tv [untitled] August 19, 2010 1:30pm-2:00pm PST
putting their work in this. i appreciate that. >> thank you. commissioners, you are now at general -- at public comment on items that have been closed. and this would be the opportunity for the public to address you on an agenda item that has already been revealed in the public hearing in which members of the public were allowed to testify. the public hearing has been closed. each member of the public may address you in this category for up to three minutes. this category relates to items 10 and 11 on your calendar and after this category, when we reach items 10 and 11, the public hear something closed. so the opportunity to address you on those items would only be at this time. i have no speaker cards for this category. president miguel: is there any public comment under this item?
>> good afternoon, commissioners. i'll charles here representing myself today. since the late 1980's i've been involved with various seismic-related commissions or committees or c.a.c.'s or whatever we want to call them. this was -- [inaudible] and i have always had a general question festering in my mind that i don't thinks that been properly addressed and i'm concerned because it's possibly creating a risk for the city and the developers for maintaining a reasonable amount of certificate tude and what it is you're aproving here. and that is the question of liquefying the soils in the mission, howard, etc., south of market area. and i'm afraid that maybe we
haven't gotten some good technical advice in a large overarching or overview of the potential risks to the city and to the developers on having essentially quickstand located in that area that may liquefy an earthquake. i know there have been discussions on pile driving versus concrete-base development, but i do want to point out one thing and that is, a building that goes off the centerline of gravity by 1% is a building that blks a throw-away building -- building that blk becomes a throw-away building. some of the engineers have told me that the designs of these buildings with a central core and not an exterior steel core or steel casement would create a phenomenon where the building will shake like an s.
it's analogous and it's been published that if it shakes as if you've got a long metal ruler and shook it, you would see it. and this could in fact cause the deviation from 1% or greater off the centerline. for instance, transbay may in fact move 27 feet at the top which would be pretty vigorous and could knock the building out of alignment. the other problem is, we're not -- this is not a perfect science, engineering. it's an empirical science. so this i think that there is a group under way that -- community action plan for seismic safety, that's looking at this type of thing in detail. and there's other options available to government with extraordinary resources we have in the seismic area with organizations in the east bay
that could do a very competent evaluation of the question of the isolation. so i'm sorry i ran out of time. but i do want to raise that because i am concerned about development on this corridor and the lick which faction problem. president miguel: public comment where the agenda has been closed. is there any further public comment on this area? closed items. >> yes. i'm a resident of 246 second
street and i'd like to comment on the e.i.r. for 222 second street. i think everybody knows the transbay terminal broke ground yesterday and the terminal. associated commercial development, the high speed rail, are certainly some of the most exciting and important projects in san francisco at this time. so, it's disheartening to see potentially significant impacts from this project that the transbay joint powers authority brought to light, inadequately addressed in the responses and ignored in the conditions for approval. most significantly which is the impact of the cal train downtown extension created by 22 having a -- 222 having a match foundation rather than a pile-driven foundation.
