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tv   Building Inspection Commission  SFGTV  July 31, 2021 2:00am-5:30am PDT

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commissioner adams is absent, [roll call] that motion passes four to zero with three absent and the meeting is adjourned at 6:18 p.m. thank you, commissioners. >> vice president zouzounis: thanks everyone. >> president laguana: bye you guys. >> have a good night.
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>> clerk: this is the regular meeting of the building inspection commission. i would like to remind everyone to mute yourself if you're not speaking. the first item is roll call. [roll call]
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>> clerk: we have a quorum, and the next item is item 2, president's announcement. >> you're muted, angus. >> thank you, commissioners. good morning, everybody, and welcome to building inspection commission meeting of july 2021. i'm angus mccarthy, president of the building inspection commission, and i am joined here today by fellow commissioners along with interim director patrick o'riordan and staff. last month, we had a big month in the world of d.b.i. d.b.i. is now open and the permit center is the hive of activity every morning. if you haven't had the opportunity, fellow commissioners, please do stop by and check it out. i've been over there, and it's a great thing to see this
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missing hive of activity and permits being issued. it's just a great buzz about the building and it's new look, and so on, so well done there. at the same time, i'm happy to announce with our electronic permit review, many of us won't have to make trips to d.b.i. now all permit applications can be submitted on-line. this is a great step forward for the department, and thank you to all involved. i have one other item that i'd like to share with you. as you know, d.b.i. often gets letters of thank you from customers who feel that staff members who went above and beyond in customer service. i share them in the past, and it's always great to see staff members called out for doing good work. one person in particular seems to be getting a lot of
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recognition, and that is permit technician gary love. [inaudible] and carol lindenberg about gary. my husband and i are deeply grateful to you. you've helped us not only to obtain our permit sooner than thought, but you also sparked hope in our optimism. we hope that the city of san francisco and building department recognize the value you bring to the system and to the people who are recipients of the services that the system provides, so thank you, gary. well done. it's always good when people make the effort to compliment hard working people and team members of our d.b.i. family. to everyone, thank you for attending the meeting today,
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and please continue to participate in the public process, wear your mask, and get back to life. so with that, madam secretary, i'd like to hand it back to you for the next item. >> clerk: okay. thank you. is there any public comment on the president's announcement? okay. >> operator: no comments. >> clerk: okay. thank you. so next, we are going to have a presentation of the certificates of appreciation for mr. gary ho, one of our d.b.i. staff who is retiring. we will take a moment for that in just a minute.
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>> good morning, president mccarthy and commissioners. i want to take a moment to recognize the work of long time testimony member gary ho, who retired last month. gary joined the department in the mid 1990s working on the masonry retrofit program, and we planned to oversee hundreds of projects, including some of the tallest buildings ever built in san francisco, for example, 181 fremont. just as his work made those structures stronger, gary's
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work and his intellect made d.b.i. a better organization. he actively sought the input of others, pulling in advice before making a decision. his thoughtful and methodical not only [inaudible] but brought others together. [inaudible] resolve issues, and lead his team. personally, i worked alongside gary for many years and already miss his intelligence, his smart perspective, and more than anything else, his friendship. thank you, gary. we wish you the best of luck in
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your retirement. and i'm going to present a plaque here to gary for his many years of service for the department. again, gary, thank you. we appreciate all you've done. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] is on behalf of president mccarthy and the building inspectors. congratulations and thank you very much. >> good morning, commissioners and everyone. [inaudible] looking back on my 26 years with d.b.i., and i'm just so grateful that i have the opportunity to work on so many challenging and rewarding
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projects. i want to say thank you to all the people that i past worked with before. i think together we make d.b.i. a better place to serve the public and a better organized service to the public. i wish d.b.i. all the success in the future. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, gary. i'd just like to open this up to any commissioners if they'd like to say anything. i have to wait for sonya to get back to her -- >> thank you, gary, for your service and on the next chapter of your life. >> congratulations, gary, and you reached the point of this new phase, this evolution of life, so lgs contracts to you, and i hope you enjoy every day. thank you for your service. >> all right. thank you.
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>> congratulations, gary. much deserved, it sounds like, after 26 years. >> gary, thank you very much. see you soon, and thank you for your 26 years to the city. particularly the last 1.5 to two years, you've had to do a lot of work to keep your beloved department moving forward, and i know that director o'riordan appreciates it. you're far too young to be retiring, but i know you're looking forward to it. congratulations. >> clerk: okay. thank you, everyone, and congratulations again, gary. okay. so i am going to just state for the record that any members of the public who are listening for public comment call in, the number is 1-415-655-0001.
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access code is 146-829-7021. to raise your hand for public comment on a specific agenda item, press star, three when prompted by the meeting moderator. in advance of the next item, i need to unmute a couple of people. just a moment. okay. mr. decker, you're added as a panelist. can you hear me? justin? >> sonya, point of order. i don't believe we've done general public comment. >> clerk: yes, i'll do that but
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i wanted to unmute the people to have them in line. thank you, president mccarthy. item 3, general public comment. the b.i.c. will take public comment on matters within the commission's jurisdiction that are not part of this agenda. >> operator: there's one caller in the queue. can you give me the ability to unmute? >> clerk: yes, i can. >> operator: caller 415-285, you are unmuted. >> thank you. good morning, president mccarthy and fellow commissioners. this is georgia schiutish.
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first, i want to say thank you for adding contact to the notices that d.b.i. sends out about demo applications. i think that's good for the public to have more numbers to call. also, through miss harris, i sent you a copy of a planning enforcement document of demo calculations. it was a presentation made to d.b.i. back in june, and i think it's a very good document. it's very well done, and i just want to add that these were the demolition calculations that were done in 2017 and 2009, and they haven't been changed since that time, for tantamount to demolition, and there's been some changes made that show up in this new document. i just hope that if you talk to
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your other colleagues on the planning commission that you'll encourage them to consider adjusting the demo calcs to better preserve the existing [inaudible] so thank you. be happy, be safe, thank you. >> operator: there appears to be another caller. caller 650-678, you're unmuted. >> good morning. my name is jerry dratler. in [inaudible] on the 19 illegal units constructed at 2869 san bruno avenue, building inspection department deputy director christine gasparick
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says the department is in the process of investigating individuals. this is an important initiative that has the ability to address d.b.i.s current credibility problem. i urge the b.i.c. to disclose the scope of audit work, the list of work to be performed, and the company that will perform the audit. the work needs to be transparent for the investigation to achieve the objective of restoring the department's credibility. thank you. >> operator: there are no more callers in the queue. >> clerk: okay. thank you. so president mccarthy, should i
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read item 4 or -- >> yes, please go to item 4. >> clerk: okay. thank you. item 4, appeal pursuant to section d3.750-4 of the city charter and administrative code section 77.3, discussion and possible action. appellants misung kim and wonjae lee, care of r.j.r. appeal the department of building inspection interim director's may 3, 2021 decision finding that an unlawful residential demolition under building code section 103-a.3.1 occurred on property located at 1681 10 avenue, and imposing a five-year moratorium on issuance of building permits with respect to that property.
