tv Government Access Programming SFGTV March 15, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> good evening welcome to the march 6, 2018 board o 2018 boar. to my slept deputy city attorney who will provide legal advice this evening. at the control is the board legal assistant and i'm julie rosenberg. we will also be joined by representatives from the state department that have cases before the board this evening. we expect scott sanchez acting zoning administrator representing the planning commission. the board request that you turn off and silence all phones so they would not disturb the proceedings. please care on conversations in
the hallway. members have up the three minutes to rebuttal. please speak in the microphone. to assist the board in the craft preparation of minutes, you're asked but not required to submit a speaker card or business card to board staff. speaker cards are available on the left side of the poem yum -- podium. this meeting is broadcast live on s.f.gov tv and rebroadcast friday on channel 26. the video is available on our website and downloaded from
sfgovtv.org. if you intendl intend to testife your hand and say i do. if you're here to testify, please rise. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. we are now move on to item number one. which is general public comment. this is an opportunity for anyone who like to speak on a matter within the board's jurisdiction. anyone here for public comment? >> good afternoon peter alexander. i like to share some information i believe what might be helpful
or interest to you. about 9 or 10 years ago a woman named christine harris filed $5 million lawsuit against the city, the police department, law firm and certain individuals including one particular police officer. i'm sure if he was on the force or retired. she has been damaged by direct energy weaponry. her organs were damaged. the first judge accepted the lawsuit on merit alone because of the interesting sensitivity to people in power. it is well known mayor ed lee were terminated by this technology by the same people. that it is certainly available to law enforcement and
investigators to review the cell phone signatures of that time frame in that proximity. this information is vital. this technology is being used to silence and keep certain people in place to not speak out the way mayor lee did in regards to the innocence. you have the corrupt judges going along with the bigger system of this coball. lot of people in your position may or may not know about this or intimidated by these type of things. it is also my concern that the judge in the case of the monsanto case are intimidating jurors, lying to jurors and the jurors not aware that they have what's called jury nullification rights and fija, that is vital
to our lawful system which has been taken over by the bar association on all three branches of government. therefore, we're talking about a treasonous coo. they served themselves. served the pope by law. it's time for people to start speaking about it and addressing this. i support law enforcement 100%. the chief and the law enforcement and the police department. but the fact is, in this particular lawsuit, one individual was identified that was in the police department one time in this lawsuit as utilizing this technology. this is not space science. this is common information and most law enforcement operates with direct energy weapons for crowd control and such. i'm peter alexander, i say, it is so. i hope you will be involved. >> is there any other general
public comment? seeing none. we'll move on to item 2. commissioner comments and questions. >> president fung: no. >> we'll move on to item 3, the adoption of minutes. minute of the february 27, 2019 board meeting. >> president fung: any corrections or additions? >> no. >> president fung: motion to accept. >> we have a motion from commissioner lazarus to adopt these minutes. is there any public comment on this motion? seeing none. [roll call] the minutes are adopted. we'll now move on to item 4. this is appeal number 18-116 pamela and eric tang.
this is application number 20188847. note on january 30, 2019 the board voted 4-1 to continue the appeal to march 6, 2019 to get the parties opportunity to reach an agreement and to develop a comprehensive plan for revision permits that includes the walls. as preliminary matter, vice president swig did you have opportunity to review the materials? >> vice president swig: did. >> i understand there's going to be a request for continuance by the permit holder. please approachly. you'll have three minutes to present your request. the appellants will have three
minutes to respond. >> good afternoon. i'm asking for a continuance. as you may remember when we met here last time, we attempted to address some of the primary issues that being appealed, particularly certain windows that were put into the home under permit approximately 30 years ago. it was conceded that the information was incontract. inaccurate. we hoped that at conclusion, mrd and submit a comprehensive plan to mr. duffy's office. mr. mulligan will not be able to address these issues and we have gone out and hired another
contractor to take the place of mr. mulligan. unfortunately, mr. hendrickson is at open heart surgery for his son and will not be able. certain other issues need to be addressed. we wished to work with mr. duffy's office to get this finalized. but prohibited because mr. mulligan's unavailability and mr. hu hutchinson new availability. the request was made. >> thank you. mr. and mrs. tang. you have three minutes to sponsored to this request. >> pamela tang appellant.
