tv Government Access Programming SFGTV December 18, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PST
been for over 100 years. please don't destroy affordable housing. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. thank you, commissioners, for hearing this. as you've heard, there are 38 neighbors who oppose this project, as it's been put forward again. it was four occupied floors before. it's four occupied floors again, plus the rooftop deck, terrace area. the units are not equal in size. they're 4 1/2 times the size the home that's there. there's nothing in the neighborhood in character to maintain. and i ask that you have them revise it down. we're totally supportive of having two units there. it could be an adu, as one of you suggested the last time, but
utilize the shared open space. don't put it on the top, again, making it effectively five floors. reduce the windows that loom over our kitchen and our deck in addition to those that face into the apartment next door. thank you very much for considering our comments. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello, commissioners. i'm ken yi. i live in the building next to this project. my issues with this project is privacy. with the rooftop deck, there will be social functions there, so there will be similar to having a party right outside your window. so i don't see there's any privacy in there, not mentioning in the light well, there's
bathrooms, right at eye level when they stand on the roof deck. so there's no privacy whatsoever. and with the light wells so small, you can shake hands with the building next door. so noise, any kind of -- even smoking, so i think there will be disturbances when the light wells are so small that equal in size of the light wells. so i wish you can reconsider the design and eliminate the rooftop deck. thank you for your attention. >> thank you. >> i wasn't going to speak, but i cannot abide for penthouses on single-family homes. i think they're inappropriate. i do want to remind the commission about 26th street,
mr. jensen's apartment. you put a stairway to the yard. you took off the roof deck and put a stairway to the yard for the two-flat building, whiches with only three levels. so i think that's an interesting comparison. you can get to a shared yard and i think most people, especially children, would prefer access to a yard rather than a roof deck with a stair penthouse. thank you. >> thank you. any additional public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll close public comment. commissioners? commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: the project is doing what we asked it to do. if it's enough is a separate discussion. we asked for the project to take
off the fourth floor. the way you describe the height of the building is from the front and it's address side and not its appearance on topography ir respective of excavation. that being said, the project is three floors high. regarding light wells, one of the basic requirements and one of the basic issues to look at for conformance of building with ajoining buildings is to match light wells. that means that light wells of equal occasion, preferably equal size, to protect other people's access to light and air. the way that windows are located is, it's not a direct view across, but windows in the new building are arranged to the side, so you will never look across. and i assume there's enough need for privacy on both ends that bathroom windows mostly have
frosted glass or something that you never look straight through into somebody else's bathroom. there seems to be very little benefit in doing so. that said, generally speaking, the way the roof deck is arranged in this case is a modest, properly signed roof deck, given how we look at adding roof decks. it does not try to sit on the property line. it does not try to occupy 80% of the roof area. it is reasonably sized. 185 square feet. it is elongated in shape and proportion, so that i personally do not see any possibility to have lack of privacy with people looking from the deck. i just want to point that out. the sizes are not meant to be
equal. and that's a comment. doesn't mean that one unit 2,200 square feet that the other has to be within 5 square feet the same size. what we want to avoid is that one unit is 2,200 and the other is barely 790. that's the intent of such a comment by this commission. i want to run out the observations and the suggestions by which we continued it. i see most of those conditions met at least by the cheer interpretation what continued. i would like to hear what other commissioners have it say, but those are my observations. >> i was in general agreement. i was okay with the project before with some modifications. the height is 40 feet. looking to densify the city, so
adding two flat-size units is appropriate here. i'm supportive of it as modified. commissioner johnson? >> commissioner johnson: thank you. same here i see we made changes and they happened. densifying. i'm if the sure that more nipping and tucking really would alleviate the concerns we heard today. i think we tried to address them with the changes we asked for today. motion to approve. >> second. >> thank you, commissioners. there's a motion that has been seconded to approve with conditions. >> commissioner johnson: aye. >> commissioner moore: aye. >> commissioner koppel: aye. >> commissioner melger: aye. so moved. that passes 6-0, unanimously. that is 19a and b. 2465 van ness avenue.
