tv Government Access Programming SFGTV December 1, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
variance. >> icon occ concur. i think that even after this body makes a decision, that there is going to be more process, and many people are going to be busy. someone care to make a motion? >> move to grant the appeal, overturn the zoning administrator denial of the variance on the basis of medical need, ada need. >> can i ask the -- >> oh -- >> can i ask the vice president to consider the draft finding that are attached? we do need to make the five findings, and the appellant has submitted those for us, and also revised plans that reflect the za project. >> i thought the zoning administrator supported this project? >> the za initially denied a different project. they've submitted a revised
project, and the 150e a said in the last hearing, and i think today here again that they agreed with the revised plan, so the president, your motion would be to deny the plan, issue the variance on the condition that it be can he rised to correct the plans and adopt the findings and would that be sufficient to address -- >> yes, it does. >> okay. so that is the motion, then. on that motion, commissioner lazarus. >> aye. >> president honda. >> aye. >> commissioner -- aye. >> and commissioner swig. >> no. >> the next item is item 8, item 7 has been continued. item 8 is peal number 17-151.
cheryl coan with building department approval. the property is at 76640th avenue, protesting the issuance on august 18, 2017 to carren bentley and kristina svensson of an alteration permit, a rooms down addition to existing residence, no new square footage added, all work is within existing building footprint, includes new family room, full bath, hallway, new doors and windows. neck deck and stair in rear yard. >> i'm a single mom. i sincerely want to thank this board and particularly the city of san francisco for allowing me a voice in this extensive process, and i'm keenly sympathetic to the young
family's need for more space, and i'm not here to deny the neighbor's right to expand, and 95 percent of their contract is not being contested. moving appliances off a wall and changing deck space is a good start. this short notice has left me scrambling to protect my foundation and the 5 foot, 100-year-old concrete retaining wall which i believe to be vibration sensitive which i do not believe to be depicted correctly here. i have contacted geotech firms and have appointments to inspect my property. one firm i have coming has many years experience working in these older san francisco homes and particularly even working on 40th avenue. they specialize in grouting to stablize foundation sand, and i have no idea about the cost yet or how i'm going to pay for it.
what may be unique to this appeal is that there was a 2015 letter to an absentee land lower lord in the sale disclosure documents. when they first purchased, the owners were made aware of my very real concerns, and also, the very real, very intimate nature of the shared walls, particularly with the shared wall between their kitchen and my master bedroom. the architect almost 100 years ago to match uses of these attached home and their intimately shared walls. in this case since 1924, a relatively passively used breakfast nook shares a wall with my master bedroom. it is my belief that the permit focusing on rooms down is misleading as it doesn't affect this changed used of the home
from a rarely used breakfast nook to an often used kitchen wall. it has the very real possibility of ruining the liveability of my bedroom. having spoken to several sound engineers, soundproofing will help the current sound issues and sound waves, but it can't mitigate totally the pounding vibrations of foot traffic or the noise of a door slamming so close to the wall, and due to the 5 foot offset between the lots, foot traffic will literally be right at my head level when i lay in bed. i retire shortly and due to a medical condition, i often need to nap and me have. sound walls can't mitigate the noise of people walking past. this change to active use is in
pe perpetuity and there is no guarantees that any mitigating effects will work. i ask the board to take into consideration the 5 foot offset between lots permitting this deck -- before permitting this deck as it's designed while offering to put in privacy screens is good, the giant wall deck just outside my bedroom on the property line does reduce my property privacy and peace of use. common sense dictates that my home will be diminished forever. would you want to buy the house with the quiet master bedroom and the good view, or the house that has foot traffic noise along the wall and a large wall outside. mr. bentley thanked me for the 2015 letter, saying it allowed him to purchase the home for a lower price and even assigned this letter of $200,000. they stated ne the need for a
