tv [untitled] January 2, 2012 5:31pm-6:01pm PST
>> good morning. i am diane osheema with the port of san francisco. we read here on the last hearing on this item. we want to express our thanks and appreciation to your staff. i think they have done a masterful job of putting this together. staff in particular has been very supportive to the issues we raised before you at the last hearing. i did want to submit for the record that we did share this with the port commission back in november, so we briefed them on the issues we brought before you. they were in concurrence with what this that assessment had been that we presented to you in october. we're very happy with the direction that the recommendations are going in and would like to work further with your staff and take advantage of
the particular languages on the planning code as it relates to shifting the waterfront design review and waterfront design advisory committee process to a broader extent on all port property. we also wanted to applaud some of the catches that errant pick up in his analysis regarding some of the sign provisions. -- that erin picked up on in his analysis regarding some of the sign provisions. there are things we want to make sure we accommodate it the city approves the project. furthermore there are other provisions about this legislation at that we think might be -- might provide tools that would assist the ports efforts to preserve the historic peers and historic resources within the
embarcadero natural resources areole within the waterfront. we would like to take advantage of the time extension to work with supervisor chiu's office to see whether we can move that forward. i will submit these come in thank you very much again for all your attention to this. we will stay tuned. -- i will submit these, and thank you very much for all of your attention to this. >> good morning, commissioners. we believe this is a great piece of legislation, just speaking to the housing component. it will do a lot to encourage certain general plan and specific area plan goals, which are dense residential and downtown. mixed in come within a certain project. in particular, the f.a.r. provision will encourage developers like us to provide
units on site. the last few years the developer runs the calculation, and it costs less to the project to pay the fees. we will simply start providing more units on site, so you will have tmixed income units. also getting rid of the density cap is an artificial cap, but you still limit the scope of the development by the height and the dwelling unit exposure and open space and all of the other components. the commission in the practice of giving cu's anyway. we think it is great, and i will be back in february to talk again. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. jeff hamilton, director of government relations.
the exploratory of new project was approved unanimously by the port commission in 2009 and this commission. we're happy to report we just passed a 50% completion milestone, so we're very excited about that. as part of the approvals, the court granted a 16-year license, beginning once the museum is open for up to 200 spaces at nearby 321. i want to take a moment to emphasize that we are committed as an institution to ensuring that the majority of employees and visitors arrive by public transit or walk or bike. our employees will be encouraged to use public transit. we're very excited about that. however, and a minimum number of parking spaces is required economically for us, and also for us to deliver the mission.
the original draft of today's proposed legislation would have caused non-accessory parking lots in c2 districts to become non-conforming uses that would need to be eliminated within five years and 90 days. this would really have been untenable for the explorator ium. we brought this to the attention of president chiu and planning staff and we are assured by his commitment to find a resolution, which we appreciate. we believe the recently- submitted staff report provides language we can support. our understanding of the staff proposal is it requires additional use permits for new parking lots, but it site section 178 a-2 of the existing planning code as allowing existing wats -- and
keep looking in your direction -- to continue as permitted uses. under this analysis, existing lots are not non-conforming and can continue in existence without triggering a conditional use permit. we respectfully request the planning commission support for a key staff recommendation. thank you. >> thank you. kris pemberton, followed by ten chao and peter cohen. >> good morning. we definitely have concerns about eliminating surface parking lots in san francisco, but in addition to that, we're also very concerned about the weight restrictions included in the planning code. they would like to have as eliminate mostly perking altogether and impose a long-
term rate that would essentially take a parker from $350 per month, which currently exists in the downtown area, to somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,600 per month to park your car. i do not know if anyone has studied the economic impacts. many of the people need their car for trips inside for convenience, and also for salespeople, lawyers that have to get to and from court. someone should take the time to go through and see what kind of impact the quadrupling of the monthly parking rate will do to these types of firms. will the move out of the city? very likely -- very possible. that will impact many of office buildings and have a devastating impact on the economy.
