tv Government Access Programming SFGTV January 6, 2018 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
putting those things in the hopper, start the competitive bid, and you won't have these 45 minute hearings over something that should take five minutes, for what it's worth. >> president breed: thank you. seeing no other names on the roster, clerk call the roll. >> clerk: [ roll call. ] >> clerk: there are nine ayes and one no. >> president breed: the resolution is adopted. madam clerk, please call the next item. >> clerk: item 58 was considered by the land use and transportation committee at a regular meeting on thursday, december 1 11th and was forward as a committee report. it's a resolution to --
limiting off street working for new development projects to the principlely permitted accessory parking ratios established under the planning code and removing the possibility to apply for a conditional use authorization to increase such parking in the area known as the hub and applying these interim zoning controls to development projects that have not received an approval of a duplicate application. to make the appropriate findings. >> president breed: roll call vote. >> clerk: [ roll call. ] >> clerk: there are ten ayes. >> president breed: the resolution is adopted
unanimously. next item, please. >> clerk: item 59 was considered by the public safety and services committee at a regular meeting on december 7th and was recommended as a committee report it was recommended that a careless match, llc doing business as the dark horse inn has completed the preapplication meeting requirement for the issuance of a new nonsale general liquor license. >> president breed: colleagues, can we take this same item same call. >> and the final item before we go to our 3:00 p.m. special order. >> item 60 was considered by the rules committee at a regular meeting on thursday, december 1 1g9. it's an -- 11th. -- due to administrative orders to vacate issues by the department of building inspection or the fire department to receive financial assistance from the fund for up
to two years. >> president breed: supervisor safai? >> supervisor safai: thank you, colleagues. about -- let's say about eight, nine months ago, i think you might remember that there was the horrible situation at five persia where we discovered 27 individuals living in dungeon-like conditions. one way in, no way out. this was a former garage that the owner had subdivided into cubicles. they were living underground through no fault of their own because of the hazardous situations, the fire marshal and the department of building inspection and the department of homelessness intervened, identified the situation and gave orders to vacate. given the situation and the horrible situation in oakland with the fire, there was a higher group and a working
group on homeless housing, but this evolved into a situation where people were living in hazardous housing situations, so hence the name of this fund. we modelled a transitional housing fund based on the fire victims' assistance fund. this fund will allow individuals again, at no fault of their own to be relocated into temporary housing, pay the old rent that they were paying, and then, the city would subsidize the balance. this was an appropriate situation. we knew that more of them were going to be discovered, and ultimately again, another situation in supervisor ronen's district where 30 individuals were living was discovered. similar to the fire victims' assistance fund, this would be a discretionary fund to allow for transitional housing substanceidy. the fire marshal issued for the
first time in the city's history, not only a notice to vacate but a notice to pay two months rent along with utilities to the building owner, so each individual was awarded over $4,000 to transition into their housing. we worked with the light house, the salvation army light house housed many of the families or individuals that did not find permanent housing. so the idea of this fund is to work with the existing agencies when we identify these situations to provide transitional housing, and then, we will ultimately look to find them permanent housing in these situations. so i ask for your support today on this matter and going forward, we hope to have something in place to help those individuals that in many situations have been grocessly
abused and taken advantage of. >> president breed: thank you, supervisor safai. colleagues, seeing no other names on the roster, can we pass this item, same house, same call? without objection, this ordinance is passed unanimously on the first reading. madam clerk, let's go to item 32 through -- 30 through 33, our appeals. >> clerk: [ inaudible ] at 21827th avenue to demo lish an existing two story single-family home and construct a four story building containing 12 residences and
four parking spaces. item 34 through 37 comprise the hearing of persons interested in the certification of a conditional use authorization for the project located at 218-27th avenue issued by the planning commission dated october 12, 2017 to demo lish an existing single-family dwelling, item 35 approved the conditional use authorization, and item 37 directs the preparation of findings. >> president breed: colleagues, we have before us two appeals related to planning department's determination of exemption from environmental review and a conditional use authorization. we are going to hear the two peals togeth appeals together, and after voting, the board will vote.