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appellants contend that the interim director's imposition of the five-year moratorium on issuance of permits is an abuse of discretion. a, presentation by parties including witnesses, and b, deliberation and possible decision by the building inspection commission. the department will present first, but we had the disclosure issue, too. >> okay. thank you for keeping us on track. i would like to disclose that i have a working relationship with reuben junius, but that will not interfere with my decision in any way here today. thank you. are there any other commissioners that would like to disclose? >> yes. i would like to disclose that i worked with reuben and junius
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in the last two years. think represented -- they represented the owner of a project that i did not work on in this letter, justin zucker. >> and i would like to disclose that i know a partner that works at reuben, junius, and rose, but i've never worked with them professionally. i have personally never worked with this architect, but my firm has worked previously with that architect. >> all right. thank you, commissioners. i just want to confirm that the business relationship that you just disclosed will not affect
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your ability to provide a fair and impartial hearing today. if you could just please confirm that on the record. >> confirm on my behalf. angus mccarthy. >> confirm, commissioner bito. >> confirm, as well, from commissioner sommer. >> thank you very much. >> clerk: okay. justin, if you could let me know if the other parties will be presenting during the presentation. if you could unmute yourself. sorry. still can't hear you. i don't know if there's something with the -- with your audio. it looks like i see your
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camera, but i don't see -- i don't see a microphone. >> operator: sonia, we've got a caller 13 who's calling in that might be justin. is that you, justin? mr. zucker, is that you on the phone? >> sorry for the technical difficulties. i don't know what's going on. yes. if you could, please, the homeowner, misung kim, she would like to be elevated, as well, so they can provide a few statements. >> clerk: okay. i'm sorry. could you take care of that, as well? >> operator: yes. okay. mr. zucker, there is a bit of an echo on yours, as well.
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>> okay. i will go on mute. >> clerk: okay. then the first -- i'm sorry. regarding the order of presentation, there will be -- same as with our priority meeting. there's going to be seven minutes for the department and the appellant to present their case. then, there will be public comment for two minutes each. then, there will be rebuttal time for three minutes each. so the first to present their case will be the department, and i think that's deputy director duffy. >> -- if i do cut out, let me know, and i will try to make alternate arrangements. so this is, as you know, the
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appeal on the [inaudible] special issues a notice of this agent for the unlawful demolition per san francisco building code section 103a.3.1. >> joe, you're freezing up on us. >> -- that we would respectfully uphold the notice of decision. >> clerk: okay. joe, if you could repeat it because it was freezing. if you could repeat your statement. >> you may want to turnoff his video. >> clerk: yeah. it was suggested if you maybe turnoff your video and then give the presentation again. i'm sorry about that. >> i'm happy to do that.
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>> okay. sonya, if we could have everybody outside the commission turnoff their camera. no, it's okay, mr. duffy. we love looking at you. >> clerk: yeah, it's still kind of going in and out. are you able to call in, maybe, to use the call-in number, and then, we could -- we could unmute you? so the -- not sure if you can hear me, joe. the call-in number is
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1-415-655-0001. >> go ahead, sonya. give me the number. >> clerk: 415-655-0001. >> could you repeat that again? >> clerk: sure. 415-655-0001. >> okay. >> clerk: and there's an access code. it's 146-829-7021. did you get that, joe?
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>> operator: i just texted it to him. >> yes. >> clerk: okay. thank you. >> madam secretary, then, should we go to item 5 or should we just wait for joe to call in? >> clerk: it's up to you, whatever you'd like. >> let's just give it a minute, and if joe gets in in a minute, we'll go to item 5, and if not, we'll go to item 4, if that's okay with my fellow commissioners. >> clerk: okay. >> i'm trying to get in.
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>> clerk: okay. president mccarthy, would you like to go to item 5 and then go back to 4? >> let's do that if there is no objection. >> clerk: do we have to take a roll call to take an item out of order? >> there's no objection, so we can take item 5. >> clerk: okay. item 5 is discussion regarding the search for a permanent director of the department of building inspection.
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she may not be on the call yet -- oh, there she is. if you could unmute cheryl yuaida and make her a panelist. >> operator: one moment. she is now a panelist. >> clerk: hello. good morning, cheryl. can you hear us? >> yes. i'm trying to start the video. >> clerk: okay. >> hi. >> clerk: good morning. >> okay. president mccarthy, i guess today, we're just kind of going
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over the initial draft profile and sample surveys. a lot of the commissioners said they wanted to see a sample of the survey so they could make suggestions based off that. so do you -- should we tackle the survey part first or how do you want to proceed? and you're on mute. >> you don't need to get into too much detail. just kind of where you're at, a summary, and that's it. >> okay. yesterday, i interviewed all of the commissioners yesterday except for commissioner alexander-tut. based on the one-on-one meetings that i've had, i've created a draft brochure that i have for initial review, and then also based on that, i created a dress survey should
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you decide to use a survey. >> that survey, you can just send out to the commissioners. at what point will that survey come out? >> well, i gave it to sonya yesterday. if there are any additional questions that you wish to add to the survey or if you wish to change some of the bullet points, you can e-mail the revisions to me, and i'll review them with president mccarthy and d.h.r. >> okay. perfect. all right. so basically, commissioner alexander-tut, is there a new day for that? i know she's not feeling the better. >> i'm waiting to reschedule with her, so once i reschedule with her, i think sonya said it'll be in the next week or two, depending on her schedule. >> okay. so by the next meeting, we'll
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get the survey out with questions from any other commissioners, and you would be ready to send out the app. >> clerk: and i'm sorry to interject. i did send cheryl's e-mail out to everyone? is. >> -- everyone. >> okay. perfect. is there any comment? i'll go down the line, so vice chair tam, please. >> no questions at this time. thank you. >> commissioner alexander-tut is excused. commissioner bito, please. >> just a quick question. this survey is for the commission or is it for d.b.i. staff? who is the survey for? >> i thought it was going to be for staff. >> okay.
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>> do you have anything else, commissioner bito? >> no, i wanted to make that clarification, and then, we're just going to e-mail our suggestions directly to cheryl? okay. >> yes. okay. was that all, commissioner bito? >> yeah, thank you. >> thank you. commissioner [inaudible], please. >> no questions. i'll just e-mail some questions for the survey. >> okay. commissioner moss, please? >> no questions. thank you. >> commissioner sommer? >> i was just curious. you said overall, so a sample survey from another survey that was used. some demographics -- or not demographics, but years you've been with the agency and to that type of thing.
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would that be included, as well? >> if you'd like it to be included, it can. >> yeah, it's nice that it's short. people are more likely to fill out a survey if it's short. i'll reply to your e-mail. thank you. >> okay. thank you. >> and that's commissioner sommer. and madam clerk, public comment, if there's no further [inaudible]. >> clerk: thank you. so is there public comment on this item? >> operator: i believe there is. i don't have the ability to unmute right now. >> clerk: okay. is that the one with the hand raised? >> operator: i believe the 415-678 is justin.
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>> clerk: okay. hello, caller. i believe you're unmuted. can you hear me? just one moment. i'll give you the [inaudible]. >> operator: okay. caller 650-678, you're unmuted. do you have a comment for this item? >> yes, i do. this is jerry dratler. i encourage the b.i.c.-d.b.i. to develop a rigorous selection criteria and for the selection criteria to be shared with the public before a new director is chosen. the challenges facing the next
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d.b.i. director include outdated departmental operating procedures, antiquated controls, and the retirement of most of the department senior leadership team over the last 18 months. if a new d.b.i. director is chosen who lacks the skills to correct these departmental weaknesses, there will not be meaningful change. thank you. >> thank you. next caller? >> operator: there are no more callers in the queue. >> clerk: thank you. >> that closes public comment, and we'll go to item 4 if mr. duffy is available. >> operator: i can unmute him.
