tv [untitled] May 7, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> good afternoon, president chiu and members of the board. my name is edward colins and i live at 765 market street and i am here to comment on the public safety issues that have not been addressed. stevenson street is already jammed in large portions the day and if police and fire were to try to get through, it would be a difficult thing for them to do. this building and the way it's being planned will only radically exacerbate this problem that we have on stevenson and access to where we live to that area. so we ask you to focus on that specific issue that was not
addressed in the eir to my recollection. and secondly, to say this project will not have a devastating effect on lifestyle and quality of living in the neighborhood defies one imagination, please consider the quality of life for the residents in our area. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> thank you president chiu and members of the board. my name is jack and we are full-time residents. first we are in favor of having a mexican museum become a reality in our neighborhood. however, our apprehensions of the presently proposed format would be lost within a residential building and not easily found and enjoyed by neighbor and visitor rather
development was beautiful. the more i peeled back on the impacts of that building to our neighborhood, the more i became opposed to it. it's too tall. it's too big and it's poorly sited. and i'm so concerned about the passenger -- not passengers, but the pedestrians who are working along 3rd street, about the pedestrians who are walking along stevenson. the exit off mission. i hold my breath and pray as i cross all those areas and i have seen so many near-fatal accidents. so i encourage you to believe, as busy as you are, stop this process and look at it further, because it's approved. thank you for your time. >> thank you, next speaker. >> president chiu, members of the board,
howard wexler, i personally saved the aaronson build that was designed for demolition and helped to lead the development of moscone convention center and the whole yerba buena complex. i have represented lots of very developers and office buildings and hotels and i'm for development and for the museum, but this project violates a number of rules. first, this could be built to 351' and not cast a single shadow on union square. at 550' in total height, it will cast 337,000-square-feet of new shadow on union square, when is more than the total allocation. the reason that they have to say in the eir it's not
significant, because if it's ruled significant, there is no basis to make a overriding finding, because the benefits being gained here in the garage and land more than offset their contribution to the mexican museum. similarly, it requested that on jessie square, that they look at an alternative to be setback 40', cast less shadow. this costs $8 million-square-feet of new shadow on a park and will shadow up to 12:30 during the day where there are all kinds of people. that is an inappropriate finding and look at nelson igaard's finding, that would put traffic off of mission, would be the best environmentally. >> thank you. next speaker.
>> mr. president and members of the board, i am robert friend. i am too am a resident of 765 market street. i have one overriding issue, and that is traffic and public safety. stevenson street and 3rd street between mission and market is a disaster now. i can't imagine it being any worse, but if we have the only entrance and egress out of this new project at 611 mission street, if that is stevenson street, we're really in trouble, because i don't know how any traffic is going to get by. so what is the solution? there has to be -- there have to be mitigating factors with regard to traffic. i don't know if it's a police officer's directing traffic,
which seems a little unrealistic, but possible. or a light, but right now you just stand there for an hour and you will see near-misses constantly happening. so there have been to be mid gaiting factors. thank you. >> thank you, next speaker. >> hi my name is terry eckardt and my reason for the appeal to the eir is that it was found to have several areas of false -- particularly with traffic and shadowing and i don't think they still have not been addressed properly. i think to say that they were found not to be significant is really unfair. and those things really need to be studied properly. i also think having a very, very tall building next to that wonderful st. patrick's church
is a crime. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello, i am theresa schoenberg and resident of 765 market street and absolutely agree with all of my colleagues here. i just wanted to add that i understand the importance of bringing the mexican museum to this area. and i support the museum as another great addition to jessie square. i would ask that the city take the time to look at this and the deficiencies in it the eir in order to bring the mexican museum to this site in a responsible fashion. we need to study this project properly and look at what is
really necessary? i am confident that you can adhere to the environmental standards that for so many years have made san francisco a great city to live in. thank you. >> thank you. anybody else to speak on behalf of the appellant? seeing none, we'll go to the presentation by the planning department. >> good afternoon, president chiu and members of the board, i am deborah dwyer with the planning department. we are available to answer your questions and addition staff from sfmta and the community investment and infrastructure agency are available for questions. i want to make some introductory comments, and then
respond to as much of the comments that we have heard today as possible. initially i would like to remind the members of the board and the public that this agenda item is about the appeal of a final eir for the proposed 706 mission street, mexican museum and residential tower project, the planning commission certified the eir on march 21st, 2013. the board may affirmer reverse the action of the planning commission by a [phra-eurpblts/] vote majority vote. if the board reverses the certification, it will make specific findings and remand the final eir to the planning commission for further action consistent with the board's findings. eir certification is not an action to approve or disapprove
the project itself and a vote to uphold the certification of the eir does notice bind any votes. the question at-hand therefore is the adequacy of the environment document according to ceqa, the california environment quality act, not the merits of the project itself. once the eir is certified, various communitis and boards and this board will have the opportunity subsequently to consider other aspects of the project for approval beyond environmental effects. a number of people disagree with some of the planning department's conclusions. and disagreement and difference of opinions with the determination presented in the f [kwrao-eufr/] feir -- the
information analyses and conclusions in the eir are appropriate and legally defensible. the conclusions are based upon substantial evidence and discloses the impacts from the proposed project. so i know that we have heard this, but i'm going to quickly summarize the project. the project site is on the northwest corner of 3rd and mission streets and the proposed project consists of the construction of a new 47-story, 550' tall tower consisting of 520' tall building with 30' mechanical penthouse. there would be three floors below grade. the new tower would be adjacent to and physically connected to the existing aaronson building.