good evening. we firmly object to the permit applicant's request for continuance. the board already given the permit applicant five weeks when originally, the board required the comprehensive plan in one week. it's been zero progress in five weeks. what will another five weeks accomplish? we've seen many contractors coming in and out our neighbor's house. there's no legitimate reason why the revision permit is not ready. at the previous hearing, the board asked for comprehensive plan. the plan consist of two parts this are prepared separately. revision permit specifically to including removal of the two windows and limited access agreement negotiated with us that will allow the permit
flight access -- applicant to access our property. this log shows our good faith effort to initiate and negotiate the access agreement these past five weeks. it also shows that the permit applicant is refusing to work with the time line set by the board. we did not receive any actionable material until yesterday afternoon. the permit applicant would not review it until the day before the hearing. even though, they were well aware that last thursday was the submittable date to the told -- today's hearing. since the board confirmed it was clear code violations.
respectfullyask board of appeals to issue the order. the amount of time originally prescribed by the board. accidents happen. the gas line explosion at parker and gary last month highlighted the importance -- >> ms. tang. we're only dealing with the continuance at this point before we hear the actual -- before the decision is made. >> you still have 30 seconds if you want to add anything. >> on the continuance. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. mr. duffy, do you have anything to add? >> good evening commissioners. joe duffy. since the last hearing, i have been contacted a few times by different parties on the permit holder.
mr. mulligan did contact me that he wasn't going to be dealing with the permit issues. he had some health issues. he came to see me. that was fine. i got a call from the new contractor, his name is mr. hutchison. he was worried medical issues with his son. i advised him to contact the board and ask for a continuance. i also spoke to the attorney here and mrs. mulligan called me as well. i've been in touch with him about it. more time in my opinion is fine. these windows were in for 28 years. this permit d.b.i. got drawn attention to it. we issued a notice of violation for the expired permit. we are on notice. everyone knows that the windows needs to be filled.
finding a an architect what they need to do. if you want to harry this case tonight, uphold the permit and do it on revision permit. it's entirely up to the board. the special conditions permit obviously, would not be appealable. there's no doubt about it that the opening have to be -- they are gone. everybody acknowledges that. it's a matter of finding someone to do the drawings. i did speak to the attorney yesterday. >> mr. duffy.
>> last week, you said these windows never showed they were approved. it's clear by your testimony tonight that the windows need to go away. i think that's the intent of the next door neighbor, they go away. if tonight, we say they go away, we still have the issues of where we were before. there are no plans. there are some neighbor issues where previous contractors are not allowed on the land of the next door neighbor. what is the point of continuing this when it seems that we already know end of the story because it's about windows that need to go away. where we're going with this tonights, making appropriate ruling that allows you the ability to get this done and
gives you some teeth to hold them accountable. >> that would be right. the d.b.i. knew about this issue. if the permit was upheld tonight by the board, the window issue doesn't go away. it's just on a different way. we can enforce it by correction notice or notice of violation. i'm not sure what they want the both parties want. >> president fung: windows will go away. i'm asking you, what is your advice if the windows are going to go away. we want to deal with this tonight instead of kicking the can. what would be your recommendation on how we should deal with this in the form of -- >> either way. it's going to be dealt with. better way is special conditions
permit that's not appealable then. if it's a eare -- revision permit then we're back at this again. it's probably benefits the permit holder better. special conditions permit, that's the end of it. >> president fung: thank you. >> thank you. is there any public comment on it item? commissioners? >> question is whether we continue? >> we're deciding whether or not to continue the case. we'll move forward and hear it. >> i'm prepared to not continue it and hear it. >> i'm prepared not to continue. i see no reason to waste anybody else time. >> i concur. >> we are going to move ahead with the appeal. it was previously heard. each party will get three
minutes. you have three minutes. >> we admit that these windows do need to be removed. unfortunately, the information provided to get the original permit was inaccurate. there's a second issue that needs to be raised. there are certain openings that are parallel to a stairwell that takes up to the front door. initially, that was there since the house was built. there were great to protect anyone from falling out, falling out the stairwell.
