tv [untitled] May 5, 2013 11:00am-11:31am PDT
people to wake unand realize what is going on -- wake up and realize what is going on. so it is a memborial trying to get us to interpret history and look to the past. they have always been about lacking at the past so we proceed forward and maybe don't commit the same mistakes. everyo to san francisco's planning commission regular hearing for thursday, may 2nd, 2013. please be advised that the commission does not tolerate any disruption or outbursts of any kind. please silence any mobile devices that may sound off during the proceedings. and when speaking before the commission, please do state your name for the record. i'd like to take roll at this time. commission president fong? >> here. >> commission vice president wu? >> here. >> commissioner antonini? >> present. >> commissioner moore? >> here. >> and commissioner sugaya? >> here. >> commissioner borden is expected to be absent, although
commissioner hillis is expected to be in. commissioners, first up on your calendar are consideration of items proposed for continuance. item 1, case no. 2013.0402t - ordinance amending the administrative code to establish the bayview hunters point citizens advisory committee is proposed for continuance to may 9, 2013. item 2, case no. 2010.0222e - 248-252 9th street, appeal of preliminary mitigated negative declaration is proposed for continuance to june 6, 2013. item 3, case no. 2012.0211d - 2764 greenwich street, request for discretionary review has been withdrawn. i have no other continuances. commissioners, and i have no speaker cards. >> is there any public comment on the three items proposed for continuance?
seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner antonini. >> move to continue items 1 and 2 to the dates indicated. >> second. >> on that motion to continue, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? excuse me, commissioner moore. >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously 5 to zero and places you under your consent calendar. all matters listed here under constitute a kwon sent calendar are considered to be routine by the planning commission and will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the commission. there will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the commission, the public, or staff so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the consent calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing. item 4, case no. 2013.0476t - planning code text amendment concerning mixed use-office district.
>> is there any public comment? [inaudible]. >> commissioners, place that at the beginning of the regular calendar? >> correct, thank you. is there any additional public comment? commissioner moore. >> i was planning to ask for removal from the consent calendar, it is an important item and should be discussed [speaker not understood]. >> thank you. >> all right, commissioners, places you under commission matters, item 5, consideration of adoption of draft minutes for april 18, 2013. >> is there any public comment on the draft minutes? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner antonini. >> move to approve draft minutes april 18th. >> second. >> on that motion to adopt minutes from april 18th, 2013, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya?
>> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners, that passes 5 to 0 and puts you on item 6, commission comments and questions. >> commissioner moore. >> i just wanted to mention how pleased i was to hear that 52 union plaza is going to be occupied by gsa again about 625 federal employees will be moving back into that building which has been refurbished from what i understand, and i think they will be activating that part of the street in a very significant way. >> commissioner antonini. >> couple items. first, i just want to report that the subcommittee on secretary search has been meeting and is considering the candidate pool that we have received, and we'll be trying to narrow it down to a number that -- for which we can make a decision and that's basically
what we've been doing. much of this is in closed session because it is employment issues. i did have another item. last week i went to pick up my car which had to have some work done on it at larkin and sutter street. in fact, the fellow there has the only chrysler servicing place in san francisco for cheap chrysler products. regardless, the big issue is not about the car. he said, can you help me? and apparently he's been tagged every single night. in the past maybe once, every two weeks and it's getting extremely expensive for him to clean up the front of his building because he does have a fairly intricate pattern of colors there and he has to get a painter in each time to clean it up. so, he indicated there is a store that opened across the street from him in the 1100 block of sutter that is a graffiti store.
it's not a hardware store store, not an art store, strictly a graffiti store selling products for illegal activities which i don't quite understand why this is permitted. and their hours, from what i understand, are evenings and weekends only. so, they're catering specifically to the kinds of people that are often involved in graffiti that being sometimes youngsters who are only can come in the evening. and it's not always youngsters who do it, of course. so, i did make some inquiries through planning and they're going to check with the police department as far as the handling of this because the other items that i have questions on is the handling of spray paints normally at most hardware stores as you'll notice the spray paints are not restricted and they are often locked up or at least the attendant has to get it. you can't just self-serve yourself with those for the reasons. and i understand they're not to be sold to people under 18. i'm not sure if that's a city or state law.
