tv [untitled] July 15, 2010 11:00pm-11:30pm PST
of side-by-side battles over each project that comes along, we have to actually rely on the integrity of our documents. we should not start a new project for each that is proposed. we heard a presentation at the last hearing by asian neighborhood design about a planning study they are doing on behalf of some of the neighbors in the area. i was impressed by the quality of their work, and i look forward to seeing the results of their study. fortunately, they're thinking appears to be largely consistent with the city staff's work, and i think is possible to simultaneously do three things. one, except the northeast embarcadero study. here below, move forward with asian neighborhood design's community-based study, and 3, continue to evaluate individual projects based on their consistency with the waterfront land use plan. planning in the nebraska waterfront, as in every other part of san francisco, will
never be finished for all time. we will always be finding new issues to address in revising past work. that means we cannot put everything on hold while we're planning. a strong plan with integrity is already in place, as it is with the port's waterfront land use plan. we should continue to move forward even while the planning efforts are undertaken, as they always will be. thank you for considering our perspective. sincerely, gabe metcalf." thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. i am a principal at an architecture firm here in san francisco. i work on the embarcadero and am intimately familiar with the challenges it presents. i'm pleased to be here on behalf of my firm and many individuals who have worked effortlessly to support the thoughtful
development of their waterfront community. without equivocation, i'm in favor of the northeast embarcadero study and encourage your unanimous support. the study was the most recent effort commenced 15 months ago in february 2009 and was based, as you know, on many years of hard work by individuals, small community groups, design and planning professionals. the port's waterfront land use plan was adopted in 1997. so much time, effort, and financial resources have been invested in this area of the waterfront, and this study adds more detail to the port for the waterfront land use plan. there is no doubt the study represents good planning principles, historic sensitivity, acknowledgment of open space requirements, and connectivity between neighborhoods and the day. every planning process in this city faces certain special interest groups who are investing in maintaining the status quo. however, the city must make bold steps in order to insure our
waterfront's viability and success, and this study does just that. at the end of the day, the study supports with the city searches for, a template for creation of extraordinary experiences at the city's waterfront, tempered by guidelines regarding site design, building management, and pedestrian access. thank you for your time. commissioner fong: thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is roger wong. i'm a resident of san francisco for over 35 years. i'm an architect mo and architect mss wong associates practicing here along the
waterfront. i work here, i work on products here, and on weekends, i bring my family here. first of all, i would like to say that this district is like no other. the ferry building, the embarcadero, the, not, the fort walks, and these are all true public access and to open space for all of san francisco. on any given day, especially weakens, the district is enjoyed by a diverse group of people. you see mothers, fathers, hikers, joggers, walkers, lovers, skaters, and, yes, even skateboarders. i have to admit, over 20 years ago, when the 1989 loma prieta earthquake took down the freeway, i had close family and
friends in chinatown that were my concern. the chinese community wanted the freeway replaced. freeway opponents pushed for the freeway removal instead of the repair. at first, a cost traffic woes, but soon, drivers readjusted. what we all forget, prior to the earthquake, there was strong opposition to remove the embarcadero freeway. in 1986, voters rejected the board of supervisors'proposal to remove the freeway. opposition claimed it would cause major gridlock. the proposal was the dividend. there were eat -- there was even a 1000-page eir supporting the measure.
one of the supervisors and even the love of columnist for lilly were opposed to the freeway removal at the time. we were wrong. -- originally were opposed. it took as quick to show us. 20 years later, there is a brighter side. the embarcadero is given a chance to reunite with the waterfront, starting with projects like the very building and tears 1.5, 3 and 5, a project that i was delighted to participate in, is bringing the embarcadero back to life. we have a true public realm here. we have an opportunity to unite neighborhoods, provide pedestrian connections to the waterfront, not dead-end streets. commissioners, i fully support the northeast embarcadero study and what it offers to connect the communities we have here. thank you.
>> thank you. [inaudible] i'm on the board of directors of aia san francisco. i'm here to speak on behalf of the board and offer our support of the northeast embarcadero study. the board of directors on aia said -- san francisco endorses the study as a new tool to guide development along the western edge of the embarcadero. the study sets in place measures to address treatment of historic resources, establishes appropriate height limits for new construction, and it will provide overall guidance to project sponsors and agency reviewers. the embarcadero has the potential to become ec's grant,
now -- become the cd's grand promenade the overall document is a solid framework for future development along the embarcadero, and we encourage its development. i have a few letters of support that i would like to read to you. i will bring them over, and again, thank you for your support. commissioner fong: thank you. >> good evening. i'm here to represent my firm. we are geotechnical engineers. i was at last week's public meeting, and i will just abbreviate my comments here, but i speak on behalf of my firm -- we are all native san franciscans born and raised here, and personally, we really endorse this plan. i like the analogy to the string
of pearls that we have been lucky enough as professionals to have been involved in theory the creation of a number of those pearls, and i think this is definitely the next one in the string. i would like to add the insight to this that specifically, the washington building, a building of that scope and the associated foundations that would, of course, take into account the many engineering constraints of building a large building in this area of the city, but a building of that scope really has the effect to increase what we would term the global stability of the area, which i think is not a trivial asset to public safety in this region, so just again, as a native san franciscan, on behalf of my firm, i really support this measure. i think it has been done fairly, although we really look forward to seeing it progress. thank you very much.
