Skip to main content

tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  June 30, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PDT

4:00 am
>> clerk: good evening and welcome to the june 26, 2019 meeting of the san francisco board of appeals. president rick swig will be the presiding officer tonight. he is joined by commissioner ann lazarus, commissioner rachel tanner. at the controls is the board's legal assistant, gary quintara, and i am the board's executive director. we have scott sanchez sitting at the front, acting deputy
4:01 am
zoning administrator also representing the planning department and planning commission. and we expect shortly joseph duffy senior building inspector representing the department of building inspection, and chris buck, representing the department of urban forestry. to assist the board in the accurate preparation of minutes, you are asked but not required to submit a business card or speaker card to the board when you come up to speak. speaker cards are available on the left side of the podium.
4:02 am
we are located at 1650 mission street, room 304. this meeting is broadcast live on sfgovtv, cable channel 78 and will be rebroadcast on fridays at 6:00 p.m. on channel -- 4:00 p.m. on channel 26. now we will swear in our affirm all those who -- or affirm all those who intend to testify. please note that any individual may speak without swearing in pursuant to the sunshine ordinance. if you want the board to give your testimony evidentiary weight, you must swear or
4:03 am
affirm. okay. board members, for item number 6, the parties have requested that the matter be continued. this is 19-016, rabinovich, and they would like to continue this to august 28. >> so moved. >> second. >> clerk: okay. is there any public comment? okay. [roll call] >> clerk: okay. so that motion passes, and the matter is continued until august 28. okay. this is item 4, general public comment. this is the time for anyone to
4:04 am
speak on matters within the board's jurisdiction but not on the agenda. is there any general public comment? okay. we'll move on to item 2, commissioner comments and questions. >> i had one. since rick le-- one left, and have no vice president, are we going to vote? wait. we're the mayor people. you're the board president. >> clerk: they said in terms of election of officers, i guess perhaps we could elect a
4:05 am
vice president to act in the event you're gone or -- >> vice president swig: yeah, that would be -- i have to carry out an official request from the mayor's office. again, i'm the board of supervisors appointee, so you all can go against your boss. it's perfectly okay with me. >> commissioner honda: i didn't get the message. >> vice president swig: i think it's a reasonable request and it doesn't seem that we have any potential commissioners in the hopper, at this point, so given, you know -- i'm not planning on missing any meetings for the next six months, but it's probably wise counsel. >> commissioner honda: i guess i better check with my boss. okay. that was just comment.
4:06 am
>> clerk: is there any other commissioner matters? >> i just wanted to say that this month is pride month, and happy pride month, and i hope that everybody comes out and has a good time. >> vice president swig: okay. what i will do in response to the commissioner's request is phone the mayor's office and request that we move forward in the next meeting and agendaize a formal election if that's okay with the rest of the commissioners. >> the election of a vice president. >> vice president swig: yeah. that would make me formally -- i am the interim president -- i am officially the vice president, so i guess that would -- >> commissioner honda: you've still got my vote. >> vice president swig: i guess we'll do that whole slate. i don't really care one way or the other. >> clerk: okay. we will now above on to item 3.
4:07 am
commissioners, before you for possible adoption are the minutes of the june 19, 2019 board meeting. >> i move to adopt as submitted. >> clerk: okay. is there any public comment on that item? ma'am, are you here for public comment? okay. so on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: okay. that motion carries, 4-0, and the minutes are adopted. we are now moving on to item 4. are the parties here for item number 4? this is appeal 13-018. okay. well, we can wait and move it. o okay. so we will now move on to item five. this is appeal 19-015.
4:08 am
vi huynh versus department of urban forestry. this is order number 201-007, and we will hear from the appellant first. >> commissioner honda: good evening. >> good evening and welcome. can i use the projector? >> commissioner honda: overhead, please. by the way, you have really neat handwriting. >> oh, thank you.