i've heard that. so, i kind of like the planning department to look into this. and there also was an article ~ in cw ness column on sixth street where people were trying to clean up that part of the street and they were being besieged by being tagged every night. so, we spend millions of dollars cleaning up this privately and publicly and we also expect property owners at their own expense to clean it up where we don't do too much about prosecuting the perpetrator. and also those kind of businesses that might engage in the kind of sales of products for illegal activities. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes, a couple things. last night i was at a reception for the opening of the halladay building on sutter street. it's really a magnificent building. there was a brochure that was handed out. director ram was there and our
planning staff was there, sophie. it was a wonderful reception and it was actually held, not in the building, it was held across the street at the crocker gallery a, where if you go up to the top floor you can access the public space, which i didn't even know was there. i'm familiar with the one that faces market street, which is used by a lot of people during lunchtime, but this one i wasn't aware of. but if you go up there, you can see the building head on and you're up four stories or three stories. so, you can see the cresting in the upper part which has a lot of decorative features to it. i think everyone was very pleased. it sailed through planning, as i understand, through the historic preservation commission without issues. and everything was worked out. so, that was really great. we weren't the preservation architects, but we were the
preservation architects, belie my ~ blow my horn a little bit on pier 29 restoration project. pier 29 had a fire about a year ago and destroyed the front part of the bulkhead part of the building which faces the embarcadaro. and, so, it was fast tracked through the port and the city approval process and it was completed just the end of last week, i believe. and staff went over earlier this week to take a look at finished product. so, that one has also been completed. and then just a quickie to planning staff. could we get a copy of the mta polk street alternatives that were part of the community discussion earlier this week? thank you. >> any additional comments, questions? okay, next item, please. >> commissioners, it will place you under department matters.
item 7, director's announcements. >> thank you. jonas, good afternoon, commissioners. a couple things. as noted in your director's report, the recent landmark district was created along market street of a 8 discontiguous buildings being called the post 1906 reconstruction projects that did go through the board and took effect recently. it is a series of masonry buildings on market street that you supported as well as the historic preservation commission. and that is now in effect and is the city's most recent historic landmark district. i was also going to mention the polk street plans, that the mta has prepared in response to some concerns by the community and by this commission and we're happy to get you those plans as well. lastly, just to announce that there is a public scoping meeting on the environmental impact report for the central corridor area plan, and that is to take place on wednesday, may 15th at 6:00 p.m. at the
mendelson house which is at 737 folsom street. again, 6:00 p.m. may 15, men doll so many house, public scoping meeting for the e-i-r for the central corridor plan. that concludes my presentation. thank you. >> thank you. >> commissioners, item 8, review of past week's events at the board of supervisors, board of appeals, and historic preservation commission. there actually were no hearings so there is no report for any of those bodies. and that will place you under general public comment. at this time members of the public may address the commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the commission except agenda items. with respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. each member of the commission may address the commission for up to three minutes. i'm not certain, 176 randal street is not on our calendar. >> okay. so, public comment for 176 randal street.
good afternoon. i'm peter [speaker not understood]. i own 174 randal street. i've been there since 1989. 176 randal street came before this commission in 2009. since that time sophie got married, had two kids. the commission ordered the height be reduced on this property by two feet. that was after multiple site visits by planning commissioners over the course of the meet up to that discretionary review. my and my wife's discretionary review was one of six over this disputed property. and i think the planning commissioners felt that the site visit gave them insight into how the actual property and the site where the property project was proposed did not neatly fit with the designs as proposed. and, so, during the debate there was actually several commissioners who thought it should go down four feet, like many things there was a
compromise and the commission decided to reduce it by two feet. what ended up happening was after the commission's decision, the staff continually granted six month reviews on this project. they never submitted plans in compliance with this commission's order. and, so, fast forward to recent events, what ended up happening was i believe sophie felt that despite repeated attempts by the project sponsors to provide revisions -- revised plans, the revised plans did not meet with the order. ultimately it was overruled and the plans were approved. and the major issue here was they always played games with the way they're measuring it so, they're taking two feet height reduction for now the parapets at the top of the roof. so i'm asking for one very specific thing from this commission so you can be done
with this project, i can be done with this project and my son before he gets to college can know the project is done. i ask that you specify the height on the project and be stamped on the plans be 250 feet -- 250 feet 3 inches to the highest point of the flat roof. order on the plan, and i would like it to be an absolute limit. no 6 inch variance because what happened was the two-feet decision that was the compromise by this commission was ultimately reduced to about 1.3 inches now because they're playing games with the parapet. and then if you take the 6-inch variance that's not stamped on the plans, they're only going to change the height by 7 inches. this is a case where several planning commissioners went to the site visit and saw that inches matter and words matter and the process is not being respected. [inaudible] is not being respected and i really respectfully ask you to strongly consider this and do what i've asked. thank you very much for your time today.
