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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  July 25, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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[gavel] >> good evening and welcome to the jewel july 19, 2018 board of appeals. to my left is deputy city attorney brad ru ey. at the controls is the board's legal assistant. we will also be joined by representatives from the city departments that have cases before the board this evening. we expect scott sanchez the
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sceneing administrator, the senior building investor, amanda higgins and brett cohen. we ask you to turn off your cell phones. members have up to three minutes to address the board and no rebuttal. please speak into the microphon,
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. the board welcomes your comments and suggestions. if you have questions questions about requesting a board hearing . , please speak to board off after the meeting. this meeting is broadcast live on sfgovtv. any member of the public may speak without taking an oath pursue ant oath. [ [reading] ing] do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give
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will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> i do. >> thank you. we will move on to item 1, which is general public comment. this is an opportunity for anyone who would like to speak on a matter been the board's jurisdiction, but that is not on tonight's calendar. is there any member of the public who wishes to wish wishes to speak. item 2. commissioner comments and questions. seeing none, we will move on to item number three the adoption of the minutes before you for discussion are the minutes of the july board meeting. >> submitted. >> we have a motion from
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commissioner lazarus to adopt the minutes. rule rule. [roll call] roll roll. . [ roll call] that motion passes. [reading agenda item] item]
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vice president swig did you have an opportunity to review the materials. >> yes, i did at night from the home and my sick bed. [laughter] i have found out that i did it already and i did again on sunday night. >> i would say for the record that you are prepared. we will start with the requester and you have three minutes.
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>> i would like to ask the board to be kind enough to get me a few extra seconds. i have tried to get this under three minutes but. charles ferguson. the california supreme court ruled that board members cannot act upon their own information and nothing can be considered as evidence that was not introduced at the hearing. they attempt to rewrite the record by suggesting that lazarus might have relied upon various things in the record, for example, one of the appellant homeowners. that how many homeowner is here and will explain why what verizon said is a mischaracterization of what she said. [ [reading].
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[reading] verizon argues that -- must have known that the antenna was more than two feet. the appellant homeowners will provide further examples how bpw and ver ver -- her vote and personal opinion should have been discarded. a rehearing is proper way to right this wrong now for something that is for more serious. the commissioner wilson's law firm -- is paid millions of dollars annually.
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wilson a partner of perkins and t-mobile is a prominent client and their name appears more than 100 times on her website with multiple engage ts. ments and bond assignments. none of these is contained in her form 700 nor has she disclosed it on the record. why is this important? because the united states congress ordered all government officials in all states, countyi es counties, and towns through ito ut through it towns town towns throughout america to treat all the same. a clear conflict of interest. she was required to recuse herself from these proceedings. the fp
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the case is sited on the first page of the guide. it held that a private attorney could not as a councilman and vote on land grant matters -- appearance of proper improprieties. where does that leave us the board's result on june 20 was invalid and one commissioner's opinion is improperly considered . another voted despite a clear conflict of interest. you should right these wrongs and conduct a proper hearing without commissioner wilson's participation. thank you. >> thank you, we will now hear from the permit holder. >> thank you again.
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>> welcome back we missed you the last hearing. >> thank you. returned from barcelona last night. i will be brief. thank you for your time this evening. the appellants have failed to reach the required grounds for rehearing. we don't believe there is evidence of a manifest in justice or any new evidence was introduced [your hearing last month there was a comprehensive discussion and review of the evidence suggested by the appellant and by us of how those findings just couldn't be made based on the evidence presented to this board. there is no new evidence submitt ed to suggest that decision would be changed. this is the fourth hearing on this item, and we don't believe there has been any man test in
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manifest in justice and we respect the integrity and the proper decision was made and no rehearing is required. thank you again and i won't take anymore of your time. >> thank you, we will now hear from the department of public works. >> amanda higgins. i am merel randall and revied at 3508 clavie and our property abuts
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the light pole in question at 3512. i didn't think i was going to be testifying in front of you today because mr. ferguson has done extremely good job and excellent position both legals and on the facts concerning our request for rehearing, however when i read verizon's brief -- >> sorry, are you part of the -- of the? >> i am one of the owners. i hope that wasn't taken out of my three minutes. i was appalled by verizon putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting what i said. let me be clear and i say in the video that i never said that the light pole in question is a blight.
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i was an attorney before i retired and held a position federally and in the state. i was always appalled when a party misrepresented what i said in a hearing or in court or what any party represented at a hearing. of course it's not fair to opposing parties and especially not fair to the finders of fact. i did say it stuck out like a sore thumb. i said it stood out like a sore thumb. let me call your attention to a photograph.
