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tv   Board of Appeals  SFGTV  July 12, 2021 12:00am-4:01am PDT

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. >> clerk: commissioner tina chang will be absent tonight. also present is city attorney brad russi who will provide any legal advice if needed. we will also be joined by representatives from the city departments that will be presenting before the board this evening. scott sanchez, deputy zoning director and patrick duffy, senior building inspector. appellants, permit holder, and developers are given seven minutes to present and three
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minutes for rebuttal. members of the public who are not parties have up to three minutes to address the board each and no rebuttal. we will give you a verbal response 30 seconds before your time is up. given there is a vacancy, three votes are needed for approving, denying, or a hearing request. now, public access and participation are of paramount importance to the board, and every effort has been made to replicate the in-person hearing process. sfgovtv is broadcasting and streaming this hearing live, and we will have the ability to provide public comment for this agenda. we are also providing closed captioning for this hearing.
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public comment can be provided by one of two ways. you can provide public comment on-line or by calling in 669-9300-6833, and entering the meeting code 883-6354-3664. to block your number before you call in, dial star, six, seven before entering your comment. when you hear the item called on which you wish to speak, press star, one. please note there is a delay between what is broadcast and live streamed on the t.v. and
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internet. if any of the participants or attendees on zoom need disability accommodation or technical assistance, you can make a comment to the board's legal assistant or send a message to the board, if you intend to testify at any of tonight's proceedings and wish to have the board give your testimony evidentiary weight, please raise your right hand and swear or affirm. do you solemnly answer that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
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truth? okay. we are now moving onto item 1, which is general public comment. this is the time that anyone can speak on any matter not on tonight's agenda. okay. i don't see any public comment, so we will move onto item 2, commissioner comments and questions. >> no, nothing from me. >> clerk: okay. commissioners, we'll move onto item 3, adoption of minutes. >> president honda: i'll accept a motion. motion made by vice president swig. >> clerk: any public comment on the adoption of minutes, please
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raise your hand. okay. i don't see any public comment, so on item 3 -- [roll call] >> clerk: okay. the item is adopted. we are moving onto item 4, chaka miller versus department of building inspection, subject property, 1555 oak street, unit 4, appealing the issuance on may 19, 2021, to stockton s.f., l.l.c., of an alteration permit. this is permit 2019-11-20-7761, and we will hear from the appellant first. mr. miller, you have seven minutes. >> hello. i didn't get a chance to answer or affirm -- >> clerk: okay. do you answer that the
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testimony you are about to give will be the truth and nothing but the truth? >> yes. >> clerk: okay. you may continue. >> this is difficult for me because i'm an old guy, but i will just start out by saying that i really hope that you will deny this permit because -- well, the first reason would be that there are two standing notice of violations on the building. one from january 2020 and the first week of august 2020. these have not been resolved, and they're not just code violations or building violations, you'll see they're legal issues. one is criminal, and the other six are civil violations, and those haven't been resolved, and it's been a year.
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the substance of the n.o.v. from july involves a release of hazardous materials in the garage and backyard, okay? so it's unpermitted demolition by the contractor here without notice and without permit and without a c-22 license and possibly without an e.p.a. or h.u.d. certificate. the building inspection division laid it out very carefully, and they haven't resolved the problem, and the hazard is still on the property. that would be the first on its face to deny the permit. second is unit four. unit four is directly above the garage where you have this release of hazardous materials. so when you remodel number four, you have to remove the floor. by removing the floor, you're going to expose the unit to
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hazardous materials that won't be abated. because they haven't abated the problem, they haven't admit today the tenants that they did it, but here we are, the n.o.v., and they want to have the privilege of doing another remodel in unit four, which i don't think they deserve. the third issue is there are currently three remodels on the property and seven more currently in different stages of the process. so what you have here is someone who is able to exploit all the loopholes in the system. so if you have -- i mean, a 12-unit building, and i think
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about 11 units are in some stage of construction, they're all on separate permits. they've received exceptions and waivers for each individual permit, so it's going to create a as far as -- create a problem as far as density, noise problems, and i think they've taken advantage of the system by having each project looked at piece meal instead of whole cloth. this matter was filed in 2019, so there's been a lot of things happening since then. a lot has changed since then, so i think they need to review it and look at the whole
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project rather than individual units. there are a number of people that are outnumbered on the whole block to give you a perspective of how many people they're going to try to cram in here. now, the fourth issue is slightly different. it's the -- i'm hoping that the members of the board have sensitivity to the historical nature of the building. i don't think it's on any historical list but i believe it's a de facto historical building because it's on various historical maps and tour maps. we've had guided tours through at least three decades. dohrman larson donated tens of
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millions of dollars and he's committed to preserving haight-ashbury for decades. i believe it's a de facto -- i believe it should be preserved as a de facto historical building. i think mr. larson put in decades to preserve this building and make it a historic edwardian building. he was given exemptions and not really looking at the project as a whole would be a troj -- tragedy for future generations who just wouldn't have this building around anymore. my last reason or request for you to consider denying this project has to do with the permit holder refusing to abide by the stop work order that you gave.
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for the first four weeks after the order, i e-mailed you. they continues to work with drills, saws. the unit floor is rife with lead and asbestos. you can see from the photograph, and it shouldn't be in there. one of my neighbors complained, also, because his eyes started bleeding because of the tiles they were cutting in there. they pressured him to start talking. my wife was harrised by these guys, and then, they offered me a buyout, and -- harrassed by these guys, and they're doing whatever they can to put pressure on us to not talk. now again, there's notices of violations on the building and they're serious issues that you have to look at before you
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start cutting. that's it. thank you. >> clerk: okay. we will hear from the architect, mr. charles perry. you have seven minutes. we can't hear you. >> you're muted, sir. >> okay. can you hear me? >> clerk: yes. >> okay. i will start. the permit in question, unit four, is part of an overall remodel of a.d.u.s at 1555 oak street. the apartments that are being remodelled, they are one and two bedroom units and being remodels to two and three bedroom units. from my view, the appellant has not presented any evidence or expert opinion that any authority having jurisdiction
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proved that they exceeded their authority under unit four -- [inaudible] >> clerk: can you pause the time. there's an echo. do you have another device open, mr. perry? >> those devices are turned off. do you still have an echo? >> clerk: okay. thank you. i'm sorry for interrupting. please go ahead. restart the time, please. >> time is on. >> plans for a new mechanical room and landscaping have been approved. then to address some of the issues that mr. miller have brought up, there's two outstanding n.o.v.s, all of the property has been inspected, and the inspectors are not going to mark them as complete until all the work is complete.
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regarding mr. miller's claim of hazardous material, this is not correct. all of the unit demolition was done where we had lead or asbestos was done and followed all the california regulations, and a report was filed with ceqa, as is required. regarding the demolition of the garage, there was no hazardous material. no lead or asbestos, only drywall. no paint on there, either. regarding unit four, there's been no construction on the unit because it's been used as storage. so for these reasons, i request that you deny the appellant's
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request to rescind the building department and planning department's approval of these plans. i cede the remainder of my time to [inaudible] who will present more on the project. >> okay. how much time do we have? >> you have 4:33. >> okay, well, let me give everyone an overview. first, i represent the property
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manager owner of the building. they're a family run business located in the richmond district. i can see from a -- you know, i remember the owners, i represent the property manager, and the tenants at different times of this building. they are obeying all of the rules and regulations and are upgrading the building in a sustainable way, many times going above and beyond what is required? i am a fourth generation san francisco native. i see these improvements as, you know, improvements to san francisco and improving san
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francisco. [inaudible] many times with unwarranted challenges to the construction with the planning department, and these delay construction times by a zone which never seems to end [inaudible] it is not a done.
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>> okay. >> president honda: so mr. alexander, how long have you been managing this particular property? >> three years. >> president honda: three years, and was this different ownership? >> no, same ownership as far as i know. >> president honda: okay, and when you took ownership, was the property fully occupied? >> i took over from a former manager that's no longer with gaetoni, and when i took over, six or seven units were vacant. >> president honda: okay. and do you know how those became vacant? >> i don't. i believe the owners bought the building with a large number of
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vacant units with the intention of upgrading them, you know, over time. >> president honda: okay. and so you're doing a.d.u.s. so how many were occupied when you took over management? >> how many were occupied? >> president honda: okay. six? >> yeah, i would think that's a good number. >> president honda: okay. and how did those become vacant? >> from -- >> president honda: from six to one. >> no, there's three there. >> president honda: okay. so from six to three. >> two people moved out, and one couple moved to portland. >> president honda: that was my question. thank you. >> you bet. >> clerk: okay. so we are now moving onto the planning department.
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>> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department. the subject property at 1555 oak street, in this case, unit four in the building is located in an rn-2 zoning district, it's to change it from a two bedroom, one bathroom to a three bedroom-two bath with kitchen and dining area was submitted in november 2019. in june 2020, planning department reviewed the application. there was a b.b.n. notice request, which was performed. the b.b.n. requester was not the appellant in this matter. the planning department approved the project in november 2020. it's not a landmark building
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or -- but it was noted in a 1991 landmark survey. they're taking what is maybe an exit area that goes onto the firescape and replacing that with a proper window from the current condition. generally, when you have buildings that are historic buildings, you're looking at interior spaces that may be considered historic, they're generally areas that are publicly accessible, so city hall has landmark interior because it's publicly accessible. in some cases, you have movie theaters that are publicly accessible, churches. for this building, there's no work under this permit that would affect any areas of concern because it's all
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interior to the unit and there's no designation particularly for unit four, but other units have been designated -- looks like there's eight active permit that's have not been yet issued. there's six for unit tenant improvements, one for an a.d.u. on the ground floor, and then one which is a structural revision to a previously issued permit. on the a.d.u. permit, which is going to make some alterations to the lobby area, it is noted in there that for the public, lobby character is to be retained on that permit, and that any character defining features will be removed in the remodelled or altered lobby. again, that's a separate a.d.u. that did have a hearing earlier
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this year, and i think there were two d.r.s on that, if i'm not mistaken, and i don't think it was the appellant in this matter. i think it was maybe a tenant and one of the neighbors. the building ownership, since president honda had any questions about that, shows the current owner acquired it in august 2018. i did do a quick google search, and from the listing at that time, it noted that there were two units in the listing for sale, and one unit or tenant had given notice. i guess probably about four would have been vacant about the time that the building sold. there are no planning department complaints on the property. i think this was referenced in the appellant's brief, and apologize if staff misspoke at the d.r. hearing, but rather, there are no planning department complaints, any building department complaints,
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and i think that those are what the appellant has referred to, and i would defer to the planning department, and with that, this looks to be appropriately reviewed and approved from planning's perspective, but i'm happy to be available for any questions. >> clerk: thank you. commissioner swig, you had a question? >> commissioner swig: yes. you answered my question, but just to be redundant, so in the issuance of this permit, from your point of view, this is a pretty straightforward renovation of an apartment building with no additions to the footprint and the only special nature of it is the a.d.u. aspect is also
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straightforward. >> that's not even on this permit, but yeah, that does appear to be straightforward. i think the planning commission had approved that at the d.r. hearing. >> commissioner swig: let's ask and answer the appellant's question. why is this so multipermitted, apartment by apartment, instead of one permit which covers the whole building upgrade process? >> yeah. there are benefits to having one permit that shows all the activity level on the property. we wouldn't look at this peace meal if they wanted to do a unit by unit configuration of changing the bedrooms because under the planning code, there is no regulation for that. they can have three bedrooms in this unit, so they can do that
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on a case-by-case basis. sometimes we see that they can be -- they would have appeals at the board of appeals where people don't want to see all the work on one permit, they want it to be done kind of phased, so you do it kind of one unit at a time, and you're only doing vacant units at the time, so i think that's maybe the approach that they're taking here. mr. duffy can speak more to that why they're doing that unit by unit. it's not uncommon for different unit permits to come in, so that is something that is -- it's not out of the ordinary, i would say, but i would defer to mr. duffy on that. >> commissioner swig: thanks very much on that. >> clerk: okay. we will now hear from the department of building inspection. >> thank you. joe duffy, d.b.i. just for the building remodel
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on unit four. it was phased on november 20, 2019, issued on 19 may 2021, and suspended by d.b.i. per the appellant's request on june 22, 2021. it was reviewed by the planning department, the building department plan architectural and did a plan check, mechanical, fire department, and central permit bureau. the building has got 12 dwelling units in it, as you've heard. from a building code point of view, i don't see any issues with the work. i don't hear any issues that we normally hear about. at this point, i think the permit itself does comply with the building code requirements. we did receive some e-mails, complaints from mr. miller that there was work going on in apartment four and prior when the permit was suspended.
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we had a building inspector go out there. he provided me with an e-mail at that time. building inspector connor weaver was the inspector for the area, and the engineer, mr. perry. there was photographs sent to me but did not show any work. just the building materials, they were using an empty apartment for storing some materials, which was fine, and i believe there was a water heater which really didn't concern us, but to say they kept working and ignored the violation request, i don't think that was the case, from what i could see. over the years, we got numerous complaints, and i think mr. miller has been filing the complaints. building inspectors, plumbing inspectors, and electrical
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inspectors have been fairly responsive to those. [inaudible] a notice of violation for some work that was taking place on the ground floor. we did issue a stop work at the time for issues related to asbestos. listening to the earlier testimony, i ended up sending our department building inspector a very detailed complaint of this property. [inaudible] and mr. perry was correct in stating that. obviously, mr. miller can say if there's any building code violations taking place at the property, we are happy to go out and look at them any time. there's been multiple, and they seem to be responsible, and any issues that they had a year ago
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seemed to have been resolved. i did see a notice of complains after the violation, and i think those violations can be [inaudible]. in multifamily dwellings, i do say multiple permits, i don't know what the plan is for that, but from our point of view, it's [inaudible] you normally see one big permit for one building, but if you don't see that, it doesn't mean it's bad,
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but it's just harder to track. it does look like they're getting a lot of permits, but you do have to come to d.b.i. to get that permit, and you have to go to building to get the permit numerous times. i think i've covered any concerns, but if there's any questions, happy to answer. >> clerk: thank you. i don't see any questions, so we'll move to public comment. is there anyone here to provide public comment on this matter? please raise your hand. okay. if you've -- i don't see anybody raising their hand, so we will move onto rebuttal. mr. miller, you have three minutes. >> okay. thank you very much, everyone. i think to maybe address mr.
