Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 28, 2011 2:30am-3:00am PDT

2:30 am
that was the declaration that i filed in your packet. and this picture was taken on saturday, june 26, at approximately i think 11:15 a.m. from my third floor bedroom window. so you can see here if you look carefully, i know it's probably not clear on your package, that here the bifold doors and the elevated deck and this was taken actually with only one of the doors open. and i know they're proposing to have three of these doors open at this time. so clearly, you know, like i said, i'm not an expert. this is reflective of the level of noise that i was experiencing. and i just want to play for you the recording that i took from my third floor window of that event.
2:31 am
[playing of recording] and that's just the noise coming, 57 feet away from this place. so i have many other recordings that were taken on other days at other times, not just sporting events. but this -- and all reflect a similar level of noise. and basically this is the reason that we're asking planning to do a full environmental review. because this project does have major impacts on the residents. and it has not been fully evaluated. so thank you. >> my name is gloria smith on behalf of appellant. thank you, president chiu, and board members. appellants are not here today because they want to shut down a small neighborhood business in their community. they're here today because they
2:32 am
need planning department's help on finding resolution between the tremendous noise that's coming from the big brickyard and their ability to live harmoniously on their street and in their homes. unfortunately, there is an existing process that we have that would allow the community, the city, and the brickyard to come together and resolve these problems, and that process is ceqa. but for whatever reason, the planning department has decided to sidestep ceqa and has chosen not to investigate the -- chose not to invoke ceqa and is exempted this project from environmental review. ceqa does allow agencies to exempt certain projects. when they can show conclusively that there's no possibility of environmental impact flowing from the project. and specifically here, planning department has recommended a class one exemption which covers minor modifications to existing structures. the course of -- it narrowly
2:33 am
construes the agency's use of an exemption and outlawed the use of mitigated exemptions which is exactly what's happening here. and for 30 years, courts have ruled numerous times the mitigated categorical exemptions are illegal. this is because once an agency determines that a project presents impacts the required mitigation, the agency can no longer assert a categorical exemption. at that point, it must conduct environmental review, describe the project, get the impact, propose measures and alternatives that would mitigate those impacts, and then circulate that document to the public. ceqa covers 18 different types of environmental impacts. one of which is noise. and it specifically describes the types of noise that trigger environmental review. and the san francisco general plan identifies noise as a serious environmental pollutant that must be managed and mitigate the planning and development process. the city can only invoke a
2:34 am
class one exemption here if it can show that it has investigated and determined conclusively that the brickyard can operate with a panel door open and the deck with no possibility of noise impacts to the surrounding community. clearly, that's not the case here. according to the planning department's own documents, on july 13, in its d.r. analysis, on page six, it says there are potential noise impacts on the neighborhood. therefore, mitigation measures have been developed to address the neighbors' concerns related to noise. mitigation measures will be imple implemented as conditions of approval. a d.r. action memo says the project proposed could have potential adverse impacts on the neighborhood. we do credit the planning -- the planning department with recognizing the project has significant impacts and requires mitigation. but the measures the planning commission adopted won't work in this indication. for example, closing the padio
2:35 am
doors by 10:00 p.m. will do nothing to mitigate the tremendous noise that was just spoken of. what's happened is 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning on the weekends, busloads of people are showing up and lining up out in front of the brickyard so they can come in and once those doors are open, all that noise will be projected out into the street. you will hear the planning department say the proposed conditions are not mitigation measures under ceqa. and yet the identified noise impacts are not ceqa impacts. i'm here to tell you that no court is going to believe that argument. permitting agencies don't talk about environmental impacts and mitigation measures in both ceqa context and in a nonceqa ways. these words do not have different meanings at different times. it doesn't pass a straight test that they are engaged in ceqa talk at one time and nonceqa talk at another. in an exemption case in marin county the county found adverse impacts for a construction of a
2:36 am
new home near a stream. but the county said it eliminated those mitigation -- those impacts by adopting conditions of approval just as planning recommends here. the court did not buy that. the court struck down the exemption because mitigated exemptions are prohibited. not only has the planning department been -- the project has noise impact, but you will see for members of the community who have presented photographs, letters, and recordings of the tremendous impacts caused by the brickyard. and under ceqa, relevant personal observations by residents constitute substantial evidence of environmental impacts. here the burden is purely on the city to show that there are no adverse impacts. given the brickyard's crowds, there's no question that once those doors are open, the windows are operational, and there are people out on the decks, this will project out into the union street community. because the city has admitted the project will impact the
2:37 am
neighborhood, and has even proposed measures to mitigate the impacts, you must return this project back to the planning department to prepare a ceqa document that analyzes the impacts and circulate that for public review. thank you very much. and i am available for questions if anybody on the board or president has any questions. president chiu: colleagues, any questions to the appellant? ok. at this time, thank you. we will hear from members of the public that support the appellants. ma'am, first speaker.
2:38 am
>> in the years since and entertainment permits and planning department hearings, i also learned that the process is not done on an even playing field. >> especially in this economy. this is painfully clear to me at the january 20 planning commission hearing regarding brickyard. while neighbors hand delivered 100 letters and petitions from residents who live within a two-block radius, the brickyard offered only a list of names.
