tv [untitled] September 19, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm PST
the reason i am here is because mr. stevens is out of the country. i don't know when he will return. president peterson: can you represent him on the 22nd? >> in light of recent events, i am not entirely sure, frankly. commissioner garcia: i am confused as to why you would have been able to represent him tonight but you will not be able to represent them next week in a request for jurisdiction. what has changed? what has changed? i . commissioner garcia: i beg your pardon. >> i was just sued. that is not what i was told. ok. if0ó:g6=7zçof?u)c"00ah would mt likely be able to, yes. commissioner garcia: you have raised an interesting issue. if there is a lawsuit involved -- commissioner fung: the other
opportunity would be october 13. gzñiçó>> i am scheduled to be of the state. commissioner garcia: this is already completed, this project? >> the project is complete. the certificate of occupancy -- how mr. stet holder would be prejudiced if we put off until a time when everybody who wants to be here can be here. i think we go beyond whatever the date is, beyond the 13th. >> october 20 as the next meeting. -- october 20 is the next meeting. is that date agreeable with you? >> i am checking with the boss back there. may i have a second?
sure. >>wmh" request, i believe that has already continued. mr. stevens was planning to attend that. i think two weeks is adequate. commissioner fung: we are not meeting at that time. >> october 20 does works for my schedule. commissioner garcia: two weeks, we don't meet, the following week they are not available. that is why we are going to the 20th. commissioner fung: i move that we continue this case until october 20, for review of the briefs. president peterson: is there any public comment on the motion to continue? seeing none, on that motion to continue, october 20, no additional sub mittals allowed. -- no additional sub middles
allowed. [roll-call vote] the motion carries by a 4-0. president peterson: i like to suggest a short break. >> ok, thank you. >> we are ready to resume the meeting for september 15, 2010. we move on to item number five, appeal number 10-079, the property at 3750 scott street, appealing the imposition of penalty imposed on july 16, 2010, for construction work done without a building permit. we will start with the appellant in this case. >>. afternoon, laurence kornfield. this is a penalty imposed for
last seven years, i believe, so this is not recent work. department of building inspection responded to a complaint received in june of this year. the yuens got a permit as building owners in july, and they are now appealing the penalty for the scope of the work that was done without permits, which was replacement windows at their buildings. there was quite a large possibly, -- there is quite a large pot of the, over $3,000. we believe the appropriate remedy in a case like this, where it is a large building, they were aware the permit requirement was to try to get their contractor is clear there is a totally in order. i don't have some of the documents related to the complaint, but it was related to thank you very much. commissioner garcia: do we know if this contractor in the past hasri-t >> i do not know that. i looked up the license of the 3sec licensed contractor who they said thc3>ñ hired to do the wor. it is a =plus home remodelers.
they have a contractor's license. i don't know if we have had past complaints. vice president goh: it seems to come up a lot where contractors say we don't need a permit for this or that, and how do people know. here we are penalizing the person when, i agree, it makes sense to penalize the contractor, but how we go about doing that? >> i have to say based on my recent conversations with the yuens that they knew there was a permit required and they told the contractor to get all the necessary permits and so on, and they did not receive them from the contractor. how people know whether they need permits or not as a different question.
we have an outreach and brochures and so on, but they actually knew there was a permit required and asked the permit -- and ask the contractor to get one. vice president goh: have you ever heard of a case where a homeowner goes after the contractor civilly for the permit? >> i have heard of it, but i don't know what the outcome is typically. commissioner garcia: mr. kornfield, how did this come about? in terms of the department's attention? >> we got an anonymous complaint, received on june 23. by telephone. no, by office visit. somebody actually came in. president peterson: and we hear from the appellant, mr. yuen. >> hello, i'm frank yuen, the owner of the property.
as to the anonymous complaint, i am not sure who it was, but this is work that was done seven, eight years ago. we ask the contractor to get a permit. it will look at his workers' comp and insurance and we signed a contract, and we did not realize this situation until the complaint came in. that is when we were surprised. i guess we could go after the contractor, but it is almost impossible. i tried calling him. he refuses to return my call. i have left messages. nothing happens. simply, the commission has at its discretion to lower the fine to two times instead of 10 times. i think it is just a matter of fairness. as you know, property rights are going down, and this month we are facing vacancies ourselves. it just seems wrong for it to
come out the way it did. i thought we were doing everything we could to make sure that we had workers' comp insurance, insurance, and took care of it. there is nothing more we can say about that, unless there are any questions. commissioner fung: mr. yuen, in his proposal, did he have the permit itemized? >> i cannot recall because i don't have the contract. all i have is the lifetime guarantee. now i am wondering what the value of that is. icommissioner fung: you are an attorney. you had no -- >> i left it up to my wife to take care of it, and this is just the result. i suppose i should have looked at it. i guess that is my fault, but i am a probate attorney and i was busy working on that and she was taking care of the property.
