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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  July 9, 2019 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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for the illegal alterations of a historic building, there would be the additional fine of a zoning administrator penalty of up to $500,000. the zoning administrator may waive all or part of that fee, if they determine to -- that the illegal work was restored back to its original condition or if permits are obtained to legalize that work. so i think the intention there is for more minor violations. the same exact provision that no permit may be issued for five years for the property, unless it's to revert back to the original. and again the penalty, except for time and material, will go into the s.f. historic preservation fund. for an illegal merger and conversion, in addition to being subject to the standard, there would be a fine of up to $50,000. the merged units must be restored to their exact previous condition, down to the existing
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previous floor area ratio and square footage. and again no permits for five years. and all penalties go to the s.f. small sites fund. so we do have some concerns about penalties and fines under section 319 and 317. some of the largest concerns are about the undefined terms and unaccessible day that we need to have to implement this code section. we're also concerned about the entirety of the penalties being collected, except for our time and material costs being diverted away from our code enforcement fund. that's a fund that our department relies on to continue our code enforcement work in the first place. most importantly, not being able to seek a permit for five years, if you're found to be in violation, we worry that may lead to buildings falling into disreplayer or property owners abandoning those buildings all together, if they determine the cost to legalize the work and wait to go through the new approval process isn't going to
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pencil. so going into all other violations of the planning code, which are handled through section 176. so it would increase the daily fine from up to $250 a day to up to $1,000 -- i'm sorry, to $1,000 a day. there would be no discretion, a straight $1,000 fine. and the board of appeals right now can reduce fines to no less than $100 a day, this would change it to say they can reduce fines to no less than $500 a day. really our only implementation concern here is the inability for the fine to be up to $1,000. it has to be straight $1,000 fine. most of the time we do right now charge the full $250 a day. but we do have the discretion to charge less than that, if we find that the violation was truly very minor, corrected in a
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timely fashion and that the cost of the fine, the daily fine is more onerous than the actual violation. and with that we'll go over to building inspection. >> for inspection requirements, the way it is now, individuals found to have purposefully misrepresented information on applications or plans can be referred to the city attorney's office for legal actions or professional licensing agencies, for disciplinary actions. the way it would be requires a building inspector to conduct a pre-inspection before a permit is issued, for any work on a residential building, if anyone associated with the building or project has a prior violation for doing work without a permit or for work exceeding the scope of a permit.
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this includes any person, property owner, contractor, permit expediter or firm, corporation or other legal entity. >> so procedurally many more projects could be considered demolitions. customers will have to include structural drawings and calculation for d.b.i. to review now. d.b.i. staff has to review multiple iterations of the structural drawings for the same project. many projects ever considered over-the-counter will no longer be considered. many projects will not be considered -- now be considered residential demolition and have to be submitted for internal review. determining demolition calculation based on a five-year permit history will require more review than could be accomplished in a few hours for d.b.i. staff.
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>> so to conclude, going over just the next steps and the timeline going forward. so we plan to have an informational hearing at the historic preservation commission in july. and we presume or hope that this will be going in front of the planning commission for an adoption hearing in late summer. and at the beginning of the board of supervisors' fall elective season, we believe it is the sponsors' intention to have this ordinance heard at the land use committee and the full board of supervisors. that conclusions our presentation. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner mccarthy had a question. >> i'll keep it quick. just on the penalties and, you know, let me be very clear. i think everybody agrees we need to make these penalties count, particularly to bad actors. but i am a little bit confused about the way it's written here. i don't know who could talk to me on the penalties, who would be the best person on that?
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so we have two scenarios. one, this contractor rolls into town and takes down a beautiful shack. that's one set of penalties. excuse me. and d.b.i. deals with this. we have contracts who seizes the permits, maybe it's just the interior and so on. as i read it, he has fallen into the same category as the guy that comes in and takes out a historical piece of property. how does planning receive that working? >> sure. so again if it is found to be historic or historically significant and the definitions are changed in terms of this proposed ordinance in terms what's considered historic, expands what's considered historic for the purpose of fines, if we do find that it is considered to be historic, which it sounds like it would be in this case, the good news is that the zoning administrator has the discretion, if they find that this is a more minor violation, that can be corrected easily.
