tv Government Access Programming SFGTV January 18, 2019 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
last, of course, is our funders, you really came together and helped us figure out the pile of matrixes and paperwork that make this real, the mayor's office of housing, the housing authority, bank of america, a lot of this was mentioned before. merrill lynch, the tax credit allocation committee, freddie mac, enterprise community partners, and the u.s. bank. generally, thank you so much. please enjoy the snacks. we are really happy to have you here. [applause] >> i think we are going out front to do the ribbon-cutting now. >> here we go. >> five, four, three, two, one
for continuance and no speaker cards. >> any public comment on the items being proposed for continuance? seeing none, did you have public comment? ok. seeing none, we'll close public comment. commissioner fong? >> move to continue. >> second. >> thank you, commissioners. on that motion to continue items as proposed -- [roll call] >> i will continue item 1b to the date specified as well. >> thank you, acting zoning administrator. commissioners, that places us under commission matters. item four, commission comments and questions. >> commissioner moore? >> i just this morning got an e-mail which announced at 950 goff street is breaking ground on january 27. that is something we have been
waiting for for a long time. and we put a lot of effort into supporting it. it's the lutheran church and has a very small presence on polk street opening of what i think is 100% affordable housing on that site. >> thank you. commissioner richards. >> something interesting i read in the "new york times" this week. it's called opportunities in the city falls to the educated. just to sum it up, there is an m.i.t.s professor/economist david autor who actually is analysis debunked or surprised at the day that that says that people who don't have a college degree typically in the past would move to cities to get more opportunity to get jobs and higher wanes and -- wages and they're finding out that that doesn't exist anymore. cities are only attracting people that are high-wage and high-educated people and this kind of flips everything on its head. these people that have limited
opportunities actually have more opportunities in rural areas now than they do in cities because of the high cost of living in cities. so, one of the things that the article also talks about is it's hard to atract these kind of people to cities even if their jobs still exist because of the high cost of housing. so, when we talk about building housing for everybody, we need to make sure that we consider building housing for those people at that level of income. one other thing that he's uncovered is people who normally moved away from cities when they had -- when they're in prime age life conditions like having children and that, are no longer doing that. so that's actually creating more of a demand for people wanting to move to cities than people who don't move away. interesting article in the "new york times" this week. >> thank you. commissioner moore? >> there was an interesting thing which you probably all read. microsoft donated $500 million in support of affordable housing. for the first time really admitting that the tech industry does have an effect on housing and affordability. i think it is very poignant
comment for this city where we all know is a reality of that particular subject matter. >> thank you. commissioner mel gar? >> so, thank you. i wanted to bring up something to my colleagues and the public. so before the december break, a new business opened at the corner of 16th and valencia, inside the commercial space of the affordable housing building, serving low-income families. there used to be a sushi restaurant and a liquor license and higher price point than manny's. it didn't come before us because it didn't need a c.u. it was occupying a space. it is a restaurant and a bar but also a civic space. it has programming that's intended to make us all better citizens.
it hosts dialogue on civic topics and all of that and it has a little corner that has a branch of dog ear books that's cure rated on civic life. so, the restaurant employs formerly incarcerated people and you can get lunch for $6. and manny is a young gay man whose family is from afghanistan. he is an afghani jew whose father walked from afghanistan to israel, seeking to escape the taliban. there are no juice left in afghanistan. so shortly after opening, manny came to his business one morning and faounlds star of david graffitied on the door and the lock box smashed in. with graffiti, that is a capital of zionist defacing the business. it happened a couple of times. and then, you know, the protests started.
