tv Government Access Programming SFGTV March 16, 2019 12:00am-1:01am PDT
housing and destruction of long established neighborhoods. i would call that process using some other speakers' words, nondemocratic. it's taking control and it is not based on public process. i am afraid to admit that i believe that this potentially is an modifying of the city and it may be indeed the end of the civic construct that we call city. it is regulation from the topdown with no ability to participate. no ability to shape our own future. unfortunately, i would have to agree with person speaking to the sun setting of chinatown where he identified, i would go as far as saying, the way we know san francisco, it may be sun setting on the community of
neighborhoods of san francisco. >> president melgar: so i am -- if i could speak. i cannot yet support this bill. but i do want to be on the record where i think it needs to go for me to be able to support it. so first, the things that i do like about this bill, and i think are necessary. i strongly support the densification of rh-1 and rh-1b neighborhoods. it's important. i would like to explain i'm a member of generation x and i think there is a generational shift here between how the baby boomer generation and how millennials use land. and the way that we use resources.
i'm glad you touched on prop 13, because i do think it's something we're not acknowledging here. prop 13 allowed a generation of homeowners in california and in san francisco, to benefit from lower taxes and not carry their fair share of the infrastructure that was being used by everyone. this is transportation, this is schools, it has been an entire generation. of folks who have benefitted from lower taxes while not paving the way for the subsequent generations. and we're feeling it in all kinds of way. so transportation is a really important part of our climate change problems in california. we need to invest in it more. and we need to do that. the only way to do that is by raising taxes and property taxes in particular.
so i strongly support the densification of lower dense neighborhoods and the investment in raising property taxes to support greater housing and to make way for a new generation of san franciscans. that being said, this bill does not go far enough. so there is a guy named nikko, who is professor of public policy at san diego state university and he says something like -- if i get this straight -- millie is looking at me because she knows what i'm talking about. he says, look, we in the public realm, you know we invest in transportation infrastructure. we put billions of dollars and that conveys increase in property value for property owners who live in corridors. if you look on zillow and look
up your house, if your walk score is higher, your value is higher in san francisco. this happens all over california. now sb50 comes in and puts that up times 100. so if we follow the thinking, what we need to do is recapture that value that we are -- you know, giving to property owners and developers. we need to recapture that, because we are putting that value there. so we need it for housing. we need it for transportation. we need it for schools and all kinds of things. and so, to me, this bill does not go far enough in recapturing that value that we are creating magically by up-zoning these places that i think need to be up-zoned. i think to rectify the decades of prop 13 disinvestment that we've had, it is an essential part of what i think needs to happen for me to support this
bill. the other challenges that i see in the bill as it currently is configured is the sort of vulnerable communities piece. i think five years is not enough. and i don't see any resources identified to help these communities come up with plans that are in their best interests to come up with community benefits packages that rectify the decades of disinvestment and red-lining that most of these communities have gone through. so i would like to see that in the bill. i think it is -- it is like we owe it to these communities. otherwise,it's going to be a blood bath. and these communities that tend not to show up for hearings like this and are not terribly savvy when it comes to development, you know, will be demolished and i don't want want to see that across the state. this is a challenge all over
california, but it is a challenge for our board of supervisors. we've been talking about rental registry for years. and it's not there yet. why isn't it there yet? you know? i think other smaller municipalities have been able do this and we're in silicon valley and we're not that big. there is 320,000 units in san francisco. why do we not have a rental registry yet? it is a challenge and i think that, you know, we need to do this because of the onslaught of bills that are coming, but also because it's the right thing do and we should have done it 5, 10 years ago. lastly, what i will say is that you know, i think climate change is a real thing. i think we need to address it. i think that, you know, being able to use the land in a more
