tv [untitled] December 8, 2010 6:00am-6:30am PST
question for mr. moody. you mentioned grace infant center around the corner. how many children are cared for their? >> i believe there are 13 children cared for theire. vice president goh: thank you. >> i would ask folks who are standing along the wall to please take a seat or move into the overflow room. we have to abide by fire requirements. if you have a seat next to you, please raise your hand so someone can find it. thank you very much. we will now here for mr. davis from chinese gospel church. >> good evening. my name is russell davis. i represent the chinese gospel church. in an effort to avoid repeating what is in the briefs, i would like to begin with anecdotal evidence. we as a society keep telling our
kids to just say no to drugs. we do it on tv. we do it on radio. we do it on the internet, social media, facebook, etc. we need to reconcile this desire to keep kids away from drugs with the proliferation of mcds in the city and county of san francisco. printing a license in this case is inconsistent with the message we tell our kids about drugs. this contradiction should be readily apparent. my suggestion is that the balance of equities fall on the side of the children and to revoke this particular permit. with that in mind, i will try not to repeat the points made by mr. moody. i do want to say that i agree with him that reference organizations, meaning think- tank learning, grace infant day care, and others, are literally covered by the law at issue. any mcd cannot be legally
permitted within 1,000 feet of these organizations. the code defines recreational buildings to include uses that provide social, fraternal, counseling, or recreational services to the community. it includes private non- commercial lodges, meeting halls, recreation buildings, or community facilities not publicly owned. without a doubt, the reference organizations primarily serve children under 18 years of age. there is no requirement in the planning code that they be state license. my client, the chinese gospel church, meets this issue. it provides social counseling and recreation gathering services to the sunset community. it is private. it is a non-commercial facility where people meet regularly. it is open to the community and not publicly owned. these facts are undisputed.
they are not controverted. hence, the permit to operate the mcd in that particular location should be revoked or should not have been granted in the first instance. in this regard i can only characterize the planning commission's brief filed in support of the permit as being otherworldly. it attempts to pigeonhole various organizations into categories that exclude them from the explicit protection given them under the planning code. yet it utterly fails to recognize or argue against the fact that these licensed organizations serve children under 18 years of age. however, even if the board -- this board things that they are not -- the organizations are not literally covered by the law, they certainly come within the spirit and m bit of the law. -- ambit of the law.
the comply substantially with the law, and that should be sufficient. moving on, much has been said about serving the needs of the chronically sick in the sunset district. however, there is no evidence before the board of a number of truly sick people needing and = mcd in the sunset district. anecdotally, it is common knowledge that anyone can get a prescription for marijuana in this city. the convenience of those people should not concern the sport. as for the truly sick, there is no reason whatsoever why they cannot get their drugs delivered. they could simply take the l or the k downtown to ocean avenue where there are already too licensed -- two licenced mcds. the idea that we need another in
a sunset district -- in the sunset district is a canard. the people who claim they need the drugs are already getting them. before discussing any substantial issues of would like to bring up a couple of procedural matters. one was mentioned by mr. moody. the permit was initially approved under a non-existent law. declarations that were attached , whatever you wish to call it, were not attested to properly and should therefore be annoyed -- be ignored. the proposition fails to regard our argument on the spirit of the law. therefore, my view is they have waived their argument. furthermore, the transcripts that were provided were edited. therefore, they are not true and accurate representation of the hearing. therefore, they should be ignored. with regard to some of the cases that we cited, i do not want to beat this to death, but the
cases stand for the proposition that it makes sense to restrict businesses that are intrinsic draws for children. that would certainly include by clients. segregating adult businesses from residential areas and schools and placing them in locations where they do not affect the moral climate of the community decreases the problems of parents of neighborhood children, littering of paraphernalia, loitering, and visual blight. for these reasons, my client is simply asking this board to revoke the permit that has been granted. i will take questions, and i would like to reserve any additional time that i have not used for rebuttal. >> i am sorry. that is not allowed. >> ok. i can take questions.
none? >> thank you. please hold your applause. no applause. before we move on, i understand the headset's provided for translation have not been working properly. if you come back, we can try to rearrange the room a little and try to provide translation. >> [speaking chinese] president peterson: i would ask if people might be able to move their seating arrangement a little bit to accommodate, we are going to try to cluster folks who need translation services on one side of the room.
we would be very appreciative if you could help accommodate changes in seeding. -- seeking -- seating. i will take this opportunity to express appreciation for the volunteer translators here this evening. we very much appreciate your assistance. mr. saint-pierre, when you are ready, you can step forward. we will be ready for you in a moment. >> i would like mr. sanchez to speak before myself since he is the actual respondent. president peterson: he will speak after you.
