tv Government Access Programming SFGTV June 30, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PDT
encourage u.c.s.f.. you also don't have jurisdiction over them. and they also need to be encouraged. this is monumental. if we can leave some of the -- if we can relieve some of the pressure on the housing in the neighborhoods, including monticello street, it is not too much to really look at these projects and find out how they're accommodating housing and doing the right thing. i really appreciate c.c.a. separate and also want to thank them for hiring the company they did. they have had some great people traditionally in the city. they have a history and they should keep expanding in this area and doing it the right way. >> thank you very much. any additional public comment on this item?
seeing none, we will close public comment. turn it over to commissioner comments. commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: this is an easy project to be excited about. aside from the student grant housing project and expanding the classrooms in this area which is the substantial element of transformation, building really a campus and building an interconnected campus really beautiful. and we have seen this now in the course of the last four to six years from first being the description and all of a sudden here it is. i think it happened in the speed that i did not even quite expect when i walked aside a number of years ago. i do want to acknowledge some different words that commissioner miguel said. he talked about visible cohesiveness. that word kind of really struck me as a very beautiful description of what is happening here. this is basically an area of very little signature. you have very large, somewhat
obscure industrial buildings. you don't quite know what is happening inside these buildings. this is done and has built large buildings, but it had turned the usefulness inside out because you can clearly see what is happening in the buildings. that combined with s.f. made which was far along project a few years ago, which is almost out of the ground and finished is an exciting moment to see a massive transformation with what i personally believe is an assembly of quasi collective architecture. i think this will be another mark and where people will come and see what architecture in san francisco. aside from the teaching mission produces amazing students, has amazing events, if you go out there and participate in campus life every so often. this is an exciting project, and i am in full support of it, and if you don't mind, i make a motion to approve. >> second. >> commissioner koppel.
>> i agree with commissioner moore's comments and like the project and the open areas, the common spaces, all in all very in support of the project. i am looking at, again, the same thing that raised my eyebrows last time, and going to ask the same simple question in a different form. looking at this drawing, these units are all exactly the same size. are they going to be conventionally built or built in a factory? >> go ahead. >> they are going to be conventionally built. and we are working with nibby construction, and we are quite far into the development of how they're going to be built. >> thank you. >> commissioner richards. >> i love the project. i just have one xhe on the mid block -- on the mid block accessibility. could you put up the -- i guess plan level one? so we can just see what is going
to be open and what is not open? >> not on the housing, but the -- >> the housing. >> sorry, the housing piece. >> got the wrong one. >> level one. >> yes, there. just speak into the mic. if somebody else can point. that would be helpful. >> into the microphone. we need another mic. >> -- and the lobby in this area here. this is the cafe which is entered in four locations, one here, one here, one here. and one directly from the building. and then these courts are entered from hooper, and you can
get into both of these from this area here. so it's pretty much transparent and sort of open all around to the street. this is entirely glazed as well. all activity that is going on inside the space will be very visible to the street. and it is actually sidewalk seating from the cafe that will go all around this area here. >> right. so the mid block alley -- i am just questioning that and thinking, are there other institutions in san francisco where the campus is closed like that for student safety? where nobody can walk in off the street near a dormitory and get inside? is it because the room is open to the alley? >> so commissioner, dan fenton with ruben and rose for c.c.a. one of the exceptions we have
requested is the requirement to provide 24/7 public access to those mid block alleyways. just by way of background, these buildings are all in a p.d.r. district which shuts down in the evening, but the student housing building has to be built to u.m.u. standards. those standards are really more appropriate to sort of mixed use districts in many respects, and they do require that 24/7 access. what we would like to be very clear in the motion and the approval here is that these mid block alleyways would be accessible to the public on a limited basis at c.c.a.'s discretion, primarily during weekday business hours when school is in session. obviously there will be times of year when the school isn't open, weekends there isn't the staff present to monitor them, and again, you have a population of
students living here that are usually going to be 18 to 20 years old. and if you -- if i could get the overhead actually, you can see the long sort of metal buildings are where the student housing is going to go. and you see the red arrow where is the mid block alleys are. they provide access to sort of partially developed service street that is used a z a recology storage yard, and there is not going to be a great demand for pedestrian through traffic. >> i think as long as they are open at some point, that is great. >> to that point, there is a specific condition in the motion that requires a plaque stating 24-hour public access and we would ask the commission to strike that condition, and simply memorialize the points that i have made here about the general times that it would be open to the public.