2:39 am
probably a sign -- still the commissioners unanimously approved the permit for an elevated deck and five folding doors. with unenforceable conditions that are naive if not disingenuous. like a formula for how many of the folding doors can be open at different times of the day. it was an insult to the neighbors. so i'm here to ask you to uphold the union street controls. they're designed to protect the adjacent residents' livability. the noise generated by patrons on an elevated deck into a large -- with opening doors onto a large bar, restaurant area, is unprecedented. and it needs to be measured. to determine its impact on the surrounding businesses and residents. if the planning commissioners and their staff had done their job, we wouldn't be taking your time today. president chiu: thank you very
2:40 am
much. are there other members of the public that wish to speak on behalf of the appellant? please step up. if you can all please line up in the center aisle. >> hello. my name is sky vamber and i live directly across the brickyard at 1782 union street. i'm very disturbed that planning has not done a full environmental analysis to determine proven and enforceable measures to address the severe noise issues that this project presents. planning is instead relying on noise studies by the entertainment commission as -- at the project sponsor's request to hypothesize that there will be no serious noise impacts on residents. this report is insufficient and erroneous. in its facts because number one, such a report is not recognized by ceqa as adequate to determine proper analysis of an environmental impact. number two, this agency is often under fire for conflict of interest concerning residents and these type of
2:41 am
establishments and has difficulty in monitoring the associated problems. number three, the reading did not measure the true nature of the project. it was taken once. a week before christmas at street level with all of the doors shut and the deck unoccupied. note, in the report it was noted that when an entrance door opened for people going in and out, the noise spiked. in summary, the noise problem is not when the doors are shut, and not only on street level. we have pictures also. but they're not being shown. the conditions measured by the e.c., the environmental -- i'm sorry, by the entertainment commission are actually the ones that we've lived harmoniously with for over 30 years with previous bars at this location. the serious noise impact occurs when the bifold doors are open. this allows the noise from a 3,600 square foot sports bar which is elevated to blast and
2:42 am
ricochet extensively out into our homes and our community. the true conditions of this project have never been investigated by the city. our committee has testified at the planning commission -- president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm bob bardel, president of golden gate valley neighborhood association. i just want it read out of section seven of 3.2, uses permitted to neighborhood commercial districts under the subparagraph nonpermitted uses, subparagraph, sub-subparagraph b. no use, even though listed as a permitted use, shall be permitted in a neighborhood commercial district which by reason of its nature or manner of operation creates conditions that are hazardous, noxious or offensive through the emission of odor, fumes, smoke, sinneders, dust, gas, vibrations, glare, refuse,
2:43 am
water carried waste, or excessive noise. now, the question before us, i think, ultimately, is what excessive noise be emitted from the brickyard with the under the mitigated plan proposed by the planning department? and all i would like to say is that we have no idea. as sky vember just testified, the entertainment commission's study doesn't really tell us anything we don't know, the baseline of the restaurant that when it's completely sealed. there is anecdotal evidence when the door is opened and crowded it's a horrible situation. but with three doors open, with -- if indeed -- can be prohibited from using the deck, how loud will it be? we don't know. now, how do we get an answer to this? i can see a sound engineer doing an a-priori analytical study, that might be good enough if both parties could agree on a sound engineer. but i will testify after working with them for over a
2:44 am
year trying to forge a compromise, i doubt that they're going to agree on a sound engineer. the only other thing would be to have some kind of a trial period which of course might inflict consecutive noise on the -- excessive noise on the neighborhood as they're all predicting. but i believe this is the key issue that needs to be addressed and somehow we've got to come to a solution. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm serena bardel. long-time member and board member of golden gate valley neighborhood association. i would like to tell you that in all the years over 20 that i've served, there has never been a problem brought to us by any of the other tenants including margaritaville and bay side at that location. and these -- some of these same people have lived across the
2:45 am
street or down the street from this location. so they have not been whiners or complainers in what -- but also in all this time, the place was closed in the front. a lot of this wouldn't be happening if there had been open communication. we made enormous efforts to reach the owner of the property and the holder of the license to try to work out differences, to act as honest brokers between the people being affected who live there and the people who are having a good time inside the brickyard. our efforts failed miserably. we've spent more time on this issue in the last year than on any issue i can ever remember. trying to work things out. and we failed time and time again. so i don't think we can depend on the good will of these folks. there have been -- there's been no good will. we've reached out and reached out to no avail. and i hope that the fix isn't in.
2:46 am
i hope that you're really being tenantive -- attentive to what we're seeing. thank you for your patience. >> excuse me. can we get this projector to work? we have some photos. president chiu: yes. if you just lay whatever you want to project, if you could put it on, it's actually showing right now. just put something on. and it will miraculously appear. thank you sfgov. >> my name is ann mckenzie and i've owned my home behind the brickyard for 37 years. aiai ask for a request of the e. and the noisy reaction to world sports events would disturb the
2:47 am
neighborhood's two-three times a year. we know it is possible to broadcast from somewhere in the world 24/7. then there are the highlights. these are the core of the attraction and this is a sports bar and a very successful one. more often than not, there are lines of people waiting to get in. this is like a living billboard. this property but has been vacant off and on for long amounts of time. i do not want to hear the clamor from the sports bar operation going into my home. the current environmental impact report focused on noise.