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honda's rear
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yard area, but they didn't have a permit to do that. they had a permit to demolish the boiler area. the permit they had was to replace the boiler room, but they had no testing for the boiler room area or the chemical paint or pesticide room that was there also. what they had done was a hand selected test of five locations
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selected by the contractor of paint that was replaced in 2016. so it was a rush job, and they turned it around in one day. i'm going off of the documents that they turned in. two industrial hygienists from the d.p.h., suggested five areas of plaster when it doesn't speak of lead. okay. those will speak for themselves, and carl weaver, inspector, wrote that, and i would just defer to his opinion. >> clerk: thank you. okay. we will now hear from the permit holder or the representatives of the permit holder, mr. alexander or mr. perry. you have three minutes. mr. perry? >> can you hear me now. >> clerk: yes, we can hear you. >> okay.
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so just briefly, there are kind of two questions. one is how many units are vacant. so when i was hired, there were six vacant units, then before i started plans and right after i had a contract signed, one more unit became vacant and then roughly six months ago, another unit became vacant, so that's kind of how the sequence of how things happened. this leads into why we had multiple permits. well, the a.d.u. has to function under a different permit because it's an entirely different set of rules for remodels. the owner made the decision to go with multiple permits because we're trying to complete a unit and get it signed off and we can't do multiple units. basically, a crew can handle about three units with the amount of construction on the
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site. we were hoping to do three units at a time during construction on the project. then covid hit, and now it's monday morning quarterbacking, so that's all i have to say. i'll yield the balance of my time to mr. alexander. >> clerk: mr. alexander? we'll pause the time, alex, please. >> operator: time is paused. >> clerk: is he still with us? it might be worth it to make a phone call to him. i'm not sure if he intentionally left. mr. perry? >> yes, i'll text him real quickly. my phones are automatic turned off. >> clerk: okay. he was going to call in, but i don't see him in the wait room. >> operator: he could be caller user two, maybe?
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>> clerk: that person had been there for a while. >> operator: 9068, maybe? >> clerk: what are the last four digits of his number, mr. perry? >> i'm turning on my phones. >> clerk: mr. perry, did you call in? >> yes, i'm here. >> clerk: okay. how much time does he have? >> operator: 1:48. >> okay. i'll try to speak quickly. i know the whole matter of this was the permitting process and not necessarily occupancy of the building, but i will comment on a few things, i apologize for the rapid speaking, mr. miller mentioned coerced.
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i can comment for this meeting nobody was coerced. the one buyout that i assisted on, the couple was moving to portland. i personally handed them the check in their living room. they were ecstatic to have a little bit of money to leave san francisco and start a new life. i don't believe i was involved in anything else. the owners are not aggressive people. they're not looking to buyout anybody, they're looking to help anybody who needs help. one thing i'll mention for the permits, the hope is to bring housing into san francisco, and when you have seven units in san francisco, if you have one permit, it's going to take you one year before you have a unit whereas if you do one unit, the owners can complete the project, get it up, and get it rented, so that's just
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mentioning that. [inaudible]. >> the rear yard, there was a hazardous tree removed. that's been fully renovated. there's been a seismic retrofit with another one in the plans, upgraded telephone system. the owners are upgrading this building, which should be welcomed by the tenants, and i think it's unfortunate that it's becoming a contentious issue, and from our end, we'll do everything we can to [inaudible]. >> clerk: okay. thank you. we do have a question from president honda, and you're on mute, president honda. >> president honda: mr. perry, i understand renewal, and plumbing, heating, and renovation of this building.
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but during this process, what we're seeing is long-term tenants being displaced. i'm not saying that that's what's particularly involved in this particular case, but those are questioned that were kind of guided through. as you said, you don't know why the tenants should welcome this, but i see a baby thing in back of your car. would you like this type of improvement living in a building? >> well, yeah, if i had my kids at the building, no, i wouldn't, but i wouldn't stop it, i would say i guess it, you know? these people are investing in san francisco, please work with me to, you know, let me know when construction's going to start, when it's going to finish, make sure you do it properly. i'm a very realistic person, so i understand that people, you know, in this case, these are individuals that are investing
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in this building in order to have returns for this building. so yeah, when you have a unit that hasn't been touched in 50 years, you have to remodel it. that's the right thing to do, and it's obviously not ideal, especially with covid, to be working and living in the building when construction is going on. that is not fun for anybody involved, and i'm not there, so i can't speaktor the residents, i can't speak for the contractors -- >> president honda: no, i got it, and you've answered my question. to be honest, after going through the brief, you guys appear to be going by the rules that have been set up before. i just had those particular questions. thank you, mr. alexander. >> okay. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you, scott sanchez, planning department, just to only confirm that we have a.d.u.s as separate permits, so
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he correctly stated that, and i'm available for any questions. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will will now hear from the department of building inspection. >> thank you, commissioners. joe duffy. just one thing i always mention on the apartment buildings doing the work, and i'm sure that mr. perry said that the staff -- the lead paint disturbance, have you to have public notification in common areas, and, you know, i'm sure they're complying with that. we just really encourage outreach so that if mr. miller or anyone in the building has any issues, they can reach out directly. it sounds like he wants to help them, and if he calls the city, it sounds like he can resolve it with the landlord or the representative. i just want to thank the engineer, mr. perry. he was very responsive to our
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inspectors when we were getting the complaints. i thank him for that and his work on the soft story program, and we're constantly working on improvements on that, and he's always working on that, as well. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we have a question from vice president swig? >> commissioner swig: yes. for the benefit of the appellant, mr. duffy, can you clarify the issues of the open n.o.v.s, if there are n.o.v.s? >> well, there are n.o.v.s, but i would be advising the [inaudible] it looks like the permits have been taken care of. i think mr. perry mentioned that the inspector said that he was waiting until he signed off the permits. i don't think it's advisable to
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keep someone under violation if they did resolve the issue, so i did encourage my inspector to work with mr. perry to resolve any issue. >> commissioner swig: so bottom line is you don't see any flagrant issues with n.o.v.s at this property? >> [inaudible] july, and we did write it up, but the work is we have issued permits since that time, but i just think it was an oversight that we didn't see that notice of violation. >> commissioner swig: okay. thank you very much. >> clerk: okay. commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> president honda: would anyone like to start on this three-person panel? >> commissioner lazarus: i'll start. i haven't seen anything that would lead me to grant this
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appeal. >> commissioner swig: i agree. >> president honda: i agree, as well. unfortunately, urban remodelling is not going to be comfortable for anyone. it's a fine example of infrastructure that needs to corrected but is inconvenient to a lot of folks. to the appellant, if you feel that they are not obeying the laws, you know, feel free to contact the department and keep on being diligent. what has been provided and the data that's been given to us and what's been questioned and answered, i feel that this project is fully code compliant, and i don't have an issue with it, either. commissioner lazarus, would you like to make that your motion? >> commissioner lazarus: yes. i will move to deny the appeal on the basis that the permit was properly issued.
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>> clerk: okay. we have a motion from commissioner lazarus to deny the appeal on the basis that the permit was properly issued. [roll call] >> clerk: so that appeal is denied. we are moving onto item 5, pauson yun versus department of building inspection, planning department approving, appealing the issuance on may 10, 2021, to ricky jong, of an alteration permit, add 849 square feet on top of existing roof and convert existing two-story into a three-story building; add 266.7 square foot rooftop deck in the front and add 75 square foot cantilever balcony at the
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back. this is permit number 2018-08-14-7292. and we will hear from mr. yun. >> thank you. i am hear as the appellant asking that the permit being denied because it violates the character of the neighborhood and set back from the street. if you can put up exhibit a, please. that's not exhibit a. no, that's not it, either.
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it's listed as exhibit a with a view of the street. on this home, you can see homes with additions. they are circled, and they are set back and smaller in size than the proposed project, circled in yellow. on our block, on 31 avenue between vicente and esculta, it's not a typical one like the ones you see in the sunset, it's short and very narrow, and homes are connected, and cars have a difficult time passing each other on this street, so any large addition is very noticeable. can you put up exhibit d, please? thank you.
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my request is to modify the permit based on the revised plans that mr. jong submitted. he claimed that they followed the direction of the planning commission, however, his submission only represents a 10% reduction in size given the scale of this project and the size of the street, which is very small. and i also want to point out that mr. jong's site line drawing is misleading. can you post exhibit x, please? thank you. as you can see, if you were to walk down our street, you can
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see that any addition can be seen from the street. mr. jong's drawing shows that someone standing in front of the house won't be able to see any additions. while that may be true, anyone else walking down the street at an angle can see the addition if it's not properly set back. and the current size that mr. jong is proposing does not align with the other three homes on this block, and it really will stand out. mr. jong has had numerous discussions with the planning department to move this project forward, but he has not had much engagement with the neighbors, even when he knew
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that the project would affect the small block. multiple neighbors approached mr. jong during the plan review stage with suggestions on how the addition would affect the whole block. mr. jong ignored those suggestions and submitted his own plans without any changes. also want to point out mr. jong's unwillingness to discuss anything with the neighbors was right before the discretionary review. david winslow from the planning commission had offered to facilitate a meeting between mr. jong and myself to negotiate a design that would facilitate everyone's concerns and interests, and again, mr. jong rejected an opportunity to meet. most importantly, mr. jong started work on the project without a permit, and the work was only stopped when the formal notice of violation was issued by the city after numerous neighbors had reported
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the violation. mr. jong would have continued to work without a permit had no one complained about this. i also want to note that mr. jong is incorrect when he claims that i am the only person who is against stopping this project. i have no issues with the project being built, i just want it to be consistent with the other builds on this block. other neighbors have commented that they would like change to see this permit. as -- changes to this permit. my neighbor submitted a petition on this project on this street that would like to see this permit modified, and it's my understanding that multiple neighbors had submitted e-mails opposing this project to the appeals board.
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mr. jong has never had any interest in working with the neighbors on this project, and his belief was always that as long as it was technically feasible, that it should be built with no regard to the character features and neighbors on the block. that's what i would like this board of appeal to see really consider modifying the permit so it can be consistent with other builds on the street. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the permit holder, mr. jong. >> yes, hello. i'm going to share my screen. are you able to see my screen?
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>> clerk: yes. it's a blank screen. >> okay. my name is ricky jong, the owner of 2643 31 avenue. i grew up just a few blocks away as a fourth generation san franciscan, and i have seen and heard of money changes in the city as well as this neighborhood. although some believe change is a hindrance, i believe that with proper change, the city will continue to grow more beautifully. it is with this desire to have additional space with my expanded family and the addition of the neighborhood that we build this project. i have presented two main [inaudible] during the discretionary review and the project is not consistent with similar additions on the block.
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the second objection that the project is not consistent with additions on the block is a repeat of the original discretionary review and was previously discussed and ruled on, so i do not plan to go in depth on my response on this unless the council deems it relevant. i provided the original two discretionary review actions, which were reviewed and approved by the permitting office. i'll start off with discretionary review action two, which was review parapet in the front with approval by the staff. my project manager worked directly with the city's principle architect, david winslow, as well as kathleen campbell, to [inaudible] drawings. [inaudible] i agree with mr. yun that the street is unique and narrow, which is to the
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residents' benefit. at 50 feet away, which would be a 5'8" site line, an approximately six-foot individual, the third story is not visible and has additional clearance up here. discretionary review action one was to reduce the mass at the rear end. mr. yun's argument in his original peal was that the project only reduced 2% of the total square footage of the property, which is very misleading as he's comparing the size of the reduction to the overall house size and not the increase. as shown in the two latest revisions most recently, the project reduced the liveable space by approximately 10% of the project and completely removed the rear balcony from the plans, which is 6 foot
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shorter and approximately 30 feet of the overall length of the project. additionally, quick breakdown of the various stages. project here. after the discretionary review, we reduced the project down an additional 11%, so we have reduced down 23% approximately for the overall square footage of the original project. the project has gone to great lengths to accommodate mr. yun with multiple modifications. we have tried to be as minimally invasive to the neighbors. these are a few of the changes that we have attempted to comply with neighborhoods' concerns, so we've offset the southside of the deck by 4 feet to the north and no windows on
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southside of the addition to provide privacy to mr. yun and then eliminate the balcony completely. we are planning to replace the existing vinyl front windows with wood frame windows to be consistent with the neighborhood. we are using three sky lights to reduce waste and are modifying the project shape to a box to minimize construction length. in the original discretionary review, mr. yun noted that existing additions on the block were set back 18 feet. when we identified our project was already 21' 3.5'', he requested that our project be pushed back at additional 18 feet from its current location.
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mr. yun puts a lot of incorrect data as fact and disregards the information put forth in an attempt to accommodate his request. 2672 31 avenue, you can see the addition is at least a square in size, and the significance of this is that house lots are 25 foot wide, so a 25 by 25 addition would be at least 600 square feet, and compared to our addition, it is quite comparable. other units or other apartments -- or sorry, other third-story additions are very similar. again, i ask that you consider
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that mr. yun's appeals are of a person who is only wasting time in an attempt to stall or cancel this project. when we originally had our meeting with neighbors, mr. yun did not attend. he did not contact us until a year later, when we received a discretionary review. in the original meeting with neighbors -- >> operator: 30 seconds. >> -- we also were verbally attacked by a real estate lawyer neighbor who said if we did not submit our plans to her for her approval, she would fight with us continuously, so she did not seem to want to reason, so we decided to submit originally to the permitting office as is because the neighbors did not seem like
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they wanted to cooperate. >> operator: that's time. thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: okay. we have a question from president honda. >> president honda: yeah, so i know that you ran out of time, but being very familiar with esculta street myself, your neighbor did not reach out to you in any way? >> no, she did not. >> president honda: it's kind of an old school block. a lot of people have been there for generations, so change is very hard for folks. >> yes. >> president honda: but it appears that you've made some major modifications to your plan from me looking at the brief, which, from the appellant's version, was quite different. what specifically were your neighbors asking? >> they actually did not have really specific requests. they said partially that
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existing additions were 250 to 300 square feet, which is not actually true by the graphs that we've shown, and in the latest, mr. yun has asked for an additional 18 feet, which would actually reduce our footprint to about 200 feet, which is completely unreasonable for that story. >> president honda: thank you. i can remember when there was three parking lots there. thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we have a question from vice president swig. >> commissioner swig: thank you. have you done any work on this project without permits? >> so we did start some of the demolition of the concrete.