4:09 am
okay. i'm going to read you the 11 reasons why we need the two ficus trees on our street. the two ficus trees help fight global warming by cooling the air and the temperature in the area. and we need it for the seniors because sometimes they get heat stroke, and i don't want them to get heat stroke. it's very hot in the mission, especially during the summer. three, the two ficus trees add to the canopy of the urban forest. four, the two trees help suck up air during a rain. the two trees help lower
4:10 am
stress, providing psychological comfort by being a calming presence. they don't make a lot of noise. the two trees help draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and help us breathe better. the two trees add beauty to the area. the two trees provide home for wildlife, specifically birds and maybe squirrels, i'm not sure. the two trees help increase property value to the block and there by the neighborhood. the two trees are living entities, created by nature. they have a right to live, to exist. and that's my reason for not cutting them down. and i also have another fic --
4:11 am
should not cut down a tree. basically, it's information gathered by certified arborists, and i'm not an arborist, so i have to use this. while necessary in some situations, removing a tree can have serious consequences for your home and your property. learn when you should remove a tree. there are plenty of good reasons to remove a tree from your property, but sometimes removing a tree can have ad verse consequences. trees are salvageable.
4:12 am
if the tree has a treatable disease or pest issue, homeowners shouldn't automatically consider tree removal as their only says a researcher with the internation internation international arborical culture. researching diseases can help you learn about treatments that can save the tree. so for example, they claim the tree has limbs that fell down. well, that's because the trees not getting the nutrients it needs, such as water and vitamins and minerals. part of prop e should be care for the tree, too. we should feed and water them regularly so they stay strong and not lose branchs. trees help lower energy bills. if the tree is near the house
4:13 am
and provides a significant amount of shade, it can help lower the energy bill. tim young of tim young tree service in charlotte agrees that shade from trees can cut a utility bill by cutting the amount of energy needed to cool a home but suggests that homeowners consider trees to plant that would also provide a wind break. trees can improve curb appeal and property value. if your tree improves the look of its home and the value, reconsider before replacing it.
4:14 am
a well designed landscape with appropriate trees will always draw a higher selling price than a lot with no trees or ill-chosen trees. if the lot is enhanced by what you already have, by all means, keep them. those are the two largest trees on the block. there is another one, but it's not in good condition. there is another stump from a previous one cutten down. a beautiful, big tree takes four to five decades or more to grow. is it worth it? i think it is. i know bureau of urban forestry plans to replace these trees
4:15 am
with other tree, but i probably won't be here if they replace these trees with another ficus trees. owners also have to give up privacy when they remove a tree. you're connected to the tree. this is my reason for being here, because i walk by the tree every day. can i -- >> commissioner honda: you have 30 seconds. >> you don't have to be a tree hugger to know that sometimes a tree is more than just a plant, if the tree was planted in memory of a loved one or before you purchased the home, you may
4:16 am
find it provides a certain significance. thank you. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the department. >> we can go to powerpoint in a second. >> commissioner honda: good evening, mr. buck. >> good evening, commissioners. chris buck with san francisco public works. i would add that people write poetry about really large trees. they don't write poetry about really small replacement trees. we've evaluated the subject ficus trees. we've been here in the past,
4:17 am
talking about the pourous structure of ficus trees. we were here back in october of last year talking about the removal of these trees. our goal of public works across all departments is to ensure a safe, clean, and green infrastructure for all the reasons that appellant just outlined in great detail. one of the advances that we have for tree maintenance is increased funding. unfortunately, most of the maintenance we're doing is pruning. and we do come across tree that's have a much higher failure rate than other species, so ficus trees are
4:18 am
something that we're concerned about. we have more information on our rid pruning, which is strategic and systematic going block by block. that's how these trees came to our attention. that long did -- which we'll -- that, along with -- which we'll talk about in a minute, the san francisco street improvement. that, in addition to danielima the sidewalk, as they've gotten larger in the several years before 2014, we've seen them failing at various locations across the city, including hyde and 24 and potrero avenue. it's hard to build support for urban forestry if we have large trees blocking streets from
4:19 am
