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tv   Abatement Appeals Board 31517  SFGTV  March 19, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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>> good morning. today is wednesday march 15, 2017. this is the regular meeting of the abatement appeals board. i would like to remind everyone to turn off our electronic devices. the first item on the agenda is roll call. >> president commissioner clinch. >> here. >> commissioner konstin. >> here. >> commissioner complete speaker cards and documents to be part of the file should be submitted to the clerk. >> here. >> commissioner warshell. >> here. >> we have a quorum and vice president walker and walker are excused. the will all parties
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giving testimony today please stand and raise your hand right. do you swear that the testimony you're going to give is the truth to the best of your knowledge. thank you. you may be seated. okay. the next item is c, approval of minutes. discussion and possible action to adopt the minutes for november 16, 2016. is there a motion to approve? >> move to approve. >> is there a second? >> second. >> okay. is there public comment on this item? okay. seeing none are all commissioners in favor? >> aye. >> any opposed? okay. the minutes are approved and for the record commissioner lee is present as well. okay. we are on to item d continued appeals or abatement. case on bush street owner of record bush
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street apartment street 100 street san francisco california. applicant and action requested by appellant and says it doesn't exist in code and seeks modification or reversal of abatement and this is for information everyone present, the department has seven minutes to present the case. the appellate aptd has seven minutes and each side has three minutes for rebuttal and three minutes for public comment. the department would like to come forward. >> [inaudible] [off mic] acting chief housing inspector. tennessee a --
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ten, ten bush street is consists of a dwelling unit on the ground floor here and guest rooms and tourist guest rooms on the upper three floors and about 22 rooms on each floor. we have five showers on the first floor. we have five showeros the second floor, two on the third throor with timers and one with no timer. rehave received a complaint in october which is over six months ago from a hotel resident concerned that they were not getting continuous flow of water from the showers. showers appear to let the water come on and a period of time when there was no water. during the time there is no water it's a violation of the housing
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code. our site inspection revealed timing devices had been installed on the common area showers. over here on the right side. there are three timers on the showers. is this is this type here like that. we have this type and we have this type here. although there are minute allocations on this for both the water and the lights they don't operate so
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you don't get that much time. 20 people on each floor. these time devices present the continuous use of common showers a violation of section of the san francisco housing code. site inspections also revealed when activated some of the showers took a few minutes to heat up to the required 105-degrees fahrenheit. now this sign was posted. so the they contend it's about water conservation but we have a chapter in the code that addresses water conservation and does not allow for timers in the showers. it requires low flow shower heads when we have in our homes and businesses throughout
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the city. so housing inspector steve lungvin who is here posted this notice of violation notice of violation in october we went back to reinspect. all items were outstanding which referred the case to director's hearing. done another reinspection. we posted it, posted all of the notices in november and the director's hearing on the 17th they were given three more weeks to comply with the housing code and then right after christmas we issued an order of abatement. then the appellant decided they wanted to challenge the order of abatement. there are seniors that live in this hotel. my father is 88 years old, cannot wash himself and i just try to
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imagine him trying to use this set up where the shower water comes on and comes off. one of the other 20 people that lives in the building on that floor and you try to take a shower after the person that just left you have to wait for a period of time, five minutes until you can use it so the water is not available to them so it's a violation of the housing code of of the continuous availability is inherent in the housing code. now the code does allow one other item to be restricted by the landlord and that is heat. section 7 01c of the housing code heat shall be available for each room for 13 hours as
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stated. but the housing code doesn't allow for water to be restricted like this. it's implicit in the housing code that the water be continuously available. it allows for the landlord to restrict heat. it's spelled out exactly what time you can do that with but that is not the case in the case of water. cannot be restricted per the housing code. i wanted to call up steve for a minute. this is one of our most experienced inspectors in the department of building inspection and in the tenderloin for years he can testify to the problem of the water not heating up right away. >> commissioners, at the time of my initial inspection there was a number of complaints and one of them there was inadequate
