new construction of 12 two-unit buildings and a 10-unit townhouse building, for a total of 34 dwelling units, and 68 parking spaces within the 13 buildings on an undeveloped, approximately 63,890-square-foot, steeply-sloped site.  An approximately 680-foot long, 20-foot-wide private, paved, east-west-aligned street would be constructed from Crestmont Drive in order to provide access to the dwelling units.  The heights of the proposed buildings would range from 16 feet to 40 feet high.  The project site is within an RM-1 (Residential, Mixed, Low-Density) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.  The proposed project would require Conditional Use Authorization for a Planned Unit Development.

NOTE: Written comments will be accepted at the Planning Department until 5 p.m. on June 19, 2012

Preliminary Recommendation:  No action required.

                        (Proposed for Continuance to June 14, 2012)


SPEAKERS:     None

ACTION:           Continued as proposed

AYES:             Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya

ABSENT:          Moore



                2.            2012.0522TZ                                                                       (A. STARR: (415) 558-6362)

San Francisco Planning Code and Zoning Map Amendments  - Proposed amendments to the San Francisco Planning Code and Zoning Map to create three new named Neighborhood Commercial Districts in the City’s Sunset Neighborhood and to amend the Trade Shop definition in the Planning Code [Board File No. 12-0241]  Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Chu amending the San Francisco Planning Code by: 1) adding Section 739.1 to establish the Outer Sunset Commercial Cluster 1 Neighborhood Commercial District that includes currently zoned NC-2 Noriega Street from 19th through 27th and 30th through 33rd Avenues; 2) adding Section 740.1 to establish the Outer Sunset Commercial Cluster 2 Neighborhood Commercial District that includes currently zoned NC-1 Taraval Street from 40th through 41st Avenues and from 45th through 47th Avenues, Noriega Street from 38th through 39th and 44th through 47th Avenues, Judah Street from 27th through 29th, 38th through 40th, and 44th through 47th Avenues, and Irving Street from 40th through 41st and 45th through 46th Avenues; 3) adding Section 741.1 to establish the Outer Sunset Linear Streets Neighborhood Commercial District that includes currently zoned NC-2 Taraval Street from 19th through 36th Avenues, Judah Street from 29th through 33rd Avenues, and Irving Street from 19th through 27th Avenues; 4) amending Section 724.124 (trade shops) to allow catering, remove horsepower limitations, and allow wholesaling, manufacturing and processing as an accessory use for up to two-thirds of the gross floor area; 5) amending Zoning Map Sheet ZN05 to include the new Neighborhood Commercial Districts; and 6) making environmental findings, Planning Code Section 302 findings, and findings of consistency with General Plan and the Priority Policies of Planning Code Section 101.1.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with modifications

                        (Proposed for Continuance to June 14, 2012)


SPEAKERS:     None

ACTION:           Continued as proposed

AYES:             Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya

ABSENT:          Moore




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.


3.         Consideration of Adoption:

·         Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of May 10, 2012

·         Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of May 17, 2012

·         Draft Minutes of Special Meeting of May 24, 2012


SPEAKERS:     None

ACTION:           5/10/12 Minutes were approved as corrected on page 4, under Commissioner Borden’s comments to read “There was another article talking about Fillmore Street and how it has become one of the hottest, upscale meat clothing market streets in the Country.”; 5/17 & 5/24/12 minutes were approved as proposed

AYES:             Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya

ABSENT:          Moore


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 Antonini:

I have three things briefly. First, our National Golf Championship, the United States Open, is being held at the Olympic Club next week. This is the fifth time it has been held at the Olympic Club which may be more than any other site in the western United States. I'm not sure how many times they have held it at Pebble Beach, but it's only one of three or four different sites that it has been held in California and it brings up to 40,000 spectators and national attention and a beautifully manicured course.

On a less positive note, during the time we did not have hearings last week, the wife and I were able to take our granddaughter to Dolores Park which has put up a fabulous new play area for the children and is very age appropriate. The bad news is that there was graffiti and many of the things that had just recently been put in place had been torn up by vandals.  My 2-year-old granddaughter even noticed the keys of the xylophone were missing. I think we have to do something about this. We need some sort of legislation put in place to impose a severe penalty or fine on anyone convicted of this vandalism and graffiti and we also have to try to somehow figure out funding for existing and future playgrounds for some sort of 24-hour surveillance by police special patrol or private security firms. The amount we spend in trying to repair the damage would probably pay for security. This is something I would like to mention to some of the supervisors because there are a lot of articles in the paper about the vandalism problems when we invest all this money into renovating parks and playgrounds and no sooner than they are fixed that they're being vandalized. I think that's a big problem.