time to time. this is how large ficus trees are failing us and splitting apart. multiple stems are fairly equal size with various levels of attachment. absolutely the first thing we ever consider when evaluating a tree if we find that it has poor structure is can we mitigate safety concerns through pruning? that's the first thing that typically crosses our mind. we've seen across the city a large number of failures in several different neighborhoods. the department of public works lowered the threshold when we could approve a tree for removal, which is essentially lessening reducing our typically high threshold, and
4:20 am
we're saying. if these trees are large, and they have codominant stems, this is a tree we're likely to approve for removal. this picture, we have two stems on the main trunk. so what happens naturally is that in wind or not even in wind, these trees split apart at these sections. ideally, you'd have a wider angle of attachment, and then, secondly, you'd want the two stems to be of competing sizes, with a smaller trunk and secondary branchs. the two ficus trees, they're large, they have little potential branch structure, and there are several sites of
4:21 am
potential failure. on the right is tree one. this tree already experienced a failure. i included a copy of the service request of that failure back in 2015, just showing the tree on the right has already shown that it's failing struck right lanely. so again, you have a single trunk that divides into multiple stems. that's a really weak union from engineering perspective. there have been times when a ficus has one or two poor unions, and you could prune one or two of the stems off and keep the tree. that's absolutely the first preference. unfortunately, the trees have so many competing stems competing with multiple angles of attachment, it's hard to say that pruning it this way is going to mitigate the large stem failures. we were before you several months ago, talking about the removal of two large ficus trees in front of the red stone
4:22 am
building. just a little follow up on that. we heard loud and clear that the community in that building largely wasn't aware of the tree removal process in association with that project, and we heard from you, like, look, both agencies need to step back, they need to work more closely together. sounds like you need to do more outreach if there's a lot of confusion. so we essentially put things on ho hold. we had a community meeting, and at that meeting, we basically had four to five working group areas, and folks could rotate around each group. i'm proud to say the tree related corner of that public meeting, we had the fewest member of the public. we did have a few folks come
4:23 am
and ask us questions, but at least 95% of the folks that attended that hearing were really upset about transit issues related to m.t.a. and their project. we're not here to talk about tree removal at that end, but i will say this is an article about that community meeting, and there is no mention of street trees in that article. we've come back to say we heard you, but generally, i feel we're starting to address the public concerns, and we did have a meeting where street trees were largely not part of that conversation. in terms of replacement, it would be 36-inch box-size replacement trees. also in maturity, in many years, a broad, everleaf tree.
4:24 am
there's no power lines, so we can plant a large stature tree at maturity. and i'm over my time, so thank you. >> i have a couple of questions for you. can you talk about the replacement of trees in the project going forward? >> ideally, we would wait for the project to implement phase two so that the project itself could remove the trees and replant them. we're still open to that possibility, but we are -- the idea with us moving forward with removal of these two trees and the trees in front of the red stone building is the project is being pushed back years, and we're feeling we just need to treat this as an
4:25 am
urban forest issue. my preference would be to have it done as part of the project so it reduces impacts to the community. >> so following up on that, if you guys did move forward more quickly than thornton thomasetti m.t.a. project, would you be replacing them -- i don't know if that project has capital impacts on the sidewalks or not? >> sure. so public works would then become responsible for the replacement. instead of the six months time period we have to replace, we'd commit to a three-month turnaround, and we'd cover the costs. the public wants to see us replacing trees right away. >> i noted in the document there was 3:1 replacement ratio. would you apply that ratio here so we'd have six trees instead of two? i don't know what the
4:26 am
feasibility of what could be are y sustained in that area. >> right. so we'll replace 1:1 trees, but through the project, anywhere there's a planting area, it would be planted 3:1 through the efforts of the m.t.a. >> and can you address the growing rates of the selected species? how fast will it grow before it reaches the comparable growth? >> certainly. it's a magnolia grandifora. it's going to be years before you start to feel like there's
4:27 am
a tree out there that several people can hangout in the shade of. it's going to take a while. obviously, to achieve trees of this size will take at least 20 years, so these are big impacts, and that's why i just wanted to lead with pruning to mitigate these issues, not removing the tree at all, monitoring, everything we can do to not remove these two trees, those are all the things that we're considering first. but again, even last night, a couple -- really windy evenings, with one of the trees that failed across the city, it's ficus trees. so we're just trying to address the known condition.