>> ms. leong, are we ready? president peterson: go ahead. you have 40 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the board. thank you for the time this evening. what i would like to say really boils down to this. the appellants are here trying to take a second bite at the apple. what do i mean by that? every single issue that was raised here this evening was raised at the planning commission, heard at length at the planning commission, and decided upon by the planning commission. the issues raised tonight are nothing new. that are in fact reiteration of the very same issues that the planning commission listened to, analyzed, and did not find merit.
what they are trying to do through this is effectively rehear the exact same issues presented, and reanalyze and take away the discretion given to the planning commission. the planning commission is vested with the original authority to decide these matters. the board of appeals is to review and make sure the planning commission did not abuse this discretion. i am standing before you, let you know that the discretionary review which i believe mr. sanchez will respect and speak to you about, speaks to each and every concern, including the police report brought up by the appellants. effectively, the appellants do not understand the municipal code. each of the clients as well as the other child care-related entities cited by them do not
qualify under the applicable statute. section 1789.50 is qualified, and let me read it directly into the record. the public to private, profit, or nonprofit use, including -- excluding hospitals or medical centers, which meets the provisions of section 3045. that refers to items that qualify on the master plan. it does not cover any of the institutions referred to by the appellant. again, the concerns raised by the appellant regarding child safety, regarding holistic resale, regarding any of the other allegations being made, or specifically addressed in considered by the commissioners. -- were specifically addressed and considered by the
commissioners. as you can see in the packet submitted to you during the appeal, this is simply a building permit appeal. as part of the discretionary review process, a bunch are placed in front of the mcd before they can operate. each of these hurdles was addressed by the bay area health network. each of those hurdles was successfully navigated, bringing it all the way to the matter here before you. at this time, there is no track record of mr. schoepp operating a medical cannabis dispensary in san francisco. his permit is still pending. there has been a time for him to show to the community that he would be a valuable member, and demonstrate what type and what means of an actual dispensary he would run. the other issue, in terms of concerns regarding language and the translation services
provided during the planning commission hearings -- as much as i appreciate the appellants, what they are bringing up, i think that is frankly in the situation better addressed with the sunshine ordinance task force, and not whether the language translation was provided at the commission hearing. in terms of captain schmidt's letter, it was discussed at length during the planning commission hearing. i have copies of the april 28, 2010 planning commission hearing that i am happy to provide to the entire board. this addresses -- these are the minutes of the meeting. there are also truncated excerpt from the actual meeting, reflecting the comments of the commissioners as well as the police captain. frankly, the primary issue there is that the police captain was
raising concerns regarding illegal operations in the sunset district, which has been a concern. that is not the issue before you. we are talking about a medical cannabis dispensary, not a grow operation in the sunset. i would like to reserve a few minutes for mr. schoepp to address you. before, i would like to address questions by the actual board. commissioner garcia: i have a question. what citation could you give me that states that our duty is only to review the actions of the planning commission for error of use of authority? >> i do not have a direct quotation on that. i did quite a bit of research in terms of your prior decisions. essentially, i see that the -- as the point is made in my argument -- that this is analogous to an appellate court. i am not saying it is the exact
same situation, but looking at the dynamic before you, i think the best way you can characterize the situation is an appellate review of the underlying decision. in that situation, and abuse of discretion standard would apply to the process. i will agree with mr. garcia that in terms of the direct on- point citation, no. but through parallel authority as well as other items that suggest what should be the standard -- it is a little bit of a difficult situation, but i think that may be the appropriate standard. commissioner garcia: that is the standard. that is the standard when we review something by the zoning administrator. the authority of this board goes way beyond the same considerations of the planning commission. they are not necessarily the same considerations this board
would have. we can apply different standards in rendering decisions. >> i understand. commissioner garcia: thank you. >> any other questions from the board? before a turn it over, the other thing that i will make a point to clarify is that this evening we did not want a repeat of the planning commission hearing. the planning commission hearing lasted well into 3:00 in the morning. we would like to do this evening -- we want to truncate our presentation and only bring the members directly related to the area compassion health networks to the board. we did not request or supporters to come here and address the board for the convenience of the board as well as the fact that we feel that the community support was adequately reflected during the actual initial hearing. thank you. president peterson: thank you. >> greg?
