tv Government Access Programming SFGTV November 2, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
a paved street on the outside. how much does that really matter? >> we do -- this is a fairly common occurrence in san francisco. so you know, we're an old city. we have a lot of buildings that were built to a variety of standards. we have provisions for legal non com formance. we don't penalize someone for having something that doesn't meet our standards of the code. in this case, this provides an opportunity for the adjacent parcel to have a rear yard that extends further out. the planning code provides for the provisions to allow for that and in this case the calculation of the rear yard currently ends is appropriate and meets all-pro visions of what the code would allow. >> final question, um, one of
the appellants requested the largest windows -- i heard two things. thethey wanted a reduction on se on the back side. they want a reduction on the windows on the front side. what does that mean to the project and to the neighborhood in general? >> windows or massing? >> just windows. all i heard was windows. >> the reduction of windows either in the back or on the side wouldn't necessarily have any effect upon the neighborhood. >> the front windows and the back windows were mentioned. >> correct. >> are there ones that i would
think would have the most significance would be the back because you have light coming out of there and therefore potentially some, you know, i call it light noise. too much light coming out and really creating -- >> like in this case, i think the main concern of rear windows would be potentially privacy. the residential dough sign guidelineresidential guidelines. given that one adjacent building does not have a lot of property line windows or i should say windows facing the side facade. this does not extent and the potential for the privacy impacts the rear facade in particular is minimal.
>> residential design guidelines in the issue of boxing in. there wasn't a heavy focus on it. if there was boxing in, it was seen as boxing in of the house to the north between the subject property and the one to the north of two houses north. is there any breech of the residential design guidelines and do you see boxing that would be in breech of those design guidelines? >> not particularly. in this case, we did -- i think even though the property owner owns the adjacent property as well. we still had him provide a setback along that line and it is typically what the railroad
d.gr.d.g.will ask for space ford air on that side. it's why you have an indentation on the project side and that same indentation aligns with what is happening at 897 on the flip side. >> thank you, very much. appreciate it. >> i believe you addressed this but, how many exceptions and variances does this property have? >> none. >> it's compliant. >> thank you for clearing that up. >> thank you. >> we will now hear from d.b.i. mr. duffy. >> good evening, commissioners, joe duffy, d.b.i. the building permit under appeal was filed on the 11th of february 2014. issued on the first of august 2018. subsequently suspended because of the appeal on august 10th,
2018. it is a site permit. the approval was just for site permit as you know the addenda still has to come into d.b.i. for review and building code and structural review title 24 and anything else that's part of that package. the building was to convert the single family residents to a two-unit residents with a horizontal and vertical addition. they're going to add fire sprinkler system throughout the whole building under a separate permit. as you know, the family in the building code is an r-3 occupancy. it's till an r3 under the california building code. it's going from three-storeys to four-storeys. most of the discussion was about the planning department and the
planning codes and the objections. there was one building code issue that has been brought up and i think the architect addressed it and his comments and i would agree with them on that. the discussion about the exiting to the public way, you can't exit through the rear yard under the two-unit building. we have an information sheet at d.b.i. it's eg2 and it would probably be better to read it out. it will clarify what they are going to do on this project. there was no approved plans in the package so i did hear the architect saying they had applied for the equivalency to grant that. that is a proper way. i assume that is going to be on the drawing if it's not already. i believe it should be on the site permits. he can address that when he gets back up again. so, the 2013 san francisco
building code and it's under the california building code 1029 emergency escape and rescue. so, we have an ab005 in the code which is a locally whif local l. we have a pre addenda plan procedures. this is to clarify the equivalency requirement this is threquires if it doesnot open t3 occupancies. the intent of the code is that windows required by san francisco building code section 1029 be available to rescue can be effected from the exterior or alternatively by which from the window to the exterior of the building without having to travel through the building itself. if these emergency windows open on to a yard that has access tie public way, they may not need
