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tv   [untitled]    October 8, 2011 1:00am-1:30am PDT

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request that you deny the application and approve the plan as submitted. president olague: sorry about that. you were able to complete your five minutes. we have two speaker cards. heidi and roger in favor of the project sponsor. >> i would like to state that i support this plan. and i support the tree removal, because the bloc is a very beautiful bloc and this will simply enhance the look and feel of that neighborhood. i also think that based on everything i know about the project and all of the support
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that they received, they have gone through every step that they can possibly go through to comply with everything that the city has asked. i do think this is a frivolous requests, and it is wasting our precious time and resources. i request is that you please deny the request and allow the project to proceed as has been submitted. >> my name is roger, i owned a couple of houses on the block in question. they are just two or three doors removed from the property. i have one of my houses with garages is on the lower side of the lot, here is the second
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house right next door, also the same position. i can recall when the house was built, there were 4 trees removed from the front of a lot. it was only replaced with one tree. when he talked about for trees of character, there used to be six trees. these people here are just trying to get a broad -- a garage. he was allowed to only replace one tree, a palm tree. if we are talking about neighborhood character, they are trying to maintain neighborhood character where as his was completely out of neighborhood character. when friends come over, they say while, you have a greek orthodox church in the middle of the block. the mean if as a joke, and it is no slight on any of our greek orthodox brothers.
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but that is what it looks like. i am just saying, it seems that he has one standard for his neighbor and another for himself. i am asking you to approve this project so we can get on with our lives here. i am sure that he is just using this process to harass his neighbors because he has taken them to the board of appeals twice and he will take them on this, i am sure. most people in the neighborhood would support this project. president olague: additional speakers in support of the project sponsor? seeing none, d.r. requestor you , you have two minutews for rebuttal. >> i think the neighborhood
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association is well respected and has people that have the concern of the community at heart. they strongly recommended that we explore options for saving what they deem to be a significant landscape, if the trees were removed, a serious error. the report attached to the packet is a very extensive. he specified that the amount of room to fall that was required to save the juniper and he felt that it was perfectly adequate and specified that in conjunction. and also, the 12 inch increase is not unreasonable if it allows the saving of both the juniper and the street tree and retains the landscape intact
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rather than a very small or replacement of 3 immediately adjacent to the front of the house. i would request that you do what is possible to change the driveway to accommodate these existing trees. president olague: project sponsor, you have two minutes. >> there was a discussion in a previous hearing about the facts and opinions. i wanted to share 4 fax with you. this is from the executive director of the san francisco board of appeals. it says when this was upheld, that decision is final and cannot be revisited. i am actually questioning why we are talking about the tree here
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today. maybe there is a little bit of schizophrenia because this is a letter from them saying that they support our tree removal permits and acknowledge its. third, a letter from the department of public works and bureau of urban forestry saying that the extent of the truth is so large that wherever we place it on our property, the tree would not survive, and the last, this is a rather long her statement from the department of public works urban forestry, refusing the supposition that there is a grove of trees on which it is a major part. it says, i strongly rebuked the arborist's assertion. these trees are independent.
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what i showed you, and exactly the same places, we request that you do not use the discretionary review and approve our plans. president olague: the public hearing is closed. commissioner miguel: i took a look at this property over the weekend. that is not a grove of trees. they are for trees that are not magnificent. the juniper has no relationship to the street trees. it has a relationship to the houses if it has a relationship to anything. this is moot. it is settled and not before us in my estimation. there is no question that the neighborhood character is in the
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position that it has been submitted by the applicant, it is totally consistent with the neighborhood. anything else would be inconsistent, including having to raise the retaining wall, and i move we do not take d.r. this should never have been before us. commissioner borden: i would have to say the same thing. i was confused, because once they have the permit, it doesn't matter what we do because they can still remove the three. it is actually a moot point, there is not anything to be done. i always think it would be great to save a tree, in this case, it doesn't make sense to put it on the upward sloping portion. it probably requires more excavation and as more of a danger to the neighborhood streets and the trees having it
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on the upward portion of that retaining wall. just from a technical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to put the garage there. there is a reason why they put them on the downward sloping parts of the lot. what concerns me is that there is a history of conflict a route of this situation. i think what is difficult for us, is that people use all the different processes to keep an issue going in circles, and for me, it is sending a little bit of a message. once something has been decided in another form, something we can't overturn, it seems fruitless to continue the process of spending city resources going around and trying to make it not happen. no applause from the audience. people use multiple processes to try to get around an issue when they don't feel like they have gotten the satisfaction that they want, and i want to
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encourage members of the public not to do that. there are other forms when it is appropriate to work out your differences with your neighbors, but the planning commission should not be that place. commissioner antonini: i agree with the commissioners. i went out there and took a walk. it is a pretty steep street. as you go further up the hill, the amount of excavation becomes almost geometrically more the higher up the hill you get. it would seem as though this is the wiser choice. there was some mention made of the tree on private property which i don't believe we have jurisdiction over any way. it is also on the property of 1577 sanchez. the city can monitor street trees, but not trees on private
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property. maybe they can, i am not sure. in any case, there are replacing the tree that is taking out, and i am not sure how far along they are. a small tree is sometimes better, especially on that steep uphill. i am in favor of what has been proposed. president olague: it is a beautiful tree, but the determination is that regardless of which side it would be impacted or effective, they will be replacing it and there will be a tree there. i can see why someone might limit the loss of the tree, it was a beautiful tree. >> on the motion. commissioner antonini: aye. commissioner borden: aye. commissioner borfong: aye.