2:48 am
this will provide the platform for solutions. thank you. >> apparently there will be a major event in city hall and parking right out of city hall including a number of our colleagues cars need to be moved. those of you who are outside, if you can take a minute to make sure that your cars to not get towed. think you. -- thank-you. >> i have lived across the procured for 31 years. there has been a number of bars in this location. they have all had an enclosure
2:49 am
which contained noise and we all coexisted. the issue we are facing now is extreme noise which the planning department is not properly addressing. the elevated deck is what causes the noise to blast out into homes and neighborhoods. this is a sports bar that attracts large crowds on a regular basis. that is to be expected. the problem is that an open front, an elevated track, the noise is blasts right out at the entire community with nothing to block it. as you can see, this happens at all times of the day and evening.
2:50 am
they are frequent and real and have a tremendous impact on our neighborhoods and homes. some of which are less than 75 feet away. the noise will be much worse if the open front deck is approved. i request that the city does analysis of the true conditions of this project to find a measure to deal with the serious noise impact. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i own the property directly across from the brickyard. my statement is very simple. the tenants who live in my building are disturbed by the noise. it is my responsibility to provide a home for them in which to live and that is being compromised.
2:51 am
if the patio deck is left open, it will make it very hard for me to rent these apartments and also to keep my tenants happy and to provide them peaceful enjoyment of their home. that's it. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i live up the property from the brickyard. i have been there for 30 years. this is a wonderful neighborhood. i have been there for many years. at one point, they had a security company to disperse the crowds because it gets really rowdy. in the past year, the noise alone for our neighborhood has been verbally and tolerable.
2:52 am
this goes on until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, starts in the afternoon, and i have had to get up and ask people to leave or are recall police because it was 4:00 in the morning. i cannot imagine with an open patio that the situation will not be incredibly worse and i am here to ask that this possibility be reviewed and not allowed for the residence as well as the other businesses. people have had graffiti, they have had their flowers kick away. this is a situation that is actually more expensive than it has ever been. to allow the patio would be virtually intolerable.
2:53 am
>> hello, my offices are directly across the brickyard. this has been going on for almost a year. when the doors were opened, the noise was deafening. you could not work during the day. i cannot imagine how people live in their homes your under those conditions. even when the doors are closed, they were directed to do for the past nine months, i can hear when there's a chance for and my doors are closed. the management said that they have learned their lessons regarding the noise coming from their bark and they would change
2:54 am
their ways. unfortunately, as you can see, their behavior has not changed at all. party bosses and large crowds are frequent attractions. some of these are from just a few weeks ago. this shows that there be a serious noise problem if the dax opened up. some of these are from 9:00 a.m., this is from 9:00 p.m.. supporters are about to tell you that the neighborhood is and the business, we don't like small businesses, and that we just want to shut down their bark, which is not true at all. there has been a bar there for
2:55 am
many years and there was never any noise problems like this. when it was requested at the close the doors, they would do it. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i remember it and neighbor saying that the problem with union street is all false. that is what we are dealing with. there is a drinker that police referred to as in title. sports bars cater to them. the police know that they heard the city. -- hurt the city. the promoter had to agree to remove the few cartons from this
2:56 am
year's fair. for the first time, there will be no all all and no beer gardens. alcohol was such a problem that it was banned this year. there is a long history of alcohol cause some problems in the neighborhoods. the brickyard removed the front part of their building without a permit to illegally construct an elevated deck. this is 75 feet from homes across union street. i am told that this is 77 feet long. do you think that the drinkers will contain their enthusiasm when the giants or the 49ers are in the final moments of their game? do you think they will consider their neighbors in closed patio doors? who is going to mantra that? the residence? the planning department
2:57 am
sanctioned an uncontrollable situation for the neighborhood. that needs to be enclosed. noise would not be an issue. i asked you, supervisors, to force brickyard to meet the standards set for all of businesses in a neighborhood commercial district. we need a full environmental impact. >> i tried to mediate this case and i would like to read what i have to say and i have some suggestions. this started off as an enclosed dining area without permits. new -- no repercussions. the planning department chose to ignore the extraordinary consequences of this act of removing portions of the building. this raises flags according to
2:58 am
seek what -- according to ceqa. by removing the walls, it is likely that more noise will come from the area. there is the likelihood of more sound. the very fact was simply ignored by the management of the planning department. in order to stop another lawsuit, please send this case back to planning and do a steady and modify the existing decision of the planning commission. because the applicant broke the planning commission's decision
2:59 am
by having the doors open before the appeals time was over, the neighbor cannot trust the management of the brickyard to follow the rules and regulation of the planning and police department. the following decisions should be made by you. i would send it back up for it sounds studies. the outdoor seating should remain only four are for only dining. -- only for outdoor only dining. >> are there any other members of the public that wish to speak on behalf of the appellant? ok, at this time we will go to the planning department for your presentation. >> to the afternoon -- good afternoon.