second story door as an emergency exit and two not having to go through this family room. both these needs can be readily accomplished by using a different access point, perhaps using some of the savings they reaped. i ask the new design utilize a different design away from the shared wall of my master bedroom. thank goodness i received a letter from the city. i have been racing to protect my home since i received it. i was indeed upset by the designer's statement to me. it's legal, we have the permits, the deck is going up and there's nothing you can do and proceeded to blame city workers for not telling me earlier, which i feel is really the neighbor's responsibility during the many months or year of planning. we've been friendly neighbors. my family doesn't hold big parties. we don't play loud music, and just because one can do
something, it doesn't necessarily mean one should do something. therefore with that thought in mind, i respectfully ask this deck permit be denied and a new deck permit issue be permitted so that two families can living along the shared wall. these changes are in perpetuity. they open their property to future duplexing, and they absolutely do change and impact the future liveability of my home forever. i'm not asking about the sun and moon here. i just found out about the project. i've had to wrap my head around it. i've had to learn a lot. i do have geotechescoming at my expense, and it's taken me thousands of dollars to be here
tonight. i have 30 seconds. i'd like to show you a couple of pictures. this is my bed and this line is about where the foot traffic would be. it's not a big space, this hallway. this is the breakfast nook just on the other side of my bed, and this line right here represents where my head is in the bed, so putting a door here, even if it's 3 feet away, the foot traffic is still inches from the shared wall. >> thank you, and you'll have time under rebuttal. >> thank you. thank you very much, city of san francisco. >> we can hear from the permit holder now. >> good evening, and welcome. >> hi. my name is did enise menzi andm the owner and designer of the project in question.
i am acting as agent for the property owners, carren bentley and kristina sfren son. if i had seen a letter prior to obtaining the building permit, i would have gladly met with miss cohen to review the plans with her and to explain how the instruct can integrity of her house not be compromised at all. unfortunately, i was made aware of the letter where miss cohen stated her concerns about any remodelling project adjacent to her home the night after i received an irate phone call from her the day before she filed an appeal. during the phone conversation i listened patiently with her concerns, sympathized with her. i too live in a row house in the sunset, and totally understand the noise and privacy issues. you can hear everything through the adjacent walls. i also told her that the
proposed deck was legal and approved by planning, and that i had several solutions to help mitigate the privacy and noise issues. she didn't want to hear anything i had to say. i called the next morning to arrange a meeting so we could discuss the project with kristina and carren and her. they went to her house that evening, and she didn't open the door nor did she return my call. she had filed her appeal that morning. when i originally started the project, our goal was to get a permit as soon as possible so they could start and complete construction before her baby was born. initially, i went to submit for permit on july 31st with an 8 foot deck extension proposal. i was rerouted to -- in order to avoid this, the planner suggested that if i reduce the deck by 1 foot, the deck would
maintain a 45% rear yard requirement and therefore be a permitted obstruction according to planning codes. so i went back to the drawing board, changed all the drawing purposely to avoid neighborhood notification so we could start construction as soon as possible. again, had i known about miss cohen's letter and concerns, i absolutely would have met with her to discuss before obtaining the permit. i had no intention of misleading miss cow an. i just followed the procedures to obtain an over the counter permit. we don't send out the notice. when i got the permit planning said that we had to wait ten days before starting construction, and she got the notice four days before the appeal was due and i think blamed me and carson and kristina, even though we had nothing to do with the mailing
notice. kristina and carsen always wanted a small desick, with ju enough room for egress and a grill. they do not plan on hanging out on the deck but rather than using it as a direct path from kitchen to yard without having to go around the garage on the north wall. paragraph practice in no way does the proposed project affect the structural integrity of her property. in fact by structurally upgrading the adjacent wall in the project, the -- we're actually increasing the structural integrity of not only the property in question, but her property, as well. we're putting the shear wall all along the bottom, and i have an exhibit, which i can show you -- how does this work?