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expression standing out like a sore thumb and i quote, to be very obvious. that light pole i pub i submit is very obvious. it's in the middle of block and has no tree cover, and it abuts the road and i use these words in comparison to another light pole on our block at 3575 and it's covered by the foliage and hidden by the trees right there as i pointed out. that was one of the alternatives for ver vieson to put this antenna on a pole. 3575 does not stand out like a sore thumb. >> thank you.
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next speaker please. >> i am supporting the contention made that the hearing did not follow proper evidentiary protocols. i believe that commissioner lazarus relied on her own perspective that the cobra-style street poles constituted blight on our street and the addition of verizon's addition on the pole would not have impact on the block, which i disagree with. at the june 20 hearing commissioner lazarus stateed that the request was client with article 25. commissioner lazarus probed ms. higgins and asked does they
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go out and check out the site and she was unable to give to say it was. with no help from ms. higgins begins to rely on commissioner lazarus announced her personal opinion that the pole was a blight in the neighborhood. no one previously suggested that the poles were blight. in fact the appellants stateed the opposite, a position which planning has agreed with. while in the brief dpw argues that they have nothing to do with street take cakes. the stipe of a light fixture has significant impact.
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commissioner lazarus stated candidly on the record that she would rely on her stated personal opinion to vote and there is no record of evidence to sport her opinion. -- you are essentially giving wireless companies free reign to put these on every pole in the city. i strongly ask you to reconsider and the impact of the decision would be fair reaching and detriment tall detrimental to our beautiful city. >> thank you.
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>> they have taken her sore thumb comment out of context. i have stated that the light pole at 3512 clavie is the most visible light pole on the block, especially when comparing it with other poles. that is why we have multiple times suggested other locations. as for ver ryeson's verizon, the finding that the utilityies were moved underground years ago is misleadi ng and impleat imcomplete. while much of the infrastructure is moved underground, several re
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remain above ground. the residents of presidio heights have paid to have any infrastructure that can be put underground. yes there are 12 relay boxes and they are all four feet high and they are on street corners. yes there is fire alarms and they are four feet high and located on a street corner. they do not obstruct anyone's views of anything. clearly fire alarms, postboxes and street lights can't be put underground. for verizon to imply that entitled them to stick a five foot three inch wireless antenna in front of historically significant homes follows no
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logic whatsoever. verizon by their own admission has placed more than 90% of these antennas on street corners. in closing, if you allow verizon to desecrate our historic block by placing a five foot, three inch antenna between two homes designed by renowned architects you will be allowing them and all requireless carriers to desecrate any neighborhood in our beautiful city. >> thank you is there anymore public comment on this item. seeing none the matter is submitted. >> commissioners, comments.
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>> i probably wouldn't have votee d in the direction that made any difference last time. i didn't agree with the decision but my vote wouldn't have mattered anyway. i might have proposeed an an alternative, which would be a compromise measure to move verizon position to 3575, but i think that's water under the bridge. the problem that i have here is there is no new evidence. maybe one of the commissioners can point out to me that if i am
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wrong. >> that is what is before us. the threshold for a new hearing is based on new evidence or manifest of justice and i don't see that in the brief or original presentation. >> i would deny the appeal. >> deny the rehearing request. >> deny the rehearing request on the basis it doesn't mean the criteria for a rehearing. >> so we have a motion from vice president swig to deny the rehearing request on the basis there is no new evidence or manifest on justice. rule [roll call] >> clerk: that motion passes and the request is denied. we will move on to item 5.
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appeal 15-125. gore partners llc versus zoning administrator. 666 third street. notice of violation of penalty of planning code 174. [ reading]ing agenda item. on february 15, 2017 the board voted to continue this matter at the request of the parties. did you have an opportunity to review the video and materials
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for the appeal. commissioner honda, you wanted me to remind you. >> commissioner honda: oh. hold on one second here. i would like to disclose that i am a partner that hired rubin ju . it will not have an effect on my opinion. >> clerk: president fung has indicateed that the parties have three minutes each and would like to begin. >> scott sanchez, planning department. this has been continued several times and lastly when the board heard this item was not ready to uphold the notice of violation and continued the item. i think one of the comments of the board was whether there would be the possibility of legalizing under the central
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soma plan. at that point we were expecting it to have been adopted in the early 2017 the central soma plan has not yet been adopted but before the board of supervisors now, so we do expect that option this year there would be possibility to legalize. to note there is a path to legalize under the existing zoning, and that is how this matter came about. it was the property own owners seeki ng to legalize the use on the property and they had seen similar projects including one across the street obtain legali zation from the planning commission. at the planning commission hearing they legalized only half of the building.
