tv Government Access Programming SFGTV March 15, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
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, if you're in that
immediate vicinity, the trees are getting removed and won't remain. what happened is that our department denied the request to remove the two subject trees on vanness, saying, you know, street trees, we really expect you to expect them and work around them. we had some exchanges in may. i got a little frustrated at one point and told them their inspector tell them they have this giant corner shaped property. like, why can't they work around two trees. now, the hearing was when they started -- there was a discussion about installing the facade, a bunch of other specifics, but that's when this conversation about the prefab facade. >> commissioner honda: i thought the prefab was the second hearing. >> no. we had one hearing. so it wasn't something that was part of their original application -- there was one application, so i shouldn't say original. part of their application discussed challenges working
around the trees, and it really wasn't until the hearing that the issue about the swinging prefab in place really became part of the dialogue. up until that point, it was other construction logistics. >> commissioner honda: okay. thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? >> president fung: do you want to have the other departments? >> clerk: mr. sanchez. >> commissioner honda: acting zone administrator. >> yes. scott sanchez, planning department. so just briefly to the questions that were raised from the conditional use authorization from 2017. in that motion, it did outline as all our motions do general planning code compliance, so it's one of the check boxes that we have. so street trees is one of those subjects that we covered, notes that there are 13 street trees required given the size of the property. it notes that there were three existing street trees, and therefore they needed to plant ten new street trees.
there were no conditions of approval that required the tree existing street trees to be maintained. the street tree requirements initially it been in the planning code -- had been in the planning code and a lot of us had moved to the public works code. things do change after the fact, but we defer to the department of public works on those matters, but there was no condition requiring the street trees to remain. >> commissioner honda: thank you for clearing that up. >> clerk: is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll move onto rebuttal. mr. klipp, you have three minutes. >> okay. the first -- >> president fung: can i interject, mr. klipp? >> yeah, sure. >> president fung: you know, the -- until the urban forester started to talk about the actual elements of the permit,
all we heard previously were issues related to process. i'm just suggesting that we need to hear pros and cons on the permit itself. >> i would love if the applicant had addressed that. again, i think i've gone over in pretty good detail in all of my briefing as far as i can ascertain the merits based on the information that was provided to me by public works, so -- >> president fung: you can say anything you want. i'm just saying -- >> well, i think the merits certainly would have been a fine thing for the applicant to address in its brief, which it didn't do. and i think it's also worth noting when asked by the board if i would agree to a late filing of the brief by the applicant, i agreed if i could respond because there were
substantive things in the brief. i'm not sure what ongoing discussion there was regarding an intent to continue pursuing this tree removal but what was discussion that was was not provided to me in response to my public information request and i'm relying at this point what the applicant put in their brief at this point. speaking of that brief, i would say it did not cover everything that was provided today. in fact there was a whole bunch more information provided by the applicant that i have no substantively way of rebutting because it was presented to the board tonight. essentially, what it comes down to is the applicant saying well, we came in this late in the process, so -- and it sounds like the planning department is saying well, it's just part of the process. it's not mandatory. then what's the purpose?