so, manny has been actively negotiating an m.o.u. with united to save the mission, an organization that, you know, is an umbrella organization that is negotiating community benefits on the mission and doing a very good job ate and he had agreed to most of the community benefits. also in december, the clarion ally mural project camp reported that the murals depicting the struggle of the palestinian people were defaced 11 times during a one-month period. so i just wanted to bring this to your attention because, you know, the struggle of oppressive and disadvantaged communitieses real. the mission community's fight against gentrification is also intense. but in this country and in our city in particular, there's no room for this kind of targeted violence and destruction. we cannot tolerate anti-semitism or any other targeting of people based on their religion, ethnic origin,
sexual orientation or any other kind of "ism." and we also live in a democratic society where we defpd the rights of people who have different political beliefs. although i have to say that manny is a lefty guy and they're pretty mainstream. so people have the right to exist without fear of violence. and artists have the right to, you know, produce work and express themselves and use artivism. so this body is often the arbiter of how we live in these seven by seven miles and i wanded to bring up the situation for us because i want to reiterate my support and also defend, you know, the community's ability to negotiate community benefits agreements and do it from a authentic perspective. without fear of folks, you
know, usurping the process for violence and i want us also to continue to uphold the rights of artists to create and beautify our city without fear of their property and their product and their work being defaced as well. so thank you for allowing me to make those comments. i also wanded to say how much i appreciate commissioner hillis, president hillis, for his thoughtfulness, his keen intelligence and his wicked sense of humor. [laughter] i have very seldom worked with somebody who was as funny as you are. but also for your mentorship and your support. on a personal level, i really appreciate you and thank you for everything you've done. >> thank you. >> seeing nothing further, we can move on to item five, election of officers in
accordance with the rules and regulations of the san francisco planning commission. the president and vice president of the commission shall be elected at the first regular meeting of the commission held on or after the 15th day of january of each year. or subsequent meeting the date which shall be fixed by the commission at the first regular meeting on ar after the first day of 15th of january each year. >> we'll take public comments on this item. any public comments? seeing none, we'll close public comment. commissioner fong? >> thank you. i'll take second and reflect just personally about how balanced i feel this commission is. how we are assembled here not always to disagree and debate things fairly which we do a phenomenal job of in contentious situations. i know it is thankless work and people say thank you for doing that. but from this seat, thank you for all participating and
having a good, fair, balanced discussion on many different things. i want to thank president hillis for his true, good, calm, stable leadership which is needed on this commission and in this time. so thank you very much. you've done a fantastic job. really, truly. and kept thing calm and funny as well. with that, and to this item, i would like the nominate commissioner melgar as president of this planning commission. >> second. >> commissioner richards? >> so, i also want to say honestly never had such a good time in my life doing so much work. [laughter] making so little money. but having such an impact. i'm in the 1%. i took a 99% pay cut when i came here to the commission. it's been fabulous. it's not about money. i love serving with all of my fellow commissioners. sometimes we've really got on each other's nerves. sometimes we overshot and
undershot. but i have to hand it to president -- current president hillis because there are times when we're here jabbing each other, calling each other names but yet we'll go out to absenth and have a cocktail and it pit be hind us. it is an amazing team and i hope we're all together for four more years and my honor to nominate commissioner koppel for v.p.. >> second. >> great. thank you. >> can i just follow up one thing? >> sure. >> i just want to share -- maybe this isn't my first comments, but there's a lot of talent on this -- in this particular group. any one of us could assume these leadership roles. many of us have served for many years and haven't had the opportunity to do that. but that doesn't mean you couldn't do that or any one of us are capable of it. it is a little bit, as i thought about this this year particularly an embarrassment of richs that we have different choices and capabilities here and they're all playing a different role at different times. i just want to share that.
>> thank you. commissioner moore? >> i just wanted to thank commissioner -- president hillis for his time for a two-year term on this board. it does take that light heartedness and sense of humor to make these long hours fun and also really challenge the discussion. i particularly enjoyed your challenges and i will continue to do so -- [laughter] as you sit next to me just like a regular commissioner. [laughter] and we have never had hard feelings about that. we just sometimes spark each other's thoughts. thank you. and thank you for those two years. >> thank you very much. commissioner richards? >> two things first. you arest you are going to have some sore ribs from the jabbing you will be getting from the left. >> he may not sit here. >> oh, i hope he does. and i think commissioner fong's point of view, it's nice we all get a chance to actually serve as a leadership position. there is still a couple of commissioners here that i hope after, you know, the terms -- reasonable terms there that we can do the same for all the commissioners because it is a
real honor and actually has you gain a lot of insights into how things work in the department. you get to work a lot more closer with the director, which is an advantage. [laughter] >> a big advantage. >> thank you. >> all right, jonah. one, i'm very supportive of our nomination of commissioner melgar and commission koppel as president and vice president. thank you, all, for making this relatively easy and straightforward. we face a lot of complicated issues. obviously affordability, gentrification, housing crisis is always on our mind and i think we tackle it in a thoughtful way and that's a testament to everybody here. so, thank you and thank you for the kind words. i look forward to you both leading this commission. i've learned a lot from you commissioner melgar in our short time on this commission. so looking forward to doing more of that. >> commissioners, seeing nothing further, there is a motion that has been sected to
elect commissioner melgar as president. on that motion -- [roll call] >> so move. >> that vote was still -- >> that motion -- [laughter] >> and give us a minute because we'll do the ceremonial moving of the seats. >> yes. >> you need to do -- >> oh, vice president. sorry. yeah. i was ready to go. >> there were two separate motions. >> ok. >> on the motion to elect commissioner koppel as vice president, commissioner fong -- [roll call] congratulationss to both of you. congratulations. [applause] >> no more jabs. >> not immediately. >> get over there. >> commissioners, that will place us under department
matters, item six, director's announcements. >> thank you, jonah. good afternoon. congratulationss to the new president and vice president and thank you, both, for your service and we look forward to working with you. and commissioner hillis, you were certainly welcomed to join us for the biweekly meetings still in my office. [laughter] >> thank you. >> commissioners, i just want one other announcement. last week you heard a number of people testify about a project on 47th avenue, 1295 47th avenue where there was a concern about a d.r. that had been potentially rejected by the zoning administrator and i just wanted to get back to you on that to clear up what actually happened. this project was a a.d.u., which does not require notification, of course. and the tenant became aware of the permit back in june of '18 and was aware of the proposed a.d.u. and that work being done on the project. we informed them of the process for d.r.s but the actual d.r.