you will consider request for conditional use. >> mary woods of department staff. the applicant is seeking a conditional use, parking ratio of .75 cars, and street frontage greater than 50 feet in the rc district. the project is to demolish the vacant gas station and construct a 7-story unit containing 41 units, 10 one-bedroom, 2 24- two-bedroom units and 7 three-bedroom units. the project is in a 65a height
and bulk district. zoning district is rc3, which requires authorization for height over 50 feet. street frontage over 50 feet. it requires variances related to rear yard and dwelling unit exposure. it proposes to meet the inclusionary housing program by paying a fee or participate in the mayor's office of housing and community development small sites program. [please stand by]cati
. >> that will elegantly integrate into the neighborhood environment. it will add 41 units of housing with a good mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units, with over 75% multibedroom units suitable for families. it will add residents to the neighborhoods to boost the local businesses and stimulate the economy. it will add over 25 -- 2700 square feet of dramatic neighborhood serving retail space to a prominent city thoroughfare. it will provide.75 parking spaces perunit, which is lower than the original 1:1 parking spaces perthe city. since # 5% of the units are sizeable two and three bedroom units, the.75 parking ratio is important to the marketablity
and the economic viability with the project. our collective goal is to hire 75% union labor for the job. a high percentage for a modest size project that doesn't enjoy large economies of scale. as construction costs have soarde citywide, we have balanced union labor on the job with making it economically viable. upon entitlement, our plan is to start construction as soon as possible. in terms of neighborhood outreach, we have done extensive community engagement and almost three years of neighborhood outreach. the project now enjoys broad support from the community and the immediate neighborhood. we have strong endorsements and support from the golden gate neighborhood valley association, pacific residents association, the union street association, the 2415 vanness
avenue homeowners association, and the russian hill neighbors association. in addition we've worked very closely with the homeowners at 2415 vanness, the adjacent building to our south to make design modifications to mitigate their concerns to their light and air, which they greatly appreciate it. we believe the marina neighborhood and the city can be very proud of this project. the benefits it will bring to the marina, and the elegant and striking statement it will make along the vanness and union street corridors, and thank you very much for your consideration today of our project. we'll be available to answer your questions afterwards. i'm now pleased to introduce or architect, glenn riscalvo of handel, who will present the building's design. >> as mark pointed out, this is a very exciting project because the land has been there for ten years, vacant, and we're about to put an amazing project on
that site. i want to kind of apologize and also, you have some supplementary material there. i think some of the ideas in that package will show you how we thought about the massing, working closely with the planning department and udat, as well as some unit layouts that demonstrate how the units are laid out as well as the size of the units. one of the things that i want to point out on this slide here is the site is along vanness range anywhere from 55 feet to 155 feet in scale. we're about right in the middle, at 65 feet. we're not only in the vanness corridor, we're on union street. the primary value of the mass of the building as you'll see, we have a beautiful street wall along vanness that addressed the corridor scale, and then, as the building starts to turn the corner, we breakdown in scale and address union street.
again, 65 foot height limit, 41 units. again, talking about outreach, we've started back in june 2015 with outreach, so we've been working diligently over the past 2.5 years on outreach. this is the existing site from an aerial. what's interesting here is this site had four curb cuts, and it made up 45% of the linear foot yaj. we're down to one curb cut, and one of the main ideas is because there's a bus stop along union street, we decided to take that curb cut and put it to the furthest part west, allowing more buses to cue along in that bus zone. obviously, we cannot put a curb cut on vanness, so this is the only possible choice. we don't want to put a curb cut
as we know from a traffic standpoint, we don't want to put a curb cut too close to the corner or near a bus stop, so this makes the most sense. it also makes sense because there is this is an area -- there's a massing relief between the adjacent building a and our building. the ground floor is basically made up of the lobby, the entryway, and retail space on the corner of vanness and union street. the main entrance to the lobby is off of union street, the residential lobby, and then, we have three entry points for the retail: one on union street and two on vanness, so potentially, that retail space could be broken-down into components or it could be one large retail space. we're using stacker storage parking as a way to minimize the amount of excavation on the site, as well. the building is made up of basically seven stories.