>> okay. commissioner moore. >> mr. fenton, that is to say even in the future, and this is just an idea, that the adjoining buildings and you would extend because you have the necessary critical mass to do so for the alleyways. >> i think that's correct. that over the long term as the neighborhood develops and becomes more mixed use, that there would abl absolutely be a desire and willingness to have more public access for longer duration, but just given the environment now, it's not really an appropriate thing. >> i think we have that also with 1100 with a large public passageway and for the time being as the rest of the surroundings is still in transformation. they are there but kind of like used with certain limitations for the time being. >> right. >> i think we have to appear amenable to that, we have to
amend the motion, right? and staff is recommending that that remain open 24/7. >> i just want to clarify. the document that was passed out, she does clarify that. in the standard conditions of approval for mid block alley, we do have requirements that the mid block alley be ungated and not publicly accessible. we do require usually that mid block alleys require a plaque. we basically did strike the time frame so the number 9 on page basically saying that we are living the timing for access open ended basically. it is not a requirement in terms of the publicly accessible. >> do we have to strike the plaque? >> we can make a note in the statement that the plaque -- the hours of operation on the plaque either be stricken, but in theory, right, as this
neighborhood evolves, having a publicly accessible blocked aley is going to be important. there is the project that you just approved pretty recently and the whole neighborhood is reshaping. so the thought that this is going to stay this type of neighborhood in the short term would be shortsighted. hence, the intent for the mid block alleys. >> but we will have the -- i don't want to have a plaque that says it is open 24/7 and it is not. >> correct. if the commissioner wants, they can make a note in the finding that the plaque does not have to have hours of operation on it. >> all right. >> just amending the motion to reflect that. >> yes. >> and there was the issue and brought up the issue of vinyl windows. is that something we need to approve? >> we have a condition of approval in the motion that says we will re-examine the vinyl window issue once the architectural addenda is there.
at the current juncture based on what was submitted and maybe we can elaborate a little bit more, we weren't supportive of the vinyl windows, particularly on the exterior. we usually tell a sponsor to put the vinyl windows on the interior looking for cost savings methods, but obviously as we look at other samples and options, we can look at this further. >> okay. commissioner moore? >> i talked about vinyl windows, and again, in principle i agree with you and it applies particularly to existing residential and window replacement projects. i am not an expert in vinyl windows in the application here, but there are major changes in that reality and performance, and so as you monitor that and get more detail on this particular windows they brought samples and material samples, i support your question, but i
believe we should be open to all listen to how the industry is changing on that subject. >> most definitely. that is why the motion before you doesn't prohibit the vinyl windows. it just says we will work towards more approval or additional approval in the future. >> clearly, i am very supportive of this. clearly c.c.a. has been kind of at the forefront of good design in many places that we have compared to other things we see. i think we should obviously -- they are trying to do the right thing. and if they are okay with the vinyl windows, certainly look at it, but it seems okay. and i want to thank c.c.a. and not only is it a great school, but we never get any issues with the neighbors. you are a great neighbor. both to the adjacent neighbor and broader area. we look forward to seeing it built. >> is there modification?