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so the scenario that we often envision, is that historic building received a permit to put in a window and they exceeded the scope of that work. maybe they put in a patio door instead in the back of their property. the $500,000 fine is not mandatory. the v.a. can look at that and say this is something that can be corrected or legalized and, therefore, the $500,000 fine can be reduced or waived, so long as they seek the permits. they would still be subject to all of the other penalties that are nonmonetary and the meants under section 176, which under this proposal would be $1,000 a day, once we've issued our notice of violation. but again the no permits would be issued for five years, unless it's to fix or revert back. and, yes, i believe that's it. >> particularly on the exceeding of the permits, doesn't account
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for if you're the first-time offender, anything like that? you're painted with the same kind of brush as it were, for lack of a better word? >> that's correct. >> somebody genuinely makes a mistake, it -- >> in theory. >> commissioner johnson. >> thanks. so this question is directed at anyone who wants to answer it. either from d.b.i. or from planning. you know, i think we often see -- do see the most egregious cases, in which we're seeing demolitions that are criminal and that are putting workers, neighbors, and other folks at risk. and one question about the way it is, that folks can be referred to the city attorney's office and can have -- can be held accountable is just a
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curiosity about how often that happens. how often do we actually do that? and how is that process working? and what teeth could be added to that? >> well, one of the more notable cases in the last several years, i won't mention the address, but it was referred. and the city attorney's office did take it all the way through to imposing a fairly significant fine on the project sponsors and the people associated with the work itself. so some of the other projects and the bad actors that we see and the situations that cause -- specifically to d.b.i. unsafe conditions, we do have lines of communication with the city attorney's office and keep them up to speed with those projects
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also. and there are ongoing -- there is ongoing activity with regards to the city attorney's office looking at multiple projects. so it's -- it's an ongoing effort. >> i think this is the place to really kind of double down as we move forward. you know, when those bad actors do just get a penalty and they're able to continue to do business in the city of san francisco, it hurts our credibility. it hurts the industry. and it hurts our community. and there should be much -- they should not be able to continue to build in the city of san francisco and they're putting other people's lives at risk. >> i absolutely agree with that. and when we see the unsafe conditions, we are on the phone with osha, cal osha. our concern is worker safety. so as recently as two weeks ago, we had a case of excavation and unsafe condition, workers were in there, underneath the building and they had undermined the adjacent building. and that's osha.
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that's a call to osha right away. and the city attorney is updated in regards to, you know, what's going on, especially if it's one of the frequent flyers let's say. so, yeah, we have good lines of communication with the city attorney's office on all of these projects. >> mr. teague, did you want to add something to that? >> sure. >> good afternoon. good morning still, commissioners. cory teague, zoning administrator with the planning department. just to give the planning department perspective there. the city attorney's office is not involved with the vast majority of our enforcement cases, because they tend to be more minor. the more egregious cases we absolutely do coordinate with the city attorney's office. they also do work themselves to stay abreast of these situations. we have a lot of interagency coordination with d.b.i. and the city attorney's office for these specific types of enforcement cases, for example, illegal demolition.
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the city attorney is -- they have the ability to take civil action. and basically take the enforcement further than we can through the planning code, the planning code actually specifically states that our enforcement procedures and penalties are not designed to be punitive. they're purely designed to bring about abatement of the violation. so we're very -- there's a lot of due process, there's a lot of work that just tries to make the problem be fixed, as opposed to penalizing the parties who have conducted the violation. the city attorney can take that further and they're primarily interested in situations where life safety issues arise or where there's been a very kind of egregious and clear violation, that's resulted in like significant monetary gains for the person who conducted the violation. so we definitely coordinate extensively with the city attorney's office. and also with our sister agency
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at d.b.i., especially when there are life safety issues. >> commissioner fong -- sorry. >> sorry. to follow-up -- commissioner to follow up with pat's comments, once these bad actors are established, d.b.i. establishes a protocol, where then we create a check list, you know, of projects that these bad actors are coming in with. and which has to be quality controlled by a supervisor, just so that we know, you know, that we put extra eyes on these projects, that these bad actors are coming in. just to elaborate on pat's comments on what we do at d.b.i., when we establish these bad actors that, you know, we look at their projects, we know who they are, we look at their projects. we send the projects to a supervisor for quality control to make sure that everything looks kosher. >> i'm sorry. i have a follow-up question to that. is that codified anywhere? >> codified? >> is that protocol that you just described, is that written
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down, is it codified anywhere? >> not to my knowledge. but it's just the fact that once this is established and we put extra scrutiny on the projects, just to make sure that, you know, -- >> it's really up to staff and your supervisors? >> correct. >> thank you. commissioner fong. >> general question for both departments. based upon the stateed -- stated goal for the legislation, i presume that the departments can establish what attributes of permits and projects have created this response. can you tell us the number of permits that relate to the various types of situations that
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might have led to the creation of this legislation? i mean, the easy one would perhaps -- you know, a major demolition without permitting and review. but i'm looking at other instances, other attributes that are covered by this legislation. >> we haven't. we haven't been able to pull together that type of data. it's not a very -- it's not a queriable-type data set. we are -- we are anticipating that we're going to pull together some numbers as best we can, prior to any adoption hearings on this. but again anecdotally, it's a very small percentage. those really egregious scenarios would be a very, very small proportion of the permits that we see in total. we process a huge number of permits over-the-counter, that are one-day permits, that don't cause problems. so it's within those projects typically routed for additional review and a small subset of
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that bucket of permits that are really the bad actors that are generating a lot of the concern for the need for changes. >> is that cullable from your computer systems? >> no. but we could do some manual digging and parsing of project types, what we have done in the past and we'll do that again in the adoption of any hearing. >> direct huey, did you have something that you wanted to add hold on. you're not on the mic. okay. try it. okay. >> the department of building inspection. one clarification i want to make is any, you know, we want to scrutinize the bad actor, it's not the department acting alone.