was not filed until the department had already approved the permit. so it was, you know, and per our procedures and per the code, once the permit is approved, it's no longer possible to file the d.r. there was a misunderstanding about the timing and in this case i don't understand exactly why the staff says they actually hadn't informed the tenant and their attorney. but in this case it was after the permit was already approved. and i will remind you subsequent to -- i think it was last fall -- i can't remember exactly when we added a procedure if you might recall that requires building owners to inform te thans when they're puting in an a.d.u., that they have to inform them that the d.a.d.u. would be in a space na the tenant uses in parking or storage or laundry. so that procedure went into place after this particular project went forward so i just wanted to clear that situation up. thank you for your time and happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, director. we were all wondering about
that. >> commissioners, item seven, review of past event at the board of supervisors, board of appeals and historic preservation commission. >> good afternoon, commissioners. this week, the land use committee considers the rezoning and planning amendments for 1560 to 1580 mission street rezoning the subject properties to c3g and make corresponding changes to the downtown plan and market octavia plan. you heard this item on october 25 of last year and voted to approve the proposed amendments. at the land use hearing, sue hester was the only public commenter and brought up the same concerns she expressed to the planning commission hearing, mainly that d.b.i. would improve tenant improve. s to the subject site not knowing that a change of use is needed. as a result, the new property owners would not be charged impact fees. as discussed at the planning commission hearing and reiterated at the committee hearing, the property owners are still required to seek a change of use application to establish a general office use and that change does trigger
impact fees. supervisor peskin made a motion to put an uncodified pro?rition this ordnance. this amendment was taken unanimously and the items were then forwarded to the full board as a committee report. lastly the land use committee heard the proposed changes to the c3r district. this item was continued from last week so that certain amendments could be drafted and added to the legislation. the amendments related to the proposed c.u. findings that would allow nonretail uses on the third floor. supervisor safai had questions about why retail was not desirable on the third floor and representatives from the union square area gave public comment in support of the proposed amendments. the committee afforded the item to the full board with recommendation. at the full board this week, supervisor ye, e's child care ordinance that would allow them for tweling units on the ground floor passed its second read as did the landmark designation
for 2 henry adams. the amendments and the amendments to section 190 that deal with medical cannabis dispensaries passed their first read. the biannual housing report was adopted. and the board then considered the ceqa appeal for a school playfield project. one of the neighboring residents appealed the [inaudible] for this project on the grounds of school children-related noise impacts. at the hearing, the appellant went as far as to play sounds of recordings of children playing outdoors to make his point. supervisor brown's opening statements, she stated that the sound of children playing outdoors makes her happy. staff gave their usual cogent defense of the department's rationale for the ceqa determination and two elementary school children made a moving speech in support of the play field. the hearing was short and then the ceqa determination was upheld unanimously. next the board considered the appeal for is 1 gladys street. the project proposes a modest vertical addition to a small house in vernal heights. one of the neighbors appealed
the cadex on the grounds that the geo technical and joe yo technological impacts. it soon became apparent that the main concern was the loss of the apellant's views because of the development. hillary ronan noted in her remarks that her office tried to settle the appeal by getting the affected parties together to discuss potential resolution, but with no success. in the end, the cadex determination was upheld unanimously. the appeal hearings for the cadex on 3637 sacramento street, as well as the c.u. appeal for that project was continued to january 29. and then finally the general plan amendments and the rezoning for 1650 to 1680 mission street passed their first read and that concludes my report. >> thank you. >> there is no report from the board of appeals. the historic preservation commission did meet yesterday
and considered the review committee considered the replacement of the path of gold lights as well as the better market street plan being proposed by the departments of public works. they also held their elections yesterday where commissioner highland was elected president and commissioner matsudo was elected vice president. they also initiated landmark designation for the property at 2851 through 2861 24th street. >> [speaking in spanish]. >> thank you. thank you. >> [speaking in spanish]. >> there was some opposition from the property owners but i think when they speak with staff and get a better sense of their path forward, they may be ok with that. i will also mention that there were three legacy businesses that were considered and recommended for, as legacy
businesses and my personal favorite bakery schuberts was one of them. [laughter] >> great. >> commissioners, that will place us under general public comment. at this time, members of the public may address the commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the commission, exempt agenda items. with respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. each member of the public may address the commission for up to three minutes. i have no speaker cards. >> if you want to come up for public comment, do so now. >> good afternoon, commissioners. alex lanceberg. i didn't plan to speak, but commissioner richards bringing up of the david otter research and the "new york times" article really [scratching noise] first of all, before i begin, congratulations to everyone. i think we really do have a great group and it actually -- i think this group is well-positioned to tackle some of the issues that that article brings up.