>> we modified -- a modification, commissioner moore, wants to modify -- >> talk out the hours on the plaque. >> correct. >> that is okay -- >> strike the hours of operation on the informational plaque. >> very good. >> commissioner, there is a motion that has been seconded to approve this project with conditions as have been amended, striking the hours from the plaque. on that motion, commissioner fong. >> aye. >> a commissioner johnson. >> aye. >> a commissioner moore. >> aye. >> a commissioner richards. >> aye. >> a commission er. >> that passes 7-0 unanimously. commissioners, that will place us on the final item for item 14, 15a, and b. 2013.55. and env and cua. you will be taking up the matter
of certification of the final environmental impact wort, ceqa findings and conditional use authorization under one public comment period. however, we do still suggest that the certification of the environmental impact report be a separate motion prior considering a motion for the project. >> good afternoon, president hillis and members of the commission. i am chelsea fordham from the environmental planning section of the planning department. i am joined today by my colleague, principal planner, and the item before you is certification of the final environmental impact report or e.i.r. for the proposed 450 through 474o'farrell and 532 jones street project if copy of the draft e.i.r. certification motion is before you. the draft e.i.r. was published on october 25, 2017.
the public hearing on the draft e.i.r. was held on november 30, 2017. and the public comment period closed on december 11, 2017. the comments and responses document that is before you was published and distributed on june 13, 2018. since publication of the draft e.i.r., a number of project updates and revisions have been made and are now being pursued as the preferred project. and these revisions are described in your document. summarize the preferred project the architectural detail behind the 450o'farrell street and change the facade. and additionally, modifications include changes to the bulk configuration in the rear of the building. the preferred project would be substantially similar to the draft e.i.r. project and therefore, the environmental
effects would generally result in the same impacts that were identified in the draft e.i.r. for all environmental topics. the preferred project would not avoid the one project related significant and unavoidable historic resource impact. therefore, the commission would need to adopt the statement of overriding considerations pursuant to ceqa. should the commission choose to approve the sponsors preferred project. since publication of the r.t.c., several emails have been sent to you from several individuals commenting on the project's merits, or requesting continue answers. because these letters were received in the last two weeks, we were not able to include them in the r.t.c. document. to the extent that they offer support or opposition or request continuances, they are regarding the project's merits and would be considered during the project approval. staff recommends that the commission adopt the motion before you that certifies the contents of the e.i.r. are
adequate and accurate, and that the procedures through which the final e.i.r. was prepared comply with the provisions of ceqa, the ceqa guidelines, and chapter 31 of the administrative code. and this concludes my presentation. i'm available for anywhere questions. commissi >> thank you. >> good evening. department staff. i am before you today with two additional action items for this project. the first is the adoption of the ceqa findings for the project as well as the approval of conditional use operation for the planned unit development with modifications to the rear yard configuration, off street loading and permitted obstruction. additional thor zagses for the removal of five existing units on the site. bulk exceedance, height up to 130 feet in r.c. district and in the market re residential speci
use district. and the project specifically proposes demolition of three buildings and the 450 o'farrell and 532 jones street and merging of the three lots and construction of a new mixed use building rising up to 130 feet tall with 171 net new units under placement of the five existing residential units on site. restaurant and retail space on the ground floors as well as the replacement church incorporated into the project up to 46 parking spaces proposed in a below grade garage. general overview. additional public comment has been received after the packet publication as chelsea noted. i have copies for distribution. jonas? thank you. i think that is enough. and also included in this packet, an email was forwarded to the commissioners that
include copies of financial analysis. this information referenced and included in the administrative cited as an additional supplement. and affordable rental units in the draft motion and the approval and the incorrect template language was included for ownership units. the project sponsor has submitted an aft that is the correct information and using the approval and the department of use template language and incorrect information was concluded in the record foort -- in the final adoption if you choose to adopt anything today.
and the draft motion that was an incredible edit and that will be removed in the final submission as well. that is a housekeeping matter. the department finds the project is on balance consistent with and promotes the policies and objectives of the plan and promotes the north of market residential special use district through housing and compatible city. within this special use district t portion of the value added to the new development resulting from the granting of a height exception above 80 feet up to the maximum of 130 feet must be contributed to a fund that has been established for the purpose of stabilizing, rehabilitating and maintaining existing affordable units in this area. the apartments overall -- the department overall recommends approval with this project with conditions. that is the end of my presentation. i am available for questions and the project team has a presentation that has more details. thank you. >> thank you.