so here's the -- can i make it bigger? [ inaudible ] okay. i did an enlarged structural section showing where her wall is. it's not 5 feet, it's about 3 feet below the project, and i showed the kitchen door and the kitchen cabinets along her bedroom wall, and then, the room's down addition to the left, and her garage to the right. unfortunately, we're not doing any construction to the kitchen except for the rear wall, so we're not planning on tearing out the kitchen to put sound insulation or sheetrock or shear that, however we are shearing the downstairs wall, putting r19 insulation in the wall along with half-inch shear
wall plywood and half inch gyprock, which will reduce the noise that she's talking about. all of these houses rest on each other. it's illegal to build something that's dependent on an adjacent property. altogether the loads of our construction is picked up by the existing footing. we also purposely chose not to change the footing because i'm very aware of the sound, the displacement of the sound when you touch the footings, so if -- if you can look at the bottom -- i don't know if you can see that, so... >> we can see it fine. >> okay. so as you can see, we're redoing the slab 'cause the existing slab is about 2 inches wrap proofing thick, and it has holes in it, and we're putting new 4 inch reinforced concrete slab. her house is 3 feet below,
there's no way -- we're not touching the footing. you can see in the structural drawings, which is in the exhibit that we sent to you with the brief, she can get seismic people -- these kinds of additions happen all the time. the extra weight of the wall is not going to be supported by her project at all. oh . okay, next, i want to talk about the biggest issue, which is the privacy issue, and i have here an elevation showing how her -- her bay window and the deck, which is 3 feet over from the property line, that's a 6 foot tall person whose eyes would be about 5'6", so in mitigating -- >> your time is up and you'll
have time in the rebuttal. >> oh, i have so much more. >> can you elaborate a little bit further on the shared wall? is it a single wall between the two buildings? >> no. >> you're showing a double wall on your drawing. >> yeah, they're double walls. >> where's the property line there? >> can i show you the drawing again? >> yeah. >> right in the middle. it's a typical row house with two walls built right next to each other, but the property line wall, i denoted right up there. it's right in the middle and you have two two by six walls on their own footings, and they're about 3 feet down because the wall is sloped. >> okay. >> you know, as -- as kristina said in her brief, there's earthquakes all the time, and houses go like this. we're upgrading the property. >> you've answered the question. >> okay. >> mr. teague?
>> good evening, president honda, commissioners, cory teague for planning property staff. the property is located in the rh 2 zoning district. the subject permit was originally filed on july 31st and was approved by the planning department by a senior member of our pic staff over the counter on august 9th. the planner noted on the approval that the proposed deck and stairs were also exempt from neighborhood notification due to their limits height and projects. as such, it is the planning department's position it was properly approved. this appears to be more of an issue between neighbors and not a question of whether the planning department's approval was proper. i'm available for my questions you may have. >> did you see the connecting stairs for the rooms down? >> did i see the connecting stair. >> it's about 1 foot away from
the wall. >> this on the proposed ground floor plan? >> mm-hmm. >> and let's see here...and what was the -- what was the question about the location of the stairs? >> no questions, just observations. >> oh, okay. thank you. thank you for the observation. >> thank you. >> mr. duffy? >> commissioners, the building permit on peal was issued as a current approval. it's a new addition, added all within the existing building
footprint, including existing bedroom, it's a pretty typical project that we see in this neighborhood for rooms done, someone adding a rear deck. we don't typically have many problems with these type of projects. the -- the one thing i would add on the foundation detail, and the detail on the drawing's a little different from the detail that the lady just presented. can i use the overhead just to explain something that i would be -- overhead? >> it's flickering, gary. [ inaudible ] >> flickering, gary. >> sorry. let me do this a little bit. sorry -- there we go. so -- so the -- this is the --
this is the property where we have the work going to take place. this is the adjacent property. typically, the foundations, the bottoms of the foundations would match. the document that we were shown earlier, for some reason, that showed the other foundation of the neighbor. >> i'm sorry, mr. duffy, are you pointing to something, 'cause the area that you're showing i'm not seeing that. >> oh, it keeps moving. >> yeah, i thought the foundation was lower. >> gary's helping. thank you. so we've got two foundations adjacent and -- yeah, you've got to hold it up for me. it's okay if you can't. so the bottom of the foundation's typically match. i like the detail on this. they will need to take some care because it's sand out there, and you know, i would -- i'm sure it'll be fine. they've decided to put just a little curb here and a slab, which is -- i haven't seen that