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so the planning commission made the decision and it was not appealed and we pursued enforce enforcem ent and it's been a lengthy process. we have an agreement outlined before you and draft findings and conclusions we have prepared for your consideration. this would result in penalties but at a reduced rate until september 1, 2019. they have indicated the tenant's lease expires around this time and they would be then able to
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comply with the notice of violation and bring the property into compliance. [bell ringing] we did kind of give the buffer to allow them to continue on. there will be assessed penalty and if they do not comply by that september date next year then penalties go up to the normal $250 a day. respectfully we quest request that the board adopt the findings. >> what type of penalties, i didn't see that in the brief. >> penalties up to $250 a day, but the penalties are not assesse d as long as the matter is pending before the board of appeals so when the board continued to item two years ago.
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, prevented penalties from being assessed. once the board takes action, penalties at $150 a day. with the appellant it would accrue at $150 a day until they come in compliance or until february 2019 and then they will increase to $250. >> so there is no penalties for the new period? >> when the patter matter is pending penalties are not assessed. >> i have a question. under item one, i head that five times and it still confuses me.
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when they go through whatever processes to gain authorization for that office use, wouldn't that be from planning department and not building permit? >> they would need a building permit to legalize the change of use. that would be the final document that is required to change the use. it would require planning department. >> you didn't mention that in this. >> no because the building permit -- >> normally we would see a sequence of steps in your findi ngs. >> yes. as you know the entitled entitlement process can be lengthy and more complicated than that paragraph.
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>> are you done? sorry. if the central soma plan was approved by this time which was in everybody's expectation or there was at least that possibility existed, then this situation would have been possibly cureed and we wouldn't have been here today? >> no, they would still have been required to obtain to allow the change of use. the question would have been whether there was substantial changes in the entitled entitlement process that didn't require commission approval. they would still have had to go back to the commission for the building. they only obtained it for half the building. >> if the central soma plan would have been implemented by this plan, would there still be a notice of violation on a
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continuing basis on this property? >> until they abated it by legall izing the change of use. the central soma plan may have made the entitledment process simpler, but they would have been required to get the proper permits. the change in zoning doesn't automatically legalize the use. they would still need need to obtain the appropriate permits. >> what is the sides of this building build size of the buildi ng? >> i want to say 100,000 square feet because i believe half of the building, two stories was 49,000 square feet of office allocation. >> prior usage was pdr? >> mixed in the past.
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>> tara sullivan. i am here representing jim reuben who has been the attorney on the case working for scott sanchez for quite a long long time. scott did an excellent overview for this project so we are hear here for two floors, approximately 40,000 square feet of office space. this will impose fees because right now they have been stayed because this has been continuousl y continued by this board, until our client gets authorization from the planning commission and gets the building permit. that will happen by september of 2019. the central soma plan will hopef ully be approved this fall and that will not necessarily impact the ability of the problem to get an authorization.
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we won't be able to file until that plan is approved by that gives time to go through the authorization process. in the that time, we will still be paying fees. the property owner is happy to pay those fees. we are happy with the settle ment. they approach the city on their own to do so an we feel this is a good remedy to the problem and we hope to get your support and approval of this today. >> we are talking 100,000 square feet of office space versus 100,000 square feet of pdr, extremely big difference in income.
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i am supportive of changing but at this point you are still operating not in the correct usage of the property. would your client be up to payi ng a higher, paying the $250 a day? >> i think my client would prefer to pay a lower fee. the zoning administrator felt that was a fair fee. it was in all effect on the parti ng in office use and pdr was in effect in auction house and it was not an auction house it was their office space. i think this board agreeed with the client and our position on that last time, which is why this item was continued because i think you were intending to overturn the notice of violation based on the history of this building being largely office. >> i think there were mixed comments.
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we would prefer the $150. we are really moving forward in good faith to get this property legalized 100%, all 80,000 square feet. we are still paying impact fees and gilding building fees and application fees in addition to the fine. >> commissioners the matter is submitted. >> i think we should uphold the agreement that's been made between the two parties. >> what is the motion? >> the motion would be to actually grant the appeal on the basis that the findings represent a settlement agreement
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between the two parties. >> the zoning administrator had good language in his letter that he submitted motion to grant the appeal and modify the violation of penalties subject to the conditions outlineed in the findi ngs and conclusions by the parties on the basis that it reflects the agreement of the parties. >> on the letter. >> just a comment. i am in agreement, but i do feel that since during the appeal process and the continuance of two years without paying fees that the reduction of $150 is being extremely too generous to me. that is just my opinion. >> i think that is happenstance. that is a coincidence. the wheels of city
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administration moving slow. >> there was additional comments made when we heard it. is there a reasonable timeframe allowed them to continue occupancy, but yet not extend beyond a certain. the question is whether two year a reasonable times is reasonable timeframe. >> i believe everybody on this body was at the hearing and we did engine 2 tend it because they had leases for tenants. they tried to legalize in 2014, so they were aware that it was not under the correct stuff.