the requirements of the code, however, the un un equivalency y open into a yard with a 25 feet minimum depth. just looking at the plan in the package it looks like they have 25 feet showing on the plans. that's an important measurement here for that point. i do hear from the appellants that there is a current exit passage way. like i say, in this information sheet, because there's the building, because it's only a 2r existing or a new building. i think they're ok with the
exiting that is currently planned for the project. i'm not really anything else. i would want to make a comment as well about the drawings. it did show there was a lot of that building being demolished and we will agree, i want to shout out a warning here, do not exceed the scope of demolition. because that's going to just bring that whole project back again. so that's something that if you get your permits, do not exceed the scope of demolition. that's because it's just going to be a problem. other than that, i don't think i have anything else that i want to say. i mean, i would be available for any questions. >> are there any notice of violations on any of the properties at this point? >> good question. the only notice of violation that we have -- well, the only complaint we have on 891 carolina street is a vacant building. i didn't check the other properties. this is the only property i
checked. i'm not sure. i did hear -- i always hear this as well during the appeals. if someone has an issue with a fence or something, file a complaint with d.b.i. or planning and we'll look into it. it happens a lot. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. is there any public comment on this item? >> you just missed us so much you came in an off night. >> i'm skipping a date to be here. >> welcome. >> ryan patterson. i'm the land use attorney in the city. my private capacity not invited by any party. i wanted to speak to you because i do on a weekly basis i watch your agenda and this case stuck out at me. part because of the number of
appeals and also because it seems that this case falls squarely into the housing accountability ability. california government code section 65589.5 often called the anti nimby law. this law requires essentially that if a housing development project meets all applicable objective standards and criteria, such as zoning and building codes, the city has to approve it. unless there is a severe and specific health or safety impact they cannot did he mitigate it. the city has to approve it. it seems to me the standard for that bar is met, which is quote, if there's a substantial evidence allowing a person to conclude the housing development projector emergency shelter is consistent and compliant or in kin forconformity.
the planning commission are reasonable people. it seems clear that's met. i think i've litigated more of these cases under the housing accountability act than anyone else in the state. i think they have a very good chance of winning if that litigated. the conditions of the appellants are asking to be imposed appear to reduce density. and may constitute a defacto denial of the projectory ducing the amount of square footage and windows and that runs afoul of the law. unless there's some health or safety impact that's really a significant impact that cannot be mitigate otherwise. i don't think it's permissable. it also appears there may be an elevator a.d.a. issue that they have asked for elevator machinery to be removed. it sounds like there's an elderly gentleman living on the property. to the extent they're explaining
of 311 notice issues or deficiencies, i think those issues are probably waved by their participation in the d.r. process. i've unfortunately had to litigate that issue before too. real reason i wanted to speak to you is that we are in a housing crisis. i understand the neighbors have children and the children enjoy their sunlight in the backyard. i sympathize with that. children are not going to have a place to live when they move out unless we build more housing here. so i would encourage you to approve this project and i thank you for your time. >> happy to answer questions as well. >> thank you, mr. patterson. >> we have a similar case coming on for some reason, i don't know. >> next speaker, please. >> hi. my name is alexa lee. i am the owner of 772 wisconsin street and i am here to tread
into record a public comment that was made in february of 2016. i believe it is still relevant and worth your attention. my name is chris hanson and i live at 782 wisconsin street in portrao hill. the property is 891 carolina street the location of a project in the planning process. a similar project at the same address was submitted by the same ownership in 2002 and came before you in a discretionary review. in that review, it was determined that the proposed alteration expansion of 891 carolina street was out of scale in both height and volume. not only for the immediate neighbors but also for the broader context of preserving open spaces in portreo hills.