>> a project sponsor. >> president hillis and commissioner, good afternoon. i am ella strong, and i represent the church of christ zion at 450 o'farrell street, the project co-sponsor. we have been ministering to the needs of the tenderloin industry, but the current building hinders us in fulfilling the church's mission. the current building is dark, inaccessible, imposing, difficult to move around in, and unwelcoming. in order to stay in the tenderloin -- >> you need the overhead? >> there you go. >> in order to stay in the
tenderloin, which was always been the tent of our members, we urgently need a new church facility. it will enable us to continue to fulfill our mission of bringing hope, comfort, compassion and peace to all individuals and to the community. importantly also, we need our reading room to be well located here on o'farrell street where it will be open during the week. the current building doesn't allow us to have a reading room. we have been working on this church project for 35 years. we are pleased that the planning department is recommending approval of our project, and we are happy to be here today requesting your approval of our project. let me introduce the architect who will walk you through the design. thank you. >> thank you very much.
>> location of this project is on a block bounded by o'farrell, jones, and shannon alley in an area of the city which is the intersection of the tenderloin, knob hill and union square neighbors. it is well procter & gambles mat to powell -- close to bart and muni. there are varying heights from small three or two-story buildings up to buildings over 20 stories such as the one to the east. the project site is here screened in white. one notable item is that the pacific bay inn at the corner is not part of the project. the existing context that ella stalked briefly about is characterized by the church with the large colonade and this is
currently an unreinforced masonry building which is unoccupied and dilapidated. the project is posing approximately 10,000 square foot new church including a reading room. it also proposes a diverse mix of residential units including below market rate on site units. it also has two different retail spaces. the larger one of these faces o'farrell and the smaller faces onto jones. the site plan provide open space for residential use and a number of different levels. some not on the ground and upper and lower levels in a courtyard, and also a larger area in the upper roof deck level. the building masting we feel is welcome patable with the surrounding neighbors including the varying heights i discussed
earlier. we have intentionally placed active uses on the ground floor along o-farrell street. we see the church including the reading room, and we also have a restaurant and retail space towards the corner at shannon. it will open onto o'farrell and have a small open space behind that area. we have located the residential law on tho shannon. all these are active use which is will foster a sense of safety, activity, and urban life on these streets. as we go up onto the second level, most of the public spaces are double height. there is one element on jones street and that is a small retail space there is up a level and grade. that follows the street. that opens onto the jones street. the typical residential level of the building is to be compact and official double loaded corridor. we have intentionally kept the building mass low where the
building ining approaches jonet to provide ample light and air to the neighbors to the north. the project is also intentionally sets the facade back along the western edge of the project where it is adjacent to the pacific bay inn by about 5 feet to further give access to light and air to the residents and occupants of this building. lastly on this slide, i want to note we provided a notch in the facade towards the southeast corner of the project where it's above the rehabilitated facade. this allows the new project at 13 stories to not overpower that existing facade and add a sense of deference to it. there is a setback on the southwest corner of the project at level 10. this a loi allows it to have a similar building to the height to the west, the pacific bay inn. the reading room which is so important to the church of
christ scientists is located on ofarrell street with a very transparent facade and inviting and welcoming people to come in and use the space. behind the reading room will be additional church functions including a new sanctuary towards the rear of the site. the facade along o'farrel is characterized by active use. the reading room to the west and further to the east the restaurant and retail space and it is adjoining open space. both of these will contribute towards public life and safety. a view from the southeast corner looking to the west. we see the reading room and that colonnade whereas the restaurant and retail space and all are active uses. at night, a lot of the transparency will further
