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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  May 16, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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did not, to my best recollection, receive a report or anything in paper from any inspector of the health department on march 2. and i do not recall and i see no evidence that i signed anything or initialled anything. and again, as i stated on april 11, i was instructed by mary tran to call the health department -- >> please wrap up. >> -- yes, after i learned that there was an a violation, an unknown violation at the establishment. so i called on march 9 and was told that i could not be provided with the information about what violation. they confirmed there was a violation, but these details were not given. >> thank you, sir. you'll have time in rebuttal. >> okay. we'll hear next from cory teague, the zoning
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administrator. >> good evening, president fung, commissioners, cory teague, planning department staff. the subject letter of determination under appeals tonight was issued by the zoning administrator on june 15, 2017. as outlined in that letter, the dph had conducted an enforcing case at the subject property at 518 tail i don't remember street. this enforcement process ran from march of 2016 and march of 2017, and the settlement included acknowledgement from the business owner that the massage establishment had operated in violation of article 29 of the health code. once the settlement was reached, dph informed the planning department of the confirmed violation. in response, the planning department sent the property owner a notice of enforcement that pursuant to planning code section 202.2(a) 4 no new
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massage establishment could operate on the property for three years because it had been found to be in violation of article 29 of the health code. however because the violating establishment had already vacated the premises, the planning department could not issue a notice of violation. instead, the planning department informed the owner they could request a notice of letter and that could be appealed. the appellant's central claim is the owner was not sufficiently notified of the dph violation against moulinrouge. the owner was presented and signed both notices of violation, and those are shown as exhibits 1 and 2 in our brief.
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additionally, the appellant's rehearing -- [inaudible] >> -- the property management company responsible for the subject property informing here of the violation and specifically referencing another violation nearby that had been prosecuted on criminal charges, and that's exhibit four. beyond the dph violation, the moulinrouge was the subject of police activity on december 24, 2016, and that is provided as exhibit five. it seems clear that the property manager understood the potential severity of the violation. however it's important to note that the property owner actually has very little engagement in the dph enforcement process because the regulations apply to the subject business. other than the required notice, the property owner is not due to any other specific actions from dph as part of the endorsement process.
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in this case, the owner of the moulin rouge entered into an agreement to settle the violation case on march 20, 2017. the settlement agreement which was included as exhibit six, among other things, included an admission of a violation of article 29 of -- article 29 of the health code. regarding the specific penalty, planning code section 202.2(a) 4 was adopted in 2015 and is designed to ensure that if a massage establishment clearly operates in violation of the planning code or article 29 of the health code then no now massage establishment shall be permitted on that property for at least three years. this is an important point because article 1.7 in the planning code is -- outlines our enforcement procedures, and it clearly states that the -- the purpose of our enforcement is to bring properties into abatement. it is not to be punitive. this section falls outside of
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that article and is very specifically designed to be punitive. the severity of the penalty is purposeful, and it's designed to be a deterrent to abhorrent behavior that the city takes very seriously. issues of property owner notices aside, it is clear that the massage establishment operated in violation of article 29. as such, the three year ban imposed by the planning code is warranted and appropriate as a means of penalty and deterrence. therefore, the department respectfully requests that the board deny the appeal and uphold the zoning administrator's determination. i'm available for any questions you may have. >> may i offer you one? >> sure. >> so let me get something -- get something straight. so what you said was it really
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didn't matter whether there was a flaw -- there was a flaw in the notice process, if mr. polk did or did not sign it, it really doesn't matter because the damage had been done already by the massage establishment operator, and because they had operated outside of the law, and they had breached the law, then this enforcement would have happened any way, and it was well outside of the owner's control because the operator had -- had broken the law, and this is one of the things that an owner has to be conscious of when they -- when they make an agreement with a massage establishment. is that kind of where it goes in. >> so i -- i can't speculate to if more robust notice was given to the property owner and somehow they contacted dph and, you know, if through some other