one ground, and then six stories of residential up above. the other thing i want to point out is the -- the slope of the street on vanness is about 5.3% or so, so it's a pretty steep slope for retail. here, you have a picture of the corner of vanness and union, and here, you have the proposed project. as you can see, we've continued that street wall along the vanness corridor. we've broken-down the massing into components of precast and glass and metal, and as you turn the corner, the building starts to step down as it goes along union street. we've worked closely with adad on the storefront to really emphasize the ground floor of the building. it has over a 14 foot height, so it's a very tall retail space at the ground floor.
with respect to the bulk, we are looking for that exemption. one of the criterias that we want to show you here is that we've -- could have built this building out from property line to property line, but we decided, working with the planners, to make a more elongated building, and the square footage we didn't build on in that circle, we actually extended it out to the massing. i think the other component that we're looking for is a rear yard exemption. we decided to do a side yard, and it's important here because a side yard actually gives relief to the building next door at 1525 union, which is a much smaller building. we've also worked with planning to create an l-shaped yard, which allows us to lineup our light well exactly with the light rail adjacent to on 2415, so we're respecting the 2415 light well, and we're trying to respect the 1525 smaller
building along union street. here are some diagrams that show you where we started. planning asked us to move the massing closer to the corner and create an l-shaped. not doing an l shape was inappropriate because it would setup a party well against 1525 union street, which we don't feel is appropriate in that diagram. so we started to carve it out, and we finished up with this one, which is great, because it works not only with 1525 union, where it's set back, but it also works with the adjacent building at 2415. so here's an existing shot. you can see that the two -- that the curb cut to the right is the one -- the relocated curb cut adjacent to -- to union street -- apologies. adjacent to 1525 union street.
and this is a diagram just showing you how we broken-down the massing on union street between the two. if you have any questions, i'm available thank you very much. >> all right. i'm sure we will. let's open it up to public comment. i've got a bunch of speakers' cards. gia colossi, erin ehrlich, lisa zimmerman, bob denham, joe bell, margie liverhia, and if you want to lineup on the screen side of the room. >> hi. i live at 2415, apartment 605. i'm very supportive of this project and the parking. too bad it's not going to be one for one, but.75 is great. we've been looking at an eye sore for nine years, and i'm just very much in support of
it. thank you for your time. >> next speaker here. we'll go from the screen side. next speaker -- in any order, it's okay. >> i'll just jump the line. aaron ehrlich. i am a part yes, sir with birding and wile. we are counsel for 1525 vanness half homeowners association. as you saw on some of the depictions earlier, you're situation is unique because we have a light well that could have been impacted substantially by this project. we represent homeowners across the state in land use issues and it's somewhat rare that i'm speaking in support of a project, and i do really commend the project applicant here of its community outreach and specifically the design changes that it made during the design phase to accommodate our concerns. the original proposed design
elements for this project would have substantially impeded light, views, and air for a large number of the units within our 41 unit building, and the revised plans do preserve as much light, air, and view as reasonably can be accommodated. we understand that that does require some discretionary approvals, and we do strongly support that. in addition to the commending the plans revisions, we also do support the ratio that's requested of.75 parking spaces to unit. as the commission well knows, parking is extremely limited in this area, and we are very concerned with the limited parking and the impact that additional residential units will have upon that, so it's very important for our membership as well to have as
much off-street parking as is possible. with that, we thank you for your consideration, again, thank the developer. >> great. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. i'm katey chisolm with web core builders, and we are excited to be doing this project with dan building. we know them they insist on a high quality in both design and construction. as you've heard, they have invested years working with both the community and the planning department to create a project that is both aligned with the current zoning and mindful of the neighborhood concerns. >> excuse me, miss chisolm. are you working for the developer. >> i'm working with would be core builders. >> all right. are web core builders working for the developer? >> we're the g.c. >> okay. then your comments should have been included in the presentation of the project sponsor. >> oh, i apologize. i was unaware.
