tv [untitled] July 15, 2010 10:30pm-11:00pm PST
the study area presents a number of challenges. namely, the area is characterized by a disconnected and dislocated public realm. the service parking lot certainly leaves major gaps in a pedestrian networked. some are described as the gap to smile on the embarcadero, and you can see this now which highlights the existing buildings to the extent of those gaps in the urban fabric. suburban style office parks that came in previous decades, turn their back to the street and dead in the street. similarly, offering of parking garages that on the sidewalks along the embarcadero and back towards the neighborhoods. there are a number of wide streets that interrupt pedestrian movement. on the plus side, the study area -- the study area is located within a half mile of downtown. access to jobs, shops, culture, transit, and other amenities is certainly among the best
anywhere in the bay area. second, development commissions within the study area have changed fundamentally since the last major development, the golden gate way, as was built. the freeway has come down. the beltway has ceased to operate, and light industrial area to the north of washington street turned primarily to its use -- office and residential. the port has made tremendous strides in the past decade. the embarcadero, not, the ferry building, appears 1 through 5 are all moving toward an area we can be proud. the land side, however, has lagged behind. despite a number of very attractive buildings, streets, spaces, special areas in the neighborhood, the area does remain disconnected, and the public realm is visibly for for it.
the northeast embarcadero study does address these conditions. we strive to create a unique waterfront experience to enter new development respects the content established by historic buildings. to establish opprobrious feet skied guidelines to provide safe, attractive, and inviting sidewalks and pedestrian path, to insure strong connections to the waterfront, to enhance the open space network, and to establish guidelines for site design, massive reticulation. the following design principles represent fundamental principles of good design and urban planning. best practices from across country and around the world, and the professional judgment of staff. the first building along the embarcadero waterfront, one of
the most memorable parts of any great waterfront is the manner in which the city meets the water. activity comes down to the water's edge. there is a seamless integration between urban life and the water. design principal two. we must respect san francisco's typography. typography is certainly a defining feature of san francisco and remains inseparable from our image of the city -- for topography. neighborhoods in particular center their identity around a topographical feature. the extension strengthen the city -- design principle no. 3, the extension of the city into the water remains one of the most memorable elements that defines san francisco's environment. striking views that result from the at times in the scramble application of the grid across hills visually connects the
neighborhoods to be heard as well. design principle of for your, recognize the city wide and regional role of the northeast embarcadero. the northeast embarcadero is a citywide, regional, and state what resourced. when decisions about development and open space are being made, they should be made from this grander and more subtly lighted perspective. this is a perspective that was reiterated repeatedly by the commission as well. design principal 5 -- provide open space concern to the needs of residents and visitors. adequate open space is a fundamental need for all city neighborhoods. our hearts are wonderful foundation for writing open space network equal to in grandeur almost anywhere in the country. the addition of smaller open spaces, as proposed by this study, would provide adequate amenities for this neighborhood. design principles 6 -- to ensure
the high-quality design of streets along the embarcadero waterfront. embarcadero's civic importance should be reflected in the quality of the public realm. quality of materials, attention to detail, and connectivity to adjacent streets and open spaces should be elevated above the ground and other parts of the city. design principal 7, the whole with severe vision along the embarcadero. similarly, new development needs arise commensurate with the waterfront's elevated civic role. as one of the most important destinations for residents and visitors alike, every development should strive to meet the high standards in contemporary architecture and urban design. finally, design principal aide, design in the context of an adjacent neighborhoods. -- design principal 8. the area is fortunate to have played such a significant role in the city's beginnings, and the study strongly recommends maintaining the integrity of the remaining historic buildings
while encouraging the very best in contemporary architecture. four design recommendations. based -- now four design recommendations. is the distance was, planning has developed 18 recommendations that cover the public realm and the design of the buildings. i will provide a summary of the major recommendations. there are two major themes in our study in terms of pedestrian connections. the first is connecting neighborhoods to the waterfront. embarcadero's west side should become a pedestrian sign and a priority east/west corridor -- pedestrians fine for the area, excuse me. verdi's include washington street, broadway, and jackson street -- priorities include. similarly, strengthening pedestrian connections to the waterfront will reconnect and strengthen the already established connections between the neighborhood, the city, and
the water. there are a number of strategies that the study proposes to strengthen pedestrian connections. first is the embarcadero on the west side. we propose a number of strategies to do that. the department recommends widening the west side of sidewalks to allow for pedestrian amenities, such as seating, landscaping, an outdoor cafe seating. second strategy we focus on its broadway. we proposed two scenarios -- the first, illustrated here, widened sidewalks provide a safe space for cyclists while narrowing the vehicle's base to three lanes from the current four. the second scenario expand the corner treatments begun on the western end of the street and brings it down to the waterfront -- corner bulbout she is. this scenario does not improve the scenario for cyclists.