>> good afternoon. first of all, i want to say please do not refer to sue bierman park. it is illegal and fraudulent name of it, and it never passed the board of supervisors, so please stop reporting fraud. the plan is seriously flawed. there is no need for condos, especially on the corner of washington and the embarcadero. this area is so congested with heavy population that it does not need another one. the east side is lovely. there's so much progress on it. an underground garage. 500 cars on the corner of washington. it is only four lanes for one block, and they want to take that away. this is ridiculous. folks, please use some common sense.
[inaudible] the 555 washington street condo died for good reason, and it was not because of special interests. it was because it was wrong, and this is wrong. connect the boat to the water. this is a travesty. i do not understand where you are coming from. the tower that contradicts the waterfront study plan in the first place, and you cannot go wrong with this. you have to make this a beautiful thoroughfare, so connect the land to the day. do not block the ferry building sites. this is in direct contrast to where the ferry building is. you will not be able to see it, and that is just iscoit tower.
you have to protect that view. so again, you tower. you can have valet parking. you can have shuttles. you cannot get to the bay bridge now, with n. with the exploratorium and other things coming down the pike, it is going to be ridiculous. this contradicts your own recommendations. another not the proposal. why do we have to cut through a street where there are lovely condos protected by that area when we can get through washington street and broadway? why cut it in the middle, which creates homeless people, security problems, and all kinds of nonsense we do not need? let us keep the west side of the waterfront quiet.
let us keep it at 40 feet. we did it for good reason down the other end. we cannot do anything about the south side. let's keep the north side beautiful. there is no comparison. president fong: allan mark. >> hello. i am a resident of washington hills for 20 years and a homeowner there. i have also been a member of the telegraph club for 18 years. i am the president of the company involved in real estate consulting on the residential side. i strongly support the northeast embarcaderos study. it has been very thorough, very well thought out. this town averages about 1000 sales a year of condos. at the peak of the market, there were 3000 condominium sold in
2007. right now we have 800 left that are not in contract. there is virtually no new residential construction going on in the market. i do not see anything happening for the next year or two. i envision another shortage of housing, unfortunately. many developments take a minimum of 18 months to three years to build. i know the embarcadero very well. i think we can activate the site. i do not think it is terribly safe at night. i am a major walker. i think we should support this. it involves a lot of surface lots. i see empty lots that turn into activated sites during the day and night. it really changes the neighborhood. president fong: thank you. will travis?
>> thank you, mr. president, members of the commission. i would like to offer bcec's staff support for the study. i think we can all be extremely proud of what we have accomplished here on the waterfront. in fact, bcdc regularly takes credit for the good work you have done here. [laughter] i think we have to acknowledge that we have only partly done the work. our goal is to reconnect san francisco to the waterfront. you have done a great deal of work here on the water side of the embarcadero. your executive director and i regularly engage in quality control assessment at the many restaurants along there. [laughter] obviously, i take my responsibilities more seriously than she does. what we have decided to do is
look at and the determination of what this side of the embarcadero should look like. what do we want? and then we went about doing what we said we wanted to do. the embarcadero was the same thing. we made choices. what do we want to achieve? we went about implementing them. we need -- we need the same thing for the inland side of the embarcadero. that would be the fabric that holds and nets the city together with the embarcadero and the day. in essence, what we have now is half of a well-dressed person, or a beautiful painting without a frame. we need to finish this. the study lays out the parameters for doing this. i recognize there is going to be a lot of controversy over some elements in that plan, the implementation of it. but that controversy should take place within the context of goals, objectives, and what we
are going to try to achieve. it should not stop the process because of controversy over individual elements. in fact, i think it will allow us to better address these controversies if we have some differences. on behalf of our support, i thank you. i congratulate you for your achievements. we engage in collaborative partnerships with the part, using your money to achieve our objectives. this is such a good idea i wanted to be here and step in early so that when it is as successful as it will be the weekend it credit for it. thanks a lot. president fong: angie corney? >> good afternoon. thank you for having me here. my name is andrew corney. i am diane professional -- a
design professional at an engineering firm in san francisco. i have a child here in san francisco. i wanted to commend the city on the plan. i think they did a great job. i think it is a great guide for the development of this part of the city. but there are two things i wanted to talk about today. first of all, i am originally from sydney, australia. when i look at the waterfront in san francisco and there is still a lot of work to be done. i did once when i first lived here -- when i first moved here took the walk along fisherman's wharf. i have not done that walk sense, because i do not think it is a nice walk. i do not think this plan will address that. there are not many places to stop and have a drink. there is not a particularly beautiful walk along that side of the harbor. i think this plan would go a
long way toward improving that as a great opportunity for the city and seaport, to approve the amenities. i think it could improve the quality -- the quality of the city. as a young professional who moved to the city, i think i am reflective of a lot of young people in the city. a lot of young people have moved here from other parts of the united states and other countries and called san francisco home. it is difficult for people like us to find housing in san francisco. there needs to be more housing in san francisco. this is a great opportunity to bring more housing into a part of the city where people could commute to work without a car. for those two reasons and for all the great work the planning commission has done, i thoroughly support the plan. president fong: jim chappel? i am sorry. if you can hold on to minutes,
we're going to take a two minute breakready? picking up where we left off, jim chappel. >> i am an experienced professional planner who has worked in community planning in san francisco for over 30 years. i am here today representing myself and thousands of people who have worked to improve san francisco's waterfront over the years. i do not need to remind this commission that the waterfront land use plan was adopted in 1997, after seven years of collaboration between all interested parties in the san francisco. it represents a viable framework for meeting the diverse needs of the port itself and all the others who would use and enjoy
this unique city resource. thousands of residents spent tens of thousands of hours over a seven year period to craft that plan. the current excellent nebraska waterfront study which you are considering today -- northeast waterfront study which are considering today it validates its sentiments. this most recent effort was begun in february 2009, a full 15 months ago. now, some people are suggesting this is not enough and we must stop and go back and do more planning again. this is highly disrespectful of the good effort of so much of the public over so many years, and it is gratuitous and beside the point. there are those people who want no change to anything, ever. i want to commend the planning department on a very thorough and democratic process, and an excellent professional progress.