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b >> >> that motion will be made by? >> i made the motion. do you want to read it. >> clerk: we have a motion from president fung to grant the appeal and modify the notice of violation an penalties subject to the conditions outlineed in the findings and conclusions that were submitted by the parties on the basis that it reflect it is agreement of the parties. on [roll call] >> clerk: that motion passes. thank you. we will now move on to item 6a and 6b. these are appeals appeal 18-049
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and 18-0 50. leonardo and veronika branco. [reading appeal]
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we will hear from mr. hernandez first. >> hello, i am a senior building inspector here on behalf of the
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building department and joe duffy. the owner of the property has actually pub submitted and mr. duffy has reviewed the plans and we are okay with that. >> i have seen your names on so many permits so glad to connect a face with a name. welcome. >> thank you. >> there were questions asked last time what would it take to bring the plans up to the level that they could be accepted by the building department. one question related to
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structural openings. what was the result of that. >> the owner provided a sheet for the structurals and it is a field condition review and it is on the the new scope of work, so it's submitted and approved by inspector duffy. >> was the window pattern changed? >> give me one second. i don't believe it changed. >> no additional structure was required? >> no it going to be a condition where he's going to have to hope up some areas to verify the conditions and that is where we will start writing connection notices.
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>> my question related to the whether the percentage of opening in the wall based upon fire codes are conformed to? >> i believe so, and there is a referral submittal for a fire sprinkler systems for those areas there, so there has to be a permit for the sprinkler system. >> let me be a little bit more specific. bbc and the san francisco buildi ng close has certain requirements on property line openings. it also have openings that are within a certain distance of the property line or limited in size
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as an example, if you are within three to five feet it's limited to 15%. what in the analysis of these plans showed with respect to percentage of openings? i remember there was a specific question asked last time. >> sorry but i wasn't prepared for that question from when i talked to inspector duffy. >> is there anything on the documents that talked about percentage of openings? >> not that i recall. no, i have to talk about inspector duffy about what was the review process on this. >> okay, thank you.
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>> clerk: we will now here hear from the permit holder. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. >> could you speak into the mic.? >> why don't we pass out the plans before he begins. >> i have architectural and structural plan. i have provided eight copies. >> kind of late for us to be able to review it. >> i send an e-mail asked when to provide it, and he says at
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the meeting. i wanted to provide it ahead of time for you to review it and then if you have questions to come back and ask your questions, but unfortunately. >> please proceed, sir. >> i am the owner of the 446-4 48vallejo street. i bought the property in april of 2017. me and my family had been long time resident of the city, and we raised our kids? ? in san francisco. i met joe duffy a number of the times at the city department. we followed through direction from our last meeting and met with joe duffy and mark walls. she is he is the senior plan checker at
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the building department and, and we reviewed our plans with mark walls and he looked at ab009 application to specific windows, and he looked at the structural planning, the headers, to make sure that the headers are the right size, and then he suggeste d that inspector and engineer to be present when these windows are going to be installed to make sure that they are having the right header size and also the opening, so that is what is required. he agreed with the sprinklers would be additional permit and to be done at the time that we are doing the windows. [bell ringing] basically we followed the meeti ng and updated the plans
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with accurate scope of work. plans appear to meet building and planning building codes. i have asked the plan checker, and i think they have a lot of knowledge, but unfortunately i don't think that come back [bell ringing] this meet it is requirements. we have done a number of these and i can give you a certain page that says okay, 20% this and 10% this. i wasn't able to get a clear answer but i met with the plan checker four or five times so far and i have brought these things up, ab009 and he says how many times do you come and see me? i already told you this complyied with the city. >> okay, thank you sir.