so i respectfully request that you do lower the minimum and take into consideration these things. thank you. any other questions? commissioner fung: come forward. >> would you like to ask me a question? commissioner fung: i will ask you the same question. in the cost proposal from the contractor, was the cost of the permit itemized? >> i cannot recall. this was 2003 and a few more in 2005. i am sorry. i really do not remember. i thought i did the due diligence by asking for the workers' comp to be sure he would cover his employees. i wanted to be sure he had appropriate insurance and
everything else. we had work done on our own home with a licensed contractor pulled a permit. that is levity on my part. -- that is naivete on my part. commissioner fung: the contract has been paid in full? >> with back in 2003 and a few more in 2005. he is licensed. so i thought that everything was done appropriately and properly. commissioner fung: thank you. >> if i may make one more comment, the work has been done. there have been a tenant complaints. there is no safety concerns or anything else. -- there have been no tenant complaints. >> is there any public comment
on this item? less >> any rebuttals? commissioner garcia: i wish i had thought to ask you about this before. the fact that these are vinyl windows -- is the allowable? >> the permit was signed by the planning department for them to replace windows as installed in vinyl, double paint. it is acceptable to the planning department. commissioner garcia: thank you. >> you have time for rebuttal as well if you care to use it. >> when i was asked to get the permit, i went to the entire process with the planning department to approve of the vinyl windows. the neighbors have them. there is not a question about that.
thank you. >> commissioners, the matter is submitted. commissioner fung: commissioners, in the past we have always taken money away from the department of building inspection on penalty cases. however, usually those cases involve work that was done prior to a particular property owner coming into possession of that particular property. this case is slightly different , and the contractor is at fault. i am wondering whether the permit holder is prepared to go after the contractor.
and if so, i would publicly look to a continuance of this particular case. vice president goh: my only concern is the statute of limitations problem with the permit holder. when was the work done? 2005? 2003 on a contract? it might not be that easy to go after the contractor. commissioner garcia: as that issue was raised, i would ask the attorney. is there a window issue here? in other words, if you have a year or a day to go after your contractor, the fact that they did not know this problem existed until recently -- does
that start the clock? >> i think it is when you find the defect. i would have to research something like that. it is a private litigation matter between the two parties. commissioner garcia: i guess i feel it is totally unreasonable that the contractor might have done this to someone would do -- to someone who would think it would do what was legal or right. it does not seen these people were casual with the way they dealt with their contractor. they seemed to do all that was required, do their due diligence. i would have this go away. i do not know whether they could prevail in a court of law or
small claims court. i do not know what the maximus are there. -- the maximums are there. i do not want to give my figure yet. i want to find out whether other people up here want to reduce this by some factor. president peterson: i would support a motion that reduced its. commissioner garcia: do you care to give an amount? president peterson: i would reduce it to two times. vice president goh: i am of a similar mind since the much time has passed. the complaints seemed to come from a neighbor, not the department. i am also very moved by the testimony in trying to be diligent and making sure there was workers' comp and insurance and other things a good landlord does. i also would be of the mind to reduce it to two times. commissioner fung: i am not in
disagreement with not having the penalty accrued to the property owner in this particular instance, given the fact that they did what they did. but i would like to have them at least make one attempt to try to recoup this cost to the city. if that is not possible, i think the can hear the sentiment of the board members at this point. -- they can hear the sentiment of the board members at this point. commissioner garcia: one problem with that solution is that there would be ongoing expenses, if nothing else their time to come back. and i feel that the appellant in this case would be better served if we came up with a number. if to is not the number, a different number that would put this to bed. as has been stated by the attorneys up here there is some question as to whether or not
they can go against them. commissioner fung: i will request that the property owner filed a complaint with the state board. president peterson: i am not seeing the penalty. am i missing a page? >> it was actually almost $4,000, not $3,100. vice president goh: i see it now. commissioner garcia: am i misinterpreting what you said? if we were to go with the two, do you ask that the appellant been filed a complaint with the state board? commissioner fung: i would ask that they voluntarily undertake the suggestion. commissioner garcia: i would move that we overturn the department.