before, but this's good. when they do excavate here, this sand isn't going somewhere, but they've got to be aware of it. you can grout it, you can freeze the sand. now there's a way to do that. i know the appellant brought up structural concerns. i've seen a lot worse than this, so i'm not worried about it, but they would be warned to tread carefully when they are excavating for the slab, and obviously, the building inspector's going to be involved in that process for the inspections. apart from that, i didn't see anything else. we did have some active complaints a couple of years ago. they were subsequently closed. that was in 2015, in november . the complainant was the appellant as well, and it was about a structure built in the
rear yard with the permits, and we found that the structure was just a greenhouse, and we closed the complaint. >> inspector duffy, looking at the brief on exhibit 2, where there's a picture of the properties from the rear, the street looks like it's slope down, so if that was the case, the foundation footings could not be matched up, so maybe the drawing is incorrect? >> maybe possibly. >> yeah, maybe maybe her drawing is more correct, because looking at the back, it looks like there is some sloping to the street, so there wouldn't be a concern because her footing would be above. >> like the last interference with someo with -- the less interference with someone's foundation, the the better. >> so the appellant's foundation is below, so they're not even getting close to her footing. >> it's part of the california civil code. any time they're going to do
anything on their property line, they have to give their neighbors ten days so they can bring their geotech in to inspect that to see if it's not going to affect the property, so that's another safeguard. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, then we have rebuttal from the appellant. >> i think the family had a responsibility to talk to me at least. since july, no one in any of this group talked to me. i understand that the construction will probably end up in the long run making my home safer, however, what i'm talking about is i want protection and the right to protection before this starts. it's not just a cute little even footings. i want to show you something.
on my side, i also have -- this is -- this shows two equal footings, on my side, i have a standing concrete wall, and what i'm saying is i believe that to be a vibration sensitive structure, and i have concern that the vibration, when they do excavate even is going to cause damage, too, so i have a right to slow the process down by the appeal to have a geotech come out and say hey, to even take documentation of the before and after. the burden of proof if there's damage to my property falls to me, and it's just not good enough for their paid people to say it's not going to hurt your property, but once it's done, i can't prove it. if it's done kwhiel i'm at work and there's a big crack or something's wrong with it, i have no proof because i wasn't prepared. i'm asking to slow the process so i can do that. as far as the shared wall, until they open it up, i really
don't know. i can hear them talking, i can hear them open anything up. that's why i had a sound engineer. i had mitigate my wall with sound waves, but i cannot take care of this kind of pounding or door shutting, and literally, while the door might be 3 foot off from the property line, the doorway is right by my head and because of the offset, it falls right where your head lays. i can't move the bed around because of how the house is. just to show you what shared walls are like, here's the other neighbor, if you notice these holes, when they put the walls in, the nails went right through. i'm going to put soundproofing in on my side, i'm not asking
them not to have a deck. >> you have 30 seconds. >> so that -- that's it. i'm -- i'm asking for time to get my ducks in order. they've known for a very long time. it's their responsibility to talk to their designer and you'd think the very first thing when you've got two or three months of construction you had you'd go to your neighbor and say hey, we're going to do major construction and there's going to be noise or something like that, but i even got the first contact that evening to show the plans. they failed to show the plans that evening, and i appealed with four days left. >> okay. so your time is up, and that was the question. the permit holders said they scheduled a time with you to go over those plans and that you did not make yourself available. >> i tried to call them on the sunday for two days. i called the owner, benson,