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we always consult with the city attorney for the permits. only a handful of people. we're scrutinizing their project, with the consultation with the city attorney. >> thank you. commissioner moss. >> thank you. just one last question for mr. hepner, if i could. [laughter] concerning the fines. specifically that the fines would go to the small sites program. i think i could see why that would make sense if we're talking only about single family homes. i guess my question is why wouldn't we let the fines just go into the mayor's office of housing, general fund. and let them have discretion over how to spend those funds? and i say that just because the new construction of affordable housing is and will remain the way we get the most amount of new units of affordable housing. i know we're talking about preservation. i guess i'm wondering if that
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was considered at all. >> i will say about the fines, it is, you know, irrespective of where they're designed to go, i think we're operating from a position where the best penalty is one that is never enforced. on some level, look, i believe there should be some level to distinguish between first-time innocent bad actors and repeat bad actors. to be able to reduce fines for that reason. i think we could probably incorporate other interesting ideas. but generally fines should be scary enough that you're not willing to run afoul of the code requirements. this is not the cost of doing business. as it has been for far too long. so we are trying to, yes, increase those fines to apply them more swiftly. and essentially to send a signal that, hey, you don't want to run afoul of the requirements, because it will land you in hot water quickly. >> okay. is that it for commissioner
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questions and clarifications? >> madam president, mr. reardon would like to make a comment. >> i'd just like to add to a question that was asked just a few minutes ago, in regard to data, in regard to some of these projects. just for your information, d.b.i. has been tracking vertical additions. and we have been receiving information from our m.i.s. team weekly, in regard to the issuance of vertical addition permits, constituting more than $350,000 of valuation. so we have that data over the past year. and the purpose of collecting the data was primarily to identify the projects and reach out to the projects. and encourage them to schedule an inspection before they start the work. and it might be interesting to note that we haven't had any
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touch wood, we haven't had any of these calamitous projects since we started doing that. so we do have data. >> thank you, mr. reardon. okay. with that we're going to take public comment on this. i'm going to call out a few speaker cards. if you want to comment, please come on up and line up on the left wall, when i call your name. so anastasia, vivian wire, stephanie peak, dana, john, luke, john, suzannea, and michael. i'm sorry. please line up on the left side of the room and don't block the door. thank you. >> and thank you, madam president. before we get started, i think we should acknowledge that, you know, supervisor peskin came here today and set the tone for this meeting. and this is an informational and
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there's going to be a lot of changes made to the legislation. so the idea here today is to hear from everybody and what their concerns are on the legislation. so that they can process this and go back and maybe make those great changes that we're looking for here. thank you. i just want to make sure everybody is respectful to the process here. thank you. >> good day, commissioners. i'm anastasia. district 8 tenant. we're here to address the problem that we're losing affordable housing, including rent-controlled housing stock. and adopt a solution to stem this loss. as supervisor peskin, the author of the proposed preserve and protect act points out, in the past ten years, over 4,200 affordable units have been lost through speculation by demolition, merger or expansion in san francisco. district 8 has experienced 10 demolitions this year alone. i welcome the planning code
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revisions proposed that will preserve existing affordable housing, curb development of monster homes and add moderately priced units to our housing stock. i'm pleased that tenant protections are enhanced, including the prohibition of demolition or removal of any housing unit, formerly occupied by a tenant, and declaration of tenant and tenant history by the project sponsors. having a simple and easily calcuable way is a key to preventing the loss of affordable housing. though i feel the 50% thresholds should be lowered to guard against gaining the system. also a.d.u.s should be included in the f.a.r., based expansion limits. [bell ringing] expansion limits by themselves will not safeguard against demolition of sound and affordable housing.