the third strategy is washington street, a priority street, where we give the wind right of way, the four lanes of traffic. we see the opportunity to widen the sidewalk substantially on the north side to create what we referred to as a living street. examples already exists in the rincon hill development where wide sidewalks can already accommodate a number of amenities, including little pocket parks seating, outdoor seating, etc. the scenario also includes biplanes that connect chinatown to downtown. jackson street has many positive characters all ready and should be improved. second strategy in general for the whole area would be to extend existing streets to the waterfront as pedestrian rights of way. so it would be done at a number of locations throughout the city
area, but they include jackson st., image here, and union street -- image pier. the study has numerous recommendations for open space improvements. there is a significant gap in the open space network along the embarcadero. the existing open space is highlighted in orange. seas from sue bierman park in the south until you reach the plaza. we provide -- we suggest five new open spaces that allow for a variety of open space needs. it is worth noting that the commission expressed broad support for every major recommendation in terms of pedestrian connections and open space, and indeed, we have seen a lot of support across a broad range of people for these ideas. some of the more specifics of
how this might be done -- we have gone through on a parcel what are services to demonstrate how the open spaces can be integrated into the neighborhood. this is the site that is from jackson street north to pacific. we recommend, as i just mentioned, that jackson st. be returned as a public right of way and that from st. the -- the pathway be widened to it's full public right of way, allowing for a series of three new open spaces. for the site just north of broadway, we recommend the valejo be connected, and the front street be extended north of to the embarcadero as well, creating two new public spaces. additionally, we recommend that the sale, mid law, to maintain a pedestrian involvement.
-- midway between. finally, for the size between green and union street, a similar set of recommendations. we would have a more formal extension commerce east to the waterfront, and extending the treatment across in elevated crosswalk. similarly, front street would also be extended up to the embarcadero, and union street would be extended as a pedestrian right of way east to the waterfront -- east of the waterfront. the next set of recommendations deal with the quality of building design, and on this, we did also receive strong support from across the commission. design guidelines should require high-quality materials, vertical articulation, an active ground floors. the active ground floor should extend along the entire link of
the embarcadero on the west side. this is a critical pedestrian route, and we envision becoming a critical question,, we recommend that the active age be extended along the entire length of the embarcadero. building heights -- the principle that we based our recommendations on, that we should take full advantage of the existing urban infrastructure, reports and heating ground floor and adds to the area's amenities. i would like to point out that the existing height for parcells north of broadway are 40 feet. our study makes no changes to those existing heights. the planning commission did make a number of statements, however, that they felt that, given some
of the work that planning has done in other parts of the city, that looking at a minimum of 45 feet would be necessary for those sites. the rationale was that the ground floor, in order to be gracious, for contemporary retail needs the greater heights, and anything less than three floors above would compromise the ability to activate the public realm. commission president miguel also remarked that he took it one step further and recommended he would expect nothing less than 55 feet on these parcels for the same rationale that we really want to activate this part of the waterfront as an urban waterfront that is safe and attractive to people. if you need a surgeon density of development. planning recommends, in general, lowering heights over most of these sites south of broadway.
the site north of pacific shown here -- we recommend no development whatsoever. the parcel between jackson and pacific, we recommend a maximum height of 25 feet for two stories. for the heights south of jackson, we have a number of recommendations. importantly, we recommend a maximum height of 65 feet along the embarcadero. rationale is the it is a very wide street, and is illustrated in this section, -- here is the embarcadero stretching here at roughly 200 feet. 65 feet, we thought, was the minimum necessary to friday sense of enclosure -- provide a sense of enclosure, while also framing sue bierman park.