anybody can come in and get everybody to sign off by saying we're going to preserve these trees, and they really have no idea if that's true. that's what's being told to the planning department, that's what's being told to the public, but apparently they have no teeth and no accountability. i would also point out that the applicant has not talked about the board's outreach in suspending the order -- suspending the permit. there's been no discussion for them other than to say we didn't know. the person that was responsible for this project has no reason -- has not given any -- any evidence that for 24 hours he neither checked his e-mail or voice mail and could have stopped this from happening. last thing i'll say is in formulating a remedy to all of
this, i appreciate that the applicant has offered to cover my costs, and i would say as a sign of good faith, if you are ultimately to fashion a remedy here, i would more than welcome troubling that and giving it to friends of the urban forest who is right now the only entity planting trees on the streets of san francisco. thank you. >> commissioner honda: thank you, sir. >> clerk: thank you. miss pelosi? you have three minutes. >> thank you. i want to clarify a statement that i made earlier. i think it was in response to a question that you asked me about webcor's involvement, and i think it's important to clarify the conditions of the job site had changed that made us -- made us change our approach to whether the trees needed to be removed and therefore apply for the
application to remove them. it is -- it does have to do with the installation of the skin system on the building, but we know that the conditions of the adjacent construction was very unknown at the time that we assisted in any preplanning associated with the project. and the -- the work on vanness and the timing of that work and the timing -- how that was aligning with our construction operations in sequence, that's when we -- we very much understood that those trees were intended to remain when we started the project. it was obviously on the plans when it was, and we had the intent to work around them until we had a better and deeper understanding of the logistics around the project and advised our client that these things -- if we're going to safely do what you asked us to do, they need to come down. the time that it needed to
happen and when we applied for the permit to take them down, that was all prior to us mobilizing for construction. i also did want to clarify the notification. so our superintendent who happened to be the person that received the e-mail that was referenced, he was on a plane. he was traveling, so i -- it was the only place it went. it went to an e-mail address that was not picked up until literally -- he was traveling overseas, i can't remember where he was going. >> commissioner honda: hopefully, somewhere fun. >> it was very surprising to him when he was able to get actual internet connectivity and get the e-mail, but it was that quickly, the way it happened. i did want to clarify that in fact that communication did go to one person. it was our job site superintendent, and it was just a -- it was a missed e-mail. if we would have gotten that
e-mail in time to stop it, we would have. >> vice president swig: the only problem i have -- >> president fung: let them finish. >> yeah. that is all i wanted to say. >> vice president swig: all right. so the problem that i have with that statement, this ain't your first rodeo, okay? you know -- you know -- webcor knows very specifically about the permitting process in this city 'cause that's all you do. that's what you just said. we do most of our work in this city. you know the permitting process. your superintendent was not the only one who knew there was a permit hearing and a permit was either going to be issued or not. so to hang -- somebody gave me a great thing how people throw people under the bus, but to throw him or her under the bus is as bad as let's do it and
then pray for forgiveness. the good news is you're good. the good news is you're very experienced. the good news is you're the biggest and allegedly the best. the bad news about this is you know about the permit system, okay? this is not, again, your first rodeo. so to pin it on a lost e-mail when a permit -- a permit was issued -- a permit process was underway and going to be issued or not, and you know that there is an appeal process, this doesn't sit well with me at all. does it sit well with you? >> well, can i clarify my statement? so i am not at all saying that superintendent was the one responsible to understand the permitting process. he -- specifically, i would not expect him to. we as a company, absolutely. so i think some of the earlier
comments about the confusion around the appeal period and the -- i was even confused after listening to all the different stages that this process went through, unique to maybe how -- unique to this situation. but to clarify, the e-mail that specifically notified us not to takedown the trees, when the complaint was file, when we were made aware, that the permit that we understood we had correctly obtained to takedown the tree, when we were made aware of that, that this was under appeal, we didn't understand that there was an appeal period at that point in time. we thought that that process had already happened. so my point with my superintendent was he was the only one that was made aware that we need to stop these operations within that 24-hour
period that was referenced. and if that e-mail had gone anywhere else, it would have shall whe -- we would have been able to stop it. >> commissioner honda: i have a question. are you done, commissioner? >> vice president swig: oh, sure. >> commissioner honda: given the situation with webcor's shiny reputation. we see a lot of cowboys. this should be a rodeo. given the fact that this was not intentional, what solution do you have to kind of mitigate and make some of the neighbors happy as far as what you're doing to the project as far as tree landscape? >> we're open to -- we're open to what the neighborhood might have discussed. we have a plan right now, we're replacing the trees as part of the plan, so we're -- we definitely intend to do that. we will evaluate any opportunity to replace what's currently specified with what's
