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tv   [untitled]    September 20, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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keep going. commissioners, you are now on item number 16, 2012 .0206c, 2299 market street. >> good afternoon, president fong, michael smith, planning department staff, you have before you a conditional use request for formula retail use and financial use for a bank at 2299 market street showing business as bank of the west, this would be their first branch in the upper market neighborhood and they would be offering normal banking services in the neighborhood, it is locating in a new store front of a building on the corner of market and 16th
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street and noe, there are 15 existing banks including sterling bank, wills fargo, there were 9 ground floor vacancies within the commercial district and [inaudible] within the district. the project originally scheduled for june, but was continued indefinitely to allow the sponsor to address neighborhood concerns. the department struggled with the project for the same reasons. the sponsor has reach -- reach add compromise, the agreement would add two conditions, there are two letters from the two neighborhood associations in
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the area, i just received it this week so they're not included in your packet, is third page are the two additional conditions, the project sponsor is amenable to these conditions, they would be fronting on noe street, it calls for no formula retail uses within these three spaces for a period of five years and it has to do with the signage for the bank as well. once again, the project sponsor is amenable to these conditions being added to the motion before you. at this time, the department is supporting the project, and we are recommending approval with conditions, it would not dislocate neighborhood use, we did get compliments with the mixed of use in the neighborhood and would result
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in three small store fronts and please note that the department's recommendation does not include support of the conditional use authorization for use size, this recommendation was made before the agreement was in place earlier this week, so if you should decide to grant this for use size, we can make an intent and the motion would have to come before you at a later date. this concludes my presentation and i'm available for any questions or comments. >> thank you. project sponsor. >> good afternoon, president fong, members of the commission, i'm jim ruben and we're representing bank of the west. the project as you have already learned is a bank of the west branch to go in a building that is under construction now probably to be completed siem
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-- sometime in the first quarter, the hearing on this was originally scheduled to be june, this june, and now there have been multiple meetings between bank of the west, personnel directly, i was not involved in them and the neighborhood groups, they are here, i assume that they'll be speaking, those series of discussions culminated in a meeting that was held last week, it wasn't the first one but it was the final out. we did hammer out what i think is an agreement, there is one issue that i will address in a minute. because it took so long, we're also now as you heard subject to the finance services conditional use so what we need is a conditional use for a retail location over 3 thousand feet, we need a conditional use for the financial services and we need a formula retail, so what i would like to do since
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the staff recommendation may have been moderated right now but the staff recommendation was not to allow the larger size, i think what i heard is maybe they're okay with it but nevertheless, i think i would like to show you what that issue is. here is -- let's do it like this, it's probably best. a ground floor plan of the building that is under construction and what you've got right here is market street that is diagonal, and the rest of this gray area including this right here is the store front. the neighborhood commercial district conditional use authorization that imposes the 3 thousand foot limitation is almost always i would say 99% of the time imposed on retail stores that are chalk a block down a block, they're rectangular spaces, there are
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clear spans where you can adequately and efficiently program the entire space and get 3 thousand usable feet. it doesn't take much to look at this space and realize that it is not a rectangular space, it doesn't have clearer spans, these are structural elements that come straight down through the location, there's a dog lake in the back that makes it difficult to program and this space we recently agreed with the neighborhood organizations to set aside and i'll talk about that in a minute but it strikes me that if there is ever a justification for a conditional use, the 3 thousand foot limitation in a neighborhood commercial district, this is it, so -- and i hope that you will also see that. the rest of the detail is that we have agreed voluntarily, but we have agreed with the neighborhood organizations to
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set aside three spaces that are shown right here that are to be leased for retail use, although formula retail is already subject to a conditional use authorization requirement, we've agreed to not seek a conditional use authorization for formula retail for five years and that's also a voluntary agreement, what we apparently don't have agreement is when the five years started. when we met in supervisor wiener's office, it was my feeling that those five years would start today if you approve our location because just like the bank of the west has already leased their location, we are going be out leasing as soon as we know that those spaces are available and that's going to start tomorrow, and we're going to do everything that we can to prelease to non-formula tenants, the neighborhood groups have suggested that the
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time should start at the conditional certificate of occupancy which will be sometime in the future, five years is a long time, five years from today is a long time, it's not at the end of the five years that we're freed up to do whatever we want. we still have the conditional use requirement so they will be able to assuming they're not happy with the tenants we proposed to come here, so as opposed to the certificate of occupancy, there's many buildings in san francisco that never got a certificate of occupancy, you get a temporary certificate of occupancy, you can take occupancy of the building with a temporary certificate, there will be conditions and sometimes those conditions take another year to get the work done, so in fairness, and i think this is something that you're going to have to decide because i'm assuming you'll hear pr the neighborhood groups that they
