tv [untitled] October 22, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PDT
president olague: thank you. if you are still here, we have -- we may have questions for you. >> thank you. sorry to be long winded. >> hello, commissioners. my name is carolyn. we represent priority parking. a priority parking operates various surface parking lots. we and other members of the parking association strongly object to the proposed elimination of the longstanding provision under section 184 that allows for the continued operation of parking lots that are grandfathered from the downtown plan when it was passed in the 1980's. those parking lots have then an illegal operation over 25 years, and that includes -- have been under legal operation over 25 years. they will be negatively affected
by this proposed legislation. i have a letter here from nordstrom to supervisor chiu that i want to share with you. the interested parties also strong not object to the potential retroactive application -- strongly object to the potential retroactive application of this legislation. bumembers of the parking association have been in touch with supervisor chu's office about this, and it is clear this has not been well thought out or analyzed. for example, there would likely be an enormous loss of tax revenue, and we are wondering if that has been checked with mta. we also question if there has been look at the transportation impact, particularly with the
loss of these parking lots during the america's cup. that -- we want to be clear that the five-year amortization process does not cause a problem. we think this is a mistake that will cause an undue burden on existing parking lot operators, owners, and businesses. thank you. president olague: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. mark, with a housing developer. i like to speak to some of the housing components of the legislation, which we are in favor of. there is a provision where it inclusionary units would be excluded from the calculations, and this would lead to the production and construction of more inclusionary units. we are consistently looking at new projects, doing analysis, running the performance, and we
would look at you provide the annual fee or the unit site. for a while, it made more sense. now it is tending towards a wash, especially depending on the neighborhood. if this were here and you were able to exclude inclusion era, it would tip the balance and you provide this, and it would directly lead to more units being built. also, leading to conditional use for dwelling units. this has been removed from most of the neighborhood plans that have come up. you still have all sorts of form these controls on height and bulk and open space and dwelling unit exposure. you are getting there any way. removing this removes coming to you and burdening your calendar as well. also, tdr's. right now, sometimes you have to trade within that zone. if you open it up to the entire c-3, you have more projects
being built because the price will go down and it will open the market more, leading to more housing. finally, we do like using the -- moving the one to four parking to one-to-two. >> good afternoon. i am president of the san francisco parking association. how much to speak specifically to a problematic area and this legislation, section 155-g, which has been expanded and requires a mandate, a formula for all parking rates going forward. it takes a daily rate, or an hourly rate, currently at $8, uses a formula requiring that to be multiplied 10 times. it makes the daily rate in dollars, ok? what happens to the parking in san francisco when is $80? it eliminates early bird
parking, of the parking. that effectively makes the monthly rate, if you multiply that times 20 days, that is $1600. this is a nuclear bomb in the parking industry and needs to be stricken from the legislation. i did not know how it got in there, but luckily we found it. people will stop coming when you put rates in place. a balanced transit solution includes cars, buses, cable cars, ferry boats altogether. you cannot discriminate and take one part of that formula and take the rates 10 times and a mandate this. mta was pushing this, we fought that, somehow it ended up in this bill. we request that you take it out, this awful idea. the other piece of this legislation is problematic, section 184, calling for the
closure of parking lots in five years. we met with the city attorney on this. we suggest that you also circled back. we have talked with our lawyers. they say this is not legal. it is a form of condemnation, taking the real estate, and i strongly urge that you take clothes looked -- close look at the legality of this because it is fraud and has lawsuit written all over this. some guy who buys a parking lot to build an apartment building, all of a sudden halfway into his investment is told, by the way, your land banking idea is out? so when you are ready to build whatever your going to build, meantime put a fence around it and your investment is dead in the water? you cannot do that to a property owner, and our attorneys say it will not fly. a few sections, 155-g, the right formula is a disaster, and the closing of parking lots is also
problematic. thank you, commissioners. president olague: thank you. >> good afternoon. i am with the san francisco bicycle collation. i think supervisor chiu for bringing this ordinance for it -- i thank him. it is a lot of ordinance, and this commission should look it over. i want to talk about the parts that promote every day bicycling. overall, you understand the spirit of this is to optimize the code to make it more coherent with the policies that we have adopted, things like the general plan and novelties like the 20% of trips by bike by 2020. that is a wonderful goal and we will not get there unless we start making the code coherent with our policies. we're very supportive of those things that deal with making