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universe, you know, this went all the way to a hearing, if there would have been a different out come on a determination of a violation. it doesn't seem likely based on the information here, but obviously, i can't speculate on that outcome. but what is clear that this ordinance and penalty was adopted and worded specifically to say if you're operating in violation, that's it. three-year ban. it's a hard stop, and the facts of the case seem fairly clear, and the -- the massage establishment owner chose to enter into a settlement instead of pleading their case at a hearing and admitted to a violation. so it seems very clear that the intent of this provision is being carried forward if the letter of determination is upheld. >> but as far as due process, which is the discussion here today, due process for the owner, really, the due process which was carried forward in a hearing between the massage
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operator and the health department was the due process in this case because those are the only two parties that could control behavior, and -- and by the massage operator reaching a settlement and admitting that there was not complete adherence to the law, then that automatically kicks in the statute which says okay, okay, the owner suffers as a result of somebody elses malfeasance. am i getting that right? >> my colleagues are here if you have specific questions about the case and the process,
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but the communication was between dph and the business owner because the business owner was the one responsible for the operations and the permit and the provisions of the health code that applies. >> and even had the -- the process gone forward, and there would not have been a settlement, and there would have been a full hearing of the case, where does the owner -- would the owner fit in, any way, because the owner -- the owner was only involved by creating the lease agreement, and by creating the lease agreement, took responsibility for the actions of the operator, eyes wide open, if you go and lease to a massage operator, correct? >> correct. and again, i can't speculate if there had been a hearing and the property owner came to that hearing. obviously, that hearing is there for a reason. i can't speculate what the out come of that hearing would have been, but if the property owner would have come to that hearing and said we're willing to take steps to fix this, perthe
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intent of this provision, the damage had already been done. the very clear intent of this provision is if it's found to be operating in violation, the three-year ban is intended to apply. so i think the facts are there to say that it is likely that the outcome would have been the same, but i can't speculate that exactly. >> well, i guess i should ask that question of the department of health when they step up here. >> similar question, mr. teague. so even though the department of health, dph is the one that's enforcing, it's the planning department that's putting the restriction on. and we're here today not just because with you know the massage parlor was operating illegal. you mentioned that shoulda, coulda, woulda, had there been a reverse decision or something on there, that would not -- it would not be a derestriction, right? >> yeah. if the process would have
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played out further, and there would have been a hearing, and for some reason, dph determined there was not a violation, they be that would not be a violation trigger perarticle 29. now, even if that would have happened, if -- if planning department had been informed of the operations of that site, there's still a chance that that massage establishment could have been determined to be in violation of the planning code. >> no, i get it. that's why we're here, because the question is we don't know that at that point because a process was skipped and the owner's right of due process was overlooked. >> well, there was no process skipped, per se. even if the owner had been hand delivered, the business owner could have decided to settle without a hearing. it's their decision because they're the ones in violation and subject to the controls or regulations of health code. >> okay. thank you. >> sure. >> is public health going to present, also? >> i think they're just here for questions.
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>> here for questions? >> can we ask about that? >> can we ask public health our question now or should we have it during deliberations? >> might as well ask it now. >> do i have to repeat my question to you? >> what's that? >> which is had this gone into a full hearing, and had the hearing moved forward and resulted in the affirmation of a violation, how much participation or -- or -- how -- how would the impact of the -- on the owner as it stands today be mitigated in any shape or form during a hearing which would have resulted in affirmation of a malfeasance? >> yeah, i don't believe it would have. the property owner would have gotten notification of the findings from that director's hearing. the director's hearing, the
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operator's found to be liable for having committed those violations, then there are administrative civil penalties or suspensions, permit revocation that could be imposed. at that time, a copy of that order would have been sent to the property owner, but as you've stated, at that point, the determination has already been made, so -- >> and so they wouldn't -- the property owner would not have had any participation in the hearing, any way, or could the property owner have had participation and due process as part of that hearing? >> they are not typically at the -- a part of that hearing process. those hearings typically just involved the operator who was cited, yeah. >> so would you say the message here is if you're a property owner and you're considering leasing to a -- a message operator, read the statute? >> yeah, absolutely.