they were removed to paint the house. they are now back in place. i believe, when i read some of the papers by the appellants, they are trying to close up those areas. frankly, as i understand from mr. duffy, he's not going to be issuing any type of corrective order as it relates to those openings because those openings have been there literally since the day was built. the original plans to that house are going to be given to mr. duffy for his review. with that in mind, we ask that the appeal be denied and to allow us to go ahead and fix the windows accordingly. >> thank you. mr. and mrs. tang, will have three minutes. >> commissioners, i was about to say accidents happen. gas line explosion last month, highlighted the importance of the firewall separating the
buildings. our building codes have been requiring solid exterior walls at the property line for a reason. we do not want to further delay that would endanger our life safety. so thank you for not continuing this. in addition to this appeal, we filed a complaint against the other opening. this our consistent with our need to protect our family and property. my research has shown that the uniform building codes regulation of exterior walls within three feet of the property line has been the same since it was first published in 1927. since 1927, no openings are permitted on the walls. d.b.i. records show that 159 beaumont was built in 1939. eight years after the uniform building code came into effect. those windowses othe exterior
wall within 3 feet of the prompt line was what he was talking about. should never have been allowed. we understand that these additional openings are outside the scope of today's board hearing. our focus tonight is really on enforcing the closure of the two 1990 lot line windows under that permit. >> thank you, mr. duffy. >> joe duffy. as you said earlier, i would encourage the permit to be upheld. it was frustrating since the last hearing to not only receive a second complaint on the d.b.i.
ilif there happen to be construction against that wall, they would lose those windows. that's the general rule in d.b.i. other two windows that were put in improperly in 1990, we are addressing those. it is d.b.i.'s policy, it is part of the original construction, the existing building code will take effect. i cannot see us going back to the 1927 building code to do that because if we did that, you can leave this building five minutes and see examples of
property line windows that were put in the 80, 90 or 100 years ago. i'm available for any questions. thank you. >> any public comment on this item? commissioners, this matter >> president fung: commissioners , i would lean toward the following -- intent is build path of a revision permit. the path that i would recommend that we go is to grant the appeal and condition the permit. , showing the removal and infill of the two windows.
that would be my motion. there's no further discussion. >> okay. we have a motion from president fung to grant the appeal and issue the permit on the condition that it be revised to require plans be submitted showing the removal and infill of the two windows along the property line. on what basis? >> president fung: on the basis they are not cocompliant. >> on that motion, [roll call] that motion carries 5-0. thank you. we will now move on to item 5. this is appeal number 18-157, joshua klipp versus san francisco public works. subject property is on van ness
avenue. permit for planting maintenance removal of sidewalk trees to remove two sycamore london plain trees that are minimum of 36-inch box size on the sidewalk adjacent to the subject property. this is permit number 781669. on january 30, 2019 the board voted 4-1, vice president swig absent to continue appeal to march 6th. vice president swig, did you have the opportunity to review the video and materials for the hearing which took place on january 30th? >> vice president swig: i did. >> we are basically starting this appeal a news you may recall. there was an issue with the permit holders. we'll hear from the ep -- appelt first. mr. klipp you have assessmen --.