it takes six votes to reverse or uphold the planning commission's determination. if it is rejected, the conditional use authorization becomes moot. no other approval actions can take place, and we will table those items. if the environment cal determination is upheld, we will then vote on the conditional use authorization. it requires five votes to oppose the conditional use authorization or overturn it for additional hearings. the planning commission's conditional use authorization, since we are combining both appeals, i've worked with the city attorney's office and the clerk to revise our normal hearing procedures to provide speakers with a bit more time, so without objection, we will proceed as follows: up to 15
minutes instead of 10 for a presentation by the appellant or the appellant's representative, so that will be 17.5-minute for the first appeal, second 7.5-minute for the second appeal. up to two minutes perspeaker in opposition of the appeal, and finally, up to five minutes for rebuttal by the appellant or the appellant representative. please note if you are here to speak on either the 218-27th avenue appeal, this will be the time to do so, specifically for these appeals. we will open up this hearing, and seeing no names on the roster, if the first appellant could come forward, and you will have 7.5-minutes unless you can specify whether or not the two appeals are from the
same individual. excuse me, the two presentations will be the same person. >> yes. good afternoon, madam president, members of the board. we can hadid have advanced not where we would have a consolidated hearing, where 15 minutes would be allotted -- >> president breed: so we will start your time, and you can proceed with your presentation. >> okay. great. thank you. thank you. my name's robia crisp. i'm with the law firm of hanson bridgett, and i'm here on behalf of the appellants. they join me here along with their architectural consultant, randy popp, and we will be hearing from them later in this
presentation. the -- property line of the project site. the project is for the demolition of an existing single-family home that has been there since 1917. this is a spec development that would demo lish this home and replace it with a four three market rate condominium units and three parking spaces. this is a massive building in size and intensity. there's out of scale with the
neighborhood. it extends almost boundary to boundary. it has no front set backs, no side set backs, and required a rear yard set back reduction, so it is cheap to jowl, and it is a massive building that will be located here in place of the single-family home that is there now. what the bern stesteins will h the entire back of their home shrouded in darkness. they will lose all the public living spaces in the rear of their home, including the children's bedrooms, their kitchen, a dining room. they'll no longer have any view at all of the midblock open space, and while they're the most severely bank accountimpa
project, the same will affect the adjacent properties as well, so we are here for two reasons. first, the city was not provided with complete and accurate information about the project, particularly with regard to impacts on the adjacent lots and the predominance of three story buildings in this neighborhood, and this precluded the city from fully evaluating the project on the merits based on accurate and detailed information, and it basically precluded meaningful review of the project and did not include all of the information that was required to support the findings that were made in approving the conditional use authorization. with respect to the issuance of the categorical exemption determination, for purposes of ceqa, the procedural requirements in this case were not satisfied, so there were a
number of content requirements, noticing requirements, posting requirements under the city's ceqa implementing regulations that were not followed. and because of that, the purposes of ceqa were essentially undermined in that there wasn't an opportunity for early input, for consideration of potential impacts of the project, and i will provide just a couple of examples. we've provided a lot of detail in our appeal documents, but as one example, and as the planning department concedes, the ceqa document incorrectly states that the planning action is a building permit. and that is isolated. the planning department said that was inaccurate. it should have also applied to the conditional use authorization, but in the context of ceqa, that really matters, and the fact that the notice didn't indicate that
it's for a conditional use authorization, which typically will warrant more scrutiny than a building permit really didn't further the purposes of ceqa. another example, there were changes to the project made after the determination was made in 2016, and there was a requirement under the administrative code that the city then look at the project again to see if that required reevaluation of the project, and that was not done. so collectively, the procedural irregularities and the failure to adhere to the procedural qualities of seek i can't prevented the community to provide input early on in the process. i would like to move onto the
conditional use authorization issue. as i stated, there was inaccurate information, erroneous information, incomplete information, and because of that, the findings that were required in order to approve the conditional use authorization were not adequately supported. oh, overhead. there we go. so this is the bern dine decide deccarat's property. this is the project site. i will focus on two of the findings that were required in order to approve the