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your time is up. >> only thing is i would like to request that the board of appeals upholds my building permits. >> clerk: thank you sir, your time is up. >> we will now hear from the appellant. >> i am leo branco. i am one of the owners and next door to mr. sigh syad's subject property. i received the plans late last night and spent the whole day in the city department and there were ap lot of things that were not addressed in the revised plan. the california and san francisco building code do not allow windows on the property line neither fire protected windows
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or sprinkler protected, this is in the california building code. here it is, the table. can i have the overhead? here is table where this is clearly saying that it's not allowed and everyone is asking why is the percentage of the size of the windows and it's right here. if it less than three feet off the property line, it's not permitted. then if it starts going away from the property line, then the size of the windows start growi ng 15%, 25% and so on. what he is doing is requesting a local equivalency, and he is not meeting one of them.
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the sponsor of the project must provide explanation of practical difficultyies in carrying out the regular code. practical did i have culls cull difficultyies provided were not enough. the first one was he needed more light in the unit. the table is leer clear may not be used for additional light or egress or emergencyies are cue emergency rescue. in his new plan, he changed the wording and now his reasoning is to improve livability of the unit. in reality, he doesn't live in subject property and all he wants is city views and profit. another condition that is not met is actually attachment b,
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the declaration of use limitation. this is signed by mr. syad and notarized. the opening of his building no longer complyies with the san francisco building code then the opening shall be closed off and protected by a wall, not a window. that is ab9 condition 7. at the moment i am building a roof deck and in the future i may build a third floor. >> clerk: sir, your time is up. we have already had the full appeal hearing and it three minutes each. >> clerk: is there any public comment on this item?
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yes? if there are other people please come up so we don't have to pate. wait. you are a representative of a so you can't speak. please approach and identify yourself. >> my name is indiscernible i think i had opportunity to speak at the last hearing. my wife and i are the current occupants in that building and we live there. i just want to speak a point of how much this is impacting us because we have liveed in north beech a beach a long time and continue to live in this particular place. we come to this house because we
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love the layout and hope to build a future there. we live our life normally and we hope to be good neighbors and we have been. there is a lot of technical points being raised but i would like to emphasize for us that if it's made fireproof and fire safe, after that any change would be a sig significant impact on our day-to-day life. all this technical stuff, i would like you to remember that a it has been grandfathered in -- the bottom line is this will significantly impact me and my wife, the people affected on any change is us anything above and beyond. two buildings down there are a
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lot of windows the same size on the property line all along vallejo street. i have brought pictures would you like me to show it to you? >> no, i robe remember that. >> if he had the opportunity he would also put up such a window, which is fine and that is good which is why we are here in the city to enjoy the beautiful things it offers us. you are probably more familiar with this than most because you know it was some owner a long time ago has done this. leo bought his owner in 2013 and my owner bought his in 2017. my owner put a counter challenge
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which is -- i would like you to see the final impact of this. if the windows are made fireproof according to plans, whatever the board asks, they have done it and they may not have documented it the right way, they have completed it. if the plans are executed the impact would be that the windows would be fireproof and, and they will have a roof deck outside our window, but they should not be looking at us but probably looking at the view they built it for. >> clerk: your time is up. when i say your time is up, can you please stop. this goes for everyone out there. is there any other public
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comment? commissioners this matter is submitted. >> the problem with this case is that yes, there are certain exceptions and equivalencyies for property-line windows, but there are also procedures whereby one goes through that with the permit, but these were done without permit, and i don't see answers to the questions we raised last time regarding this. it appears to be an approval of everything that he has currently there. i'm not sure i amceptive am accepting that position given
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the wide expanse of it. there are windows everywhere. just having a sprinkler doesn't to me necessarily provide provide the approval for it. the other thing is that when they talk about field review, then we are talking about revision permits because if they have to add columns to be able to handle the structural in a field review, then it comes back. i'm not sure that the scope of work has been fully defineed in this particular permit set. i know that the permit holder
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would like us to occur concur with the permit set and i have not heard if they are asking for special conditions from this board, but i would be prepared to giver give that. >> so whatever before us basically started off with we got a simple case of two neighbors not agreeing and now relying on this board to solve their matters here. the window windows were there for a long time and the problem came up because the next door neighbor wanted to build a roof deck and one neighbor protested it and now these illegal windows are before us. if they are made fireproof, to be honest, i actually don't have a big problem with it, but the only way i would concur with is that is that the permit holder
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would have special deed restrictions allowing if the next door neighbor did an addiction that he would not protection. i don't protest. i don't know how we could do that because i don't think it's fair that we allow the property windows and then the neighbor can't build his property out because of said illegal windows. that is a problem. they are illegal windows and when you see a large window like that, structurally that could be a challenge because that load would have to be carried to the ground floor and during a field inspection, i am not sure that amount of detail would be carried out. >> without inspector duffy, i don't think we