i ask this commission do everything in your power to advance the recommendations of the northeast embarcaderos study, including its design principles and guidelines. this represents the will of the greatest number of the public and represents a good planning principles. do you have a card there for wells whitney? he had to leave, but he asked me to say we knew san francisco would also agree with these comments. president fong: dick lummock? >> good evening, commissioners. my name is dick flumack. i have been working in san francisco since 1965. when you were looking at some of the slides presented earlier
with the view of the cityscape, there was not a building in there i did not work in in one capacity or another. [laughter] so one of my original clients had an office here. this is 45 years ago, at one of the ferryboats when the port commission was renting the ferry boats as office space. the only one left now, i understand, is 27,000 square feet of office space. anyway, for 20 years i was also a member of the golden gate way tennis club, and drifted from there to windsurfing. so the waterfront is close to my heart. and i came here to support the planning commission recommendation for the nebraska waterfront study -- for the northeast waterfront study.
it is first class. waste no more times on meetings and study groups. we had to many of those, in my opinion. we do not need that anymore. in my opinion, you should approve that post haste so we can go to work in the construction area that we know how to build the buildings and enable individual projects to proceed. thank you very much. president fong: alec bash? >> good evening, commissioners. i am here to present comments for myself and levine asked me if i would introduce her letter as well. i think we have had some
excessive comments on the plan. while we did not achieve consensus there either, i think our comments were taken into account in the work on the report. achieving consensus is an ongoing effort, particularly on the waterfront. to work by neighborhood design has the potential to add more players and texture to that. such efforts are always to be encouraged. i hope to broaden their efforts to engage all stakeholders in this critical area of the city, not only the community participants so far, but other businesses and institutions like the very building, design groups, civic-minded groups, and other important parts of the city. with regard to toby's letter, she says the study is a strong
development for shaping future development on the waterfront. the current situation must be changed. we have several blocks with a non penetrable fence followed by in slightly marks reject unsightly marks. she believes this should be accepted as it were the document that would present a guide to development of this important part of the city. she points out the report beautifully illustrated the emphasis on improving pedestrian access, which is excellent. the idea of a mediating damage to the area caused by the golden gateway is excellent. she adds your concerns about the long wall of the club to that. she encourages development of the design guidelines for the 25 foot height limit area in order
to enhance the pedestrian experience of that part of the embarcadero. she concurs that the current pedestrian projects need to be enhanced and made safe, and resources should be focused on that. she believes in developing open spaces tucked into existing development, mandating family size housing. that is not enough to make a child-friendly area. we need it child care centers, libraries, etc. she believes the current proposal for lot 251 is a reasonable compromise. that concludes her letter. thank you for your time. >> commissioner bill had to leave, but has submitted a
letter for the record. president fong: brendan dunnigan? >> good evening, commissioners. i am in licensed california architect. a practice here in san francisco in live here in san francisco. i am raising two children who are attending public schools. this week, they are attending a camp at the golden gateway tennis club. it is a great facility. those things will still be in place later. but i am here in support of what has been done by the planning commission and the planning department. it is to be commended. this is the final key, as many folks have said, in completing the waterfront, which so badly needs to be activated. the densities that have been discussed, i think, are appropriate. the need for housing has been clearly articulated by alan mark
and others. we do a lot of residential work in this town and definitely need to see more housing in the pipeline. it is projects like washington and others along the waterfront that would add tremendous housing. this is about the greater public good. clearly, this is that link between the ferry building and the fisherman's wharf that needs that greater public wharf and needs to be built into something exciting. i cannot wait to see it for myself, my children, and the greater public good. i fully support what has been presented to you today. president fong: paul iseult? patricia craig? >> good evening, commissioners.