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commissioner moore: aye. commissioner sugaya: aye. commissioner miguel: aye. president olague: aye. >> it passes unanimously. you're on the final calendar item. mandatory staff initiated requests for discretionary review. >> you have before you a mandatory staff initiative request for discretionary review of a building permit to proposing to convert a ground- floor dwelling into commercial space and merging with adjacent commercial property that was formerly occupied. this new space will be approximately 1000 square feet and occupied by an indoor children's play facility to be known as the little lounge. the project for the conversion
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of a dwelling unit to a commercial space. the subject property located on the southwest corner within the twenty fourth street neighborhood commercial district. the subject of growing at the ground floor on the southeast corner of the building is approximately 500 square feet and comprised of two rooms. it has received no opposition to this request. the department is recommending to not take it and approve the project as proposed. the code encourages ground for commercial uses within the district and the property is located adjacent to the south. the project will be owned and operated by the neighborhood residents. it is not currently available in the district. it would provide service sector employment opportunities for five individuals.
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the project would of bring the property closer to performance with dakota and it will eliminate a vacant dwellings that is not particularly desirable due to the lack of light and the ground floor location. that concludes my presentation. president olague: project sponsor? >> my name -- i am here to support the project sponsor. earlier, when we started the project, she wanted to use the ground floor space for her own business. she saw a need for a children's activities center, having a 4- year-old herself, a safe
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environment where they can exercise, play, learn a social life. it would not be a day care where children will be dropped off, each child accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver. they can take a break, relax, and to socialize and feeling safe that their child as jumping, running off energy, or having fun with that a secure setting that can be monitored. i thought it was a wonderful idea. during the months that i worked at the site, i saw many families with children. basically, we got a lot of foot traffic as people had towards the park on twenty fourth street. sometimes people would stop and ask what we were doing. and when we told them, they were very happy, looking forward to having something find in the neighborhood and occupied as vacant corner.
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when i first saw the space, it was dark, narrow, and a small. a lot of store front windows were painted over. it was not nearly big enough for what she wanted to do. what if we expanded into the next space? it is already empty and it is 600 square feet, dark and narrow also. but it had a small bathroom and a room in the back home i cannot recall the bedroom as it did not have an escape window. the studio unit with the legal sleeping room would be right off the street. not really desirable or conforming with the street pattern when most of the living units are above the ground. the unit was vacant and of that run down when they bought the building. there are already five other
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living units above. it will bring it more in conformity to city planning code. based on the area, there should only be for residential units which are allowed. they considered legal nonconforming units. removing one will actually bring it more in conformity to the planning code. combining the side-by-side aerospace will give us a square feet which gives a functional large square room to work with. the best part about it is to have 13 feet 9 inches existing ceiling height that will make both spaces one level with the false ceiling height of 13 feet 9 inches, plenty of jumping and climbing room to work with. we will have full handicap accessibility. we'll have a handicap bathroom with in the lounge, a secure
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clear path of travel to the front door, fully handicapped accessible. we're working with engineers to design a steel beam with strong walls, or maybe we will provide a way to make it seismically safe. we will be opening of the store front wherever we can so people can see immediately what we are all about just by passing by. we probe won't need a flashy advertisements. we haven't decided on science yet, but something civil -- simple and clever will probably suffice. we're here with the section 317, mandatory staff initiated discretionary review for removal of a dwelling unit. so far, we have not heard one complaint or objection, only support about that.