4:28 am
>> thank you. >> commissioner honda: mr. buck, so these trees, they're part of the 16 street project, they're slated to be removed with that project, any way? >> they are -- exactly. so we identified them as removal candidates when we remove all the trees along that corridor. they're not being physically impacted by that project, so they're not necessarily being removed in order for that project to be installed the way that vanness b.r.t. is, but when there's other agencies doing a lot of work. our goal is to come out and look at the condition of the trees so that at the end of the project, you realize that the city didn't come out and manage their own assets. it's the same city, but it's two parallel departments trying to manage their duties in that same space. they are recognized generally as part of that same project. >> commissioner honda: okay. that kind of brings into the next question. are you checking with the 16 street project so it's in line with where they want their trees to be at? i wouldn't want you to plant there, and they decide to do a
4:29 am
bulb-out? >> the good news is our landscape architects were hired to layout the replacement trees, so those issues have been addressed for the 16 street project. you're correct, there are some sites where with other -- if it's a guy wire pull, or something else is shifting or moving around, that could impact the tree spacing. these two sites can be replanted. they're a little close together. we typically space or trees out a little -- our trees out a little wider, but we can replant both sides where they are, so there's no unforeseen project details that we haven't reviewed. we reviewed it with the project team. >> commissioner honda: okay. and then final, there is a budget for trees, but there is no budget for replacement of these trees.
4:30 am
so the concern is with replacement of trees with a 36-inch box, we know that smaller trees get damaged more rapidly, so if these get damaged, what would be the case? >> i do know that public works has plans to replace these trees with 36-inch box trees. we have limited funding for watering replacement trees. we're absolutely prioritizing major commercial corridors as the areas that should be replanted first. anything that's gone to a public works hearing that's subject to a public works hearing and subsequently board of appeals would subsequently be prioritized. unfortunately, there are some folks that are in the outer areas, little quieter, residential, those folks are -- we're not guaranteeing that we can get to those replacement
4:31 am
trees out there that haven't been part of the process. >> >> commissioner honda: no, the follow-up question is because they are highly subjected to damage, if they get damaged because you don't have the budget, do they not get replaced again? >> no. we have a budget for that, but the goal is to plant three to four very large sticks, so we're going to go with larger stick, deeper in the ground, and really create a fore -- fortress around these trees -- if it was a car or something like that that took them out, unforeseen, we would install protection measures. >> commissioner honda: okay. thank you, mr. buck. >> vice president swig: you know, when i first came on this
4:32 am
commission, we had our first tree removal hearing. my thought is it's good not to be a ficus in this city because if you are, you are in danger of being removed in this city. i'm sensitive and sympathetic to everything that you expressed. my biggest concern, which was expressed by my fellow commissioners is the replacement. d.p.w. seems to be getting a really, really bad and justified reputation for not cleans up its messes or cleaning up the messes that
4:33 am
mother nature created by trees that have failed. we did not have a hearing last week or the week before around washington square, and where the reports, public information, why we're tearing do you know more canopy, and oh, by the way, within several blocks of washington square, d.p.w. tore down a bunch of trees that have not been replaced for an extended period of time. we just had testimony by the appellant that we're going to lose two more trees, that would be in addition to one that had died or one that had been cut
4:34 am
down. what do we do to protect the public so that your promises -- i'm not doubting that they're sincere, but that d.p.w.s promises are kept and we don't have a completely empty canopy for a long time to come, which has happened in other areas in the city? what do we have to do in our motion around that? >> absolutely, commissioner. so a few updates on these points. we heard that feedback loud and clear, and we don't want the replacement tree to be the stumble block for public works to just function, and that's what we've really been hearing the last six months to a year, if not a little bit longer. in north beach, we have a row of seven ficus that we've been proposing for removal. the community approached us and gave us a list of all the
4:35 am
missing trees in the neighborhood that were slated for removal. that will said, we -- that said, we did plant about 12 of those empty basins near washington square park as part of our clean team event in may. that's one thing they did, and said how about we talk about this before we talk about removals. >> vice president swig: let's keep it to this block. >> i won't go much further, but we have the same situation in hayes valley where the community says you want to remove a lot of trees. we have a lot of missing trees in another part of the neighborhood.