>> is there additional public comment? good afternoon, president fong, members of the commission. years ago i represented mr. crack hour and his wife anita benjamin in this case. the commission was very clear that the height of this structure should be reduced two feet. the height of the structure that was before the commission was 253 feet 3 inches. i'll correct mr. crack hour's statement. two foot reduction should have resulted in a top flat roof of 251 feet 3 inches. ~ that's all we want. and we would like to see the commission's order on the cover sheet of the drawings so that dbi i understand that is absolute limit as set through a dr process and not the kind of limit that can vary up to 6
inches in a project. this commission asked for two alignments on depth, one on my client's side and one on the clients who were represented by sue hester on the other side. it was carefully thought out. we came close to settling it. and to see now that those advantages that we were able to gain through the process, we had to make the cases, the hard case to make. and this commission did take dr and set a limit that's now being eroded by -- so it's semantics games. when the code says the height of the structure, the code means from the average of the top of curb to the highest point of a flat roof or to the mid point of between a gable and eve. well, we don't have a gable and an eave situation. so, the only way to measure height here is to the highest point of the flat roof. ~ and if you look in their plans, from 253.3 down to 252, and then taking 9 inches of useful parapet off at the same time.
parapets are taller than that so it was really a curb that was gratuitous. so, they're taking them off together. even though you don't measure height to things that are exempt from the planning code, another clearly stated principle in the planning code. somehow height isn't being measured that way here with respect to this case, and we would like to see it so. i'll conclude by referring to the letter dated 8 april that i sent to some of the commissioners who were here at the time and gave to staff by hard copy. in order for the application to be correctly approved by planning, the cover sheet should contain the planning commission's actions. discretionary review action 001 24 for dbi's benefit in the field. ~ and the height of the building should be reduced 2 feet to a top of roof height of 251 feet 3 inches. we appreciate your attention to this matter.
>> any additional public, general public comment? on items that are not on today's agenda? okay, general public comment is closed. the regular calendar, the first item, the one item that was pulled off of consent. >> yes. >> and we'll have a short calendar to make some accommodations, flip the two item on the regular calendar. >> okay. commissioners, next up is the item pulled off of consent, item 4, case no. 2013.0476t - planning code text amendment concerning mixed use-office district. >> good afternoon, president fong and members of the commission. i'm sophie hayward, planning staff. the item before you today is the initiation of planning code amendments to sections 842 and 842.29, a section that deals with the controls for mixed use office district.
as you know, initiation does not involve the decision on the substance of the amendments. the commission may, however, hold a separate adoption hearing and take action on the proposed planning code amendments after the required 20 day notice period. if you choose to initiate this amendment today, staff would begin public outreach regarding the specifics of the amendment. the proposed amendment would allow tourist hotels of any size within the mixed use office zoning district with conditional use authorization. so, specifically the code amendments would add a note to the narrative section of the beginning of 842 clarifying the tourist hotels are permitted as conditional use or with conditional use authorization. and would also amend table 842.49. i think i may have misspoken before. it's 842.49. by removing the size restriction under the controls for tourist hotels. the conditional use authorization requirement would, however, remain. i have a map here that shows
the location of the district which may be helpful. and i'll try to put it on the overhead projecter. [speaker not understood]. i apologize. currently tourist hotels are allowed when youctionv the muo zoning district with conditional use authorization provided that the hotels have fewer than 75 rooms. the proposed amendment would remove that automatic prohibition of hotels with 75 rooms or more. the mu zoning district is located predominantly in the 2nd street corridor in the market street area and is encouraged to use office uses and housing as well as small scale [speaker not understood]. so, while there is a policy rationale to support the careful review of any proposed new hotel through the typical conditional use process, there seems to be a need to restrict outright the room size of new
proposed hotel. hotels, even large hotels, may be appropriately located within the muo zoning district and they are compatible with the range of permit and had conditional permitted uses in the area. again, i wanted to emphasize initiation does not involve a decision on the substance of the amendments. so, what we are hoping today is that you will allow us to initiate the amendment and then we'll begin our public outreach and notification process. that concludes my presentation and i'm available for questions. thank you. >> thank you. is there any public comment on this item? i do have some cards. toby livy and jim meeko. commissioners, my name is toby levy. as you know, i was working very hard on the western soma plan. and this does not involve the western soma muo. i'm also the chairman of the southpark improvement association and very involved in the central -- involved sort of in the central corridor plan
and on the 2nd street plan. i'm really concerned about the wholesale changing of the muo district. this would effectively make it any other c3g of the downtown district and the reason behind the muo which was the old sso was that it was going to be a smaller scale with back office. i think that if we want to include large hotels above 75 rooms, then we should specifically zone areas. i'm specifically concerned, since most of the central corridor plan, is planned to do muo. and this would willy-nilly allow larger scale hotels in a place where we're really hoping to encourage job development, to do keep our jobs housing balance. i think this is a back way of doing it. if we really want to include hotels that are larger than 75, which have a whole different use pattern in terms of traffic, and these are not things that should just be considered as conditional use.