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i urge you to think about the housing that we're losing and not about the expense -- the expense is going to be -- look, you've got to provide us with plans that are clear and transparent. [bell ringing] thank you. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> we understand what we need to do. >> can you state your name for the record. >> we have about 10 to 20 problem buildings a year. there's about 100 cases, though, that come in front, because of a firewall issue, where they took the wall down to put up sheetrock. that's a demo, believe it or not. we have a short choice. you're putting in new joists, you take the joists down, because they're worthless, they do nothing. that's a demo. if you have fire damage, i have a case now, where they tried to shore the building, it collapsed.
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that's a demo. the staff time you're putting into these hundred cases, when there's a small 10 to 20 bad actors is ridiculous and we're creating means and methods in the field. we're going to kill somebody one of these days. that's the current legislation. i agree it doesn't work. we need to fix it. the new legislation is going to take those 10 to 20 bad cases, going to make it 1,000, because of the expanded definition. we're going to do 10,000 reviews. you're effectively going to stop construction in the city. the average homeowner they're not living here any more. we're just driving the average homeowners out, because they can't afford this. and what is the current purpose of this legislation? i thought it was for affordable housing. i don't think the current legislation has anything for affordable housing. prevent monster homes. rear still building monster homes in the valley where i live. percent just doesn't work. and all of this does is say, well, we'll just add on to this
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percent. [bell ringing] it's fundamentally flawed. we've got to look at what we're trying to do is add housing, so if you want to build a big house, then build an affordable unit as part of it. but then write the legislation to what we really want to do and focus in on it. and then you guys need to look at the staff time. you think you got a lot of work now, you're going to be swamped with thousands of cases. no one is going to be able to afford people like me to do the paperwork to deal with the ordinance. [bell ringing] thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. architect john lamb. i've been in practice for 25 year. i employ 18 architects. the planning code has always asserted that by limiting demolition we preserve affordability. i would ask the commission to preserve this premise, i think the reality shows there's no
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relationship between that concept and reality. my question, first of all, the loss of 4,000 units of affordable housing. is this through acting, is this through buyouts? i have no idea where that kim from. it would be nice to understand where the problem came from. we always try to avoid demolition in our projects. i stated the goals to preserve affordable housing. how does putting more restrictions on expansion and restricting homeowners from growing their houses going to save affordable housing? the fact of the matter is nothing is affordable in san francisco. the average cost of $1.4 million for a derelict house. the premise or the concept of preserving or saving is not going to solve this problem. i agree demolition needs to be redefined. we're struggling to make sure that our projects fit within the definition of non-de facto demolition. in fact, the planning department uses our drawings as an example of how to do demolition
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drawings. to show that's not a demolition. i still don't understand why this demolition discussion morphed into an f.a.r. restriction. [bell ringing] how does it happen? and why is monster homes somehow related to the concept of illegal demolition? it's really curious. we currently have 31 projects in our office. my colleague michael morrison, an architect, in my office, will show you some statistics that will show you how our project load will be affected. and basically the f.a.r. restrictions is a very suburban concept. i don't think it applies and it's not appropriate way to design in san francisco. [bell ringing] >> thank you for your comments. next speaker, please.