fwmóçó or overturn and reduce tax uphold the appeal and then commissioner garcia: a penalty of two times. >> the motion by commissioner garcia is to grant the appeal and reduce the penalty to two times the permit fee. on the motion -- commissioner fung: aye. vice president goh: aye. president peterson: aye. >> the motion carries four-zero. item five is appeal -- i am sorry. item six is appeal 10-011, larissa belsky versus the department of building inspection about the property
530 liberty street protesting the issuance of a permit to alter a building with pressure treated plywood sheets. we will start with the appellant. >> commissioners, thank you for giving me the opportunity to address you. i worked hard to save enough money to buy my home at 524 liberty swoop -- liberty street. i love my neighborhood in my home. unfortunately, my neighbors have obtained a permit to make a material change that would irrevocably harmed not only my house but impose an eyesore on me and several other individuals in the city. i asked the board to revoke the permit so my neighbors will have
the sighting that originally said they would. in their 311 notification, the owners testified to painted siding. now the plan untraded pressure- treated plywood sheets as a finished product. this unattractive large wall from a zero lot line, visible from almost every room in my home as well as other homes and public places in the neighborhood. in 2008, i asked what this what was going to look like. i was told by the project's sponsors it would be cited and painted to match the other walls of their charm. the permit in question was approved without my knowledge. no notice was provided by the city even though i have a request for notification on file. i should have been contacted in november 2009 by the planning department when the permit was signed by them. they were aware of a previous board of appeals hearing regarding the same subject property. they should have contacted me
over the change materials. the planning department should have contacted me to confirm the story about the sighting, especially since i had a citation on file. the change greatly affects my property. this was not followed or was ignored. if i had been notified in november i would not have to appeal this permit as i would have been able to explain i never denied access. the staff of the planning department unilaterally made a decision that seriously impacted me and my surrounding neighbors. the action of the planning department in signing this contradicts proposition m and section 101.1 of the planning code. these actions have resulted in an exposed building wall that does not conserve or protect the neighborhood character. the finished materials do not meet the intent and spirit of the residential design guidelines for proper finishing materials and is out of
character. product sponsors say they sought the revision to the original permit. i never denied them access to complete the work. why would i deny them access to complete an unsightly wall i have to look at every day? why would i be upset if they installed siding that matches my own home? the other side of the home are all sighting. when i asked the project sponsor in april exactly when i denied access he could not tell me. but he said -- i only found out two weeks ago the the nile to the contractors. it was here say from one of the workers on the site. i had only one interaction with the worker on the wite, which occurred before i was approached by the project's sponsors. the worker was on my roof, talking on my cell phone, no
where near were the work is taking place. i have skylights on my roof. besides having my skylights and my privacy invaded, i did not want someone falling through. i told the worker to get off my roof. i suggest you would not want someone tromping on your roof without authorization or proof of insurance. i have already submitted a long series of e-mail exchanges. i never denied the project's sponsors access to complete the sighting. in march of this year they told me to work with their lawyer, which i did. he and i have exchanged written correspondence and had a half hour conversation in april and july. on three separate occasions of may and june this year, agreed the contractors could come to my home. i continue to be willing to provide access to my property as
long as my neighbors provide me proof of insurance and a satisfactory timeline for the work. letters have been sent in by neighbors in support of producing this permit. there are at least a dozen. you should have copies of those. people are here from the neighborhood to support me to revoke this. i ask that the board revoked the permit because it is an error, a unilateral decision made by staff planners. i paid for a notification. the city cashed my check. it is active and on file. the permit holder never discharged the time line information, went around the permiting system, and misrepresented my position. as you can see in writing, i will allow the permit holder access to my property as long as i receive proof of insurance and a satisfactory timeline of the work. this is information anyone in my position would ask for. it is normal practice for
construction projects in san francisco and access is necessary, especially when 20 foot scaffolding is involved. i asked you revoke the permit for pressure treated plywood and ask that this work be completed in a timely fashion. commissioner fung: can you turn than the other way? >> this is the view from the neighbor's property. this is from kester street. this is a view from my bedroom. this is a view from sitting at my dining room table. that is a view from my den. lastly i will show you the 3-11 notification.
this shows that it would be siding, the wall in question. walls would all be siding. thank you. commissioner fung: did you respond to the last offer from the attorney regarding the sharing of costs? >> i did not because i do not feel it is my responsibility to complete my neighbors work. i was not responsible for delaying the project. i never denied them access. they received money back from the scaffolding company. i am not the one that denied them access. commissioner fung: thank you. >> we can hear from the permit holders now or their agent. >> madam president,
commissioners, my name is conrad donner. i am here on behalf of lisa kinimaka and kanthryn hathryn h. that is whether the building inspector, when he made his report in october was misled into believing that there were access issues. his notice and report is attached to the response as exhibit b/ the contractor had finished the exterior. that was his part of the job. but he was unable to direct the scaffolding so he could affix the siding to the rear of west
wall of this residence. in this report, the building inspector advised that there was a modification permit that was needed both with respect to the scope of the work and the materials. without that, they could not secure a final certificate. i think the starting point for this is to acknowledge that both the building inspector and ms. belsky understood that scaffolding and access to erect scaffolding were essential to this job. her e-mails to you, which she submitted, indicate that she understands this. obviously, man cannot sit on a plankh