One other item I noticed and some of you may have noticed is that some of our street signs are being changed from being very easily recognizable with bold letters on a white background. I just recently found out some information from Supervisor Farrells' office – they said something with large and small caps is more recognizable. I think they are much harder to read. You may spot a few of them around town and try to figure out what the street is. These are historic street signs, not the big green ones. We talked a lot about historical items and those are historical street signs. Maybe we can find a way to keep them in there along those lines. I' m going to try to take this up with people on a street level because apparently the ordinance was passed and took effect in January of 2012 and required all cities to have the same kind of street signs or at least a similar lay out. It is a little disturbing, so we will see where we go with that.

Commissioner Borden:

It is interesting you pointed that out. My street just got a new street sign and I also notice the new parking stickers for the cars. I like the old font better, but whatever.  It does not matter.

In terms of the U.S. Open, it's interesting you mention that because I work for IBM and we are the technology sponsor. We do all the behind-the-scenes stuff and its fun for it to be local.

I want to thank a member of staff, Chris Haw, and the enforcement they rendered to a project. Unfortunately, this Commission twice approved a massage use and unfortunately this business chose not to follow the appropriate practices.  Enforcement has been taken against that location and I would like to thank staff for looking into it. I noticed they were in violation of our conditions just on the window screening and the fact that you could not just walked in. Then I looked on Yelp and there were reviews that they only saw men. So again, I would like to thank staff.  It is unfortunate that this case turned out like this.  It was a good lesson learned.

I think Commissioner Wu is going to bring up the issue involving the Building Code and I will be interested to hear what she suggests regarding a hearing on that.

Commissioner Miguel:

My wife and I just returned from two weeks in Germany. By the way, there is a lot of graffiti there as well. The one thing that was totally missing was any accommodation for the disabled. There is virtually no what we call ADA Regulations there, at least in Dresden, Berlin, and Munich.  The cobblestone streets make it extremely difficult for anyone with a wheelchair or a walker or even with a cane or just anyone who has difficulty walking to get around. So sometimes we rail at the regulations we are forced to put up with here in the United States and in California and in San Francisco, but when you see the difference in other areas of the world, you realize that perhaps we are quite progressive in that regard.  And another thing, Berlin and Munich are flat, there are a couple of slopes but there are no hills.  They have a tremendous bike usage and from talking to those who lived there for some time, it is greatly increasing the dismay of cabdrivers. But they do a very good job, once you get used to it, of designating their bike paths. Pedestrians do not walk on those paths. Sometimes they are part of the street. Sometimes they are part of the wide sidewalk. They are relatively well designated either by color or marking and people observe them quite well. Since that type of thing is coming to us, it was very interesting to see how I got along with it.  For the comments we get from time to time here regarding large construction projects and public construction projects, the public works starts there at 6 in the morning. It goes on to whenever they happen to stop at night. They blocked the streets and allowed only one lane of traffic. There is no one directing anyone. We may complain about how things are here, but we actually handle many of them quite well.

Commissioner Wu:

Yesterday, I attended the Student Housing Meeting that the Department put on following the conversation we had as a Commission about the Student Housing Legislation. It's good to see all of the stakeholders working toward a compromise. Related but separate, as Commissioner Borden pointed out, there is legislation going through the Board of Supervisors right now about the size requirements of efficiencies. It originally went through the DBI Commission and I asked staff to look for the best forum for getting information about that legislation and  whether it relates to larger moves around density or has any impact on conversion, either incentivizing or not.





5.         Director’s Announcements


Director Rahaim:

I am going to talk regarding the meetings that Commissioner Wu mentioned. We were excited to have the conclusion of the meeting with the Chinatown Commission and it was a very broad range of community support on an interesting project. As usual, what we find on these projects is that the possibility of getting funding increases when the planning work is done up front. We think there is a real possibility of this getting funded. On the housing legislation: we convened a meeting of about 25 stakeholders or so. It was a very productive meeting and it did help us to get closer to a recommendation and we will be prepared to have a recommendation on the 21st, which is the date we have scheduled for that legislation. This meeting gave us enough information and positions of a range of people to formulate a recommendation. We think there will be work to do after this legislation is done, but we have a fairly strong agreement that the next phase of the legislation should move forward.