strategic way is something that i support. i think that we need to challenge folks to think about the impacts that it will have on, not just this generation, but the next generation. and i look forward to seeing more work on this bill before i can support it. commissioner richards. >> commissioner richards: continuing on my notes. let's be clear. it's not really honest to say that this bill will allow local demolition laws to be in effect. let's say it for what it is. it's a bald faced lie. there is a thing called the housing accountability act that will override the bill. it's the enforcer law here. it overrides local demolition. this actually, as it's written, it doesn't -- it won't allow for
demolition of rent-controlled unit. there is no exception. as long as you're densifying the lot, you can demolish whatever building you want. >> so 7-year rule? >> no, rent controlled. >> president melgar: through the chair, please. >> commissioner richards: i have a vacant building, i can demolish it if no one is there for seven years. it doesn't control the rent-controlled buildings. they'll be falling out of stock as people leave them vacant. it overrides it. this bill overrides design standards as well as livability standards. it up-zones entire city and we can't say no to any project based on the haa. and some of the livability standards are height, density, setbacks, lot mergers, parking, massing, exposure requirements,
rear yard requirements, demolition controls and design standards and then even question impact fees. what are these? these are the livability standards we have to making us living in close proximity to each other, work. i guess i look for confirmation from ms. rogers, based on the density bonus and the equitable community incentive, i can pick planning zone table up to 3 and that makes my project code compliant. so a developer picks their own planning code. let's call it for what it is. i want to maximize my profit. i want to go to the back of the lot. i don't give a crap about my neighbors. i'm just out for the money. there is no discretionary process because we have a code-compliant project by definition of what the developer chooses. i mean, if we had the ability --
housing accountability acts needs to be amended because it makes all these laws worthless. if we had the ability to say, you can't pick that incentive because that creates an issue for the neighbor, we could fill in every backyard in the city. if every developer chooses to do that, eventually, we'll have no backyards. we'll be lot to lot line buildings. we have -- we need to shape the project to make it more livable. that doesn't happen under this bill. we also can't say no to design guidelines the developer says the -- makes the project infeasible. we can get the nastiest looking buildings at the developer as discretion. when i read the bill, this is the kicker, i never imagined you
could take equitable communities incentive and add the density bonus on top of it. does that mean i can do three additional floors and three additional floors? can i double-dip on the incentives, concessions and waivers like that? >> president melgar: ms. rogers. >> maybe it would be helpful for the overhead to be put back on. we tried to draw what it would look like if they were in the part of the sb50 bill where they could use the maximum height. >> commissioner richards: was there additional height they could add on top? >> that is our estimate of the state density bonus plus the maximum possible bonus under sb50. as it the other version. >> commissioner richards: thank you for clarifying that. there was another slide that
would show something bigger. that's good. i thought you would get one or the other. it looks like a bit of a double-dip. i guess if i can ask. i tried to find, can you put this on the overhead? i tried to find a building that would be seven stories, eight stories that would look like a building covered under this with exceptions, concessions and waivers. an existing one. and i found one. this is somebody's single-family house with what could be to the maximum. if you wanted to do concessions and waivers times two. you get this out of scale building with the existing residence. i'm worried about the ability to combine lots unlimited. we had 2918 mission. they had two lots.
i asked can they buy the lot on the corner, the lot next door and can we stop them? no, they can have the full block if they're able to acquire it and they could build a building we can't say no to. we lived this. this is not conjecture. the interesting mr. welch talked about the issue about transportation gap. i mean, we have impacts that come. we had them identified in eastern neighborhood plans around transportation parks and open space, libraries, child care facilities, all the -- schools. all these different things we're going to need to actually create because we're going to have more population that are going to need them. so how are we going to pace development if we can to the infrastructure improvements needed? so there is only so much available open space for parkland. are we going to be shrinking the available space for resident?