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>> thank you. the projector, please. >> apologies for that. michael morrison, architect. we have 34 projects in an r.h. district. i want to talk about the major expansion policy alone, the demolition i think has been covered successfully. of our 34 projects that are current in our rh districts, we have no conditional uses. however, under the new legislation, because of the f.a.r., 33 of those 34 would now have conditional uses. that's a significant increase. and then of those same projects, we have down here 13 new units being proposed, within 40 remodels. and other than that one, the 33 that are going to the commission, zero of them would
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be allowed to go to commission, due to the punitive requirement, not findings, but criteria. so we would be losing 13 new proposed units, that would otherwise have been built without any heartache or heart attack. -- headache. it's not about increasing the affordable housing stock. it's simply going to stop everything in the city in r.h. districts. and it's not just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it's burning the whole house down. >> could you please share that with staff. thank you. next speaker, please. [bell ringing] >> william. i guess architects on a roll here. i have lived and worked in the city as an architect for 43 years in the hate ashby. i do specialize in residential projects. i'm going to agree with the two former architects in terms of my load, this is going to make
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things and mostly the stuff i could, i would say is from middle class. i don't do anything for the super wealthy, for the c.e.o.s. this is going to have a serious impact on the middle class, the stats are already, that i have heard of, 11% families in san francisco. and probably as a result of this, it's going to continue on its current downward trend. i did appear in front of the planning commission five times. i do feel like i got very fair and honorable treatment with the projects. and we came out to a really good resolution. i think the idea of needing higher density is really been the push from both planning and from the planning commission. and the need for more housing, you know, for folks. and i won't call it affordable, but certainly i would call it middle class housing is what we need, that's really a pressing need. i think in all of my projects,
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starting i think after the '08, there was a huge wave of money that came into the city. and a large number of houses -- smaller houses that were either added on or in cases where they were no longer structurally sound were replaced with larger single family houses. for the past three years, i have not had a single family house. every project i do has, if it's an rh-2 district, two units and rh-3 we try to get three units in there. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. thank you. >> thank you. hello. my name is luke. i have been the principal of an architecture studio in san francisco for the past 20 years. i'm also a member of the a. a.i.a. public and policy committee. i find most of the specifics to be overly restrictive with a
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clear bias towards the radical historicallism. for instance, the grab bag to qualify for conditional use demolition is clearly designed to be unachievable, particularly egregious is the subject building not resemble the height scale and architecture of surrounding buildings. this language is so deliberately vague, and subject to personal interpretation, that it could easily disqualify nearly all potential candidates for demolition consideration. doesn't every existing single family house in san francisco recommend assemble the neighbors some, what according to the loose criteria? a second specific example is the redefinition of demolition to include removal of more than a quarter of a building's front facade. this the absurdity waseloquently summarized in the case study that we saw this morning. where does the sphere of new architecture come from and why is it driving driving this prop?
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every age deserves a voice in our city's forum. we are no more or less wise than our predecessors. it is naive to think that everything, which is old has merit, simply because it is old. just as it is similarly naive to think everything that is new is inevitably threatening. [bell ringing] in fact, everyone in the room will some day be the past. i urge the commission to vote against this radical attempt to cast our city in amber. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. my fame is mark mchale. i come in front of awes -- as the president of the eureka valley association, the longest continuously serving neighborhood group in the city since 1881. in speaking over the proposed legislation, everybody was hor fried about the overreach and the ineffectiveness of this proposed legislation. i would ask that you not support it. and send a message to those
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people that it's too expensive to live in this city already. and if you're a homeowner and you have to make reparations, whether it's dry rot or needing to add a new bedroom for a new baby, making this more complex and making it more expensive and more time sensitive, would just put a stop to everything that we know as homeowners. i ask you to reject the legislation. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello. one minute? okay. thank you. hi. land-use attorney speaking for myself. as you know, i come before the commission almost monthly. i'm extremely busy. i'm not expensive as many people in the room used me know. this will mean that more and more people will be hiring me. i don't need more cases. i railroad turn away some, i'm too busy. even architects are currently
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hiring me to advise them, because they don't understand all of the current rules. i don't need the business. please help those people. [laughter] help them not to need me. please. [laughter] i also wanted to mention that it takes away a lot of your discretion. now i don't agree with everything you do. but by and large, you do very good jobs. given how much time you're going to have and given how much discretion is taken away from you, i suggest if this passes, there be two planning commissions. there be a commission of three of you to merely handle the stuff that comes through this new legislation. might as well only have three of you, because a lot of your discretion is taken away. you should add a commission, a full commission to deal with commercial projects, retail projects and projects of maybe 10 or more units. that would be efficient. maybe we should do that. charter amendment, sure. finally, i wanted to mention. i don't see in the legislation
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any grandfathering for existing projects in the pipeline. [bell ringing] and even if it's going to be changed significantly to reduce its consequences, i urge you to consider that. thank you very much. oh, one more thing. a mere 10% increase or decrease in the size of an existing rental unit, will, under the legislation, in most cases trigger a hearing where none is required today. that's a tremendous amount of new work. thank you very much. >> thank you. i'm going to read some more speaker cards. if i could beg your understanding to allow folks with disabilities to come up, first, as i read them. so mr. george whiting, joel medina, robert frickeman, carol, theresa, rose h., nancy warfell, harrison dylan and jennifer fever. go ahead, mr. whiting.
