Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    July 15, 2010 11:30pm-12:00am PST

12:30 am
planning coalition. i have a letter on ellen's behalf. we are pleased to submit comments supporting the northeast embarcadero study. these are guidelines for new development in the area. we are very pleased that the san francisco planning commission approved the study's recommendation at the hearing on july 8. we hope the port commission will do likewise and approve the study. it has many sound recommendations. the following are representative examples of what we see as useful comments. the sea wall should be developed and released from the growing limits. development should include neighborhood and city-serving uses on the ground floor. new development should provide the range of natural to poverty and surrounding communities.
12:31 am
these developments should complement the character of historic districts, but also represent the best of contemporary architecture. the sand francisco bay and waterfront industry are a major contributor to commerce, recreation, and the environment. the blake -- the bay planning commission have supported this process for many decades. it is an important foundation on which the san francisco planning department can build its recommendations. the thoughtful and visionary approach to ensuring compatibility of development and sustainability is a model for coastal ports across our nation. founded in 1983, the bay planning coalition is a nonprofit organization representing a broad spectrum of the bay of business and environmental entities. the 175 members include the maritime industry, local government, residential and
12:32 am
commercial builders, labor unions, recreational users, and professional firms. we request that you approve the study and support the planning commission vision. thank you for your time. president fong: kevin loskatoff? >> good evening, commissioners. i am here in support of the planning commission recommendations. i want to think staff for their work in creating a document that looks at the city and waterfront as a whole. i am a member of the tennis and swim club and enjoy the disabilities. however, this will bring about much-needed renovations while also surprising -- while also providing land for the greater community outside of as private
12:33 am
members. currently, the only citywide contribution of the club is the unfortunate wall that overshadows a large section of the embarcadero. is that a wall, a fence, or a combination? it is important to remember the civic responsibility our city has to the waterfront. the importance of this area and the need to replace certain parking lots with developments that benefit the port and city and create visible neighborhoods -- there has been more than enough public input during a number of meetings. i urge you to put it to use and move forward with progress along the west side of the embarcadero. if i may, i have heard a few references to an alternative plan this evening. i advocate you please not consider this plan was created behind closed doors, representing a special interest pursuing their own agenda. hundreds of san franciscans have made a good-faith effort, spending many hours attending meetings and submitting commons for a transparent study that
12:34 am
considers the entire community's point of view. i respectfully request to move forward with that plan. president fong: matt harris? >> good evening. i am in north beach resident. i have been at most of the meetings and assure you that have been throw, productive, and balanced. at the last couple of meetings, nothing new came up. planning has done an excellent job of presenting a study that serves the best interest of the waterfront as well as the city as a whole. upon a recent trip to win as onerous -- a recent trip to buenos aires, i sought new buildings that blended and complemented the longstanding architecture of the city. seeing this all my strength and
12:35 am
my feelings for positive growth. san francisco needs to be encouraging development along the waterfront to ensure that the recent successes along the embarcadero can continue. president fong: is there any other public comment on this item? >> good evening, commissioners. thank you for your patience. it is now 6:30 p.m.. my name is fred allerdice. i am a professional real-estate broker for over 35 years, marketing homes, condominiums, that's a trap on the waterfront. i take some umbrage with the previous comment that the amount of inventory of 800 units is about to be depleted in san francisco. i have a number of clients that have purchased real-estate in the last 10 years south of
12:36 am
market, in this area, of which over 2000 are under water, meaning the value of their homes is less than their mortgage. the cannot sell their homes. they cannot do a short sale. they are basically up a creek. they would give their homes away today if somebody would take their position. those 2000 people would love to be in the market. it is not 800 units that have not been sold. it is potentially 2000 more just in those neighborhoods that cannot even become available. that is all over the bay area, all over the country. to make a preposition or supposition that another 180 condominiums need to be built based upon lack of supply to me is a fallacy. it is a real shame because of this part of the market. getting back to the golden gateway tennis club, i have been to these meetings for 20 years.