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i was personally not aware that we could not start, but we had multiple permits so i was unknowingly -- the structural portions were approved. i did not understand that there were other types of signage permits and all that stuff, so it is my fault that we did start on that. we did stop as soon as we were notified. >> commissioner swig: okay. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department. subject property is 2643 31 avenue. it is in an rh-1 zoning district. the project before you is for an addition on the third floor. the lot is approximately 25 feet wide by 87 feet deep,
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so it's a little bit shorter than typical lots, and it does have a set back from the front property line bearing because of that irregularity, so between six and 9 feet. the proposed vertical addition would have a deck that is set back about 14 feet from the front building wall, and the main addition would be set back 24 feet. i think as noted on the plan, it's 21' 3'' to the main vertical wall. typically, when we have vertical additions, they would be about 15 feet or so, so this is a significant set back being proposed already. and the size of the addition was originally about 849 square feet but subsequently reduced because of the planning commission action, which i'll get to in a second.
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the building permit was originally committed in november 2018, and neighborhood inspection was performed between july and august 2019. during that time, there was one discretionary review perhaps from the appellant. the hearing for the discretionary review was heard on january 30, 2020. at that time, staff did have a recommendation to take d.r., but staff recommendation was to lower the ceiling height from 9 feet to 8 feet floor to ceiling height. their recommendation was to reduce the mass at the wear and also to review the parapet at the front with guidance from staff as has been noted. staff did find in that the third story vertical addition was appropriate and with that set back, and the commission didn't require any additional set back from the front building. their concern was related to the massing at the rear, which
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led to a reduction subsequently and the depth of the addition, pulling it in from the rear building wall to reduce the mass at the rear. and in reviewing the proposed parapet at the front, staff thought that was appropriate and approved the project as revised. with the commission's action to reduce the square footage of that addition from 849 square feet to 775 square feet, and the appellant is requesting an additional 18-foot set back, which would be substantial. i think you're looking at more than 40 feet from the feet building wall, and then, you would have a penthouse of 13 feet by 25 feet, so quite small. the planning commission didn't have any concerns about the vertical addition as viewed from the front. their concerns related largely to the rear. the one concern that they did
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express was reviewing the parapet at the front, but staff, they didn't give specific direct to the staff. staff reviewed the materials and found that the parapet was appropriate. so with that, i can be available for any questions that the board may have. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we have a question from president honda. >> president honda: so first, you went into pretty much depth, so what -- are there any variances or exceptions specifically on the project? >> no. it's completely code compliant based within the available area of the lot. since that time, since the time this permit was committed -- >> president honda: 30%. >> 30%, the rear yard has increased, but it is compliant with the requirements for this permit. i think it's about 29 feet
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rh-1, so in this dwelling, they are within the allowed feet and buildingable area, and note -- buildable area, and noting the significant set back that we already have. >> president honda: and given the set back, how much larger could this addition have? >> i don't have the exact numbers, but i can look that up and get that back to you on rebuttal, but they certainly have a lot more visible area on the front. >> president honda: so they're not at max build by any stretch of the imagination. >> they could go higher and that vertical addition could also be closer to the front. residential design guide lines, they get applied and massage the envelope from there. >> president honda: this is a
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de novo hearing, and ex-commissioner fung noted that the [inaudible] didn't touch the decks. thank you, and i think you've lost a little weight there, scott. >> thank you. thanks. >> president honda: thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we have a question from vice president swig? >> commissioner swig: so my question is compared with the neighborhood. i couldn't get a very clear sense, and i'm getting a very clear sense verbally that the set back is significant from the front of the house, but can you give any opinion as to the capability with the rest of the -- compatibility with the rest of the neighborhood comparing this addition to the other two additions which were
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pointed out to us earlier? >> so at least i think three other vertical additions were pointed out. i don't have plans to measure, so best i can use the photographic survey tool, and i took a quick look at that, and they range about a 30-foot set back. they are greater in most of those other additions, but they are also set back more than they need to be because often, when you see vertical additions when there's maybe a third-story context or you see a third-story addition, with the design guidelines, you see that with even a 50% set back. so the fact that they are a 24-foot set back is significant and the commission didn't have
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any concerns about the set back. >> commissioner swig: and give me your opinion on compatibility with the rest of the neighborhood? >> it's not going to be imposing. it's not, like, we're having, you know, a 35 or 40-foot call vertical addition that's going to be twice as tall as the surrounding buildings. it respects the scale along 31 avenue. >> commissioner swig: thank you for your feedback. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the department of building inspection. >> commissioners, john duffy, d.b.i. just on the permit, it was filed in august 2018, issued on may 10, 2021, and suspended on the 24 of may. it was reviewed by planning, as
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you know, building, d.p.w., sfpuc, and it is a state permit, and the agenda for the project is currently under review at d.b.i. the review would be suspended pending the appeal, but it has been filed and, as i said, going through the process. we did get a complaint earlier this year about work being done without a permit, and we did indeed send an inspector to investigate that, and we issued a notice of violation, and the violation was for foundation work being performed under a permit that has not been issued, and we asked him to stop all the work and contact the inspector [inaudible] so, you know, i'm not sure what -- the decision, i did hear vice
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president swig ask the permit holder about that. i don't know why people do this sort of thing. wait until you heard before you've got a building permit. and it's the addenda that you have to have before you can even work. i want to tell the permit holder, you know, not a good decision. do not start even if this is okay, when you get this site permit back, you have to wait until there's an addenda issued before you can start work. now if you pour concrete without a discretion, you're going to have to deal with scanning and any issues that we're going to have to have on that because obviously a d.b.i. inspector did not inspect that concrete. so we've got some issues to sort out with d.b.i. any hear any other issue -- i didn't hear any other issues brought up in the appeal, and i'm happy to answer any questions. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. okay. we are moving onto public
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comment. we do have 23 fem in the queue. i don't know if they're here for this item or the next item, but did you want to limit public comment? >> president honda: yeah. two minutes. >> clerk: okay. if you are wanting to speak on this project, raise your hand. okay. mr. [inaudible], please go ahead. >> yes. i'm alex [inaudible]. i live next door to the building in question, and we are attached buildings, and they have a fence [inaudible] and it's the only source of light in some of our rooms, and if that construction goes through, we will lose that light and the view, as well. also, preliminary construction caused a lot of noise and shaking, and basically it was unliveable during that time, so i don't know going forward how it would be mitigated, but
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those are my three main issues, that construction will block the light, you know, and block the view, and during the construction, our house was basically unliveable. >> clerk: okay. thank you. is there any other public comment on this item? please raise your hand. okay. i don't see any other hands raised. if you called in, press star, nine. >> john johnson. >> clerk: okay. we can get you promoted to panelist on video. we'll just take a moment. mr. johnson? mr. johnson? mr. johnson, can you hear me? mr. johnson, you can go ahead.
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>> can you hear me now? >> clerk: yes, we can hear you. you have two minutes, sir. >> okay. my name's john johnson, 2655 31 avenue. one thing, and i understand a lot of the rules and regulations, but once again, when you look at some of the other lots around the sunset district which are wider and -- well, much wider than this block, i almost think this block, as small as it is, is totally different than what the rules and regulations are for building it at the top, and i think it needs to be considered how small the block is, once again, besides looking at your typical sunset district -- parkside district streets. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. is there any other public
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comment on this item, please raise your hand. please raise your hand. okay. i do see someone joined by computer. i don't see a name, though. please go ahead -- let me see. hello? i see a hand raised, it's joined by computer. there's no name. okay. one moment. alec? >> yeah, that looks like a -- [inaudible]. >> clerk: well, i don't know if this is a room bomber or somebody that is providing public comment. if you're raising your hand right now, please put a note in the chat and identify yourself. i'm asking them to unmute, as
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well. >> operator: [inaudible] then you can manage it. don't promote. >> clerk: no, i'm not moving this person, but they're not speaking in the chat. there's something that raised their hand without a name, and we just see a link to the zoom meeting. please send us a message in the chat or call in. okay. i'm not sure if this is an actual person, so i'll just say that you can call in by phone, 1-669-900-6833 and enter meeting i.d. 883-6354-3664, and then press star, one, and we will allow you to speak. president honda, i think we
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should move on from this -- >> president honda: i never heard the term zoom bomber. i now know. >> clerk: okay. thank you. is there anyone else who would like to provide public comment, please raise your hand? okay. so we're going to move onto rebuttal, and we're going to hear from mr. yun first. you have seven minutes. [inaudible]. >> clerk: thank you, and yes, you have three minutes. >> okay. i just wanted to point out that while the work was being done without a permit, it was over two weeks, the work being done. it wasn't something that was done -- i don't feel that it was done accidentally as mr. [inaudible] said. i live next door, and it was
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banging for over two weeks, and that's the only reason i decided to check what's going on, and at that time we discovered the permit was not issued, and they'd been working for those two weeks. i'd also like to reiterate that i don't have any issues with him building this extension -- addition, i'm just asking that it be -- it would match the existing three other homes on this block. as mr. sanchez mentioned, you know, this street has, you know, irregular setbacks. if you're standing in front of the house looking across, yes, i agree. you can't see the addition -- or it's very difficult to see the addition, but walking down the street from either direction, you can see -- on either side of the street, i should say, you can see an addition of the size that he's proposing. and i'm just asking, and i'm
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sure that the other people on the call that are against this permit are just asking for it to be modified so it's consistent with what is available on this street -- on this street. and to answer mr. jong's question, i was out of town when he asked to review his plans, but when i met with the city planning department, i was willing, and i even asked them if they would set up a meeting to discuss this, and that was never done, and i checked multiple times to see if we could work with that because i'd rather have this worked out than to go through all this, so that's why, you know, i -- we never heard anything from mr.