determined by everybody what's best for the project. >> commissioner honda: maybe we'll ask the department who their recommendations are. but you're willing to work with us here and absolutely and try to make everyone leave slightly unhappy. >> absolutely, in all capacity. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. mr. buck? >> good evening, commissioners. chris buck, department of public works, deputy of urban forestry. we issued a resulting decision that said this decision was appealable to board of appeals within with 15 days of october 7, 2018. that appeal window wasn't appealed by mr. klipp partly because we -- he felt confident that it was going to be denied again at the departmental level following that hearing, and so when we said, do you want a
copy? he said no, i'll trust the hearing will go fine. the applicant, the webcor -- and i don't want to be seen as going too far outside of my lane to defend them, but again, they had a 15-day appeal window right here that said here here's your 15-day appeal window to board of appeals. we all know what the apepeal i. it's this permit. when mr. klipp hadn't requested a copy, at that point he said well, look, any permit is appealable within 15 days, and your director's order isn't a permit, so i'm going to appeal that. so in webcor's defense, they're now through the 15-daewoo,
they've got an e-mail that says you have gone through this. that's where i'll leave defending them. if you get a note from the director of board of appeals that says this has been suspended, then obviously you've got to suspend work. and i'm not here to cover any tracks from that point forward. we did issue an administrative fine. the order says minimum in lieu fee of $2,000 or ten times the value of the tree. >> commissioner honda: which is appealable, sorry to interrupt. >> there may be another opportunity for dialogue about this in a public format. separately from that, i do think we've made some progress.
my recommendation is we be allowed to work with the applicant here to pin down what the largest possible size trees are. one is because we have a conflict in what we determine to be an adequate clearance from streetlight. secondly, we've come across a possible lifting agreement in pg&e that would allow trees to be placed in a right-of-way when a vault is placed in property. we've always said we can't put a tree there because they may need to lift that. i would suggest or recommend a continuance to we can real -- so we can really start in on the next part of this, which is getting the replacement tree ironed out with diagrams and
plans and addressing all of these issues in terms of the maximum size replacement. lazarovi >> and how long do you think a continuance should be? >> well, it depends. >> president fung: i'm not very supportive of a continuance on this basis. let's be very clear, what exactly has been appealed is the permit to demolish two trees and replace two trees. part of the reason we gave this continuance last time was to reduce the amount of process because we asked them for what is the planting on both streets because they have not submitted for planting permit, which is
going to be required any way. and part of the mitigation to removal might have been related to the overall planning plan. we haven't seen that, any way, so i guess nobody wanted to talk about that. the question, then is why would we then want to continue for maximum box size? it's either this size or you can make it do them -- or you can take them do -- >> commissioner honda: can i interject? i was the one stressing for a larger box size at the beginning. i never knew 6.5 years when the mayor asked me to do this -- or the prior mayor, that i would be a tree steward for san francisco. given webcor's participation this evening and willingness to go forward, that's not such a huge -- i would just like to see more. not necessarily, as much
foliage as we can get as a member stated in public comment, we planted one tree. we need to do a better job of greening our city. we're going to be really sad when there's two trees, and we're charging admission to see them. as long as the permit holder and the appellant are willing to move forward, i would just like to see the process go forward permanently. >> president fung: thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> question for the city attorney. the issue of penalties is not before us, correct? >> correct. >> commissioner honda: sorry. before we go further, can i ask webcor and their representative to come forward? so your $10,000 fine is
appealable. are you planning on appealing that $10,000 fine? >> no. >> commissioner honda: okay. that was the only question i had. thank you so much. >> president fung: who would like to start? >> commissioner honda: well, i guess -- >> president fung: let me remind the board of another -- >> commissioner honda: what's before us. >> president fung: well, no, what happened in another case. there is a case, a very large contractor, a very large project at the corner of mission and 8th, and they had precast panels also, but they chose to go ahead and demolish the trees also, and no m
mea culpas, also. they had to be brought to urban forestry. >> commissioner honda: i'll start off and kind of reiterate and said what i -- say what i said a few minutes ago. i like large, large stature. i think in this particular case, if we can resolve it and with the department's help with the permit holder, i am fine with whatever we can fit in and not go with the largest stature. do we continue or not continue? >> president fung: mr. swig, what's your -- >> vice president swig: well, i always like to take the advice of the department involved when they advise us who are not the experts in their field to take
a continuance, so that is why i would be partial to a continuance. i feel that mr. buck knows his business better than we do. >> commissioner honda: mr. buck, could you come up one more time. the question is do you think a continuance is going to be required to move this process forward? >> i suggested it as sufficiju wanting to acknowledge that i wanted to complete a little more homework before this evening, but based on where we are in the dialogue at this point, i guess the sense from the project sponsor that they're open to making sure we pursue all leads. >> commissioner honda: they evidently seem that they're going to work with us, so why have additional process in front of this body. >> i am fine with either process, and i really appreciate commissioner swig giving me the heads up on that process.