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>> and know your exposure. >> since it was passed in 2015, that potential liability exists for property owners now. >> thank you. >> have a question, too, sir. correct me if i am wrong, was this the case that since this has happened you guys have changed a little bit of your procedure and process? >> yeah. as i've stated -- >> can you explain that. >> yeah. typically, as i've stated before, if we reach a settlement agreement in advance of the hearing, it's between us and the operator, and there's no sort of copy of that that gets sent to the property owner. again, it's an agreement between the health department and the operator. since this case, we now will send a copy of the stipulated agreement, if one is reached in advance of the hearing, to the property owner. again, though, as mr. swig has pointed out, at that point, the
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violation has been found. so -- >> humpty-dumpty fell off the wall all right. thank you. >> excuse me. has this operator been cited previously? >> yeah, the operator at this location had been cited previously. a number of the violations as i understand that were found during the december and march inspections were repeat violations, so they had been cited before. >> and so what happened in the previous citation? did it go to the owner? >> no, the previous citation would have gone, again, to the operator. it would have followed that process that we just described, so we issued the notice of violation. if violations are found that carry penalties or the potential for a permit suspension or revocation, those can only be imposed at department of public health director's hearing, which is heard before an independent
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hearing officer. >> this operator has been there since 2009. pre-2009, were there other massage places at this location? >> i wouldn't know off the top of my head. i'd have to pull the file and find out. i don't know. >> and would -- the question is, were they also cited at this point? >> they may have been. i don't know, but that's a good question. >> i didn't see it was 2009. sorry. are you done? so there was just two violations since 2009 or has there been multiple since 2009? >> i don't know. >> okay. >> so following up on these new disclosures, how does the property owner, who is at risk for the operator discover that an nov has been filed based on
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bad behavior? and we're not talking about the bad behavior that ultimately resulted in the suspension of the business, but the previous -- the previous nov's. how can an operator -- excuse me. how can this owner, not just this owner, by any owner, gain knowledge that this might be happening when they think everything is just fine and dandy? >> okay. our records are publicly accessible, so anybody that makes a public search request can access a file on any of these facilities in san francisco. >> but why would an owner, if, you know, no smoke, no fire. if the owner doesn't smell smoke, even though there has been an undiscovered fire, how -- how does the owner
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defend themselves when i'm going to say they're proactive and they're looking for bad behavior. you' you have got to be pretty cynical and glass half empty to do that. how does an owner discovers a problem exists if it happens, is publicly noticed, but come on. you've got to go find it. >> make it a lease requirement. >> huh? >> make it a lease requirement that you have to disclose it to the -- >> right, right. i think that's -- that's an option. there are definitely creative language in leases. i think with these -- with many facilities that are operating illegally or as friends for prostitution or what-have-you, they're advertising that openly. webpages, even sandwich boards in front of their facilities,
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those kinds of things. operating after 10:00 at night certainly would be a dead give away. there are signs. >> right. and so what you're saying is there were signs and maybe property management and ownership should have been reading a few of those signs. >> sure. >> okay. thanks. >> anymore questions for dph? >> thank you. >> okay. thank you. we will now move onto public comment. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we will move onto rebuttal. we will hear first from the appellant. three minutes, please. >> the message that must be promulgated tonight is that the u.s. and california constitutions guarantee the right to a hearing before life, liberty and property is
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deprovided of someone -- deprived of someone. had the code been followed, we would not be raising the argument tonight that due process was violated because there was no hearing. irrespective of whether there was notice, every property owner who is deprived a hearing is violated. the evidence may be irfutabl irrefutable,in controvertible, the city is still entitled to a
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hearing. here, it says there was an adjudication because there was an agreement between the city and an operator. you can't have an agreement between two parties binding an outside party, particularly when that -- when the result of that is the dependenrivation o hearing, a constitutional right. it would be as if -- you know, commissioner hans plea bargained to a crime that resulted in commissioner swig going to jail. it -- or -- or not. but that's what's happening here, and i think the primary message has to be that the code that san francisco drafted and adopted has to be followed. it had hearing procedures built in in both the health and planning code. they weren't followed. they were circumvented by a secret settlement agreement between the operator and the
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city. >> are you finished? >> yes. >> counselor, you don't consider this to be your hearing? >> no. this -- the hearings that the constitution anticipate are predeprivational hearings, not appeals. there are times when there can be a post deprivational hearing, but those are only limited to cases of emergency. in one of the cases that we cited, the city of los angeles seized newspaper dispensers, and the court said you really didn't have to do it. even though you posted a notice on it, there was no immediacy. it didn't pose a danger. you should have provided an opportunity to be heard. and here, this is not the hearing. the property owner has already lost revenue for over a year, and the difference between what ecohave rented it out had it
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been a massage spa and what it's renting it out as. >> let me -- perhaps this question goes to somebody else here, but what you're asking us to do is to find cause in overturning the letter of determination. that doesn't prevent the department then going after you, the owner. >> well, that's fine. if it were a hearing, we wouldn't be here tonight. >> contrary to what you said in your earlier statement. >> well, if it were a hearing, we wouldn't be making the argument tonight that due process was violated. you know, in discussions we've had with the department of health before tonight's hearing, i don't believe the department of health has any objection to the ban being lifted because the new tenants, the new spa that's going in there has been highly vetted.