bicycle parking more powerfully brought forward. these days, there is code that says if you build commercial, you have to provide this much bike parking, but we're not building that much new, we are renovating. let's get the renovating triggers to where we are getting that going. let's protect the roadway where we know we have an important bike route or transit route. that's not put any more curved cuts on those streets, for heaven sakes. the embarcadero is one of those we are fighting to protect. let's get that codified. and let's help developers bring these things to their projects by rationalizing this. we are very supportive of the bicycle business, and also very pleased to see this reaches beyond just one or two
neighborhoods, the stuff that is city-wide should be citywide. let's take our time, get it right, but don't be timid about making the code live up to our policies. thank you. president olague: thank you. is there additional public comment? >> yes. sorry, my name was called, but got out of order. i am tom. good evening, commissioners. i am glad you are having this informational hearing. we have been working hard with supervisor chiu's office. i did not think it is a big ordinance because i'm used to better neighborhoods. i think it might be because of the planning code. on the controls, spread across five sections of code. this is trying to make the code easier to read and make it more comprehensive. it is a monster, over 2000
pages. i think this effort to try to -- i know this is the dept.'s emphasis, too, to make it so that anyone can read this and understand it. in order to clean it up, you will have big ordinances because of the way these provisions brawl among the code sections. -- the way these provisions scrawl among the code sections. in terms of trying to tie all of the provisions into existing policy, we are not making these policies. we're trying to enact policies already in the general plan, things like making the city more sustainable, affordable housing, transit-first city, to decrease automobile dependence, etc. all of that is in this code, and it is great going through the coat and say, right here is the policy, 20 years old. we never really had a code section.
that is a goal and we commend supervisor chiu for really trying to make the code match city policy. as for parking, i think the previous speaker misunderstand it. all of those restrictions on the hourly rates are already in the code. that is existing code. the current legislation actually liberalizes that. we allow a discount for early in, early out. it is different language, but it is less restrictive and is not applied retroactively to all lots are already operating. i do not know that is an important concern. we're not a preservation organization, but we think it is much more sustainable to adapt and reuse historic buildings. we've seen the rhetoric about choosing preservation or choosing meeting our housing needs, allowing buildings to grow and change over time.
we are proud of this ordinance that tries to reconcile that. we will have strong preservation standards, but make it much easier, where good preservation practices do this, to actually loosened the code so we do not provide catch-22's all the time for the owners. there are actually incentives for the preservation of historic buildings. we want to break out of that still debate. we want to keep the historic be it -- the historic buildings, not of them down, and meet our needs. we are not banning surface parking lots. what we're doing is the lots should play by the same rules. it is kind of a soft encouragement to try to get those lots into a better use. the general plan is really clear about what the what to do with those lots, which is surface
parking lots are a blight, there are better uses. we're hoping this ordinance, when it is paired with " the other items, we put incentives to build on those lots to make it easier to build good, well- designed transit-oriented projects, but we're saying, yeah, let's get those lots to a higher use. anyhow, we thank you for your time and attention on this. we have been doing a lot of work of the past year talking to anyone who will talk with us about this ordinance, tried to get the word out, trying to get it written with good language. it sounds like we have maybe a few months to make revisions to, but we really thank you for hearing this and considering it today. we hope that you will move this on to the board at the appropriate time come up with a recommendation, and we want to thank the staff for circulating
this. i think the staff report shows they understand the ordinance well, not only exactly what it does but how it relates to existing city policies and helmick our city better and more sustainable, more lovable, transit-oriented, and more affordable. -- moreliveable, transit- oriented, and more affordable. >> i applaud efforts to simplify the transit code. i think everybody agrees it is too complicated. there are definitely good things here. i am not here to talk about this. we will support some of those provisions. the surface parking is a problem. we all recognize is a bit of a disfavored use, but you cannot put a system in place that turns them into vacant lots. the last thing you want to do is
take a revenue-generating use that at least is an interim use that holds the space actively while the development comes. we all know the c-3 lots downtown are essentially endangered. they are all targeted for development, but in the interim, why punish the people on those lots and why squeeze the parking supply and create deficits by losing the tax revenue on that? it seems to be a little misguided. the attrition of the parking lots is happening already, will happen over the next several decades. the transit plan is coming down the pipe. it will be natural attrition. one thing we have not heard yet, which i think is also deeply important, is housing. the parking ratios. there needs to be a broader approach to grandfathering. there is mention and staff report about the grandfathering projects in c-3 districts that