a brief explanation, if you drive the piles down to bedrock, you set the building on top of that, it doesn't really matter what's adjacent to the building or what happens around the building, it sets on that bedrock where as a mat foundation has a high capacity for displacement of adjacent soils and the letter from the transbay joint powers authority pointed out that having a mat foundation on 222 second versus a pile-driven foundation is going to create significant complications in a construction of the downtown extension, the cut and cover portion of the tunnel, as well as creating safety concerns with the reinforcement of it because the tunnel will have to resist a great deal higher lateral forces in the event of a seismic event. and the response has been in comments and responses, pages 64, just pointed out that
although it's not generally concerned with financial impact, the follow something noted for information and they pointed out that a mat foundation was going to be less expensive for the sponsor, they pointed out it was going to be faster for the sponsor, it was going to be easier for the sponsor. so instead of making things faster, easier and safer for a very important project that's publicly funded, we're making a faster, easier, cheaper for the sponsor of a private development project and there's no condition that the pile foundation should be used and i would strongly suggest that as a condition of approval that this project be required to use a pile-driven foundation because of the potential impacts to a very, very important project for the city of san francisco. thank you. president miguel: thank you. >> sue hoefter, also 222 second
street. i'm not going to be talking about foundations and earthquakes. the previous comments are very important. when the downtown plan was being developed, there was a lot of discussion about sight in downtown. lots of discussion -- sunlight downtown. lots of discussion. it was discussed at many hearings, it was discussed in many drafts. and you all have my letter. and what bothers me is that on a very important issue that you are being asked to grand an exception on, it's not considered to be an environmental issue in the sense of having all the documents in the e.i.r.. there is an assertion on shadow impacts in the approval resolution on shadows and this percentage that is not supported by anything in the e.i.r., oh, we're only talking about x percentage of shadow. what you're missing is the
referral to, and i didn't bring my e.i.r., shame on me, the pages in the e.i.r. of the shadow diagrams show significant shadows. at the point that you look at shadows in a dr. tradigsal shadow analysis -- in a traditional shadow analysis. it shows shadows at sock a.m., it shows shadows at -- 10:00 a.m. and noon and entire wlocks at a time. second street is -- blocks at a time. second street is an unusual street. i went to law school right near there. it's where people go to have lunch because there's a lot of restaurants, there's a very good chinese restaurant that lots of people go to. there are lots of restaurants. there is -- there isn't sun jthlight on the street. so people can come out of the canyons that exist in much of the south of market, in much of the financial district, and go to second street for lunch. it is a plent street to walk down -- pleasant street to walk
down because it has a slow scale. and what bothers me about this shadow analysis in the e.i.r. is that it didn't do the shadow analysis for the entirety of what are you dealing with. you are dealing with a shadow exception and instead that have in the e.i.r. you just have something in the resolution that pulls a number out of a hat, that the sponsor's developer did. i am assuming that they used the block between mission and market to have maximum sunlight numbers still in there because there's maximum sunlight on that block. but this is a sight that's at howard street. and you -- site that's at howard street. and you do not have good enough shadow information in this e.i.r. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you.
>> i'm responding to the comments that were just made. the section that she's referring to is section 146 of the planning code. i think we're going to get to phthalater today after we deal with the -- get to that later today. with respect to the e.i.r., i would contend that she's wrong with respect to the e.i.r.'s discussion of sunlight on sidewalks. the draft e.i.r. discusses it and there's an extensive discussion of this exact issue in the comments and responses on pages 11, 18 and 59. what mrs. hoefter is complaining about is the fact that this city and the ceqa process considering -- considers parks, considers privately held open spaces,ers can recreational open spaces -- considers recreational open spaces, but ceqa is not about
shadows on sidewalks. there's a special provision that deals directly with shadows on sidewalks. when we get to the entitlement proportion of -- portion of this a hearing and the exception that we're requesting, there will be plenty of discussion about that and there's plenty of material in the planning department file about the exception. but the exception's in the planninging code. there's no exception in the ceqa requirements. and mrs. hoefter hasn't pointed as to why there should be an analysis of shadows on sidewalks in the e.i.r. when it's down in the planning code. again, the e.i.r. talks extensively about shadows on parks, popos, recreational spaces downtown and all over the city and that's what every e.i.r. has done that deals with shadow issues. notwithstanding, the planning department has done a very good job at explaining background