12:37 am
90% of the people who spoke on behalf of this project today, and specifically washington street approval, are employed or have an economic relationship to the people at washington street. these people are here because they have potential economic gains for this project to be approved. that should be on the table. everybody should know it. there are reasons for them to have that position. there is nothing wrong with that. this is america. as far as the process of this plan, i have seen today that the project was proposed by the planning department to be 55 feet on the front and 125 feet on the back. that increases the size by another 40%. everybody knows the club will disappear and behalf. the vast majority of new club members will live in the condominium. the whole neighborhood knows the benefit of this club that over 3000 people have been using for 60 years. the green fence -- that was put
12:38 am
there because there was a freeway there. it is nothing to do with the aesthetics of it. you could remove that tomorrow and make it pleasing. i think you'll find as time goes along that the proposal has some very attractive parts to it. i think it is getting another chance to be at least exposed. thank you for your patience. president fong: any other public comment? >> good evening, president fong and commissioners. i have to comment on this other comment you heard today. you notice it is lopsided. the reason is i call people to see if they would come and speak. they said no, we are waiting until we can present the alternative study. i hope you will take that into consideration.
12:39 am
it was my understanding this was just an informational presentation and it you will be hearing the other side of the story in august. president fong: thank you. any other public comment? ok. the commissioners have questions or comments? commissioner lazarus: i would like to add my thanks to the planning department. i am not sure this was necessarily their idea. so we appreciate all the concentrated effort that went into it. i know we all hoped it would come to a conclusion sooner than it did, i expect there were reasons it took this long, to maximize opportunities for input. as someone who has no background or experience in design and
12:40 am
planning, i appreciate the fact we have a sister agency with the professionals who can assist us in doing this kind of a process and really helping to set of contacts. this was not intended to be about a particular project, a particular development, or a particular lot, but was designed to give us principles and guidelines we can apply as a backdrop as a set of standards making decisions going forward. i believe you have provided us with that. i also want to say i find it a bit disingenuous that as of two months ago there is some second or ancillary planning process going on, because you had this process underway for a year and a half. i know you came to a preliminary set of conclusions that were then revisited with additional public input. i very much appreciate what you have done. i feel it does give us any background we need to move
12:41 am
forward as different things come before us. thank you very much. commissioner brandon: i do not think i could have said that any better. i want to commend the planning department and staff for the numerous hours, time, and meetings that have gone into this study. we really appreciate your efforts and all of the knowledge and expertise you have given us to work from. a lot of work went into this, and a lot of good recommendations came out of it. we really appreciate the plan that you have given us. thank you. president fong: my thoughts are this is a comprehensive and well put together study. i believe there were five different workshops or the public had opportunity, maybe four with the port as well. there have been many
12:42 am
opportunities. i know most of all of you by first name from public comment or sitting at a round table in this room hearing about a particular project within the scope of this study. i did have the benefit of going online and watching last thursday's planning commission. i heard all the comments there. i heard the recap of what they are looking at doing. some of the comments were thepearl about pearls in san francisco. if you look at the work that is being done at valencia's street, fisherman's wharf, all public plan similar to what was presented to us today. the port is doing work on the blue-green way as well. i think this is a key spot for san francisco visitors as well as residents to have an opportunity to explore this area further. a bit of a side note -- i had a
12:43 am
bicycle stolen in front of this site. i had a friend's get broken into in front of this site. there was a stabbing at broadway and embarcadero a couple of nights ago. while there is no direct connection to urban planning and crime, it figures that in the dark area is not a great place to be. i think this plan, not specifically the sea wall, but all of the open spaces including lot 314 -- that is the corner of bay and embarcadero -- if we feel this is an important juncture, that one is more important from a traffic point of view. going straight to fisherman's wharf along the waterfront, are going left -- that is a key point. i am applauding the work that
12:44 am
was presented and thank you. i want to clarify with the director that there is no action to be taken. that is correct. >> that is correct. it is not that the port of.studies of the planning commission. it is simply something we could dissipate in. the item before you today is so you can hear all the details as the public has, and others according to the findings of the planning commission. i did hear there are some expectations that there will be another follow-up item in august. i am not clear on what that is. it is not something the staff is planning right now. at this point, we have not been invited to participate in any other discussions. hopefully, we will be, but as of yet i do not know what that is. president fong: we take this