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hot water. i tested the water. i have a temperature gauge and i let the water run for five minutes. the water never reached 10-degrees. th -- 100-degrees and after five minutes i stop time tg and i wrote a notice of violation for no hot water. >> thank you. >> how did you measure -- did you have some sort of mechanism? >> yes inspectors we have -- it's about the size of a pen and it's a temperature reading gauge. >> and that's how you -- okay. all right. and that's the standard with the department in cases like this? >> all the inspectors have the same type of device. >> perfect. okay. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> no more questions? >> yeah, i have a question. can you give me a copy of this reference in the code you're quoting. i would like to see what it says. >> for the water or the heat? >> for the water. >> right here. >> thank you. >> so it doesn't say anything about duration. it says you have need to provide hot and cold water. it doesn't say anything about time. >> the housing code -- all things in the housing code have to be continuously available for resident use unless otherwise stated. for the example of heat it allows it is landlord to
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restrict to 13 hours a day. it makes no provision for the restriction of water. >> okay. thank you. >> appellate. >> good morning gentlemen and commissioner clinch thank you for asking the question. it's germ ain to my appeal today. there is a simple principle in the law if something is not illegal it's legal very simple. no where in the code are water restribting devices prohibited. no where in the code does it refer to "continuously available" that adjective continuous or continuously doesn't exist in the code. in the documents you have in front of you under staff findings and recommendations i just want to review a couple of those specifically number 3. the property owners failure to comply with the notice has
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created hazardous condition for the occupants. i would argue strongly potential not not having water for a couple of minutes is not hazardous and i wonder what they would use for seriously hazardous issue. number 4 and restrict the flow of the common showers in the hotel. these devices are not necessary for water conservation. true. these devices are not necessary for water conservation nor are motion senses when you have fluorescent light bulbs or a myriad of other examples that owners use across the city to run the properties efficiently. it doesn't mean they're prohibited. low flow shower heads are required by the san francisco code and doesn't require that shower flow be interpreted. true. it doesn't require it but doesn't prohibit it and that's the specific
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issue today. nothing in the code prohibits water restricting devices. nothing in the code makes reference to providing continuous water flow to the showers. i am hesitant to go down the rabbit whole of the philosophical discussion here because my argument is simple and it's not prohibited and it's not november for the official to say it's illegal and prohibited and vague and without citing a section that prohibits the activity in. if you read the section that has been provided specifically prohibits the activity. therefore my argument is it's legal and i will share with you as a small segue this is a common living environment and are water conservation goals hereby installing these devices but they're not the soul goal of
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the ownership. in a shared environment where you have multiple people sharing showers, kitchens, other familiarities there has to be some type of order with respect to the use of the common use facilities and as you imagine there are rush times with showers in particular. >> so the timer was set in a way to help meter people through so no one tenant would abuse the showers and take an hour for a shower. the five minutes was set under the reasonable assumption it takes about five minutes to get out of the shower, towel themselves off and grab their hygiene kit and belongs and exit the bathroom so the inconvenience on any tenant without one sitting out the door is minimal and it's not the forum to address those particular issues. i will go back to my argument. something is not illegal, it is therefore
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legal and none of the code cited prohibits this activity. if someone wants to have a conversation off line and shortening the time and timers that's a normal landlord conversation and you can imagine if we weren't providing shower facilities to tenants this room would be full with people and cameras and people have access in this building and the building went through a tremendous amount of ownership since our ownership took over and why the room is not full of really angry upset tenants. any questions? >> commissioner lee. >> how do you come about with the time limits? how did you decide that? >> currently they're set for 12 minute showers and a five minute shut down period. >> how did you determine that it was adequate? >> based with discussion with on site staff and reasonable
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assumptions related to the timers. >> did you discuss it with the clients? >> the clients? >> the people that use the showers. >> oh i'm sorry, the tenants. >> yes. >> not specifically. i will share with you that the bathrooms have been a point of argument before which is the main reason actually that the timers initially went in and at one point an allegation of a tenant pointing a gun at another one over a shower issue. >> i have a second question. how did you install these timers? >> i'm not sure i understand the question. >> did you use a plumber? did you break out the wall? did you tie something into the types? >> yes, we used a plumber and it was entirely permitted. >> commissioner mccarthy. >> you're very articulate man and took your time and read the code and i understand it and i am looking at you and scratching my head and why are we wasting
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our time here about some heated water which seems to me -- there's a few things that upset me with respect to common living and one of them is heat. boilers were breaking down in the town a lot and take months to fix and for something that should be fixed right away, all right and people suffered because of that. it bothered me why the landlord -- we are talking about hot water and five, ten minutes and someone using it. i am trying to understand where is your savings here? i don't understand why we're here. you run a tight and efficient building and i commend you for but you're not crossing the line with the hot water. >> it's a great question and i am more than happy to have the conversation with residents what everyone perceives to be reasonable. i am here for one reason. i have been in this business for 17 years, small