information in the e.i.r. about this exact issue. we believe the documents more than adequate should be certified today and we'd be happy to any -- answer any questions you have. thank you. president miguel: thank you. additional public comment thunderstorm item? -- under this item? >> i'm tom and i'm a resident of 246 second street. i guess one of the experiences i've had in looking at this 222 second street project, i've gotten to understand a little bit, obviously thoroughly, as a physicist, the whole planning process and the e.i.r. process. and one of the things i think that is missing from the current e.i.r. is an aspect, again, of a high amount of residential area that is currently existing in this particular area, that's been
encouraged by the city in this particular area and will continue in this area as already several projects have been approved for residential within a couple of blocks of 222 second street. but the one shortfall i think that this document has is not considering the aspects of public health on the residents, the current residents as well as the transitory residents, that flow through this neighborhood. and i think one of the shames is that the planning department didn't take advantage of the expertise of the san francisco public health department which from research that i've done is really certainly a nationally recognized body in terms of the health impacts on environmental impact reports but also internationally as well. and i think particularly in
regards to the impact on traffic and traffic impact on pedestrians as well as bicyclists and other vehicles in an area that's already -- already has one of the highest accident rates in the city. so i think that is in my vantage point, an opportunity -- is, in my van tage point, an opportunity lost for the residents and citizens of san francisco, is to utilize this resource and include that in the e.i.r. process. thank you. president miguel: thank you. >> i'm an owner at 246 second street. good to see you and thank you for the opportunity. the neighborhood around 222 second street was industrial a century ago. it is not today. and 20 years of deliberate san francisco policy precedent which translated into codes, regulations, have basically
brought families to the area around 222 second street. and this explains the 10 condo projects that are anywhere between 100 and 1,600 feet. these 10 condominium projects house 1,000 families. i am one of those families. i have a 2-year-old daughter that i take to the kindergarten literally acrots from -- across from 222 second street. there are 127 kids at that bright horizon kinder grarten. there's a kindergarten behind my building at 222 second street and there is a wait list for all of them. consequently my neighborhoods and parents take their kids to the four other kindergartens that are less than a mile from 222 second street. second street is the main
spreet to -- street to the bay bridge and the ballpark which explains why at traffic at rush hour, traffic is terrible, during the baseball season it is unbearable. it is a fact that traffic volume is the primary cause of injury collisions at the area level. the bicycle coalition has been extremely vocal about injuries on second street to chronicle in a march 20th article, a doctor, the director of the injury center at the san francisco hospital in district six is the undisputed champion among city districts for generating death, injuries and medical costs. now, this proposed project would bring in 1,6040 new office workers into the -- 1,640 new office workers into the neighborhood every day. it would generate 10,950
personal trips per day. there is no question that allowing a noncode-compliant project is going to worsen traffic. what is key here is that increased volume of traffic is going to cost lives. given the number of children under the age of 9 in my building, these are 15 to to 20 kids and 15% to 20% of these buildings have kids under the age of 9. under these conditions it would be irresponsible to allow these buildings to go through. we have nothing against any buildings. all we want is a building to be code-compliant. thank you. president miguel: thank you. are there further public comment thunderstorm item? if not, public comment is closed. >> thank you. commissioners, you are now at consideration of findings and final actions.
the public hear something closed for that this category. item number 10, 1423 polk street. the concert for conditional use authorization for a full service restaurant. >> good afternoon. i'm rick crawford of the department staff. this case is a conditional use request for full service restaurant to occupy a commercial space at 1423 polk, in the polk street. the space is currently vacant. the sponsor does not have a restaurant tenant at this time. you heard this case last week and passed a motion of intent to disapprove the request because a sponsor did not yet have a tenant for the space. you directed staff to prepare a motion of disapproval that would allow the responser to return in less than a year if they were able to secure a tenant and you have that motion buffer. i'd be happy to -- before you. i'd be happy to answer any questions you have. thank you very much.
president miguel: thank you. commissioner lee: i move to approve the motion. commissioner borden: second. >> commissioners, on the motion for disapproval. commissioner antonini: no. commissioner borden: no. commissioner lee: aye. commissioner moore: aye. commissioner sugaya: aye. vice president olague: aye. president miguel: aye. >> that motion passed 5-2.