>> commissioner honda: thank you. >> thank you. >> the other question. i believe the permit that's in front of us specifies 36-inch box, so if we want to allow for negotiations on this permit -- >> commissioner honda: i think 36 is fine, unless you want to go 48 or 64. [please stand by] >> commissioner, i think you could grant the appeal, condition the permit, assuming that the department thinks that 36 is -- there's enough room
for 36. you could say at least 36 with the possibility for a larger size box if the department requires it after investigating the site further. >> commissioner lazarus: that's my motion. >> commissioner honda: that's your motion, right? >> works for me. >> clerk: that'sokay. on what basis would that motion -- >> vice president swig: i agree with them on that motion, but how do we -- and it may not be in our jurisdiction, but i really want the -- the appellant suggested initially at least his fees, but we can't do that here, can we? >> that would be outside the scope of what your order would be, but they have said it publicly. >> commissioner honda: they're both nodding. >> vice president swig: well, the reason i surface it is one,
i know we can't do it. two, i don't want the appellant to think that we're not listening to him and not acknowledging that request and also we didn't hear the positive response to that request, but it's outside of our jurisdiction and i want to make that clear to the public. that's all. so i'm fine on your motion. >> commissioner honda: commissioner lazarus's motion. >> clerk: okay. on what basis? >> commissioner lazarus: on the basis that will allow for the best replacement plan. >> clerk: okay. we're not talking about any of the trees on union. >> president fung: that's not before us. >> clerk: okay. we have a motion from commissioner lazarus to grant the appeal and issue the permit to revise that it require a minimum of 36-inch box tree and possibly larger if the department of urban forestry
determines it's best based on research. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: okay. so that motion carries. thank you. >> president fung: do you need two minutes? >> clerk: okay. thank you. so we're moving onto item 6-a and 6-b. these are appeals number 19-008 and 19-009, elena myers versus department of building inspection and james vendetti versus department of building inspection, protesting the issuance on january 16, 2019 to t.m. build to erect three story no basement two family dwelling. this is application ju prelimi
commissioner honda? >> commissioner honda: so upon advice from our city attorney, i'd like to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. one of the permit holders that's before this body is my regular -- i'm their realtor, and they're a source of income. so they're not a conflict of interest, but to avoid a conflict of interest, i need my fellow commissioners to allow me to withdraw from this matter. >> president fung: so moved. >> clerk: okay. so we have a motion from commissioner honda to allow himself to be removed from these matters. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: thank you. okay. we will wait till mr. honda leaves the room. as a preliminary matter, i understand that there is a
withdrawal of 19-009. do you want to -- gary, can you please take the withdrawal form, and did you want to say anything, mr. vendetti? >> i've made an agreement with the developer. >> clerk: okay. thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: okay. so appeal 19-009 has been withdrawn by the appellant. what we have before us is 19-008, and miss myers wanted to request a continuance of the matter. is that still the case, miss myers? okay. you'll have three minutes to present to the board. they'll take a vote, and then, the permit holder would have an opportunity to respond. [inaudible] >> clerk: okay. >> and this has become a legal matter, and i have a l lis pendens here, and the forms for a quiet title action that
we filed yesterday. can i -- i'm not sure who i deliver those to. >> clerk: okay. you can give them to gary. >> okay. thank you. good evening, president fung and commissioners. my name is max schmeider. i'm speaking on behalf of my mother, elena myers. she has owned and occupied the property since 1981. the property consists of a rear house and cottage that can only be accessed -- >> president fung: excuse me for interrupting, but there's been a request by your mother for a continuance? we only want to deal with that first. if it's not given, we'll hear the entire case. >> okay. so what it comes down to is we just filed a lawsuit to perfect