we're going down? how can we get lots and create parks out of them? these are things that people aren't thinking there. transportation is another one. perhaps the mta needs to do analysis of the bill, with the population projection, the number of units and what they're going to need. the mta needs to weigh in, too. i think mr. welch is right so we understand that. zoning by bus service. page 15. has any other city done this that you're aware of? no. okay, so this is the first in the u.s. my question is what about the performance of the line? i mean at what point do you say it doesn't come every 15 minutes, because it only comes every 15 minutes half the time. there is a qualitative aspect to this. i can't imagine up-zoning, down zoning based on bus lines that
may not come. i don't mean these ontime performances run 70%. so what if it falls to 50? what if we get rid of a bus line? we had the transportation, we had the t.e.p. a decade ago where we changed bus lines and bus stops. the other thing, we're seeing increases in population and decreases in transit ridership. i mean, i looked at l.a. they've invested $12 billion in public transportation and their transit ridership is down to 1985 levels, despite a massive increase in population. what is going on? are we really going after this smart? is this really going to do what it says it's going to do? we have, you know, maybe in transit or development areas, you can't register a car? or you do one per dwelling unit. you have to start creating the
behavior that you're trying to deliver on not having cars. m.i.t. is doing a study, autonomous development. i joked the other week, maybe we're going to have flying cars, well the next week i pulled the article about uber having flying cars. are we basing this on a premise of 20th century model of transportation? seriously. that's a question. are we going? are we adding this to where we're going or are we looking backwards and doing the wrong thing? prevailing wage. there is a lot of small projects here. i doubt that the smaller builders have to pay a prevailing wage. there is exception in the government code for that. large projects absolutely. the number of workers needed, a couple of weeks ago, the two articles in "the chronicle",
200,000-400,000 shortage. if we pass this bill, what's going to happen to the cost of labor. are we going to get the workers to start getting this done? historic preservation impacts. this is a big do nut hole on that. it calls out for the historic on the national or state register. this bill needs to do the same. let's make sure that what is left of san francisco resembles what we know san francisco was like. in my closing, will this actually cause what we want it to? well, recently the body of knowledge that has come out, very, very recently in fact, some studies, economics of housing, up-zoning chicago, 2013, and 2015. person who was a housing advocate, an m.i.t. doctorate student looked at chicago and said, we're at the local -- what
are the local impacts of zoning change? i show up-zoning that reduce parking requirements in a manner to evaluate outcomes i used prices on housing unit permits. i detect increases in values for transactions on parcels that allowed a boost. i'm going to win. i have one of those. i also identify increases to residential condos, that up-zoning increased prices of housing units. i demonstrate that the impact of up-zoning is higher property prices but no new construction. second, september, 2018, the federal reserve -- this is not a sloppy outfit -- they did a study that looked at different cities and said what would the amount of production have to be
to reduce the cost through three standard deviations? meaning capture every example. this is september of 2018. this is not ancient stuff. 5% increase in the housing stock. we have 390,000 units, multiplied by .5. 40,000 units. in san francisco, one standard deviation will reduce the price of rent .0049. on a one-bedroom unit that is $17.64. two standard deviations, meaning we're going to catch more of this, be more certain, $35.10 on a $3600 one-bedroom apartment. and three standard deviations, $52.20 reduction. again, 1.45%. housing producing is part of the
solution, but it's not the only solution there is. it's a supply side argument. and we're seeing here that may not be. i guess, i have one question for you on population. and how they drive all this. i understand we're coming up to a new population setting with the state demographier, you were involved in the last one. how does that work? because all the numbers are based on the projections that the government entities are providing to the state demographier. >> just to make sure, the arena protections is one set of numbers and the 30-year forecast for the area is a different number. arena numbers deprived from -- where do they come from? >> the arena numbers are developed by the state level.