12:45 am
very seriously. if there are any other comments, i am sure staff and the port will look at them as well. any other comments, commissioners? thank you for those who stayed late. >> what do you want to do with the next item? president fong: is it fast? let us hear the next item, a 10a. >> a request approval of the first amendment to the memorandum of understanding between the port of san francisco and the san francisco municipal transportation agency, extending for two years the ports contract for services regarding multi-based pay stations on port property. commissioner lazarus: is their
12:46 am
emotion? in musty feel like you need a presentation, we do not need to make one. president fong: any public comments? any opposed? >> item 11, new business. i think you have heard a lot of it. [laughter] see you on august 19. president fong: keep going. >> item 12, public comment. i think he left. president fong: paul bicharte? >> hello, commissioners. i am here to speak specifically about a port aspect, which is dry dock number one. i do not know if you are familiar with that. it is a big tin cans that is currently moored at terminal 80.
12:47 am
i consider myself a stakeholder in the harbor. i own a barge company in the harbor and also a commercial fuel business. i really wanted to commend the port, specifically the engineering department, for thinking outside of the box. i thought i would be able to speak easily appear. i feel embarrassed. i do not know why. you were able to secure for the port a large sum of money to mediate and dispose of this drydock facility. my purpose of coming here today was to urge the commission to provide resources for the port to ameliorate that liability of drydock number one. it is a approximately 600 foot
12:48 am
long barge that is in extremely poor condition. if it were to sink, the cost to the port could be millions and millions of dollars. really, that is all i wanted to say. thank you. president fong: thank you. any other public comment? ok. motion to adjourn. all in favor? thank you. commissioner lazarus: yes.
12:49 am
>> there has been an acknowledgement of the special places around san francisco bay. well, there is something sort of innate in human beings, i think, that tend to recognize a good spot when you see it, a spot that takes your breath away. this is one of them. >> an icon of the new deal. >> we stood here a week ago and we heard all of these dignitaries talk about the symbol that coit tower is for san francisco. it's interesting for those of us in the pioneer park project is trying to make the point that not only the tower, not only this man-built edifice here is a symbol of the city but also the green space on which it sits and the hill to which is rests. to understand them, you have to
12:50 am
understand the topography of san francisco. early days of the city, the city grows up in what is the financial district on the edge of chinatown. everything they rely on for existence is the golden gate. it's of massive importance to the people what comes in and out of san francisco bay. they can't see it where they are. they get the idea to build a giant wooden structure. the years that it was up here, it gave the name telegraph hill. it survived although the structure is long gone. come to the 1870's and the city has growed up remarkably. it's fueled with money from the nevada silver mines and the gold rush. it's trying to be the paris of the west. now the beach is the suburbs, the we will their people lived on the bottom and the poorest people lived on the top because it was very hard getting to the top of telegraph hill. it was mostly lean-to sharks and bits of pieces of houses up
12:51 am
here in the beginning. and a group of 20 businessmen decided that it would be better if the top of the hill remained for the public. so they put their money down and they bought four lots at the top of the hill and they gave them to the city. lily hitchcock coit died without leaving a specific use for her bequest. she left a third of her estate for the beautify indication of the city. arthur brown, noted architect in the city, wanted for a while to build a tower. he had become very interested in persian towers. it was the 1930's. it was all about machinery and sort of this amazing architecture, very powerful architecture. he convinced the rec park commission that building a tower in her memory would be the thing to do with her money. >> it was going to be a wonderful observation place because it was one of the highest hills in the city
12:52 am
anywhere and that that was the whole reason why it was built that high and had the elevator access immediately from the beginning as part of its features. >> my fear's studio was just down the street steps. we were in a very small apartment and that was our backyard. when they were preparing the site for the coit tower, there was always a lot of harping and griping about how awful progress was and why they would choose this beautiful pristine area to do them in was a big question. as soon as the coit tower was getting finished and someone put in the idea that it should be used for art, then, all of a sudden, he was excited about the coit tower. it became almost like a daily
12:53 am
destination for him to enjoy the atmosphere no matter what the politics, that wasn't the point. as long as they fit in and did their work and did their own creative expression, that was all that was required. they turned in their drawings. the drawings were accepted. if they snuck something in, well, there weren't going to be any stoolies around. they made such careful little diagrams of every possible little thing about it as though that was just so important and that they were just the big frog. and, actually, no one ever felt that way about them and they weren't considered something like that. in later life when people would approach me and say, well, what did you know about it?