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property owner and i don't always agree with what the department sundays our way. i am here on principle. >> >> right? i am here to make sure that you all do your job and check our own government when they exceed their authority and this is not anything negative against the inspector and he's pleasant and dealt with a lot at that building and cordial with the response ask i take no issue with the inspector or anyone else at the property but when someone in a position of authority exceeds their authority it's incumbent upon me as a citizen to come in your position and let you know and push back on that and so you know if after this the board of supervisors wants to pass some law preventing this fine. fine. let them have that political discussion in room 400 but this issue is very narrow and i am not here to save a couple of
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bucks. the usage of water doesn't affect me whatsoever because we have a master tenant in place and i'm not involved in the day-to-day operations and whether whatever the amount of the bill is makes no difference. i get my money. i am here on principle. it's that simple. after 17 years this is the first time here and i had enough. >> i appreciate your honesty and respect but you have to understand how it comes off. it comes off really bad. you understand that? yes, we have code but we have human issues as well that we have to deal with and we try to find that balance and thp inspectors go out and if they help -- you answered my question. it doesn't impact and you are here to haggle over the code and you're right and we have the
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autonomy to make decisions how we interpret the code and how hot water is a right we think it should be given to everybody unless there is a reason they can't give it and you haven't given us that. >> i understand what you're saying and it's more of a sill fof cal argument and conservation by the way -- that's a cause worth fighting for and as i mentioned earlier though i didn't go into detail we had some serious criminal issues of people arguing over the shared facilities. we had to install $20,000 camera system after someone reported a gun was pulled on them and as a landlord we have to implement reasonable measures to help the living environment live amicably; right? so there is that real issue as well but sometimes we should look at it issue narrowly. if you have inspectors running around the
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city want interpreting code the they want and bending and stretch tg it's not good for the city or for us as a law abiding country; right? >> i think we're taking it too far. we are given the autonomy to use the code for the best practices and that's what is in front of us here. >> i hear you. i hear you, but again if something is not illegal it's legal. in my mind it's that simple. now after this if tenants want to sit with us and talk about this. if there's a senior citizen having an issue using the one push button timer which i argue is simpler than a shower valve. let's have that discussion. i am willing to spend the money for those in need. this is not a money issue; right? this is the department having a tremendous amount of autonomy, a
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tremendous amount of discretion which i think they should but they also need to have limits. every government body and agency should have those limits. again it's not enough to come up and say well mr. president i don't like blue coat. i'm a police officer and i decided to write you a ticket for that because i feel like it, so loosely interpret the code and say it's indecent exposure. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> by the way i have no issue with your coat. >> i think we've had enough questions unless somebody else has one and hear from the department for a three minute rebuttal. >> well, i very much appreciate the arguments raised by the appellate. however i am puzzled because when they filed their appeal they do talk about water conservation and now it's not really about water conservation. it's about a
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principle so let's take the principle and look at it closer. i am glad you raised the issue of light motion censors. this is an issue we ran into other hotels and installed timers and put in light motion censors in the rooms so the lights go off while people are taking the shower so if you apply thursday principle to the landlord restrict all parts of the code. >> >> i mean it just makes for a nightmare of code enforcement. the doors or windows or ventilation -- where does that end? so while we appreciate the arguments of the appellant we are stuck here in the real world where people need hot water. senior citizens need hot water and we believe it's incumbent upon this department to enforce the code. thank you very much. >> thank you. the appellate
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has three minutes for rebuttal. >> yeah, just a couple of things to add. in one of the bathroom alleviate the traffic situation converted to three at great expense. the hot water issue as the inspector said and not getting a certain temperature it was fixed in 24 hours, very quickly. where the code is clear we have been extremely responsive and where the code is clear. the representative from the department just mentioned motion censors. i would argue that is different. when you have a device not working and if the lights go off it's not working as intended. different issue and doesn't mean it's illegal and i will say in the public on record if the tenants want to sit down with us, if they have particular issues to work through that we need to address particularly because of a disability or what not i am happy to do it. if there is discussion to be had over the
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length of the shower valves i am happy to do it. i am asking the commission to enforce the law today and not let it go down that slippery slope. that's it. thank you gentlemen. >> any public comment? sonia does public comment require being sworn in? >> no. >> i am tenant debbie davis and in 128 and resided there 13 years. the timers considering the length of my hair. i'm not in the best shape. i had two knee surgeries. the timers, the water doesn't heat up within 60 seconds the ones does a few minutes. i delineated using that shower because it takes too long. i can't wash myself and