there is a dialogue to assess the allocation. regional agency in the bay area, the association of the area governments interacts with the demographiers and the finance department at the state level to figure out the methodology.er a department at the state level to figure out the methodology. once abowe get the five numbers. the total for the categories. at the regional agency, there is a allocation by city. and there is regional criteria to assess what is the appropriate number. five numbers for each. >> commissioner richards: so if i am facebook and say i'm going to add 200,000 workers in the "x" period, the next period we're looking at, do those get
incorporated in? is this creating the demand for housing side. >> it is. employment is important factor for understanding the ability for each jurisdiction. >> commissioner richards: and that's happening, the new cycle is right now, isn't it? >> we still have a couple more years before we start -- >> commissioner richards: thanks. that's interesting. >> president melgar: thank you, commissioner. did you have something, ms. rogers? >> it might be worth it to add a little bit of closing comments from our work on this document. in particular, to commissioner richards question about kind of the most extreme version we illustrated where it shows the maxim state density and the bonus allowed under sb50. we did mention briefly during the presentation while this is technically possible, there are some architectural reasons,
there are fiscal reasons why we don't think that would be particularly likely. we can talk about that more, but i want to put that on the table again. and say this were to pass, and the commission still had concerns. there is nothing in it that would prohibit us from further developing some locally objective design standards we could apply. we could put in provisions that address lot mergers and guidelines. we still maintain that level of authority locally here. i think that is important, because while we all agree there is a problem with housing affordability and we agree it's not just san francisco's problem, is beyond us, it's regional and statewide, there is still a level of discomfort in giving up what we've had as very complete control. you know, san francisco is very
unique in the size and depth of the planning code. your discretion to review projects, to modify projects is unprecedented, so is the control of the general plan. you have a very strong control over planning in san francisco. and losing that is a little bit difficult. but i would say that we are obligated to look for a multitude of solutions that include supply, but also include some of the other things. there are pending bills. they're not as developed, but there are pending bills that would address just-cause evictions. there are those that address rent control and legal assistance for tenants. as much as we react against this, we need to react for solutions. so i appreciated the person who mentioned solutions. i would like this leave us thinking about solutions, because this bill may or may not survive, but the problem will still be with us and we need to
work on it. >> president melgar: thank you, ms. rogers. i wanted to add after the comments. i took an uber here and you know, chatted it up with the driver who was a wonderful lady, a mother of six kids who moved to oakland from patterson in the central valley. and she told me, like her whole life story. while the kids were little, she and her husband were very, very poor. you know, and the minimum wage in patterson is like $7 an hour. and they decided to move to oakland and through a serious of just very lucky happenings, they were able to get section 8. and they were able to get into a program where this they can buy their own unit. the way she was telling her
story was about the economic opportunity that was provided for her family and her kids being able to go to better schools and being able to earn a living wage, because she was able to move to oakland from patterson. the incredible luck she had, you know, in finding an affordable subsidized unit. right? so i think i would like that economic opportunity for folks to come to the bay area. and be able to do that. the younger generation, but also people who have been excluded from our economic activity in san francisco. and you know, i think sometimes we harken back to the good 'ole days. san francisco has always been a city where money getz made. that is how we started. the 49ers came here to make money. not in an environmentally good way. not, you know, by not oppressing
native americans. that's where our roots are in the city. and i think that our progressiveness would guide us to different set of policies and what i want to see are policies that are equitable. equitable along race, but also generationally. i am not afraid of density. i think that the east side of the city is zoned for much greater density than the west side. and the neighborhoods on the east side are pretty great. there are cities around the world that are much denser than san francisco. paris being one of them. it's a great city. and you know, they have open space. not backyards, but you know, there is a vibrant life in other cities that are denser. so i think it can be done. i still don't support this particular bill because i think
it needs some evolution. and i already stated where i think it needs to go for equity. but i do think that density can be a good thing and i think it can be -- it has to be in terms of equity, generationally and spatially and in terms of our policies around climate change and transportation. commissioner richards? >> commissioner richards: just two points. one, density -- i came out saying density, we're going to need it. i think minneapolis did the right process. they had a public process on what kind of densification they wanted. how many units on a lot. there were 800 pages of feedback that i used to read when i couldn't sleep. there was a lot of good feedback from residents, but it was a true public process they agreed upon and are moving forward with. this is a topdown approach. this is not that process.