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jong. there was never any discussion, there was never any effort made to contact me or even any of the other neighbors about this. >> operator: 30 seconds. >> so i just want to say that, you know, i understand the need to building additional space for his family. i would just ask that it be consistent and not as big as proposed. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we do have a question from president honda. >> president honda: so when you're out of town during the 311 notification, when did you reach out to the project sponsor, mr. yun? >> i'd reached out -- i'd reached out -- i'd reached out through the planning department because i thought that was the process you would need to -- >> president honda: when did you do that? >> i did that when i was preparing to file the [inaudible] review request. at that time, the planning --
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the planning commission said -- the person at the planning commission said well, i can help facilitate a meeting if that would be helpful, and i agreed. i said that would be great if that po -- and i even followed up. i asked the planning commission, did you hear anything from the sponsor, and he said no, there was no contact from the sponsor about, you know, meeting or doing anything to discuss so that we wouldn't have to go to a d.r. >> president honda: okay. and did you understand the department when you explained that this project could be much larger? that he's not building the max to what's allowed by code? >> oh, it's not by code, i agree, but that's not the issue that i have. i'm just requesting, and other people on this block are
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requesting, that it must be similar to what's existing out there. you know, there's -- >> president honda: you answered my question, sir. >> okay. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now move onto rebuttal for the permit holder. mr. jong, you have three minutes. >> yes. i think in general, we have tried to work through the city department mainly because our neighbors have tried to reduce our square footage to much smaller than existing. they've repeatedly mentioned that existing third story additions were 250 to 300 square feet, which is not the case. we -- like i said before, we
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had one person, actually a real estate lawyer, say that we needed to submit to her, go through multiple rounds until she was convinced that this -- this was the size she wanted, and then we could apply, so it did not seem that they really wanted to reason with us. we originally had the intent to not use the extreme envelope size of -- of a third story in the intent to try to reserve the -- the views of this neighborhood, so for the most part, i think at every single stage when we've been asked to do something, we have acted accordingly. i do apologize for, you know, my missteps in this case with the construction. i was not fully -- i did not
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fully understand it, and that is my fault, but i think as soon as i do understand, i do rectify as much as possible, i do make -- we have not complained about any changes during the discretionary review -- original discretionary review. we followed exactly what was requested. during the original plannings, we followed what was requested. we did not object at all, but at each step, it just -- the additional reductions are asked, and we don't see a light at the end of the tunnel if we keep complying with additional demands. thank you. >> clerk: okay. thank you. we have a question from president honda. >> president honda: so the question is, is you said the appellant didn't reach out, but
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the appellant said he reached out through the planning department. were you aware of that? >> in the e-mail, i believe -- >> president honda: that's a yes or a no. >> oh, i was not aware that there was supposed to be a mediation meeting. >> president honda: okay. so no one from the planning department and said hey, your neighbors would like to meet -- honestly, at the end of the day, i don't think you're going to make them happy, anyway, but part of the neighborhood reachout is so everyone can express their opinions, and sometimes, they can be resolved, and if not, they come in front of us. but if you don't reply to us, that's kind of a problem. secondly, who is your contractor that is doing the work? >> a.m.s. construction, who is also on this call. >> president honda: okay. are they local? >> i believe the --
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[inaudible] >> yes, i found them locally. i did not bring them out of state. >> president honda: okay. unfortunately, people do get ahead of themselves. that's tragic, but that's the reality of san francisco. you've had to deal with a lot of frustration, your neighbors have had to deal with a lot of frustration. thank you. thank you. that was the end of my question. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department. so the vertical additions generally speak to having the set back 15 feet. this is greater than that, and everything is dependent on the unique context of the site, but generally, 15 feet would be the standard, and this issue was very well raised and was at the
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heart of the issue that the planning commission heard and did not ask for any further setbacks of the vertical addition. of course, this is a de novo hearing, and the board has the ability to make those changes if they so desire, but usually, the goal of the additional set back is not to -- is not necessarily to make is to that you can't see the addition, but it's to make the addition less prominent, so whether it can be seen from other angles across the street or even across the street but minimized from the main facade, those are all general parameters under the design guidelines. planning department has reviewed this, d.b.i. has reviewed this, found it in compliance with residential guidelines. given when this permit was
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submitted, it's not subject to the 30% requirement, but with the set back that the planning commission had added in about 3 feet, it seems like it is roughly about the 30% line. i think they were closer to the 25% before, but with that 3 feet, that should be a little outside of that 30% required rear yard, just to note that, and with that, i'm available to answer any questions. thank you. >> clerk: commissioner lazarus has a question, and then president honda. >> commissioner lazarus: this issue does crop up periodically, but that isn't necessarily a criteria when looking at a particular building or project on a block or in a neighborhood, is it? >> i mean, it is a factor, but i think in something like this, where if you have other
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vertical additions which is set back more than what we required now, we're not going to require someone to set it back at 30 feet compared to the other setbacks because it's more than what we believe is necessary to comply with the design guidelines, so it doesn't need to be like everything else out there to comply with the design guidelines, and that's the case here. >> commissioner lazarus: great. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. president honda? >> president honda: so scott, in the rear yard reduction, was that required by the planning commission or was that suggested and recommended? >> the planning decision said to reduce the mass at the rear, so it didn't exactly say how to do that, but the staff interpretation of that was that that rear wall of the vertical addition is to set back, and have a set back, it's about a three-foot set back from the rear building wall to get to
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that rear vertical addition, and that's rusing the massing at the rear by having that set back. >> president honda: okay. thank you. >> clerk: okay. thank you, we will now hear from the department of building inspection. sorry. there's no more public comment on this item, mr. [inaudible]. i see your hand raised. okay. please go ahead. >> yes. i don't have any comments to add, miss rosenberg. >> clerk: okay. thank you. so commissioners, this matter's submitted. >> president honda: who would like to start? >> commissioner lazarus: i'm happy to defer. >> commissioner swig: i'll gladly do it. i don't see -- other than the issue related to a little proactivity with starting construction without a permit, which i would advise the appellant to be mindful of lest
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they would get in big trouble, i don't see any probles with this permit, and i am comfortable that it is not in conflict with the nature of the neighborhood and changes the general feeling of the neighborhood, so i would make the motion to deny the appeal on the basis that the permit is properly issued. >> president honda: hold on. let me make a statement, and we'll go with your motion, vice president swig. being a resident of the sunset, change is hard for everybody. i don't know if most people can remember, in the 90s, there was no set back rule, so the facade was right across three stories. a friend of mine did one on sloat. he was the first three-story project in that area, and now there's lots and lots of them. the size of the streets, a
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member of the public mentioned, these are not rules for the sunset, they're set throughout the city, and there are tight streets throughout noe valley and russian hill. i think starting work prior to getting a permit is a definite, definite no-no. a warning to the contractor that's on-line, don't do that. but in looking at this project, a lot of times -- and my board members will shake their heads, a lot of times, we'll come to these project because the owner has gone full mass. they've gone to the largest project that's code compliant in the city. in this case, the owner has reduced the size of the mass significantly in comparison so what he could build code
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compliant. so unfortunately, you've got to live on that block together. i hope you make some amends later on. bottles of wine are helpful. vice president swig had a motion. >> clerk: okay. we have a motion from vice president swig to deny the appeal and uphold the motion that the permit was properly issued. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: so that motion carries, 3-0, and the appeal is denied. >> commissioner swig: can we take a ten-minute break, please? >> clerk: absolutely. >> president honda: i agree. >> clerk: we'll see everyone at >> clerk: we are now on item 6, michael turon versus planning
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department, 2722-2724 folsom street. [agenda item read]
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. >> clerk: note, on june 9, 2021, upon motion by president honda, the board votes 4-0 to continue this matter to june 23, 2021, at the request of the parties. on june 23, 2021, upon motion by president honda, the board votes 4-0 to continue this matter to july 7, 2021, at the request of the parties.
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mr. turon? >> yes. can you see my screen? >> clerk: yes. we can see your screen, but we can't hear you so well. would you please speak more into the microphone? >> thank you. is that better? >> clerk: yes. >> i'm going to make my presentation, and then hand it over to ryan. [inaudible] i performed an owner move-in eviction in 2018 a cata strophic fire set by tenants evicted us from our home, and we've been trying to fix it ever since. we've expense over $400,000 in
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hard construction costs. lauren and i are out of money, and we've tried to refinance this. we withdrew 200,000 from our retirement to try to complete the construction, and we have no way to complete the work, financial option to see us through. if these permits aren't reinstated, we will have to sell our home since nobody will refinance our property. we will lose our savings and be displaced from san francisco. >> thank you. i'll take over from here, and if i can please share my
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screen. >> operator: i've paused the time, ryan. >> clerk: thank you. we can see your screen, although if you can make it larger, we see that it's a permit. now we see e-mails. >> operator: okay. just let us know when you're ready. i have the documents, too, if you need that. >> thank you. is it full size now, if you need that? >> clerk: well, did you want to show the permit? we see e-mails first. >> yes. this slide is e-mails. if you can see my cursor on this? >> clerk: yes. thank you. >> operator: you can go into view mode and make it fit the screen. >> i think that may be -- >> operator: i think it's fine. >> clerk: now we're looking at the permit again -- okay.
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back to the e-mails. >> thank you. sorry for the trouble. >> clerk: no problem. >> okay. thank you, commissioners. this is ryan patterson for the permit holder. this deal concerns the planning department suspension request for two permits: a fire repair permit and a seismic repair permit. the department argues that a room on the ground floor was labelled kitchen in earlier permit applications, so the subject permit should also be labeled as kitchen, but the department is ignoring an intervening permit from march 2020 which changed the room's designation to laundry. you may recall that this project came before you in march 2020, challenging the department's insistence that this property was a three-unit building. we went to court and prevailed and worked with the building department to correct this
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situation. the permit holder then worked closely with d.b.i. to get the permits necessary to repair his home. there's a lot of history, but this case is actually quite simple, and i hate to see it, but with all due respect, the planning department has taken an extraordinarily punitive approach against a homeowner who did nothing wrong. the planning department took the position that if it wasn't a third unit in this space, it would be an a.d.u. the planning has full plans, including with fire and the resolution with the city attorney's office. the planning department reviewed the application, had discussions with rich sucre, and it approved the project with full knowledge of the situation. in fact, planning considered pursuing this issue in 2019 and declined to do so.
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likewise for d.b.i. the department has full knowledge of the issues and history. mr. duffy, who took charge of the two subject permits and did the right thing knew exactly what the situation was. he had the plans and inspected the property personally. mr. duffy instructed to withdraw the fire permit, and mr. duffy, on his own initiative, added the words laundry area to the replacement area, which is his prerogative. i'll note mr. duffy stated that he is [inaudible] to redesignate an illegal kitchen destroyed by a fire as a laundry. it was properly designated as a laundry in the march 2020 abatement permit, not that it's even required. there was no misrepresentation here. the department approved the subject permits with full knowledge. michael relied on the permits,
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did the construction permits with numerous inspections, and started on the work, and now is finished almost eight months later. planning now says there's a problem and suspends his permits? that's wrong. moreover, it's banned by the concept of latches. it's illegal, and a regulatory taking, and the city is barred from doing that by estoppel and invested rights doctrine. this is not a simple case of blocking authority to create a
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separation. it's also not the issue in this appeal, and that's important. the subject permits do not include changing the designation of the illegal kitchen room. that's not the scope, and even if it were, there's no changing of use because the kitchen was illegal, and there's no removing of the kitchen because the kitchen was removed by the fire. as for the superior court stipulation, it's beyond dispute and not at issue in the subject permit. this board has the legal obligation to reinstate the two subject permits and allow michael and lauren to finish the construction permit and move on with their lives. now with all that said, we would like to propose a compromise. planning would like a third unit, and the permit holder would agree to that. michael will agree to the condition that an accessory dwelling unit be created in the existing rear structure as
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allowed by the state a.d.u. law. >> operator: 30 seconds. >> this will create a quality unit, better than what the [inaudible] and michael and lauren can finish repairing their home and move on with their lives, and if lauren would like the few seconds remaining. >> clerk: you're muted. we can't hear you. okay. thanks. >> hi. my name is lauren turon. i moved to san francisco in 2016. ist -- it's been a very difficult situation. we ask you to please help. we've been living in construction due to three extensive break ins during this -- >> operator: thank you. that's time. >> clerk: we do have a question from vice president swig, and you're on mute. thank you.
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>> commissioner swig: thank you. i need mr. russi, please. >> good evening, commissioners. brad russi. >> commissioner swig: i think i'm living in a parallel universe where i've completely misinterpreted everything. i watched the hearing that we had before. i left the hearing with the understanding that there were multiple units in the building. it was not -- we had fullerton discussion about -- full discussion about multiple units in the building, and we resolved at the end of that hearing that there are multiple units in the building, as few as two and as many as four. and now, i'm getting hearsay because i haven't seen the documentation or maybe i missed it in the previous, that there
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was a civil lawsuit, and that a judge overruled our -- our intent in the last hearing, when we heard this all the way through, and deemed that there were two units and the city and the permit holder came to an agreement. would you please let me know what universe i need to be back in? do we have a multiple unit building as the last hearing that we walked out of or are we restricted to review this building as ordained by a judge and agreed to by the city and county of san francisco.
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>> sure. good evening, commissioners. brad russi, deputy city attorney. my understanding of that case was that case dealt with whether there were three legal units in the building, and there were some records -- d.b.i. had some records that there were three legal units in the building, according to certain p.f.c.s, and the appellants disputed that. they claimed there were only two legal units, but the question is whether there was an unauthorized dwelling unit was also discussed in that hearing, and my recollection was that mr. patterson conceded that there was an authorized dwelling unit because there's -- and i think the planning department quoted this in their brief, there was a discussion of whether the board took possession and, you know, upheld the department's determination that there were three legal units.
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either that's the case, or there's going to be two units and one unauthorized dwelling unit, in which case there would need to be a conditional use authorization to remove it or planning department would need to legalize it. that was how we left this case last time. does that answer your question? >> commissioner swig: that's part one. >> in terms of the lawsuit, if you want to get into the lawsuit, my understanding of what happened in that lawsuit is -- and this is based on -- i was not involved in that lawsuit when it was in superior court, but based on what the parties have submitted here, it looks like the city settled the case with the appellants because -- and you can ask mr. duffy about this, because d.b.i. located more documentation concerning whether or not there were three or two units in the building, and they conceded that there were actually only two legal units, and so there was a settlement reached that overturned your decision to the
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extent that there were -- they stated there were two legal units, but that stipulation -- there's nothing in that stipulation that i saw that the city conceded that that was not an unauthorized dwelling unit. as far as i can tell, that issue was not determined in the lawsuit. >> commissioner swig: so we hear -- we hear cases on a regular basis where there are unauthorized dwelling units and where it would be the preference of some folks to get rid of those unauthorized dwelling units, but they have been acting as dwelling units, paying rent, you know, if it quacks like a duck, it is a duck, and in the current condition of the city, correct me if i'm wrong, but we have been instructed, we have been
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mandated, or we strongly continue a position that once a dwelling unit is a dwelling unit and there's a kitchen and there's a bathroom and there are legal entries and exits, that even though it is unauthorized, we can't get rid of it, which i think led us to what we agreed to during the last hearing. so help me with this. am i barking up the wrong tree or the right tree when i'm making the assumption that this house has had three dwelling units, as we noted before? we've acknowledged that two of them are legal and one is illegal or not -- not totally
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compliant, and so can -- i think that's the root of this case. can we get rid of or allow the -- can we allow that unauthorized dwelling unit to go away? >> president honda: vice president swig, sorry to interrupt, but it'd be nice to hear what planning or the building says, and then second of all, they've given us a somewhat compromise to add an a.d.u. instead of a -- instead of a u.d.u. or whatever -- unauthorized dwelling unit. but why don't we listen to the other departments first. would that be okay? >> commissioner swig: well, i just want a legal view, and then, i'm going to ask the same question from planning view, if you don't mind. this is the stumbling block of this whole thing, is that we
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walked out of our last hearing on this subject, and we all agreed, i said i -- i can't remember -- one person dissented maybe, and they said this is a three-unit building to authorize. now we've been told that once a building has three units, two units, four units, whatever, we can't take one away, and i just want to know if that's legally so. >> commissioner, just to -- >> commissioner swig: or should i take my president's advice and wait and talk to scott? >> you should certainly ask the planning department about this question. the last question was three legal units, and there was discussion on whether there was an unauthorized dwelling unit. they took the position that there were not three legal dwelling units, there were only two legal dwelling units.