in particular, you know, commissioner richards specifically spoke about housing but it is not just that and it is everything that really interacts with the general plan and what you as the commission and what the department is tasked to oversee and implement. in particular, you know when we look at housing issues, obviously there's housing costs but there's also the income side. and we have a robust set of policies. we have newly-sworn in supervisor walton talking about expanding local hire to beyond the construction sector. but it is going to have to go beyond that and i'm hoping that you as the commission can do that. you know, some of these things can include making sure that when we see construction projects and large projects that are asking for development agreements that we don't just simply sit back and let oewd negotiate them and actually take an active role in pushing and making sure that the policies and the aspirations of
our general plan are reflected in these development agreements. it means that when we hear from developers talking about their great local hire policy that we make sure that it's actually not just bringing people in for low-level work, but we're actually putting people in sustainable careers. whether it is sustainable careers on the operations and sort of the permanent employment side or on the construction side, which is sort of my day-to-day work and it is not just getting them in there to hold the flag. we hear this from communities all the time or do traffic control, but really push developers and push the contractors who they hire to make sure that there's -- that they're participating in legitimate and bona fide apprenticeship programs and that they're paying people wages that are sufficient for them to live in san francisco, much less even in the bay area. and that you as a commission
hold them to account and hold -- and hold city staff to account as they do that. so, congratulations to you all on another go around with this thing and i'm really hopeful we see a really great advancement of trying to address the things that are raised in that article. thank you. >> thank you, mr. lanceberg. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. my name is paul webber and congratulationss to the new president and vice president for your elevation and offer you my deepest sympathies for the year to come. [chuckling] as a holiday gift last year i sent to each of you and the board a memo entitled "paired housing and office space." in it is described a solution for san francisco to protect its very limited housing space for residents who work in the city. and it provides at a local
agency such as san francisco must pair housing and officer commercial space in order to build or create more than a specified number of residential units and i suggested 25. or specialized number of square feet of office space. the pairing would -- could cross local boundaries. to qualify as paired there must be available public transportation between them with a maximum specified riding time -- and i suggested sa minutes or less -- and a specified frequency interval in peak hours and i suggested 10 minutes or less. there were the exceptions for not requiring pairing for 100% senior and some classes of market rates. and at least there would need to be some percentage of affordable housing. this type of program could be saved through the city of san francisco with a ordinance that promotes the mandate of local housing.
currently proposed regional and statewide solutions do not manifest clear policy requirements of keeping workers much closer to home and, in essence, preserve very modest housing requirements on feeder communities for the major cities of san francisco, oakland and san jose. the feeder communities seem to embrace office and commercial space but provide inadequate, affordable housing. average home prices in some of the south bay communities are harder than in san francisco and this has been the result of developers in san francisco seeking out cheaper land in outer districts in the city which, in turn, has had and will continue to have forcing out lower and middle-income families which haven't already left for more distant housing locations accompanied by long commutes. adopting a proposal like the would be a courageous effort to provide housing equality for lower and middle-income earners. but to develop a program and get it acknowledged is acceptable while the state will
require proactive effort on the part of our primary land use committee. so, i encourage you to create an ad hoc committee for various stakeholders to quickly explore this idea for san francisco. if san francisco can adopt a pairing program, then it may have a domino effect down the peninsula. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. webber. next speaker, please. next speaker, please. >> my ?aim mary mcna marry ra and i live in the outter sunset and a number of us are concerned that abag is voting today on the casa compact. and as far as we're aware, there has been little-to-no analysis on the impact of the casa compact on san francisco. and i don't believe the matter
has ever been agendaized either. here or at the board of supervisors. and yet the head of our planning department is one of the san francisco reps who will be voting today. san francisco supervisors will be voting today as well. all without the benefit of analysis, which i think we desperately need from planning staff. at the last meeting which was just a few weeks ago, commissioner anne halsted actually complained that the san francisco planning commission had not been briefed on the compact. and i think she was right to complain, to be honest. so i'm hoping that you will be able to vet the compact and its impact as soon as possible. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. thank you so much. my name is francisco matos and
i'm here -- >> can you speak into the mic, please? >> yes. thank you. i respectfully ask for some clarification maybe with the secretary as to item 13 whether it is going to be continued or not. >> it was continued to january 31 at the beginning of the agenda. >> ok. thank you so much. >> thank you. any other public comment? ok. with that public comment is now closed. commissioner richards? >> oh. one more. yes, please come on up. if anybody else wants to make public comment, please stand up. please come to the mic. >> i'm sorry. i arrived late and i wanded to speak on the a20 post street site so i don't know if that is allowed or not.