but it would eliminate the parking use as instructed or 430,000 office tower. the building goes to ground floor would have an enclosed publicly accessible open space and retail uses and space that would contain up to 80 parking spaces and 46 bicycles basis. the draft eir was published on january 27, 2010, and had a 57- day public review which closed on march 25. march 4, the commission held a public hearing to take public comment period on july 8, the department published the comments in a response document,
which included their responses of the comments. subsequent to the publication of the documents, the department received an additional letter on behalf of the residence at 246 in street. staff committed a written response on august 11 via e- mail. additional copies of these responses are available for the public are here on the table. supplemental comments deal with three primary ceqa topic areas, which were addressed in the eir documents. other issues relate to planning code exceptions as part of the committee, planning code section 309 project approval consideration. in terms of land use, the idea is located in the c30 district where office and retail uses are permitted. project would exceed those limits on the floors as well as not comply with the 150-foot height limit. it would be the subject of
project approvals. the documents also indicate that the characters of the surrounding use, and number of residential and commercial users are located in the vicinity. eir found that an office use and zoning district that from its office uses would not result in a significant land use impact theory with respect to shadows, shadowseir concludes the study and concludes that it would not conflict with the sunlight ordinance. the ceqa significance criteria asks if a project with affect usability of publicly accessible open space or outdoor recreational facilities or other public uses. as you see in the comments and responses document, we do respond to concerns related to shadow, sheeting on publicly accessible, privately owned open spaces, and in that context, the eir does not consider shadow impacts.
similarly for when they eir finds some -- when the eir -- eir finds this to be less than significant. eir identifies a number of significant and unavoidable impact related to traffic congestion at the intersection of harrison and second street, as well as cumulative impacts at the intersection of howard and third, howard and montgomery, harrison and second street. the project would make a considerable contribution to future traffic volumes that could result in significant delays at these intersections to determine that no feasible measures are available to reduce these effects. commissioners, the draft certification motion is included in your packet. staff recommends certification of this eir. this concludes my presentation. i am available for questions if you have any. thank you.
commissioner maine delaware: thank you. commissioner antonini: 90. i believe that was extremely well done, and i agree with your belief that this eir is complete and thorough. i would also like to point out that in regards to the analysis, which you mentioned of the office space and residential space in the area approximately between market and probably folsom and fremont, actually, 1/3 of the square footage, as you pointed out, of the office space in the downtown financial district is now located there. or about, rather, 15%, but the residential space is about 1/3 of the office space in the area, said they are both uses that are quite well studied in the area, and i also appreciated your
historical analysis, in particular, the reference to 631 howard st., which was very well done. so i think it is well done. i would move to certify. >> second. again for the general public, remember the eir addresses the alternatives, and some of the issues brought up. we will discuss later, but the eir itself i think is very well done, and michael here is extremely good in his responses to the general public. commissioner moore: my concern is that my question regarding policy and forward-looking response to concerns about not yet determined open spaces on top of the trans bay terminal were not really answered.
however, i would appreciate if there would be a more pro-active way of looking at it and also looking at the expansion of the museum. i cannot help but say, and not particularly singling out the developer or this eir, whenever we have an aggressive developer- driven eir, it gets very tight around howard and this question that does not really adapt a response to questions which are not being spelled out. the issue, and i'm talking to the juniors here, the issue on shadow sidewalks is a policy issue. as long as i have practiced in the city, shadow on sidewalks, which does not fall under the shadow ordinance in the way the public spaces government does, has been a concern, has been a design issue, and has been an
issue of public commitment by many developers, and in this particular way is basically being argued out, and it becomes -- i'm sorry to say the. it is kind of like a ping-pong game. he said, she said. you are right, you are wrong, and i'm frustrated not having someone on top of that policy to explain to me -- is it an issue or not an issue? the one thing i know is that while the transbay area is very strongly driven by office development, although that was not its original intent, proposition very clearly spells out that it was to be a mixed use building, but the competition is solely an office building. with rincon nearby, i know that we have an increasing number of residents in this particular corridor. i also know whenever the market
is not playing itself out well, there is an adaptive reuse of office space for housing. these are my comments regarding the eir. i have questions which i do not feel have been answered. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is for certification of this final environmental impact report. [roll call] that motion passes 6-1 with commissioner moore voting against. thank you. commissioners, you are now back on your regular calendar with item 12, a, b, c, and d. the