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>> oh, good afternoon, commissioners. my name is george whiting. the first one i wanted to make is i think the expansion and the demolition part of this legislation should be bifurcated. i think the demolition aspect is quite good. the city needs a clean, clear demolition. for everyone. it's very confusing to me as a regular citizen, not a lawyer, not a land architect. i read it four times, i have
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four different conclusions about what i just read. what i think gives me the biggest problem is it is suppose to be to create more density. but what i do see happening is you're taking regular homes, based on f.a.r., for area ratio, for residential housing was never based on floor area ratio in the past, and the staff, for planning, has made egregious errors in f.a.r. they have a history of this. so i don't necessarily trust what they are doing. [bell ringing] but what they are also doing, they're adding a.d.u.s to these f.a.r.s. and that -- what that does is it
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means each home can be much different size, because they don't count the square footage of the f.a.r. and those are the points i want to make. so the number one thing is pass something on demolition. everybody benefits. [bell ringing] thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioner. on behalf of the -- >> i'm sorry. if folks standing in front of the door, could please either find a seat or go to the other flow room. it's a fire hazard, thank you. >> in the interest of saving time, myself and the other peek speakers want to stalk through sections of the legislation. we're happy -- this bees of legislation needs some more work. as currently written, we feel it's going to be impossible to do a meaningful, vertical or horizontal expansion, or a demolition of any kind to add
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more density in the much-needed rh-# 1, rh-2, rh-3 and rh-4 district. section 106, enforcement against violations. we support the concept of strengthening penalties for bad behavior. but the legislation goes too far and too aggressive without a criteria for how to apply the penalties. the journalist voter of contractor -- the vast contractors have no previous violation. we feel the section needs criteria to distinguish penalties assessed for repeating bad actors, versus good standing contractors who make an honest mistake. the first offense or are they a repeat offender. how long has someone been operating in the city without any issues? has something been permanently lost or damaged, what type of resource was damaged or lost. what impact will a violation have on the neighbors. [bell ringing] the penalty shouldn't apply for the before the planning
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department proves a violation. if we're pushing the viabilities to this extreme, we need to make sure the system allows for the flexibility to address much less serious offenses as well. the punishment must fit the crime. section 311, the permit review procedures. forcing the department to hold projects to design guidelines may be difficult when guidelines are in conflict with one another. seems likely the projects could present circumstances in which it would be impossible to be in compliance with all of the design guidelines. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm nadine bradley with the residential builders' association also speaking to section 317. trying areretain -- to provide affordable housing is a failed policy. this false premise got us into the housing mess anded a justification for code 31. that's not make the same mistake again. we strongly believe that
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including the prior five years of work on to the demolition worksheet calculations is excessive. the definition of removal should allow additional exceptions for fire proofing, exterior blind wall continues. without this exception, the blind walls will not be able to be firewalls, rated firewalls are the only thing that stops fires from spreading from property to property. fire proofing walls save lives and property. the provision which defines a merger as expanding one unit by more than 10%, while reducing the size of the other unit by 10%, may be well intended, but it's way too restrictive and doesn't recognize certain issues that play into matter, such as -- elevators and pg&e closets. the focus should be on horizontal divides, rather than square footage. in if the department likes a project, then why does it matter how we accomplish that project?
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once the project is completed, nobody will care if it was a full demo or an alterations. [bell ringing] and leave the means and methods to the project -- the requirement to have a d.b.i. review proposed construction means and methods to the commission means that the project sponsor has to structurally design the building before submitting to planning. this will cost industry millions each year and structural design changes. prohibiting demolition for units that were occupied in the last seven years will only serve to intensify the shortage of housing. we feel strongly the demolition will be needed to -- >> thank you, miss bradley, for your comments. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. steve mcilroy. r.b.a. and i'd like to point out a few specific items here about section 319. and floor areas don't work in san francisco.
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done neighborhood-by-neighborhood. the -- with the neighboring two properties are the best tool for determining the square footage of an application. expansion should be large enough to accommodate three bedrooms on the same floor. when we talk about prohibiting new grams or addition in parking this is a mistake if we're adding density to existing buildings. families with young children and seniors need parking spaces. the legislation also reads the planning commission shall find with the keyword shall, this leaves no wiggle room for projects the commission may like. we believe many projects that this commission has approved would be unable to meet the
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criteria put forward. pertaining to section 5's building code, residential demolition. dry rot should never be considered a demolition. 25% of an exterior wall, facing the street, would be a stark replacement on most lots, which are only 25-foot. [bell ringing] this threshold needs to be removed immediately. the interior walls that are not seen from public right-of-way, and the removal, regardless of the amount, should not trigger a c.e.u. unless the walls are deemed historic. as written, simple over-the-counter kitchen and bathroom remodels would encounter so much more expense and delays, if design professionals need to research all of the work done in the previous five years. >> thank you, mr. mcilroy. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. ritchie hart, r.b.a.