have been approved. we did not see what that does not apply to everything. this whole ordinance should be looking forward, should not be punishing people. nene be caught in a gray zone where they're not sure if the parking will be approved under the building permit when they try to get financing. that gray area needs to be eliminated. they need to be very clear, the very clear grandfather provision that the parking that was approved -- there are easily a couple dozen products around town, one just to prove today, that if this were its came in effect tomorrow, we would be in a gray zone, there would be a question about the parking we just got. two very important things, and i appreciate your attention. thank you. president olague: thank you.
>> president, commissioners, my name is aaron. thank you for the opportunity to testify this evening. i think my friend tom summed it up when he said earlier that we are all used to -- i think most of us have lived through the labyrinth process with great public participation in first market and octavia and later the eastern neighborhoods. this 340-some changes of text changes to the code is along those lines. when the staff said there are 10 totally different areas of interest here, either it is incumbent upon us as a city to go through the kind of public process that we went through in large rezoning, or, as miss hester suggested, we should.
them up into bite sized chunks. i think the intentions are all good. having said that, you heard tonight, and i started wading through this -- i don't do this for a living any more, but there are so many unintended consequences. you heard from the port, and let me associate myself with those comments about rezoning of port properties potentially in conflict with state law and the burton act. why does are being moved into different sections of the code, the waterfront special use district, it is highly unclear to me. that is a change of public policy and does not seem like good public policy. let me salute your staff and the office of supervisor chiu and tom. i think this is all well intended, but public consultation is lacking.
when you are dealing with sections of the code related to things that have been around and tweaked over the years, been around since the mid-1980s, one must do that with the downtown development community and the preservation community at the same table the last quarter of a century and has not been at the table here. let me also say that i like to associate myself with the comments of the chinatown community development center, and on behalf of sue hester turned in their comments having to do with public process, and noticing and appreciation for the informational hearings. i think if we are going to do this as one huge package, i don't think this will be resolved by november 10 or november 17. there will have to be a real robust conversation with a wide range of interest groups, be they parking, the day with
people with an abiding long-term interest in health and well- being of the waterfront. i encourage you, the commission, to do that. this book about the stems from the conversation that commissioner olague had about the need to streamline the code, and rationalize it, and i will commit. thank you. president olague: thank you. is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public, disclosed. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: we all favor code simplification. when i read through these things, i read them within a certain prism. the prism is, will any of this legislation drive more families out of san francisco, drive shoppers away, will that drive business away. i think, quite frankly, the things we do with off-street parking and we do with density controls can influence the nature of the population, and
some people basically leave rather than put up with things that we have put into law. we have to be very careful about what we do because it influences the nature of the city. here is my take on these various things. grandfathering should be allowed, obviously, we passed a project today. 800 van ness, which should come under the law at the time it was passed rather than what may be brought forward in the future, and to the same would apply to any of the projects. the idea of limited the time of five years for surface parking lot, we would all like to get rid of surface parking lots, they are an eyesore, but the truth of the matter is they have been going away very quickly. if you look at south of market, rincon hill, bit by bit they are going away and they will go away when a higher and better use
becomes economically feasible. certainly, almost anything built there will bring in more revenue than the surface parking lots and be much more aesthetic. to put a time limit on it, while the intention may be good, i do not think that is good. the far exceptions for affordable housing and other exceptions i am generally against. i think height, bulk, the same standard should apply to everything. it does not make a difference if a person is living in a market- rate units, affordable units, or public housing unit. the impact on the committee and those of us who are not in there is the same regardless of who was there. admittedly, people have a tendency towards whether they will have cars, the kind of life they will lead, but by and large there is a density that is appropriate, and i think should be universally applied and we should not try to incentivize more density using that tool.