provide $5 million endowment for the mexican museum contributed to the yerba buena garden maintenance and provide affordable housing housing, additional to planning code requirements. the board received several appeal letters prior to the close of the certification deadline of april 10th. some state that the eir was inadequate with respect to analysis of cumulative pedestrian impacts and related to -- also related to pedestrian safety in the area. appellant 765 market street residential owners association friends of yerba buena and the following individuals, pail segway, ron wornick, matthew schonberg, joe fang and margaret collins state that the eir is inadequate in the
following areas, traffic circulation, et cetera >> historic resources, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and recreation and therefore, based on this, there is a need to recirculate the eir. the appeal letters for the most part raise issues that are exactly the same oar similar to those addressed in the final eir in the responses to comments document orr tc, which was [p-eubl/]ed march 7th, 2013.
letters were submitted by the resident and owners association and friends of yerba buena -- in addition, a letter summarizes the issue previously raised and finally a letter was received this afternoon that will be responded to in this presentation. i would like to focus my remarks on the main issues raised in the appeal letters and supplemental information at today's hearing. with regarding to the assessment of impacts to historic architectural resources appellant states that the eir does not adequately assess the project's impacts to the aaronson build or new montgomery mission second street conservation district. the analysis in the eir treated
the aaronson building, as well as the conservation district as historic resources and identified the anticipated change in designation proposed as part of the transit center district plan acts. an assessment of potential project impacted to both on-site and off-site historic resources was conduct in the eir. the historic preservation commission concurs with the department's conclusions regarding impact, as well as the level of ceqa analysis conducted for this project. subsequent to the publication of the eir, and as part of the approvals, the aaronson building was designated category 1 significant building and while this change in designation results in permited to alter, pursuant to article 11, it does not alter the assessment of the physical historic resource impacts conducted for this project.
the proposed project would not have a significant impact with respect to historic resources and for the historic preservation commission to consider the consistency with article 11. the appellant's issue is not a ceqa issue or adequacy of the eir. with regard to noise, the eir's adequate and accurate in its analysis of construction and stationary operational noise impacts and appropriate mitigation measures would be implemented as part of the proposed project. existing state requirements for residential development to comply with title 24 standards is also discussed in the eir. the appellants do not offer substantial evidence as to why the identified noise mitigation measures or compliance with the required codes would not adequately address the noise impacts of the proposed project. air quality technical report
was prepared and assessed criteria pollutants and health, risk and hazards. the analysis addressed those construction and operational air quality impacts of the proposed project. a significant air quality impact with respect to construction was identified and therefore a mitigation measure was specified this. is a performance-based mitigation measure aloud llowed by ceqa and requires that the project sponsor demonstrate that a riduction measure of 60% be made. plan specifies tier levels of construction equipment and those pieces required to have diesel particulate filters, as well as
pieces operated with propane or electrified, by plugging into the pg&e grid. with implementation, the impacts are reduced to less than significant. appellants state that the city utilized improper levels with regard to air quality impacts and while it's true in a bay area air quality management district levels adopted there may of 2011 have been invalidated by judicial action, the courts a decision was based on procedural flaw of not completing ceqa for the threshold adoption. the decision did not address the merits of these thresholds
as being health protective or protecting air quality. as lead agency for ceqa, the city is not precluded from using sources of significance for a particular project if those thresholds are supported by thresholds of significance and they are appropriate and supported by substantial evidence cited in the feir. the analysis for greenhouse gas emissions do not quantify ghg emissions and the city is not required to do so for the purposes of ceqa. the city utilizes a qualityive significance threshold for ghgs, and is permitted to do so pursuant to ceqa guideline section 15064.4 (2)the city has a qualified ghg reduction strategy. the appellants state that the final eir cannot rely on that to claim that the impacts would
be less than significant, because the strategy doesn't have a provision for addressing emissions associated with manufacture of construction materials. these are known as lifecycle emissions and these emissions referred to emissions beyond the scope of indirect emissions. and therefore, for the purposes of ceqa, the eir may not quantify lifecycle emissions to determine ghg significance. with respect to shadow impacts and alternatives, the appellants state, is particularly with respect to jessie square and union square are incorrect and significant shadow impacts [speaker not understood] appellants also state that planning code section 295 provisions are mitigation for shadow impacts identified for ceqa.