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prefer to start later rather than sooner. >> [inaudible] president of dtna and initially, dtna was opposed to this project based on the size request and through negotiations with the bank, they modified their plan to create three small spaces which can be used as two spaces if
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need be. so, we felt that these spaces would service the smaller business community as opposed to one big large space on the side of the building which they had originally proposed, so we agree and support their request for the increased size to 3279 square feet if they comply with the conditions that we agreed to. those conditions mean the five year period of not seeking any formula retail in those spaces and that they would work with dtna and come back to the planning commission for oversight on external and internal signage. we asked that the five year period time start from the
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certificate of final occupancy and that's when it would be activated. in the event for whatever reason, construction is delayed, something happens, the building is not finished for an unspecified time. we are stuck with an agreement that could be pushed out for an unlimited time, so that's why we are requesting the certificate of final occupancy be the day that this is activated. our concerns around the signage, if you consider that the upper market corridor is posed for 64 thousand square feet of new ground floor retail space in the next four years, we open ourselves for what i'm going to call the market street strip, we could have
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signage that becomes a billboard for formula retail that overshadows the residential and livability of the neighborhood. we want to make sure that we have a neighborhood where people want to come and visit, people want to live and people that are interested in the neighborhood, therefore bank of the west has had some difficulty in finalizing their signage, what they initially proposed to us were two signs, 1-24 foot sign on 16th and another large sign at the corner of 16th market and noe. we felt that those signs they presented were not within the guidelines of the upper market design district and which are to promote moderate scale development and to contribute to the market design -- to
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contribute to market design and character of the neighborhood. we thought the signage was excessive, they agreed that they hadn't worked it out so we are asking that the commission put in the condition that an agreement be reached between the neighborhood and the bank and that we come back for your oversight. thank you. >> so, i'm judith, i'm representing castro evna, i'm the chair of our planning committee. upper market is kind of a dividing line or a border between the neighborhood
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association with castro evna, neighborhood association, so we have an equal interest on what happens on upper market, but dtna took the lead on this and we had agreed to support what the result of the negotiations were, so i would just like to address the question of when the -- so, originally, they were also very opposed to even having a bank on the corner there because of wanting to have a very active pedestrian activity area right on that corner which is a three-way intersection and a bank didn't seem to add very much to the
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mix there, but we agreed not to oppose and if a negotiation could result in an agreement. so, addressing the question of when the five-year period during which time the project sponsors would agree not to rent to formula retail, when that would begin, we strongly feel it should begin at the time of the certificate of final occupancy when the bank west takes occupancy of the whole space. this doesn't prevent them from being able to start to lease it immediately as soon as they have approval of the project but if there's any delay, then if it starts at the date of the hearing, the clock starts clicking for us and that time
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could run out or a lot of it could run out and by the time the occupancy begins of these retail -- small retail spaces, there could be maybe only two years left, so we think it makes more sense to start with the certificate of occupancy. i have one more important thing to say and that is that we also strongly want the signage issue to come back before you for final approval rather than just leaving it in the planning department for final approval, so we ask for those two differences in the agreement and we will support the project, thank you very much. >> any additional public comment? okay, public comment portion is closed. commissioner borden? >> i want the issue addressed
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about the signage, as i understand it, we can't -- signage is standard in the code and we don't have a lot of discretion around the signage. in terms of your issue of the clock, i think it's important the clock is tied to occupancy and one of the things we could use, the temporary, the first temporary certificate of occupancy, that would be -- because sometimes it is true, people don't get a certificate of occupancy even though they're supposed to, they would be occupying the space with the certificate of temporary occupancy and the clock would start at that point when the bank was using the space, if the clock runs out and the bank goes in, then formula retail would come in later. in supporting the community's
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desire to see these spaces, the local merchants and if there's an opportunity for that to happen, i would support that and with it coming with a certificate of temporary occupancy and then address the signage? >> commissioner, signs are one part of the code that are non-discretionary, if they meet the size and height requirements, there is no discretionary action, you could require that they simply share with you the final sign design or final agreement, there is no discretion that you have or frankly that the department has on the actual design of signage. if it is code compliant, we have to approve it because of first amendment issues. >> commissioner ant onini? >> yes, this is going to be a nice addition,.
