tv [untitled] October 4, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
you are not stopping the clock? i have not finished. bayside in in the fisherman's wharf is something to do. it is for 171,000 square feet and does give people a lot more amenities. there are dozens of them. they did not look. this is not in my backyard. let's do what's best for the kids. thank you. president chiu: are there any other members of the public who wish to speak on behalf of the appellants? i want to make sure that anyone from the outside room has an opportunity to speak on behalf of the appellants.
ok. this is it. >> my name is jeff would. i am with the town hall association. i am interested in maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods. the city has proposed to change the zoning but it is not taking full responsibility for the new conditional use. by that, what i mean is, the city is waving open space requirements, they are waving parking requirements, they are waving a backyard requirements and there is virtually no common space in the plan that was proposed to the planning commission. community housing partners, to their credit, they recognized that these are problems with the
proposed facility. they have quite willingly offer some solutions. they have offered to provide extra staffing. they have offered to provide an additional approximately 3000 square feet of common area community space for the residence. they have also suggested a community oversight commission -- committee. these suggestions need to be incorporated into the conditional use if the zoning controls are removed. not just glibly avoided like the planning commission did, this is something that supervisors need to look at. it is probably true for every affordable housing unit in the city. it needs some of this kind of
input. i think these conditions will protect not only the neighborhood, but it will improve the quality of life of residents. thank you. president chiu: thank you. any other members of the public which to speak on behalf of the appellants? ok. seeing none, let's go to a presentation from our planning department. >> i will do my best to be heard here. good afternoon president chiu and members of the board. i am lisa gibson with the planning department. in joining me today is my colleague andrea contraras, who is the final coordinator for the negative declaration that is the subject of today's appeal. also with me is annemarie rogers, who will address the
conditional use application. tina tam will be available for questions about national resources. the planning department sent to two appeal responses responding to a total of two letters that were set by the appellate as a result to the final neg dec appeal. if any of you need our latest memo, we have extra copies. we also of copies for members of the public. after careful consideration of the concerns raised in the testimony today, the planning department continues to find that th ffmmd was appropriately issued. we will up ould the decision to issue and fmnd and returned the product to the department for an eir.
i would like to turn things over to andrea who will conclude the presentation and wrap things up. >> thank you. i am with the planning department. the department found that the proposed conversion of a 29-room hotel to a 25-room group housing units includes a sud would not result in a significant effect on the environment. the litigation measures have been agreed to buy the project sponsor and a mitigated negative declaration was appropriately prepared. the department's response to the primary concerns raised by the appellate can be grouped into the four main points. two related to the environmental review process and two related to the fmnd. the department maintains that
the preliminary maintained negative declaration was properly circulated. and the city complied with the california environmental quality act, or ceqa, prior to any approval. in response to the substance- related concerns, the department asserts that the project density would not result in any significant impact. and the fmn,'s analysis was inadequate. preparation of an eir is not warranted. in one process-related issue is the circulation of the pmnd. the department circulated it for a 20-day review period, consistent with the ceqa requirements. the project is not a statewide, regional, or area significance as defined by ceqa, therefore it did not require a 30-day review
period or circulation to the state agencies cited by the appellants. the second process-related issue is compliance with ceqa prior to project approval, which the city did. initially, in july of 2010, the department determined that the product was exempt from ceqa and issued a certificate of determination of exemption. the department found that the proposed change of use with minor alterations, the building would not result in any significant environmental impact. at that time, their policy was not required pursuant to the district ceqa guidelines that were in a factory that the assumption determination was appropriately issue. after the department issued the exemption determination, members of the public continue to raise concerns about the project's impact. out of an abundance of caution,
the department decided to prepare an initial study to determine whether and eir was required. in doing so, we consider the potential impact of the project under the air district ceqa guidelines. the department acted prudently and cautiously to identify a significant air quality impact, even though the related air quality significant threshold was not technically applicable to the project. the initial study identified in the mitigation measures to reduce this impact to less than severe levels. the project sponsor agree to this measure and the department issued a pmnd. the project loan approval is not considered a project approval under ceqa and therefore we approve the loans before the ceqa analysis. i would like to address the issues raised by the appellant. the offense of the density increase.