objective standards, let's take lot mergers. yes, no, you can't merge lots? is that objective? >> yes, that would be objective. >> commissioner richards: great. i'm going to talk to a few supervisors about that. >> commissioner hillis: on minneapolis, who i agree did the right thing. it was not wildly supported, especially those in rh-1 districts, there was a lot of pushback, even though there was community process, there is going to be a lot of pushback by up-zoning areas that are currently rh-1. this bill creates the type of units we don't see getting built here. we see the 50-unit condo buildings that everyone likes to refer to as luxury units. but we don't see the 2, 3, 4-unit buildings. but to commissioner melgar's point about recapturing the value, does this prohibit us
from adding inclusionary to the lots? so you know, when this -- if this were to be passed, could we say, a four-unit building now requires a unit of inclusionary housing that was in the rh-1 district? >> no, it doesn't seem to preclude us. >> we can make rules subsequent to this? >> yep, we can make a special inclusionary rate for rh-1 and r h -- rh-2. >> commissioner moore: i do not believe that densification is against a livable city, but there are nuances of densification that do not only speak about the number of units, but the base size of a unit. and i think a lot of room is in defining what the right space size for units are.
>> commissioner richards: just one last thing. in the mess of bills that we've got, commissioner hillis' question of 330, were to pass, it would freeze any fees assessed against units as of january 1, 2018. so there is all the things lurking in all the different bills we might have good ideas to solve the problem, but they're all counteracting each other. it's one you have to look at if you want to charge lower than nine units. sb330. nancy skinner from berkeley. >> i think we're done. we're going to take a break before we come back to item 6.
>> good evening. welcome back to the san francisco planning commission regular hearing for thursday, march 14, 2019. i ask member of the public to silence mobile devices. when speaking before the commission, state your name for the record. we left off on 6. that was pulled off of consent. case number 018-0035593 broadway, this is a conditional use authorization >> good evening. i propose that 906 broadway to establish instructional services that was last used as a school in 2011. the community facility and services include historical tours, events and adult education programs focussing on
career develop, business. on march 6, the preservation commission approved appropriateness. since publication of the packet, staff received an additional letter of support. i have copies of that. the department recommends that the commission grant the request for cancel use authorization and approve the project with conditions finding it necessary in compliance with the planning code. this concludes my presentation. >> president melgar: thank you. hi. project sponsor? >> yes. my name is -- i'm the executive director. i wanted to apologize. i think some of our people in
the beginning, oversight, it's our first time on the consent agenda. some people had to go. i will try to be as fast as possible. i'm the executive director of 906 world cultural center, a new nonprofit organization that is located in the our lady of guadalupe church. here is a time line for the building's history. as you can see, it was church for about 100 years providing a safe and inviting place for the community to come and worship. as a new nonprofit, we have a new platform. our mission is to use this historic building to bring people together through art,
education and culture. we're dedicated to increasing the quality of life of our community. and by providing professional development and personal wellness classes. our vision is to create diversive communities within our walls and hope it expands beyond. so we are -- this is what we're planning. we're hoping to be a community and instructional service facility. we'd like to host community meetings and other activities that promotes a healthy way of life. arts and expression. networking events. seminars, lectures and other educational initiatives. the upstairs would be used for community gatherings and larger scale classes. down stairs for smaller classes with the classrooms available. this is kind of an overview of the different classes. obviously, you can take between two hours and 10 weeks for
someone to obtain a new skill. this is giving an idea of what to expect. also, the health and wellness classes are primarily done during the week and will feature medication, yoga, and tai chi. this is a sample schedule of what we are planning to do. i spent a lot of time working on the main hall because the classrooms won't be open until the fall. but these are the pipeline, so i encourage you to join us. it will be a lot of fun. the other thing, this is the initial program offering. so i do expect that i will receive feedback from all the participants to better gauge what we're doing well and what we should be doing better. our educators are local. these are the people who will be educating at 906. it's been easy to tap into local