>> i want to make sure that the board received the briefing from both myself and the permit holder and has the board received urban forcery council's resolution? >> yes. thank you. >> i'm josh klipp. i like to do briefly is go over quick time line in this matter. first starting in 2015, when the project saw conditional use permits and projected to complete tree preservation. the following two years the trees were evaluated for part of the b.r.t. in april, 2018, project applied now for removal without
providing a need for that when urban forestry pushed back, they gave some general construction for example staging access and safety. may 11, 2018 urban forestry denied the application for multitude of reasons. noted that the applicant had 30-day appeal period. july 23rd, the project begins demolition without tree protection required by city rules. in the middle of august, the project inquired about tree removal. they were put on the next calendar for removal. finally the trees got protection after one month of construction. at the september 24th hearing, these prefabricated panels were raised for the first time. there's procedural stuff that happened after that. the board explained to the permit holders. i won't go into that. on november 26th, the permit
was issued. three days later, i filed my appeal. in friday morning november 30th, the board informed the permit holder that the permit was suspended by both email and telephone. next day the project cut down the trees anyway. in december, there was 10 thousand dollars fine for the value of the trees which permit holder indicated they have right to appeal. we have hearing on january 30th, february 2nd council passed the resolution. rest is history and here we are. i'm seeking answers for is why an issuing this permit, public works did not ask project to keep initial promise to protect the trees. why these trees had to be removed after going through the b.r.t. evaluation. why the project couldn't see the need for the removal. it went on for a month without any type of tree protection in
place. why the prefab panel argument came up in hearing without questions. why that hearing was allowed when there's no record of appeal from the permit holder. even after the permit was suspended, project violated the board's order, why public works did nothing but issue a fine for a project this size doesn't even amount to a slap on the wrist. there has been pursuant of no other remedies including remedies that are mandatory under article 16. in 2014, the public works rolled out urban force plan that promised 50,000 more trees. which amounts to 2500 trees a year. we have never met that goal. [please stand by]. bau s.
>> that i be compensated for my fees and costs in bringing this appeal because the project effectively deprives me of my right to argue for tree preservation by illegally cutting them down. if the board consider the inordinate step that the board of urban forestry took in this matter. and finally, i ask the board to issue a statement to the department of public works asking it to evaluate its handling of this matter and all future matters from both a procedural and substantive
standpoint especially given all of the dysfunctional processes highlighted by the facts of this case. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the permit holder, miss pelosi. >> good evening, president fung and members of the board of appeal. alexis pelosi, pelosi law group, on behalf of webcor. on behalf of webcor, i want to express our apologies for not being present at the february 29 hearing and for not submitting a briefing. what has happened here on all accounts is unacceptable. i want to ensure the board that webcor is fully aware of the seriousness of its actions and the role that this body plays in the development, permitting and construction in san
francisco. simply put, there is no excuse for not attending that hearing, not respecting this body's rules and procedures and for taking an action to remove trees while an appeal is pending. while we could spend our time here discussing and debating questions and we are happy to answer any questions you have, we want to clear up what happened in the project. webcor is a general contractor and did not entitle or design the project at 2465 vanness avenue. this project was approved in december 2017 by the planning commission, at the time it was assumed that the trees on vanness could be preserved and the project was based on an understanding that the project could be built. at the time the statement was made that the trees would be
preserved, everyone believed that they could be but as the ultimate designs, plans and construction management plan were developed, it became clear that preserving the trees created a previously unforeseen safety hazard. unfortunately, sometimes this happens and it is always hard, but when it does, it does not mean that there was an an intent to remove the -- always an intent to remove the trees. there was a lot of discuss about the decision to use precast concrete panels on the project. these precast concrete panels reflect a certain desired dine aesthetic in a construction technique that makes projects like these feasible. webcor is the general contractor, and within its role, webcor determined that retaining the trees on vanness during the construction of the project and the installation of panels created a safety hazard to its workers and the public.