the proposed density increase from 16 to 24 units was analyzed. while the project would result in an increase in group housing density, the department's found its assets would be less than significant under ceqa. with regard to land use, the project would not specifically divide an established community, conflict with land use policies adopted for the purposes of environmental litigation, it would not conflict with a conservation plan, and it would also not sit -- substantially impact the existing character of the project the city. thus, the project would not have a significant land use impact. in addition, the project would not result in significant impacts to population and housing. it would result in a total of 25 residents and employees for .01% increase in the residential
population in the marina neighborhood. while this may be noticeable to immediate neighborhoods, the increase would not substantially change the existing area wide population and the resulting entity would not exceed levels that are common in urban areas such as san francisco. further, the project would not displace people are housing or result in the need for additional housing. regarding cumulative and growth- inducing impact, department staff would be planning efforts in the project the vicinity and found no past, present, or foreseeable sud's. as such, the appellants assertion that it was set at present -- set a precedent for other sud's is speculative. other reasonable developments should be considered in a ceqa analysis. contrary to the appellants assertions, the project is not
part of a larger project and is not peacemealing. this refers to the breaking down of a development into multiple developments in order to avoid review. the project at 3155 scott street is an entirely separate and independent of the 2009 housing element and and and other projects proposed. p the project is. iecemealing of a greater project. the fmnd analysis of resources and hazardous materials -- all of these were analyzed in the fmnd. the appellate has provided no substantial evidence to support their claims to the contrary. finally, before i conclude, i would like to a knowledge the public testimony to that. it is clear from the speakers that there is a great deal of concern regarding the project. i would like to thank the
speakers for their testimony and everyone for coming out to speak to something that is very important to them. i would especially know that no new information has been raised that changes our conclusions that and fmnd was appropriately issued. the department has found that, with litigation, the proposed product would not have a significant impact on the environment and fits the criteria of a mitigated negative declaration pursuant to the ceqa guidelines. we believe the appellate has not provided any substantial evidence to review the conclusions of the department. in some, the pmdn was properly circulated, and ceqa review was given before the project, the project would not result in significant impact cannot be mitigated, the analysis of ceqa topics was adequate, and preparation of eir to address these topics is not warranted.
further environmental review would not change the facts that this case would provide information for assessing the potential impact related to density or other ceqa topics. ultimately, it is the city's responsibility under ceqa to determine the significance of an impact and based upon facts of this case. that concludes our presentation. thank you. supervisor farrell: ms. contraras, before you hand it over, i have not had an issue with the environmental review at all. but i just got your memo back. i wanted to ask you, you labeled it as process. the notion of, when a project is approved has to do with the state case and what supervisor wiener was alluding to earlier. under your estimation, as people who run ceqa for us, when is a
project approved? >> thank you, supervisor farrell. i would prefer to speak to the particulars of this case, which are that the loan was approved in july of 2010 did not commit the city to a definitive course of action. the particulars of the loan for this project required that even in the event of a default, the city would be able to recover its money. the loan itself does not commit the city two particular points of action and supporting the project. supervisor farrell: i understand
your point and i read that point. is in the converse true then? it goes both ways, is what i am saying. one person -- you could view it and understand it and say, there are certain outlooks for the city, if it is not approved, there would be certain things. on the flip side, could someone say the same? that the city is committed if the planning department approves it and the board of supervisors approves it, and so forth. >> in my previous experience, a project approval would consist of building permits, application use signed, and it is common knowledge among planning department stop that that cannot occur until the process is complete. >> thank you. i am lisa gibson with the planning department. if i may address the question.
prodded approval occurs at the time when the lead agency, the city, commits to the project to implementing it at a point where it is an action which cannot be reversed. every project has specific circumstances depending on the approval that are required. in this case, the loan was not considered to be an irretrievable, irreversible commitment of resources. in this case, the project approval is the approval of the conditional use authorization and the sud ordinance to. supervisor farrell: in the memo i got this morning, it says that ceqa is defined as approval by the public agency which commits it to a definite course of action. not irreversible, but a definite course of action.
this applies to this project and every other one that we get through. i am just curious from a process point of view. could someone take the position that, if the board approves it and these other things that i mentioned could happen, then we are committed to it? >> i think the operative word there is "it." there is no commitment the city has made to approve the project. this board has not acted to cut -- to approve the project. that is the decision that awaits. the first step that can be much received that consideration is the determination of the adequacy of the environmental document that is on appeal right now. the loan that was -- that has been approved by the city is very different from the nature of the loan that was the subject of the save tara case. the terms of the loan are very
different for the city. the language of the loan documentation is very specific to ensure that the city will get repaid. in that case, there was a resumption and a store and a strong interest the city had in approving the project. if it did not do so, it would not be repaid the money was lent, and that case $500,000. the terms of that project were five years. in this case, these the civil war in which is that if the city does not approve the project in, the loan must be repaid. if it is not, there is a deed of trust that the city can revoke to claim that property and use those proceeds to repay the loan. supervisor farrell: ok. again, no substantive issue with the environmental review. when i read the memo, and kurt
supervisor wiener, i did have a question. the preference is not to address this. but supervisor wiener asked this of the appellant, the attorney. what is the bright line in terms of approval? talking about a dollar amount or otherwise. this hearing today -- again, this is for future processes. i want to be very clear about where we are. >> thank you for the question. president chiu, if i may, i would like to offer that our city attorney is available. we are getting into legal grounds that may be better handled by the city attorney. >> good afternoon. approval by sequel is when the city to mr. definitive course of action. the most recent case that has