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in the issue of remaining unauthorized units, in the past, they've conceded -- the city has conceded that there's only two legal units, but it seems like the third is up for dispute because mr. patterson just contended that the unit on the ground floor, the unit with the kitchen that caught on fire, does not meet the definition of a dwelling under the planning code, so it could be up to the commission to decide if that unit meets section 317 of the planning code. planning department seems to be contending that it did, and that's going to be a factual issue for you to determine based on what the information says. >> commissioner swig: thank you. that's what i want asking, and i appreciate your answer, and since i've taken all of
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counsel's time here, i think it's fair for counsel to comment. may i have your thoughts on the conversation that was just held transparently in front of you? mr. patterson? >> thank you, commissioner. if i understand your question correctly, it was did the board determine that there were three units, and two of those were legal. >> commissioner swig: that's -- that is not the question. yes, we did. you -- i know because you're a very good and thorough lawyer. you went back and looked at the hearing the same way i did, and we walked out of there, and we took a vote, and there were three units total, and -- at least, and one of them may not have been a fully legal unit. so that's not up for discussion. any regards to abandonment of a
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unit of any kind? >> so the stipulation that we reached with the city attorney found that there are two legal units and that there was a legal illegal kitchen that was destroyed by fire, and that's an exhibit in our brief. i'm happy to show that. that's paragraph one in the stipulation. that illegal kitchen was destroyed by fire, and while the planning department has quoted an off the cuff statement that i made at that last hearing, that was not actually an issue in that hearing, the existence of a u.d.u., and actually, specific requirements have to be met under section 317 for a space, even if it's been rented, to qualify as a u.d.u. this space does not qualify because there are multiple open visual connections, not independent of the other unit. we have photos and diagrams in
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briefs and in the slides you just saw, and i'm happy to talk about those. but the answer is, upon close review, this does not qualify, and more importantly, that's not the issue in these permits, so i would be happy to go through -- hopefully that answers your question. i'm happy to go through those issues in more detail if you'd like. >> commissioner swig: no, that's fine. the only thing i'd challenge you on is clearly, your statement today is certainly, the space is not configured anymore to look like a separate unit, but as i recall, the state of that building today has been -- has been changed significantly, whether it was the result of fire or conscious construction activity to change that configuration and prevent the look of a third unit in that, and that would be my
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contention. but you can respond to that later in rebuttal if you want. thanks. >> clerk: okay. thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you. scott sanchez planning department. subject property is 2722-2724 folsom street. the matter that's before you is the appeal of a suspension request related to two specific permits that proposed ground floor alterations on the subject property. this does have that unique and lengthy and complicated history. the appellant has owned the property since i believe 2007, they stated. around 2016, we received the first application to kind of merge units on the property? at that time, there were five units on the property? i believe that, based upon records at that time, there were three legal units and two illegal units, the two illegal
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units being in a rear unit at the back and also one in the attic of the subject building. this was right around the time that section 317 was amended to prohibit the removal of unauthorized dwelling units out a conditional use authorization. there was an exemption where if a unit could not be legalized, it could be removed, and i believe we received documentation from the department of building inspection that the unit in the attic and the unit in the rear could not be legalized, and they sought to remove those down to three units. i think through this time, the appellant was arguing that they believed that the building was legally two units, but d.b.i. had a c.f.c. that said three units, so we were going with that. they submitted the conditional use authorization to remove the
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third unit, and it was at this time thought to be a third legal unit. the department denied that. the appellant attempted to appeal that to the board of supervisors. that didn't meet the standards for the board, and about a month after that appeal was rejected, there unfortunately was a fire in one of the lower units, a and b. a is in the front and mainly the subject of this, and that's where the fire was, in the kitchen of that unit. the plans that were submitted with this conditional use authorization, i've attached a floor plan for the ground floor as exhibit b to our brief, which show the configuration as shown on that, and it's the planning department's interpretation and determination that this floor plan does meet the definition of unauthorized unit, which under planning code section 317 is defined as one or more rooms in a building that have been used without the benefit of a
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building permit as a separate on or about distinction sleeping room independent of the other units on the property. independent shall mean independent access. in this case, there is a door directly from the street to unit a, and there is no open visual connection to a residential unit on the property as can be seen on the plans there are doors that would separate this from unit about the on the ground floors. there's also a use history that it has been used as a separate dwelling unit. we have rent board records that confirm that. the -- the appellants, after the c.u. was denied, then, the fire occurred. they then went to d.b.i. to seek a permit to confirm that the unit legal count was two units.
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department of building inspection denied that permit because of the c.f.c. that was appealed to the board of appeals, and that was the hearing we had in, i believe the fall of 2018 at the board of appeals. and at that time, the question was, is it legally two units or legally three units? d.b.i. said it was two units, and the board of appeals upheld that determination. we made a statement, what if it was three units, and that was when mr. patterson had acknowledged the requirement under section 317 for the u.d.u., and i have this quote in our brief, even if the board were to overturn this denial and issue the permit, then we would have to go into the section 317 process, i think that's correct, and the answer
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is the board should have returned the denial, and then we go into the 317 process, and then, the board can determine whether they want to seek denial or not. that is the process we should be going through. i think it was very clear at this time that there was this presumption if that was to be only legally two units, they have this issue with the third unit to be addressed. they did file litigation against the board's decision. there was a stipulated dismissal, but that litigation started the process, as i understand it, and deputy director duffy can go into more detail, but it went to d.b.i., and d.b.i. did additional review of their records and ultimately found that it could be legally a two-unit building, and they issued a new c.f.c. in 2019. as a result of that, the stipulated dismissal was issued, and mr. patterson is a
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very articulate and very attentive attorney, and during the course of the discussion of the language in that stipulated dismissal, there was some commentary involved i believe with one of the deputy city attorneys where they did seem to have language clarified about the u.d.u. being gone or not existing, but we never agreed to that. that language is not in the stipulated dismissal. the city never argued, never stated that the u.d.u. was removed by the fire. subsequent to that, you know, mr. patterson has shown you on the overhead a couple of, you know, quick looks at permits, and i think i mentioned there's probably 25 permits on this property going back to 2016.
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>> operator: 30 seconds -- >> president honda: could you hold on. you're asking to show a permit. i'm not seeing it in front of me. >> that's okay. i'm just referring to -- it's what mr. patterson had up before, and if he could show his screen again, that would be great -- and i'll wait until he can show that. >> clerk: looks like he's trying to do that. >> okay. >> okay. are you -- you're not able to see that. >> clerk: okay.
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>> so there's -- i can see, if i present thad to the -- presented that to the board of appeals, that would probably be pretty convincing. however, that permit was never issued, that permit was withdrawn, so i don't know why mr. patterson has chosen to show that information and presented it as evidence that the city has knowingly removed as illegal second kitchen, but that's certainly not the case. >> operator: that's the allotted time. >> i'll go back to rebuttal and answer any questions. >> clerk: so president honda has a question. >> president honda: thank you. mr. sanchez, i would like you to continue your statement. >> thank you. mr. patterson referenced the repair of sheet rock and a laundry room was reviewed by the planning department.
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that was not the case. the planning department did not review that permit? they have stated in that previous that that permit documents the change of this space from kitchen to laundry. we have a letter from deputy director duffy saying very much that that's not the case, and he can speak to that, as well, but i think in terms of the evidence that's being put forward to the board is not really evidence, it's not factual. the permit that he had put up there was actually withdrawn and not pursued. the permit that he says planning reviewed for the sheet rock and the laundry, planning did not review? so we believe that the planning request was properly issued. we're happy to listen to their proposal, but that's separate from this process. >> president honda: okay. so i believe the commissioners that are present were all present at the initial hearing, and i do remember starting with
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five and potentially a four, and it was quite an unraveling at that time, and we did all homework to read that was supplied to all of us, and it got continued, and got continued again. so listening -- ideally, i don't like, you know, people skirting things or the fact that, you know, if there's an error that the city issues on a permit, they don't back there, i believe, but the question here is, you know, at the same time, i'm not trying to bankrupt anyone, and mr. ryan -- counselor ryan has made the proposal of potentially adding an a.d.u. is that something that would be considered at this point or -- i mean, what would -- i mean, i know what the planning department wants here, but, you know, there's just a lot of stuff going on here, and i
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think bankrupting somebody is not 100% the answer, although, like i told someone, my child asks my mom -- their mom, my wife, their mother, and she said yes, and they ask me, and i say no, that's kind of what's going on here. given mr. patterson's midway, how would you interpret that or think of that, mr. sanchez? >> so there is a process that they could advance that under the code to have it such that the u.d.u. is removed from the front building, and they want to add a unit in the back as an a.d.u. that would require a conditional use authorization under section 317 because that's required to remove the u.d.u. you know, had they put forward this proposal in 2019, when they went through the process with d.b.i. to find that it was
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legally two units, and afterward have that board of appeals hearing where the c.u. was required, the project would have been completed by now. now, 2021, they can still go through that, but we still need to go through that process. they still need to submit their conditional use, they need to submit their building permits and go through that process, and it's up to the building commission whether to approve that removal of the u.d.u. in the front building. >> president honda: and just for arguments' sake, what if we do not acknowledge that u.d.u. and accept the fact that they're going to add an a.d.u. >> i don't know how that would work through the board of appeals process, and i would defer to your city attorney. this is a suspension of a building request, not an appeal
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of a building permit, so i don't know how that would happen through this appeal process. >> president honda: okay. city attorney, mr. russi, can you add comment to that? and by the way, you look marvelous. >> good evening again, commissioners. brad russi, deputy city attorney. i agree with mr. sanchez that i don't know how the board could -- i think the only option would be for you to potentially continue the matter and have them come back with a new permit application that would propose this a.d.u., but i think that's going to require also some buy-in from the planning department because that building permit is not before the board. here, it's just a suspension request. >> president honda: thank you. and that's not to say that's the way the board is going, i
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just want to explore options. thank you, brad. >> commissioner swig: and i'm not going to interrupt you because i'm next on the question line. isn't this the whole purpose of suspending a permit, to look at, especially when something was gone so off the rails as this has, that the suspension of the permit gives the opportunity to -- to review, reconcile, all of the issues, and then allows a dialogue to continue and be -- dialogue to continue between the potential permit holder and the department and reconcile the issue of getting the permit reinstated or denying it? isn't that what we're discussion in a suspension
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hearing, brad? >> the planning department has requesting that d.b.i. suspend the building permit because it does not comply with the planning code. so i guess if they were to, in some way, file a new building permit that planning was okay with, then, planning could lift the suspension request. so i don't know whether the planning has considered that or whether they think that is an option available to them. >> commissioner swig: yeah, i agree with what i think president honda implied, that we're getting into the weeds and talking about things that we shouldn't in this hearing, but let me ask my question that i want to ask, which is the same question that i asked mr. russi. scott, we've had many hearings, and when the issue of reducing units in a building comes up, that's pretty much off the table from the beginning,
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especially in an environment that we have now, where there's a shortage of housing. so we -- we have agreed in a previous hearing that there are three units, and an illegal one is noncompliant. based on what we've continued to hear from you, i believe, and i'm accepting that, and i have many times, that this unauthorized unit is recognized as one of the three can't be dismissed so quickly, can it? >> i believe that's the case. i mean, given the history here, and what the board did find in the previous hearing was that the board did find in the previous units. since then, d.b.i. has come back, correcting the record, saying that there were only two legal units, and which believe
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that the third -- we believe that the third unit is an unauthorized dwelling unit because they had filed a conditional use authorize of what they believed to be a legal unit but now we know is an unauthorized dwelling unit. the conditional use should have been sought in 2019 if that was the direct they wanted to pursue. >> commissioner swig: and i don't want to get into this -- at the advice of the president, i don't want to get into the discussion of a compromise, because i think that's what happens after this is resolved tonight, if that is necessary.
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>> president honda: commissioner lazarus. >> commissioner lazarus: mr. sanchez, this matter has been continued a couple of weeks. has there been any discussion during that time? >> yes. we met with mr. patterson and mr. turon, and we stated that the process would be for them to move forward. they indicated their intention of providing an a.d.u., but they need to go through the process. it's up to the planning commission about whether the u.d.u. should be moved from that main building and then an a.d.u. in the back building, and then, we would need to review an application. staff would then be able to make a determination about whether we would be supportive of the application. then we would take it to the planning commission, and it would be their decision. >> commissioner lazarus: okay.
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so essentially, those conversations were outside of what -- what am i trying to say? the same situation we find ourselves in now, a process that really has nothing to do with where we are at this moment. >> right.
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>> when i say something, i mean it. if i didn't, and i have been doing it and was right on that, i would say that, as well. the permit was withdrawn due to the fact that the permit holder had already lost the plans, and again, i'm sorry about the confusion on this one, commissioners. i wish it was resolved, as well, and it's been going on for way too long. we always try our best every day, and, you know, we want to see this resolved. going back to the -- i want to speak a little bit about the process on the -- we did the permit to document the building
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as a two-unit building. that was on, again, for a very, very long time, and, you know, they were pretty persistent, and mr. patterson said the permit was withdrawn. we did look at it and say, okay, you have a c.f.c. i've seen c.f.c.s, and i've seen them in the 50s and 60s. last week, i've seen six c.f.c.s. inspectors make those mistakes. people come in and get permits that are wrong. my recollection of that building was it was on the ground floor, you could walk from -- basically, between the two kitchens, you could walk between that. there was that factor, and we took another few things into consideration. there was some housing inspection reports way back from the early 70s, and it was probably a little bit of inconsistency on those, as well. there might have been some
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documentation that the building was a two-unit building in that, as well. they did prevail on that, and we did give them that. i thought that would be the end of the matter, honestly, in getting all of the permits to do the work. i would be delighted to see it resolved. i'm available for questions if there are d.b.i.-related questions on this. >> clerk: okay. thank you. i don't see any questions at this time, so we will move onto public comment, and if you're here for public comment and would like to speak, please raise your hand, and you have two minutes, so i'm going to do call-in user number two. i don't see a name, but please go ahead. call-in user number two, there's no name. i see your hand is raised. you're at the beginning of the queue. you need to unmute. we can't hear you. try pressing star, six.
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[inaudible]. >> clerk: yes, we can hear you. >> yes, this is sue hester, and i would support scott sanchez and the building inspector, as well. this case was at the planning commission in 2017, and the planning commission unanimously turned down the merger on a conditional use. mergers or loss of housing is very important in this city, and there's a requirement in the planning code that when they're done, it has to be by a planning commission vote on a conditional use. and so trying to avoid that by doing something weird on a permit application is a slap in the face of the planning code and a slap in the face as well
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to the board of appeals because i'm very grateful to commissioner swig for bringing up the -- the prior hearing. the prior hearing, you all dealt with the merger, and the board of appeals didn't say we have -- we, the board, have the power to do this. at the end of the hearing, there was going to be a conditional use, and it would be ruled on by the planning commission. that would be the appropriate thing because loss of housing is an extremely big issue in this city. >> operator: 30 seconds. >> i would ask you to support commissioner -- pardon me, the zoning administrator and take the appropriate action. the a.d.u.s are also approved at the commission on a conditional use, not the board of appeals.