for that reason, on august 16, webcor contacted the department of public works at that time for tree removal. because of that time, because it was assumed the trees would be removed. under the terminology used by the planning department, the department of building inspections and other departments, site mobilization and demolition is not considered construction work, it's preconstruction work, and construction work doesn't begin until the issuance of the first addenda. that happened after the first panel was installed. finally, i would like to convey on behalf of webcor that there was never any intent to mislead the public regarding the tree removal. e-mails outlining scheduling of tree removal are simply that,
scheduling of tree removal. the tree removal was scheduled for an earlier date but when the permit wasn't issued, the date was moved. before turning it over to brad denny from webcor who would like to speak a little bit about webcor's history and experience in san francisco, webcor understands what happened here was inexcusable. please know that what happened was not intentional and as brad will explain, it does not reflect webcor. >> good evening, president fung, the board members. my name is brad denny. i'm a vice president of webcor builders. i've been with the company close to 20 years now. all the work that i've done for
webcor has been in san francisco. the bulk of the work that we do is within the city of san francisco. one of our core values is the community that we build in, and one of the reasons that we get hired so often in the city is because of the outreach that we do to the community and the community communication that we do on our projects to make sure everybody is airrelevant with a of what's going on, when it's happening and exactly what we're doing. we have done hundreds of projects in san francisco. we have employed hundreds of local contractors, hired thousands of local residents to build our projects, and i -- i say this just to -- to emphasize the importance that w webcor places on the community within our organization. in all my years, in my 19 years with the company, this is the first time this has happened,
and we -- we apologize, like they actually said, for any misunderstanding associated with the intent here. it was never -- i really -- i'm not here to excuse what we did but rather to let you know that webcor really -- we understand the seriousness of the and support any action the board determines to take. it was never our intent to act disrespectfully to the board, the appellant or the public. we'll agree to install the trees identified by the department of urban forestry and agree to pay for costs. we'd like to pay for the
appellant's costs for copies and preparing the appeal. i'm here to answer any questions, and i brought my colleague along who has knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the project. >> commissioner honda: i've got a couple questions. so were you noticed, were you aware that we had a hearing several weeks ago? >> no. >> commissioner honda: so it just didn't get to webcor's attention? >> yeah. if we were aware that the hearing was occurring, we would have been here. >> commissioner honda: maybe i can ask that director. were they noticed at that point? >> clerk: well yes, but i think the process was confus confusing. as you may recall, there was a process order for the jurisdiction request which granted the ability to remove the trees. mr. klipp filed a jurisdiction request, and subsequent to that, the bureau of urban forestry issued a permit for the tree removal.
they've since changed their -- they're tightening up the processes, so that the order, the permit will be issued at the same time, so mr. klipp withdrew his jurisdiction request, and then, he appealed the permit, so he basically had two opportunities. he was late the first time, and i think when he withdrew his jurisdiction request, i believe, from what my discussions with webcor, they thought the matter was resolved. >> commissioner honda: okay. thank you. >> clerk: so i think there was confusion because of the process. >> commissioner honda: and the second question, it was brought to our attention at the previous hearing that the permit went through a conditional use process and during that conditional use process, it was stated that those trees were to remain. and so at which point -- who made the decision to go against the condition of use to take and remove the trees?
>> so alexis pelosi again. so again, as i mentioned in my testimony, so webcor was not the underlying developer, and so after the project was approved, then what happened was webcor was brought on board and entered into a contract that katie chisolm presented and should be in your packet. when they were moving forward in the me havology, originally it was thought they would be able to install the panels with the conditional use permit in place? when it became clear that there was a concern about getting the panels up and over these trees and installing them in a way that's safe for the construction workers and the public, so it came down to -- >> commissioner honda: well, the concern would be, miss pelosi, when you're hiring a client and you're reviewing the project you're about to build, you probably review the terms
and the conditions of which that project was allowed to be built. i appreciate the sincere apology, and it appears that's so, but this process has kind of failed because it went through a process that the trees were not going to be removed initially. and then second, quasi-removal, not full approval, and then, they were removed. so from my position, i'm just trying to figure out how that goes because it seems to me that no matter what, the trees were going to be removed no matter what. >> i had -- i was under the impression that we had followed process for getting the permit to remove them and we had received a written approval to remove the trees. it wasn't the original plan. we weren't in the capacity that we weren't able to understand the specifics of the lodgistic around the site. i think when it was determined
that that would be the case and the project was titled and permitted, i don't think the information was available to understand the conditions of the vanness specifically and the surrounding environment. we had to make a recommendation to change the approach. >> commissioner honda: but not to interrupt you, so let's say that process -- you came later on, and you came on at a later date, but even the removal, like you said, 90 or 100% of your business is in san francisco. all permits are appealable, so at which point did webcor not understand that this permit was not appealable? because at which day, there's a 15-day cool off process that that can happen. >> no, because again, they did install the tree protection to protect the trees, so there was the intent to protect the
trees. >> commissioner honda: no, i'm talking about the second time. they applied the first time, it was denied. the second time, it was approved for removal, but there's a process that once that's done, the permit is still appealable correct? >> after the original denial, that's -- is that what you're talking about? >> commissioner honda: correct. >> yes, i was not involved in that, but there was another permit to be issued and considered, so that again gets to the question regarding this case and the procedures and the process and what happened here? and something i think would be great for the board to look at. >> commissioner honda: yeah. and i think my question would be answered by one of the boards coming up further. >> yeah. to understand, we did not understand there was a time frame that we had to wait to remove it. i think if we would have known that, we would have obviously not gone in and done it immediately.