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the purpose of the legislation has been fulfilled. it's cleansed any tentacles of the previous owner. the purpose of the legislation has been fulfilled. the only effect remaining is a punitive effect in limiting the owner's property rights. >> i'm not sure i agree, but that's all right. questions further? okay. do they have anymore time, gary? [inaudible] >> if you want to make a quick statement, go ahead. >> my name is mickey sparks, and just, i wanted to say simple statement that if i did some wrong things or violate the law, and if i deserve a penalty, i would -- i would take it, but what i'm saying is without notifying me, without
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telling -- giving me opportunity to correct the -- my tenant is wrong operating, and all of a sudden, getting a penalty is not fair. that's all i wanted to say because i am a very, very proactive and enthusiastic property owner. and i manage myself, too. >> thank you. your time is up. >> okay. thank you. >> okay. >> and we will now hear from cory teague. >> good evening, again, commissioners. cory teague from planning department staff. i think it's fair to say at this point, the only thing in dispute is the notice or lack of notice to the property owner. i think it's important to look at the exact language in article 29 of the health code, specifically, section 29.45(b). this is what it says verbatim, notice to property owner: written notice at each massage business permit holder
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violation shall be provided to the property owner upon which the message business is located. it is not required to be mailed. there's no required notice of the director's hearing be provided to the property owner. this is simply an fyi to the property owner to say this business which is on your property has been found in violation. we have two dph employees who have either provided written and signed declarations or have given testimony here stating that they provided copies of each of the violation reports to the property manager. i think it's clear that they thought that they were -- they were providing written notice to the property owner in that manner by providing those notices directly to the property manager. again, there's no other mention of a property owner -- property owner or any specific rights to the property owner within article 29 of the health code. i believe this notice is really
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intended to be more of an fyi. it doesn't mean they could not attend the director's hearing. again, there's no requirement to provide them notice of the director's hearing if it happens. ultimately, this is a transaction between the department of public health implementing the health code and the permitee which is the subject in the health department that's the business owner, in this case, the massage establishment. so even if, again, the property owner would have contact the dph, and said we wouldn't have let this happen again, that wouldn't matter. the clear adoption of this language in 2015 is if that happens, you should get the three year ban, even if you would sincerely not want it to happen again. i also want to make it clear once the tenant actually left
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and the department was notified by dph of the violation, planning department, we could not legally proceed with an enforcement process because there was no active planning code violation because it had in effect already been abated, and that's why we did the letter of determination option to give the property owner an option to appeal here. i'm available for any questions that you may have. >> can he read me that language again, please. >> the language states -- that section is titled notice to property owner and it states, written notice of each massage business permit holder violation shall be provided to the property owner, upon which the massage business is located. >> shall be -- shall be provided isn't -- >> right. it says shall be provided. it does not specify how it shall be provided. it does not require that it shall be mailed. >> right, but it says shall be provided. it doesn't say shall be
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provided to the manager. >> no. >> 'cause on the one hand, you're asking for a strict interpretation and yet, you're interpreting something that i don't quite see there. >> sure. i'm saying that the understanding of the employees from dph, and they can speak to this better than i can is that providing this written notification to the property manager who's there in person was going to be provided to the property owner because that's the role the property manager plays is to manage the property fore the property owner. >> except the clear language of the statute says shall provide to the property owner, not the property manager to maybe get it to the property owner at some point at some time in the future. >> and i think everyone has conceded here that they did not give it to the property owner, they gave it to the property manager with the understanding that the property owner would receive that. i think the bigger issue that we have made is that even if