conditional use authorization. one is whether the project is detrimental to persons residing in the vicinity, and the findings which required that determination to be made didn't really consider the project's impacted impacts on light and air and it's effect casting significant shadows on adjacent properties. instead, this was sort of done as the process was moving along. the planning commission was presented with competing light and shadow studies at the hearing for the first time, and really staff, in reviewing the project and in making its recommendation to planning commission should have had the benefit of this information, particularly because the shadow impacts are so severe. another finding required consideration of whether the building at the size and intensity contemplated is compatible with the neighborhood, and it's been put forward by the project sponsor
that there are many four-story buildings in this area along 27th street and on lake street. and in fact, this markup, which is a map of the 30 foot radius map, it shows that the building height is actually predominantly three-story buildings. so the green represented three-story buildings, and the red represents four-story buildings. so really, there were essential facts that were critical to making the findings to support the conditional use authorization approval that just simply was not available. and we are -- we are -- we are in a position where the process has moved so far along that we are trying to supply the information that should have been provided at the outset in
order to properly evaluate the project and go through the ceqa process. the bernstein deccaratt's are not requesting that you deny the project. they are simply requesting that you consider the severe impacts on their property, to consider the neighborhood context, and lower the height of the building to 30 feet. and i will turn the podium over to randy popp. he is going to speak to the shadow impacts, as well as the feasiblity of lowering the height of the building and yet still maintaining the density that the project sponsor desires. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is randy popp, and i'm a licensed architect.
i've been practicing for 30 years, and part of what i do is search for patterns, understand context and develop and understand sensitive projects that correspond with the local environment. i studied the environment. i think we all understand they represent a maximum limit and not a right. the rules must be seen in relation to specific conditions which exist around each unique site. i was pretty shocked the first time i saw the proposal for 218-27th avenue. it was a massive design that looms over its neighbors on the block. although the fourth level is pulled back a bit, it still reads four stories in a neighborhood that is populated by three stories. i performed some shadow studies and found the fourth level creates a dramatic difference in how much light is removed from the neighboring property
does. t -- properties. no one had the opportunity to study the other presentation. from the very quick look i had, it appeared to be in contrast with mine and seemed to be pretty inaccurate. the solution is simple and reasonable. i'm not suggesting that you deny the project, just to modify it. i've quickly done a study that shows you can maintain three homes into three stories by removing one bedroom. a three unit such as this would be similar to what you might find around the neighborhood and across much of the city. i'm hoping you would think about how you would feel if this was in your back yard, taking away your sun light and forever taking away your quality of life. this project has the potential
to be so much better, and i'd like to suggest that's what you should be seeking. i hope you will please support this appeal and send the project back to planning review with a condition that it be no more than three stories. >> my name is alex bernstein. i live at 2545 lake street with my wife and three children. i'm here with my wife and many of my neighbors to propose deep concern for the project as proposed and to suggest modest changes. i don't want to limit opportunities for new richmond residents, but rather ensure that everyone's needs are met. as a multicultural bilink we-- bilingual family, we want to stay, however, that will be difficult if the new building
drastically reduces or living conditions. i asked my neighbors why they've lived in the richmond for over 20 years. what i heard was a love for beautiful living, street, and safe streets. at 40 feet high, this building changes the living conditions of every signee of the appeal. 63 people, representing over 150 residents in districts one and two, i ask you, should a developer who bought and then abandoned a how'use, creating serious rodent issue, take precedence over the # 0 resident signatures who opposed this appeal? light. a 40 foot building casts year-long shadows on more than three buildings with dozens of residents.
this commission has in the past, adjusted building requests that have had an extraordinary or unusual impact on immediate neighbors. two, precedent. if the board allows this outsized project to move forward, an overwhelmingly building on a normal black, it may set precedent for more buildings currently not in alignment with richmond standings. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is sonia daccarrat, and i live at 2545 lake street with alex bernstein and our three children. i grew up in cali, columbia, a beautiful see where urban development unfortunately went unchecked for many decades view to violence and lack of oversight. as people flooded into my city
from the country side looking for safety, formerly green, leafy neighborhoods were plowed over to make room. as a result, the city is a blighted stain. we spent a lot -- we spent a large amount of time collecting neighbors' signatures and thoughts to bring this issue forward today. we're only opposed to development that is too larged and too oversized for the neighborhood. my husband and i love san francisco. we raised our children in the city and sent them to public schools, despite the many challenges the city poses for families. along with our neighbors, we have come here today for support, asking for very little. [ inaudible ] >> president breed: thank you very much.