>> that's all right. so we should hear from the next person, actually >> okay. >> your comments are part of the project sponsors comments. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. i'm li i'm liza zimmerman. i bought a unit on union street in 2015, and so when dm, we found out they wanted to build on the site, i was excited, but i was also concerned about noise, but they've been really lovely. they took the time to meet with me individually about my concerns. they took the time to come and meet with my whole hoa association and explained everything. they negotiated with one of the tenants on the first floor to build 15 feet away from our
building which would allow us more access to space and sun. they've been incredible kind. i think they're going to raise property values in our neighborhood and make it safer. they already have a security guy on vanness, and i'm completely fine with them having.75 parking for the building because i don't think vanness and that whole corridor should be any more than congested than it already is, you know? any way, working with them, it's been a real pleasure. they need to be a really nice group of developers. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please, and i'll call a couple more names. kriss schulman, joanne morris, and robert goodman. >> i'm out of order. it's robert good man. >> that's all right. >> i'm also a homeowner at 2415 vanness, and i agree with everything liza talked about.
i support their plan, and i'm in favor of their request for the.75% unit to parking space ratio allowance which will provide more off street parking. the -- as everyone knows, the lot's been vacant for over ten years now. we've had numerous incidents of graffiti. i mean, the cost of removing it has been ridiculous. it just goes on and on. we've had vagrancy issues there where the police have been called many times. we're happy to have a developer there. we're happy to have a developer that's looked after our concerns, and we're anxious to see the property developed as soon as possible. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> good evening. my name's bob digart, and i'm
founder of golden hills homeowners association. do you have my letters which i submitted with the fancy letterhead on top. >> give us a copy to refresh our memory. we probably have it by e-mail. >> okay. we've been meeting with the developer, i guess for the duration of their outreach efforts, which have been wonderful. however, our memorandum specifically addresses the issue of the parking. bh we we when we were first meeting about the project, it was at the 1:1 neighborhood, and i've lived in the neighborhood all my life. i'm fortunate, 95 years ago, my grandparents bought the building i live in. we're a three generation family with our car in a garage down stairs. we were a transit first family, of course, so i do not
understand there needs to be the cutback to the.75 parking, and so we as an association support the 1:1 parking as the construction was originally designed. speaking of a person in a condominium having no car in the garage below calls one of the services and wants to do a shopping trip to see the marina safeway or whatever, and so all the bees that are hovering around the hive comes and picks them up, probably blocking the mini bus in that process. picks them up, and drops them. then, another bee comes back, picks them up, and they go in. by contrast, if the person has their own automobile in the garage down below, they drive this casual trip to the shopping, load their own vehicle, come back, drive back in. i maintain that that second
scenario is more friendly carbon footprint than the first, and so not to say -- and as was the case with my experience growing up, you don't use your car for everything, by any means. we all use different modes of transportation as we travel around, whatever suits us in this situation. personally, i'm very transit oriented. i -- beginning in the early 70's, i was hired by golden gate transit and worked with them for 30 years. i was part of the team that setup golden gate transit bus and ferry system from scratch, and did all kinds of analysises and things of that natures, and that's what makes me make that kind of comment for the two scenarios, so our support of the project is contingent on 1:1 parking, and we hope that's what you could do. i also have written statements by parties that could not be here this evening. one had to leave because it was running to late, and the other could not make it at all, so if i submit those as well.