talent which is has been exciting. i realized additionally, i have a tremendous opportunity to create a lot of impact for people. i think about the ripple effect of good i'm helping educators, students and the community and i'm really, really excited about that. we have 48 letters of support. who are these people? they are local residents, neighbors, churches, schools, politicians, mexican community which has been tremendously helpful for me, and i know, local businesses. i think i said that. i'm not sure. but, 48. and this is kind of overview of all the community outreach we've done. we've held countless meetings, one on ones and tours in the local community. we've had events that we've
invited the community in to meet us, ask questions, talk to us, and give ideas on what they think we should be doing. we have openly advertised through radio and tv back in december. that is the first new tradition at 906. i hope you'll join us for that. and i've even volunteered to get facetime with certain organizations. and every friday, i actually open the doors to see who will come in and i'm always pleasantly surprised to meet neighbors who have never seen the doors open. here's highlights from our project support. these are derived from the letters of support. the first person is actually a long-term resident and merchant in north beach. you might recognize shine and shine, the second person is a russian hill resident. she is the new russian hill --
she is the new social chair for russian hill neighbors. and the third person represents chinatown and he is the reverend from true sunshine church and has been a tremendous help for me to meet people in the neighborhood. we plan on being good neighbors. so regarding transportation, we also discourage cars entirely and encourage muni, biking and walking and we're not opposed to having a white zone in front of the church if need be. >> thank you, your time is up. but the commissioners may have questions. >> president melgar: thank you. with that, we will open this up for public comment. if anyone has public comment on the item, please come up now. i have speaker cards [reading of the names]. anyone still here? come on up.
>> hello, good evening. i'm here because -- i'm here to offer my support to the people who are at lady guadalupe church. fourth generation san franciscan. my grandparents were married there, my great grandparents in 1927, my great, great uncle in 1910. i'm happy they're using it for something that is helping the public that is having the community get together, which is what it originally served the purpose of. it stood closed and abandoned and derelict for over 20 years. and it's right up the hill from the cable car. there is a lot of opportunity there to help to benefit the community. i think it's important that this place be preserved. it represents what was originally the latino and the mexican neighborhood in san francisco. before the mission, in 1950s,
the mexican community and the latino were there on broadway street. the nature of the city generally is flux. and neighborhoods change through time. but to preserve something that shows we've been there for a long time. i'm happy they're using it and it's something positive that will benefit the community. if it was a disco, i'd be protesting right now. i thank you for your consideration. i give my family and my ancestors who are all dead, we give support. >> president melgar: any other public comment on the item? >> my names gloria. i'm also here in full support of this being used as a cultural center and a community center.
i also was a member of the guadalupe church when it was in full swing. i was baptized there. my parents were married there. i did my first holy communion there. but i think the important thing is that it was the cultural center of the hispanic community. and until the broadway tunnel was built. and it still is very meaningful that it be used as a cultural gathering place. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. any other public comment on this item? >> everybody, i am here because i am trying to look into the vision of the guadalupe for so many years, helping people who started fighting, because it was a fight at the beginning for 25 years. i am here -- even live in san
francisco. and i don't care, because i really support this beautiful project. i got here at 12:30, and look at the time. i don't care. i'm mexican and i want to be sure that guadalupe keeps going. it's a really nice because around the neighborhood will be nice for everybody. i don't see anybody complaining about it, because it's going to be good for san francisco, too, for the whole people and for the nation. i want my grandchildren to come here to the guadalupe church every 12th of december. we have open doors. last year, again, because we think of the children, with the closed door, for so many years. there is no matter for us. we're there. i want to keep it going. i really appreciate whatever decision you take, i want to be sure that you say yes, but
anyway. i want to -- there are ways -- it's good for the community and that's why we are here. this is the third time that i am here. i wasn't here last time because i was sick. you can hear my voice. i got bronchitis, but i don't care. i want to keep it going, this project. it's a tradition for guadalupe and the good of the community in san francisco and everybody who came. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> hi. i work in women's leadership and i do a lot of speaking at events and planning to partner with 906 on bringing professional development to this space. i'm also a neighbor. i live two blocks away.