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that had been hand delivered to the property owner, it would not change any of the facts that are very clear in the case and have led to the intended out come of the ordinance that was adopted in 2015, which is the three year ban. >> is your question answered? >> yes. >> then i also have a question, too. i'm understanding that, but if there was no error or abuse, why was policy changed? >> you can always work to approve -- improve, and i think we've said -- and again, dph can speak to this more. i think it was very clear from the board's direction that it was somewhat problematic to hand deliver it to the property manager and expect that to be delivered to the progress -- owner and have that qualify as this, so i think there was direction. i think it was, you know, a good direction to take that advice and move on from that. and again, i don't think there's any question that direct notice was not provided
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to the property owner. that's been established. i think the point we're making is that it was done in a way that was good faith with an understanding that it would be provided to the property owner and that itself does not change what we consider to be the more critical facts of the case. >> okay. thank you. >> commissioner, don't you think those questions should have been asked of dph because planning's course of action is quite clear. what wasn't clear was what occurred with dph, okay? >> well, he got the question because he read the statute. >> well, the statute is in the public health code, not the planning code. >> so should we reask the question to health? >> if you want. i'm just saying that that portion that the appellant is relying upon is in the health code, not the planning code. planning code says it slightly differently, yeah. >> thank you. >> okay.
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thank you. >> would you like mr. crystal to approach? questions? >> okay. >> okay. so commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> so i'm sympathetic to the property owner very much, but at the same time, i'm -- i'm -- i think a property owner in doing the lease, as commissioner lazarus implied, should be sophisticated enough when they are renting to a massage operation as they would to a liquor store, as they would to any highly regulated lessor -- or lessee, to understand the code, to understand what you're getting into when you enter into a lease. so -- and what we've heard is
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if these notice of violations -- if these -- regardless of how these notice of violations were served, and whether in good faith they were served to a property manager who was supposed to give it to the owner or not, still the same result would have occurred in that there was a violation, there was malfeasance, and the side effect of the malfeasance of a massage parlor taken out of business whether by notice or settlement, the property owner is subject to the law, which they should have known in the first place. so i'm sorry for the property owner, but man if you're going to get into leasing to a massage business, you ought to understand the law before you make the lease. >> can i make one comment on that? >> yes, sir. >> on the question of whether the same thing would have happened had notice been properly given, i don't think
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we know whether that is true or not because the property owner could have somehow inserted themselves into the settlement process, and the planning code only kicks in in your ban if the establishment is closed for a violation -- they have to be closed, so there's a possibility that they could have worked out some resolution that didn't involve this business closing or there could have been some order entered into by the health department that got around that consequence for the property owner. so we don't know because they say they didn't actually have notice of the violations. >> with being on. point well taken. thank you for your advice. >> i'm of the opinion that if they want their day in court at public health hearing, we should give it to them. but also, guessing that this -- it may come back to us again. >> i agree. i mean, you know, as has been brought up, you know, the
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permit holder or the management said they were very attentive. well, i don't know how attentive you can be. you know you have a message place, and there have been prior incidents, but at the same time, members of the department have gotten up and said this was the end result. as our city attorney just menti mentioned, we don't know what the end result would be. i agree with president fung, i think that they should still have that ability at this point. >> i would -- i would not oppose that. >> so my question, those, is if we overturn this, where does that leave us? >> it's up to -- no, it's up to public health. >> there's still a violation of the public health code. >> yeah. so i mean the decision and the letter of determination is
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fair fairly binary. it's either the section kicks in or it doesn't. in this case, we said it did because there was a violation. you are correct that this action tonight won't impact dph's decision, which is not in front of you right now, just overturn this decision. obviously, there can be findings adopted as to why and perhaps the dph violation was found so not be sufficient to trigger 202.(a)4, and just to clarify very quickly, for that section to kick in and trigger the three year ban, it doesn't necessarily require that the violating establishment close, it just says if it's -- if it's he basically found in violation -- if it's basically found in violation -- actually, it's more loose than that. it says if any operating
