tv [untitled] October 23, 2011 3:30am-4:00am PDT
i am trying to figure out -- i do not think the process is working. the only way to make it work better is if you have actual suggestions and made some with a bicycle parking and the car parking, but maybe with the actual unit designed in? i think it would be helpful. commissioner moore: i do not think that is why i am sitting here. i am pointing of possible areas of improvement. i would like for the commission to be aware of the possibilities. there are some very obvious different ways of doing it. i am not here to spell that out. i'm not comfortable with the internal position. commissioner antonini: i would like to ask the project sponsor if you would be amenable, there seem to be some concerns here
about the design of some of these units. could we, perhaps, not necessarily speaking for commissioner moore, but it would seem like you might have to reduce your unit account to a little bit less or if you keep the same unit account, redesign the units to accommodate the a efficiencies that she is speaking about. >> that you for raising those issues. i think they are worthwhile to think about. i would like to reiterate the bigger picture that we are trying to do is deal with the number one problem of the city, which is the problem of affordable housing. there is very little of it. the only way you can really do it is to find property that is -- that does not have high cost basis, which you can do on stevenson st.. to put in a dense building with smaller units that makes them
more affordable. that is the big picture. we are trying to provide work force housing that is close to the downtown working centers and the financial district, the civic center. people could walk or bike to either of those. this is a very transit-oriented building. the six parking spaces that are shown in the plans are pre- existing. maybe they could be redesigned or the design could be improved. what i like to propose, rather than trying to figure out all of the little details of the design, is that we would be happy to continue to work with the department to take into account all of the comments from commissioner moore. president olague: there is a motion on the floor to deny the project. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i understand what you are saying, but i am inclined to propose a motion of continuous to take precedent to work this out. i know it has been continued
once, but it would seem as though the changes are a little bit too much to be able to work them out today. i would ask a motion to continue for one month. and if we have a date. president olague: it would have to be in december. november calendars are pretty full. let me check your. we have an advanced calendar here somewhere. what i will second the motion. -- commissioner borden: i will second the motion. >> following on commissioner moore's comments on the parking, we did follow up to see if the scheme they have here would
work. they said it is not preferable. the space could be deleted. it could be deleted and freed up. maybe they could relocate bicycle parking their and other ways of streamlining the pattern. president olague: commissioner sugaya raised the issue of exposure. i think quality of life, like there, those are critical issues that i would be concerned about. i definitely want to advocate for affordable housing, but the quality of that -- at a minimum, there should be some light, some air to all of the units. that is reasonable. if people are forced, due to the limited income, and their desire to live near their work, possibly in the mid-market area, that seems to be a good fit for this, then i do not think, out of desperation or necessity, they should be forced into a
situation that does not have at least certain things. you have been here so many years. i have seen you over the years. i think you can figure it out. commissioner moore: i am in support of what commissioner antonini's motion, particularly in the ways that he posed a challenge. i said earlier and i will say it again, i am not opposed to the building. i am seriously opposing the challenge to the developer, to the designer. to make it better. it will vice president miguel: this will
be affordable based on design. i like that you increased the size of the retail space and all that. i see some improvements from the last time we met, but there is more that could be worked on. i don't want to have to deny a project like this. i think the potential is good. commissioner moore: i want to make one more comment. i would be interested in seeing that alley that has become more residential. to respond to it looking less industrial with the role of garage doors is being considered. the stevenson side is going in the right direction, but the rear of the building is still a little too rough. president olague: i apologize to commissioner moore. at a minimum, just out courtesy,
protocol, we would prefer if people address the commissioners by title. we would try to do the same with the public. i could see how people get frustrated sometimes based on where the discussions go, but i think at this level of protocol or courtesy is what we would like to see. thank you. secretary avery: commissioners, the motion on the floor is for continuance to december 15, with instructions to staff and the project sponsor and the designer to continue to look at possibly a unit flight out -- unit layout design, exposures, quality of life issues, and the public hearing will remain open.
on that motion -- [roll-call vote] secretary avery: thank you, commissioners, this item is continued. both components are continued until december 15, thank you. commissioners, you are now on item 11, case number 2011.0532, use of signs, building features, floor area ratio, parking, and compliance in specified use districts. we will also hear a case number 12, 2011.0533z at the same time, washington-broadway special use district, waterfront's special use district 2 and 3, special districts for sign illumination, and special districts for scenic streets.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. i am from supervisor chu's office. >> good afternoon. thank you commissioners and members of the public. i represent supervisor david chu, who represents district 3, which is the neighborhood largely covered by this ordinance. i appreciate the opportunity to be at the hearing today for this informational hearing. i have some brief comments and i will also want to address the process and next ups. first, a typable. -- a topical point. this will facilitate seismic safety for new construction or retrofits. that will not help but the shaking a few hours ago, but it will help us with the next one or the one after that. this ordinance updates and
improve various sections of the planning code to advance a number of the city's pressing goals, creating more affordable housing, preserving and reusing historic buildings, increasing local businesses to grow and thrive, creating safe and attractive streetscapes, reducing traffic congestion, and increasing walking and cycling. it will also meet the planning code simpler, which i know that all of you appreciate more than i do. it consolidates and clarifies controls and deletes pages of controls that have outlived their usefulness. our goal is for well-designed products which fit the well in the neighborhood, and we hope this move forward and require fewer conditional use this. the ordinance is mostly on the dance walkable historic neighborhoods, downtown, the chinatown and van ness corridors.