>> commissioner honda: okay. thank you. >> vice president swig: i got one, too, but go ahead. >> president fung: just a quick clarification. two issues were brought up, one in terms of this process. the other one was recognizing what may have been in the entitlement. was this a condition of the c.u., that the trees remain? was it an acting condition. >> specifically, what it lists in there, it talks about street trees and the number of street trees that are required? and of course if scott wants to jump up here. but it doesn't make it a condition to maintain the trees or keep the trees. it's what's assumes -- >> president fung: so my clarification, just one part of the issue. >> vice president swig: just to be clear on something, when the original permit was issued, was webcor involved or not? when the original permit was issued, was webcor involved or
not? >> we have not done any -- no. we've not done any logistical studies on the project. >> vice president swig: okay. you're not. second, when the conditional use permit was issued and that meant the trees have to stay, were you all involved? okay. the third piece, the third question -- the good news is you're one of the largest and most respected construction companies in the city, and therefore, when you're that good, and you have that good of a reputation, you know, what do they say, the larger you are, the harder you fall when people try to take you down. the issue is there was a permit that was issued to in fact takedown the trees, and then -- and you all know the rules. and when a permit's issued, you've got to wait, ticuntil t
time period is over. and it reeks to me at least of taking the action and then saying i am sorry, you know? because in fact a $10,000 -- i'm in the commercial real estate business. i develop stuff. i know this stuff. $10,000 is a light change order on this. you're going to have lots of $10,000 change order. it just reeks of well, just tear it down and pay for forgiveness and -- pray for forgiveness, and pay the $10,000 and move on. that's why it's problematic for me and the public. i don't understand how a permit was issued, you being webcor, a sophisticated contractor, abused the privilege of being
issued a permit by not waiting 15 days. that for me is the biggest issue of all, having heard the answers to your other questions. >> what i hope the board can understand is that it was the furthest thing from an abuse of our knowledge of the system. i think we -- the team on the project did not understand that requirement. a lot of things happened really fast. there's a lot going on on vanness. the opportunity to mobilize to do the removal, it's not something that, you know -- it's a difficult thing to do, and i think that -- i'm very hopeful that our reputation and the fact that this is the first time we've had to stand here and try to explain ourselves, i hope that that precedes us here, and it shows that there was really no intent to --
>> commissioner honda: no malice. no malice. >> i just think there was confusion at webcor because the order was given, and then the permit came later. i think when the order wasn't appealed, i think there was confusion if that was what required the 15 days or the permit that came later it was the 15 days. so maybe they thought that was the order, so they thought the 15 days had just expired, so that was the confusion. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> vice president swig: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the bureau of urban forestry. >> good evening, commissioners. chris buck with san francisco public works bureau of urban forestry. we had the hearing on january 30 and our kind of directive at that point was to talk about largest possible size replacement trees and working
on that. now that we have the applicant here, and we're rehashing the details, there's plenty of ground to cover. so this permit was not clean, the handoff was not clean in any way. for decades, public works has hearings at public works. the subject of the hearing is the permit. however, when we issue a resulting decision through habit or out of previous practice, we don't always reference the actual permit number. so what happened in this case is that there actually was a 15-day appeal window as we've done forever. there was no appeal filed during that appeal window, and there was some miscommunication among both the department and mr. klipp on that. from now on, we'll always forward a resulting decision to anyone who's attended a hearing, regardless of whether they request a copy or not.
