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tv   [untitled]    November 12, 2012 3:30am-4:00am PST

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september 11, 2012 letter be revoked is the letter of determination was never requested by united states as owners. the. >> >> the variance was not requested. the variance requested also is not helpful. it actually causes more confusion and more problems. it contradicts the 1955 approval process of the lots and says our lot 33 can be legally non conforming. third, the planning commission in 1954 decision when they approved resolution 4350 they wanted that corner lot at lot 33 to have open space. that's why as a condition of the approval process for building those two adjoining buildings they required that what's now lot 38 give the 10-foot by 50-foot strip of land to the corner lot. by granting the
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variance in september 11 the planning department now makes it impossible to negotiate with the neighbors or to try to work with the title companies to determine ownership of that peetion of land, and lastly the variance is not necessary, as we write in the briefing document, because the planning department, specifically the zoning administrator, issued an approval for the tentative map and that is exhibit c in your briefing documents saying that the lot conforms to all planning codes so in fact the september 11 letter that we are asking to you revoke is not necessary. we give you in the briefing document six reasons why you the board of appeals have authority to revoke the september 11 letter and i am happy to answer questions letter if you have any, and i would like to add one more. the
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zoning administrator doesn't have the authority to do this and three weeks letter revised but they don't have the authority to revise that letter three weeks from now. i would like to yield my remaining time to the former zoning administrator who would like to further comment. >> madam president, members of the board i am bob pastor. i was requested to give a historical perspective on this case and i worked with the planning department between 1960 and 99. approximately 25 years which i was zoning administrator. you have the facts of this case pretty clearly before you. there is a unique circumstance to it and it does provide this for the yard and air for this particular lot without the owner of the lot
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asking for that variance. up until 1946 there were no way to enforce it if no one brought it before the planning staff to look at and there was a period of time when the assessors office -- complying the ordinance. a number of laws were established and technically violations of planning code. 1960 the planning department identified most of the lots but there was no process to give notice to the owners. the only way it ever came up to be correct side people would file for applications for the property. the department would then require a variance. i think i ran out of time i am
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here to answer questions but i think this is a premature determination on behalf of the zoning administrator. the property owner hasn't been given the opportunity to find a way the property could be made to comply without the necessarily of the considered variance. >> thank you. >> do i have to disclose that 30 years ago you were za and i was on this board? >> >> no. you don't have to. i didn't disclose it. >> thank you. i have a question for mr. mavis. neither side submitted a subdivision map. i presume then what was in the discussion there are three lots and one is your
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lot and the other one is 40 something and the last one is 33. is that correct? >> yes, sir. if you're asking if we submitted a sand born map? >> no an actual subdivision map showing the property line? >> no. we didn't submit that. >> is there disagreement with that? it's wring into the brief. your lot is 25 feet and the next lot is 40 and the next one is 33. >> lot 33, our lot is 25. the next one now called 38 and it's 42 and a half feet wide and the next lot is now lot 11 and 32 and a half feet wide. >> 32? >> three and a half. and i can explain the math and why it's divided that way. >> let's hear the department first. >> okay. >> mr. sanchez. >> thank you. scott sanchez planning department and i think this is a confusing issue
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especially talking about a variety of lot lines so i would like to go through historically the lot and it is proposals. this is from the 1946 block book and was constructed then and had the dwellings and this is 24th and this is dolores street. there were two lots and 32 and 33 and i believe they were vacant, so then in 1954 they sought approval for a variance from the planning commission because at this time variances were reviewed by the planning commission so they sought a variance for the dolores street lot and it's the lot in blue and create the lot and had the building on that lot. they proposed on the remainder of the lot and 75 and 50 and eight unit apartment building and that was denied by the planning
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commission in 1954. in 1955 they revised the proposal and came back to the planning department with a new proposal and three lots and contain two lots in the green and red and build new construction on both of those lots, and this wasn't subject to review because it was code compliance. it met the requirements of the planning code. sometime after 1955 the lots were subdivided as such and as they are currently today so we have on the corner a 20 by 50 lot and the subject property and 42 and a half feet lot and 32 and a half foot lot. this is from that block book and contains a notation from planning department records and says illegal subdivision and has a question mark so we assume
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the subdivision occurred in the late 50's at this pattern and scwktly since that time the city has repeated issued permits on the properties and at no time has the current appellant owned or had title to as i understand a portion of the adjacent property which is lot 38. in the 80's there was an issue with a garage added without permits and there was investigation and we allow today to be added to the property. >> >> and there were additional personalities permits. >> >> >> issued for the property. i think this is evidence that they're at least -- maybe some determination that this is the record. the appellants purchased the building in two 000 -- 2011.