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my hair in three minutes and go down the hall and takes 30, 60 seconds if you're the first one in the morning. washing my hair and when the water goes off and there is no water and i am standing there and it's running down my back and creating a slippery floor and i have to get out and turn it back on and that's a hazard. i think the water should be continuous so you can take your shower and get out. by having the timers you're creating a hazard situation and there's people in that building that are worse off than i am. that's all i have to say. okay. >> thank you very much. next speaker. >> hello commissioners. my name is gary and i have been
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living there since 2003 and just one day i woke up and went to take a shower and all of a sudden there were shower timers. we weren't given any type of notice that they were going to be timers. we didn't know how to use them. they were just on the walls. from 2003 until the shower timers were put in we had no problems with people having to wait for the bathrooms. they were enough bathrooms that everyone could take a shower. people were not abusing the time to take a shower. since the shower timers were put in as debbie was saying it does not give you enough time. you have to decide if you want to wash your hair or put soap on or do your face. by the time the water heats up you're in the shower. you have three to four minutes which for my age i am 59 years old. it's a rush. it's an awful way to start off the
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morning. not only is the shower timer on but you're reminded that you're running out of water because there is a beep every minute that you're in the shower so the minute you turn on the shower, push the button it's seven minutes. then you hear a beep, six minutes and then at the end of the seven minutes it goes very quickly, beep, beep, beep, beep and then the water shuts off. if you have shampoo in your hair or you're still soap you have to wait five minutes because they have a lock on it for you to take another shower so you can't turn the shower back on. if someone comes into the use the shower and they only take a four minute shower and someone else comes in and you're in the shower and the water turns off after three minutes so the continuous flow of water is so important so tenants are able to use the shower when they want to use
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the shower and not have to wait so i don't see any problem with tenants. on our floor we have a tenant who is 90 year's old. we have a lot of people with disabilities and seniors, but since the new owners have bought the building they have turned it more of a student housing situation where they have more tenants. they've add more tenants into room. it's a single occupancy building designed for people that are older and they just want to hurry and get people in there taking showers and to get them out, so it's a huge inconvenience. it's very stressful. it's not a good way to start off your morning, and i ask that you have them removed. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker.
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>> good morning commissioners. i am a community organizer at the local sro collaborative and work with tenants trying to improve conditions of buildings and make sure the rights are respected. i have been working with these tenants on bush for a year and a half dealing with changes from management. this one has been one of the most concerning and honestly standing today we were frequented about the shower timers and we will leave exacerbated them them and a exercise in engagement and fill sof cavand the extent of the law. it's frustrating and many tenants have been dealing with the showers and turning off mid-shower and conditions changing after decades in the building and it's for conservation and it's actually to see what the extent of the power of the department of building inspection. this this is inappropriate. we had an
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opportunity for the last six months. they absolutely could have disabled the timers or reset the times. they act like they're willing to consider this but we spoken on many occasions they're set for too short of a time and they're a violation and haven't corrected them and waited for this hearing and took six months to question you if they're foshsed to change the shower timers or not so if we take the argument on its face if it's not illegal it's legal and providing water between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and reason because it doesn't say continuous in the law and let's only have early afternoon water. we know this is not the case. they had months to correct it and didn't do it. if this is a strategy to intimate tenants and in other buildings they want
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students and pressure on the older folks and have a disproportionate effect on the tenants than the younger. the reason we're not seeing many here speaking out most affected -- a dozen of them are older than 70 yield and have been there for a decade if not more and this has a disproportionate effect on the people and i'm not saying they have that intent but they're going towards younger and student use can use this as one strategy to affect older folks feeling this is not a space for them and encourage to leave the building. this building hasn't had timers for decades and it's fine and this is not preventing gun violence or other forms between tenants. actually they have violations of
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overcrowding. they're bringing in too many people into the building and finding techniques for that. let's not make exceptions and you have to deal with a case by case basis of shower timers if you let this happen. thank you. >> thank you very much. any other speakers? >> good morning. my name is michelle spens and with the san francisco housing coalition. we provide subsidies with people with disabilities. our funding is through the mayor's office of housing and our philosophy is clear. we want people to be maintained housing because there's a collation between house and health. if they have stable housing they keep the medical points and would extend their lives and i have been working with one of the tenants which is a client of ours is going over to the housing -- part of our job, just to make sure it's safe and habitual and