we're a diverse block of homeowners and friends and we pass food through our kitchen windows and we're used to living close to each other. what we're asking for is not to stop development, but to be sustainable and responsible, thoughtful, and considerate. and not to bring a monstrosity into a residential neighborhood and take away our light and our privacy, in order to have livable conditions for everyone we're only asking that the building be painted a light
color outside to reflect light and to reduce the size to 30 feet. thank you, again, for your consideration and we definitely oppose this type of building in our neighborhood. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you. next speaker, please. >> madam president, honorable superviso supervisors, i'm a 26-year resident of the richmond and a neighbor that lives across the street kitty corner. i'm a retired architect and former director of the art commission. i oppose the building as designed because, one, the top of the penthouse level, 47 1/2 feet, 16 1/2 feet over the adjacent 31-foot building. and 7 1/2 feet over the 40-foot
code limit. two, the 4-story project visually overpowers other buildings. unit three, which is the top level gives 2,135 square feet of living space and 855 square feet of three private deck spaces over three levels to the detriment of units 1 and 2, which split level separating living and kitchen from the bedrooms with little or no storage or deck space. theres an inequity here. in order to give a 490-foot, expansive deck on one level and top floor, is just for living room and dining room. that is the whole level of the
four fourth floor. it seems to overbuild in size to build one luxury unit while squeezing in two other units. all units split the kitchen and living room apart from the bedrooms by placing them on different levels, which may lead to access problems on a daily basis in the future. your consideration to limit the levels and height of the project is appreciated. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is dan newman. i've been a resident at 210 27th avenue, the building just north of the proposed development on the corner of 27th avenue and lake. i have lived there for 35 plus years and it's a rent-controlled unit, the one that i live in, so
i could not afford to continue living in san francisco if i had to move for any reason for that unit that i live in now. the proposed development at 2 218 27th avenue will reduce the light and air for all buildings and other properties, as you've already heard. the three luxury townhouses that are to be constructed there will not have a significant improvement on the housing shortage in san francisco. i believe that what we need is more affordable rental housing, more than luxury housing. in any event, more modestly sized structure would be a great improvement for the other residents in the neighborhood. finally, i just ask the board to
please consider the potential negative impacts on quality of life that the development as proposed will have on the neighbors. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. knee. speaker, please? >> hello. i'm john mulligan, owner of 210 27th avenue. you've heard it all already. the building is too high and the air and light. my tenants, it's rent-controlled, many are distraught about this and they can't afford to move. you really have to take a look at this about the people it's affecting, not the greedy developers. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> sophie stevenson and i live at 210 27th avenue. and i'm very concerned about the lack of light that i'll be having in my apartment if this
is built. i have one window that allows direct sunlight and a lot of natural light and it will be blocked if the building goes forward as proposed. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> hello. my name is diane younger-rossi. i live at 291 lake street. we're next door to sonya and alex and our building will also be completely -- all the light will be obliterated by a 40-foot wall. so close and so tall, so we're asking for your consideration, please, to just take 10 feet off the building and allow a more modestly-sized building to be built there. thank you.
>> councillor breed: thank you. next speaker, please? >> madam president, supervisors, i'm ray weeland. i've lived on lake street now for about 15 years. i moved there because of its charm. unfortunately, over the past 15 years, there's been some monstrosities built in the neighborhood, and i believe this to be one of them, 218 27th avenue. i have been in alex and sonya's house, the house in question, and it is quite evident when you look up and see the existing 30- 31-foot building that anything higher will obliterate whatever light there is. so i'm here to voice my objection and hope you will not let this go forward. >> i'm john deforest.