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establishment found to be maintained or operating contrary to this code or the planning code or the health code article 29 shall be found in violation of this code and will be subject to enforcement as provided in section 176 of the planning code and then it gives you the three year ban. so even that language does not necessarily state that dph has to find you in violation. it just says if it's found to be operating and conducted or maintained contrary to article 29, then, it should be found in violation -- >> thank you, mr. teague. is there further questions? >> thank you. >> thanks. >> so if we -- if we wanted to follow up and support president fung's position that this should find its way to a hearing at public health, do we uphold the appeal on the
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condition that it be subject to a hearing at public health? that how we get around that? >> we would be just granting the appeal with a basis and that's it, yeah. >> and then what's the next steps? >> it's up to them. it's up to public health and whether they pursue it. >> make a motion. >> okay. >> to grant the appeal on the basis that -- that the department of public health -- zoning administrator. >> letter of determination. >> yeah, the z.a., would be err in abuse. >> abused its discretion. >> yeah. would be -- yeah, erred in its decision regarding this because the fact that the property owner did not get property notification. >> okay. >> i think the city attorney
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wants to -- >> i don't think so. i think that sounds about right. i think your motion is that the zoning administrator erred or abused his discretion in finding that this planning code provision applied. >> correct. >> on the basis that public health did not provide notice to the property owner in compliance with section 29.45 of the health code. >> exactly what i said. thank you. >> do i need to repeat that? >> no, and it was erred, not abused. >> so would you like to go with what he said, or would you -- >> yeah, let's do that. >> let's go with what city attorney russe said, and on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: okay. so that motion passes. the appeal is granted.
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thank you. >> anybody need a break or go to the next one? >> let's go. >> let's move it. >> you need a break? >> no, let's go to the next one. >> okay. we will now move onto item 7-a, 7-b, 7-c, and 7-d. these are appeal numbers 18-025, 18-026, and 18-031, and 18-032. [agenda item read]
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[agenda item read] [agenda item read] >> clerk: the appellants have seven minutes each. >> good evening. i'm scott wyckoff. thanks for your time. i'm the owner and resident of 3938 clay street, which is directly across the street from
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the subject street pole, and it goes up direct. this is the 3500 block of clay street, which you can see is beautiful, flat, street lined block consisting of homes all built more than 100 years ago. there was no wires, there was no cables, telephone poles since the residents paid by themselves to have all the utilities moved underground 30 years ago of the two out of three homes on clay street are designated as historically significant by the san francisco historical preservation commission. it feels to us as residents that the planning department, verizon wireless, nor anyone else has properly considered the impact of placing this antenna right in the middle of this block of historically significant homes. as residents, we maintain our homes with much consideration as to their historical significance, color schemes,
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etcetera, for the enjoyment of the public and tourists alike. this antenna will contribute to the destruction of the views of these homes and the presidio heights neighborhood as a whole. that's 3512 clay street. at least two of the homes on this block have an even higher historical designation. 3512 clay street has designed by architect julius craft, and miss ellwein will elaborate on her home. our home, 3531 clay street, was designed by architect julia morgan, who also designed the hearst castle and many other sites in the bay area. we as homeowner are held to a
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higher standard by the san francisco planning department. for example, we cannot alter the front of our home in any way without consultation, time-consuming approval by the planning department. 15 years ago, we did a remodel. we wanted to make this window a little bit bigger, but our architect after a bunch of consultation said it's not worth the time, the energy or the expense. so to me, it seems inconsistent with the spirit of the planning department that we cannot alter the size of a window in the front of our house yet verizon can place an antenna across the street from this julia moran home. my office overlooks 3512 clay street at the particular pole. on many days, i can look at and see as many as 100 people walking, tourists riding bikes or riding those little yellow
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go cars that we love around town, and they slow down, they pause, they stop, they get out, and they take a picture of this house. we are not opposed to increasing wireless service or the placement of antennas in the surrounding neighborhood provided it is done with an overall plan and input from the neighborhood association and the residents. it has not been done here. i have asked verizon multiple times what else did you consider? what was your second choice as opposed to this pole? there's been no response. so the proposed antenna at 3512 clay street is easily the most visible exposed pole on clay street. it would be a total eye sore, try the aesthetics of our neighborhood and block. now verizon, by their admission tries to locate these poles on street corners, mitigating neighbor's concerns and views. call me crazy, but i have