twice and left him a message and even told him the designer's voice mail wasn't working and full. i called her until i got through. she returned the call while i was at work, and it became apparent they weren't going to do anything. they didn't want to put it there, so the conversation i had with her was infewurating staccato, we've got the permits, the wall's going up, and there's nothing you can do. >> okay. >> okay. we can have rebuttal from the permit holder. >> i hardly know what to say. that's not what i said, but i actually sympathize with her and listened to her in the conversation and i called her back that evening, and it was about 8:00 at night by the time we finished the conversation, so i told her -- i called her
the next morning to arrange the time. any way, i just want to talk about some of the -- the -- well, you've heard from the building department, but the -- this is the -- this is the -- this is more correct what the actual condition is like. the adjacent properties, the top of the seal plate is adjacent because it happens, the same thing on the north side of the property, and we don't really know how deep the foundations go, except we know hers goes at least 3 feet down shall as they stated this kind of construction is very routine. the 2 inch slab on grade that's there is wrap proving, there's holes in it, so yeah, there would be some displacement. we're going to put a new proper slab in. they're going to have to excavate about 2 inches of sand, maybe 3 inches, 4 inches total, and that might bother
her wall, and that's really hard to mitigate. these kinds of additions happen all the time. also, i didn't realize her biggest issue was structural, and i understand there's some protocols. she can call someone in to review the drawing. her person can call our engineer and talk to them. i thought we suggested several solutions. best solutions in her case would be to put in blinds because her window looks directly into carsen and kristina's yard. because of the nature of the deck, because of the -- because of the height of the deck above her bay window -- by the way, her property does extend about a foot beyond their property, so only 6 feet of the deck is leftover. any way, we are willing to put
a solid 42 inch high guardrail along the south wall that faces her, and then above that, place a 2 foot lattice screen that i draw in the drawing so that there would be no visual loss of privacy. i recommend that you deny her appeal and approve the project as is. i guess they said that there is a way that she could stall it longer. the baby's already born, and -- and ahave her structural engineer look at the report, and we can get all those reports and we can talk about the sand. i've done many, many projects like this and i know exactly what it means to under pin the footing which is why we've purposely chosen the design not to touch the footing skbl okay. your time is up. >> thank you very much. >> anything further mr. teague, mr. duffy?
okay. commissioners, then, the matter's submitted. >> should i start? >> yeah. >> okay. so i understand the concern of the -- of the adjoining neighbor. i've seen many of these additions and improvements done throughout the richmond, as well as the sunset. i know that the next door property owner is concerned. at the end of the day, these homes were built in the early 1900's, up to -- up to the 20's and 30's. they're made of lathe and plaster. there is no insulation. with the new current building code and construction laws, you're going to see insulation, you'll see sheetrock. it should be -- it should allow more quieting or insulate the two properties. also, i kept on hearing the word common wall. i don't believe that it is a common wall. there's usually two buildings
built separately that are very close together. i've only heard of two incidents on 19th avenue where a builder had used a common wall on accident, right, joe? you know, it's going through all the city process, and unfortunately -- i mean, i do recommend that when you're doing a large improvement, that you do talk to your neighbors prior. i understand that in the disclosure process, you -- you knew that this was going to be a difficult situation, but knowing that probably should have had some better conversation, but there is no notification that's required. i believe this is all over the counter permit. their deck is not a party sized deck, so for that reason, i would not support the appeal. >> i concur. >> i would concur, but i think that we should grant the appeal
and have the privacy screening at the deck. another comment i would make is, you know, r-19 is predominantly thermal insulation. it's not great sound insulation. i would recommend they use sound insulation in between, rather than thermal, and it's too bad that the area adjacent to the breakfast nook is not being rehabbed so they could have further insulation there. >> yeah. >> is that your motion? would you like to make a motion? >> yes. >> okay. thank you. >> i'll second. >> so the motion is to grant dpo and issue the permit on the condition that what specifically be done to the -- >> that a -- that a privacy screen be added to the deck at the side adjacent to the appellant 42 inches high,