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>> clerk: so members of the public, we are returning back to item 4, the appeal. >> operator: joe, is this you? you're unmuted. >> is that better? >> operator: yes. >> okay. thank you. apologies, commissioners. i'm on. due to some unforeseen circumstances, i'm working from home this week, so my internet connection this morning here in the richmond is not the greatest, so i apologize for that. hopefully, i can get -- i can present the documents that i have here. and also, i've got a powerpoint there, as well, that sonya, i believe you'll be able to direct that, as well, will you, for some photos that i have to present? hello? >> operator: sorry. you're muted. >> clerk: yes, hello.
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i'll get ready to share my screen. can you hear me? >> yes. sonya, i don't need it this minute, but i'd like to know when i need my powerpoint presentation. so commissioners, a notice of violation was given for an unlawful residential demolition under building code section 103-a.3.3. we would respectfully request that the commission uphold the notice of decision. the summary of the -- of the chain of events that happened at 1681 10 avenue, so the demolished structure at 1681 10 avenue was a two-story family dwelling with one floor of occupancy. according to assessor's
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property profile, it was built in 1926 and had a total liveable area of 1340 square feet. on june 30, 2020, a site permit was issued for a vertical addition of a one-story rear yard addition. this permit was issued as a site permit only. no work would be allowed under this permit until the addenda had been issued. on august 4, 2020, a permit was issued under the current remodel under the existing kitchen, lighting upgrades, plumbing and fixture upgrades. the inspector closed the
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following complaint, and on october 29, 2020, an inquiry revealed that the demolition of the building was going on without a permit. a complaint was opened based on the reinspection by acting deputy director with the following findings. so in between october 29 and november 20 -- or november 2, we did issue a notice of violation, and we did determine that an unlawful demolition occurred. it appeared that only 10% of the existing structure remained. on november 24, 2020, building inspection issued a notice of violation, however, another permit has been issued by a site permit, and on a site visitation, building inspection
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determined that principle demolition has been performed. the entire structure has been demolished with less than 10% remaining. sonya, if you could put the powerpoint up there. i believe i've got the photos and summary for the commissioners just to let them see we did document this with some photos. the department then initiated, per the hearing code, the hearing process for an unlawful residential demolition. and we did notify that everything was done properly. the building was posted and notices were sent out and everything was done in accordance with our processes.
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a hearing was held, and the hearing officer was john [inaudible] from the mayor's office of disability, and mr. ramadis did agree with staff that there was an unlawful residential demolition. the notice of decision was issued on may 3, 2021, and the conclusion and order from mr. ramadis was that the evidence heard at the hearing, it was his decision that an unlawful building demolition as defined by san francisco building code section 103-a.1.3, occurred, and this decision may be
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appealed as per san francisco administrative code. we're at the point where an appeal was made to the building inspection commission. the decision and order for the property and this code section, it is pretty severe. we don't see them pretty often, but the -- the actual penalty for this, and pursuant to section 103.3 of the building code, no permit authorizing the demolition or destruction of that site, a five-year moratorium shall be issued except for the same building that was structurally or
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unlawfully demolished. i think that's all i have to say for my presentation, and i'm available for any questions. >> thank you, mr. duffy. commissioners, i know joe was breaking up again towards the end. is everybody okay? did they get the full presentation of mr. duffy there? >> yes. >> yes. >> okay. all righty. okay. so we now can hear from the appellant, is that correct? >> yes, the appellant will have seven minutes, so mr. zucker, you'll have time for seven minutes total. >> great. will i be able to share my screen, please? >> yes. would you like to do that now? >> please. >> clerk: okay.
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>> thank you. good morning, president mccarthy and commissioners. my name is justin zucker, on behalf of reuben, junius, and rose, on behalf of the homeowners. while we are faced with an unfortunate situation today, the homeowners are working in good faith to address the issue before us so the property does not sit fallow for five years. a conditional use permit application was submitted on december 1 of last year to get the planning process started. we are mindful of the building code's requirements imposed in the director's office that only a building with the same density may be constructed. however, two units have been proposed -- the direction given
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by the planning department is to maximize density to have two units, given we are in an rh-2 zoning district. while it is my understanding that planning has recently indicated they are amenable with proceeding with a single-family home. we are aware of a technical problem in the director's order. as mentioned on june 20, 2020, building permit application 202004178407 indicated that the
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home is 2704 square feet. we've been advised that the building size is based on the assessor's records, however, it isn't surprising that the assessor's records are not accurate. it happens all of the time. the home size is clearly established and vetted by the building department. the liveable space is what is counted. and on the first floor, there is liveable space behind the garage. we respectfully request the d.b.i. inspector's record be corrected to reflect the feet cited in the 2020 application. i'd like to turn it over to
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miss kim for a statement, and we are respectfully available for any questions. >> can you hear me? >> clerk: yes, we can hear you, miss kim. >> hi. my name is misung kim, and i wanted to state that we are a family of four with two adults and two kids. we live and work in san francisco and 1681 10 avenue home is our very first home that we bought in 2009, and we have lived there for 11 years. as kids grew up and we needed more space, we found the path of home renovation, but unfortunately, this happened without our knowledge, and we are left with an empty lot at this point. our family has been penalized for something that happened without our awareness or knowledge, so we hope that you can apply this to this unique situation and provide
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forgiveness so we can provide a path forward for our family and our kids. thank you. >> can you, miss kim. >> thank you, and that concludes our presentation. >> clerk: okay. thank you. then we would need to go to public comment next. is there anyone available for public comment for this item? >> operator: i'm not seeing any new public commenters, no. >> clerk: okay. then the next item would be rebuttal. is there any rebuttal by the department, mr. duffy? >> i -- commissioners, joe duffy from d.b.i. yeah, we have had the -- i will say that the homeowner, mr. zucker, the architect, have been very cooperative with us since this unfortunate event happened. i mean, we were, to be honest with you, pretty shocked that
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the building work was done under a site permit. you don't normally see that, and i just don't know what happened out there for this to happen. it is very unfortunate, and definitely, it is -- the code section is pretty severe. and mr. zucker has presented a letter to d.b.i., and that -- with a proposal to -- i think they're talking of doing a project that would make an additional unit and doing a two-unit building. that would have to go to our interim director, director o'riordan and mr. teague, but i did want to commend them for their efforts to at least try to do something.
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with these sites being left for five years, it's not an ideal scenario, but it is in the code, and it is something that we have to enforce, and that's what happens. so again, i'm available for any questions. >> thank you, mr. duffy. >> clerk: okay. so mr. zucker, did you have any rebuttal? >> yeah, just a brief closing statement. thank you to joe's kind words. we -- the homeowners, the architect, and i, we've been diligently working to try to carve out a path forward. as mr. duffy had mentioned, we have explored the idea of increasing density at the site to add another unit to help alleviate the current housing crisis not just in the city but across the state. the homeowners are really looking to, you know, acknowledge the situation and
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put this in their rearview mirror and allow some structure to go back, whether it be a two-unit building or a single-family home so the neighborhood doesn't sit in a blighted condition for the next five years. we have heard that the planning department is potentially going to allow and give for a single-family home, but the home listed in the order at 1340 square feet is one that would not ever get built in the city. and understanding there is a site permit that previously established the home at 2170 square feet, we respectfully request that the size of the home be updated so that if a single-family home is pursued and permitted by the planning department, that it can be building to the previously existing size of 2100 square
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feet. that concludes my presentation, and i'm available for my question. >> clerk: and i apologize, president mccarthy, there was an e-mail sent to me for public comment. so i'll set my timer for two minutes, if i could read that. just one moment. so this statement is from a miss jean brown. my sister and i are owners of the property at 1675-1677 10 avenue. we were aware that the owners of 1681 10 avenue had proposed an addition to their building with the san francisco building department. the two buildings are adjacent to each other. on october 6, 2020, i received a text message from my resident telling me the following. they are fully underway tearing down the building next door.