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personally driven through every blocks of presidio heights, pacific heights, the marina, and jordan park, and all but two antennas out of dozens are on a street corner. the two that aren't, divisadero and union, and the 3700 block of clay street are in front of multiple family locations. this location is an out liar to anything that has been put in any of those neighborhoods to date. here's an alternative. this light pole is is he southwest corner of clay and locust, a half a block from the previous light pole. as you can see it wouldn't block the public view of any historic buildings. why not consider this pole? in closing, we feel that verizon picks sites for its
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antennas based on its own coverage and the lowest possible cost with very little regard for aesthetics of specific blocks of homes or neighborhoods. thank you. >> thank you. >> hello. i'm merrill ran dodol, and i l with my husband, dr. stephen sherwin at 3058 clay street. we own and we've been living in that house for quite a few years. now, this home is adjacent to 3512 clay street, and actually, that light post in contention here for the antenna abuts our property, as well.
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now unfortunately my husband isn't here. he's a medical oncologist. he practices cancer treatment at san francisco general hospital and can't be here. but i promised him i'd mention two points on his behalf. first of all, he's very concerned about the potential effects of electromagnetic radiation on cancer on other health concerns. and second, he is quite concerned that san francisco city council is depending upon research, scientific research about emissions back from 1986, which is when the data was collected for the 1996 fcc act that set the standard of conditions for these antennas.
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but now let us be clear about what this meeting is about. on one side, number one, there's verizon with all its resources and its big pockets and what it wants is money. it -- what it wants is to build as many of these towers as quickly as they can race for the goal and get ahead of at&t and have it as cheaply as they can do it. also, well, the city and county benefits in leases and getting leases to verizon because there's some money that's given each year to san francisco. now both of these entities have deep pockets. they have lobbyists, they have attorneys, they have technical experts. but on the other side is us; you know, the residents, the
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owners here in the city. what resources do we have? in fact, you know, i'm very glad that there's some opportunity to speak to -- this opportunity to speak to you because in light of wanting to compensate the imbalance of power at their hearing such as this where we can make our interests known, as well. however, i really hope that this hearing is not pro forma and that you'll honestly listen to us tonight. as you heard mr. wyckoff and i certainly don't want to be obstructionists here. he has suggested one place in the 3500 block of clay street where we could put this antenna which would not be as obstructive, and we've also thought of another place, and this one is at 3575 clay street, and it's only three
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houses down from 3512. you know, please take a look -- do i have this wrong? you know, can you show -- okay. there also. so here is 3512, and this is our proposed site, cam ooflagg by these trees. it'll be obscured. no one will notice it, no one will be bothered by it. verizon has been an astonishing, that that site was not viable because of the tree branchs. now paradoxically, the department of plans hning has suggested they cover our
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antenna with a tree to cover it with branchs. and further, verizon says, quote, the antenna cannot properly function when its signal is blocked by tree branchs. that is absurd. are these tree branchs made out of lead? this electromagnetic radiation goes through wood. for example, why would they want to put these antennas on a street that is lined with trees like this? why don't they move up a block, in the commercial san francisco street that doesn't have trees? now, if verizon is not right about that, is it right about public safety, our health safety? now my guess, and my family go up to our second floor bedroom and stay there, now since my husband is a medical oncologist, of course we've had
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family with cancer, we've had guests with cancer who have been there. let me show you, here is the pole -- pole shown from our second floor bedroom window, and just think of the antenna on top of it. i don't know how secure my family -- and by the way, my sister, who has breast cancer, stayed with us -- are going to feel with that pole and antenna sticking out. now, will i tell them to have a good sleep, i'll close the blinds, we'll just keep that blind closed forever, and -- and maybe, i'm saying right now to you, have a good sleep, san francisco -- have a good sleep about this issue? what's going to happen? but in a nutshell, the situation is that we need to have this permit rescinded for aesthetic reasons on our block.