solid, and 24 inches lattice. >> you said, i'm sorry, 46, is it # 2 inches? >> 42 inches solid and 24 inches lattice. >> okay, and that's on the basis that it would provide more privacy to the neighbor? >> yeah. >> okay. >> i would recommend it, you know, that they use sound insulation rather than thermal, so i will make that part of my motion. >> okay. can you be specific, then, commissioner, 'cause we'll need to have. >> now, did you want -- yes, you may. >> would ye'd be willing to pu
resilient channel. that will only take care of the lower level because we're not touching the kitchen upstairs. >> i'm sorry ma'am. >> so that's between the gyp board and your plywood. >> yeah, that's much better sound. i agree with you, that insulation doesn't solve everything. this is in the -- >> room down below. >> and they're not common wall. it's adjacent wall is the word i used, too, and that would be -- >> so the new shear walls down below would have sound board and resilient channels mounted between the gyp board and the plywood. >> you can put rc if you want. >> between the gyp board and
the... >> plywood. >> plywood. now commissioner or vice president, you said the shear wall's in a specific location in the lower level? >> it would be the lower level. >> okay. >> i think they're adding it across the family room. >> so the motion is to grant the appeal and issue the permit on the condition a privacy screen be added adjacent to the appellant which would consist of 42 inch solid structure and a 24 inch lattice and that the new shear walls at the lower level would have sound wall and resilient channels between the gyp board and the plywood, is that correct. >> resilient channels and sound board between the gyp board and plywood. >> so the new shear walls at the lower level will have resilient channels and sound
board between the gyp board and the plywood. >> that's correct. >> he's testing you tonight. >> i'm going to go back to school to learn about construction materials. and this is on the basis that it would provide more privacy for the appellant? >> that's correct. >> okay. on that motion, commissioner lazarus. >> aye. >> president honda. >> aye. >> commissioner wilson. >> aye. >> commissioner swig. >> aye. >> okay. that motion passes 5-0. okay. item number 9 has already heard, so we'll move onto item 10. this is dino and jamies goosens-larsen, at 645 to 647 valencia street, protesting the granting on august 24, 2017 to
to bey morris, of rear yard, usable open pace and street frontage variances for a proposal to add to an existing two story commercial building to a new three story vertical addition that will encroach into the required rear yard with a change of use from a bar to commercial residential to establish seven dwelling units, four units without the required 80 square foot each of private open space, and to include four off street parking spaces within the required 25 foot set back from the street facade along sycamore street. >> i did not file a brief as you can see, as well. i've been in and out of the hospital taking care of a mother that is waiting for a lung transplant since october 8th. i'll be stating the reasons why i think the variance provision should be overturned. i'm specifically calling out criteria number four. the granting of such a variance
is not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or materially injurious to the property or units in the vicinity, so that would be me. that criteria is not met as the rear yard variance directly results in the large healthy tree in our yard being condemned as certified by an orborist. these they are sighed arborists. this is written by roy legitt, he has a certified license to do this. this person wrote in his report, and i'm going to read a few parts of this. this report was also submitted during the discussionary review process. this is a young tree and very healthy. in this case, the root system
is confined by the way of two neighboring buildings to the south and west. i'm showing you a picture as well of what this tree looks like in our yard. it's not very good on the screen up there, but you can see that this tree is sitting here in the yard, in the corner, right, and so it leans into the yard, giving coverage that way. the tree in between the two buildings. it's been meticulously trims and over the years. the biggest threat to this tree is from limb losses. the property to the west is being replaced, and the owners are seeking to increase the height of the west wall, and the tree would suffer extreme limb loss. the limbs on the west side of the tree are those that must be retained to a structurally
sound tree. to eliminate the limbs is in conflict with the new building design and would condemn this free. recommendations. if the tree were lost, many other trees and plants in the garden would survive and would require new design and replantings. that's coming from a certified arborist. apart from the tree being condemned, i also looked with a landscaping art study what it would take to replace this tree. he said the tree is irreplaceable. in addition, there's a legal precedent here. california tree law was get with busco versus patel in 1994. there's no right to cut limbs