>> you can. your time is up. >> thank you very much. >> great. thank you very much. next speaker, please. you can leave those right there. >> good evening, commissioners. timothy reiff, carpenter's local 22. i'm here to speak in favor of this project. d and m is a great partner. they've partnered with the carpenter's union on many developments. by partnering with the carpenter's union and hiring locally, they ensure training and apprenticeship for disadvantaged members of our community which will go to work on this project. we had an apprentice that was going to speak on this project today, but he got his first job call. he went to work. he was willing and prepared to come here and speak on this project. we had several other members here this evening, and they've all left because they have to go to work tomorrow. we just want to let you know that we hope you can approve
this project. thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good evening, commissioners. my name's kriss paglissi. i'm out of carpen per's local 7713. i went through my apprenticeship down in whittier california, down south. we support any contractor that has apprenticeship programs. it's -- it means a lot to me, so it's just kind of how it came full circle, so any way, we support the contract. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. welcome. >> so thank you. my name is margie lariviere, and i live on green street, and because i'm on green street, i didn't have the notice that folks on vanness received and other areas, because my neighbors oppose the project as written, and one of our
objections was we went to the initial meeting -- or i thought the initial meetings that was held at galileo high school and were asked to be kept informed, and we don't feel we were. many would have been here today, and they couldn't, as well, so i don't know if i would be able to ask for a continuance. the plans that were shown earlier, that looked different than the one i had to quickly look through before. so one of the other areas was the conditional use application rendering shows the vanness and union facades. their no renderings of the two sides that face in towards the neighbors. that would be me and the folks who living in the seven units on green street, and assuming the facades are somewhat similar to the facades on yunin
and vanness. if this is approved, of course, that whole block of vanness between union and green street is going to be seven story high building, which i don't know why vanness, the whole of vanness has to be that height. do we not want any differences, but that maybe is only my personal opinion. the parking has been addressed in neighbors and letters to the planning department and by other speakers. many of us do use the public transit, walk, bike, etcetera. nevertheless, the amount of parking in this project are not considerate for needs of neighbors who have parking on the street, so we would ask if this is approved, to have additional parking. in summary, i guess neighbor and concerned citizen, i feel like some of the neighbors at least needs were not addressed. i would have like to have been kept more involved in this
project. i was very interested and went to the original meeting and gave my name and e-mail. the last thing i heard was something recent about a dinner that they hosted last week which i could not attend because it was very last minute, and today's planning, and i had submitted earlier letters to the commission voicing my concerns. the last thing i would say is one of my real concerns, especially with the sherman school one block away was the -- what i understand to be leaks at this gas station. i don't know whether they're remediated. we had submitted environmental concerns, and i have not heard one way or the other. that was deep excavation of this site, and a stream running nearby, i'm somewhat concerned about hazards in the neighborhood. thank you. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, members of the commission. my name is steven definite --
devon chancy representing 1525 vanness. now, i retired from a chair just like john's sitting in two years. my wife reminded me when i left, and i had a haircut just like that at the time, too, but things change. i went from being a planner to a stakeholder in a matter of six weeks, when i discovered this project and the project on the other side of our property in which you received a letter at your november 30th meeting, which was postponed. the building's applications from both of them just continue to close in around us, and obviously, we oppose that. in addition, the discussion i presented on the bus stop impacts and transit first policies, i can't believe that those things weren't addressed more thoroughly. i kept thinking they would. we get to this point, and i didn't find a reference to it in the 166 page staff report we
received six days ago -- or that i dug up. in terms of construction impacts, that's an issue that's very much in our minds. i kept talking about the cumulative impacts, and i realized just yesterday that in the environmental analysis, they're thinking cumulative impacts on the city, and i'm saying no, the cumulative impacts from me by these two things on either side, and i specifically recommended some conditions that i drew from the city of san jose, actually. in particular, i think it would be item 4-d that talks about the analysis of the impacts on he can although will businesses, and some compensation or program to address that, because i think small businesses are impacted by these kinds of projects, and i do think they need a means to address it beyond what we would normally see. i would add some comments on the urban design issue. i don't think the building fits in the community character. i kept thinking where have i seen this project before? i don't know how to turn this
on, but i realize it's one over on pacific street that's proposed with exact same materials, and the comment about this project sort of being not in character with the neighbor i think plays. i think the form is great. i think they did a really good job on that, but i think it needs to have a different skin, especially with articulation on the west side, and other areas could use it, as well. so with that, i would just note that you are the guardians of that interface between the public and the private realm, and i would ask that you seriously take that into consideration on the bus issue. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please, mr. schulman. >> commissioners, kriss schulman. i am the chair of polk neighbors: very supportive of