i think someone should take the time to do real economic study of how the rate restrictions will impact the economy. thank you. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is kris pemberton, and i am an architect here in sentences go. our firm does a lot of residential projects. i would like to speak in favor of the legislation, really with respect to two things. the f.a.r. allowance that would seek inclusion very housing would not be included. i think that is a very good thing as we look at projects, because it will create neighborhoods where you have affordable housing on site together with market rate, which is that a great thing for the
city i think. i am in support of that. i am also in support of the allowance that you removed the did to the limit for these sites, because you will create more housing in these neighborhoods, which is really the intent of the plan. i am speaking to support that. thank you. >> my name is tin chao. i am here to express our opposition to the legislation, and the lack of our reach to the community relating to this impact. sometimes i wish you could read chinese newspapers so you know what happens in the community. yesterday the largest chinese newspaper in the bay area has a four-page article on this. the title is "david chiu, zoning
legislation moving forward hearing today with no public our treach." in relating to chinatown, this will impact chinatown greatly, could delete the small business community. chinatown has the highest density of commercial areas in the city. this legislation calls for the beginning of housing in the chinatown area, the requirement of providing recaps screenings. i have no idea why rooftop screening is a priority. and the article basically talks about people getting blindsided by the legislation. also, the impact. there are lots of plastic awnings. i think when legislators are
pushing for legislation, we teen -- we need to know what are the impact in the community. i am talking about the first time we heard about this was in may, over half a year. people got to know about it through the newspaper. so i think we need to -- the planning department needs to do a better job of moving this legislation. when it comes down to it, it is all about respect. i do not think this is the model for community planning. thank you. i am submitting this newspaper, and also this letter. thank you. > good morning, commissioner
peter cohen, from the council of community housing organization. i have something for the commission. this is a letter that we prepared from a very short and sweet a few months ago to supervisor chiu is office that relates to the commission staff. i want to make sure that it got to you because i did not see it in the packet. in short, this is a piece of legislation that is trying to do many different things. there seems to be six different topics or six different ordnances that are bundled together. it is hard for me to say the organization opposes it, because there are so many pieces. we have serious concerns about the way this came together, as well as the content. it is something that reaches very far from simple things like awnings and canapes and things
like parking controls to excess reuse provisions to affordable housing, and everything in between. transferable development rights. this is in my decade or so one of the most incredibly-ambitious pieces of public policy that i have seen, and the scope of what it is trying to do all at once. i would caution the commission to think about how many different parts of very serious public policy and code are being dealt with, and whether it is possible to really grow up with all of them simultaneously. that said, i have heard from tim colan that they have the benefit of very extensive briefings from the architect of much of this.
the council has had no briefings in does not been consulted in any way. we are perfectly open in prepared to do that. when it comes to provisions about affordable housing, i think that is an area that we know a bit about. it is very unclear to us why in this forum and with no real dialogue there would be an attempt to improve inclusionary housing dialogue. i do not see the mayor's office of housing here to provide feedback to you on housing policy. i think also it is important to point out that the inclusion very housing update is starting in january. there will be a long process. the planning department has a staff. it will be run by the mayor's office of housing. there is a technical advisory committee that has been appointed, as well as our organization as we prepare to
dig deep, both into the technicalities, as well very, as well as the policy framework for inclusion mary. if there is the thought that we need to incentivize, then that is the form that needs to happen. san francisco has never incentivized the provision of on-site inclusion every housing units, other than creating an ever where it makes it more sweeter. that is the way it should work. if it is not working, we should figure out how to tweak things or create carrots, to do that. doing that, and unilaterally in this way, i would just, is not the proper way to do it. i have heard this from a to development leaders, turn your attention to the comptroller's report that just came out a week or two ago. it review the fiscal year 11
development impact fees. in particular, the impact of the feed their furl ordinance that this part of the commission was faced with approving a year-and- a-half ago, advanced by the mayor's office of economic development under the previous administration. it is quite astounding to look at what the report tells us. i am not sure -- commissioners, i did not bring copies. but there is a simple summary table. last year, there was a total of $14.5 million of deferred fees. $11.5 million of those fees were affordable housing. combat, in great measure, aside from using that cash flow, is why we are seeing fee-outs. it is obvious, that is the way
to go. it is tough to incentivize this in the context of the feed the furled program that we could change it. it could just be an incentive that is unnecessary. for a variety of reasons, i think we have to tread lightly about any modification to affordable housing policy. i would ask that this either be taken out of the ordinance, at the supervisors be passed, or that we have a much deeper conversation about the context of this in the conclusiona -- inclusionary update. >> is there any other public comment? >> local real-estate developer. i generally support this legislation, but one thing to did catch my eye that i wanted to bring to your attention. early on, i heard the legislation included some
relaxation of the excess reuse under section 204 of the planning code. oftentimes, excess reuse in commercial space takes the space of mezzanine space. i have heard the proposal was to expand the accessory allowance from 1/4, where it is presently, to one third, which basically allows the excess race pace with the mezzanine definition under the building code, which seemed to make sense to me as a policy move, but then i would disappointed to see that that proposal was restricted to only the sea-2 and rc districts. as somebody who cares about enhancing flexibility were ever reasonable, and as someone who cares about implementing the adapted area plans, which the planning commission has been -- shown such leadership in, i would like to see that same
concept applied itself to the pdr districts. thank you. >> good morning, commissioners. i am here to speak about the c- three housing issues that others have spoken about. what is important to realize is the recent palmer decision out of los angeles made a big difference in the ability to do on-site affordable housing. part of what the city attorney has determined is that, in order to do a on-site affordable inclusionary units, the city need to provide a bonus. in one of the few districts where housing is restricted by f.a.r., there is the ability to provide a density bonuses to accommodate this type of housing. the way to do that is to
provide an f.a.r. exemption. that is exactly what this legislation does. it is not so much that is incentivizing or favoring on site, it is simply allowing the onsite option to work. right now, if he tried to a rental project, you cannot do on site affordable housing, unless you can establish some sort of incentive or concession that the city has provided to the project. what this legislation does this implies that, so that c-3 districts, where there are density bonuses, there is a built-in density bonus that allows you to expand on that. all the wise, you could not do it. it does provide an important means of encouraging a mixed income housing in downtown districts that is where a lot of the new high-density rental projects are being proposed around the civic center area, ninth street, van ness, polk,
these very large rental projects that provide a large number of rental housing. if they cannot get an f.a.r. exemption for their inclusionary units, they will not build them. it will be 100% affordable projects. whether that is a good thing or bad thing, i am not saying. i am just saying the current ordinance allows the on-site option, but the state law does not allow it for rental projects on must there is a density bonus built into the code. it is important to have this provision and i would encourage you to look favorably upon it. not some sneak attack by the development community by supervisor chiu's office. >> commissioners, my name is patrick kennedy. i am and developer from berkeley
but i'm doing two or projects in san francisco. i am very familiar with the development restraints in the c- 3 area. i have a big rise project for ninth and mission and doing a low-rise identity card-free project on harriet street. i would encourage you to adopt these amendments in their entirety because i think they are going to be very helpful in supplying, encouraging, and facilitating development in the c-3 areas. i think this is a good thing for what i view of -- at least five reasons. new development and a part of the town that can accommodate it. there is great transit and capacity to house new people. it also relieves pressure from outlying areas. the 20,000 new .comers that are coming have to live some place.