4:36 am
could you replant these trees before you move forward with that removal. we had a meeting with friends of the urban forest, and we have another meeting tomorrow with the hayes valley neighborhood association talking about the status. so to allay some of your fears -- and the feedback is absolutely justified. it's public record, and we are working on it. we are actively marshaling our resources to address the lack of concern where we ha're scheduled for replacement. i think that should ally the fears that we're -- allay the fears that we're not coming before you. we're really actively planting these sites. the other thing is that tomorrow, there's likely going to be an article in the chronicle about street tree funding and management, a little bit about ficus removals, also about budget, getting money for the watering
4:37 am
and planting of these trees. it's a commitment of resources. for public works, we have the staffing, the human power. we don't have the funding to water. but we -- it's looking like we're going to be getting that, so that's what i would say to you is our efforts to replant these locations where we've had some of these high profile removals combined with the ability to water where we have the budget, we're active on all of those fronts. >> vice president swig: what was shocking to me was the first slide, where you showed 16 street and the beautiful canopy, which was marvelous to see. o it would be tragic to necessarily remove those trees
4:38 am
so they don't become widow makers and -- but it would be a greater tragedy -- or as much of a tragedy to not have anything to replace it with and turn it into a desert. but that's just an editorial comment. should we move on from that? >> clerk: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we will move on to rebuttal, so we'll now hear from the appellant. miss huynh, you have three minutes to address the board. >> just because the san francisco examiner did not mention about the tree does not mean i'm not personally concerned. i was personally invited to the meeting. i think i got a flier from one
4:39 am
of the democratic clubs in the mission. there was a meeting about the trees, and they tried to fool the public by saying all those trees were scheduled for removal. i had to straighten chris buck out. i said no, 3030 16 street i said were being challenged. there was at least ten people asking questions, but they were probably intimidated by chris buck's position with department of public works. on his card, it said public forester, and he sounded really nice and rational, but he said all these trees were slated for removal, and he did not say we could appeal. the truth is i would rather have the existing mature trees
4:40 am
and know that they're there. if there are some branch failure, yes, i worry about human life. that is because human beings are part of nature, too, but you know, my preference is to trim those trees, to prune them. that's the recommendation of arborists, to trim those trees in that neighborhood, not to cut them down. cutting them down, you know, that would be very terrible for the neighborhood, so i strongly urge you to consider my appeal. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. mr. buck, do you have anything further? >> good evening. chris buck with san francisco public works bureau of urban forestry. there was the community meeting on may 7, and i have the packet of information that i provided there. i've -- you know, intimidation is not usually a word that people associate with me, so that's why i just want to get
4:41 am
back up and talk about that. so absolutely, we talked about 47 trees scheduled for removal with a packet of information. they're absolutely -- i'm not being defensive. there's absolutely plenty of confusion around a tree removal permit process as robust as san francis francisco's. we've posted noticed on the trees. i'm not questioning the appellant, the validity of what they're saying, i'm just saying there's confusion about where we are in that permit process. other than that, i met with the appellant. we had a very respectful give and take. i wondered where she lived because i wanted to speak to
4:42 am
her most immediate concerns. there were a number of people i spoke with. really great information, but again, i think the red stone building when we're here before you, there's a lot of talk about m.t.a., and absolutely, there's going to be a lot of discussion around street trees, i'm not denying that. but i just want to clarify, they're accessible, certainly not meant to be intimidating in any way. thank you. >> vice president swig: go ahead. >> commissioner honda: so just to be clear, if the appeal is denied, when would be the replacement of the 36-inch box trees so we can have it on record? >> vice president swig: can we switch? i was going to ask the exact same thing in a slightly different fashion, which was give us a time that we might want to endorse in -- >> commissioner honda: memorializing --
4:43 am