the project was abandon for a decade two years ago. a slight vary ant of the original proposal reemerged. like it's predecessor, this proposal is still out of character for the neighborhood. even after 14 years of interim real estate development. for my vantage point, at 782 which is con son street, the proposeel project would create a four-storey mono live over my back. i would see both the entirety of the east and north facing side of 891 carolina. there's no other property on the entire block that would have such an invasive rear yard setback. due to the height and close proximity to the property line, the building would block out the sun and the early afternoon, creating a negative impact to my open space and that of my neighbors. the controversy surrounding 891
carolina has been raised to this commission before by other concerned neighbors. at issue is the sub sections of planning codes section 134. the zoning administrator made a determination that the rear yard may be calculated using the alternate method of averaging, due to the non conforming house to the south of 891 carolina. however, the non conforming property has no access points on carolina and has door ways and garages facing 22nd street. thus it was up to the zoning administrator to make a subjective judgment on the matter based in part on the good faith assumption that the owner of 891 carolina street intended to move his family into the unit once it was built. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
i guess we have, ma'am, hold off one moment, thank you. >> my name is jason. i live there since 1957 and in the house i own in the middle of the block. i am a neighbor to this project. since i've been there, i've been using the street that hasn't been mentioned at all today. southern heights, which merges with carolina street almost in front of the subject building. so if one goes to the post office and the third street, you would drive past that. i've been doing that for years. this house got my attention because of the extraordinary craftmanship and that round window. beautiful workmanship. i am a member of the national trust for historic preservation and so that looks. i've been looking at that house for 60 years and at last i
watched it for 6 o years deteriorating. so as a resident of san francisco, i believe in additional housing is desirable and i think it is a real eyesore. you might be interested in anecdote that deals with my own house. in the 1940s, a building was moved somewhere from somewhere in san francisco to a construction project and it was slid in next to my house. now the house next door had only put baron it so there was a clear view of the city and all the windows with sort of obscure. the second floor bathroom door was accommodated with the major window on the ground floor faced the stairwell of this new building. according to the son of the family it was resolved without appeals and litigation carrying on. there was a lot of hand shakes.
it was a perfect example of good neighborly. perhaps the commissioners might commend that to this new project. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> my name is chris robins, i live at 874 carolina and i come as a neighbor and professor of design. i've lived here for 20 years. since 2003 or the past 16 years, the neighborhood has been welcoming new residents at 891 carolina street. mr. kanahan has this current design proposal, it does not speak to the earlier more reasonable determinations by the sf planning commission in 2003 and the one anticipated by the neighborhood. he has done so in the a parent hope that with the repetition of his submissions of design proposals, all parties will be
confused and worn down by the barrage of positions represented in this current expanded proposal, which continues not to be in full compliance with sf planning and building departments as it skate boards around codes and regulations. as the appeal applicants indicate, the property at 897 carolina is the most directly negatively by this propose a but this fact is not negate the consequence shall effects on the rest of the neighborhood. the height and depth of 891 proposal is extraordinary in its dis preportion at massing. it proposes a large amount of square footage, square footage that would be denied to other property owners were it not for the misrepresenttation of the unique topgraph i canal conditions of the building sites at 891 carolina and 897 carolina. and the fact that this is
really, in reality, a new construction project not a renovation. contrary to mr. glad stone, i can't think of any other four-storey building on carolina street. i can think of a lot of new three-storey projects that are 37 to 3800 square feet. i've noted a number of the letters of support have been submitted by contractors or developers and adjacent neighbors who also have residential expansion projects in the pipeline. supporting documents have used the classic grab-bag of deflection such as pulling out the documentary photograph dating back 87 years ago, the better part of a century ago, to support the one-sided arguments regarding the fighting and permit history or lack thereof. it a demonstrates the architects that provided drawings and
representations of this project that have proven problematic, speaking to a breech of our public trust. the planning commission relies on the faithful conveyens and translation of drawing sets with the full expectation of professional ethics of any design professional being i am bodied in the work products submitted for planning alliance and determination on any project. >> thank you. your time is up. >> thank you. >> is there anymore public comment? seeing none we will move on to rebuttle. and i believe we will hear from -- do you want to go in the same order? it doesn't matter. sure, you have 15 minutes so you can figure out. should we start the clock for 15 minutes? >> ok. >> i'd like to clear my answer to mr. honda's question. do you remember your question?
it was about the privacy and the yard. so i thought about it. i thought i made a mistake but i would like to clear it quickly. when i use the terms window and the yard, it was when i was talking about the open space indicated before where i was telling that our windows, these windows, have access to the rear of the yard which basically sunlight can come in. and those are these windows, which will be blocked with the construction. one full bedroom and the obama bathroom and why sunlight is important because it kills bacteria and mold. the red line here is basically what this picture was showing. the blockage and the yellow one is if the carolina street, the 883 is taken as a benchmark for the expansion.