i live at 2535 lake, almost directly across from the bernsteins. and oppose this proposed building in its current state for all the reasons that have been adduced and i want to remind you supervisors that if left unchecked real estate interests, and they're just about the same everywhere -- i used to live in manhattan. i even lived in greenwich village, which is pretty much destroyed now -- left unchecked, san francisco will be even more degraded as a beautiful environment and place to live and raise your children and you are the last line of defense. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> hello. my name is marianne shell and i
live at 2539 lake street. thank you for working today and my condolences to you and the city. i've lived on lake street since 1992 in a building adjacent to 218 27th avenue. i'm a retired san francisco unified schoolteacher of 35 years. i'm very concerned about the proposed construction at 218 for the following reasons. the new building is out of scale with the surrounding buildings and would greatly reduce the sunlight that enters my south-facing windows. the new building at a height of 40 feet with intrusive decks will block the light into my living room and bedroom making them dark and dreary. i'm a cancer patient on maintenance chemotherapy and i worry that the hours, noise and dirt of construction will cause added stress on my body. i require extra sleep in a calm, peaceful environment to try to maintain my health.
i hope the supervisors will reduce construction hours, perhaps 9:00 to 5:00 and not allow work on weekends. my small garden is a refuge for me and will cover from the construction and later will be in complete shade. the nearby redwood tree will have to be cut back and damaged. i will use airflow and quality of life and my health may suffer as a result. i'm not alone in thinking this. 63 of my neighborhoods agree with me. thank you for your consideration. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. before the next speaker, are there any other members of the public that would like to speak on behalf of the appellant? please come to the left side -- your right-hand side of the chamber. next speaker, please. >> thank you. good evening, board of supervisors. i'm david john and i'm a san francisco resident and i definitely oppose the height of this project for various
reasons. and also being part of the building trades community, we don't want to support the nonunion builder on this project. my mom had a similar situation in her property in san francisco and it was very, very distraught for her and had to listen to the fact that she didn't have sunlight and her backyard was completely dark because someone built a big apartment building right behind her house. please don't let this pass. you heard the comments and the concerns of the community, so please, support their wishes. thank you. >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. knowing that we're all children of creator, my condolences regarding the loss of your
mayor. your second speaker, the woman architect, i think from their perspective nailed it pretty good. i would second everything that she said, but i want to give a brief evaluation in my 1 1/2 minutes left. it's surreal that the topic before when i first came here was the homeless issue and how many are homeless and here we're taking up an action about who will get shaded out with an extra building and whether there's union labor or not. it's so different, but we're all connected and i want to invite you to something really wonderful. in front of me, the most beautiful thing, the 40-day prophetic general strike that brings us into the promised land. oakland is on its way. how many people in this chamber have not at least four or five reasons to shut down the system?
these are mostly pretty good people, but most of them are not really familiar with agenda 21, which also impacts their decisions on everything that they do. and agenda 21 directed energy weapons started fires in northern california and southern california. and i have proof right here to anybody that wants a copy. but to those that are trying to do the right thing, the homeless issue will never be resolved until we do unto others, meaning the animals, and we cease having a city with blood flowing out of the restaurants. it's just not necessary and we're better than that and it's time for us to take that step forward. it's about power and it's about love. so i invite the laborers and workers to join the strike, to shut down the corruption, to find a place for the homeless -- >> councillor breed: thank you for your comments. are there any other members of the public that would like to
speak in support of the appeal? seeing none, public comment is closed. we will now hear a presentation from the city departments. you will have up to 15 minutes and then we'll go to the project sponsor. >> good afternoon. i'm joined by laura ayello, lead planner for the project at 218 27th avenue. the matter before you is to either affirm or amend or reverse the conditional use authorization. the proposed project is in the richmond district on the east side of 27th avenue south of lake street. the project includes demolition of an existing 2-story,
single-fami single-fami single-family residence and 4-story, multifamily unit. we issued a class 1 and 3 categoric exemption. the project for conditional use for planning code, after careful consideration, the proposed project and concerns of the neighbors, which included the concerns raised by the appellant. the planning commission found that the proposed 3-unit, 4-story development is necessary and desirable. in response to the neighbor's concerns, we modified the project, which will be covered in ms. ayello's presentation. we are recommended that you uphold it as is. and with that, jenny pauling will be next and then followed by ms. ayello >> good afternoon, members of the board. i'm jeany pauling, environmental
planner. the department's responses to the issues can be grouped into two categories -- procedural and substantive. the first that the planning department didn't comply with the posting required in chapter 31 of the administrative code because incorrect approval action was listed. chapter 31 does require that the approval action be listed and the appellant is correct, that building correct was listed when it should have been listed planning commission hearing. this was a procedural oversight. however, the agenda item posted on planning's website six days before the hearing correctly stated that the authorization constitutes approval action for the project. the appellant, mr. bernstein, was clearly aware as he received