housing on this site. however, i just have to stress that more units are needed for this project to be appropriate and increased density on the inside of the building. i really question whether 2400 square foot three bedrooms are necessary, 16 to 17 two bedrooms are necessary. we need housing, and so we're not here to oppose the project, but if we're going to do housing, let's do housing that actually benefits the community and has people living there, so i'd really asking to continue the project wiand approve it wh specifics on the density on the inside. another concern i have is the lack of affordable housing. i can see where the developer's coming from with the current mix of units and the size of the units in the luxury market that they're targeting, but i think the height, bulk, the design, set backs is commendable. they worked with their neighbors. i think with that, that it'll
be a much better project. i'd like to see unified labor support, and i just wonder if they explored the density bonus, but other than that, i think this is a great site. thank you for your time. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is yohan. our parish supports as much parking in this location as possible. we would prefer to see a 1:1 parking ratio, but we understand that.75 is the maximum that you're going to give, but we would encourage consideration of the 1:1. we look forward to having new neighbors in the neighborhood, and we look forward to possible new parishioners, but of course parking is a major issue for us
in this neighborhood. we don't have parking on-site. we have many that comes to the services, many of them are mobility impaired, and they need to find parking spaces that are close to the parish to park. really, getting as many people off the street and in those parking spaces inside the building is our request. i have here three pages of petitions from our parish requesting the things that i have started here, getting at much parking at possible off the street into the building. i'd like to submit these to the record. thank you. >> thank you very much. any additional public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll close public comment. i mean, i can start on this one. when i first moved here 20 some odd years ago, i lived on filbert and vanness just by the gas station. i had the view of, i think the
chevron station beaming into my unit, and i can remember what a horrible experience it was kind of walking that down vanness, because there were three gas stations. you tended to walk to walk on franklin or another street where there wasn't a lot, either, but there was some street frontage or buildings that had frontage, so i think it's great what's happening to this portion of vanness. i think you -- i think i appreciate the design. i know we had some comments on the design. it's nice to see a building that doesn't have bay windows once in a while, and i think you've articulated contextually, once in a while, it works. i think on vanness, it works, especially given the context along vanness, so i think it's a great project. i like that you wrapped the retail around to union street because there's kind of a
retail corridor, the start of a retail corridor on union street, so i'm in support of that. i think it's a great project. commission commission commissioner koppel. >> thank you, mr. president. kind of going off mr. schulman's comments, this reminds me of a project we approved, the lucky penny site. i liked that they took a lot of time and figured out how to go from a 21 unit building to a 90 unit building. i know they worked closely with commissioner farrell to create a closed space district. i honestly think this building's too small. i would have liked to see maybe some other options utilizing whether it's home sf or density bonus program or potentially a special use district. i'd definitely be in favor of
increasing the capacity of this building in giving it more units and more density. i'm not automatically leaning towards the extra parking. this -- i do take the transit first policy pretty seriously, especially on a transit corridor like vanness which will have a brt, and i think the -- that the design, especially after seeing the similar building, is a little too two dimensional. it could have a little more depth throughout the facades. i'm interested to hear what the other commissioners say. >> commissioner moore. >> the project does a number of things correctly. i think the investigation into modifying massing with respect to the adjoining building on vanness is an interesting roof. i regret that i did not have any prior plans in the package which really makes it
impossible to understand the intent of the project. there's always an issue on unit size, in this project, i would seem that increased density, the individual unit size is a very valid comment and something that i would like to look at. this with the fact that without affordable site, this is definitely geared toward a market which is not really exactly the expression of buildings in that particular area. what i mean by that is i would like to see a better balance of more affordable, prerchably on-site units, and i would like to see a densefication hints on by the other commissioners, but i'm not quite sure how that would play out. i am concerned with the units, and the market that they're trying to address, the parking space is far too high, putting brt literally in front of your vanness facade, i believe we
are somewhat missing the boat and going backwards by considering 1:1,.75 parking even. i believe this is a.75 site as we are continuing to intensify the residential component of vanness, i think the highway one phenomenon will not disappear. it will make vanness increasingly more difficult, for that reason, i believe our transit first policy now supported with the brt, is well applied to this particular area. i have a couple of questions for mr. roscalvo, and it has something to do, if you wouldn't mind -- if the 1525 union street building a weighted building, -- rates building, a historically rated building? >> i don't believe it is on historically categorized.