it also serves commercial uses or facilitates the preservation and use of historic buildings, and it applies to other neighborhoods. the additional substantive comments will be saved until after that presentation, and i want to offer my thanks to all the colleagues at planning for all of their time and attention on this legislation. i can go over in much detail as you like where we are. we want to continue to engage with many stakeholders, particularly the port which is here, and we are committed to solving any problems they see. i would like to say just a few brief words about process for this legislation, past and future. i heard the commission remarks and public remarks and i wanted to respond to that and give an idea of where we are.
this legislation was introduced on may 3, after a drafting process. they made comments at the full board and it received some attention in the media. we have had dozens of conversations and numerous meetings with the stakeholders. that does not mean that everyone we met with is totally content with a legislation. we recognize that. those conversations are ongoing. we will do more outreach to neighborhood groups, policy groups, and other stakeholders. we're also open to joint dialogue for notification for the board legislation that is either coming from the board or planning. that was interesting. we see this particular hearing as informational, an important part of the public process. we appreciate how much detail the staff report goes into, which allows for a more robust discussion and a greater understanding of what is one of the longest ordinances i have
worked on in my eight years in city government. before the staff presentation, i would like to offer our office's appreciation for all of the work and dedication to approving -- improving the planning code and our city. >> thank you. i guess our deadline would be may 3. depending on where you walk at the board, we will be in contact, or with staff. we may have an additional public hearing. i think what may be useful, what i am hearing from members of the public is that it covers so many different neighborhoods that i don't know if the staff has the time to do this, but it would be i think really useful. i note it is done to some degree here, to go by neighborhood,
like chinatown, how it is now, how it will be, the van ness special use district, how that is, because it covers a lot of the city. >> one way to do it may be to line up zoning districts with neighborhoods to cross checke with zoning districts are changing. we would be happy to work on that. the agenda says potentially to continue this until november 10. our office's preference would be not to continue it. if we could go into december. we appreciate that. if it turns out we are not there yet, obviously -- president olague: i was even thinking about moving this until november 17, because i will not be here on the 10th, and i want to hear it. i think moving it to the 17th as another informational, and then december for action.
>> we would be open to that. we can talk later in the hearing about that. president olague: okay, we will try to work out a date. but the 10th, i will not be here, but i can look at tapes or whatever. the 10th or the 17th, sometime in november, and have another informational that breaks down according to neighborhood or just has more of that. >> absolutely. president olague: okay, we will figure out the date. >> not that i am essential, but i would not be here on the 17th. president olague: okay, we may need to stick to the 10th. we will figure it out.
>> ok, good evening, commissioners. before you is the parking, awning, open space ordinance introduced by supervisor chiu. i have tried to distill it down to 10 topics. the first is code is simplification, reduce off street parking requirements, reuse historic, small businesses serving neighborhoods, and increased code compliance. signed controls, additional map changes, and that issues and concerns from the public at large. the planning code has become much more complex in the last 30
years. many editions were necessary to address planning concerns were specific challenges in various parts of the city. however, there is a lot of redundant languages and some definitions are listed in multiple places. the proposed legislation attempts to clean some of this up. consolidating some into one section and reducing the number of definitions. the legislation also makes several changes to parking requirements. the majority of those seek to reduce parking requirements, such as removing the one-to-one parking, making all parking controls consistent, removing minimum parking requirements in the north beach neighborhood districts and the chinatown mixed use district, and also increasing the zoning
administrator authority to waive parking requirements under section 161. it also proposes changes that would halt historic buildings, exchanges the building throughout c-3. there are some exceptions to that. it allows the zoning administrator to waive article 11 buildings and help facilitate adaptive reuse, currently allowed for article 10 buildings. it allows publicly accessible open space, with z.a. authorization, and allow a certain code requirements be waived when converting a nonconforming use to a rigid central use. -- a nonconforming use to residential use.