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thank you very much. >> clerk: thank you. hannah blitzer? >> my name is hannah blitzer, and i'm a former resident of district 8. i've known lauren, and she and michael are trustworthy friends. they are reliable, friendly, and sincere, and most importantly, they have followed the law during this process. lauren and michael are not a big corporation. they own a property that they have invested their savings into. they are involved in the community including working with dog rescue organizations. they are well intentioned, and i hope that you will allow them to finish the project.
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>> clerk: thank you. ross cohen? >> thank you. my name is ross cohen, and i am friends of the turons. i've witnessed the work -- effort that they've taken to work with the city to repair their home. it's not right that the city makes it so hard for a family to recover from a fire. it's sadder still that if you vote to uphold the suspension, this property and the units won't actually be on the market to inhabit. you'll create years where they'll be unavailable, and this is in the middle of the housing crisis, and i wish this city would devote its resources to have more of an impact to help people, and i ask that you release the suspension to allow
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this family to rebuild their lives and bring this housing onto the market. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from ariel broombaugh. you have two minutes. >> hi. i'm jeremy lindsay. i'm ariel's husband. i'm a six-year renter on potrero hill, formerly in the mission district, and i'm here to show my support for michael and lauren. i've known michael and lauren for two years as part of a community organization. more than anything else, they stand out as gracious and friendly people. they show an incredible engagement within the community, rallying friends for get togethers and groups. during the pandemic, they organized weekly zoom meetings with friends to get together
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and connect when times were tough. they've also frequently engaged with the community with bike kitchen, victorian alliance, providing homes to foster rescue dogs. basically, the type of people you'd like to live next door to because you can always ask them to bring in your trash cans or collect your mail or hold your packages when you're out of town. they're valuable members of the san francisco community, and i hope that you can come to some kind of compromise to allow them to complete the matters on their house. this is really unfair to them and counterproductive to our community to drive them out. [inaudible]. >> it's already been extremely emotionally and financially taxing to them, and i'd ask you to show compassion and compromise so we don't lose
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michael and lauren. thanks. >> clerk: thank you. we will now hear from justin godar. >> hello? >> clerk: hello, justin. welcome. >> hello. my name is justin godar. i have been a resident of san francisco since 1997 and a san francisco homeowner since 2001. i've been friends with michael for 25 years. i can say he's a good and honest person and has only been made better since marrying lauren several years ago. he values the decades he's spent in san francisco and san francisco is better with him here. in early 2018, one of his tenants in michael and lauren's home started a fire. ever since then, they've been struggling to do the necessary repairs, being extremely cautious to follow all the
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rules and get their permits. this has been three years, and they would like nothing more to complete the repairs. it has been a very difficult and costly project, and this could possibly force them to sell their home and leave san francisco. i ask you to find a solution that would allow them to stay in their home and in san francisco. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. doug mcdowell. >> i'm here to speak on behalf of michael and lauren. i live just a few houses down from them on folsom street in the mission district. i'm happy that they're neighbors. i've endured gun shots, we've seen people dead, there's trash, all kinds of things, and it's nice to have some neighbors that i know i can rely on in this neighborhood that can sometimes be a little bit tough, and i want to see
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them finish their house, stay married, stay in san francisco, have kids, have our kids baby-sit their kids, you know, things like that. so i hope this can be resolved. i like it when the little guy can buy a house and survive here in san francisco. we're seeing developers and big contractors in the neighborhood, and i know they have a lot of money -- i'm not criticizing them, but they are what they are.
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>> clerk: thank you. next commenter is sol. >> hi. i am a neighbor on folsom street, and it breaks my heart to see what's going on. michael and lauren were the only people during covid to put their phone number out in front of their property in the event anybody needed anything. in my 57 years here, they were the only one to see do that. i can -- ones to do that. i can see the struggles that they're going through, and i hope that you would have some compassion to release the suspension and allow them to move forward with their lives. this neighborhood has gone through many changes in my time here, and right now, the only
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time in the past five years that i've seen this. to lose them would be devastating to this community, and i really hope that you guys can do something, and just release the suspension. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. [please stand by]
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. >> it is hard to see this going
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on right now. this is a guy that helped me. basically, i never would have learned. to have this person and his wife leave san francisco for a meaningless piece of paper, really. it is shocking. >> thanks you. now we will hear from charles warren. you have two minutes. >> thank you so much. i met michael and lauren after their house burned down. they became our temporary neighbors in the mission. first on a 20 year san francisco resident currently living in
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excelsior. michael became the unofficial speaker of the building. a lot of things were broken. he quietly started everything out. again, their character is amazing. we are lucky to have them in our community. my ask of this issue is that you help resolve it quickly because they are such a guy about a symmetry in resources. also, i think their moral is near zero. anything we can do to speed this so they can finish their project would be very valuable thing for the city government to take on. thank you. >> thank you. now we will hear from shawn
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townsend. you have two minutes. >> thank you. i am an 11 year resident of san francisco and also property owner. [ inaudible ] i am hearing other people's responses, but i just want to step back from this situation. i really want to keep people in their house. all they are trying to do is rebuild. you are the only people that can help them move forward in this situation. i really don't think you are. >> now we will hear from jim
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marshall. >> i am jim marshall. i have been a resident of san francisco for over 25 years. i started on the building inspection commission and past president of victorian alliance. i have known michael and lauren for a number of years. everything the people have said in terms of integrity and commitment to the community, activism, animals are true. these are wonderful people i have come to know and like and respect. i regard them as true friends and true assets to the community. this is a terrible process and complicated one. i believe they have tried their best to negotiate all of the complexities associated with this property. i don't think they have ever tried to dereceive.
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it is complicated, it is no question. i saw the property after the fire. i realized how difficult the two units on the ground floor had been. they were a mess. i have seen it since they are done renovations according to permits issued. you now have a secure foundation. you have a safe habitation on the ground level. more importantly when you look at it before you had two almost uninhabitable unit. now it is a beautiful three bedroom family unit in a family oriented neighborhood. finding a way to resolve this to help not some big developer or somebody who skirted issues time and time again, but a nice young couple committed to building their lives in san francisco requires really extraordinary
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digging to find a path to get this finally resolved. these are wonderful people. i think they deserve the right. thank you. >> we will hear from julie roth setter. please go ahead. >> i am julie. i have lived in san francisco since 1994. i am a resident and homeowner district 6. i have known michael turon for 20 years ago. he is a close friend. i was there when he bought the property more than a dozen years ago as his home. i was there when he and lauren got married. everybody has been coming forward. a lot of community members to talk about their
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character and civic mindedness. they go out of their way to help people and people want to do the same thing for them. a struggle to maintain their home. i have seen first hand how their lives were disrupted by the fire and how hard they worked. they would have liked it to have been over with a long time ago. they tried to comply with everything the city asked of them. now they will be forced to sell their house and leave san francisco. to think that compromise to get the units of the property back on the market to help them keep their home. thank you. >> we will hear from mr. klein. you have two minutes. >> i moved to san francisco in
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2008. i met michael and later his wife in 2018. professionally he helped me protect and restore victorian homes that i purchased with life savings that was destroyed by a rogue contractor. it began as a professional relationship and became a friendship. i think highly of michael and lauren. thoughtful and caring and respectful people who i think are critical to the community in san francisco. frankly as homeowner and someone who has gone through a very long process that i had not anticipated and am pleased it
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has come to a positive resolution. i can only imagine what they are going through now. i can only imagine. i know how much it means to be able to resolve something to close this issue and move forward to restore their home and remain in the house they dedicated themselves to. i im prior the board to re-- implore the board to resolve this. it costs immensely. i can't imagine what toll that is taking. thank you. >> we will hear from david gee i a.m.i. no. >> i first met lauren 15 years ago when we were in school together. i can firsthand say how much they are willing to open their doors and reach out to support
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their friends. i can remember first meeting michael several years ago at the se -- out set of the fire. i moved to san francisco about a year ago before covid-19 happened. in the midst of that they were one of the few groups of people that let me come over to their house when people were not letting strange people in. being a new resident to san francisco. we have been here since february. recently purchased a home in pacific heights and getting support from michael and lauren and making sure i found the right place to live in san francisco where i hope to make a long term home myself. i can attest to the fairness
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michael applies to the way he is trying to following permitting processes. as i purchased my home and thought about renovations. he advised me to follow the city policies. as you move forward i would echo what other people have made. this had a very significant impact. i hope you find a way to allow them to move forward with repairs to make this the home they want to live in the future. >> nikki perez. two minutes. >> i am nikki perez. my family and i are neighbors to michael and lauren. we have known them for three years. we came together two years ago may 2019. my parents' home burned down. we were sleeping through the night. almost didn't make it out.
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michael as soon as he heard about this, him and lauren came to us to show support. come to find out that their home was actually burned down as well. we had absolutely no idea. the self-lishness they showed to us giving us support was amazing to me someone still going through this came to us and i mean really was there every day with michael and lauren it is never just hi and by. how are you doing. the stress i have seen my parents with a home burning down. i know how much toll it has taken. they have kept a positive outlook. at the end of the day this has taken a toll on them. i would very much ask from my mom, father, older sister, please help them come up with a
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compromise. we want them in the community. leaving and having them sell the home would not be only a loss to the community it would be a loss to san francisco. during these times we need to keep any homeowner here that wants to make san francisco better. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. we will hear from tammy presser. you have two minutes. >> i am tammy presser. resident of san francisco for 22 plus years and resident of mission districttor 20. as homeowner omission street since 2009. i served on the board of directors for the condo organization. they have helped me with my planning issues. it is harder and harder. they are some much the most caring people i know.
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they understand what it means to not merely reside here but to live in the mission district, part of the dna. i have seen them and witnessed them create friendships and al lies they meet on the streets. they will speak in spanish or english. they are wonderful people. they faced more hurdles than most of us can imagine. they have leveraged all assets, emotionally, physically, financially. they are focusing time and energy on the process. i beg you please do not penalize them for following the rules as crazy as the rules may be and how quickly they can evolve. please don't force them to leave their home and this community that they spent so much time and effort. this does no one any good. i believe there is a path
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forward by doing right by them and not harming them. show compassion and find a path forward. >> now we hear from david. two minutes. >> i am david six. i have been a resident of san francisco for 45 years. i have known michael and lauren for four to five years. it is hard to tell with the covid year that may be lost. they are honest in their dealings. i believe they have done everything they thought was right in the permit process. they are a bright addition to san francisco and the neighborhood. i understand some of the issues they had in the permitting process. it moved me to see how upset
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michael got at the beginning of the hearing. it has taken such a toll on them and it moved me. it is unfair to pull the log out from under them. they have offered a compromise that is fair and reasonable. i hope you will consider. i hope you will allow them to finish the project to contribute to san francisco and the community. it would be a loss to me if they had to leave and loss to san francisco and their neighborhood if they were forced to sell their home. please, please help them with their permit. >> we will hear from mia b. two minutes. >> i am a resident of san francisco for six years. two young children. i can just vouch to what
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everyone has said. they are great people. they care about their friends and community through volunteering or through helping friends. they are always there to help everybody as you heard. in the midst of covid i went into labor in the middle of the night with no one to turn to. lauren and michael came to my house while i went to the hospital to deliver my baby. they are there for friends. you can count on them. i have seen them put so much sweat and tears into restoring this beautiful victorian home after the fire and seen how taxing this is on their relationship, financially, they have delayed starting a family. it is heartbreaking to see that. i hope you can find a compromise
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to keep them in the community. an asset to all of us and the community. we really want to keep them. these are the types of people that may being san francisco san francisco. i hope you find a compromise to support them so they can start their family. >> now we will hear from matt nelson. you have two minutes. >> hello. thank you. i am matthew nelson. i own my home on folsom street 20 years across the street from michael and lauren. they are excellent neighbors, great addition to our community. frankly, i wish there were more people like them on our street. i have found them to be honest, trustworthy, concerned about our life here. i know they have been working hard for months to repair the
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fire damage to the building. i haven't seen any evidence they have submitted except the plans or that they would do anything like that, frankly. i don't understand the legal justification for the suspension. in addition, it under mines my belief i should improve my property and remain in san francisco. i heard so many stories about owners development here. i understand why it is driving people out of the city. i wish everybody would keep this in mind that these decisions that shape our city. individually that is there are a few people like michael and lauren. please remove the suspension and allow them to rebuild the fire damaged property that directly impacts day-to-day life on
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folsom street. >> any other public comment? we will move to rebuttal. we will hear from the appellant. i am not sure who is speaking. >> turon or mr. patterson. >> commissioners, these people tried to do the right thing. why there are 25 permits? they tried to do everything by the book. everything with a proper mitt. the question is the suspension request is narrow. whether the room was properly designated as laundry. yes, they got a permit for that. i have great respect for mr. duffy. he wrote the designation without being asked. michael relied o that and the permits that followed. no other process was required. nothing was required by the code. these permits are not removing
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the kitchen. the kitchen was destroyed by the fire in paragraph 1 of the city's stipulation. that is incontrovertible. why are we showing permit 201842 when that was not issued? it shows the city knew about the conditions and the history of this permit. they knew what the situation with this area was. the suspension request is based on misrepresentation. there cannot be misrepresentation if the city had knowledge. the current holder shared all of it with both departments. planning department said they did not review the sheetrock permit. the permit they reviewed was the subject permit in this appeal that is now suspended.