going back to the plan view, we recommend eight stories or 87 to 90 feet depending on the height of the ground floor, along the drug street frontage. we also allow for a maximum of 1/3 of the site to be built to a height of 12 stories or 127 to 130 feet. the exact placement of the we have left flexible. we would prefer to see it as close to the southwest corner of the parcel as possible, but allowing in recognizing the need for some creative license on the part of the architect, to place it in the most appropriate way. what we show here is the full extent, of to 130 feet, 12 stories. and then, six stories along the washington frontage and then
along the embarcadero as well. in evaluating the proposed sites for the parcel south of broadway, we considered a number of criteria. first, the need to refrain embarcadero and sue bierman park. the need for any new development to fit into the scale of golden gateway apartments, the golden gate way commons, and embarcadero center in historic buildings across the embarcadero itself. the area as a strategic location next to downtown and proximity to the waterfront, city's need for housing, and the opportunity for new residents to enliven activate the waterfront and the neighborhood and the downtown. this commission is well aware planning is necessarily a balancing act. this is especially true for this segment of the waterfront where historic the different opinions to exist. to help inform us, we looked at
a number of international examples based on community suggestions and these are areas that are adjacent to downtown, and we chose compatible and broad comparisons. i will be a high low, but a number of the cities in general -- i will give you a high level here. here in hamburg and here in stockholm. we have also tried to take contemporary examples, not to buy it, but certainly, some of the historic european city centers, also built at the same height, certainly have very positive connotation. they are continuing to be built at that scale. we also looked at the north american model.
people raise the example of vancouver with a 20-plus story tower behind. chicago is another waterfront city that community members suggested as having a gracious waterfront, and they certainly build tremendous height of to the edge of the open spaces along the waterfront as well. we made a large number of parking recommendations, and we should have definitely minimize the effect of parking -- of all street parking on the pedestrian environment. in addition to that, we made a number of other recommendations, including conducting a comprehensive study to address the long term parking needs of the ferry building and uses in the area. the study should include parking management in the funding system. for other, we recommend limiting parking in the development to approximate parking allowed.
finally, replace a parking should be based upon the demonstration of need for the district's function. as many of you now know, and as i indicated, there is a group of residents who have infinitely higher design to conduct their own planning process. we have met with the group and received a brief presentation. we have not yet received any written documentation of the group of's ideas, but based on those presentations and conversations with the group's spokesman, we can come to some preliminary recommendations -- conclusions. first, that there is broad agreement with the vast majority of planning's recommendations, but not limited to the geographic scope of the study, connections to an adjacent neighborhoods the washington, jackson, and broadway, development in all blocs within the study area, new open spaces, and widened sidewalks along the west side of
embarcadero. we are very optimistic about this process. we are encouraged by some of the early recommendations, and we look forward to hearing more from the group in the future, a recommendation that was endorsed by our planning commission, and we look forward to seeing some written comments as well for more in-depth review. close in points, a reminder that nebraska embarcadero study is an urban design study. the study builds on the great amount of planning work in the area, including the 10-year land use planning effort led by the court. the study concluded that the land side is in great need of public realm and design site improvements, and finally, planning has designed and doubles and recommendations to address these challenges. we have organized them under a number of key strategies to strengthen the pedestrian at work, including to the west, to create a larger, more tightly knit open space network, and finally, to ensure high quality
buildings that frame and activate the public realm. that in it -- that concludes my presentation. thank you very much. commissioner fong: thank you. any additional comments? ok, we are going to open this up to public comment, and there maybe some diverse opinions, so i'm going to ask there be no applause, and if you have any comments, to bring the outside. first one is dave stock fell -- stockdale >> good afternoon. i'm the executive director of the nonprofit firms market, so i'm here representing my board. our staff, our volunteers, and the 110 sellers at the ferry plaza farmer's market. we would like to commend the planning department for the extensive effort and thought that went into creating these
guidelines, these principles. we fully endorse the view point they are presenting, and in particular, we would like to comment on just a few items in their plan that we find particularly important for those of us operating small businesses in the area because this is a mixed use area. residents, visitors, and it is small businesses, and we appreciate this broader view that has been taken. for instance, items such as lots should be developed and released from growing unit developments, including two and 3-bedroom units to provide options for families. it is about creating proper density in the heart of the city, and for those of us with locally focused businesses, we present -- we appreciate the development that actually brings customers closer to us. second point made in the plan -- new developments should include