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it was a foreclosure and that week began to pull permits on the property and the series eight permits were received to do various improvements and work on the property, so that work was being done. again those eight permits could not have been issued if this wasn't a legal lot. in may they came to our office, mr. bab ner and the appellants and wanted lot history. it was an unusual request. i was out of town in june and we wanted the address because the request was unusual. they were seeking clarification about the approval process. we issued that letter in august. unbeimonst to us they submitted
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a request with public works to do a condo conversion so if units are opened -- owner occupied and we reviewed that. staff saw in the block books and what was shown is a lot that matched what is there today, so with that they approved it and found it code complying. then the appellant in this case appealed the issuance of the condo map that they applied for by the city to do the condo conversion. at that time they submitted a letter that they received from the department of public works in february which the county surveyor outlined a process they could determine the lot question. that's the first time i seen a written response from bruce and the letter they provided us, 60, 70 pages of
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materials this wasn't included with it, so that's the first time i had seen that document. one of the things we included in the initial letter of determination is clarifying language -- and the county surveyor can help you without with the questions of the lot issues, so it comes to the appeal of the condo. it has been past practice and mr. baby ner, and the letter of deration in this case and this can be complicated and seeking a variance for a property you have never owned and when we a record of building permits issued pursuant to the planning code presumably. i would hate to revoke 18 permits since that time and they were improperly issued and that wouldn't be fair so it's the zoning adminirator that these lots we can review
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and make a letter through the letter of determination process so given there was a letter of determination given to us given the applicant , the requester didn't provide all the information. they didn't say they submitted the condo application. it came to the office and i think the requester knows very well the processes of the planning department and that should have been shared with us at that time and we issued the letter on september 11 including the language about our determination that the record. i actually feel that benefited the appellant in this case and they could have the matter brought before the board. otherwise we're relying on the determination of the condo map and i don't think we errorred or discretion in this matter and need to go through a different
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process. i am available for questions. >> mr. sen chez at some point after 55 when the approval occurred for what was in essence three equal lots. can you shed any light on what happened and for the planning commission resolution not to have been followed? >> soy the planning commission resolution simply denied the application in 1954, and so again beginning of 1960 -- 61 -- you can correct me on this, the zoning administrator began hearing varanszs so it was taken out of the jurisdiction of the planning commission and to the zoning administrator. the record is unclear what happened to the 1965 block books. it
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shows clearly in those block books so it's my assumption this was mapped in the late 50's or early 60's and we have a series of building permits for the properties. >> does it show who mapped it. >> not in the records i have, no . >> thank you. >> i just want clarification on the absence of the records relating to the condo conversion. can you tell me the significance of that? the missing information. you might have said it. i'm not following the actual significance of submitting that document? >> the condo conversion has the effect of legalizing the lot in the current form and the appellants filed appeal on the condo conversion but they didn't put any reason why. it's still pending at the board of supervisors which hears these
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appeals. i have yet to see a written request why they're appealing but in conversations -- >> what was the decision that is being appealed? >> they requested a condo conversion to allow these two units separately mapped as condominium and we approved their request. >> why would they appeal it then. >> i had the same question but i thought i would ask. >> okay. so what piece of information was -- >> but the condo map has the effect of legalizing the lots in the current configuration. >> okay. >> and that's one of the things that was also recommended by bruce stores in february is that -- there are a couple of processes and he's the surveyor and enforces the code. the planning department doesn't to that extent you about in conversations with him they would like to see it as a legal lot and there in the code if a