>> the reason that i'm asking, we have a very large number of units with a main living space looking into the western direction. should that site ever be developed with a taller building, i would believe that given that you are relatively close to the property line, you're not on property line, that there would be a large number of units with their primary windows looking west that would be seriously askd. and i would like to see, that this is a historically rated building, that this would stay low forever and forever, and i'm not convinced that it would. so i'm wondering if that poses some issues. >> well, the way that we anticipate is that the facade of that building could potentially have some historicall historical qualities, but it was not added onto. we know that the height limit
there is a 40 foot height limit. one idea by separates ourselves and not creating a party wall against that building was to allow that building to actually execute growth. i think by separating the buildings and having our -- that facade there actually allows and gives advantages to that building as opposed to building up against that building. >> yeah, i'm actually saying the opposite. i would have liked to stay off that building further in order to give, in the future, should there be another building. the 40 foot height is only if you don't use the state density bonus, etcetera, that height could increase, as you know, and we would be impacting units that are proposed to have great views to have a full view of the city in the rest of that direction. i'm concerned when that changes, that that would keep as potentially advantageous as
it looks right now. i have a little bit of problem with the large facades both on vanness and union, and a certain amount of repetitiveness and sameness. i believe that vanness is one story, but i believe that union looking south and the property looking west is an altogether separate story, and i was wondering if you ever thought about giving them slightly larger differentiations and facade. and you don't have to answer the question. i'm just pointing out some things which i'm musing on. the last thing is, and i would like to have more answers to that. i read with great interest the memo written to us regarding the bus stop, and i felt that the comments made by the writer of that memo pointed on a number of things to which we, i think, need slightly technically bigger answers. i believe they were well conceived. they were spoken with knowledge
of transportation, and what bus stops and curb cuts need to do, and i'm wondering if the department actually took a close look at that memo. those would be my comments for the somebody. somebody can answer that, perhaps, later on. thank you. >> commissioner melgar. >> thank you. i -- i agree with some of the commissioner comments about density in this project. i think -- i was wondering if you considered the state density bonus. >> so we actually did consider the state density -- actually, not the state density, but the affordable housing density program. i actually spoke in front of the planning commission, i think it was about a year, year and a half ago when the original plan came out. i spoke in favor of that, and we were looking to use that. at that time, i commend the commission for having that
program, but as we all know, that program did not pass in the board of supervisors, and so at that time, under the advisement of the planning department and our own team, we decided since that program, the affordable housing density program failed, we had to adhere to the current zoning at the time, which is the zoning that we built the design around, which you currently see in front of you. so we spent over a year designing the building. we worked with the neighborhood to get support for that project -- this project, and we've spent an incredible amount of money and expense designing this project because the affordable housing density program was not available to us, and so it would be very difficult -- and i understand kind of, you know, the interest in looking at that, but we -- we're basing this project on the zoning that was available to us at the time, and we spent a tremendous amount of time and energy and expense with the
community, as you see, with the neighborhood outreach we've done, with our architects, with our designers to get to where we are today, and so it's going to be extremely difficult to go back and start literally at the very beginning again after having spent all this time and expense to look at that. and we did actually recently take a look at the lucky penny site specifically because we knew what happened there. and we did talk with supervisor farrell's office, and lucky penny got additional height. at this particular location, we think additional height is going to be a challenge, and so the idea of getting an sud and getting an additional floor or two is not going to be very well received by the community. and so that idea really was not thought to be very viable. >> i'm sorry. the additional height would be a challenge because of community position? >> correct. correct. in this neighborhood versus the lucky penny site, very different kind of location, different demographic,
different view profiles, so going up in this location, we'd be potentially blocking light, air, and views to folks in pacific heights, russian hill, etcetera, and so it would present a great risk to the project. and so for that reason, we thought there wasn't an opportunity to go higher here. >> i understand. thank you. you know, i actually like the larger units. i think it's refreshing to see family sized united, as, and i the layout. it's very family friendly, and i don't see that very often, so i support the project. >> commissioner richards. >> so i talked with mr. mcdonald at length, and some of the members of the team. i, too, had issue with the density, really, literally, i think the words were hey, we just got out of the lucky penny site hearing. i got my packet, and a week goes by, and i open this up,
and wow. there are these big units that family friendly is not really affordable, but we had an extensive conversation around add some height, issue an sud, and i believe you called the the supervisor's office, and there would be some neighborhood opposition. the question i have then, becomes more of a political one, what does the supervisor want to do or not do, to increase the density and the height, and would it hurt this project. the interesting thing about the parking is there's no good place to put an entry and exit ramp on this site. you're either going to be on vanness, which we can't have, or you're going to be a bus zone which pretty much goes the entire length of the union street side, so it's a lose-lose situation there. the parking at.75, i'm an advocate for lower parking.