when i was talking about the privacy, i got confused because you said how from these windows you would be able to see the yard. so i don't remember actually using the yard here. the privacy is very simple. can you see the white water bottle in front of you on the table? you can't because you are blocked so this exactly what we're after. by raising these windows off the floor by 40 inches, you are introducing the same distance by which means when you sit, you won't be able to see your neighbor. you would see the white bottle there. thank you, very much. [ please stand by ]
>> i would like to say that if the family was so motivated to provide units, they would have continued with the building from 20 years ago and someone would have lived there, rather than having an ellis act five years ago. the -- that's not a neighborly thing to do, nor is letting your building degrade for so long. also, i want to speak to the fact that mr. lum and people spoke to the 897 cottage as an anomaly. we agree, and the planning code addresses that, and it's called a special lot situation. and this special lot situation is that the rear cottage,
vehicular -- [inaudible] >> -- and therefore, the coll t collect -- correct planning code should be 134 c 4 b, and ask you which street you believe the cottage fronts on, if you believe it's 22nd street, the subject property is not complying with the planning code. also like to bring up the planning goals of the subject property that was initially the program goals were two units, two and three bedrooms. that is upgraded and expanded later to include two units, three and four bedrooms. we are so excited for this house to be updated for so long. we want it to be code compliant and upgraded to the building code, as well. it was entirely possible to take
space from the 2,000 square foot garage to take up from the missed space from the rear yard if the correct planning code is being used. also, if you don't want to use that 1,000 square foot kwauj, akwauj, -- garage, you can go back to the program goal and then, you have what you need there. we think that our perspective that the vehicular access and pedestrian access is important, and that the rear cottage won't be blocked out. and if you choose that 134 c 4 b is the correct code to use, you will bring this project into compliance with both the planning code and the residential design guidelines. thank you. >> i think it is important to go back to the important
document -- >> could you speaking into the microphone, please. >> -- to go back to the original document and see that the documentation that came from the architect that said zero set back was the reason why this rolled into having a lot line expansion on the new building as you can see over here as opposed to the egress to carolina street. this is a remodel, and it's barely a remodel. i mean, it's really a demolition, and that's why mr. did you ha duffy guided mr. lum to make sure that it doesn't take anymore boards out. but there was another lum project on the other side of the street that as i watched that, it was completely demolished, and it -- you know, it -- it -- it -- it was -- it was run in as a remodel, and it ended up being
really a new building. but we want a new building. that's not the point here. the -- the -- the consideration for making the decision of if 897, the corner rear yard cottage fronts on 22nd street or carolina -- now, the zoning administrator -- well, after richard sucre decided that the rear yard code should be 134 c 4 b in the letter that i showed you earlier, he -- he -- i don't know. he got cold feet because john lum just came after him on that and went to the planning department and -- and -- and so the zoning administrator looked at, well, how can we make this be not fronting on 22nd street?
so he took it from a development perspective -- that is, is the building -- if you were going to develop on my lot, you would be fronting on carolina street. we don't -- i have no contest with that because that's true. if that lot was vacant or if that building -- if the 897 gets demolished, then yes, the -- the new building would have to front on carolina street because that's how the block faces all the way down the street. but in the current situation, and the 134 c 4 b code talks about existing building, not a lot that's up for development, existing building, and the -- and the characteristics of the building are very clear. and even the planning code definitions talk very clearly about the principle facade and the characteristics of it that you've seen here tonight. so i ask you to overturn this --
this project, but don't stop it. just modify it, in order that the -- the rear yard is protected under the planning code, under the residential design guidelines, and the adjacent building is respected. thank you. >> may i ask you a question, please. >> thank you. >> yeah. >> so in reference to your request to modify it, what do you want to do? how do you modify their plan? >> i would like to modify is according to 134 c 4 b. >> oh, i didn't -- >> oh, you want me to physically show you? >> yeah. it's something that we have to consider, how would -- how would you modify this without taking it all the way back to an existing house and a rebuild.