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it is shaking my home. the following day, i made an on-site inspection. i was able to reach great ocean general contractors who were overseeing the demolition. [please stand by]
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>> as soon as we could to get the process started, knowing that both the d.b.i. and planning department have their separate, independent processes, that can take a while. so we wanted to act
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diligently to move forward. we -- official dialogue with the planning department was to -- we had initially submitted a single-family home, and the response from the planning department was to maximize the density to increase to two units, since it was a single-family home in an rh2. we presented a two-unit project. since that time, the director's order had been issued, and because of the director's order, we've had communications with planning officials to try to, you know, work out what i'll call the somewhat of a knot between conflicting co-provisions and policies, that of d.b.i. and planning. it is my understanding that the deputy zoning administrator has indicated that planning will allow for a single-family home to proceed at the property. >> got it. and -- ideally you would
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like to build back a single-family home, but after discretion, you're open to a two-unit building to accommodate for the housing crisis, right? is that what i heard? >> yes. that's a great question, commissioner tam, yes. >> my take here is, just having an empty lot, it -- i know that the code is the code here, and, you know, there was a demolition that shouldn't have occurred. my only concern is, you know, for the neighborhood, having a flat lot -- you know what i mean, having it become a nuisance is my only concern for the community that the property is in. that's it for me, for now. >> chairman: thank you, commissioner tam. commissioner beto, please. >> i have one question
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about the public comment from gene brown. madam secretary, could you clarify -- did it state that there was plans for a larger house, or a different set of plans? that was one clarification i wanted to ask. >> just a moment. i'm looking for that part. >> their representative -- >> oh, yes, that they -- about the great osha general contractors, according to demolition, they presented large act architectural drawings of a three-story single-family home deep in the backyard. >> so he was presenting the plans that were be permitted or were being
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permitted? >> i don't know if justin can answer that. i was just reading the statement that was given to me. >> sonya, i can -- >> go ahead, joe. >> commissioner beto, the drawings that i believe that were referred to in the e-mail would have been for the project, had the agenda been issued, which was really unfortunate. it was two months away, i think, from getting issued. that project would have allowed for the expansion of the building into the rear yard and an additional story, and it would have been a single family dwelling. the site permit was issued, but the addenda was going through the process. when i called the architect, he was shocked that they already started demolition. so the plans were for the intended project, which cannot go ahead based on the unlawful demolition. >> okay. i mean, i think -- i mean, the one person we haven't
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really heard from is the general contractor who did the demolition. that's the one party we haven't heard from. i agree with commissioner tam, having an empty lot is not desirable. the question that i have is: if allowed to either build, what was originally to replace the single family residence, or the two units it was being permitted for, what other penalties -- we also don't want to encourage other people to demolish and say we can get a reprieve from the commission. there ought to be some penalty as well. i understand it ultimately falls on the owner of the property to be aware of what is going on, but at the same time, we also haven't heard from the general contractor, who is also just as culpable for taking down this building. so -- anyway, i'm just echoing, also, my fellow commissioner.
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>> i'm sorry, what are the fees imposed? what are the total fees right now that are fines and penalties? >> i'm sorry, vice chair, hang on one second. guys, please put your comments through me. i don't want everybody just jumping in. vice chair, please go ahead. >> my apologies. thank you. just what -- i guess, chief inspector duffy, what are the fees currently that are imposed, and penalties? what is the total? >> there is a penalty of $5,000 currently, commissioner tam, that is imposed on an unlawful demolition. and there might be some penalties on the notice of violation. i can look that up and get back to you on that one. one other thing -- sorry, i know i'm sort of
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answering that question, but i did want to add on the square footage comment, that if they believe that the assessor's records are wrong, and sometimes on these homes with rooms added at the rear, that would have increased the scare footage illegally, they should probably go go tothe records and get the records. people do the two-story home with the full basement, and they will add some rooms to the back of that area. if you did that with the permit, it should have been added to the assessor's records. if you did it without a permit, it wouldn't get added. it appears it hasn't been updated in the assessor's records, so maybe they could pursue that, which would allow them to amend the order, which might
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help them getting out of this within the five years on the single-family home. i just thought i would add that as well. thank you. >> so your records show you have confirmation that that is warranted space behind the garage? >> i don't have the records for that. commissioner tam, whenever -- ds uses whatever is in the assessor's records. the assessor's records show it was built in 1986, and it is (indiscernable) if there was an additional permit for that square footage, they would have to contact the assessor's records to get that record. because we did include the assessor's records. >> thank you so much. thank you, president mccarthy, for the time. >> commissioner jacobi,
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please? >> if we can come back to me, i'm still torn between two ways of moving forward. i would like to hear from either commissioners, if that's okay. >> commissioner? >> i don't have any questions at this time. >> commissioner sumner, please? >> i think i was hoping to clarify what the appellate is -- maybe this will come back around when we get back to you, president mccarthy, regarding the path forward. there is obviously a lot of things that have gone into this and occurred over this period of time. you know, i agree with commissioner -- or vice president tam and commissioner beto's items that they raised, especially regarding the ongoing discussion with planning. i'm uncertain how our discussion relates to that discussion with planning.
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i thought that the code indicated that -- and it seems like there is no discrepancy over there was unlawful demolition. everybody seems to agree on that pointed, and it is just how to proceed forward after that. it sounds like you can gain the permit to rebuild the same square footage, or same property, basically, that was there before during the five years following that notice, but the contested item is the size of the house, i suppose? it sounds like that is one item that the appellate is say. and the building department is saying it is only 1300 square feet you can build back, and the appellate is saying it should be 2700, and there is some discrepancy over that? i guess i'm seeking clarification. maybe this is just a discussion with you, president mccarthy, or the rest of this group, regarding sort of what information we are weighing against what to go where?
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>> president: hang on. hang on, mr. duffy, one second, please. [inaudible] >> here on the commission. this 103a 3.1 code has been a point of contention for many years, particularly with the planning department and d.b.i., because they're at odds, and it has caused a lot of problems. we came close to the planning commission a few times to rewrite these demolition requirements, and that's what one of the comments came there from public comment there with regard to the demolition calculations manual that was put together. we came very close. it did address a lot of issues that we're dealing
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with here right now. this five-year ban, it would affect the people who want it the most, with the most severest penalties, and agreed it was too much and really served nobody. what's the point to having a blight of a sight on your community. that has always been a contentious point here. i think as a commission, i can hear them saying that's not what we want, either. so i think mr. duffy did a good job explaining everything about the site. [audio breaking up] >> and i would like mr. zucker then to help me walk through a few things, and i'll circle back to you, commissioners, and see if you have any more questions. joe, are you on there? >> oh, yes, president mccarthy.
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>> i just wanted to add we only got word of the square footage discrepancy yesterday by mr. zucker. having known this a few months ago before the hearings, we may have been able to amend the order. this just came up in an e-mail yesterday. i appreciate the e-mail. i'm sure we can work through the legal square footage issue. >> thank you. >> president: so there is, to your knowledge, no previous plans that show the old square footage, correct? mr. duffy? >> apparently, the plans have shown me the grand floor rooms. whenever we're writing up our documents, we have to go off the assessor's records. we used the property profile from the records when we're documenting any building.