it will not only reduce cost but process and encourage their use. this legislation also anchorages commercial uses. we appreciate the neighborhood corner stores. it seeks to encourage more of them by allowing lapsed commercial uses to be reinstated. it allows those commercial uses to have awnings, which they're not currently allowed to have. it also seeks to expand the corner use provisions developed in the market and octavia planning process by increasing the allowable square footage from 1200 square feet to 2500 square feet. the proposed ordinance also seeks to reduce process by adjusting certain requirements that have been granted exceptions. the proposal increases as of
right parking for residential units from one to four to one to two. to offset the increase, as of right parking, it also requires conditional use authorization to exceed that threshold. in addition, the legislation at certain exemptions to allow automotive service stations along primary transit streets or citywide pedestrian networks to be exempt from conversion process, outlined in section 228. and it gives the greater authority to waive parking requirements under section 161. keeping in line with the city of transit first policy and the goal of having 20% of trips by bike, the legislation also seeks to disincentive buys parking. it includes short-term parking
calculations, resume -- removes the exemption of the c-3 district, which allows them to operate in perpetuity in nonconforming uses. it permits surface parking lots, located mainly along the northeast waterfront. it restructure's long-term parking structures, intended to discourage long-term commuter parking downtown, and would also include accessory off street parking and loading spaces in those calculations. to incentivize affordable housing, the legislation excludes affordable and group housing from calculations in the c-3 district and van ness special use district. that is not specified in this legislation, which have been required in other areas of the city that have excluded these uses from the calculations, such as the eastern neighborhoods. the legislation makes changes to
the sign controls, prohibiting signs above 40 feet in the c-3 district, limiting gas station signs to the roof height of the building, and it gives the administration authority to remove signs for businesses that have gone out of business. that allows some controls for limited commercial uses. and if changes the sign control so they are similar to neighborhood commercial controls to recognize the mixed use nature of these districts. finally, there is a companion piece to the legislation that changes the zoning map. the maps are included in the packet. there is a before and after that show the changes. the zoning map is supposed to be changed in the following way. the van ness special sign district would be removed, which would ban flashing signs on van ness ave.
the embarcadero would be added to the scenic streets, which provides general advertising signs. the washington-broadway special use district would be combined into one sud. the boundaries would be modified to more closely align with the plan areas in the general plan, and the legislation? the zoning map to reflect the actual boundaries of the broadway special sign district outlined the planning code. they were updated when the legislation was changed. some issues and concerns that we would like the commission to opine on. specifically, the depletion of the existing provision in the code that preserves surface parking lots in the c-3 district. we heard a lot of comments about that. the compromise we are calling it which increases as of right parking within c three.
absence of mixed use requirements and calculations, whether that should be a grandfathering clause for projects that have already received their approval from the commission. the increase in size for the limited corner commercial uses, which were developed through every long community outreach process. the market activity of plan, and the impact of some of the changes under the burton act, such as making certain parking lots not committed in c-2. that is the conclusion of my presentation. president olague: we will open this up for public comment. we would like a copy of what you just presented today. we have several speaker cards. sue hester, followed by bob handler, caroline, and mark.
>> sue hester. the first explanation of what this legislation is really about is the executive summary code checked rigid code text change that came out last thursday. i have been trying to get substantive information on these changes. this is a 344-page legislative change. that is rather daunting. as you heard in the extraordinary summary, which is a summary of a summary, this is legislation that affects almost
everything that moves. the executive summary itself is a summary without a lot of code sections. i am a lawyer. i read the planning code, and i read it basically for the community because nobody else has the patience to do it. but i do with, i have been doing it 30 years, and i know how to read the code. but it helps to have a path through the code. when i got this legislation, i opened it and start reading and i cannot figure out when you just start reading what relates to what. i have a section with lots of post-its on it and questions. i don't know who drafted this, which staff people. the only other documents available was a legislative digest that has judy's name on it, dated 4-28-11, when it was
introduced by supervisor chiu. that legislation has a summary that i found with lots of problems. when i started reading it, i said that i don't think the summary reflects what i read in the code. this is a monster piece of legislation. it needs to be broken down into understandable chunks, unless you are planning on snickering the people. if it is the department's intention to trick people, go with the legislation. if the intention is to have informed discussions, i think you need to have people at the table discussing things. when i went through with, i saw market octavia changes, bennis corridor changes, i saw the chinatown changes, all of which i represented, and i started calling people. i said the know there is darrius -- no one knew. i really think this legislation is not ready for prime time.
you need an executive summary that has code sections rather than, hey, we are changing this provision. i want to know what the code section is so i can say, though, you are changing this section, and see if this is a correct summary. you are asking us to do too much on faith, and i don't have that much faith, sorry. president olague: i will keep calling. diane, tim. >> good afternoon, members of the commission. i am diahann with the board of san francisco. hopefully we have submitted a letter that goes over our issues in more detail. i have copies available for the public as well. we have reviewed the
legislation. i want to thank your staff, anne and aaron, for walking us through so we could walk through the sections that pertain to the port jurisdiction. my letter goes into more detail, but i think the key issues for the port commission and their responsibilities are recognition that port policies for the port properties and the city's general plan and planning code provisions for port properties, in large part they have been an alignment all along. some of the changes proposed in the legislation here bring up some potential conflict with the burden act, the state legislation that gives the port commission their responsibility as to what they're supposed to do to meet state regulations at the same time they're trying to meet the city regulations. i know that commissi