i think we should carefully plan them and put them in a district and say where they're allowed and not allowed. the 75-room hotel limit allows them to be in the smaller scale zone of which we think of western and eastern soma. and i just think this change of use is the incorrect way of having large scale hotels in south of market. thank you. so, i think you should consider it, but consider it in a different way and not just such a whole scale rezoning as a text amendment. thank you. good afternoon, president fong, commissioners. jim meeko from south of market. the western soma task force found fault with muo zoning because it just creates too many incompatibilities. so, instead we created a wmuo zoning with a focus on high-tech offices along townsend street and expansion
of entertainment uses, but with no housing and with size limits on tourist hotels. this text amendment is not just intended for 2nd street. muo is the predominant zoning recommended for the entire central corridor. it begs the question, just what on earth is the purpose of the central corridor. muo is the anything goes zoning category. it build upon the notion that high-tech offices, hand commercial uses, and tourist hotels and housing and pdr and entertainment venues can all get along just fine and none will displace any of the others. i promised i'd be back here after your down zoning of residential uses on the 11th street corridor to remind you of the naivity of the planning staff recommendations when they come before you with these
polley annish predictions that everybody is going to get along just fine. that didn't work on 11th street and it won't work here either. there are broader implications to this text amendment that have been presented to you to date. and i would hope you would give it a little bit more thought. thank you. good afternoon, commissioners. steve vettle. i represent an individual named dave o'keefe who has a hotel project that was approved at 144 king street in 2005. put this on the overhead. it's not great graphic, but it can show you the location -- >> can you put that down? thanks. the hotel site is right across on the ballpark, the site of a one-story building. what was approved in 2005 was a
140-room hotel. this commission then extended those permits in 2011. the problem that we're facing and the reason that we are working with the staff and the rezoning or this text amendment is that under the old m2 zoning under which this project was approved, there was no limit to the size of hotels, but there was a severe limit to the floor area ratio. it was only 5 to 1. and, so, the direction to my client was go find qdrs from historic buildings to add to the far on the site. she was never able to do so. the prior developer passed away and my client acquired this site. none of them were ever able to find pdrs to add to the far on the site. when the zoning in the eastern neighborhoods changed this block, the block we're talking about is the one here across from the ballpark, from m2 to muo, that solved the far problem because the far and the
muo district is 7.5 to 1. we can live with the 7.1 to 1 far. but all of a sudden there was a 75-room limit under the muo zoning. but no one quite knows where it came from and what the impetus from it was, that it just sort of happened in the eastern neighborhoods rezoning to muo. so, what we're seeking is simply some way to get this hotel that everyone thinks is a good idea. it's in the right location. the union -- the hotel workers union is in support of this project to get it built. actually we're trying to fix this problem on this one block. you know, i can't speak to the concerns that toby and jim raised. if there's a desire for this to be narrower, we can certainly perhaps restrict this to this one block, which is the block between townsend, king, second, third and fourth -- second and third across from the ballpark. we could limit this to 135
rooms if that was a solution that made sense. but i would urge you to at least initiate today, we can work with the staff and with toby and jim over the next three weeks to see if we can come up with something that's mutually agreeable before the public hearing on the actual merits of the case. thank you. >> thank you. is there any additional public comment on this item? okay, public comment is closed. commissioner moore. >> i think public comment couldn't have been more eloquent to describe what the real issues are. one is wholesale rezoning, adding land use in an area which is so broad that there are -- because there was no public physical planning efforts, there will be contradictions and conflict. however site specific becomes a very different story. what i am trying to say is that without further physical planning, there is not just adding a zoning category to land use planning, which i on
the commission and this particular commission could support, partially a specific role of this commission to carefully consider land use policies. that is one of the main charges of this commission. so, to bring something of this importance with as geographic or broad range into consent is something which i think [speaker not understood] is not really how we should be doing t. i think a robust planning process which looks at central corridor and other appropriate sites for selectively looking at uses is one thing. but to wholesale basically describe a large area which spans different planning areas, that is not the way i would suggest that we do this. as to mr. vettle's comment, i would be prepared to look at that as a site specific issue,
although i am not prepared to do site specific rezoning. however, to and how current rules apply to the site, including previous entitlements becomes a separate project on its own. so i ask that if indeed we are considering for the central corridor, land use planning which includes hotels, i would be interested to hear that and the context of that study [speaker not understood] unfolding. i do not believe that any step ahead of time are appropriate. and in the whole story of how it evolves with the site specific considerations, i would be interested in that. ~ steps unfolding what concerns me is hotels which exceed 78 feet other than a site which is controlled for height and bulk as the case mr.