[inaudible] >> you might want to drag the mic over there, please. >> instead of going back an expansion of 28 feet, going back -- what's the math? 15 feet? and if you bring the rear wall back to 883 carolina street, then, you have a compliant building according to the residential -- the planning code 134 c 4 b that is -- that recognizes that 897 carolina street fronts on 22nd street and not carolina. >> did she answer your question so we can start the clock, commissioner? >> yeah, did i. >> yeah, you did. >> gary, can you start their time?
>> i have one more thing to say. >> well, you have six minutes and 35 seconds left between the rest of you. >> i just want to address what the one gentleman said about the -- the city having a housing crisis. i agree. i agree. i want this thing built, i want it built compliant. i don't want raccoons to come in through my pet door, i don't want rats to come in and bite my children anymore. but the fact that we have a housing crisis, and the fact that my children will never benefit from these houses in no way shape or form in this city with the way costs are, that whole thing is just laughable to me. if we wants to build something for our children and families, we'd build something low rent for people in the neighborhood, not for investors and people coming in. 'cause that's what i see in the build across the street. i see airbnb coming there.
i don't see families or residents in there. it's lavl to me that they're building this thing for families. come on. -- laughable to me that they're building this thing for families. >> just so that you're aware, sir, you can call 311 for people that are abusing home share. >> okay. >> so do you want to finish up the time? >> mr. swig, i wanted to address your question here. currently in green -- >> you can stop the clock since she's addressing me question. >> currently the green here is the open yard as it currently exists. right here is the rear yard cottage with the vehicular access coming in from here. if you apply code 134 -- >> vice president swig: that isn't the question. >> okay. i was saying 883 carolina, this yellow line, that's how the modifications are suggested. >> vice president swig: yeah.
the question was -- and i'll ask it of you so that we can get you back off the clock and -- because you're an active part -- or participant, if you were taking that design right now, and we were trying to reach a compromise, what would be your compromise and what would be your biggest thing that you would like to ask to reduce the scope and scale of this house? >> yes, absolutely understood. so the modification that i'm asking is the rear yard be put equal to 883 carolina street, which is on the north side of the subject property. that makes it a 60 foot dense, and actually because of the frontage of 891 carolina, it is already very close -- there's already a front set back that's limited because of the way that this house was developed, so they have an extra feet in the front, and then, it would be
back to 60 feet in the rear. and that would be how i would -- how i would modify it. >> vice president swig: thank you. >> thank you. >> start their time again? >> sure. >> mr. swig, you talked about compromise, and i'm hearing that using using 134 c 4 b would not be necessarily compromising, it would be according to that rear yard code, and so i would like to offer a little less taken off of the building but to still modify it toward where 134 c 4 b would be, and that would be that the -- the entrance and egress would absolutely be put back in there based on the fact that we now know that it was misguided in terms of -- that it wasn't
there to begin with, and so that we didn't have to put it there, but the -- to get off of the lot line and open up the egress to a proper right-of-way. and the other one that i would like to propose is to -- robin, can you point -- to take the rear of the building and back it up to the upper level so that you're actually not going back as far as 883, but going to, you know, less than that. and i guess that gets out to if you don't want to comply -- if you don't think that 897 carolina street fronts on 22nd street, then the r.d.g.'s would come into play. so there's two ways of satisfying the code or the
residential design guidelines to reduce the impact on the rear yard and uphold the principles of the 134 rear yard. the principle of that is to -- is to protect midblock open space. this project is not doing that. and as a matter of fact, it goes back -- right now, there's a rear yard of 20 -- of -- of 48 feet rear yard, and it's actually going back to 25 feet, but that's not greenery, that's concrete with a little sliver of greenery in the back, probably 3 feet, maybe. and this is just too much of a footprint, too much of a stamp