our easement rights on 1058. we just did that yesterday, and the outcome of that case will help the board ultimately determine whether d.b.i. correctly assessed the 1058 designs, and so that pretty much summarizes why we're requesting an indefinite continuance until the legal resolution of this lawsuit. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we'll now hear from the permit holder. >> president fung: on the continuance. >> clerk: on the continuance. thank you. >> good evening, president fung and the commissioners. thank you so much for your time and having us here to listen to this case. i would like to give you a little background on this project. this project was filed on 2015 to construct a two-unit building on this vacant land, and planning department, seven or eight months later, sent a
311 notice to all the -- all the neighbors, and the permit was d.r.'ed by the appellant. when it got in front of the commission that appellants continued asking for a continuance. this project continued in front of the planning commission four times before finally getting approved as -- as its current condition. we purchased the lot from the original owner or previous owner last year, about four or five months ago. we have revised the plans to make sure that the building is code compliant, and the building was filed and approved by planning department and building department. we feel that continuing this is just another effort to prolong this process. it's a two-unit building that is itching to get approved and
constructed, and i see no reasonable reason to continue this project. thank you. >> president fung: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? okay. commissioners. >> president fung: just on the continuance? >> clerk: okay. this is just on the continuance itself, not the substance. okay. [inaudible] >> clerk: okay. so commissioners -- >> president fung: commissioners? >> vice president swig: yeah. so if we were continuing to do what we were supposed to do tonight, i would not be able to move forward because of this very reason. there is a huge ambiguity related to the access to the back -- the back cottage and whether there is an easement or the right of an easement on this, and so i was going to ask
the city attorney actually or i was going to ask the zoning administrator or mr. duffy or somebody about this very issue because clearly, it is the -- the number one outstanding item in this. and without this clarity of an easement, which is what is being posed here and now it has become a legal issue, i would find it very, very hard and -- to responsibly move forward on this item, so this continuance actually comes as a breath of fresh air for me. >> the existence of the easement claim and the pending lawsuit does not legally prohibit you from moving forward with the case today. >> vice president swig: even if -- even if it would really preclude my ability to -- to -- >> that's a discretionary matter up to you.
if you think you would want to wait longer to see what the outcome of the lawsuit is. it could be years; it could be a long time before that is resolv resolved. >> i would be in favor of hearing it. i didn't see any evidence that there was an easement? there was no documents presented stating at such -- as such, so while it is the singular issue of this entire matter. it didn't seem that the appellant presented any information regarding that. >> vice president swig: okay. i have my question well prepared for either one of those two gentlemen, whichever is appropriate on this issue because -- i do, okay? but it would make it a heck of a lot easier to have clarity and not ambiguity on something which is this important.
and maybe -- maybe, i would suggest that we do have a continuance but that we put some boundaries around that continuance and from a time standpoint. so what my fellow commissioner is rightfully saying or what counsel is rightfully saying, we could be waiting for years for this. at least if we continue it for a reasonable period of time to get some -- some view from the courts, it would make me feel a heck of a lot more comfortable. >> the existence of the easement is really a civil matter between the two properties. if there is an easement there, and they have a claim to it, they could go in and seek an injunction to prevent the construction of this building. >> vice president swig: this is why i asked these questions. thank you, counselor. oh, good. we just got a return on our investment today.