another part of it is that we have not been too successful because i think whenever we are doing, are sale prices of homes has removed -- has remained the highest in the bay area. it is always a race between marin and san francisco, with the other counties been lower. my feeling is the controls we have are shrinking the available market, the amount of housing, particularly among the older stock, and driving the price up. these are the things we try to avoid doing. i opposed the shift from 309 exemption from conditional use parking, moving it up from one to two is ok, but basically, we should allow that the 309 exemption to one-to-one.
while i am ok at eliminating parking minimums, i did not think we should have parking maximums. if we have a maximum, and should be less than one-to-one. we have to get real about our parking policies. the sign part is fine, corner commercial is fine. the tdr transfer is extremely good. i think that is long overdue and has been extremely good tool, and we have to extend it as much as we can through the entire c- 3 and beyond. these parking restrictions, trying to move the van ness special use district, r.c. districts, the parking ratios, it will discourage the kind of housing i like to see in many instances. there is no reason why somebody cannot build a lower parking
housing. they should have that option if the field -- if they feel they want to build that. also, de-controlling density. i think you have to have some density controls. i think flexible density within an envelope has to be looked at in some form or another. whether we need to go to the conditional use process, i am not sure, but almost everyone of these would come to us for conditional use. in any case, looking at the density and not allowing them to do whatever they feel like doing. there is an ebb and flow of density. there is a tendency now for most builders to want to build smaller units. they find it more affordable, the marketing is better. that is fine. but i don't think we should allow ourselves to just have an unrestricted, de-control of
density. again, i think this will to some degree dictate the type of population you have, depending on the distance a day -- depending on the density. certainly, a family of four, if they could get more square footage for the same price, it will probably go for the square footage. code is simplification. i think that is excellent. i think the awning and signed. this fine. i think the combination of various districts with broadway and washington seems to be ok. the streetscape improvements may be broad, although they are good ideas. as mentioned before, we have to be careful with port changes in regard to the burton act, and we have to look particularly closely at this. not only in view of america's cup but making sure we are not eliminating a viable uses in the port area by making this too restrictive.
and the final thing was if there is, in fact, mandating of parking rates, where we would mandate a charge that was extremely high per day, no monthly, i think that is probably not going to hold up in court. number two, i do not think it is advisable. one of the project sponsor said, or someone testifying said that is really not in there. if it is not in there, that is fine. but i think it is a problem if it is. i am very much in favor of where we can get people out of cars and into public transportation, the way to do it is to build more subways, build more rapid transit that is safe and reliable and clean, and i am willing to go for bond issues or whatever it takes to get it done, but you cannot force people or think you are going to force people to change their habits.
you will force them out of san francisco and that is all you will do by doing this. those are some of my objections. president olague: commissioner miguel? vice president miguel: not only is this a long ordinance, but it deserves the term on the bus, trying to do everything at once. -- it deserves the term omnibus. i sympathize with miss hester in that regard. i really dislike a lot of this legislation. it drives me crazy. i like when you do one thing at a time and take care of it. certainly, but no one will argue against code simplification, particularly if they have tried to go through our code. i will not comment on everything that is in here because it has become nearly impossible, let alone all the testimony we have had already today.
there was an attempt to relate this as to size and complexity to the eastern neighborhoods and market octavia. those were two different situations that took, in some cases, years of public involvement to put together, and truthfully were much simpler than this ordinance is, in my mind, because they were very specific in what they were trying to do and the areas they were trying to effect. this affects the entire city. rgthe far i does see a problem with. signs and awnings i don't see a problem with. the grandfathering, i think, has the grandfathering, i think, has to be looked at a little more.