onto the midblock open space, and it's really against the 134 code. so that's all i have to say. >>clerk: you have two minutes and 15 seconds left in rebuttal if any of the approximaellants o use that. okay. so we will now move onto rebuttal for the permit older. >> could we leave that up there. >> brett gladstone. we're not going to take the full 15 minutes. >> you said that last time. >> no, i said i wasn't going to take the full 35 minutes. but first, we've heard that there's a derelict property owner, that he's the developer. and it's been 1.5 hours since we've heard from bill callahan. and i just want to let you know why the building has gone this way for song. >> the owner removed weight
bearing walls. we tried to get access in the 1990's to -- the tenants removed weight bearing walls. we tried to get access in the 1990's, but we couldn't get insurance on the property anymore. they wouldn't -- the tenants wouldn't let us in, so we had to resort to the ellis act. and in doing so, we paid the tenants $13,614, which was twal to 8.1 years of rent. but also, i mean, my wife was diagnosed with a.l.s., and we were trying to create a home that we could live in. >> i'm going to ask john lum to point out and put the camera on the side windows that -- that the -- that the gentleman who spoke lives in the other way
around completely -- the other way. no. the complete other way. >> okay. >> i want to show the commissioners the side windows of the tenant in the two upper -- >> keep on rotating. >> keep on rotating. keep on rotating. >> keep on rotating. >> keep on rotating. >> keep on rotating. >> perfect. stop right there. >> first of all, the front window that we'll now look at, the front window, and i'm going to point it out here, you can't see it. it's a window that's going to have some blockage. as for the rear bedroom, that has rear windows, and that has a site window that's going to have the same view it has today.
we're offered through things to mitigate the impact: paint color, living wall, obscuring windows. i haven't heard those things accepted. i don't think we need to here, but we'll agree to it. would you please, john, take a pencil or something from the top floor windows to the rear side windows. why don't you take it from what the person in the top floor would see out of those rear windows? would you see into the rear side windows of the cottage next door? [inaudible] >> i'm sorry. you're going to have to speak in the mic. >> since the deck is removed, one can only get up to the well there, i mean, the actual surface of the window, so it's highly doubtful that someone could look down from the edge of the building down into the edge of the building right now. >> thank you. >> yes. >> okay. and i just want to make a point
as to what mr. duffy indicated. he wasn't sure about whether the site plans show a -- an ab 005 building code interpretation, which says that the rear yard can be a safe means of refuge. one doesn't need to have an entrance through the building to the front yard as long as it's been planned appropriately under ab 005. the plan checker has reviewed the plans that show that interpretation and show its dimensions, and the plans, i believe, even call out the rear as a place of refuge under ab 005 so mr. duffy wasn't aware that was all understandable, but that was all in the site permit which has been approved. it's not going to be in the addendum. finally, i just want to point out -- would you show the side
of the cottage that faces 22nd to the commission, the side of the cottage that faces 22nd, completely different. yeah. just completely different. show the commissioners 22nd street side of the cottage, yeah, exactly. >> right there's fine. >> okay. you can see the height of that. it's not 6'9". that's identified on the photo they showed you. appellants put the words rear door on that. it is not a rear door. it doesn't have the adequate height. this door, again, they have not shown it correctly. the door to the unit is actually inside where my finger is. this is not the door. there's a landing that's a diagonal. you go up steps. steps are not shown. they're steps with the wrong height and wrong width, and they're not shown. you go up those steps, you go