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8414. they approved the permit. they waited eight months to come back to say there is a technical defect so the permit holders have to stop construction work and go through a long expensive process. that is barred. the city cannot do that. they can't wait for the permit holder to go through all of the construction, spend all of their money then come back to stop the work in open construction site. it is unconscionable in addition to being unlegal. we asked earlier on. are we trying to show the situation was changed by the fire and no longer qualified as udu? no. it was always like that. it has never met the definition. i would like to speak briefly to
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the compromise option. do i have 30 seconds? >> 16 seconds. >> we can't wait for the c.u. their home will remain in open construction site. they can't afford to wait that long time. we are agreeable to the suggestion continuing this appeal, filing new permit application which can go before this board for a decision. no formal determination. thank you. >> your time is up. >> president honda has a question. >> you know, mr. ryan, you are disclosing now the permit you presented was not issued. why did you not mention that before? that was quite on your part. >> that was clear in the written
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and our orral brief. it was withdrawn to replace with a new permit which was approved. >> again, three members of the panel were here at the last hearing. considering the amount of scrutiny and the issues brought upon specifically about this property who did the permit expediting? your clints or did -- your clients or professionals if? >> i don't believe there was expediting. >> on their behalf. simple question. >> i will refer to mr. turon. >> i heard from the main testimony you helped the people with their permitting issues. did you do this all on your own
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without any professional help? >> that's correct. >> given that you are before this board for a long time the last time you had 100% confidence what you were doing was correct? >> correct. >> no more questions, thank you. >> question from vice president. you are on mute. >> counselor, i was touched by the testimony that was given in public comment and nobody has questioned the integrity of your -- this board does not question the integrity of your clients and of all of the boards. i have been on this board for a long time now. we are probably would bend over
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backwards to be compassionate and help families stay in san francisco. it is wonderful, i wish i had such great friends as your clients have. in the midst of that testimony tonight, one of the comments was about the tenants that used to stay in that unit. that unfortunately cuts to the chase of this whole discussion. >> are you aware we can't change the law here? >> yes, sir. >> are you aware that we have to
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absolutely abide by legislation by law, by statutes without compromise? >> yes, this is a factual question whether it meets the code requirements for that treatment. >> and are you aware that if we deviate, no matter if your clients were my best friends, magnificent people, are you aware that and you have seen it that if we deviate from what we have ruled on previously, what we have heard from advice from planning, heard from advice from city attorney counsel and have experience with regard to how we
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ruled in the past that we deviate because we love your clients and we deviate and say okay we will go against all of these things that sets up for exceptions we will face a big problem within the future? have you experienced that before with us? >> commissioner, i appreciate that. i think there is a factual misunderstanding that i would like to clear up. the board did not rule on that question previously. i think mr. ruthy tried to explain it. that was not the prior determination and not at issue in this appeal either. the question on the suspension is not whether there is a udu it is whether that room is miss labeled in the plan.
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the board does not have to reach the question if there is a udu unless it has a compromise to create a good unit which is what we are willing to do. >> it would be very simple. we would be over, done with right now if your client put humpty-dumpty back the way it was before and put that apartment and that unit back in as it was before. that is what we are stumbling upon here. we would love for them to get on with their lives. we would love for them to stay in san francisco. we would love for all of their friends to continue their relationships, but what we are stumbling upon is there was a unit there. there were tents there. your own public commentator noted that.
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is your client -- would your client put that unit back the way it was and then we can move on? i am going to ask the same thing of mr. sanchez. i don't want to speak out of turn and provide direction that is illegal. is that not the simplest answer you put the walls where it was and put the kitchen where it was. you know as i know because you have been through this rodeo so many times. if we had somebody who came in here and illegally removed a kitchen or a kitchen disappeared from a unit they were renting we would have a discussion about that unit could be abandoned, is that correct?
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>> you have experienced that, have you not? >> in some cases absolutely. >> in this case the coincidence was, sadly, and the worst-case scenario. that kitchen was abandoned by the fact there was a fire and it took it out. it is no different than somebody pulling out, i know. i made a gigantic leap. a unit disappeared because the kitchen was removed. would your client put the walls back up, put the kitchen back in and sustain the three units in the last hearing we agreed should move forward with? that is all we are asking. that is what this is about. >> we have had that discussion and the problem with that option
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is that the work was already done in reliance on the permits. the plumbing is under poured concrete now. the work is finished. the best we can offer. we are willing to create a new unit in the existing rear yard accessory structure. it would be a quality unit. i think that is giving the city what it wants the third unit on the property. we contend has never actually existed under 317. this would create a new third unit. >> i understand where you are going and the concept i am routing for you. i want you and the folks who were very nice to come out here to support your clients and who probably are looking at myself and i won't speak for others because we have been having this
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discussion and we are not caving. we have a responsibility to the law and statute and what is happening next week. no matter if our clients were other very best friends we would act the same way. i am going to ask mr. sanchez when it is his turn to please address the issue of exactly what i heard in public comment how do we get to yes on this? we want to get to yes, but we can't break the law. that would be my question for mr. sanchez. i want your clients to know we have compassion and sympathy for their situation and friends as well. mr. sanchez can address that and we will find out together how to get to yes on this. thank you. >> before we move to the planning department. president honda allison crawford wanted to provide public
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comment. i believe it was closed and i didn't see here hand. it is possible it was on the border. it is leading up to if you want to allow it. >> two minutes. public comment is closed after that. >> so yes. ms. crawford. go ahead. you have two minutes. >> thank you so much for allowing me to speak. i am allison crawford. licensed realtor. i have been working from san francisco. licensed for under 20 years. i have been friends with michael since 2015. following their long journey. they have been trying to unravel the property. i have a perspective. i offered to walk the property to give them an idea what does it look like if they want to walk away if the suspension was
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held. i have no listing agreement. there is no financial gain for me. if the suspension is lifted. if the suspension request is not lyfted on the home and they have to sell. there is no traditional bank that will finance the deal. you are looking at only all cash buyers which makes it a small pool. secondly anyone willing to touch the property will be calculating my guess is a minimum of 12 months, maximum 36 months of curing costs to untangle the issues associated with the building. this will results in a sale price hopefully just over what michael paid for the building in 2007. it makes the building unsalable. maybe he could try to sell it. it is almost impossible. i respect the complexity of the
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situation and rules of the process. i ask the board to compromise. i want this to be successful for the tenants to move with their lives. thank you. >> president honda. >> since you looked at the property profile, what was the prior property profile when they purchased it, ms. crawford? >> i wasn't there when he purchased it. >> giving the proper you had to ask the use of the property. >> i looked at what he paid for it and where it is now and comps. i looked at the history what happened from the perspective
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you have to disclose the things here now. what would that look like? >> thank you. >> thank you. we will move to the planning department. mr. sanchez. >> the board knew knows this is frustrating for everyone. no one wants to be the appellant in this situation. it doesn't give anyone in the city pleasure to see this happen. i know the board feels that way as well. we have the fire in february of 2018. the fire does not -- just because it happens doesn't mean the udu is removed. if that was the case there would be more fires and udus. that is not a way to remove the udu. it remains. october 10, 2018 i believe was the date of the hearing at the
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board of appeals where mr. patterson admitted if the facts were such this was two units they would need the conditional use authorization process to remove the udu. this was october 2018. six months after the fire had happened. any damage, destruction would have been in effect at that time. the following year there was the lawsuit, the stipulated dismissal. my recollection as part of that mr. patterson wanted some very clear language about the fiery moved the udu. the city did not agree. that language was rejected. reading into it anything more than two units is not in the best interest of mr. patterson's client if that was the advice that he gave them.
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certainly at this time in 2019 is when the conditional use authorization should have been sought. this could have been resolved as part of the rebuilding process. this was a tremendous missed opportunity. we are happy he wants to have ideas to resolve this and not happy he is in the situation that he is in now with the building, but the option that doesn't require the conditional use is restore the second unit on the ground floor. that remains. there was a lot of wonderful testimony that we heard today that could be brought up at a conditional use hearing. if they want to move forward with conditional use to remove udu and have a.d.u. keep in mind when they bought the building there were five units, two illegal, one illegal in the rear building. they were able to remove that illegal unit from the rear
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because no way to legallize it. now put a.d.u. there. >> we have a question from vice president swig. >> in the same mode as myself which is the best way to solve this is putting the puzzle back together the way it was in the first place, is that what you stated? >> i think that is the quickest and easiest. maybe some plumbing issues. that versus building a completely new unit in a rear building that has costs, too. i don't know more than plumbing issues. it probably can be worked out. they have utilities relocated.
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that is an option. the easiest option. >> as i recall, and i am trying to stop myself here. to just support because you brought it up. in the last hearing when we were talking about the building in the back. we all agreed without any -- much kicking and screaming that was absolutely not a unit that was going to be acceptable for habitation and so that is why i am surprised that this is another surprise that came up in hearing the testimony today about this compromise to take uninhabittable that we have talked about and nobody looked at that in any other way. something that was not even close to being habitable is
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being put out there as an option to a.d.u. is that your recollection it was uninhabittable unit? >> i don't recall discussion about the rear building at the previous hearing. i know from the history of the project the rear building had an illegal unit in there and we allowed that illegal unit to beremoved as well as the second in the attic. there was no way to legalize those. loss of two units through the process already. that happened. permits are done. our concern now is the loss of a third unit. >> my promise to council was to ask on how to get to yes on this. given what we have heard, that we want these folks in the house to stay with friends, to raise
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their family in this house, what is the path of least resistance to yes? that is to enable them to stay but not compromise the integrity of this body by breaching any laws and not to compromise your integrity in having to uphold what you are asked to uphold. what is the fastest path to yes to keep them in their home? >> restoring the unit on the ground floor so there are two units on the ground floor. the other alternative is conditional use authorization t remove udu from ground floor and they cannot propose replacement or propose replacement that is under jurisdiction of the
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planning commission. >> which is the fastest, easiest and least expensive with the fewest hurdles. >> to restore second unit on the ground floor. i can't speak to the construction costs that the property owner would have to deal with and which one would be cheaper or easier to do. those are the two options. they get the conditional use to remove it or put it back as it is. easiest process wise put it back second unit on the ground floor. >> how do we get there? how do you get there? deny the appeal and then you go back and do it? you have a conversation and file for new permit? how do you get to the fastest way to get these folks back in their home? >> it is their choice.
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if the board were to uphold the suspension it doesn't derm which path they go down. they have the ability to choose. >> i understand that. what i am just asking if we aphold the suspension and what is the next step? regardless they have to go through construction. they have to come to agreement with you on a bunch of other stuff, but if we uphold the suspension, please walk us through what happens next based on your recommendation to put the puzzle back together the way it was before. what happens now? >> choose the path and submit the applications and path for which ever path they choose.
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>> you are saying. i will pin you down. the easiest most efficient path is to not go the ceu route but rather put the construction back, put the unit back the way it was, obviously it will be new. how fast could that happen? what is the process for that, please? >> building permit application doesn't require public hearing. we would need to review application to determine the actual final process, but it may be possible to do it over-the-counter. it may need additional review not over-the-counter but still much quicker than a conditional use hearing. quicker than conditional use hearing. i don't know current backlogs. permitting, but it would be much
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quicker to go for the path every storing the unit on the ground floor. >> can you give me a timeline on that? >> i don't know current permitting backlogs. we have gone a lot more full-service at the departments as we are re-opening. that case is over-the-counter. if it can't be approved over-the-counter it would be on the order of a month or two. certainly would do what we can to expedite review of the permit. that is legalizing the unit on the ground floor. >> with your awareness of the need to expedite this permit or the understanding of the circumstances, they would revise plans to include that unit. they would filetor over-the-counter permit and you
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would do your best to get it done. is that the down and dirty? >> we need proposal to review and determine the process when we have the proposal. they haven't made the decision about the path they want to choose. >> i understand that. i am getting to that there is a way to get this done, and the compromise is they are going to have a third unit in the building which they have always had which was there when they bought the property. this is the way if they have dreams come true this is the way to and not lose the property and get this done as fast as possible. is this is best and quickest path you can recommend for them? >> quickest path our process would have. yes. thank you. >> rebuttal. we will hear from the department
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of building inspection. >> commissioners joe duffy here. again, i want to say i disagree with mr. patterson's comments on the designation. the other thing is i would recommend if they want to do the pre-opmeeting with building d.b.i. staff if they are going to put a third unit in the front building. i do recall the rear building. they brought that up and i would say it as well. i did think there was a problem converting that to a legal dwelling unit a few years ago. i am not sure how that would happen. some building code issues to be sorted out if it is three units, they would have to go through the application. i am not 100% sure about that.