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parcel is bought and sold and created before a certain time they would deem it legal and i think there is a process for that. i don't think there is an issue with dpw about the request but it's appealed by the person who requested the subdivision, the condo map rather. >> okay. i will get hopefully more answers. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on this councilmember? seeing none then we can move in to rebuttal. mr. mavis, you have three additional minutes. >> >> thank you. mr. sanchez point offed out permits have been issued on lot 33 but i would advise you that he wrote in the letter of determination itself that we're seeking to revoke that issuance of permits doesn't mean a lot is legal under
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planning department guidelines. >> can you address the question that we had. >> sure. your last question -- >> i am having a hard time understanding the issues here that are problematic for you, so that would be helpful. >> we're appealing the map because it reflects property lines that are not accurate. >> and what would the accurate lines look like? i mean you -- you're appealing the condo maps and reflect property lines not accurate, but you submitted the request for the condoization -- is that what it's called? and it was granted to you and now you're appealing it. >> >> correct. the zoning administrator on august 2 approved the application. on that same form, and i think exhibit -- it's one of the exhibits in your packet. tentative map approval form has at the bottom of it the option
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for the zoning administrator to say that the lot is not legal. it's exhibit c. at the bottom says the tentative map is reviewed by the planning department and does comply with the revisions but requires certain conditions to be met. we fully expected the planning department to check that box and it doesn't meet minimum guidelines to be a legal lot and specifically request what provisions need to be fulfilled. he didn't do that and said it was a legal lot the way it is. we applied for and told mr. sanchez when we applied for the letter to confirm the resubdivision of these lots. we informed him we were going for condoization and submitting a tentative map and we did tell him in february the surveyor said this is an illegal lot.
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he said that on february 3 so we fully expected the surveyor's office to say this lot wasn't legal, so we followed the process the city provided. we submitted application. we expect to receive back the evidence or information on what we need to do, make the corrections and resmi. that's not what happened in this case. >> you submitted and you got things granted and you're not happy with that. >> correct. because what we think is happening -- but i think better question for the zoning administrator and said tonight based on advice from the city attorney's office it's best to issue the letter to grant a variance to our lot, a variance that we never requested. that in all previous circumstances the owner requests and the department will actually say you're lot is not legal unless you request it and we can
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properly review the lot. so in other words we're saying there was agreement our lot be granted this strip of land. for whatever reason that decision to exchange and give that strip of land to lot 33 it never happened and the city never enforce today and it was that lack of enforcement. >> >> that is now trying to be corrected by giving a sairance to our lot and taking away the strip of land and disregarding the planning department's decision through a resolution to say "no, wait a second. you can't resubdivide these lots and make that corner lot have no rear yard or open space" and the planning department guidelines are clear in this respect. you have to have minimum lot sizes number one and you need open space. you have to have a backyard so when we
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applied for this tentative map we never thought they would check that had on the form and it meets all department guidelines. we fully expected him to say no you don't meet these conditions and state what they were. does that answer your question? >> a little bit. >> so it's a process that we're going through and we expected from that response from the planning department and talk to the neighbors, talk to the land company and a good land use attorney and who owns the land and enforce and identify the issues from the planning department and should should have open space and how you respect your neighbors and the environment and distance between buildings and in addition to revoking that letter we're saying put conditions on that strip of land so whoever owns it, it is maintained as open
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space because currently with the variance and the september letter it's possible for the owner of lot 38 to build on that land and i have pictures of the light through windows on that property line and it's helpful to understand that as well. i hope that helps. >> okay. please proceed with your rebuttal. i address addressing the questions. >> thank you and just because the permits are issued and it's not a legal lot and it was written in numerous letters in the past. we did inform the zoning administrator when we requested the letter confirming what's happened in the past and the subdivision of the lots in 1954 and 55. we did inform the zoning administrator we would be applying for condoization. we would be going through that