thank you. >> clerk: we do every meeting, vice president swig. >> commissioner lazarus: yes, i second that. >> clerk: so commissioners, you have to decide whether or not you want to continue this matter. >> president fung: yeah, i'm not prepared to support a continuance. >> commissioner lazarus: neither am i. >> clerk: we do not have sufficient votes to continue it, so we're going to go ahead with the item. so we will hear from the appellant first. you have seven minutes. miss myers -- or your son is going to go? okay. [inaudible] >> clerk: no, because there's only one appellant. you would have had 14 minutes if you had two appellants. each appellant gets seven minutes each. >> okay. first, i'd just like to
spontaneously address the idea that the developers were -- have been victimized by our easement claims. they purchased the property from the previous developers in september. they were aware that there was an easement problem. they were told that by the real estate developer. it was in the building department records -- permit records that there was a hold until the easement issue was resolved. they knew it there, as well. we put up sign, saying before you purchase this property, contact us to laerearn about t easement. they didn't contact us until january, four months later. you'll find on page 16 that there was a hold placed by the building department and the fire department on the permit for 1058 about a year ago. the hold says very clearly
pending legal -- pending legal easement for the rear cottage. the building department wanted to see it resolved. this is how they got around it. first, they went to the fire department inspector, kathy gill brath a gilbraith, and represented that they would grant an easement. you'll see on this, that they described it as an emergency is bei being -- access was lifted. they withheld that the side access was actually was going to function as a prime year
access. they withheld from him that there was hold on the easement that had been lifted, so david pang had no idea that there was an easement issue. you can see it there, an egress crossing a boundary line that would require a recorded easement to be in place. and so you rememberer stamped these -- so he rubber stamped these designed. ego-5 is an exemption that allows for an egress to pass through a preexisting building. normally, primary egresses must be open court. those are the safest and most code compliant egresses. this is the issue. if our assessment is covered up, they have the -- developers stand to make about $400,000 essentially by covering the easement illegally. that's the issue here because there's 370 square feet that they would lose off their building. this is the real issue that's going on, which is to get building department not to
realize that there's an actual easement issue, and to enclose the egress. so we talked to -- we talked to david pang. i -- i have an e-mail from him where he actually answers my e-mail interpreting ego-5, and he says very clearly, ego-five is limited application. it's for -- it's for preexisting buildings. it says the risk shall not be further increases by proposing an inenclosure of a neighboring passage into the right-of-way. he's requiring them to create an open court easement, not realizing that he actually approved the permit for an enclosed egress because they hid from him that there was an
easement issue. so this came to our attention on february 14. the deadline for this appeal, february 14, we received an e-mail from sufthe in-house lar from sia consulting. mr. duffy is here and will know this is extremely improbable that david pang would have thought that there was a recorded easement in place without having required to see it, so this following week, i followed up on this e-mail and i spoke with david pang myself. i confirmed that this is just untrue. he -- he would not just assume that there was a recorded easement in place that would
allow for primary egress to cross a boundary line. he also reaffirmed what he had said in his prior e-mail, that ego-5 would not authorize the enclosure of an egress. this is another reason why we believe a continuance is justified. and we think mr. duffy should look into this and investigate and come back to this appeals court and see whether or not the developers managed to fool the building department into rubber stamping -- into rubber stamping a design that conceals an actual improperly enclosed primary egress. i'll say just one more thing. the developer also wants my