I just want to highlight a couple of the meetings in the written Directors' Report: Next Wednesday, we will be having the latest public meeting on the Central Corridor Plan where we hope to present a range of alternatives that we would like to study. We are proceeding into that phase of the planning effort. Saturday, the 23rd, we will be hosting a meeting with our partners on the Green Connection Study. This will be a walk through that part of town to look at alleyways, gardens and those kinds of things.


6.       Review of Past Week’s Events at the Board of Supervisors, Board of Appeals, and Historic Preservation Commission.



  • 8 Washington.  The proposal is to demolish the existing Golden Gateway Swim and Tennis Club and the existing surface parking lot on Seawall 351, and construct a new health club, residential buildings ranging from four to twelve stores in height containing 134 dwelling units, ground-floor retail uses totaling approximately 20,000 square feet, and 382 off-street parking spaces.  In May the Board certified the EIR and upheld the CU authorization by a 8-3 vote. This week, the Land Use Committee considered two Ordinances: a General Plan and a Zoning Amendment—both of which would allow for additional height on a portion of the property.  Board President Chiu joined the Committee for this item.  He questioned staff on the height change asking why the height was being related to the Downtown buildings and not the 40’ residential buildings.  Staff replied that the height proposal related to both heights and provided a transition between the two districts.  Supervisor Mar, Chair of the Committee, stated that he would like to see reduced parking.  While there were close to 30 speakers, the hearing was much shorter than the appeal and the majority of the speakers were in support of the Ordinances.  At Board President Chiu’s request, the item was referred out of Committee without Recommendation. 
  • On Wed- the Budget Committee heard items related to 8 Washington.  Planning did not attend this hearing as the Port was the staffing agency for the City at this hearing.  This Committee heard Ordinances concerning  the Trust Exchange Agreement and the Infrastructure Finance District or IFD. At this hearing, Supervisor Kim stated that she would like to see a 20% reduction in accessory parking (reducing about 50 of the 255 accessory spaces); she also stated that she would like to see a parking surcharge fee like that applied to Citiplace parking to provide for transportation improvements in the area; lastly she requested more public benefits, including use of the swimming pool by SF youth.  Chair Carmen Chu questioned the Infrastructure Finance District split, stating a concern for fair-share of tax income to the City at large.  She also expressed an inclination to ensure that the public benefits were sufficient for the use of this currently public land.  Like at the Land Use Committee, this item was moved to the Full Board without recommendation.  Next Tuesday, the Board is expected to pursue these questions further.
  • Building Code Amendment.  While staff was waiting for the 8 Washington hearing, the Committee heard a Building Code amendment and asked for Planning staff comment.  This Ordinance would amend the building code to reduce the permitted size of an efficiency unit so that the size is consistent with the state requirements.  Chair Mar ask staff if the Planning Commission had considered this.  Staff explained that our practice is to inform this Commission on new Ordinances that are introduced that may pertain to planning or land use issues.  While every Planning Code amendment is scheduled for hearing within 90 days, other items are typically only scheduled at the request of the Commission.  In this case, the PC did not hold a hearing.  You may be pleased to know that public speakers at this hearing praised the Commission’s thorough review of Ordinances and lamented that this Ordinance had not been heard.



·         120047 Including Financial Services Within Definition of Formula Retail.   This Commission recommended approval w/o modification of this Ordinance on April 12, 2012[1].  On Tuesday, the Board voted 8-3 to approve of the proposed legislation.   Supervisors Carmen Chu, Farrell and Elsbernd voted against the Ordinance.  Only Supervisor Chu described why she voted against the ordinance.  She explained her no vote as it was her belief that Formula Retail controls were adopted primarily to help out mom and pop stores, and that banks play an important role in communities by proving financial services thought the day to small business and by providing loans to help small businesses.  The Supervisor stated that banks give back to the community through charitable contributions and by taking part in the merchant associations.  With that, the Ordinance was approved on first reading.



·         120624.  Resolution extending by 18 months the prescribed time within which the Planning Commission may render its decision on a Ordinance (File No. 120524) amending the San Francisco Planning Code by: 1) adding new Sections 411A through 411A.11 to establish a new citywide Transportation Sustainability Fee; 2) amending Section 401 to add definitions reflecting these changes.  Mayor, Scott Wiener, Christina Olague.



The Board of Appeals did not meet last night. It was the first meeting without President Garcia and a new election of officers.  Frank Fung was nominated to Vice-President.  There were no planning-related items that would be of interest but we do have items at the meeting on June 20th: an appeal the planning commission approved on 52-58 Mission Street. It is my understanding only the permit for one of them has been issued. That has been appealed and is scheduled for hearing on June 20th. The 4200 block was recently appealed as well.