>> a-20 post is continued so you could have -- you can speak under general public comment to it. >> can i speak now? that's fine. >> yeah. >> ok. thank you. i currently live at 715 levenworth. i spoke with andrew parry and the architect who have the height of the building shortened. we will lose a lot of sunlight in the back units of 715 levenworth. i've been there since 1993. as you know, san francisco is extremely expensive. it's impossible to move once you have a rent controlled unit. and so i've spoken to the architect and to the planner to try and make the -- we're going to lose a lot of sunlight. sunlight is a human need.
and i fear, you know, i'm on the second floor, eight floors high. i'm -- i feel quite sad that i -- i moved into that apartment because there was so much sunlight. and i know the other neighbors are also concerned that eight stories would take out the feel of the neighborhood. it -- five stories a little more of a compromise so that's what we're hoping for. >> thank you. >> watch for when it comes back again. >> thank you. >> that places -- >> hold on. there is a comment by commissioner richards. he asked to speak. >> excuse me. >> regarding the casa compact that we had a speaker talk about or asking for. on the 31st we have something called housing strategies and plans. that's where we're going to put -- >> yes. >> ok. great. thanks. >> thank you. >> seeing no other questions, that will place us under your regular calendar.
commissioner for item eight, 2018-01544map, this is a zoning map amendment. >> good afternoon. before i ask staff support, i believe kylely sneely is here to speak on the ordinance. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. congratulations to president melgar and vice president koppel. i am here to speak in support of supervisor mandelman's proposed ordinance to establish uniform zoning for the parcel at 170 valencia street. it is an important location for a number of reasons. dating back to 1930. the four-story art deco building has, since the 1970s, served as a high faith temple. more recently the space has served another significant community institution. the san francisco gay men's chorus which for years used the space as a practice and rehearsal facility. this past november, supervisor mandelman marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of
the gay men's chorus. the very first performance, in fact, was on the steps of this very building. on the evening of the assassination of mayor george mosconi and supervisor harvey milk. since then tgay men's chorus has become a cultural and social institution that has grown to inspire the lgbtq choral movement worldwide. despite its international significance t chorus has not been able to secure a permanent base of operation so we were delighted to learn late last year that the gay men's chorus was looking to make 170 valencia its permanent home. during that process, our office was made aware that the parcel at 170 valencia is currently positioned across two zoning districts. the front half facing valencia is zoned c3t. as a result, our office introduced the ordinance that is before you today. this ordinance -- through this ordinance, it is our intention to apply uniform zoning to the
parcel in order to continue the tradition of using the space as a community facility. in consideration for the new home for the gay men's chorus. in addition, we also believe that a uniform zoning for the xwllg, which the city has designated as an ahistoric resource is in the best interest of preserving the architectural integrity tofts building regardless of its occupant. in closing, i would like to thank the gay men's chorus who in good neighborly spirit have met with community members in the adjacent area and who are in attendance today to answer any questions the commission may have. i thank you all for your time and consideration and ask that you join our office in proudly supporting this ordinance. thank you. >> thank you. >> again, commissioners, planning department staff. some of this may be a little repetitive, but i'll try to shorten it. the proposed ordinance would amend the planning code and zoning map to rezone the portion of 170 valencia street that sits along r.t.o. to nc3t.