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we are here as you know to see if there are any latent objections. we hope not. if there are, we wish we would have heard from them earlier so we can address the concerns. i believe it will be good for the neighborhood and restore some vibrancy to this lot. i am confident it will be successful and confident it will continue to thrive once it is implemented. please approve our project. president olague: kim lekouvitz? >> good evening, commissioners. my husband and i own the building as well as the visionary behind the little lounge. i have been living there for four years, and when the building became on the market, i
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thought, what a wonderful place to open up a place setter. i often show her over to discover the museums and golden gate park. there is really know where nearby within walking distance. if you're familiar, and there are quite a bit of families living there. people like to joke that twenty fourth street has more strollers than cars. i thought it would be a good opportunity to have a place center where instead of driving somewhere to bring your children, you can just walk there, and also a good place for families in the neighborhood because of the way the school districts are, we don't have many opportunities except for play dates to get together with other children and get to know families. that was the other reason for the idea. after we purchased the building,
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i have been working with lisa, my contractor, to see how we can best utilize the space. i ask that you allow me to use the adjacent space to come by the space that we can have a bigger room and have different sections for the kids to play with. i have some ideas on what to do with it, but what i would like to do is ask the neighbors to find out how many children are in the neighborhood, what their age is, what time of day they come out to play. initially, i will probably open it up from 8:00 to 12:00 to see how how much interested there is, and continue to grow the business, get feedback from the community. i put down here some ideas about
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admissions, but that is just doing market research. i want to make it affordable, so this is not going to be like a place of center where you need to have a yearlong membership. that is why i mention things like paying on a daily basis, discounts for half days and so forth. i want to consider the neighborhood that the people live -- as far as the people that come down from the mission , there are a lot of care givers. i am sure people from home mission and other neighborhoods -- [chime] president olague: thank you. is there additional public comment? public comment is closed. commissioner borden: everybody knows it is a great neighborhood with families and it seems like
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a compatible use. i have been to peek-a-doodle. there needs to be more. my friends complain that there aren't enough places to have birthday parties and so i moved to approved. commissioner antonini: i am very much in support of this, i think it is mentioned that developing communities arkin very -- are very important. they have to go to school places other than the neighborhood, having this opportunity is important. i am very much in favor of it. commissioner moore: are there any licensing requirements? are there any children assembly rules for providing the right to guidance for something that think we all support? >> this is not going to function
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as a normal child care facility. the parents will remain on the premises, so is not going to be functioning like a licensed child-care facility. you will be there lounging along with the trial. there is an area, correct me if i am wrong, an area where the children play and will probably have internet or whatever, the parents can relax with their children. it will be a little different concept. commissioner fongmoore: [talking over each other] >> it led to be determined through the building code and fire code that they comply with all of the requirements. >> on that motion to approve the project as proposed a commissioner antonini:? -- proposed?
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[roll call vote] president olague: here. i mean, aye. [laughter] >> it passes unanimously. the final item on your agenda is public comment. i have no speaker cards and i don't see anyone in the audience. president olague: does anyone wish to speak on items that were not on the agenda. public comment is closed and the meeting is adjourned. we adjourned and the memory of scott dowdy. >> thank you.
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>> so thank you. i want to welcome everyone to a very exciting announcement around a pilot project we are kicking off today. and i also want to welcome everyone to one of the most parking challenged neighborhoods in san francisco, russian hill. i think it is well known that i do not own a car for good reason. but one thing i do want to mention is i used to live on russian hill. i actually did own a car for six months. it was a miserable experience. not just the cost of car ownership and gas and insurance and repairs, but every single night i had to spend half an hour looking for parking and when i didn't do a good job of parking, sfmta provided me with a ticket. so it was a very exciting moment when about two years ago, then city add vater -- administrator ed lee and i had a conversation with the c.e.o. of car share about what we could do to expand car share in the neighborhood that is incredibly defense and that does not have the parking
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lots and the garages where city car share and zip car often put their cars. we know we have very challenged streets when it comes to transits. everyone who rides a car, anyone who tries to take a bus, tries to catch a cab knows the challenges we have in these very dense neighborhoods. so the thought of expanding car sharing, which you will hear often takes anywhere from 10 to 15 cars off the streets, was something that we wanted to try here on russian hill. my office worked with several russian hill neighborhood associations to suggest places on our streets for car sharing to become a reality. i want to thank mayor lee for his commitment literally now almost two years ago to work with my office, the sfmta, city administrator's office to really figure out how we can roll out this new and exciting pilot project. and you're going to hear more about these details but the thing i will say in conclusion
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is with the city family coming together, we're going to provide another transit option for all of san francisco to hopefully bring us closer to our vision of a transit first city. with that i would like to welcome mayor lee to russian hill and welcome mayor lee has been a champion for car sharing and obviously making sure we have a transit first city. and i would like to invite him to say a few words. >> good morning. thank you, president chiu. yes, it was over two years ago where we began this conversation. but it also began with our own city fleet. and we were talking with city car share and zip car about how we can share vehicles and reduce carbon emissions and all of those great goals that mayor gavin newsome had announced that we wanted to really do enthusiastically. so if you see right in front of city hall the example that we gave everybody, the green car showcase, that began with our effort to signal that


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