notice with the appeal information. he attended and spoke at the hearing and he filed the appeal in a timely manner. the hearing language in the notice of the agenda adequately provided information on the appeal process, as required in chapter 31. the second procedural concern relates to notification requirements regarding identification and posting of additional discretionary approvals that are known at the time of issuance of exemption. not listed, but the executive summary sites demolition site and permits subsequently, so the project was notified. the third contention regarding procedures is that the notice of the public hearing on conditional use authorization does not inform the public of
the exemption determination. as explained, the letter does indicate that the project is exempt. the procedural issue raised in the appeal pertains to posting requirements for project modifications. it reads "modification of exempt project of section 31 applying to the project." changes to the project between environmental clearance and project approval are not subject to the posting requirements of section 31.08i. the remaining issues pertain to substantive matters. first of these is the appellant's contention that the project approval cannot require on the categorical exemption because the product description changed from the time the exemption was issued and product approved. the product did change during review and approval. during the review for consistency with the planning
code and residential design guidelines, the project was reduced in size. and the planning commission further reduced the size of the project. the minor changes to the project between environmental review and project approval do not change the characteristics that qualify for class 1 and 3 exemption or trigger the need for additional environmental review. the appellant's second contention is that class 1 and 3 categorical exemption is not supported by substantial evidence. ceqa identifies that which doesn't impact the environment. that falls into class 1 and 3 categories. guidelines state that the decision as to whether the project has significant effects on the environment must be based on substantial evidence in the
record. substantial evidence is facts, reasonable assumptions, and opinions supported by facts. the appellant has not provided substantial evidence that there are unusual circumstances to counter the determination that the project is exempt. the appellant's final contention is that it would result in land use impacts because the project site is a key lot in that its side property line abutts the rear line of lots fronting lake. the appellant has not presented substantial evidence to support that there are unusual circumstances relating to shadow, aesthetics and land use. the exemption complies with ceqa and chapter 31 and the project is exempt from environmental review. i urge you to uphold the exemption and deny the appeal. this concludes my presentation
on the ceqa appeal. and laura ayello will discuss the cu appeal. >> good afternoon, members of the board. laura ayello, planning staff in the current planning division. i'm here to discuss the conditional use authorization. i will keep my comments very brief. as you know, you also need to review and decide whether or not to remove or amend the approval to allow the demolition of single-family home and replacement with a new structure containing three family-sized units. the existing building is not occupied. it's not historic. it's unremarkable in any way except it's one of the smallest
homes on the block. the appellant believes that the project is out of scale, fails to maintain light to adjacent properties and creates significant, adverse shadow impacts that result in a loss of privacy to the neighboring buildings. in response, 40-foot-high residential buildings are permitted in this district, which is residential mixed. it's also permitted in more restrictive residential districts. and can be found throughout the project area, 4-story buildings, that is. the subject property is a key lot, so the north side of the building was given extra scrutiny by the planning department and the planning commission. key lots are not unusual. they can be found on every block. the approved building underwent
a lengthy design review process that successfully modified the original proposal to comply with the city's residential design guidelines and planning code requirements. appropriate measures were taken in order to preserve privacy, light and air to the neighboring properties and those rear yards that abutt the subject property. additional measures in response to the concerns of the neighbors at the planning commission hearing were added as conditions of approval at the public hearing. as a result of the design review and the public hearing process, side setbacks were created on the north side. no decks were allowed in the setback areas. a light well was incorporated. frosted windows were required to be made inoperable. a stair penthouse and large roof
deck were eliminated. a visual screen at the front entry was required. the depth of the top floor, front setback was increased. and an arborist was required to protect the health of the trees on abutting properties. issue two, the appellant claims that the planning code sections 303, 317 and proposition m findings not supported by substantial evidence. the appellant offers no suggestion as to why the evidence discussed at great length in the authorization motion should be considered less than substantial. the findings are accurate or concise, which is appropriate for this small-scale, infill residential development. findings of consistency require a balancing of policies and a determination of overall
consistency to the relevant criter criteria, objections, and policies. this was fund to comply with all requirements and unanimously approved with conditions by the planning commission. for these reasons, as well as those made in the planning commission's motion, we recommend that the board uphold the commission's decision and deny the appeal. this concludes my presentation. jeannie and i will be available if you have further questions. thank you. >> thank you. are there any questions from members? if not, we will go to the project sponsor or representatives not to exceed 15 minutes. mr. vettle? >> on behalf of the project sponsor and owner of the small
san francisco group, prides himself with working within the policies. in 40 years as a builder, it's the first time that joe has been before the board of supervisors on appeal of one of his projects. first of all, a categorical exemption was proper here. first, the existing house is not an historic research. appellants concede that point. second, there are no unusual circumstances with this project. it's a typical infill lot in a developed neighborhood. every brock in san francisco has key lots. even if there was significant circumstances, no evidence has been showed for significant circumstance.