as mr. smeeley said, it is positioned across two zoning districts and the front half of the building on have lens i can't is z3d and the rear half is r.t.o. in september of 2018, after being contacted by the sfgmc, the zoning administrator determined that the proposed use of the site at 170 valencia street by the sfgmc constitute add community facility use. a community facility use is permitted in nc3t districts however requires a conditional use authorization in r.t.o. districts. the result is that the front half of the subject site is zoned ntc3. but the back half of the site must obtain a conditional use. as he said, this building is an ahistoric resource and is also listed on the national historic registry. the facade has been called one of the country's most elegant art deco designs. the building retains many of its art deco interior features as well, such as wood paneling
and a green and black ceramic water fountain in the lobby. the building has been in constant use as an institutional facility, both as a community facility at its inception and as a religious institution by the high temple. since its construction in 1930. in addition to the letter voicing support for the rezoning of a nearby residence which was included in your packet, the department received six additional e-mails after the packets were published which i have for you ♪ for your distribution. the six e-mails expressed concern. the department recommends that the commission approve the proposed ordinance because it will establish a clear and uniform zoning for site. it's designed for community facility use and operated as an institutional use since construction. the purchase of this building for communitied use as community facility will ensure that the historic resources further preserved and a cultural institution that enhances san francisco's identity will be able to remain in operation in a central and
accessible neighborhood. mr. keith pepper and cami blackstone from the sfgmc are available to answer any of your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. we'll now take public comment on this item. >> hello. >> hi. my name is josh horowitz. i live next door to 170 on the elgin park side. i want to say that i'm a big fan of the san francisco gay men's choir. they're a san francisco institution and i'm really happy that they're my new neighbor. and also i love that building. it's a gem just like the city planner said. but i'd also like the say that elgin park itself is a gem. i don't know if you've ever
been on the street. but it's a red brick street with all these beautiful edwardian houses. so, my concern is not so much the san francisco gay men's choir, but the character of the street and changing the zoning for the back end of the building to nct3. i read online that nc3t is zoned for commercial corridors that go on for blocks and blocks. i think that is the quote in the city zoning rules. and elgin park isn't that sort of street. and i'm not so much concerned that the san francisco gay men's choir might turn the site into something or use it for some sort of event or something. but for future owners and what they might do with that building once it gets rezoned. so, that's my biggest concern. my other concern is that ncp2
allows hours of operation and permits it at nit time. i'm a little concerned since my bedroom is actually against the wall of the building that it's going to change. now it's community use under r.t.o., they end around 10:00, i'm great with that. that's fine. if it goes longer than that, that's a problem for me. and i just -- i just don't understand why we need to change it -- the back of the building to nc3t. why can't we just keep it as r.t.o. with conditional use as a community space. it seems that that's been working for many years. it's been there for 11 years now. i don't -- i don't know why we can't continue doing it that way and why changing to nc3t will, in fact, preserve the building anymore than an r.t.o. with conditional use going forward.
so that's my concern. so, thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. my name is tahl. congratulationss to you both on your new seating. i wanted to say that i, too, support the gay man's choir and the reason i'm here today is because i live on elgin park. i'm actually in the same building as josh and so i'm the next door neighbor. i wanted to echo a lot of josh's comments and so i won't repeat them. i just want to say that he and i have exactly the same concerns. and that street really is a gem. that's why i bought the property. and this would have potentially a very disasterous impact on our lives. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please.
>> good afternoon. my name is charles. i live at 25 elgin park and the last time that i was here was for permit to increase my building from my landlord building another floor on top. and when i heard from the commission at the time was san francisco needs residential. so, i'm very concerned. i'm a long-time supporter of the gay men's chorus. what they do, what they bring, congratulate them. i believe that they just -- the mayor just appointed them the official choir of san francisco or chorus. and, you know, congratulations on euroation of service. it is a great thing. but i'm just very concerned. i'm not concerned with the tenant there. i'm not concerned with them at all. what i'm concerned at and what your -- the proposed is the actual voting of the parcel. regardless of who the tenant is. ok? i realize that it's mixed use, commercial in the front and
residential in the back, which is elgin park and as was stated is a beautiful cobblestone street that the aoukers enjoy going about 90 miles an hour down because of the sound of the cobble on their wheels. ok? that's a different story. but i walk my dog on the street and i'm concerned as to making -- taking residential out. you know, having it be nct3. they don't need to come back to put any -- if they decide they're going to do an awning or something on elgin park or open it up because it's now going to be a commercial use. they don't have to come back and get anybody's permission for that. so i'm not looking -- i'm not -- my complaint is not the current. it's the future. i've lived there for 13 years. i like the street. so i would implore you to not vote yes on this. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
>> hi, i'm sharon hoff. i live across the street from the former high temple. i, too, am very happy that the gay men's chorus is the new occupant. i know several members and i think -- i hope they stay there for the foreseeable future. however, i am opposed to this zoning change as it currently is stated. all the people talking about the need for this zoning change said that it's been used as a community use for its entire existence. so, why does it need a change because it's continuing as a community. i also have a masters in city planning. so, i -- although i have to say that even with that from berkeley that i have a hard time understanding the multiple layers of zoning and height restrictions and everything else on this. so, it's a byzantine thing to get to. but when i looked through the rules on this, i mean, it seems
actually more drastic to have to go through a change to an nc3t than just to get a conditional use. so, i'm not sure why we're saying we can do this instead of getting a conditional use. the reasons i'm saying there is an nc3t is often a zoning change when one october spanlt used to increase the land value of the building. and it increases the land value because it increases the height that's allowed and increases the uses that are allowed. i hope the go, ay men's chorus is there forever. should they decide to sell it and they need the money for something else, the next occupant will want to maximize that land use. that will threaten the historic building. the historic building, as far as i'm concerned, is beautiful inside and out and should stay the way it is. with an nct3, kit go up with the current height overlays, i think to five stories.