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you've seen it -- this pole sticking out in the middle of the block. i agree with my neighbors, i agree with fan representation. there's another place to put this, and we're happy to open ourselves to talking about this with verizon, work on another side at 3500 block of clay. >> thank you. >> hello. i'm cornelia ellwein. i'm the owner of 3512 clay street. i have four bases for my objection. i strongly believe that the planning department and the department of public works have not adequately considered the aesthetic and historic character of the adjacent buildings and blocks as they're required to do so before issuing a permit. in approving the permit, the planning department is required to determine whether a proposed
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personal wireless service facility would significantly impair the views of any important buildings, landmarks, open spaces, natural vistas or parks, and i maintain that the proposed installation of the wireless equipment on the street pole will obstruct the public view of two important buildings from the public right-of-way, including my artistic and historic home. the planning department evaluated my home several years back, and they evaluated it to be an historic resource. 3512 clay street was designed by the architect julius craft, clearly, craft was an important architect of his day, and given his high profile status and the fact that many of his buildings are either landmarks or considered to be historic resources, he can certainly be considered -- he can certainly be considered to be a master, and that's a direct quote from the planning department. they said that built in either
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1901 or 1905, 3512 clay street is a unique and rare example of this master's earlier works and worthy of san francisco landmark status. in fact, when we tried to change the facade of this building slightly, they sent us to the landmark preservation board that existed at that time, advisory board to have them weigh in on making any decisions whatsoever because the planning department felt there should be no alterations. verizon in there response claims the city has been extremely thoughtful in its review, citing the work that's been done in 2015. my allegation is that the planning department did not look specifically at this installation. i can't believe that the planning department did not expend a lot of real effort looking at this location, and i -- my feeling is that they simply rubber stamped their approval for this wireless facility placement.
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>> placing the pole in front of the other house in the pictures actually indicated that it would look smaller and less significant. and minimize the potential aesthetic impact. the other at one point i want to bring out is the number 1 condition that the planning department imposes as part of the installation of these wireless facilities, is that verizon plans and maintains an appropriate street tree. that is the number 1 condition listed. according to their response, the intent calculates that the intent of this requirement is to ensure that any potential impact would be minimized to the extent possible. i have two problems with this. they claim in their response document that their antennae cannot properly function when it's signal is blocked by tree branches. yet they accepted a condition from the planning department, department of public works that they have to plant a street tree
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next to it to help camouflage it. it doesn't make any sense. if that's the case, why is verizon agreeing to this condition? every single wireless permit that they have gone along within the city. clearly the intent of the d.p.w. is to have a tree tall enough to minimize the impact on the facility, at the same time verizon says that interferes. we cannot place an antenna next to a tree. in any case, in our location, there is no way to plant a tree right next to the facility to help disguise it. there's a driveway on one side and there is a whole line of pill larded sycamores where there is no space to put a tree right next to this facility. realistically, they agree to a permit to where they can't fulfil one of the conditions. the number 1 condition that they agreed to. my last issue with this permit
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is it allows a verizon to dramatically expand the size of the antenna or at other equipment to the lamppost in the future should they choose to do so. so even if this small cell adjustment as they refer to it as small, i disagree with that. they could expand it in size dramatically in the future. added fact, d.p.w., in their response, said that this is correct. that verizon does have that capability to do so in the future. so if you go ahead and deny our appeal, our group of appellants have no recourse down the road when verizon adds equipment to the -- pole in the future. there's a fundamental flaw in the permit process which i really don't support. so those are my concerns and i hope you will seriously consider denying this permit. thank you. >> clerk: thank you.