in condemning the tree. specifically when that legislation was made, the court had actually stated that you need to consider neighbors when you are doing projects like these, and so that's what's missing here. and it's not just replacement of the tree. the tree needs to be substantial or structurally similar. we have legal precedent there, hassel versus patrick media grouping in the 2000's. that is my basic component of the case. i have additional components, and i run out the time talking about them. the second thing is number five. number five is not met. again, here, they are destroying open yard space, and i will show you what -- and this is actually an excerpt from what the respondent
submitted, so they are creating this -- showing this green space here. in reality, it's -- it's actually misstated. the green space is much larger. the project next to them is just being approved right now. i have -- i have their notification here with me, as well. this is part of that notification, actually, so they are having a 20 foot rear yard, so the building, the massing of the building will be sitting right in the middle of green open space that is currently existing, so the planning code is actually asking to not just preserve quality open space, but to create it, and so they're destroying it. and some of the future residents are not having any open space at all or not sufficient open space, so
they're also having a variance for that. the general theme in our conversations with mr. ring have been that he wants to build the biggest possible building regardless, and he has used the -- and it's all pegged on the lgbt historical nature of the building, which we greatly respect. it's not what -- i'm not asking is to kill off a reasonable project. it's his building, it's his right to build. i do also welcome new housing to the mission. i also respect lgbt, historical designation. me and my husband, who's a teacher here in san francisco, we love that house, we very much support keeping clear spaces around in our area, especially in the mission. in general, through this process, we have had concerns about the integrity of some of what was being said, such as submitting something like this which is flat out misstated,
and their other instances that i would like to get into probably when i have rebuttal time. thank you. >> thank you. >> okay. we can hear from the variance holder. >> good evening. commissioners, my name is dennis ring, and this is my wi wife susan. we are the project owners of 645, 647 valencia street. the property is known as the elbow room. we've lived in the mission district for over 40 years, and we've owned the property for 12 years. our plan is to live in this property for our retirement. to bey morris has been our architect on this project for the last 5.5 years we've been working on this, and i'll have toby take it from here, and you
have any questions, i'll be happy to answer your questions. >> can i stop you for a second? madam director, earlier, we had an appeal against the za, and the holders of the variance were told -- no, no, that's incorrect. >> yeah. >> sorry. i was just trying to be procedurally -- >> no problem. can i have the overhead please. >> i'm toby morris of crimmins morris architect, representing the sponsor on this appeal. on june 2 27bd, in a dear action filed by the -- open space, and tree frontage. we ask the board to reject this appeal, but first, a little history. the original proposal for this project was a demolition new
construction proposal of nine residential units. in 2014, the research on the lgbt context statement was underway, and the department encouraged the project sponsor to preserve this historic resource important in the city's early lesbian history, and the project sponsor agreed. we were designing the additions four times with direction from preservation staff, and in order to have the additions sub sersub -- we address theed the privacy concerned and had a changed the windows. the privacy study showed that their yard is in shadow 96% of daylight hours, and a large
portion of that is due to the true that they are talking about, and that our additions would marginally impact their garden. the commission approved the project along with the variances with the additional requirement that we set back our top floor another 5 feet away from their yard to provide them more light. so the variances, the rear yard variance, we need a 25% rear yard or 25 is is in this case as required by code. we also have the alley regulations that are sculpting that last 20 feet. because the preservation required it, we set back more. the rear yard variance was required to develop these unit -- land locked in the historic structure on the second floor with no access to
open space. also, we couldn't do a common roof deck because the department wouldn't allow us to put extending stair penthouses in elevator penthouses due to concerns -- those are the set back stairs, sorry. and here is the second floor with all those units, land locked. in terms of the third variance, street frontage, ntc requires that the first 25 deck be active uses. we have 81% of our ground floor where we cannot do parking, so for us, the amount of four parking spaces, the street front variance is required. i'm going to address the appellant's salty claims that are in their letter. we can talk about the tree more in the rebuttal.