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we'll have more tenants in there because we'll presumably have the three, local retail and then the bank and this is from my understanding a small san francisco bay bank, on the issues that are before us, i'm fine with the larger size which everybody seems to be fine with the 3300 square feet and the signage issue again, it depends on what we're allowed to do because we heard we may not have as much authority over that. if we need some more information or lookback or something that comes back to us if that's allowed, that's fine, the project could move forward except the signage issue, we may have to look at the sign again, i don't know what we're allowed to do on the sign issue, i will need some advice on that and finally on the timing, i think commissioner
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borden's suggestion is probably fine, the other possibility is when the spaces are actually leased, they presumably would correspond with the initial temporary occupancy because one would assume that -- but it may be the tenants are found and paying their leases ahead of time which could be months before they're occupying but i'm willing to go along with whatever the commission feels is the best way, but i think final occupancy sounds difficult to me and i think probably whenever there is some activity and there is a time when you can certainly do it, i would be fine with starting it today too but it sounds like the consensus is most people would want there to be an actual tenant that has been taken off the lease. with the number of vacancies in the area, it might be a
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challenge but i'm sure you'll be able to find some tenants who will occupy it. >> commissioner sugaya? >> yes. i'd like to have the department start looking at the sign ordinance. i don't think that you're saying we can't control signs because of the amendment, it's just that i know we can't control signs probably in terms of what they say or something like that, but size and placement and that kind of stuff is -- >> basically what you can control -- you can control anything that can be measured quantitatively so height and size, you can't control the visual aspects or what it say ts, in other words, there can't be any discretionary action on the design of the sign, only the hiekt and the size of the sign of this specific location that the code controls. >> this is coming up more and more, it's not just upper market, we're having potential
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retail activity, it's also i think as commissioner moore has pointed out in past meetings beginning to happen on market street and also on california, on the c-3 areas whereas before, it seems like companies that were in those, especially in the downtown seem to have, i don't know how to put it, more respect or whatever for the type of signage they were putting up, but now we have, you know, other companies that are coming in who seem to think they can put signs everywhere on the exterior so i think it's becoming more of an issue and if we can't directly address it this afternoon, then i think we need to start a process in looking at what's currently in the code. with that said, can we also
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then -- the city attorney isn't here, but the neighborhood association has asked for two conditions, one, the signage thing which we're saying we'd be glad to have it come back and look at it but we can't do anything about it which is the same thing that happened with verizon that ticked everybody off in the neighborhood because we had thought that part of the sign which i think got bigger was supposed to be within the dimension that was clearly in a photograph that was -- that we saw in the area and i think it got bigger or something, but in any case, i think that's something that is troubling people, i understand we can't take any action but maybe we can have some kind of memo or drawing or something that we
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can see, but we can't make it a condition. the other thing with respect to the space, i understand that we can approve the project with the 3200 square feet and the configuration, we'd have to make that condition or are we approving the plan on that basis? >> because the motion was written, i'm sorry, i believe i can answer that, the motion was written -- we recommended less than 3 thousand square feet, if you want to recommend more than 3 thousand, it would have to come back to you with a revised motion. >> and can we include the neighborhood's concern about the division in the front? >> yeah, i would think you could do that today, add those conditions. >> so, we can take the intent along those lines, and i think you're agreeable to that as you present it?
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i just wanted to make sure we could do all of that >> neighborhood council had a request for you to come to an agreement with the neighborhood, you can ask them to continue to consult with the neighborhood, you can't require they come to an agreement. >> right. >> commissioner moore? >> i want to make a comment about the signage. as we're struggling to approve a contemporary residential building in the market of the adjoining neighborhood, we have long discussions about an appropriate architecture and we found an answer to find a building which is generally acceptable, the finance as far as i can tell, it takes us all the way back to something which on its own i find not approvably, the designer comes from offices in dallas, san antonio, somewhere in vista,
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california, wherever that is, somewhere in an unknown city and kentucky, is signage designer may have never seen the building and we're sticking something on this building that doesn't havebullying to do with what we're trying to do here and the commission is starting a policy discussion with the department but also in response to a push back to formula retail. when i see this, i'm sorry, i'm having a hard time, the bank is only recognizable [inaudible] the bank of the west is apparently a non-brand, but to also bring that in this manner on the facade of a contemporary building which is supposed to bring a new context in a newer neighborhood, i think it brings into question our attempts to approve sensitive buildings of sensible subdivision of buildings and if the neighborhood has found a way to
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agree on the larger size than what we normally allow and find a reasonable division for adding smaller retail, then i think the signage issue should still be within the control of this commission, at least advisory to the effect that an insensitive branding is unacceptable and i think it's basically, here i am, i got my space, here's my bear. i expect that the commission will find a way to guide the [inaudible] and in support of small retail which is a big issue for me, i would believe that the certificate of occupancy would be the trigger date for five years. in comparison to large formula retail, the smaller use has a much harder time moving into this type of a building and
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that's why i think giving them at least a clear five year [inaudible] like a formula retail bank is a fair way for getting everyone in. >> commissioner hillis? >> so, thank you to the neighbors and the project sponsors, i think you reach add good conclusion here to divide the space into three retail spaces, that's key, and not having one large retail space, i'm supportive of commissioner borden's request and the proposed conditions that the signage be reviewed by planning, i don't have any negative feelings about the bear, i think it's cute, so i would support the amendments with the proposal with the change that started, with the
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five years. >> just for a point of clarification, for which commercial space, is it the larger or the smaller one? >> the bank of the west. >> commissioner antonini? >> i would be okay with the motion and if we're talking about the temporary occupancy, okay. as far as the signage, you know, just because -- maybe these designers are okay even though they came from louisville or a number of other places, they have some offices in san antonio too, i haven't seen too much signage, as far as the bear, this is their logo, and you know, there's the question of how large the letters are, are they done tastefully, this is a bear represented tastefully, years ago, i think it's been

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