>> vice president swig: memorializing -- don't make us feel good about five days from now, give us a date where we can come out and see the trees. >> absolutely. so our urban forestry ordinance governs us to replace the tree within six months, but in this case, it would be three months. what i probably couldn't give you right now is a timeline on when that would happen this year. what i would say is i think if it's not looking like the schedule with the m.t.a. is tightening up and aligning with our public safety needs, i would say we'd schedule it in ear early autumn and say we're going to move ahead of the project itself, that we'd
4:44 am
remove the trees in early autumn prior to another rainy season. the goal would also be, with three-month turnaround time, that you're still maximizing that time of the wet weather. >> commissioner honda: we've only started conditioning that recently, and there aren't a lot of cases in the past. there were cases in the past that you volunteered or the department volunteered that you would replace within a certain time. do you know if that's happened in those cases? >> sure. there were a couple of cases that we avoided going in front of you because we committed to that in a couple of months. a shorter time is like the one on columbus ave.. so the red stone building on 16
4:45 am
street, that's a three-month turnaround time. i know that's a case where we have absolutely conditioned that. we haven't commissioned that, but we have said that the process has started. >> commissioner honda: okay. thank you. >> vice president swig: okay. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. commissioners, this matter's submitted. >> vice president swig: so i'm kind of in the direction of deny -- opposing the appeal and upholding the permit. >> clerk: granting the appeal and opposing the condition -- >> commissioner honda: that's exactly what i was saying. >> vice president swig: yeah, exactly. it's a brain fog. commission it upon the removal of the trees, 90 days later,
4:46 am
new trees will be planted. >> commissioner honda: i concur with that. if you look at the trees, not just ficuses, but both those trees appear to be poor examples of a healthy tree. even though they have a large canopy which will surely be a loss, the potential harm and failure is serious. i would support my president if that is his motion. >> vice president swig: we can make it your motion. that's fine. >> clerk: okay. do you want to clarify the motion that replacement is with 36-inch box trees within six
4:47 am
months? >> commissioner honda: 90 days from date of removal. >> clerk: on what basis, commissioner honda? >> commissioner honda: for safety of the neighborhood. >> clerk: okay. on the basis of the current trees -- >> commissioner honda: poor condition. >> clerk: yeah, are in poor condition and pose a threat to health and safety. okay. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: okay. thank you. that motion carries, 4-0. now i wanted to check in to see if there are any appellants here for item number 4? okay. in the interests of not keeping inspector duffy long, i recommend that we call that item so he can address the board and give us the status of the permit to legalize the unit. >> vice president swig: i'm fully supportive of that.
4:48 am
>> clerk: we are calling item 4, vassiliki moulas, remove illegal unit ground floor rear garage. this is application 201830188686. note on may 15, 2013, the board voted 5-0 to continue the item to the call of the chair to prevent displacement of the current tenant and put the matter board on the board's active calendar for two years. on may 15, 2015, the board voted to allow more time to allow the landlord to legalize
4:49 am
the unit. >> good evening. sc scott sanchez with the planning department. i appreciate the board had provided us additional time to allow them time to obtain the permit. i think at this time, we respectfully ask the board to take action to deny it. this permit that's before you is not compliant and needs legal action to remove the unit proposed under this permit, and i don't see any purpose in keeping this permit alive other than to clutter the board's already active docket. this permit in and of itself just looking at it separate is not code compliant because it needs a conditional use authorization which they do not have. >> i just want to clarify, they just have a permit to do what they need to do, and this other
4:50 am
one can go away. >> they had this permit to remove the illegal unit. this was in 2013, so we have new legislation -- >> commissioner honda: ann and i were here. >> they're moving forward to legalize the units, but that permit is not ready for issuance. i think they have obtained one more approval, but it's still not ready. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from department of building inspection. >> commissioner honda: welcome back, senior building inspector. we've missed you. >> thank you, commissioner honda. i missed you. >> vice president swig: your handicap went down? >> oh, it did. enjoyed the weather. just a little jet lagged.