12:54 am
we were with him almost every day and his children, we grew up together and we didn't think of him as a commie and also the same with the other. he was just a family man doing normal things. no one thought anything of what he was doing. some of them were much more highly trained. it shows, in my estimation, in the murals. this was one of the masterpieces. families at home was a lot more close to the life that i can remember that we lived. murals on the upper floors like the children playing on the swings and i think the little deer in the forest where you could come and see them in the woods and the sports that were
12:55 am
always available, i think it did express the best part of our lives. things that weren't costing money to do, you would go to a picnic on the beach or you would do something in the woods. my favorite of all is in the staircase. it's almost a miracle masterpiece how he could manage to not only fit everyone, of course, a lot of them i recognized from my childhood -- it's how he juxtaposed and managed to kind of climb up that stairway on either side very much like you are walking down a street. it was incredible to do that and to me, that is what depicted the life of the times in san francisco. i even like the ones that show the industrial areas, the once with the workers showing them in the cannery and i can remember going in there and
12:56 am
seeing these women with the caps, with the nets shuffling these cans through. my parents had a ranch in santa rosa and we went there all summer. i could see these people leaning over and checking. it looked exactly like the beautiful things about the ranch. i think he was pretty much in the never look back philosophy about the coit. i don't think he ever went to visit again after we moved from telegraph hill, which was only five or six years later. i don't think he ever had to see it when the initials are scratched into everything and people had literally destroyed the lower half of everything. >> well, in my view, the tower had been pretty much neglected from the 1930's up until the
12:57 am
1980's. it wasn't until then that really enough people began to be alarmed about the condition of the murals, the tower was leaking. some of the murals suffered wear damage. we really began to organize getting funding through the arts commission and various other sources to restore the murals. they don't have that connection or thread or maintain that connection to your history and your past, what do you have? that's one of the major elements of what makes quality of life in san francisco so incredible. when people ask me, and they ask me all the time, how do you get to coit tower, i say you walk. that's the best way to experience the gradual elevation coming up above the hustle and bustle of the city and finding this sort of oasis, if you will, at the top of the
12:58 am
hill. when i walk through this park, i look at these brick walls and this lawn, i look at the railings around the murals. i look at the restoration and i think, yeah, i had something to do with that. learning the lessons, thank you, landmarks meet landmarks. the current situation at pioneer park and coit tower is really based in public and private partnership. it was the citizens who came together to buy the land to keep it from being developed. it was lily hitchcock coit to give money to the city to beautify the city she loved of the park project worked to develop this south side and still that's the basis of our future project to address the north side.
12:59 am
. >> my name is mark tieman and i'm senior councilor at pet camp, san francisco, california. we dispose of a lot of carbon-based material here, dog poop, and the more we can turn that into something viable, the better off we are. in san francisco there's more dogs than children. finding a viable use for dog poop. >> proenvironmental policies, that's a way to win hearts and minds.