provide light to the street towards occupants or passerby and people on the sidewalk. from the southeast we see the bui building mast. in the foreground, we have the area being rehabilitated. behind that the 13 story mast which houses the bulk of the residential units above. to the west we see the reading room at the base and residential units above in the brown stone colored structure. at night, once again, active use wills provide transparency to the street, lots of life, safety, and urban life. we have intentionally placed the residential lobby on shannon alleyway that is intended to bring life, occupants and people to that area increasing safety and having more eyes on the street. along jones street, that small
mast is kept low to give light and air to the occupants of the pierre along o'farrell street and the church reading room and the restaurant and retail space. and along shannon alleyway, that lobby is centered on the street bringing occupants and activity down shannon alleyway. and i would like to introduce tyler from thompson who will discuss public outreach that's been done. thank you very much. >> good evening, commissioners. thank you for hearing us this evening. i want to just discuss a little bit about the outreach process that we've undertaken for this project. starting about two and a half years ago together with fifth church, we started a pretty robust outreach campaign that involved over 75 community
meetings. we held three public meetings where we sent invitations to over 1,100 land addresses, including residents of many of the buildings in the two-block radius around the site. we've also held meetings, private meetings, with property owner, private briefings with property managers, with resident groups in the area as well. we received 78 letter of support so far from the project from a variety of constituents including faith-based organizations, local property owner, local businesses, general individuals, who just interested in seeing this block improved. and we're also very proud to report that we have a number of supporters here tonight. i don't think there's quite as many as there were before. i don't think we were expecting the monticello monticello matter to come up quite in that manner. we have assembled a pretty
detailed outreach log and report that was included in the commissioner materials. there is actually an updated version of it and a lot of outreach in the last couple of days. i wanted to submit this for the public record. i don't know if i leave this here. i want to make sure i get that in. lastly, just want to make sure that we emphasize some of the people who responded to community input. the fact that jones street volume has been down sized was the direct result of community input we received. >> that is your time. we will give you money more minute to finish up. >> almost done. we also relocated the residential lobby to shannon street to activate that side after receiving lots of community feedback about shannon street and then the facade and allot of the design along the o'farrell with the elevation has been put together both with a lot of direction from planning and some community members as well. looking forward to hearing your deliberations on this matter. thank you very much. >> all right. thank you. so we will open 24 this up for
public comment. i will call names and you can line up on the screen side, but you can speak? any order. [calling of speakers] go ahead. >> good evening. i am very excited about what i just saw. i have seen some of the renderings before, but today i am excited. what this will give us is a neighborhood. and from the tenderloin and lived and worked in the tenderloin 35 years and two businesses and two boxes and i got a dog in the race. and this is wonderful for the tenderloin. one thing we haven't had in the tenderloin are crane. there are cranes all over the
city except in the tenderloin. we need cranes bad. last night i went to an event in the sells tower and i am up there on that 60th floor or whatever it was and did a 360. and man, that's a neighborhood. that's dignity. that chrome and glass is dignity. one thing we lack in the tenderloin is dignity. this will bring us dignity -- this will bring us dignity -- >> excuse me, sir. you are out of order at the time. the gentleman has the floor. >> thank you, sir. this will bring dignity to the tenderloin. a lot of people, we got a lot of buildings in the tenderloin that no one wants to touch. they don't want tear them down. they're old and cute. old and cute don't fit in the same sentence and don't look at me when you say that, but old and cute does not fit in the same sentence. and like the lipstick on the pig. people want to come down and remodel but are still old
buildings and we don't have the sales force and the pride in the tenderloin. those rendering are give us a neighborhood to walk and comfortability and it's never not safe, but at times it is uncomfortable and bring the comfortability back and they have reached out to the community. i am one of the people they have reached out to and they made commitments for job developments and commitments that i trust and believe they will do. theym like very responsible people. and i just want you to give them a chance whatever modifications go along with them and i can't wait. we need that block saturated with massage parlors and liquor stores and mom and pops and duct tape all over the place. and plywood windows. we need some dignity. would you give us some dignity tonight? thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please.