4:51 am
i agree with everything that mr. sanchez said. there is a permit filed for the legalization of the unit. i think it got continued because they wanted the permit issued, but it seems like they're working through building plan check. every other department, the planning have approved it, fire department, d.p.w. it's got to go to p.u.c. for some fees, but this is the permit that they really need, and i agree with mr. sanchez, maybe we should just go ahead. >> commissioner honda: well, when we continued this in 2013, we didn't realize that a new law would make this obsolete. >> no matter what action you do, i can probably tell them to hurry up a little bit.
4:52 am
the sooner they get this fire permit issued, it'll take care of the problem for them. >> vice president swig: thank you. and the action for us to deny this appeal won't create any opportunity for the building to be red tagged or the occupant to be removed for any legal purpose? >> when the old permit goes away, the new permit will take care of the violation. we've been holding the violation for many years, as well. i remember this case, and there were some issues with family members and stuff like that. so it was a good idea to continue it at that point. >> clerk: thank you. is there any public comment?
4:53 am
>> clerk: this is an appeal by the property owner of a permit -- >> vice president swig: it's deny the appeal. >> scott sanchez, planning department. we would respectfully ask the commission deny the appeal because it is not code compliant. >> commissioner honda: that's exactly what my motion is. >> clerk: okay. we have a motion to grant the appeal and deny the permit. i'm sorry. on what basis? >> commissioner lazarus: not
4:54 am
code compliant. >> clerk: okay. on that motion -- okay. we'll move on to item 7, and we will hear from the appellant first. >> vice president swig: hello. >> hello. my name is robia crisp, and i am the attorney on behalf of
4:55 am
the owner. he was not the requester. his next-door neighbor, lilia scott, requested the letter of determination. to begin, the letter of determination correctly determined that the garage structure within mr. mattlin's rear yard is a legal nonconforming structure, but it erred in concludes there's only one off-street parking space because it did not take into consideration one adjacent parking space outside of the garage structure. may i have the overhead, please? so this is a satellite view of the properties. this is judson street here and forester street here.
4:56 am
mr. mattlin's home is at 2 forester street. 4 forest center, and this is 1 forester. you can see that there is the garage structure here at the rear yard and a parking space behind it, and there's a similar configuration at 4 forester with a garage structure here, and you can see a car parked in the space behind it. this parking space and use and access has always been in place for as long as the garage structure has been there. mr. mattlin didn't have the opportunity to provide this evidence of this parking space primarily because he wasn't aware that the appeal had been submitted. as far back as we've been able to trace, there's always been a garage and a parking space. we submitted in our documents a
4:57 am
letter from the prior owner of 2 forester. she indicated that for the time she lifted in that property, she parked in that parking space on a daily basis. we submitted a letter from 16 forester, with cars from 2 forester and 4 forester crossing over the rear lot there, confirming that that's always been the use. and the owner of 280 judson, which is here, has also submitted an e-mail to the board indicating for as long as his family's owned the home, dating back to the 1960's, this parking space in mr. mattlin's rear yard has always been used for car parking. for the same reasons that the b.o.a. determined this is a legal nonconforming structure, so should the adjacent parking space be determined legal
4:58 am
nonconforming. i just have a couple more photos showing the parking. this shows the alleyway and the way it cuts across. our request to the board this evening is simple. we ask that you determine the adjacent parking space behind the garage is legal
4:59 am
nonconforming. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> members of the commission, i'm jeff mattlin, the legal owner. i suggest this case is about perception and stereotypes, so i wanted to address you personally. i work in tech, and i drive a tesla. i'm guessing you have a reaction to that, right? i'm one of those tech people. i understand that attitude. i've certainly seen tech workers who were entitled and tone deaf to the disparity in this city. i also realize that i have contributed to this by purchasing such an expensive home in this community. i feel lucky to have moved here seven years ago, and i feel luckier that six years ago, after a lifetime of savings, i was able to purchase a home. soon after, we tried to work this out. rather than explaining how the previous owners parked and
5:00 am
working with me as a neighbor, miss scott raised her defenses, suggested we engage lawyers and deny the truth about how the property had been used for many years. miss scott cidoesn't say by th time she suggested mediation, she already made unreasonable demands, including not allowing walking my dieing dog through the alley to avoid using the stairs. it's clear from miss scott's e-mails to the planning