i just wanted to speak on behalf, my full support of everything they're doing. in my work, i get a lot of opportunities to bring this type of experience and classes and professional development to a lot of our tech companies. and there is a lot of giving opportunity to people who already have opportunity and what i love about the space is just being able to give access. and really bring the community together around something that might not be part of an exclusive space. a member's only space. and really pull the community together and give them access to something that is not always given. my full support to someone who is a partner and neighbor just a couple of blocks away. >> president melgar: any other public comment on this item? >> hello. hi. can you hear me?
i'm a wellness coach and i'm here to show my support. and also to ask for your approval. i think 906 is going to be an amazing cultural center. and what i want to say is that when i teach meditation to my students, i say that meditation is an act of self-love. and it's an act of self-care. and what i want to say, i think, being able to have centers and cultural centers like this in san francisco, where people can gather together and really connect with themselves and connect with each other, creates amazing sense of community that it's a ripple effect that has a lot of power. so, please consider this and please give it a thumb's up. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. any other public comment on the item? if there is -- public comment, please? line up so we don't take the time in between.
>> thank you. i'm a neighbor. i live across the street. i moved to the neighborhood when the church was being closed and they were holding vigils to try to keep it open. so it was noticeable it was closed. i'm here to express concerns for traffic. it's great, everybody encourages don't drive, but there have been a couple of events at the location i'd say over the last year and a half. sfpd had to come and barricade the street. has there been impact assessment done on traffic for certain events that are potentially 300 people and evening events where half of that would be ride share. so yeah, more just like if we could have a discussion and see an impact study on that. thank you. >> president melgar: any other public comment? okay. with that, public comment is now
closed. >> commissioner hillis: thank you for the testimony. i know this was on consent and pulled off, so people had to stick around, but it was good to hear about the project and hear from the community. i'm very supportive. i encourage you to work with your neighbors about traffic and other issues that may come up, but i think that is great use of the building. i move to approve. >> second. >> there is a motion that has been seconded to approve this matter with conditions on the motion. [roll vote called] that motion passes unanimously, 6-0. commissioners, place this on 13a and 3. 654 35th avenue.
this is conditional use authorization. >> good evening, president, members of the commission. department staff. the proposal before you is a request for conditional use approval for increased residential density of one unit per 1500 area in rh-2 zoning district. the project site has an existing single-family home located in the rear of the lot. because of the location of the existing residence, the project requires rear yard and dwelling unit variances for planning code sections 134 and 140. the zoning administrator will review these variance requests as next item on today's agenda. the subject parcel is largely
vacant. approximately 4500 square foot in size. located mid block on 35th avenue between balboa and cabrillo streets. the subject lot -- the site is subject to a legislative 10-foot front setback. new construction consists of a four story two unit residential building with three parking spaces. the proposed new dwellings have three to four-bedrooms each and private space. the new building will be located in the front of the lot which is vacant and has existing curb cut leading to a new defunct garage in the existing building which is currently remodeled under separate permit. the existing building underwent historic evaluation and was found to not be historic. the project maintains a scale of development that is appropriate
to the district and compatible with adjacent buildings. the applicant worked diligently with staff to reduce building mass per the residential guidelines. the evolution of the building design includes the reduction in height by 1.5 feet. increased setback of the top floor by an additional 6 feet. and complete removal of a stair penthouse that was originally proposed. this part of the richmond neighborhood is zoned rh-2 and is surrounded primarily by two family dwellings with a few apartment buildings that range in height from 2-4 stories. typical lots are about 2500 square feet in size. only one other parcel on the subject block appears to have the adequate lot area of 4500 square feet. and a dwelling unit density to be eligible for a similar
residential density entitlement. no parcels on the opposite block appear to qualify. the department received letters from those who support the project. the enhancement of the streetscape and proposed one to one parking ratio. one example of the letter is included in your packet. two letters were from a law firm representing neighbors who are against the project. concerns are dwelling resident density, insufficient parking, soil excavation and fire safety. these letters are included in your packet as well. yesterday, an additional packet from the same law firm was submitted. copies of these have been distributed to the commission secretary. it largely contains correspondence between the
project taerkt and the -- architect and the parties opposed. the project architect has done a great deal of communication with the group and lowered the height of the building by 1.5 feet beyond what the department had asked. staff recommends approval of this conditional use authorization request. the project will better utilize this underdeveloped large lot. the project has gone under extensive design review by the department to meet the residential design guidelines and will add two family-sized dwelling units to the city's housing stock. while retaining the more naturally affordable single-family dwelling that exists on the lot. this concludes my presentation. i'll be available to answer any questions. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you very much. hear from the project sponsor.