>> good evening. i am a little nervous, here. my name is greg schoepp. i and the sponsor of bay area compassionate health centers. wheat started looking for a location 18 months ago. i found 2139 taraval street in the sunset district. as i began my due diligence, i found out about the agreement. i contacted the san francisco planning department. i started playing rent on the location. i met with supervisor chu and captain schmidt before applying for my permit to let them know why i chose the sunset district and what my purpose was, which was not to open up a pot club. this was to allow safe access to
medicine for people in the sunset district. there are many disabled and sick people that cannot travel to get their medicine. the taraval location is on the streetcar line. it has been mentioned how easy it is to get on and go. i did it myself. very difficult. it was over two hours roundtrip to get downtown and back. if you are sick, that is a long time to be away from the toilet. a little about me. i have been paralyzed 20 years, in a wheelchair. i use medical cannabis myself for spasms, back pains. i am not taking oxycontin. that is how you end up becoming an addict on pain pills. this works for people. our family has been in san francisco for 50 years. we have a long track record in
san francisco. we are locksmiths and security experts with a hardware store. we are very well known locksmiths in san francisco. my knowledge of security will make our dispensary one of the best secured dispensaries in san francisco. in the block between 31st and 32nd, it will be the safest block on the street. our security -- and my brother is our security expert on this project. he designed it with 12 cameras toto, 3 facing toward taraval street. if something does happen, hour video cameras will catch it. it is recorded on a d.v.d. that can be turned over to the police to catch the bad guys. we are also, in our security, employing a security guard at the front door for two reasons. to make sure no kids can get in
and to make sure the people who come in have a valid canada's prescription. if anyone needs assistance, we have a security guard that can help. there is talk about captain schmidt's letter, and we went to the two police commission hearings regarding that. nothing was ever brought to that letter from the san francisco police department. i do have a quote here from san francisco police department on march 17, public information officer boaz. he stated there has been a spike in fact, violent crimes, or dwi arrests. it is just the opposite. people are taking ownership now
that they are stakeholders in the community. dispensary owners have done their part by keeping the sidewalks clean, discouraging bordering, and generally acted as friendly neighbors. in closing, i ask you to grant the building permit so i can start to help the sick and disabled people in the sunset district get their medicine in a safe and easy to get to dispensary. thank you for your time. president peterson: thank you. >> a final comment i want to address to the board is the fact that, as i see it, the appellants are arguing that the process broke down in front of the planning commission. in fact, the process went as it should have. the process was each of the commissioners had an opportunity to analyze the information presented to them. each of the commissioners had an opportunity to hear from the
public. each of the commissioners had an opportunity to hear from the planning department, as well as the department of public health, regarding the actual issuance of the permit. as a result, they did issue the permit. i respectfully request you deny the appeal on this matter and allow mr. schoepp to go forward and become a valuable part of this community. thank you very much. commissioner hwang: i have a question. was your client aware of the grace infant center? >> as part of the actual initial investigation -- maybe investigation is not the right word, but looking into the area, he was aware of each of the actual locations on the taraval corridor. in terms of the grace into center, i believe it is located on taraval but on one of the
other side streets. commissioner hwang: within 1,000 feet from the subject property? >> it is, but that is to act would be one of the -- it is not a qualifying institution, as outlined in the municipal regulations. commissioner hwang: why not? president peterson: i have the code in front of me, and it appears to meet the requirements. 790.40, subsection be. >> that requires you to look at another planning code section. that is qualified specifically by 304.5. if you turn to 304.5, it refers to institutions that qualify under the master plan for san francisco.
commissioner hwang: i actually had another question. i think your client mentioned will pull hearings before the police commission. can you tell me that letter was then subsequently brought up during a planning commission hearing. captain schmidt was asked to specifically appear so the commissioners could ask the captain about the letter, about the statistics and where the information came from, and the captain appeared. there was a lead the dialogue. -- there was a long dialogue. they have been involving illicit
grow operations. the other issues addressed in the letter was simply what the captain described as her observations and other police officers potential concerns regarding an mcd. commissioner hwang: what about the police commission? these were not discussed at the police commission hearing? >> the police commissioners expressed an enormous amount of doubt. the captain issued a letter in opposition to the mcd. the real focus of the actual dialogue during the police commission was the veracity of the actual letter and what kind of statistical support exists to suggest whether or not crimes have been an increased in the vicinity of mcd's. commissioner hwang: that dialogue could not take place before the police commission? >> that was the police
commission. commissioner hwang: he said police. i was a little confused. that is okay, i think i understand. >> the issues in the letter were only address during the police commission. that letter was introduced and the planning commissioners were aware of it. commissioner hwang: ok. president peterson: thank you. >> thank you. president peterson: mr. sanchez? >> thank you, scott sanchez, planning department's staff. this evening i am lucky to be joined by the planner, who is involved and the legislation that led up to the requirements that we have, developed in 2005. if there are issues about the intent, it maybe he can address
those. there were questions that came up during the testimony. i will jump around a little bit. bear with me. i want to begin with a procedural background of the application. the property is located at 2139 taraval street, between 31st and 32nd streets. the building is a mixed use building, built in 1924. that has a small retail presence at the front, and that is where the subject mcd would be located. it has one dwelling unit at the rear. bmc -- the mc-2 zoning district is principally permitted use. people like to throw around the term as of rights. there is a discretionary review, of course. there is a discretionary review, of course.