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i'm going to talk about the tantamount of the demolition. with the exception of historical facades and buildings, why are we so worried if a wall or whole building is preserved? or if the wall or building is demoed? and built from scratch. when the project is finished, can anyone look into the house and to see if 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the interior walls were kept or built from scratch. you can't tell. what is the public benefit to scrutinize new versus existing walls. there was a time when we mistakenly thought that preserving existing buildings would lead to housing affordability. this policy has failed us maize rumblia. -- miserably. the best path so to provide reasonably, equitiable family sized units and maximize density in the rh-2 and the rh-3 zoning.
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basic ply and demand. on to tenants, we support the protection of tenants. as an organization, we have no eviction policy. however, we feel that the requirements specified in this legislation are impossible to achieve. how is the project sponsor suppose to prove if he was occupied in the past seven years and vacant units or tenants, neighbors and property owners. we can't add more land to the city. [bell ringing] we need to put more housing on the land we already have, with higher density. demolition is a necessarily step to create more density in our built built-out neighborhoods. despite the good intentions, there was good intention. we understand there are bad apples. you know, the legislation and the bureaucracy will block the process of approvals. and are these commissions and these commissioners, with their limited salaries as we herd
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earlier, prepared to conduct three to four extra hearing per week. >> thank you. >> are you willing to double the staffing needed? >> you'll get me in trouble if you keep continuing talking. >> hello, i'm vivian dwyer. i'm also on the a.i.a. public policy and advocacy committee. and this legislation proposal is too broad. it goes beyond the -- beyond the definitions that it expressions for demolition. and it gets into square footage calculations that seem unreasonable. and the definitions need to be more thoroughly looked at and developed, with professionals such as architects and the planning and building commission. and i do not feel that we should accept it as it is. and that the -- it's again too broad. so we need to be more careful in the way that we look at it. thank you. >> thank you.
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next speaker, please. >> hi, my name is irene with s.f. modern. a woman-owned construction company. i agree with the concerns other speakers have mentioned. but i would like to speak about our aging housing stock and the negative impact this legislation will have on our ability to maintain it and to meet the needs of homeowners. my clients tend to be families on two endses of spectrum. they're either young families with children or they're empty nesters with young adults like recent college graduates to need to move back home. they also have aging parents who may also need housing and care. these homeowners have a total on ownership in san francisco. they bought what they could afford, which is an older, small home. they have saved five to ten years to be able to expand the existing home to meet their living situation. young families are having us
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build three bedrooms on one level, because the parents want the security of having their bedrooms on the same level as their children. the older families want enough space to is that their returning college graduates or senior parents can have a sense that everyone isn't on top of each other. generally these expanding families need a horizontal or vertical addition to meet their needs. these families should not be unfairly burdened with the additional costs and uncertainty of a conditional-use process. doing so would push families out of san francisco into other cities that are friendlier to family sized housing. [bell ringing] what kind of san francisco do we want in the future? a city city of singles, couples with no children, a city that pushes families to move to the suburbs? or should san francisco have building policies that enable construction to suit all sizes and configurations of households. in closing, i respectfully
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request that the commission allows meaningful expansions and demolitions a provisional use and eliminates the restrictions to size or massing. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is redman. i'm a contractor, developer here since i think '88 in san francisco. first of all, we're trying to solve too many problems with this piece of legislation. there are issues with demolitions, issues with conditional uses. all types of issues in the construction industry. in 1989, the earthquake hit san francisco. and that showed us what our sound housing stock looked like in 1989. in 1990, i worked on 8th avenue in san francisco. replacing foundations under all of those houses, that flipped off the foundations in the
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earthquake. and the only thing holding up that street was the house next door, that it was leaning against. we had to go under them, we had to pour -- build a new foundation in the garage, which would now be an illegal demolition, go upstairs, replace the dry rot in walls. i would like to invite you out to a construction site to see what happens there. when you want to replace a foundation, when you want to go up to the next floor and all of the water has come down two floors between you and the building next door and you have to replace that wall. or you have to patch it up as mr. reardon has shown in his drawings. to do that, to replace the wall, you have to jack up the ceiling, build your wall on the floor. [bell ringing] stand it up, drop your ceiling back down, go back up again, you usually have to replace the floor joists in those houses, that everybody is talking about existing sound construction.