support for an unrelated project, 999 texas street, 25-unit project. he managed to get a seven -- sorry, a seven-story building onto that lot when really he's only offering enough affordable housing to entitle him to one extra story. he did this because home-sf has this loophole. it doesn't have a density unit, so he can excavate into the side of a hill. he's only offering enough affordable housing for a five-story building. he knows that i'm opposed to the project, and he's been using our vulnerability on this knowing that this is a project that we can't in good
conscience support. >> commissioner tanner: i have a couple of questions. how long has your mother owned the property? >> since 1981. >> commissioner tanner: since that time, have there been efforts to get an easement and formalize that? well, the first question would be is there any recording of a proper easement? >> no. >> commissioner tanner: and was there efforts to get the easement recorded in 2015 when the property changed hands? >> yes. we were in negotiations with the previous developers. at the heart of this, if you don't mind my repeating myself, is the fact that as soon as we are granted an easement -- nobody wants to grant us the easement, even though it's very clear that if the prescriptive
easement is there, there's so much money in creating an open court proper egress. >> in t >>. >> commissioner tanner: were there other requests that were made by your mother? >> let me qualify and answer as many of those as i can remember. there was a request to remove the -- you mentioned the decks on top. the reason for that was the first developers agreed, under pressure from the neighbors, to put sound barrier for those decks. and you'll see from the new plans that the new developers
have taken away the sound barriers. that's a major issue fore the developers. yes, my mother did very temporarily ask for a reduction of one of the stories. reason for that -- and it only lasted about 30 seconds during a conversation with them. the reason for that was she -- the building is only about four stories if you include the garage, but sometimes it's described as three stories, and for some reason, she thought this was a four story with a garage. it was included within a minute, and it never has reappeared in any communications between us. >> commissioner tanner: initially, it seems that the project sponsors are stating that they had offered to perhaps perform some work on your mother's property in order to create the access that's required through perhaps the basement which the door right now is not compliant, and i don't know if that offer is
fully made or you have any knowledge of that discussion. >> is there the -- is this the previous vel are or the current one? -- developer or the current one? there was an offer from the previous developer, and what it was was there was a $30,000 offer made to send it through our garage. the problem is that our garage is not high enough. it's a low garage. it's less than 7 feet. it would be 150 to $200,000 to build it through our garage. the reason why this has received so many continuances in the past is because our objections have been found to have merit, and sometimes the previous developer didn't show up at these meetings, so that's
what happened. >> commissioner tanner: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. you can be seated now. >> thank you very much. >> clerk: we will hear from the permit holder. >> so the magic question is was this permit issued by eric? as you know, i'm the partner of shea consulting. we've been doing design and consulting in this city, beautiful city of ours for the last 40 years. been a partner for the last 30 years. i've done thousands of projects in this town. if there was an easement recorded on this lot, we would not have been able to move the project forward. there is no easement recorded to the lot. sometimes -- on the lot. sometimes you see an easement granted if the lot is land
locked and there is no other way to access the lot. this is not the case. their lot has frontage on mississippi. they have a garage that extends all the way to the back of the building. if i may have the overhead. this is the door that is at the back of the garage. they wrote 5'1" of ceiling height that would get access into the garage and then eventually onto the mississippi. by excavating 2 feet at this point, there can be a corridor that can provide access to the rear unit, by the legality -- which the legality of it is unknown at this point.