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that's, as far as we're concerned, the legal record. whether you've got something shown on the plans, that may not have mattered based on when we're writing up our documents. >> president: okay. mr. zucker, please, if you're available. >> yes. thank you for putting together your presentation today on this. >> neighborhood groups, have you had a lot of people opposing the home, other than the one that was sent in? because that usually determines a lot of what people want to see out there. have you had a lot of opposition to the house being built there? >> good question. you were cutting in and out a little bit, but i
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think the crux of the question was whether there has been any neighborhood opposition from others. there really has not been any neighborhood opposition in terms of the project. the project, with it having a vertical and horizontal explanation, it went through a 311 notice. no review was requested. we had a pre-application meeting and gave the neighbors an opportunity to understand it, and everyone was generally okay with it at the time. we do understand, especially ms. brown, who has the property next door. her building -- there was a little bit of impact to her building due to blind walls that were affected, and ours being taken down. since that, we've had -- we've done some repairs to her property to help put it in a condition so that there isn't going to be a -- it isn't going to result in any further damage or damage, and so we've made her whole.
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since then, we've not received any opposition, other than the -- what i'll call the sour case that folks in the neighborhood are having from the illegal -- what is being -- from the illegal demo resulting in the vacant lot right now. >> president: so -- you never know for sure, but this century world you live in, but on your new applications from planning, you don't necessarily see it as a very contentious application? maybe that is an unfair question to ask of you -- >> no. i think you've hit the nail right on the head. no, we aren't anticipating any much contention, and the reason why is because we've strived to keep the -- well, let me frame it this way: there have been two projects that have been presented to the planning department. one was the single family,
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and one was the two-unit. both of those units were kept as close as possible to the existing -- to the proposed project that the site permit had been approved. that project -- the site permit that was approved, it went through the r.d.t. process, and there were some recommendations made during the site permit review. and those recommendations were incorporated into the final approved plans. and given that we are basing the new project, or what will either be the new project, single-family or two-unit home on what was previously approved, vetted, went through 311 notice and there was no d.r., i guess the phrase is we are cautiously optimistic that there won't be any contentions. >> president: so basically the map of this building has been kind of -- everybody has kind of pretty much knowing
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what is going there. and you're not going to be straining and trying to create a different event. you're going to stay within the spirit of the previous approval to make this process as kind of transparent and as fast as possible, i guess, really. >> correct. and that's absolutely correct. i just wanted to respond to joe's comment about the square footage. he is right, we did provide the information yesterday. and we apologize for it being relatively late. it was -- when going through things, we realized that we wanted to just bring that up ahead of the hearing and didn't want anybody to be surprised at the hearing. >> president: okay. thank you, mr. zucker. >> excuse me, i'm sorry for interrupting, president mccarthy. our deputy city attorney had a question or clarification. the city attorney would
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like to comment. >> thank you. this goes to the point that mr. duffy raised earlier. i just wanted to point out that under the administrative code, section 77.5 asks -- it limits the commission's powers, and it provides that the commission is authorized to waive provisions of the building code. but it requires a special finding that circumstances may comply with the strict letter of the code in practical. so in this case, with respect to the -- and this, again, goes back to a point mr. duffy made earlier -- with respect to the penalty, if there is a finding of unlawful demolition, the building code inspection imposes that five-year moratorium. given the restriction in the adman's code about the limitation not to waive provisions of the building code, i think
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jurisdictionally, the commission would have to basically overturn the director's decision in order to get around that five-year moratorium. and, again, i think mr. duffy alluded to this earlier about you have some concerns about that as well. so i just wanted to point that out, that there may be a jurisdictional issue here. >> yeah. >> president: the problem is we can't re-write anything there. commissioner jacobi, please? >> i feel like i'm between two places on this in two ways, and part of it is the moratorium in one -- on one kind of glance at it is not the best solution because it does, obviously, create blight in the neighborhood and doesn't create the best atmosphere for five years for the neighbors and the
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people around it. so that is kind of one component. but the second, and i think the reason why it was probably put in place, this was an illegal demolition. and we do know that there are properties across the city that could become subject to the exact same thing. and, of course, right now it is just one. but if it becomes convenient to be able to kind of destroy and rebuild and pay a couple of fines and not really have anything that is too severe as a penalty, it could go in a direction that i think would not be beneficial for us as a city. and so i'm between two places. but i think what the city attorney just kind of clarified in with respect to 77.5 of the code that you kind of described, what we would have to do is overturn the director's decision. and i just don't know that i personally am prepared to kind of do that, given what has happened, from my vantage point, and what
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the code lays out for us to kind of do when these things do happen. >> the code lays out -- >> so, again, kind of -- [simultaneous talking] >> there is a little bit of an echo there. i don't know who that is. >> there is a little bit of an echo there. i don't know who that is. >> i think i cut off the other microphone now. so you can try to talk. >> thank you, sonya. so i think for me, that's kind of the position i'm landing at. i completely understand the complications and all of what comes with this. but at the end of the day, at the beginning of this, it was an illegal demolition. we did take away units. we did take away a residential house, and now we're looking to do something new, and i commend that. but i wouldn't want to encourage others throughout the city to take something down and it
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will be okay. and it sounds like the process it went through d.b.i. and the director's ultimate decision was adequate and to code. so those are my comments. >> thank you, commissioner jacobi. i was informed that there was -- >> president: did you want to weigh back in again? >> thank you, commissioner and president mccarthy. >> go ahead. >> i don't know what is happening to our audio today. however, president, mccarthy -- [simultaneous talking] >> i think there is a caller for public comment. there is a caller in the queue for public comment. >> president: i just want to circle back, commissioner, and madam
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secretary -- commissioner sumner, i wanted to see if you had any more questions before we go to public comment. >> thank you. no. this has been really helpful. [audio is echoing] >> that's what i sound like? >> sorry, everybody, i have no idea why it is echoing. i have no idea. >> this has been helpful to hear these different pieces of the puzzle here. in the end, i think commissioner jacobi summarized it well. it is an unfortunate circumstance for certain people, but it does appear that the procedure was followed as written, the purpose of which i assume is to make it so that it is not easy to circumvent that provision in the
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code. thank you. this has been helpful. >> president: thank you, commissioner sumner. should we go to public comment then? >> clerk: okay. john, if you could please check with the public comment. john, are you checking with the callers? >> caller: yeah. hi. this is the owner, misung kim. can you hear me? >> yes, ms. kim, but hold on one moment. i believe there is another public commenter. derek mendez. you are unmuted. >> president: as a point of clarification, can
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ms. kim make public comment? >> clerk: she can't make public comment. she can speak as part of the seven minutes and the three minutes, but not as a public commenter. >> mr. mendez appears to be away -- >> caller: i'm here. >> okay. >> caller: yes. i wanted to speak on the topic of neighborhood op opposition. i feel that from jeannie brown's e-mail that was read, you're overlooking an important fact that she felt that the plans that she saw that the contractor had were not representative of what was submitted for public comment. i feel that we can't rely on what was put out to the neighborhood as far as original presence. plans. also, as a member of the neighborhood, i do not feel that the existing vacant lot is a significant blight. thank you.