the first is the lgbt designation should not be an excuse not to comply with the code. i think variances are just for that purpose to recognize extraordinary circumstances such as an historic structure, and preservation of this resource is a public good, in the variance decision, it says significant area that would otherwise be included in the project's billable envelope is lost due to the potential impacts of the existing historic building, and the rear yard variance is necessary to accommodate a reasonable amount of development. this is -- to the appellant claims that our proposed expansion -- sorry, it will -- we'll address that in the rebuttal, the business about their tree. third, the appellant claims that the rear yard variance is not consistent with the block pattern of complying yard, both
properties immediately south of the subject property contain buildings that cover 100% of their properties, the subject property's effectively cutoff from the small midblock open space. the appellant claims that open space variance will not be in harmony with the code and does not create open space for future residents. we already address that. we're land locked for throws of those units. we can't do a roof deck. we think that reasonable compromise is what the za approved, as well as the commission. the appellant can claim that the project directly damages neighbors and neighborhood character. we don't believe the appellant is damaged in terms of neighborhood character, keeping historic resource and adding to it is the gold standard of preservation, the appellant
claims that the planning commission failed to recognize the original support. we do have support for this project, and the proposal does a good job, we believe, of balancing preservation and development in a reasonable way, but it does require those variances, so we hope to have your support. thank you. >> i have a question. >> yes. >> you were allowed, as peryour original proposal to demolish that building. >> right. >> would you have aproched the massing differently. >> the massing would have been completely different, yes. >> in what way? i mean, i saw your -- your rendering of what you first proposed, but you would have had to tinker -- >> well, the first proposal as you can see in that slide is a
15 foot rear yard, so that would have required a variance for the last 9 feet, so likely this proposal would have ended up with a complying rear yard and no variance. >> okay. >> and nine dwelling units. >> thank you. >> mr. teague? >> good evening commissioners. the subject property at 645 valencia street is located in the valencia street neighborhood district a raressance application was submitted in may 2016 to rhenvate the existing two story building, and requires relief from the rear yard, open space and ground floor parking set back requirements of the planning code. the variance hearing was held in december 2016, but neighborhood notification for the associated building permit
did not begin until january 2017. during that notification period, the appellant filed a request for discretionary review. the planning commission hearing was held in june of this year. the commission voted to take discretionary review and approved a conditional approval. pending review by department -- by planning department's preservation staff. on july 1e9, department preservation staff reviewed the commissions condition of approval issued the certificate of determination of the on august 24, the zone administrator issued the letter incorporating the planning commissions condition of approval. constructed in 1915, the existing building is located on a rectangular lot that's only 85 feet deep and 35 feet wide, and the subject building occupies the majority of the lot and the existing rear yard
measures 6'9" deep to the rear wall. all other properties fronting valencia street provide little to no rear yard. other properties on the street also provide small, nonconforming rear yard. because both property does immediately south of the subject property cover 100% of their properties, the subject property is effectively cutoff from the small, narrow midblock open space that exists now. additionally because the subject property is located at the northwest corner of its block, the proposal would -- in the required rear yard would not cast shade into the rear block's open space. the subject property is an historic resource that is eligible for listing on the california listing of historical resources. this also applies to the roof,
where adding the required access parapets and railing is not desirable due to potential impacts. additionally, the narrow floor plates on the lower floors with balconies make it practically difficult to provide common access to any of the other proposed balconies. because the property is a corner lot with a width of only 35 feet, providing a 25 foot ground floor backing set back from sycamore street is not possible as it would leave only 10 feet of depth for such purposes. as such it is necessary to provide a modest amount of parking on the space, which is permitted and consistent with other properties in the same class of district. considering all of this, it was found that exceptional and extraordinary circumstances -- i'm sorry -- yes, considering
all of this, it was found that the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances result to this property. the appellant specifically claims that their existing fig tree will likely die as a result of the proposal and it was likely affect their entire yard. however, the planning proposal only provides protection for front trees and protected trees. additionally, this issue was reviewed at length as part of the planning commission discretionary review hearing and the commission found no cause to revise the project any further. in conclusion, the department believes the subject property meets the five required findings fof the ground floor, open space and parking variances. that concludes my presentation and i'm available for any questions you may have. >> mr. teague, there are a
number of ways to both document significant events and a historical resource without keeping the building, isn't there? >> yeah. it's -- there are methods, in terms of plaques and other, you know, thing things to commemorate what's there. >> it's my understanding that preservation of the actual building itself was preferred. >> i didn't see much description of that decision process but -- >> i understand that decision process wasn't on appeal, so that information was not provided at that level of detail. >> kind of a follow up. when did the building become historic, and when did the district become historic in comparison to this permit process? >> so the -- the lgbtq context
statement, i'm not positive exactly when that came out. i believe it was a year -- yeah, i was going to say a couple of years ago, and i believe that the -- and the sponsor may be able to speak more specifically to this because he lived through it, that designation occurred as this project was being reviewed. >> okay. >> yes. >> thank you. >> thank you. so we can take public comment. is there any public comment on this item? okay. please step forward. >> good evening and welcome. >> my name is cina reese, and i came here with my wife, and we came here to speak in