ceqa is concerned with the impacts on public environment, not the private realm. as jenny pauling pointed out, the appeal was timely in determination to this board. they were not prejudiced in any way way procedural irregularities. for these reasons, we ask that you affirm the planning department's decision to issue the categorical exemption. this is three units which is permitted in this district. can we have the overhead, the computer screen, please? >> it's coming. >> thank you. the project site is rm-1. that's apartment zoning, not rh,
lower density. up to four units are personal -- permitted. it proposes three large family-size units to replace one delapidated house. it is consistent with zoning and character of the neighborhood. it is characterized by 3- and 4-story apartment buildings and the 3-story buildings in many cases are more than 30 feet. single-family home is an anomaly. there's a 9-unit building to the west and 6-unit to the east. these images on the screen indicate the character of the vicinity. the site is within a 40 site. unlike rh1 and rh2, which does require lower heights and
setbacks at upper stories, rm1 requires no upper story height reductions or setbacks. nonetheless, the building is sculpted and detailed to conform to the neighborhood character and address appellants' concerns. it has a large, code-complaint rear yard. the first floors are full floor and so is the second. third and fourth is not, to address light on lake street and appellant's house. the planning commission ordered even further revisions at appellant's request, including removal of roof deck and privacy including nonoperable frosted grass windows and privacy screen. with these modifications added,
there is no impact on the privacy to the rear yard of appellant's home. this is the sensitively designed, small-scale development needed for the west side of town to do its part to address the housing crisis the planning commission saw that and unanimously approved it. it meets all criteria of 317 for approval of demolition and replacement. the project was before the planning commission because 317 requires conditional approval for demolition. joe purchased the house in 2015 from the estate of the former owner, who owner-occupied until his death in 2014. it's been vacant since of the planning commission found that there was all the relevant data.
it is not subject to rent control and no tenants were or are being replaced. it replaces one unit with three and three bedrooms with eight bedrooms. it closely conforms to rm1 zoning and the period urban design. appellants did not oppose demolition at the planning commission or here. they presented no evidence that the planning commission approved its description in approving demolition. what appellants are seeking is removal of the 4th floor, which would eliminate a family-size limit in violation of the housing act and the owner's plan. they got everything they asked for except that 4th floor being eliminated. the planning department realized that would eliminate one of the
units. they never presented with a plan that shows how three family-sized units could be accommodated in three floors. the only way is to eliminate the garage. one to one parking is required in this district. every other building has ground floor parking and living above. the california legislature's strength of the housing account and the act. it prohibits city to reduce the projects that meet the density code. appellants have presented no evidence that removal of the fourth floor is necessary to avoid public health and safety. the board is constrained by state law from ordering what
appellant's request. they made two requests. first, we agreed to white paint or light-colored finish. and, second, we can confirm there are no side yard decks on the plans now. let me know introduce michael levitt, project plans and shadow studies. before doing so, i would like to submit a total of 56 letters of support from richmond district and citywide. i have those letters here. >> thank you. we'll collect those. >> good afternoon. i'm michael levitt, levitt architecture. picking up where steve left off regarding neighborhood context, please take a look at this analysis of the immediate area