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>> clerk: john, is that the only caller? >> operator: yes. yes. >> clerk: thank you. back to you, president mccarthy. >> president: thank you, madam secretary. mr. duffy, if i may, please. >> yes, president mccarthy, please go ahead. >> president: i want to follow back on your talks in regards to the square footage. if you could walk us through a little more. i believe i do have an understanding of it, but maybe you can finish your thought on how this would benefit our decision, or maybe change what we have here in front of us in any way with regard to the square footage. >> yeah. i think i'm getting it. [audio is echoing]
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>> the square footage on the accessor's records is 1340 square feet, which based on our documentation for the hearing on that, and mr. zucker has mentioned he thinks is 2701 square feet. that's because there was this area on the ground floor, behind the garage, that may have been done with a permit but never got added to the accessor's records. the only thing i think would do it is uphold the order. the city attorney could weigh in on this, it could be amended to say that the square footage is 2701 square feet. i don't know how to amend orders. i think that is more of a legal question. if the square footage on our documentation -- if they come back with an updated square footage from the accessor's
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office, then we could probably change the documentation on the order to reflect that. i'm not sure how that would work. but that, i think, is the issue. i think if they get the 2701, they could then commend with the project with the planning department, that would allow the square footage that was legally there to go back in again. and that's an important point for them because they want to get, obviously, 2701 square feet, and not 1340, which is what the record shows at the minute. it maybe would have been better to have all of that done before the hearing, but we only found out about this yesterday. but i think it is something that, you know, there would need to be an amended order, but i don't think it would null the order or void it, the order that we have. i would hope we can do that, anyway. >> president: thank you, mr. duffy.
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to the city attorney, would you -- could you answer to mr. duffy's proposal here, or possible proposal? >> so (indiscernable) i think mr. duffy raises a good point. again, just jurisdictionally, the commission would not -- if it was a decision before the commission whether or not to uphold the record decision -- you would, under the scenario mr. duffy presented, you could affirm the decision with the understanding that the record would be issuing a modified decision with the corrected square footage. so the finding there was an illegal demolition would stand under that scenario. so -- but the commission would not modify the
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director's decision, again, because the decision -- the findings was that there was an illegal demolition. does that make sense? >> president: my fellow commissioners, i'm just going to open this up. obviously it is frustrating to follow every detail because there is such a bad internet connection, where everybody seems to be echoing and such. i would wonder if we could entertain the idea of continuing this, and give the appellate the opportunity to at least work on the square footage and see where that takes them, and then bring it back. i just want to see if there is a will there amongst the other commissioners to see if they would entertain a motion like that. >> president, a question:
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the square footage doesn't impact the five-year moratorium; is that right? >> president: the city attorney says it does not affect the five-year moratorium, no. but i do believe the square footage -- mr. duffy, you do believe that if the square footage is the same size of the house that was originally there, it kind of changes things and how you look at this as an illegal demolition; is that correct? >> we would have to amend our documentation to reflect that. i think your suggestion of a continuance is a good one so we can try to work this out with them. that probably is a good approach. but i think it would probably amend our presentation that we did in regards to the documents that we prepared for the hearing.
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the square footage is not mentioned in the notice of decision, just so you know. the notice of decision, in my opinion, still stands. there is nothing in that decision that says it is 1340 square feet. it is in our prep notes and our summary, i believe, which is the only times i saw it, when i read the notice. we didn't have it in the notice. okay. >> president: the other part of this equation to me is the single-family house versus two units and so on. you know, this as well. these are all just moving parts here, fellow commissioners. the five years is, you know -- everybody that has been involved in this whole demolition debate have all agreed that this five years is really -- i don't know what is achieved. it is what the law is, and that is why it never achieved.
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but there was such a major movement to relook at the consequences of doing an illegal demolition, you know? and to commissioner beto's point, more money and kind of a bigger version of penalties were discussed and so on, even it could get you into a criminal situation. so there was a lot of conversation going on. but one thing i do remember was this five years. i don't know where we benefit from that. it seems like the planning department is anxious to approve a project on there. that is my recommendation. i'm opening it up. i can make a motion, if so. if not, please let me know. thank you. any commissioners that would like to weigh in? >> president mccarthy?
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>> president: go ahead, commissioner tam. >> back to the appellate, in your conversation with the planning department, you suggested that the two projects presented two drawings -- have both these drawings -- have you gone as far as doing the mailers and getting community involved into what their take is on either a two-unit building or a single-family home? >> no, we have not done any pre-obligation meetings with regards to the neighborhood on a two-unit or a single-family. we've been dialogueing dialogueg with planning. >> right. okay. >> that's it for me, thank you. >> president: are there any other commissioners? >> president mccarthy -- >> president: commissioner beto, please.
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>> i think we're all grappling -- what i'm hearing from my fellow commissioners, we don't want to create a precedent that makes it easy for people to demolish. and i hear that from other commissioners. but the difference between this and perhaps another project that was similarly demolished in a same fashion, is that this is a residential or family, not a business or warehouse. and overturning d.b.i.'s decision seems also a difficult decision. the 2700 square feet seems like a technicality they just have to file that with the accessor's office. it is really up to the owner to make sure that is recorded as part of their property. it is allowable for them to build what was there in that five-year moratorium, as i understand it. so they could build the
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2700 square feet, you know, within that timeframe; is that correct? so the only other -- >> president: sorry. commissioner beto, so that we're clear, there is no building going to happen on that site unless they replace the exact same square footage of the house for the next five years. >> so you're not allowed to even build what was there in the next five years? >> president: you are, unless you build exactly the same house, which is 1340 square feet. >> i think what we've been talking about is amending it to 2700 square feet, because that is just a technicality that that wasn't recorded. so if they record that, and the deputy inspector is able to amend this order, that seems like a technicality. i think the most difficult thing i'm grappling with is what we heard during the pandemic is
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families -- are families leaving the city because there is not enough space or it is too expensive, there is not enough outdoor space. i also think about we don't want to make it difficult for families to also build here in san francisco and to have additions or to add units, and we all understand the housing crisis. so i think, you know, i have different -- i'm caught also in a similar fashion, but perhaps different reasons, or make similar to commissioner jacobi's. one compromise is we allow them to build the 2700 square feet conditioned upon the appellate getting their property reassessed at that square footage. it is really up to them. so those are just my thoughts. and i think that is -- i'm sort of hearing and feeling the same conflict that my fellow commissioners are having
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on this as well. i just wanted to share my further thoughts on that. >> president: i concur with everything you say. obviously, the law is the law. and i'm not trying to push -- is to find out if that can be delivered, the square footage, before we make a decision on this, and that's why i'm asking for the continuance, to see if that could be put in place. >> right. >> president: that's all i'm saying. i believe other commissioners are saying something? >> yeah. thank you, president mccarthy, for putting that forward. i think that would be a potential solution here. i think if it is continued, it allows us to get more dialogue and trying to figure out the square footage issue. it sounds like there could be a potential path there where all parties get at least some of what they want, to some degree. for me, i don't think i
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would be prepared to -- i think the continuance path would be the only one, myself, would be willing to go forward with just because i do -- i understand the debate that has gone back and forth between the five-year moratorium. i don't know how i feel about that truly, at its core, but i want to make sure we don't set precedent that others feel they can do the same thing for different reasons. so that's kind of where i'm at. >> president: i concur as well. and, also, the other part of this, i kind of would like to hear a little more from the community. and if that could be done through the staff -- because community are the big -- these are the once i worry about. we only have heard from two people. and usually a lot more people weigh in on how they feel about it. so that will help, too. so, anyhow, i'm just trying to exercise as
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much, as you said, commissioner jacobi, to make sure all of our bases are covered here before we make a decision. i would like to make a motion to continue this. is there a timeframe, or maybe staff, when they're ready to get back to us on this? mr. duffy? >> mr. president mccarthy, yes, i can contact mr. zucker, and we can work to whenever it is appropriate to come back. and that would be fine. >> president: so if there is no further comment, i'd like to continue this and have staff return with more updated information regarding to the permit. and if the city attorney could weigh in if that is okay to do that? >> that's fine, president mccarthy.