into a landing. a gate comes here out onto the sidewalk which is not allowed. these windows don't have bars that let insiders out in a fire. i'm just surprised that the owners continue to say these doors are legal. by the way, they don't show the door and the gate. the door and the gate would be legal if it was a 3 foot door surrounded by a 3 foot door. instead, they have a 6 foot door and a 6 foot fence, not shown there, and that is simply what the planning department would not allow, indeed, it did not see this permit. john, come on up. >> just a couple of points that were brought up. miss bishop said this is a special situation, but again, i would like to point out that the planning code is about conformance. it's not about accommodating a
nonconforming structure in the way that they're asking us. this is a completely code compliant structure. also in regards to the concept of demo, we actually -- the planning department uses our drawings as an exemplar -- example, i guess, of how one would do demo calcs, and this is not a demolition, a de facto demolition. i do take mr. duffy's concern that it's easier for people to take things down, but our calculation show this is clearly not a demo. and also, i was surprised that i have that much influence with mr. sucre here. we've obviously worked together because i've been in practice 25 years. he is very knowledgeable, and we have a very amicable relation should be, but i would not say i wield that kind of influence to make the zoning administrator change his mind. lastly, in response to the
requested modification after modification after modification, this is not, as mr. swig said the last time i was in front of you, this is not a hail mary. we've actually had numerous times to ask for modifications with all refusal and no acceptance except for absolute protest and -- against this project, so it's an unfortunate -- we have tried our best to work with the neighbors. they have refused to be accommodating at all. so i implore you again not to take the appeal and to approve the project as submitted. thank you. >> vice president swig: can i ask a question, please. >> wait a minute. are you done with your time? 'cause you still have six minutes and 50 seconds. >> i am done with my time. >> okay. >> vice president swig: first question, since you brought it up. you said you've had conversations with the
neighbors, and you offered modifications. what -- given the current model, what modifications other than the windows, the obscuring of the windows on the second and third floor, what other modifications were you -- >> well we've -- sorry. >> vice president swig: -- prepared to -- of significance. i don't consider obscuring windows a major modification, but physical modifications, what were you willing to satisfy their needs with? >> we've modified it substantially. in the last discussion with misbishop was just -- ms. bishop was just the -- we still with the fire parapets on the roof, and we asked it's your option to remove it or not, and if not, we're willing to make it into a 1-r roof, but we're not willing to remove the program -- oh, it was a smaller program. the program is actually -- it's a requirement. we believe that having a
three-bedroom unit is an important thing b, and for the canihans, a three bedroom is important to their needs. >> i'm looking at your building at the same time. i don't want to move that model again, so on your plans, which would be the apendage, little boxes, on the first and second floor, are those read on the plans as bedrooms? and then, there looks to a bearing wall which would be the main part of the building, and those look to be bathrooms, correct? >> yes. >> vice president swig: so if there was a modification of the second floor little box, that would be leaving a -- taking out a bedroom but leaving on your plans a full bath, correct in. >> yes, that's correct, but i
don't think that actually is a reasonable request, given the fact that the -- what -- the effect to the next-door neighbor is mainly just the blockage of that one video for the view of the downtown. >>clerk: overhead, please. >> i'm sorry? >>clerk: i'm sorry. i just didn't mean to interrupt. i'm just trying to get the picture. >> sorry. you would be asking for the elimination -- >> vice president swig: no, i wasn't asking for the elimination, i was asking whether that bedroom which is there, is -- it represents that little box which is there. >> oh, yes. >> vice president swig: represents solely that bedroom alone and that the bathroom is within the -- shall we say the main portion. >> it straddles it a little bit. it's half in and half out. >> vice president swig: okay. thanks. >> thank you. >>clerk: okay. thank you. >> thank you. that's all i got.