>> good -- do i get five minutes for seven? >> five. >> i represent the owners of the 754 35th avenue. they're local builders who are completed over 100 projects in san francisco. i'd like to thank laura for helping us through the project so far. it's a fate fl day we spent hours talking about how to add density sensitively, because that's what this project is. we're asking for conditional use to add a new duplex. i understand under sb50 that might be as a right, but so far we're here asking for the authorization. and for what it's worth, the excerpting house was purchased in 2017, built in 1907 and vacant and has never been rented that we know of.
overhead or laptop. here's our proposed building. it's four stories tall. here you can see the existing building toward the rear of the parcel. and then our building in the front. here's again a site plan, this time north, oriented to the south. we have a setback. the lot is 37.5 feet wide and we're proposing a 38-foot deep building. there would be a mid yard and then our existing building with the rear yard. we do require variances for the lack of a 25% or 30-foot rear yard. and that leads us to exposure variance as well.
this map shows the adjacent densities near us. our lot is in the middle, shown as proposed, three units. as the color increases in intensity, that shows additional density. obviously along balboa street, it's different zoning, but there are buildings there with 10 or 12 units. on 36th street, there are buildings with 12 units. similar thing occurs with the height limits. 40-foot height limit zone. this map shows all the buildings that are four stories tall or approaching 40 feet. and here it will just buzz through a couple of these four-star buildings on 35th. 36th. cabrillo. balboa. these are all within one block of us. going quickly through the plans.
the existing garage in the back would be removed. and then we'd have a three-car garage in the front for the three units. on the second floor, it would be unit 756, two bedroom, two bathroom unit, 1200 square feet. fourth floor that is set back from the front and the side with additional two bedrooms. this unit is 2000 square feet. there is an unoccupied roof deck and we have exterior stair just for the fire department required access. there is the front facade, which because it is a little wider than normal, we attempted to break up the massing with the tall bay on the left side, separated by wood siding and then another bay on the right side. separated by more wood siding. you see the 4th floor is set
back and notched on the right side. here's the right side again. as a concession to the neighbors we've agreed to make all the windows on this facade obscured. rear elevation, here's our longitudinal section from front to back. little hard to see. there is a dashed blue line, but that's our buildable envelope. the front wall of the 4th floor is pushed back -- [bell ringing] -- sunk down more than we need. we discussed the project with the neighbors a lot. we've tried to make concessions. i believe they have concerns about the construction that occurred in the rear building, but that's been approved by bibb and they've been out -- dbi, they've been out to inspect it many times. hopefully, you can approve this today. >> president melgar: thank you.
so we will now open this item up for public comment. i have a few speaker cards. lee? [reading of the names] good evening. i'm an attorney who is here on behalf of over 20 neighbors who are against approval of this building permit. which threatens to change the character and makeup of the neighborhood. first i would like to confirm that the planning commission has had an opportunity to review my submittal on february 13 and my letter submitted yesterday, which includes a 10-page letter which summarizes this case at this point. now going back to the december 13 submittal, it was done in preparation for the original
february 28 hearing. this submittal included 10 letters from neighbors who share a common concern and sentiment. all of these neighbors live within one block of the subject property and many of them have lived in their homes for over 20 years. only some of the neighbors are here. many left due to time constraints, due to personal and professional obligations. many more were available to participate in the february 28th hearing which was continued due to a quote, unquote, application error per planner on february 15th. although most of the neighbors are not here today, their views and concerns are stated clearly in their letters. in the respective letters which i' a. ta -- attached to the february 13th submittal. i would request that these letters were given same force and ct