I will be out of the office for the next couple of weeks. Dan Sider will be acting ZA while I am away.



I'm here to share the outcome of yesterday's Historic Preservation Commission hearing. The Commission wrapped up its comment on the Transit Center District Plan and a then recommended approval of the expansion of the New Montgomery-Second Conservation District and with that the reclassification of 43 properties as part of the overall plan. Based on a request by a property owner, they did recommend changing the category of that property to a category one-significant building. They also provided review and comment on the overall plan itself, voting unanimously in support of the plan with a comment to revise the height of an overlooked parcel sandwiched in between the Transbay terminal and the Conservation District. They recommended the zone might be reduced to 150 feet. They also reviewed and approved two requests for Certificates of Appropriateness. Both projects involved exterior operations found to be compatible with the district and in conformance with the Secretary of Interior's standards. The architect for the Telegraph Hill project was commended for their community outreach efforts. The Commission also continued its review for a request for a certificate for the interior and exterior rehabilitation of the veterans building located across the street. The item was continued after a good deal of public testimony and opposition of the project and a failed motion to approve. The City Attorney's Office is to provide more information on the ownership and review the authority under the overview of trustees as well as additional information for the building's historic use for veterans.


7.                                                                                 `                     (K. GUY: (415) 558-6163)

            1601 Larkin Street - Informational Item Updating the Commission on Current Project Design and Structural Report for Existing Building: The proposed project would demolish an existing vacant church structure and surface parking lot at the northwest corner of Larkin and Clay Streets and construct a new six-story over basement building containing 27 dwelling units and 29 off-street parking spaces. On June 24, 2010, the Commission disapproved a Conditional Use authorization for a proposed project on this site. The design of the project has now been modified."


SPEAKERS:     Ian Bunchal, Frank Cannota, Michael, Dawn Tremont, Linda Chapman, John Macnerny - Owner, Gordon Egan

            ACTION:           Information only. No action



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:     Linda Chapman; Re:  CEQA


E.                  REGULAR CALENDAR 


8.         2012.0352T                                                                 (K. HADDADAN: (415) 575-9068)

AMENDMENTS FOR REQUIREMENTS ON PRIVATELY-OWNED OPEN SPACES SIGNAGE - The proposed Ordinance would initiate amendments to the San Francisco Planning Code by 1) amending Sections 135(h)(4), 135.3(g), and 138 (i) to impose additional signage requirements for privately owned publicly-accessible open spaces; 2) amending Section 603(k) to make a conforming amendment; and 3) making environmental findings, Planning Code Section 302 findings, and findings of consistency with General Plan and Planning Code Section 101.1.

                        Preliminary Recommendation:  Approval with modifications


SPEAKERS:     Judson True – Supervisor Chiu’s Office, Mark Marino, George Williams – SPUR, Sue Hester

ACTION:           Approved per staff recommendations and suggestions by Commissioners made today

AYES:             Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya

ABSENT:          Moore

            RESOLUTION:   18641


            9.         2008.0762M                                                               (R. CRAWFORD: (415) 558-6358)

835-845 Jackson Street - south side between Powell and Stockton Streets, Lot 041 of Assessor's Block 0192 - Consideration of a Resolution of Intent to Initiate Amendments to Policy 1.2 and "Map 1 – Generalized Height Plan" within the Chinatown Area Plan.  The requested action is associated with Chinese Hospital Replacement project to demolish the existing Medical Office Building and construct a new seven-story hospital building.  The project lies within the CRNC, Chinatown Residential Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District, and a 65-N Height and Bulk District

Preliminary Recommendation:  Initiate General Plan Amendments.


SPEAKERS:     None

ACTION:           Approved initiation

AYES:             Fong, Wu, Antonini, Borden, Miguel, Sugaya

ABSENT:          Moore

            RESOLUTION:   18642




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))




Adjournment: 3:28 PM


Adopted:  July 19, 2012 with corrections to item 3, 6/7/12 Regular Meeting Draft Minutes; page 3; Commission Comments/Questions; under Commissioner Antonini; comments were corrected to read:  “My 2-year-old granddaughter even noticed the keys of the xylophone were missing.”; and under Commissioner Borden; comments were corrected to read:  “I want to thank a member of staff, Chris Haw, and the enforcement they rendered to a project.”



[1] with a 5-1 vote (Fong was absent and Antonini voted no)

Last updated: 7/24/2012 8:42:23 AM