>> hello. i am tito and we are supporting the tenderloin for more than 10 years now. and we are well familiar with the neighborhood. the people from this church are people of faith and they want to help the neighborhood. they carry good value that i think the tenderloin needs. i ask you to do what you can for them to stay in this neighborhood. thank you. >> thank you, sister. next speaker please. >> hi. richard heck. district 222. three minutes? >> three minutes. >> and this would be the church is a landmark which in the tenderloin national historic district. the plan to be demolished for
this project. this is sort of bad precedent. the practice of facade is widely condemned by the national historic preservation community. they're going to -- i believe that the facade would negate this project. it should be up-zoned to a c3 district. this would allow better -- i think they will explain more. finally -- not finally, but financial feasibility studies have not been provided to the planning commission. i see on the r.t.c. page 70 there is mention of mmrp which i don't think has been done either. they say that will be provided. i would like to see it. the church of christ of scientists, i have lived on that block for 32 years. it's a mormon church. i think the congregation is
about four people. they don't do any -- they don't have a reading room. they don't have a sunday school. they don't have all these wonderful things. they don't do things for the community they claim they're going to do. their claims of religious preferences and exemptions for this project are falsely based and are misrepresentations. they talk about a sunday school, but i have never seen one there. it's an aesthetic and architectural horror show and insult to the union square area. some of the people who have backed this, one guy in a nonprofit that has been getting money already from the developers. these are paid mouthpieces and i hope you will ignore most of what they have to say. and that is on bush street, not even in this neighborhood. the restaurant will be destroyed. two people will be evicted. perhaps to allow another three to six people to move in to what
will be built there. and the thousands the of people who have enjoyed the healthy and economical affair at the restaurant and neighborhood landmark will be deprived of further such nourishment. finally -- okay. let's see. i can't see any good things. and we would like to see a smaller project and the historic building maintained. the church is not telling the truth. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good afternoon, good evening. i am brent lee. i am representing web core. we are the general contractors that are partnering with 45 450 o'farrell and fifth church
of christ scientists on this project. >> i'm sorry, sir. if you are part of the broproje team, your time -- you are on contract with them? >> yes, we are. >> then you are part of the project team. >> okay. >> thanks, mr. lee. next speaker please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is keone sparks and i am the owner of the property adjacent to the subject project called pacific bay inn. the developer pronounced the property adjacent. it is located on the northeast corner of jones and o'farrell street with the address of 520 jones. although we are generally supportive of this project, as we believe it will be an overall
benefit to the community at the tenderloin, but i have only one concern is that we don't want this project to create fire code violation or that will put us in violation forcing us to wall off existing windows on the buildings. this will force us to close up existing windows in our buildings and convert them to blank walls. this is due to the proximity of the project building to us. from the west side of the project as well as to portion that wraps around the buildings on the north -- let's see. around the building on the northern side, which will be built over the hotel on the jones street side.
the purpose of the building will be built on the property line and be literally only one foot away from our windows. therefore, it is closer at some point. we will be forced by the fire department to close our windows as the fire and building code to have a window so close to adjacent to a building. one of the architects explained, yes, we have a total right now of regular window out to the space, four. and two were explaining to us to give us the 5 foot setback for the light well and air well, but there is another windows which is they will be, according to the plan, will be less than 1 foot. and will violate the fire code
violation, and it seems it will be losing win dose. that is what i am talking about and we are asking the project developer to develop this project with the minimum setback that will allow our windows to remain lovely, lawful. and i would like to get the attention to the building and our building was built in -- >> it was built by the court. >> thank you, ma'am. your time is up. >> thank you, miss sparks. >> thank you. your time is up. >> can i just say one thing? however, we humbly ask the planning commission to make the preserving our windows and our condition of approval that the project building -- >> thank you. >> not be set back in the way that none of the windows will be -- >> thank you. your time is up. you can submit that to us, ms. sparks. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> this one is used also --
>> -- where it has maintained a place of worship for nearly a century. from an architectural standpoint, it will provide a new church facility that will allow the church to offer a publicly accessible reading room. historical elements will be retained maintaining a sense of history and origin. the church facade will be maintained unchanged. moreover, the artisan stained
glass windows, matching sustained glass ceiling oculus and organ will all be rehomed in the new building. by virtue of its design and projected availability, the new structure promises to offer a new sense of community and safety to a challenged location. together, the interfaith -- the san francisco interfaith council and its interfaith essential housing task force support our sisters and brothers at the fifth church of christ scientists and its effort to develop this unique and historic property. it is our hope that after reviewing the application, you too will realize this will be a jewel the tenderloin district. we would ask that you give consideration and approve this application. >> president hillis: thank you very much.