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because the 2x6 joists. you sister in new l.v.l.s. you assist them. it's a joke. you put in new ones, you leave the old existing ones there, so the building department, when they come out to see them you put new plywood on top. >> thank you. >> you move on. my time. >> if i could talk for days. >> i know. [laughter] please. [applause] thank you, everybody. two minutes, please. please remember it's two minutes. we have a lot of speakers to go through. thank you. >> hi. i'm an architect here in the city. i have my own practice. i work a lot with residential clients, that are looking to do expansions that i think are modest. but would trigger this major expansion and under this legislation would be tagged as these kind of mega structures which i think is just not true. i think the spirit behind or the
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stated intentions of this ordinance would be to create more housing, which i think is great. and i think the impact of this particular legislation would, in fact, stop a lot of residential construction and reduce the available housing that we would have. and so i would just strongly oppose that it be passed in this form or anything very similar to this form. and it also creates a more difficult, more lengthy process for owners. it's already very difficult to permit projects in the city. it takes a long time. some of the estimates that that were shown by planning and building earlier are optimistic estimates in my mind. it takes -- it takes longer always than the estimates. and only adds more to that, it just makes it harder and harder for people to build housing. and that housing that we want is further and further away in the future. so i hope that we can find a way to make more housing and to make
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it happen faster. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> i'm going to pull it up. [bell ringing] >> time is passing. >> okay. >> please. >> if i could perhaps ask the next speaker to come up, while the current speaker sets up technically and we can go when you're ready. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is katherine watson. i'm an intern here in san francisco. i'm going to be reading a letter to you on behalf of a homeowner. my name is pete thompson. my wife and i lived in the same -- my wife and i lived in the same san francisco home on
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sacramento street for over 24 years. we started as renters, and when the opportunity presented itself many years ago, we were fortunate enough to purchase the home we had represented for so long. it is small, drafty, and older single family home. we reside there with our 3-year-old daughter. like many san francisco homes, it is somewhat short on square footage and storage space and will not accommodate a multi-generational family. we love san francisco and it has been our dream to one day expand our home into our forever home. part of being a forever home, it must be able to accommodate our family an and both of our aging parents. we believe the proposed legislation and policy changes fails to take that into consideration, and culturally shortsighted. we cannot emphasize this enough. my wife and i are aging, and in our respective cultures, the family is accepting. in our culture, we provide a home for our parents when they
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lose the ability to live independently as they grow older. the same is true for our younger nieces and nephews, who would need a temporary place to stay in san francisco and try to save money to afford their own place to live. we understand that other cultures may place parents or disabled family members if in assisted living facilities or other accommodations. but that is not true in our culture. [bell ringing] we have been patiently saving our money to be able to expand our home into something that will become our forever family home. this proposed legislation would preclude exactly what we've been working towards for so many years. we do not want a monster home, we simply want to expand our home to include our family and keep the idea of family alive for both older and younger generations. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi, my name is dana. i'm with the action. i'll bring up my map.
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so can you put this up? so this is a map i made of the effects that this bill would have. so red is any building that would -- from the -- because of the current structure, it would not be eligible for a demolition permit. which means that new housing is tantamount to ban. so this is a megadownzoning. downzoning is incredibly irresponsible to do in the midst of a housing crisis. it's like banning farms in the middle of a famine. what we need to do is like actually get a affordability. we can't get there preserving units that are already unaffordable. we need to build a lot more housing and flood the market with condos. we need to look at like where are we building 24 housing. because like we can't expect the formerly red light neighborhoods to take on the entire burden of ending segregation. we've tried that. we need to build housing in
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every neighborhood. but this bill does the opposite. it preserves and embers the neighbors already unaffordable. and we created to be exclusionary. and it will ensure that they'll be exclusionary forever. thank you. >> thank you. would you please share that with the staff, if you can get a chance. next speaker. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is lang. i work for a drawing and design, architecture firm in the city, in downtown. and i just want to say i appreciate the thoughtful questions and the concerns that you brought to us today. because those are also the same things that we've been discussing in our offices, between my colleagues and i. but today i come to you as a longtime san francisco native, believe it or not. there are a handful of us still living in the city. i grew up in the outer sunset, where i attended lowell high
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school. to this day, i'm still living in the neighborhood with a family of my own. and fortunate to be able to own a home, just several blocks from where i grew up. now i bring this up with you, because as a homeowner and someone who wants to remain in the city, and invest in our city, the proposed legislation makes it increasingly difficult to expand. and make improvements to my home for a growing family such as mine and for other families who are looking to settle their roots here. the proposed additions in the legislation would put limits in place that are not family friendly. for instance, one of the commissioners mentioned that 1200 square foot limits per unit, which seems unrealistically low for expanded families. particularly if there's an interest in multi-generational living. and in my case, my parents are a couple of blocks from where i live, when one passes away, we're hoping that they can ce