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they can live in the units and listening to the owners the buildings -- i have been there numerous times and we're just requesting reasonable accommodations. a lot of the tenants on my client list are over 70 and it would be worse if they fall, break a hip, injure, git an injury my falling and more cost on the city and the citizens of the city and it's something not needed. a timer is not needed for people to take a shower. it's like living in a campground if that is the case so i am here to argue reasonable accommodations for our clients just to maintain housing which is a direct correlation -- there's tons of studies that people maintain their health with housing. thank you. >> thank you. >> can i use public comment to address some of this? >> no i'm sorry. any other
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public comment? >> hi. my name is marie and i i'm a community organizer at the development center in chinatown and there's a couple of building in chinatown that experienced similar issues with the timers and here's what i learned from what the tenants have said. it's absolutely outrageious that the time they spend in the shower is limited to two minutes or a minute and a half and as previous speakers have said already a lot of the folks who live in these sro buildings are seniors. i am abled body and i am young and no way can i finish washing my hair and be clean within two minutes. more than that other than seniors there is young children who need their parents to help them shower and no way they can finish in two minutes or even five minutes and make sure that their young children are getting what they need, and there has been no notice or notice discussion
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about whether it's going to be two to five minutes in the buildings before they're enforced the tenants wake up one day and there are shower timers. i think it's disrespectful and not dignified that they paid the rent and to the services they're getting and all of a sudden it's stripped away using these kinds of strategies. i think the needs of the tenants need to be put first in the matter of this issue. thank you. >> thank you. any other public comment? seeing none any commissioners have any comments before i offer mine? oh we have one more public comment. sorry. city attorney. >> you might want to consider giving the appellant and the department a few minutes to respond to the public comment given the length and detail of it. >> is that allowed? >> typically -- i don't know if the board has done it in the
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past but in the board of appeal it comes before public comment so they can respond. >> do any of the commissioners have objections to that? >> no. >> three minute for the appellant and then for the department. >> none of this is done to harass the senior citizens, none of it. i am happy to have an adult conversation with anyone that wants to for reasonable conversations with anyone having troubling showering whether with children or disabilities. if that means to give over ride privileges i am happy to. nobody here today or referencing received an eviction notice or threatening or otherwise. they're more than welcome to stay in our buildings period. if they have particular issues we can bring them to us. we're responsive and i am happy to talk with anyone here today
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about anything reasonable. if we have to rip a timer out and senior citizens can't make it to the bathroom we can adjust that. if there are too many tenants trying to use the shower at the particular hour we're the bad guy and get blamed because we're not regulating the use of the showers so we need discretion to run the business for the benefit of the tenants. these devicings allows us to do that. it doesn't change the argument from before but we're more than willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the tenants most in need and irrespective of cost. we just need to have the conversations. there doesn't need to be such animosity. right? i am happy to sit down with anyone here today. any of the organizers we can chat and
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implement reasonable measures. if that means we pull the timer out and i understand the issue with the senior citizen that's what we're going to do, simple as that. thank you. >> thank you. department. >> thank you commissioners. the department of building inspection's mandate it to protect life, limb and welfare of the people of the city and county of san francisco. we take this responsibility very seriously. notice of violation that was issued in october 2016 the owner has had sufficient time to comply. time limiting devices are a violation of the housing code. people are senior citizens and denied the right to hot water that's something the division, our department isn't going to stay quiet and enforce
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the code to the fullest extent. we recommend that the order of abatement upheld and all departments be assessed and we thank you for your time and consideration commissioners. >> thank you. anybody want to offer any comment? commissioner lee. >> why don't i start. i am a little concerned or actually very concerned that the decision of setting the time limits on the timer was made without any discussion with the tenants. i mean i would feel if i were the landlord and there was a problem that i saw that my tenants were causing let's say i would have a discussion with them first and try to resolve it that way instead just unilaterally make a decision and say let's restrict this. i believe the tenants also have a right to continuous water and i think that's what