that would be fine. but what if they change overlay to eight stories? it is on a tiny residential street. the second factor is that other use is allowed under nct include no hours of operation, bar and restaurants, so you could have one facing on to elgin park as far as i can tell and conditional uses for adult business, tobacco paraphernalia and massage parlors are all conditional uses under nc3t. i want the gay men's chorus there and continue as a conditional use, which is apparently what they wanted and i think the way to do that is to just give it a continue -- continued use of the conditional use as community. space. thank you. >> any other public comment on this item? commissioner richards? with that, public comment is closed. >> thank you. i guess question for staff.
it's unusual to have a building literally -- right down the middle, zone two different zonings. so, if we warrant to approve this, and i didn't get a conditional use, would there be line going through the middle and say you can't step over the line and sing or assemble? is it -- that is absurd. >> essentially. that is the situation. they would not be able to use, at once line hits for r.t.o. zoning they would not be able to use that back half of the building as a community use or, for that matter, as a -- many of the institutional uses that are not allowed under r.t.o. >> under conditional use, we're allowed to put conditions on it. i.e.:you can't have hours beyond 10:00. you can't serve alcohol, whatever. with this planning code amendment, we could still put special restrictions on it, to recommend that the planning code amendment has special restrictions that respects the neighborhood.
>> that is a great question. i would actually just twanlt to double check with our city attorney about placing notices of special restrictions on this property that go with the zoning change, n.s.r.s. we're not sure if that would be possible or not. but that was brought up as an option. >> ms. stacey, do you have an opinion? >> president melgar, commissioner richards, kate stacey from the city attorney's office. notice of special are str*ixes and it places conditions on the property when there is a permit before the city. absent that permit, there is not really a land use authority to place restrictions on a particular property. there may be another way to think about this. and that is whether the commission would want to add some restrictions to the legislation itself as far as that designation. was that your question, commissioner? >> yes, how do we actually get this accomplished, but also make sure that the neighbors'
concerns -- because we've had situations where, you know, they may decide they got way too big and move and they sell the building and all of a sudden we have something else happened that i imagined. i'm in support of it but i want to make sure that we have legal authority. >> director, did you want to fwhaig? >> yeah. -- weigh in? >> yeah. just to remind us that a conditional use also runs with the land. if you grant a conditional use for this particular community facility, then other similar facilities can move in without coming back to you. just to remind everyone that conditional uses are not attached to the business, if you will, but to the tenant. and the other reason -- or to the property. and the other reason that this is perhaps a slightly different situation is because of the character of the building itself. it doesn't really have a store front or anything on elgin park and because it's an historic building, it would be highly unusual for us to kind of approve anything that changed the whole character of the facade on the elgin park side of the building.
those are the reasons that we were -- we talked about this at staff level quite a bit and those are the reasons that we thought the rezoning actually made sense to have the whole building be in one zoning category and that was a line down the middle. >> for clarity, director. what you mean is that if the gay men's chorus were no longer occupying the building and there was any of the other businesses that public comments, you know, brought up. they would have to come back here for a conditional use. >> it would be unlikely because the historic character of the building would be unlikely that we would approve anything like a storefront or anything on the elgin park site and a historic building that doesn't have that condition today. >> commissioner moore. >> i'm really glad that you bring that up. what may be missing here for us is to really understand what
comes into play with this building being a historic resource and being listed on the national historic registry. one would understand the restrictions coming from there. they basically transfer into new ownership. it would perhaps be easier for neighbors to understand that there are other safeguards for what the building can and can't do. in addition to the fear of adding three stories or five stories at some point in the future. >> commissioner richards. >> we had 477 broadway, which was continued and it was a kind of some type of themed escape room. thank you very much. and we had another north beach project recently -- actually not recently where we had problems and it was the speak easy where you go and you participate in like a play and you're one of the actors. that wouldn't be allowed on
the r.t.o. of the back door. they have to go through the front door. residential wouldn't allow a speak easy or an escape room type thing where you have the door -- you don't have to make any changes, but they can actually reprogram the back which i think some of the concerns of the neighbors are. it is historic. you might not be able to get any changes, but there is literally a door there that people can go through. >> commissioners, there is a door. it is a service door so it's two solid metal doors and it's a service entrance and under either zoning, you would need to seek some kind of approval and, again, as commissioner moore stated, the historic nature of this building is the entire building, including that back facade on elgin park. because of that, any changes -- obviously there would need to be changes to the back to make it any kind of store front as it is a solid door service entrance right now. so as soon as those changes needed to be made, whatever the
proposed use is that would want to use the elgin park side as the entrance, you would have immense historic review because it is an ahistoric building. >> sure. so, can -- is it allowed under public safety, public health building codes for them to have people go through that back door with no changes made other than opening and closing it? >> i don't believe so, commissioner. >> i'm sorry. so, that's allowed or not allowed? >> again, any changes beyond -- and i can't speak intimately of the entire code and building code, but any changes that aren't necessary to make sure that the building is safe and has fire exits would, again, have to go through historic preservation review. >> ok. so -- >> thank you. commissioner koppel >> no, that's me. >> sorry.