again, there's no easement on our lot. but having done so many plans in this town. you rarely see me before you guys. every time, we try hard to reach an agreement and that's why we are never before you. that's what we done in this case. we met with neighbors on all side. mr. vendetti also filed an appeal, and we performed meetings with him and his engineer. we made them feel comfortable about the plans and they dropped their appeals. we did the same with miss myers, and we offered to provide an easement through our building. on the first floor plan, you see we have a path all the way to the front. this easement, if provided, it
will devalue our building and it will raise the value of miss myers' building. that offer is still on the table. it has always been on the table from the beginning. however, miss myers and her son are asking for compensations beyond our acceptance, and this is why our deal is far from being reached. again, i strongly feel that the permit was issued correctly. i spoke to mr. pang, david pang, the plan checker on the project. mr. myers spoke to him, and told him there was an easement, and got him confused, and it was routed to the fire department for review. california law does not allow any egress to a neighboring property unless there's an
easement recorded. there's no easement recorded as you can see on the title report. so my question is for this body to approve our plans and allow us to move this project forward. i'm available for any questions or comments you may have. thank you. >> commissioner tanner: excuse me, sir. can i just have a question. can you provide the agreements that you did reach with the other appellant, and what were you offering mrs. myers, what were you offering to negotiate with her? >> with mr. vendetti, he was concerned that we were going to underpin his foundation. we went out there, dug a test pit. he asked us to get an engineer of his choice involved and we offered to pay for it. we've been in touch with him for the last two weeks, three weeks, and details have been flying back and forth between the two engineering firms, and
both firms feel comfortable with this proposal. there was a privacy concern, that we said we would comply with the request. there was a drainage concern that they wanted us to allow some of the drain yaj frage fr roof to go onto our property. we agreed to do that. there was a concern about the building after construction doesn't move, and we have agreed to that. we have promised that any damage to his building, we would take care of it right away and correct the project if -- if any damage comes up. and i just want to point out that we are architects, engineers. we will permanently be on top of this project, not just the contractor and the owner of a
lot that has no clue about construction. we will be here at this lot every single day and -- >> president fung: okay. i think they answered your question sufficiently. t tap -- currently, the tenant is going to our lot which has all kind of trip hazards. at night time, it's all mud and that kind of stuff. we are providing a hallway, well-lit. we have offered to install an interc intercom for them, and provide an easement, but that has not been enough. >> commissioner tanner: and in the appellant's brief, she stated that the statement from you guys that it was only for
emergency access, that this would only be emergency entrance and access. what's your claim? >> that's not true. what we have offered is to allow them access if they agree to drop their appeal and their lawsuit, but we don't -- we're not there, we're not close. >> commissioner tanner: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. you can be seated. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department fu department. >> president fung: you're acting? >> yeah. scott sanchez, planning department. the subject permit proposes two dwelling units. the site permit was submitted in december 2015 after actually the previous owner had
purchased the property and developed this application. it went through a neighborhood notice at the end of 2016. during that time, there was a discretionary review filed by the appellant, and i believe it was probably november or december of 2016. the schedule for hearing for discretionary hearing before the planning commission on february 26, 2017, then continued to march 16, 2017, then continued to april 27, 2017 and then continued again to july 13, 2017. at the final hearing, the planning commission heard the item and did not take discretionary review. at that time, it was noted some of the concerns raised by the appellant being the easement issue is not under the purview of the planning department or the planning commission. that's a private matter that they must resolve separately, given that their -- from all research that's been done, there is no easement that's recorded on the property.
the project is completely code compliant. last year, a new owner purchased the property and had the subject site permit issue and it is brought before you. again, the issues that have been raised here largely not planning code related. they are more civil related. the appellant did site concerns of a project under the hill at 999 texas. that is not on appeal. that project has just submitted the p.p.a., preliminary project assessment, a couple months ago to clarify a misunderstanding of the appellant. from my review of the p.p.a., it is compliant, so under the home-sf, they're allowed one additional story, so height is measured from the front property line. they have four floors, a 40-foot height limit. they have a fifth story that
they are proposing. so to clear, they are not seeking two additional stories, they are seeking one initial story on the p.p.a., but again, that is not before you, but i do want to clarify that for the record and for everyone's information. i think that was all i have -- and it was discussed -- the previous project sponsor did make a similar offer of access through their property. they said they can provide the access but not necessarily the changes on the appellant's property. they have to do steps or something to get down to their property, that wouldn't be part of that offer, but it seems if they had many continuances,
they weren't able to get to a resolution in the materials submitted by the project sponsor, they said they weren't able to get a clear answer from the appellant of what was desired or wanted. and i'm available for any questions. thank you. >> vice president swig: so just a macroquestion, but it's tied to the situation of this case. in the case where a house was built 100 years ago, just pick a number, and when an area might be farm land, there wasn't the urban in-fill that existed today, and then, the urban in-fill occurred, and still, in this situation where