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tenants sign up for when they rent a place. they should have use of water and heat but i also feel there was never any discussion between the landlord and tenant and it sounds to me that the appellant /landlord is now saying he is willing to have a discussion with the tenant. i was wondering what the board, us, what we maybe suspend this for 30 days and come back and see if they talk? i am just throwing it out there. >> commissioner warshell. >> i share the concerns that my colleague just expressed but i don't know that a 30 day delay is productive at this point. obviously i'm the most senior here so my sympathies obviously do go with seniors, and i have a
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great deal of concern when i hear you know this is communal living with people who have very different ages and probably some lifestyle and capability issues. it does bring to a question you know if you have a three floor facility, not that you have enforced segregation, but have you ever by choice you know tried to have people of more common interests living more together and having their accommodations really best suited to what they want? so for example if you had your seniors more living together and they consistently said we don't want these, then you don't have it. you engage them and make sure it's part of your serving
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your residents appropriately. if the issue for your younger tenants is we don't want people hogging the shower and if somebody stays in for an hour it's a inconvenience. i can't get to work or school or whatever and we would love if you put that in then you know i think if you had all those discussions and you really had tried to engage people first the complaints wouldn't have been issued. it doesn't get away from the fundamental issue that you're raising today of challenging the department that if it's not explicitly prohibited then it is okay for you to do. i think that sets off -- do you want codes not this thick but as big as this
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room? i think there has to be reasonable judgment and you know in this case the basic use of reasonable entitlement to water to bathe should be a consideration that anybody renting ought to have, so i wish your outreach to your community of residents had been better. if your real concern wasn't water conservation but rather a few bad actors creating a situation which isn't amenable in a communal living situation i think there possibly could have been other ways to address it, you know, have tenant meetings, have group meetings. i mean -- part of my background is in social behavior and you know more than you're putting on
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restrictive uses of water that impact everybody even if it creates some serious hardships the social pressure of you know all residents saying you're really creating a problem when you hog the shower can actually be a very informal but effective way to get at the behavior which you're saying is the negative behavior you're trying to cure, so putting in a system that impacts everybody and allows no flexibility is not something that i feel is your best first course of action and your response when you had this wasn't to immediately go to the tenants who are concerned and say "what can i do to make this better?" but now you're making
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that offer or i will talk to you. it doesn't quite convince me that continuing this or not ruling in favor of the tenants would be well advised. >> commissioner mccarthy. >> may i correct an incorrect assumption? >> i'm sorry. >> [inaudible] [off mic] >> i'm afraid not. we had many time allotments allowed. >> i concur. i know the tenant consequences of the water conservation that puc put in place and this is case in point and we're dealing with it used for tools. i thought it was interesting that the young versus the older in the buildings and how this could be some of the dynamics going on here especially with a lot of student housing is turned into
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this, so you know this was definitely the wrong arena to bring this argument to because it just doesn't hold water here when it comes to the quality of life issues and things like this particularly when it comes to basic needs like water, heat and stuff like that, and to kind of take the code on and try -- and then turn around and say okay let's talk now and now that you learned your lesson and we will deal with it. owning buildings come with responsibilities particularly in the city and county of san francisco and it's not for everyone to own we stress that so when you have ownership you have to be flexible particularly with things like this so it's very clear to me. i am sure you own a great building. i am not here to criticize one or another but this is the wrong place to make this argument today and frankly you came off very badly.
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>> i was particularly swayed by one of the speakers that talked coming frustrated and leaving xas berated and i came to the same conclusion ands of discussion, should collaboration, discussion we wouldn't be here today and this can't go on further. it's a non issue so i'm going to make a motion that we up hold the order of abatement. >> second. >> would the motion include the imposition of costs? >> yes. >> and the basis of the motion is that the order of abatement was properly issued? >> yes. >> okay. >> there's a motion and a second. i will do a roll call vote of this item. president commissioner clinch. >> yes. >> commissioner lee. >> yes. >> commissioner konstin. >> yes.
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>> commissioner mccarthy. >> yes. >> commissioner warshell. >> yes. >> okay. the motion carries unanimously. okay. item e general public comment for items not on the abatement appeals board agenda. seeing none item f adjournment. is there a motion to adjourn? >> i move. >> second. >> second. all commissioners in favor? >> aye. >> okay. we're now adjourned. it's 10:00 a.m. and take a five, ten minute recess and reconvene as the building inspection commission. >> thank you
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>> a way of life in san francisco. when the next major quake hits, the city hopes a new law requiring seismic upgrades to five story buildings will help keep more residents safe and sound. tell me a little about the soft story program. what is it?