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[simultaneous talking] >> president: yes, please. >> clerk: okay. so there is a motion and a second to continue this item. does it have to be a certain amount of time? or just say to continue it? >> president: well, obviously, it needs to come back to us. i'm leaving that in mr. duffy's hands and mr. zucker's hands to come back in a reasonable timeframe on the square footage, as soon as they know for sure what they have. >> clerk: all right. there is a motion and a second to continue this item. and i'll do a roll call vote on the motion. [roll call taken]
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>> clerk: the motion carries unanimously. thank you. we will go on to -- >> president: thank you, fellow commissioners. >> clerk: thank you. we'll go on to item 6. commissioners questions at matter. 6a, increase the staff at this time. the commissioners may make inquiries to staff with regarding various policies, practices, and procedures for the commission. >> president: vice president tam, please. >> thank you, president mccarthy. i have two questions. one -- i don't know if this is the line item to present this on, i'm curious where the a.d.e. program is at? would that be to the
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interim director? >> thank you, commissioner tam. we have our cast inspector, or accessibility inspector, tom hesler, here to speak to that. tom, if you wouldn't mind weighing in. >> thank you. >> clerk: tom, can you hear us? something may be going on with this line right now. i'm not sure. tom, can you hear us? i'm not sure if he is
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available. >> i'm here. i'm sorry. i was on another phone call. i didn't know it was going to come at this point. so what was your question, now? >> just curious on an update on where the a.d.e. program is at? >> okay. we're at the last end of the -- i am unmuted. >> yes. we hear you, tom. >> okay. anyways, so we're in the last stages of the compliance with the a.d.e.. we extended it out a couple of times. [inaudible] >> what is that? i think they can hear me. you can hear me, right? >> clerk: yes.
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>> somebody keeps saying that you can't. anyway, so we're in the last stage of it, september 1stof year is the final deadline for all of the categories submit a building permit, if required, to meet the accessible business entrance program. so that's where where where we't now. it kind of slowed down a lot during the pandemic because a lot of places -- or a lot of tenant spaces are vacant now. so we've gotten a response from approximately half of the estimated entrances that need to comply with the accessible business entrance program in some sort. >> and with regards to
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some of that -- and it has been brought to my attention there might be some hardship with certain entrances -- what are we doing to try to work with these hardships, the entrances that have the hardships, these businesses? is there anything in place to kind of help work that out? >> well, yes. i mean, if you go through the a.d.e. program, okay, the first step is to define what type of entrance you have. and it is usually the hardships usually come around entrances with steps, either one step or multiple steps. at that point, the person can apply for a building permit and request a small hartship or technical
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infeasibility. the technical infeasibility would be more structural in nature, and the reasonable hardship would be more oriented towards financial hardship. that would be a determination that the building department would make. and if we agree with it, then we'll issue a permit and the tenant space would try to -- whatever is real relatively achievable, they'll do. but removing a ramp in a really small tenant space, that's just not -- it definitely doesn't work. a ramp going to -- it's kind of like a ramp to nowhere if it is such a small space, okay? so the program does allow
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for us to grant that you either provide a fully accessible entrance, or you get a determination that you can't meet it. and you get the through a building permit. >> great. thank you so much for that, tom. >> my second inquiry is that i'm not sure if d.b.i. has it, and i think the interim director may have some insight, but various chinese have communities haveprograms where e internships with city and county departments. does d.b.i. have something for potential graduating students or community members to seek these programs out and maybe have an in to kind of learn about the department and see if this is a path they want to take, something with d.b.i., or various departments? >> yes, commissioner tam.
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we do have that program. however, you know, during the pandemic it was suspended for obvious reasons. and we'll be looking at bringing it back again, probably not this year, but i think next year we'll be going back to where we can put out announcements for summer interns to work within the department during their out of school time in the summer. >> wonderful. we could probably talk more about this another time. we don't need to get into detail, but who would, i guess, lead this department or take charge on this? >> typically our h.r. folks would be working on this with deputy directors in assessing what it is we could accommodate in regards to students or younger folks who we could bring in to work here. i think it is a great
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program, honestly, because it gives them an insight into what it is that we do. you know, when we were all kids, we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do in life. if they got a shot at coming into place like this, and they were able to understand that this is what i want to do, then that's a good thing. otherwise, if they wanted to say, well, this is probably not for me, at least they will have checked or unchecked the box, as it were. >> great. i agree. thank you so much. that's it for me. >> president: commissioner beto, please? sorry. we're in the middle of -- are there any other questions from commissioners? commissioner beto? >> we're on 6a still?
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>> president: yep. do you have any questions? >> no, i don't have any comments or questio for 6a. >> president: commissioner jacobo? >> yes, president mccarthy, my echo is back. now it is gone, amazing. i'm having a lot of technical difficulties, i think we all are today, but my program just shut down. so i don't know if that is my video or what that is about. so i'm off-camera for now. is this the second where i would put forth questions -- i'm sorry, i was logged off, so i missed where we are at. >> clerk: we're on item
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6a, the inquiries to staff. >> okay. if so, i think this is where i can address some questions maybe to either director -- the deputy director, just to confirm before i go into my long-winded questions here. >> clerk: okay. i think this is the section, but let me ask -- president mccarthy, it is a little out of order, but it is a request for -- we're on agenda item 6, but the presenter for agenda item 7 has to leave at a certain time, so we're trying to see if we can take that item first. it's someone from the board of supervisors' office. >> president: yes.