that said, what public works is doing moving forward is when we have a public works here, we're referencing permit numbers both at the start of the director's order and at the recommendation. so what actually happened here is we had a 15-day appeal window which was missed by mr. klipp. however, he asked a really good question. well, when is the actual permit being issued? so what happened is the applicant, webcor and/or their contractor went through the 15-day window. no appeals were filed. they went through the process to remove the trees. once that went through, mr. klipp pentto the charter board of appeals. so december -- went to the charter board of appeals. public works does take some --
not some, but responsibility for that. we have a resulting decision, we've got the appeal number. i see mr. klipp's frustration over something didn't happen the way it should have. and that's true. i also understand from webcor's perspective, when have you ever been subjected to two 15-day appeal windows? that's just what happened. when public works issues a decision, it's issuing a permit so we don't have this confusion in the future. because i think we have a really great advocate in the urban forest. we certainly have a customer that we work with on a regular basis, and public works takes some responsibility in essentially mixing both of them together. a couple of things just to
address, the tree protection, we did address it on august 22, and it was installed two days later. there were no, like, equipment out on the sidewalk, egregious. the trees weren't being damaged in any way. i would disagree a little bit with the applicant in that how they define construction. we could probably go back and forth on that, but any activities on-site, we consider to be construction-related activities, but again, we have someone that responded in 48 hours. they didn't have a sloppy or housecleaning issues in the right-of-way, so i just want to address that. we're not shirking our responsibility. there's a lot of questions from mr. klipp about did they actually submit an appeal of our denial, and our inspector who's handled this case has been on leave with the national guard.
it could be in her e-mail, but in reading the correspondence and in reading over in great detail, it's hear that the applicant wishes to appeal and they're discussing appeal dates. i would say in terms -- with something -- does something need to be redressed? the idea of the appeal window is so we don't have someone come back two years later and say, i don't know who's living this case. the idea is to keep the process moving forward. if a citizen did the same thing, and technically, we're, like, where is the signed appeal? i would say where is the signed appeal? but clearly, we had a conversation about we don't like your denial, we believe we need to remove the trees. so again, i understand from mr. klipp's perspective, was someone getting special treatment here? but what i would offer is they applied to remove the trees 11
months ago. there's no clear indication of giving someone a green light to remove trees here. we always will insist that we have a signed document or e-mail that says this is our appeal. we wish to aplael, but i don't think it in any way sped the applicant into a process that private citizens wouldn't also receive. the charge or directive from the january 30 hearing was to look at the largest box or largest replacement size possible. so i didn't bring the photo with me. i did meet with katey chisolm for the pronject. a ducked bank has been installed in the set back in the curb. i have two recommendations. at a minimum, they can plant 36-inch box sized replacement trees as they were planning to
do on vanness. i believe the duck bank and the joint trench is likely six to 8 feet below grade. you could wedge 48 box size trees in the top of that space. it could be a problem down the road, but it's likely to be able to be installed, a 48-inch box, putting that slightly above the joint trench. another requirement would be to remove them the joint trench, and in that case, i think 60-inch joint box trees would be possible. that's concerning replacement trees on vanness. we're still trying to hammer down the exact number of replacement trees possible on vanness. we are sort of discussing how much clearance we need from streetlights. we need 21 feet for this pe
species, london sycamore trees, so we're looking at that. >> clerk: thank you. >> commissioner honda: i've got a couple of questions. what's the difference between -- you've got from -- gone from 36 to 48, and then 48 to 60, and then 60 to the next level. >> the references are to the size of the box that the trees come in. a 24-inch box is roughly a two-by-two square. the friends of the urban forests plant 16-inch trees. 36-inch box is about a
three-foot-by three-foot box. those are the size differences. there is a nursery specification, like, the size of the caliper at the base of the trunk. they certainly don't come close to what was removed, but a right lane-inch box would be the most replacement size. >> commissioner honda: you know, given the testimony before us this evening, hopefully, this is a one-off situation with this particular builder, but the process here just kind of reeks, as vice president swig said. i mean, the concern here is could you walk me through that -- after the conditional use, they were required -- we went through this last time, but i'm getting holold. i'm hitting the speed limit.
i believe they were denied, and then, it came back again. was that the situation here? >> well, i know the is case referenced -- i know the case referenced going before planning. the initial trees are shown tract in those rendering. so at bureau of urban forestry, we point out hey, you show those to the public, so that's what the public is going to look like when you complete your project. i did hear my colleague say it wasn't technically the protection or the retention of these trees wasn't written into this. my general take away is the feedback -- from mr. klipp is again,