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>> it's a program the mayor signed into law about a year and a half ago and the whole idea behind it was to help homeowners strengthen buildings so that they would not collapse. >> did you the soft story program apply to all buildings or building that were built in a certain time frame? >> it only applies to buildings built in the time frame of 1978 and earlier. it's aimed at wood framed buildings that are three or more stories and five or more units. but the openings at the garage level and the street level aren't supported in many buildings. and without the support during a major earthquake, they are expected to pancake and flatten ~. many of the buildings in this program are under rent control so it's to everybody's advantage to do the work and make sure they protect their
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investment and their tenant. >> notices have gone out to more than 6,000 owners of potentially at-risk properties but fewer than one-third have responded and thousands might miss an important deadline in september to tell the city what they plan to do. let's talk worst case scenario. what happens in a collapse? >> buildings have the tendency of rolling over. the first soft story walls lean over and the building collapse. in an earthquake the building is a total loss. >> can you describe what kind of strengthening is involved in the retrofit? >> one of the basic concepts, you want to think of this building kind of like rubber band and the upper three floor are very rigid box and the garage is a very flexible element. in an earthquake the garage will have a tendency to rollover. you have to rubber band analogy that the first floor is a very tough but flexible rubber band such that you never drive force he to the upper floors.
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where all your damage goes into controlled element like plywood or steel frame. >> so, here we are actually inside of a soft story building. can we talk a little about what kinds of repairs property owners might expect? >> it's a very simple process. we deliberately tried to keep it that way. so, what's involved is plywood, which when you install it and make a wall as we have done here already, then you cover it with this gypsum material. this adds some flexibility so that during the earthquake you'll get movement but not collapse. and that gets strengthened even more when we go over to the steel frame to support the upper floor. >> so, potentially the wood and the steel -- it sounds like a
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fairly straightforward process takes your odds of collapse from one in 4 to one in 30? >> that's exactly right. that's why we're hoping that people will move quickly and make this happen. >> great. let's take a look. so, let's talk steel frames. tell me what we have going on here. >> well, we have a steel frame here. there are two of these and they go up to the lower floor and there is a beam that go across, basically a box that is much stiffer and stronger. ~ goes so that during the earthquake the upper floor will not collapse down on this story. it can be done in about two weeks' time. voila, you're done. easy. >> for more information on how to get your building earthquake ready,you.
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>> ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ in landing a contract with the sfoifk is pretty champ but now with the opened contracting center visitors can get opportunity at the new state of the arc facility and attend workshops and receive one-on-one technical assistance and learner what you need to become a primary contractor or what information to be a subcontractor and a created bed public commission it will help
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people to assist people to compete for and performance open city contract a lot of small businesses do have the resources to loblth the opportunity so one of the things we wanted to do was provide ways to access contract >> access to the plans spiefkz and a data place basis ease contracting opportunity and funding or capital training. this is and other documents that needs to be submitted. to compete is a technical skill that it takes to win a scheduling for a popular to you can win a professional services job or how to put together a quote it's all those technical pieces. looking at the contracting assistance center is our touch point with we get the people to
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come and see the planning specks and later than about projects earlier is he get training so you're ready to go arrest hello engineering it has all the tools that a contractor small or large can come here. i can't say enough about the center it's a blessing. we do business all over the country and world and a place like the contractor center to identify the business in san francisco >> the reality is you need training and that's what the center is here to train and make you better qualified to go work with the city and county and to be successful at the end.
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>> that will give people the competitive edge e edge at receiving contracts with the city. >> we have krafshth services here that help you find out where you need to get the skills forbidding. >> i mean local businesses participation in city projects is a winning factor it helms help the business their local businesses they're paying savings and a property tax and payroll tax and normally adhere san franciscans so their bowing goods and services in san francisco it really helps the economy of san francisco grow so its not only a benefit to the project but to the city. the contractors center is 5
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thomas melon circle in the bayview area open 8:30 to 5 welcom >> >> good morning. today is wednesday march 15, 2017. this is a regular meeting of the building inspection commission. i would like to remind everyone to please turn off all electronic devices. the first item on the agenda is roll call. president mccarthy. >> here. >> commissioner konstin. >> here. >> commissioner lee. >> here. >> commissioner warshell. >> he. >> we have a quorum and commissioner clinch and commissioner gilman are excused long with vice president walker

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