next speaker, please. >> hi, commissioners. my name is lindsey mulcahey. we are here to express our support for the project due to the careful consideration of the development team has shown throughout the outreach process and the material ways they've committed to enhance the quality of life of current residents. thc operates two supportive housing buildings that are in the area of the project. the winton hotel, as well as the pierre hotel. that's home to almost 200
tenants. additionally, the central city s.r.o. collaborative -- [inaudible] >> -- both inside and outside. s.r.o.'s. our land use committee is compromised of s.r.o. tenants and community members who have been intimately involved in this process as we've been meeting with the developers as they are the ones that best understand the neighborhood, the conditions of s.r.o.s, and will directly feel the consequences, good and bad, of new development. so i want to explain a little bit. we've been meeting with the developers for several months. they have come to both the wynton and the pierre to express this is plans for the project and listen to the feedback as well as many meetings with our specific land use committee. they have listened attentively to the concerns that our members have brought up and offered a number of ways to
help mitigate those concerns. a number of capital improvements to both the pierre and the wynton as well as ways to improve the neighborhood as a whole. funds to renovate the nearby space. allows tenants who are currently living in supportive housing but have achieved self-sufficiency to move into market rate housing and clear out those units for folks who need more service enriched housing. unfortunately, because we -- our timing was off, like, by 2.5 hours, we don't have the representatives from the pierre and wynton to speak, but we have several folks from the
project who will express their views. thank you so much for your time. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is felicia smith. i am a tenant organizer for t.h.c. at the tenant hotel on geary. i'm part of the land use committee. we met several times with the developers. we are in agreement with the development because of the mitigations that were reached with the -- with the meetings that we had with the developers. we met with them several times. they have agreed to make both entrances to both of the t.h.c. hotels a.d.a. accessible. they are going to give both hotels hookup to wifi and money for programming. and also, they're going to give
us quarterly use of the roof space, which is, like, a large area where, you know, the community can hold meetings. you know, when you have a lot of people sometimes, an office isn't big enough. this will give a large space to hold community meetings. so we are in support of it. >> president hillis: thank you, miss smith. next speaker, please. >> sorry. good evening, commissioners. david elliott lewis. i have two kind of connections to this project. for the last 12 years, i've lived on o'farrell street just a few blocks down from the site. i'm also a tenant leader with the s.r.o. collaborative and am part of a team that has been negotiating with the developer for community benefit agreements. just speaking only as a resident, though, i've been
troubled by the neglect of this site. for years, it's been covered by a chin link fence. the physical structure of the church has been neglected, and i see this structure as a positive contribution to the neighborhood. and while they'll see more language i found somewhat inflammatory, i agree this would improve safety for the neighborhood. it would be nice to see a crane there, yes, it would. it would be nice to see an improved site that would provide housing and retail and activation to the space. the developers also, as part of the community benefits agreement, promised to not just provide retail but provide community serving retail that really meets the need, especially of lower income residents. i see that as a benefit. they also are offering something that's never been offered before in a benefit agreement that i know of, and i can correct me if i am wrong.