>>clerk: so mr. sucre, do you have anything to add? mr. duffy? okay. nothing further. so -- >> actually, i've got a question for mr. sucre. so a lot of this discussion this evening has been in regards to the orientation of the corner property. now -- and i understand that -- that the zoning administration -- administrator has already made a letter of determination or an e-mail of his determination. the question would be is in the eyes of the planning, is that -- is it oriented on 22nd or is it oriented on -- and i asked this earlier, but what i'm referring to is legally. is it on carolina or is it on 22nd? >> it is on carolina. >> okay. >> we are stating that the frontage for the purposes of creating the rear yard is oriented towards carolina. >> and sorry to interrupt, but during all this process, was it
determined that the garages and the facade change was consistent with permits and approval? >> we didn't research the alterations that have occurred to the building at 897 carolina? >> i mean, do we know when that happened roughly? i mean, 'cause looking at the -- at the front of the building, i mean, i can't imagine that being approved from the way that -- from the way that looks unless it was done in the 50's or 40's. >> yeah, likely, given my background as a preservation planner, you know, that does look like something that you'd probably see from a kind of 50's or 60's alteration, the property. you know, i will note that the address is 897 carolina. >> commissioner honda: and officially, as of the planning department -- >> officially on 22nd street. if there's prior permits that
might show, identifying that yard as the front yard of the property. there is a history of identifying this property towards carolina more than 22nd street. >> commissioner honda: okay. thank you, mr. sucre. >>clerk: okay. so commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> commissioner lazarus, would you like to make a comment? >> no, i'll defer to your discussion. i have some thoughts. >> commissioner honda? >> commissioner honda: i'll let you start. go ahead. you're the president this evening. go for it. >> vice president swig: i -- this is -- this is tough. i purposely asked the question about -- to mr. sucre about if that corner lot wasn't there, and if in fact that building sat on the corner, would it have
proper rear yard coverage with the -- with the current plan, and you answered, mr. sucre, yes, because we would take the -- the measurement from the yard next door. and it does -- and then, i asked -- and then, mr. duffy covered a question which i had in my mind, also, is that rear yard satisfactory from a security and safety standpoint, and he said it -- it seems to be, and i agree, 25 feet, which would be adequate for -- did you not say adequate for safety and security purposes. so for -- for me, both those answers were okay in the context of doing the expansion. and i -- i can't help, and it's not because it's not subject to any of the appellant's comments, i probably can't take it into
consideration, and -- but the house -- i can't help but look at the house to the north, which i called to the attention of mr. sucre that it's going to get boxed in, but i understand that that is owned by the project sponsor, and -- but if it was owned by mr. sucre, and i wonder -- and mr. sucre wasn't who he is, but it was owned by somebody neutral, i would think that we might have a seventh appellant claiming potentially, you know, that the two-level box bedrooms would be boxing him or her in and obscuring the -- the open space -- midblock open space. that's what's stumbling -- making me stumble right now are those two little boxes on the
back and has nothing to do with what mr. lum said, the impact on the window whether it's on 22nd or carolina street is really a moot point. it's really the obscuring of the midblock open space. that's what's complicating my matter. i would absolutely, regardless of where we end up, that the second and third floor windows would be completely obscured. the third floor windows, 100%, the second floor windows, to some extent. but that's what's making me stumble. the -- the things that are important to note is no variances, and one -- mr. sucre,
can i ask you a question, if you can answer it. when this project was heard, and we don't -- this is de novo. we don't have plans from the past, we don't know anything, so we're taking it from that point. but have you had the opportunity of -- of looking at what was proposed in 2003, was it? >> correct. >> vice president swig: and what were the variances -- what were the major differences that created the variances at that point, and what i'm trying to get over for the satisfaction of the appellants is that this is the same old project, and they're just ramming it through again 15 years later. but what were the ravariances used? do you have any knowledge of that. >> from what i remember -- and i will admit, it's been a while since i've looked at it in detail. the bulk of the house was much
larger. they are seeking a variance basically for intruding into a portion of the rear yard. i will note we did do a lot of shaping with the architect to kind of get to the building form that you see before you. >> vice president swig: okay. and that may have been some of the dotted -- on one of the examples, we saw dotted lines on how it was larger, so it was reduced and that represents it moving away from the variance request into what it is today. >> correct. >> vice president swig: okay. so i don't -- i don't have a direction, guys. those are the -- my concerns, are the boxes on the box that obscure potentially the midblock open space, the windows for sure on the south side, little augmentation. i'm not bothered by the reduction of the pathway of the egress because as mr. duffy said, this is legal, and we had
that condition in san francisco all over the place, so that one doesn't bother me. i think it's just the back of the house that's confusing me -- that's concerning me, and i'm looking forward to whether you have some of the same concerns. >> commissioner honda: okay. i'll start off with this project in its current configuration has undergone quite a bit of process through our city departments. we're talking it's gone through the planning commission, planning department, building department. we can say that it's fully vetted. the past project, i'm really not concerned about because that's not before us this evening. i'm not willing to reduce the project in any scope, and to be honest, when you appeal a decision from the planning commission, not only -- this does a de novo board. not only can we not agree with them, we can add the decks back on, and so that's always a risk coming to this --