local and city-serving uses aimed at the needs of residents and local businesses. again, pointing out for those of us as small businesses, our needs include planning. includes lighting, safety, beauty, accessibility, and parking. finally on that point that is so critical, that the comment that existing parking the serbs surrounding businesses and attractions should be replaced and possibly increase on sites where it is essential for the district's function -- again, we appreciate that observation. as a green organization, we certainly prefer and actually try to encourage people to use alternative transportation to take advantage of transit, by it is the fact that some of our customers rely on the convenience of being able to park nearby and access our business is provided to them, so we find the planning department
for recognizing the need for some of our customers. again, is about creating a waterfront that works for all of us, and we appreciate divisions and guidelines that do that for us. commissioner fong: thank you. veronica sanchez. >> mr. president, members of the commission, veronica sanchez speaking on behalf of the inland boatmen scene of the pacific, the marine division of 40 lw -- for the lw. also, for the master mason pilots. as you know, both of our unions crew the ferry boats on the day, and we have the following steady process very closely because the design guidelines that are being provided certainly provide an
opportunity. we will release some of these parcels, particularly 337, for future development that is needed. the replacement parking in the ferry building area which is needed to expand the ferry terminal, and we worked very hard to go and get that public funding for this project, so there is a lot at stake here. we complement the efforts of the planning department in this study in balancing the need for public spaces, recreational uses, the community benefits, and most importantly, the ports need to be profitable so that it can continue to subsidize maritime operations. like the ferry services, ferry terminals that it does subsidize along the waterfront, so we thank you for the opportunity to have been part of this process, and we think there is really no
need for further studies or changes. i know marina labored very hard for this year's of the commission, that advisory board, and she feels very strongly that it is complete. so thank you very much. >> good afternoon or good evening, commissioners. one of the original developers of the their rebuilding was unable to attend to dave asked that i submit this letter on his behalf. "i regret i am unable to attend your hearing today. while i cannot give testimony in person, i would like to share my belief that the nebraska waterfront plan will have a profound as -- profound impact on many businesses that have moved to this area and around the ferry building and have contributed to the revitalization of the very important public space to the city. i believe the plan will
encourage appropriate development of other small lots on the development, and also firmly believe that any development of a parking lot must include a permanent supply of public parking for the use of retail customers, appropriately priced to discourage all-day parking an adequate provisions for interim parking during any construction phases to ensure that existing retail in the area is not harmed by the new development. having witnessed the last decade of progress on our waterfront and having been intimately involved in the planning efforts, i know first firsthand how difficult nearly impossible it can be reached consensus on any development or change on the waterfront. i would like to commend planning staff for their efforts over the last year-and-a-half in embarking on a study that involves so many diverse and very stakeholders. the study not only augments the decade of planning that went into the waterfront land use plan but also sets the stage for future developments in this area, such as sea wall lot 351
and ensuring that the area and the ferry building remain viable. i've seen progress on the bayside over the years, and the land side remains undeveloped. the study frames this discussion and encourages responsible, smart development and open spaces along the embarcadero. for all of these reasons, i encourage the port commission to support these guidelines and the work of the planning staff over the past year-and-a-half, and move forward with sensible development, such as sea wall lot 351." thank you. commissioner fong: thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. i am an attorney at gibson dunn, which is a member of smirk. i'm here tonight to read a letter that is submitted from the metcalf of spur -- gabe
metcal. "dear commissioners, we would like to offer our support for the acceptance of the northeast embarcadero study. it reflects strong staff work and is implemented with -- if implemented, would significantly improve the public realm of sentences. if knowledge is the importance of the embarcadero to the city and includes design approaches so it enhances the city for everyone. most important, we believe these guidelines are consistent with the port's waterfront land use plan. we think it is essential if we continue to refer to the waterfront land use plan as the governing document for decisions about what lands. this planning process was started by citizen initiative and ultimately involved hundreds of citizens in one of the most extensive public participation processes in the city's history. planning is going to matter, rather than th