but for three of the units, they're going to be set aside for the city's moving on program, and this program is a program that helps residents of s.r.o. hotels and subsidized housing who have a voucher from the housing authority which helps pay the rent there to move on, move out of that s.r.o. hotel into an apartment like this, and that frees up s.r.o. space, so formerly homeless people can take those rooms, and the moving on candidates get a nice apartment, but the landlord doesn't lose money because the rent difference is made up by the housing authority. it's a really innovative program, and to my knowledge, no other developer has agreed to this yet, to set aside units for the moving on program, and they've agreed to do three. so i see that as really kind of unique and worthy. i think the project is worthy, and i hope you approve it as -- as it's been designed, as it's
been stated. i think it's overall a benefit. thank you for your time and attention. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please. mr. smith, i'll call some more names. sean mitchell, lorraine nav arrow, john mitchell, amos gregory. >> good evening, commissioners. the most mind boggling thing to me is the fact that this has been in the works for 35 years, which is longer than i've been alive, which is comment on the san francisco development process outside of this project itself, but you know just brings up a whole other slew of questions. certainly out following community members that have been involved in this process for a really long time and hearing the people on the ground as being the ones to advocate. on the project itself, you know, high density housing, we would have preferred certainly
a no car parking project, but it's got a low ratio, there's a lot of bike parking on-site, and listening to community members a great addition to the neighborhood, and we are absolutely in support and ask you to move forward with it today. thank you. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi, commissioners. my name is vinton frost, and i actually live in the -- one of the renderings that you see of the project. for four years, i've lived at the cross behotel, a beneficiary of the san francisco safety -- crosby hotel, a beneficiary of the san francisco safety net. is there a site in the city that is more under utilized than this one? i'm biased because i'm in the neighborhood, but frankly, i -- i'd like to argue that it is the most under utilized site,
at least in the downtown. a lot of work has been put into this over, let's say 35 years, 2.5 years with this developer. a lot of work from the city, hundreds of thousands of dollars, i'm sure. so the second question is if not this and now, what kind of project and when? a worthy site owner, i think wisely seeing that their congregation -- it's a small congregation, and they are kind of providing this site for housing and taking a smaller church. a street front that will be safer and more interesting and providing services, and i think architecture that's pretty compelling and very interesting and lends itself some kind of
permanency with this if a niqad that lends itself to kind of classical permanency over the structure. i've canvassed my neighbors at the crosby hotel, and no one has expressed opposition to the project. the set backs don't effect a shadow on the street, so please approve it. >> president hillis: thank you, mr. frost. next speaker, please. mr. bueller? >> good evening, commissioners. mike bueller on behalf of san francisco heritage. heritage does not oppose new construction of housing in church facilities on this block, but we are adamant that the historic church building need not be destroyed in order to achieve these goals. if aapproved, the proposed project would establish a deeply troubling precedent.
its approval would almost certainly encourage similar proposals to demolish historic buildings within the district boundaries, regardless of their significance. today we are asking that you continue action on this item for two primary reasons: first, as alluded to by staff earlier, the two financial feasibility studies relied onto protect preservation alternatives are not in the public record before you today. the eir states that both reports, quote, will be made available as part of the staff case report and will be considered by the decision makers at the time of the project approval or disapproval. neither has happened here. a continuance is needed to enable the planning commission and members of the public to thoroughly review the financial feasibility study for completeness and accuracy and test their assumptions. heritage did finally receive a
copy of both studies less than two days ago after requesting them, and there is some interesting information in there. the studies do not incorporate or consider the historic tax credit, preservation incentive. they also project for the proposed project that its return will be less than what the developer's own expert say is the minimum threshold for feasibility. i think it warrants further scrutiny by you as planning commissioners before making a decision. secondly, the project in our view promoted facadism in its most appalling form, reducing a national register relisted building to a simple arcade. there's been a lot of talk about dignity this evening. in our view, this is not a dignified state for this
vennerable historic building. the planning commission is preparing to adopt its long awaited policy on facade projects in san francisco. this policy is intended to clarify factors for the project sponsor to address when voluntarily including a portion of an existing building in a larger development for urban design purposes, exactly the scenario before you today. we think the planning commission's deliberations should be informed by the h.p.c.'s expertise and guidance on this important issue. thank you for your consideration. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please, mr. warshaw. >> hi. i'm jim warshaw, and i'm speaking today for san francisco victorian alliance. as you can imagine, many of my comments echo what mr. bueller just said, so i need not really repeat them. i understand the need to have a neglected building brought to new use and to have investment
and community benefits. those are all very worthwhile goals. we all want that, we all want more housing, however, there are alternatives, and as we look at this situation, the land next to it where the reading room and new church are going could provide those opportunities. i know the information sent to you by mr. bueller also included a couple of examples, both in seattle and in brooklyn where churches with high integrity like this one were preserved intact, and taller towers using their air rights were built. it was mentioned this one was going to be 130 feet. there are 20 story buildings around it. there's clearly potential to go higher if air rights are being used. once you lose historic assets, they'