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process and that we wanted to use this process of getting the planning department to weigh in on the historical subdivision to better understand who owns that land and how it should be treated and handled and we knew there were a lot of issues and problems. the surveyor -- our understanding is the surveyor also knows, and that's why i am surprised when the zoning administrator commented on this map and this is outside his purview. the map act is certainly the purview of them and in determining that map and the i think the zoning administrator is clearly in error when he points out just because a lot is formed before a certain year it automatically makes it legal and that is not the case especially when it's been noticed publicly that a subdivision was not done properly and that's the case
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here, so but these are a lot of legal technical arguments in some respects are better held by the board of supervisors and that's why we have the appeal pending for them and it's within their purview and they're approving the tentative map and why we need the surveyor there and from their perspective and from the map and doesn't meet those requirements. that is not within your jurisdiction. what is in your jurisdiction is this letter of determination and restrictions on the strip land regardless who owns it and say don't build on it. >> whether it's in our jurisdiction or not it helps to provide context especially when the zoning administrator raised questions as to why information isn't provided within the process of his jurisdiction. we have absolutely nothing to hide. we have been extremely forth coming and submitted many documents as we can. we
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applied in may and the letter of determination came out in august by abundance of research by his office as well -- >> okay. >> there is nothing between us and the zoning administrator. >>i just wanted to tell you i needed the context. thank you. >> larry bab ner was your consultant? >> yes. >> and you hired him for a letter of determination? >> yes. >> mr. sanchez. >> thank you. scott sanchez planning department. again on the overhead shows the current configuration of the lotses and this lot we believe has been in existence for more than 50 years. this lot is purchased by the appellant and what they oafnlt i would like to clarify some of the issues and the
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response. first to the condo map and being exposed to me. i don't believe it came to me at that time. i believe the condo map came in another month or two. i was in daily contact with him asking about the status of the letter. at no time did he mention a condo map until the very end of the process -- actually when the condo map was approved and issuance of dpw is when it was raised to me and i don't know if they were in communication with him about that, but certainly not brought to our attention. certainly with regards to dpw i wasn't provided a letter of issued by bruce about this property in february. the first time i saw the letter was in the appeal of the condo map and important to
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clarify that and of the zoning administrator. i do have the ability to revise letters of determination. i did it in other cases. in terms of authorities to do this there are examples where similar properties have similar facts and subdivided after 1946 but for a substantial amount of time and building permits and other things, and it's clear in the letter it's just because a building permit is issued that doesn't legalize the lot but i think that is evidence. it's evidence there may have been determination missed because why was the department issuing the permits if they didn't have authority to do so? i do consult with the city attorneys office and take advice. i don't do what they tell me to do. certainly the letter of determination was issued on my own authority and not direct the by any outside party to do so and again i reiterate i feel it was fair to the appellants
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because they could have the matter brought before this board. again there is something there is a precedence of the zoning administrator issuing letters of determination to establish the legallallity of the lot and i carried that over from the previous administrator and it's something i continue to do. i defer to the board of appeals and if you find this is an inappropriate process we can stop doing that. however i don't know how we can require, even in this case, the appellant going through this process with a process they don't own or have title to. that's all. my time is up. thank you. >> mr. sanchezs, i don't see the initial request made to you in the correspondence from mr.
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mr. lawrence badiner in terms of the specific request to you. you reiterate to you in your letter of determination what the request was, and it's pretty much the same in both letters in the sense that they -- if i could paraphrase it the request was -- the planning commission's approval process in the 1950's for that subject property. all right. the september 11 letter you went beyond that request, and it appears there are


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