proposition k adopted by the voters in 1984 is codified in the planning code under section 295 and establish a planning code provision and contained? in the san francisco code. the analysis performed under section 295 informs the ceqa determination and the ceqa analysis is also provided to decision-makers for consideration in section 295 decisions. however, the significance criterion used by the city to determine ceqa shadow impacts asks if a proposed project would create new shadow in a manner that substantially affects these
areas? it determined that there would be less than significant shadow impact from the project. however, for the cumulative context for this project, development under the transit center district plan was also considered and the eir for that area plan determined that due to the shadowing of a number of parks and public open spaces over different times of the year and different times of the day, there would be a significant cumulative shadow impact downtown. this project would contribute considerably to the cumulative shadow impact identified for the plan. therefore alternatives were identified and analyzed. 196' in height and reduced shadow alternative would eliminate project shadow on union square. however, these alternatives would still shadow jessie square. even a building approximately 20-40' in height as described in the feir would shadow
jessie square because it's the lower portion of development on the site that would shadow the square. in addition, these alternatives would still shadow other public open space downtown. the appellant states that the eir's deficient, et cetera. this alternative was not required to be analyzed since it would not eliminate the cumulative shadow impacts identified. >> excuse me, could i ask a quick question about that. jessie square is not a prop k park? >> no, it is not. >> so i understand the point if you looked at an alternative that wouldn't shadow union square, but not shadow jessie square, but union square is
supposed to be protected from shadows; right? >> i am saying that the considerations under section 295 actually are separate from the ceqa considerations. >> right, i understand that and i'm not talking about ceqa considerations, but i'm really simply talking about the impact of prop k and the implications on union square. and if you are suggesting there is a way to mitigate the shadows on union square, which are required under prop k. they are not required for jessie square and i'm not sure why that part of the analysis is relevant. >> we need to look at all public open space for ceqa purposes and that is what we did. and it's not mitigation measures. we had to look at alternatives that would reduce the significant cumulative impact. or the contributions to the cumulative shadow impact. >> and i understand that. that is part of your ceqa analysis. but under your prop k analysis, i'm still not clear as to why
this building, which clearly is going to shadow union square, which ought to have protections under prop k, why alternatives to what we currently have aren't more seriously considered? >> i mean, we aren't making -- i'm sorry. >> sorry, good afternoon, president chiu. i just wanted to clarify that the prop k approval processes has not taken place for this project. it would happen after the appeal of this project. we have alternatives that are feasible that have been fully analyzed in the eir and those are up, if the decision-makers were to find them to be feasible, they could adopt the alternatives that we are speaking of. those are fully analyzed alternatives and prop k analysis, i mean, the approval process has not yet gone. we haven't done that yet. >> sure, i guess i'm just looking ahead and we haven't seen the planning commission or rec and park department ever turn done an analysis of prop k
with shadows and that is why i am bringing this up at this point. could you address the appellant's that suggestioned you are increasing the shadow and many members of the public understand that union square was a no-shadow park and over the years, union square has not been shadowed even with buildings proposed that might have done that and it seems in this case we're making an exception and i want to understand why we're able to do that if there are alternatives that are laid out with a shorter build that wouldn't create shadowing. >> good afternoon, sarah jones, acting environmental review officer. it was include an alternative
that identified a height of a building that would not add shadow to union square. we are obliged under ceqa to analyze a project as it is proposed to the planning department. and that is what is contained in the eir. we are also oobligated under ceqa to look at reduction of significant impacts and we did identify a cumulative impact around shadow on i meanon square and the proposition k issue was the basis, as i say for your decision to include that 351' alternative. because an eir also needs to provide information to decision-makers to support an informed decision and so we felt that was a necessary piece of information for decision-makers; that what height the building would be to avoid that shadow on