discussed this issue said that as many people who would like to be a bright line, and pull -- unfortunately it is not. they have submitted irreversible meeting of discourse, momentum, etc. in the save tara case, we let $500,000 in the absence of repayment. the city has express' officially that it was support for the project, calling it a done deal. the city began relocation. in that case, the supreme court said that you have gone too far, too early. they actually said it is not a
bright line rule. it has to be interpreted on a case-by-case basis. supervisor farrell: i completely agree with supervisor wiener's point earlier. how are we going to fund these projects further if there is not some commitment on some level? thank you for answering those questions. supervisor wiener: i want to thank you for following up on that. it is not just about these projects. whether it is treasure island or something else, there are a million mega-projects were saying the city could not do anything could be possibly interpreted as a vague commitment to wanting a project to be done before you are completely done with your ceqa review would mean that no major projects at all, ever, that require any sort of participation. i do not need the case law to
require that. i think the entire case was sort of an extreme kind of case. supervisor chu: i just want to make sure that i understand. in terms of the pre-funding issue that was brought up by the appellant, the issue i am hearing is that because the city's own programs require that there is a loan repayment, should there not be a future approvals going for environmental process? in that case, it is different from the save tara case? >> experiencing technical difficulties. that is correct. supervisor chu: another question for clarification. we have the environmental documents but also the special use appeal. one of the things i was wondering about was, there is a state law that allows for a density bonus for affordable housing. i wanted to understand how that
works. do you get the bonus even without approval of and sud? could you explain that? >> good afternoon president chiu and members of the board. and there are certain circumstances where the state housing bronislaw would encourage a exceptions to the existing law, including changes to environmental requirements, parking requirements, adding density which adds affordability which qualifies in this instance. we have not yet presented the sud or conditional use appeal. i will present more when you are ready for that. supervisor chu: thank you. president chiu: any further questions? >> i will continue with the presentation. this is our response to a conditional use appeal. the conditional use appeal is perhaps the central question
that is before the board today. is this project necessary and desirable for the community? in this case, we are using an existing building for needed housing and services for transitional-aged youths. it is hard to imagine a more necessary or desirable project. while the appellate has raised numerous issues the we have addressed in our materials, i am going to focus on three categories for you today. the process, the project, and the general plan. let's talk about the process first. the appellate argues that proper procedures were not followed, but that is not the case. the department has followed all procedures for noticing and public hearings for these environments. the prosecutor has above the value of this project at every step in the process. at every opportunity, the appellate has filed an appeal. today is not the first. the document was party appealed before the planning commission and the planning commission
upheld the ceqa document before it adopted or even considered enabling legislation in the project. due process has been served. but what about the procedures for the enabling legislation, and this case the special use district. the appellate argues that the commission cannot approve the hottest initial use of a prior to the board approving the sud. again, this is not the case. for all normal procedures, the commission recommended approval of enabling legislation to this body. and the commission approved the cu and engine on your approval. should do not approve the sud today, there is no cu opposition -- authorization. this is outside the department's jurisdiction. if there are no questions, i will end by remarks to set all public noticing and procedures have been followed.
let's consider the project itself. is the project prudent? clearly, the answer is no. as entitled by the commission, this project would allow 24 occupants to reside in a building based upon single occupancy units. this is eight less occupancy could be permitted as of today under the existing codes without the sud. the existing zoning would allow 16 units, each housing to people, of 232 occupants overall with the existing zoning. the sud allows a project that would be more in line with never requirements. it allows more units to be required, but the project would have a lowered number of occupants per unit. the approved projects as only one occupant per unit for a total of 24. if the appellate was to maximize development potential, they could have saw and sud that
would have allowed 44 full-time ok'd is living in 22 rooms, to occupants for room -- two occupants per room. unfortunately, this is not what happened. the appellate submitted several conditions that would like to be applied to this project. the question that aspect of this project, such as the size of the commitment, the type of support services and security. none of these features are mandated by the planning commission for the group housing uses they approve for. and yet, the products are as committed to provide these elements with their project. this is testament to the value of the project, not any land-use requirements. during the hearing, commissioners noted reading everything from the public. they consciously decided to include or exclude the final condition before you for your re-examination. many of the appellants additional request are already included in the motion before you or beyond the commission's
jurisdiction or told to be inappropriate for a land use body. let me know if you of questions about any of their conditions? and what about conformity with the general plan. the appellate states this project violates individual housing elements. the commission determined that this project is inconsistent with the general plan and perhaps, the special housing element. instead of jumping in point-by- point, it is important to understand that when determining the constituency with the general plan, it requires a view of the whole plan. the general plan has a number of public policy goals which conflict with each other. the decision makers should review all the pertinent policies and decide whether the project is consistent with the general plan. in addition to considering policies from the housing element, the commission has done that this product is consistent with the transportation, urban design, commerce and industry,
and other elements. this project is a reasonable profit that can turn a hotel into housing for those in need. you have heard from those who have lived in the neighborhood and their opinion is important. but under the criteria with the project is considered, necessity and as our ability, these are applied on a citywide basis, not solely a tally of votes in the area. section 303c1 of the planning code allows the board to base its findings on community as well as neighborhood considerations. this was based on conditions relevant to both the neighborhood and the broader city. it is important -- the project in regard to immediate neighbors. let's also review the project in relative to the benefits of the larger community and other public policy goals. the bottom line is this location the bottom line is this location is a desirable location for the