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>> thank you. commissioners this matter is submitted. >> who would like to start? vice president swig? >> i will go. i am sorry we are in this position. i share the thoughts of everybody who was kind enough to come out on behalf of their dear friends. i hope that those who testified today understand, as i said before, that we are always put in a difficult position. >> someone needs to go on mute, please. >> i hope you understand that it is not a lack of compassion, not a lack of empathy with any of
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our appellants or permit holders. this is the hardest part of our job to put forth tough solutions according to what the planning department requires to move forward in our city. we don't always agree. it is something that we really have to do or he wills we or we are unmining mr. sanchez and mr. there is a solution to this. you know, it is the word laundry room versus kitchen. the individual who was on the phone stated they were aware of the tenants in the unit before
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there was a unit before that was never abandoned. the coincidence of fire didn't make it go away. if it was that easy we would have fires because there would be sco un drels in the city. that is why i grilled mr. sanchez how to move this forward so that these property owners although they might not get what they ultimately want they will have habitation of the unit they enjoy above. i would assume it would be the second floor and have two units as they always have down below. and that is what they bought in the first place. in that way we maintain the integrity of the rules that we
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have to abide on. we support our city department of planning d.b.i. once we start under mining them there will be chaos. and the property owners have the opportunity to move forward which is most important. i would deny the suspension request, removal of suspension and adds vice property owners to move as fast as possible to listen to what mr. sanchez said. rebuild like before or go to another process offer ceu to take you more time and more more money and you may not get it approved. we have found away for you to
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make it happen to stay in your home. i am sorry this is a disaster. it is a horrible thing. that is my thoughts. >> thank you, vice president swig. thank you to all who came out. you are amazing people. bringing people to tears. really what is at hand is this particular property and how many units. the city and county has spent umpteen amounts of process determining how many units were in this property including this particular body. >> it is difficult but the permit holder decided to go on his own to decide the unit count. i am not supportive of their request. i am willing to continue to make
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it easier. if that is subject to my fellow commissioners. if not the path of correction is brought out pretty clear. we spent a lot of hours on this last time and a lot of hours this time. in short, it hasn't spelled out what this property is and you decided to invest a lot of money to make it something you really want to happen. unfortunately this body told you the last time that is not what was before us. >> what is notes clear to me what a continuance would accomplish. what needs to happen is separate and apart from what is in front of us. my inclination unless you want to persuade me otherwise would be to deny the appeal. >> as zoning administrator or
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deputy zoning explained, the only correction to be made is to put the unit back onto the lower floor and the a.d.u. is not correctable. i don't think the continuance would help. >> if we continue this we are just putting more pain on the building owner. the time is of the essence. getting the most legal anaphases direction without speed pumps in the -- speed bumps in the way is what needs to be done for these folks to stay in their home and save their position. another continuance, couple weeks would only exacerbate the pain and cost more money and higher risk. i would advise them to not think about -- >> would you like to make a
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motion. >> my motion is to deny the request to -- deny appeal and up hole request for suspension. [indiscernable] >> that is the direction i saw you going in. >> that would be perfect for me. thank you very much. >> you read his mind perfectly. >> so on that motion commissioner lazarus. >> aye. >> president honda. >> aye. >> okay. that motion carries 3-0. the appeal is denied. this concludes the hearing. president honda, do you want to adjourn? >> this meeting is adjourned. thank you everyone. >> thank you. good-bye. port today
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i'm san francisco mayor london breed and i'm so excited to be here at the port today. we were just here celebrating juneteenth. every weekend there are some incredible markets and it was so crowded. the waterfront was alive and well. and, in fact, last weekend i think it was, these days go by so fast, i was at the giants game celebrating with roscoe.
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a full -- almost a full house, but it was amazing. amazing to see the waterfront active, to see it alive, to see the excitement and now we have a couple other things to add to our re-opening efforts. in fact, ferry service started today. additional ferry service around the bay area. and, we also have opening this weekend the exploretorium and for tours the s.s. brian. and we even have more common includes fireworks on the northern waterfront for the 4th of july. and, finally, to top it all off as we get ready to re-open our city, it just wouldn't be the
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same unless we had fleet week returning in october. so a number of incredible milestones. a lot of great activities. san francisco has been through so much this past 15 months and i want to take this opportunity as i always do to really thank the people of the city for complying with the very challenging orders to shelter-in-place to wear a mask, to get vaccinated. over 82% of san franciscans have been vaccinated and we just saw the announcement from the cdc that people were vaccinated don't necessarily need to wear a mask, however, we know there are still a lot of people that are not vaccinated and just because san francisco is doing a great job, doesn't mean there are others out there that aren't. we want to ask you because the cdc talked about today the
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variants and how the vaccine protects you from the variants and those who are vaccinated and we don't want to go backwards. we don't want to go back to that place where we're shutting our city down. i hope we don't have to go back to that place. in the meantime, it's so important that we enjoy our city. we enjoy all these great attractions. we support one another, we have a great time. and what i've also consistently said, it is so important that when you are out in the streets now that our city is re-open that you keep a smile on your face because, right now, this is a privilege. and we have to remember, we were on lockdown for over 15 months in san francisco in the bay area and other parts of the country and so how much do we really appreciate being out here, being able to see faces without masks, being able to enjoy this cloudy, beautiful
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san francisco day. i will tell you that i am showing up to everything i'm invited to if i'm available. i've been to baby showers already, and birthday parties and other activities. openings. block parties. i even crashed a block party before when i was just driving by. i said you know what, i'm going to say hi to a couple of neighbors because it feels good to see people again. because it feels good to be out again. keep that same positive spirit as we re-open and as activities begin and as folks are out doing and eating and drinking and being merry and having a good time because san francisco's coming back and we've got a lot of making up to do with the activities that we want to do that we missed out on the past year. thank you all so much for being here. enjoy the waterfront this weekend and some great activities and at this point, i want to introduce the director
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of the port of san francisco, elaine forbes. [applause] >> welcome everyone. i have a smile on my face. it's great to see everyone here at the waterfront not wearing a mask. we're welcoming back 4th of july fireworks and fleet week. two cornerstone events for the waterfront. today we're celebrating the re-opening of the exploretorium and the s.s. jeremiah. increased ferry service starts today with 30% more ferries running. the ferries are here to enjoy the beautiful bay while commuting or just having some fun. next month, we have the return of cable cars and meanwhile we have the f-line running up and down the embarcadero. summer on the waterfront is here. there are so many adventures to be had.
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the port is proud to be home to really an amazing seven and a half miles of bayside waterfront in the city. our water front includes peer 39, fisherman's wharf, and amazing parks and opens and heron's head park in the southern waterfront and more than 10 installations of public art. i want to thank our mayor, mayor breed for her incredible support of this waterfront and bringing back events like the 4th of july and fleet week. and of course, for her stellar leadership in navigating the pandemic and getting us safely to today as she re-opens and oversees the comeback of our city. the port welcomes more than 24 million visitors a year. economic activity here supports $4 billion in economic annual output for the city and more than 16,000 jobs. that is why we're excited to welcome back cruises this fall
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which brings about 300,000 visitors to the waterfront each year. our cruises will follow the cdc guidelines and we'll have vaccinated passengers and crews and we're expecting our first cruise ship in september. this fall, we're partnering with small businesses and local artists. we want to show case our local talent and create tailor made experiences for fun and enjoyment. from crane cove park to pier 29, activities draw people to the waterfront supporting economic recorpse. these will happen as we welcome cruises, cable cars, fleet week, and hopefully a giants playoff season. thank you all for coming out today supporting our waterfront, a prosperous waterfront is a prosperous
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city. we welcome you to come down and enjoy some of the world's best views, best food, and best experiences. and now, please join me in welcoming phoebe white. this museum brings hundreds and hundreds of children and adults to our water front for learning fun. following phoebe white, we'll hear from louis lovan and rear admiral wayne bays. thank you so much for being here today. [applause] >> thank you, elaine, and thank you, madam mayor, for your remarks today and more importantly for your leadership. we're so proud to be part of the san francisco community. i'm absolutely thrilled to see the progress we have made
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against the pandemic. it's an absolute honor to be here today and with our colleagues and neighbors on the waterfront of this wonderful city. i am delighted to share and you already know that after 15 months of closure, the exploretorium opened today. it is wonderful to see our community re-opening fully and to be part of the collective energy that is reemerging and gaining momentum in the bay area. i would also like to personally take the opportunity to thank elaine forbes and the port for their support and partnership since we first moved to the waterfront in 2013 the
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exploratorium is a learning organization. we as a community have also learning and experienced more directly than ever the critical role that science plays in all of our lives. whether it's the science behind the pandemic or vaccines or climate change or the role of technology in our lives today. some of the defining issues of our time have all highlighted how important it is for everyone to engage in topics of science. our vision is a world where people think for themselves and can confidently ask questions, questions answered and understand the world around them. at the exploretor yum and explore topics of science and ways that work for them. we don't tell people what to think, where to go, what to do.
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there are no right or wrong answers when you're exploring and learning. so come on down. go online, purchase tickets yes, we're managing capacity and we honor all e.b.t. and museums for all card holders at the door but most of all, have
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fun. thank you madam mayor for the privilege of speaking today and i'd like to introduce louis lovan executive director of san francisco fleet week. thank you. >> let me take off my super cool san francisco fleet week mask. thank you very much, phoebe. by the way the exploratorium rocks. do you guys still have the tactile dome? okay. that's the thing to do. it's true, we have all these events that are going to take place out on the waterfront. i have commander of strike group 3. admiral bays' assets are what will be coming up to san francisco and he'll talk to you about that. i'm very excited to bring back the live fleet week events including the fleet week air show presented by united.
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if you don't know it, you'll know when it arrives. it comes big and loud and it's a wonderful thing to do down on the marina green throughout the city and the bay. most of our events are outdoors. we'll have neighborhood concerts. the parade of ships, of course. and a number of other things that you can find out about by looking at our website or follow us@fleetweeksf. get the up to date information. right now, it's a full complement of fleet week events and, with that, i'm going to introduce admiral bays. >> wow. what a pleasure it is to be out here live in person without a mask on. thank you, mayor, for including me in today. yes, admiral wayne bays. i'm honored and excited to be with you today on behalf of
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your navy corps and coast guard team. as you all know, we could not do a fleet week in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. but i'm really happy to say we're going to bring service members from the navy, marine corps and coast guard to be here with you in person for fleet week 2021 to celebrate the strong, long-lasting bonds that exist between the military and this community which is a wonderful place. we're bringing ships, we're bringing aircraft, we're bringing equipment. we're going to bring the navy blue angels. i'm going to bring bands from the navy and marine corps. but the best thing we're going to bring -- yeah, that's okay. bring the hands. but the best thing we're going to bring is young sailors and marines and coast guard men and women to be part of this city and to meet you. [applause] yeah. so the last 15 months, we couldn't get out and about.
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but because of the change conditions, i want these sailors and coast guard men and women to come outlet amongst the community and meet you in person. i was here last time in 2014 when u.s.s commissioned. you're going to be as proud of them as i am. now, fleet week is fun, but it's not just all about a port call. we also do training while we're here. we take advantage of all these ships and equipment and people getting together and we work to do training on things like disaster recovery efforts with local experts here. so i'm talking about emergency management, police, fire and medical professionals and other recovery people. this is about practicing our skill sets so that during times of emergencies or crisis, the military can support military authority its effectively and
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efficiently. it's really important training i think when you look back at the pandemic, it kind of puts an accent on the importance of that continued effort. so we cannot be with you in person in 2020, but i do believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder. so we're super energized to bring everything we've got to make this the best fleet week possible in 2021. i thank you so much for the hospitality of this city. i look forward to meeting you all and my wife and i sincerely thank you if from the bottom of our hearts for celebrating our men and women that serve the military on behalf of this great nation. thank you so much and i hope to meet everybody in october. >> thank you, admiral bays and we really appreciate having you here and just touching a little bit about fleet week and our plans around emergency preparedness and our director of the department of emergency management is here.
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mary ellen carol. thank you so much for being here. she did an incredible job leading the efforts around covid here in san francisco. and so we will definitely take full advantage of the opportunity during fleet week to make sure that our emergency personnel are working with federal officials to take advantage of the opportunities to train, to learn, to grow, and to be prepared for any situation for each and every one of you. when i look out into the waterfront and this area, again, i tell you all to keep a smile on your face. when this waterfront had the freeway before the '89 earthquake. and i remember when i was at galleleo high school. they would fly over at practice
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when we were out at lunch. it was incredible to have these planes fly directly over our schools and i think about those times and i think about where we are now as a city today. we've experienced challenging times before, but like this beautiful waterfront that's now open with no freeway in sight and if you didn't know about the history, and you probably would never imagine how our freeway could block such a beautiful place. san francisco is a beautiful place and we celebrate our history and our diversity, but more importantly, as we come out of this pandemic, we celebrate our resilience to survive another situation that could have knocked us down. it set us back just a tad bit and as a result of that, we're coming back stronger. the phoenix will rise again. san francisco is rising again as we begin to re-open and having these incredible spaces, all these wonderful activities
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along our waterfront is going to make re-opening so much better. so i hope you will take advantage of these great opportunities to enjoy san francisco, to welcome your friends and family members from around the world, an the united states, around the bay area. there will continue to be activities and always great food and wonderful views that will just continue to put a smile on your face. so thank you all so much for being here and thank you all for helping us get through this pandemic. san francisco is back. thank you. [applause]
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>> we have private and public gardens throughout the garden tour. all of the gardens are volunteers. the only requirement is you're willing to show your garden for a day. so we have gardens that vary from all stages of development and all gardens, family gardens, private gardens, some of them as small as postage stamps and others pretty expansive. it's a variety -- all of the world is represented in our gardens here in the portola. >> i have been coming to the
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portola garden tour for the past seven or eight years ever since i learned about it because it is the most important event of the neighborhood, and the reason it is so important is because it links this neighborhood back to its history. in the early 1800s the portola was farmland. the region's flowers were grown in this neighborhood. if you wanted flowers anywhere future bay area, you would come to this area to get them. in the past decade, the area has tried to reclaim its roots as the garden district. one of the ways it has done that is through the portola garden tour, where neighbors open their gardens open their gardens to people of san francisco so they can share that history. >> when i started meeting with
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the neighbors and seeing their gardens, i came up with this idea that it would be a great idea to fundraise. we started doing this as a fund-raiser. since we established it, we awarded 23 scholarships and six work projects for the students. >> the scholarship programs that we have developed in association with the portola is just a win-win-win situation all around. >> the scholarship program is important because it helps people to be able to tin in their situation and afford to take classes. >> i was not sure how i would stay in san francisco. it is so expensive here. i prayed so i would receive enough so i could stay in san francisco and finish my school, which is fantastic, because i don't know where else i would
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have gone to finish. >> the scholarships make the difference between students being able to stay here in the city and take classes and having to go somewhere else. [♪♪♪] [♪♪♪] >> you come into someone's home and it's they're private and personal space. it's all about them and really their garden and in the city and urban environment, the garden is the extension of their indoor environment, their outdoor living room. >> why are you here at this garden core? it's amazing and i volunteer here every year. this is fantastic. it's a beautiful day. you walk around and look at gardens. you meet people that love gardens. it's fantastic. >> the portola garden tour is the last saturday in september every year. mark your calendars every year.
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you can see us on the website >> chairman: good morning. welcome to the thursday, july 8, meeting of the public safety & neighborhood services committee. i'm supervisor gordon mar, and i'm joined by supervisor stefani. matt haney is unable to join us today, so he will be excused. and we have a -- we received a presidential action memo welcoming supervisor safai as a substitute for supervisor haney. >> thank you.