>> so what's the difference -- the use that's there now, there's community facility use allowed there now, right? >> only in the front half of the building. >> but the fact that it did not grandfather it in because -- >> no. unfortunately because the high temple used it as a religious institution that's technically -- although it is in the same umbrella category under institutional uses, it is a different use for community facilitis so they're not grandfathered. >> in order to permit the gay men's chorus to use it for what they want to use it for, they would have to come in and get a c.u. on the elgin park side. >> that is correct. >> so why not do that? i just want to answer the neighbor's questions. why not do that instead of changing the zoning? >> absolutely. and that was considered as director ram said. but the historic nature of this building is the first major factor that comes into the situation. so the fact that the building was built for the purpose of being a community facility type use and the fact that it's
maintained that use both inside and outside the building issoming that we want to make sure is preserved throughout perpetuity of this building's life stand. we want to make sure that -- >> if you did a c.u., you would get that and run with the land. you'd have that use allowed throughout the building and both those zoning districts. >> correct. unless the use is abandoned. so, if the building goes up for sale and there is a period of, i believe, the abandonment period is three years, and it takes three years for the new use to come in and establish itself, they have to go through the conditional use process again. >> right. i guess so that's the difference -- that is the difference between -- is that why we're -- because going and getting a zoning change is more difficult than coming and getting a c.u. from us. so, we are doing this to continue to -- if it became abandoned at some point -- >> that's absolutely right. >> three years -- so that's the
difference between coming and getting a c.u. or going this route. i just want to -- and i think they're going to be great neighbors and it is a great use of this building. i just want to answer some of that -- some of the neighbor's concerns and maybe the project sponsor can just respond also just to say the intent is to occupy it for that use. without anything necessarily changing in the future. >> correct. and, again, it wasn't just the fact that we wanted to make sure that this use can continue to operate, even if it is the c.u. is abandoned in the future. it is also very much about the historic quality and nature of this building and what its original intents was. it would have been a grandfathered use if not for the fact that the high temple is technically considered a religious institution versus community institution. so, a very small thing where this building was built with the intention of this and if it were not for the very small difference in what we're considering a land use category, it would have been grandfathered in.
>> right. i'm still confused because you can get there with the c.u. instead of the zoning change. >> yes. >> six and one, half dozen or the other. >> i mean, again, our two reasons are, again, because of the historic nature of the building, what it was intended to be used for it froms conception and the fact that we do know that if the use is abandoned through a c.u., then the uses that we most want to encourage in this building are going to have to go through extra process in the future, although it's something that we encourage most in this building. >> ok. >> commissioner moore? >> ms. butkus, do you have any idea if this building also has access from elgin? >> it has -- if you look at, i believe it is page three of your staff report. page two, i'm sorry. there are two pictures on that staff report. i can put them on the overhead for the public. >> no, i don't have those
pictures. >> on the page prior. >> so, the picture on the left is the only entrance from elgin park. it's the two red doors. and the other picture is the entrance off of valencia. >> ok. thank you. makes it a little bit more complicate. >> commissioner rich ards. >> is the red door used nows for any reason? >> i would ask the representatives from sfgmc to answer that question. i'm not sure. >> that would be great. >> yes, do we have someone? come on up, please. >> good afternoon. my name is keith pepper. i'm the chairman of the board and c.e.o. of golden gate performing arts, which is actually the owner of the building. we operate as san francisco gay men's chorus. that -- those doors are an emergency exit answer are used for putting the trash out on
thursdays, i believe. wednesdays. see, we need to learn. on wednesdays. and that is the only use for it. i could potentially anticipate there is a commercial kitchen on the third floor. perhaps occasionally if there was a small event. the caterer might want to park their truck there long enough to unload and carry things up the stairs. however, the couple of times that we've in the five years we have used the building that we've had small events there, the caters have always wanted to come in through the front and use the elevator to come up. . so, it is a service door. there is no windows in it. if i was a business owner, i would not want to put anything on that side of the street if i wanted to do a business. because it is a residential street. as you can see from the picture, the beautiful part of the building is on valencia and that is the main entrance and st