the higher bedroom count certainly warrants my attention, because we all know families aren't -- there's not going to be four folks on a bus carrying big boxes from costco and stuff. diapers and whatever a family's going to need. so i do support a look at higher parking. i do also support some car share spaces in lieu of some of that additional entitlement we give on the parking. and one much my big pet peeves in the parking on vanness, there is no entryway on vanness, and when i say with mr. lindsey and miss woods, the answer i got at that time was it's a big street, it's busy, and i thought that was e he -- that was reasonable. and then, i walked home on market street, and i saw oh,
market is a big street, and we've got lots of parking. i don't support the building with balconies, and i don't support it with interior walkways. you need to have some access on vanness, but open to other commissioners' comments. >> commissioner moore. >> i have a question about the roof top open space coming directly to the building edge on vanness in particular. i believe that that makes a building look taller and it -- on the street which basically is characterized by not being at the building edge. it's not an issue of privacy but it's an issue of building appearance. if you can look at the new package that was just given to us today show that very clearly on page 22, director, that
the -- the additional height on the edge of the project tracking both vanness and union street further accentuates further. i would suggest we have that roof deck out back from the building edge. >> commissioner -- [ inaudible ] >> sorry. so we have a lot of interesting thoughts here tonight. i've looked at this as well, and i wish every project could be state density bonus or local density bonus program. we have it in place for a reason. all of these are choices by the developer, and there's only so far we can push. i think our concerns were heard on that, but it's a little bit
disappointing. a couple things that i've heard, i've heard grand stat, but we're thinking about more closely and other commissioners are bringing them up. first of all, i'm going to start with the parking. i'm always a proponent of lower parking, and i'm even more so to not provide more parking, so in this case, i'm definitely a proponent of not going over.75. >> you mean.5. >> no, no, this he have.75. >> and they're entitled to. >>.5. >>.5, right, with the cu,.75. >> so to me, i feel like when i look at those changes in ratio, i try to look at it not academically, but what does it get us in terms of the actual space that they're trying to do. and in this case, there'd be no difference because whether they do.5 or.75, there's excavation
that they're going to do to provide that one story beneath which will be the garage parking spaces, and so going to.5 provides fewer spaces overall, but it's the same level of construction and the same physical footprint of the building, so it's not like we're eliminating an extra floor of excavation or anything. i keep pointing back to it, i'll say it every single time. these parking spaces, even when you go in when people are home, spaces are empty. people don't have cars. you go in these buildings, and it's just emptiness, so that's a reuse of parking, okay with.75 here because i don't see that going to.5 really gets us anything rather than -- except for space in the below ground excavation space. commissioner moore makes a fantastic point about the union street west facing facade.
i don't think that building is -- i mean, i think maybe the facade of anything might be historic, but that would potentially be an opportunity for facadism for another project. i do believe that all of the neighbors wi neighbors of that building will be here with the pitchforks when something in the future is planned, because starting with the third story about, if anything goes in there, it will be blocking some views, and not just views, but light because there's not a huge space between those buildings. i do think that that's slightly problematic, but on the flip side, there's the example of a building right on polk street where they tried to account for that, and there's just a blank space of an apartment and in anticipation of something going in next to it, and that's been the case for like 15 years. so you know, sometimes it's dammed if you do, dammed if you don't, and if there is a building that goes in, it'll
have to be something maybe some sort of l-shaped or something different. i want to acknowledge that that made a lot of sense to me and kind of caught my eye a little bit, but thinking more about it up here, i don't know that i'd want to see any changes to the building to account for that. and then, i definitely agree with having some sort of building entrance on vanness. i noticed that before. there are four retail spaces on vanness, two or three of which will definitely be empty for some period of time, and i think that you need to have that pedestrian traffic there. i do not buy the argument that vanness is too busy to have people coming out there just in general. that's not the plan for the vanness rebuild. it is being beautyfied. there's a brt going up there. it's a lot of reasons why people street it like a boulevard or street, not like a