if we can redirect a lot of their housing to these areas, they will not be putting pressure on outlying neighborhoods and single-family homes, raising the eyes of -- price of those. it will also revive housing close to jobs. we all know that is good for the city, transit, and good for the environment. a third matter is it would create huge number -- it would go a long way to create a huge number of jobs. both of us in the construction industry sorely need that right now. anything that the seller is the pipeline of development will be a great boon to the economy and to a lot of households in the city. a fourth reason is that this set aside, bmr units on site is a useful and successful architecture. i have built 500 units in berkeley. 25% were set aside for very low
income tenants. my firm became the largest landlord of section 8 tenants in the city and had more units in the berkeley housing authority. this was all done at no cost to the city, and all of those unions stayed on the tax roll. the city got essentially 100 units of below market income rate managed by a private investor at no cost and everything state. this leads to my last and final observation. this arrangement has the great virtue of requiring no money on the part of the city, no commitment of future resources, and no expenditure of staff time. in this age of diminishing resources, this is a valuable aspect, a self perpetuating,
self-encouraging feature. thank you. >> is there additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: i have some questions about the legislation. my first question deals with the surface parking lot. maybe i did not follow your comments correctly. it sounded like, on the one hand, you are saying surface parking lots would be grandfathered. on the other side, you are saying that they would be subject to cu approval every five years to remain in operation. which are you advocating for? >> both, but they are different zoning districts. c-2, we are asking for conditional rather than prohibited. that would allow parking lots to operate in perpetuity. c-3, we are asking that the
temporary use permit be extended from two years to five years, which will exist allow the existing parking lots to come back every five years. it would still make them a nonconforming use. if they do not get that temporary -- conditional use permit, they would have to go out of business. commissioner antonini: so one of the two districts would grandfather them and allow them as a legal, nonconforming use indefinitely. the other district, they would have to go through the cu process every five years. >> c-2, they would not be a legal nonconforming use, but conditional. commissioner antonini: conditionally permitted that would also be subject to c-2 approval. new ones.
that is the currenthat is the i was looking for. i am not sure if i have another question for you, but i have comments. if i have more questions, i will bring you up again. generally speaking, i would agree, as one of the speakers said, these are things that should be grandfathered in indefinitely. nobody likes surface parking lots. if you look at the very top of market, lots of things are being built and service parking lots being eliminated, as it should be. the revenue they generate and opportunities they provide for businesses that may need this, businesses that depend upon them, it is important to keep in operation. i am not so sure i am in favor
of the changes now being put forth, either by the supervisor, or staff recommendations. certainly, i am much closer to staff. i am just not sure we have to go through the cumbersome conditional use process every five years for a parking lot that will be anything else. no one wants to keep a parking lot. they can generate much more revenue from a use that is a building and other things. we have seen a lot of that. we have seen these interim parking lots, when they did have the approval for their project and the project has been slow with income, they have asked for interim parking. many of these have then gone on and build the project they were intended for. that, we have to look into. i think, certainly, grandfathered projects, have to be included. i do not see any reason why --
or is it actually appropriate, and perhaps questionable. perhaps it is a matter of policy that any city should do, to try to change their rules midcourse with grandfather projects. the zoning administrator limits that have been concerned -- voices concern around those. most of those powers are given to the zoning administration. it would allow him to have more flexibility in parking, rather than make it more restrictive. i think that is what i'm reading into this. >> this was one of the items that i wanted to clarify. this is not actually new power, new responsibility. this is an existing a story that we would otherwise use a different process. usually, through the various process. the idea of placing this in