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commissioners...can we move to item 7? and we'll come back to you. [audio breaking up] >> clerk: okay. sorry for that interruption, commissioner jacobo and other commissioners. though a little unusual -- are the commissioners okay with that? >> it works for me. >> clerk: okay. thank you. so we are going to pause on item 6. we're now on agenda item 7, presentation regarding an ordinance amending the planning code to clarify the requirements for applications to construct accessory dwelling units under the city's local accessory dwelling unit process, amending the administrative code to clarify that landlords may not remove tenant housing services without just cause, and issuance of a
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building permit does not cont tute just cause, making findings by the protection act of 19. and this is for mr. bentlive. >> good morning -- almost afternoon. thank you for scheduling this item and giving us an opportunity to speak about this ordinance. i'm jacob bentlive. i hope you are only hearing me once, rather than echoing. i'll keep this pretty brief, and i look forward to discussing with you all and answering any questions. the ordinance that we introduced back in june is responding to an issue that has, at least an neck anecdotally has been growing in frequency recently. we heard during the first part of this year from
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four different residential buildings in district 8. they were all have the same issues. all large multi-family units, been there since the 1920s, and they were all having the same issue of the owner of the building coming in proposing some accessory dwelling units to be put in the garage and other union areas. the issue we were being contacted about by the tenants is the loss of parking spaces, the loss of bike rooms, the loss of reducing the size of laundry rooms, the loss of storage lockers, those types of things. this was an issue that was of concern to the supervisor, and it seemed like it was growing in frequency. we reached out to folks in the tenant community and learned from the housing
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rights committee that they were aware of about 10 other projects of a similar nature, all under way right now throughout san francisco as well. again, all 20 to 40 units, older building, rent-controlled apartment building, where some common space or tenant am amenities were being removed. the supervisor has been a proponent of the a.d.u. program, and as many of you know, we have also introduced legislation that would allow for fourplexes to be built in our r.h. zoning districts, and we're looking forward to introducing another ordinance soon to make it applicable on all r.h. lots as well. so we certainly see the value of this program allowing for a modest increase in density, especially in our areas of the city that are zoned for low density. and that was really the
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purpose of the a.d.e. program, originally was a way to put in new living space to existing buildings, especially in areas that were zoned for single family or not for very much density. so that was the purpose. the concern that we have is that it is great to add more housing and we support that, but perhaps not when it is at the expense of an existing legal right that the tenant has. we dug into this issue and learned that actually the rent ordinance has since about 2006 or 2007, actually prohibited the severance, reduction, or removal of an existing housing service without a just cause. and the just causes are the same ones that are listed for evictions. now, this -- so in spite of that, a number of projects have had housing services that have been impacted by a.d.u.s, and all of these roughly dozen or so that i'm aware of that are happening right now, are situations where the tenants are concerned
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that the a.d.u. project would remove or diminish some of the housing services. i want to be very clear that a housing service is not just as simple as does it physically exist? like a parking spot, for example. but has the tenant contracted to use that as part of their original lease or subsequently, and are they paying money thor for that. so it is not just simply a portion of the building. [please stand by]
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>> the second piece in the ordinance would simply be making it explicit in and of itself. we believe that is already the
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case -- this is a planning code amendment. the ordinance would require that before a project submits their application for an a.d.u. in an existing multifamily building, that they would need to file a declaration with the rent board, stating that either no housing service would be impacted, be severed, reduced, or removed, or that it would and there is no just cause or
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that it would not be and there are just cause. there would be some ability to provide information there. for example, yes, we are removing the laundry, but it would be relocated to another area of the building. we won't want to make that a problem for d.b.i. staff or planning staff. it's very complicated. you have to understand the nature of the lease or the tenancy, so a declaration would be required by the property owner prior to filing with planning for their a.d.u., and then, planning needs to be in receipt of that declaration from the rent board before they can move forward with approving the a.d.u. the ordinance directs the rent board to convey that within 30 days of having received it, but even if they are delayed, they would have to wait until they
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get the declaration. the planning department will not be able to approve that a.d.u., and rather, what we would hope is they'd work with the project sponsor as they do in so many cases to find a way to rework that housing service. none of this in san francisco, and i think maybe statewide now, a.d.u.s, they started out in only existing buildings. they're now allowed in new construction. this would have no impact on an a.d.u. in an existing building. that's the overview of the legislation, and thank you again for having us, and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, jacob. if it's okay with my fellow
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commissioners, we will go to public comment and then circle back, if that's okay. can we go to public comment, madam secretary. >> clerk: okay. is there any public comment on this item? >> operator: there is not -- oh, there are now. >> clerk: okay. just a moment. >> operator: one moment, please. you took access from me. call-in user 925-360, you are unmuted. >> thank you very much, and apologies for jumping into the queue late. good afternoon at this point. corey smith on behalf of the housing action coalition. appreciate you all considering the item today, and to jacob and supervisor mandelman for our continued conversation on this topic. you know, it's our interest to make sure that we are providing
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homes for people instead of homes for cars, and i know that the supervisor shared that same interest. in taking with our members, we've heard a couple of things related to this piece of legislation. first, that we are talking about some bad actors and some fringe cases where the significant majority of a.d.u.s that have been permitted or built are not facing the challenges that this piece of legislation is having to solve, and i know that we're legislating for a bit of bad actors, but a lot of projects are on the books today, and enforcing the laws we have could be a very useful way to solve these problems. if we did have to get creative, you know, one of the ideas --
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and this has actually been floated to the supervisor's office -- would be for perhaps a dedicated parking space on the street with a sticker or a metal hang tag if somebody really did need to have their car in order to make sure that they were able to operate with their needs, but prioritizing homes for people is really, really crucial, and if we can figure out a way to solve for these worse actors and get a good piece of policy out while not reacting the creation of any homes, not risking the creation of any a.d.u.s, we think that's the sweet spot. again. -- again, thank you to the commission and to the supervisor's office for the continued conversation. >> thank you for the comment. is there any other public comment? >> operator: yes.
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there are two other callers in the queue. caller 415-255, you're unmuted. >> hello, commissioners. this is charlie goss with the san francisco housing coalition. what we know is that this ordinance will drastically limit the city's capacity to build a.d.u. apartments, and the space we're talking about is under utilized ground view space. a.d.u.s represents one of the easiest ways to build housing in california, and this ordinance mistakenly presents garage space instead of much needed housing space. part of this ordinance, this sort of reiterative, and this may be outside the purview of
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the b.i.c., but the city of los angeles mandates necessary compensation to tenants for the removal of housing services. we ask that the supervisor look to l.a.s ordinance. we think it will allow for the creation of more housing, but we're committed to working with the supervisor to create more housing in this conversation. thank you. >> thank you, caller. is there another caller? >> operator: yes, call 520 -- jaubl. >> hello. my name is robert press man -- >> operator: yes, we can hear you. >> my name is robert pressman, and i live in district 5.
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i heard an echo. i think we should make sure we're using our parking spaces as efficiently as possible before we ask apartments to makeup for parking capacity. in large parts of san francisco, we do not have central parking lots required for most of the richmond for most of the sunset, for even parts of noe valley, there's not even parking permitted. it's incumbent on the city to make sure that we do all that we can to make sure that we are utilizing our off street parking space efficiently [inaudible] and i think that's something worth exploring, like
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how many homes have two or more cars, so i think it's definitely worth taking a look at that. thank you. >> operator: there are no more callers in the queue. >> okay. thank you for that. jacob, i just want to go back to you for a bit. is there any comments that you want to answer for public comment, particularly in the second comment? >> yeah, the first point that i think in all of those comments was that this is not creating a new prohibition. i think everyone who called in
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mentioned existing law. existing law in the rent ordinance since 2007 is you cannot sever or take away a unit without just cause. we know tenants where that has occurred, where housing service has been impacted, and so we're absolutely looking at this ordinance as an attempt to better enforce and apply the existing law through greater transparency through noticing and through process, which is this -- you know, the system of this declaration to the rent board, right? so there's an opportunity for this to be addressed and to create a better linkage between this requirement and the rent ordinance and what the planning department does with these recommendations so the burden is not entirely on a tenant to know all the ins and outs of this framework but rather to know that the law be correctly
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applied. when i opened, our ideal outcome would be a way for an a.d.u. project to move forward just as it has to supply with all other provisions. existing law does protect existing housing services. this law is intended to make that better applied and to have enforcement and transparency and process to make that be better applied. with respect to parking, this is not about housing versus parking, this is about people that have housing where a parking space, to take that one example of a housing service in their contract, that they have the right to continue to use that as part of their housing service if they choose to. for many people, i'm sure a financial compensation in terms of a rental reduction, which you can get for this service
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may be a trade off for them or they don't need that parking. for generally seniors and folks are disabilities, that's not the case, and we're talking not about single-family homes, we're talking about people who are not going to be able to find another home in san francisco that they can afford. for some people, having that parking space is critical to remaining in that unit. that's the concern that we're looking at. if there's an a.d.u. project that wouldn't be able to move forward because it would reduce a parking space, to take that example, it could be relocated, redesigned. and also, nothing in this ordinance requires a property owner to include parking in their tenancies when you have a new tenant in a building or
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when you're building a new building. this is about if you have already provided parking as part of a tenancy to simply double down on the existing requirement, that you don't get to unilaterally remove that from the tenancy because you would like to use some of the building in a different way. i think there are ways to find a.d.u. projects that would not result in the removal of a housing amenity, which could include waiting until parking spaces, to take that example, are available or negotiating with tenants. i mean, a housing service and only a housing service if the tenant and landlord agree to have it be part of the tenancy, if they agree to have it no longer be included in their tenancy, it is no longer a housing service. there are ways to reduce this conflict, and it's a matter of fairness and of folks that are already in the building, generally right hand
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controls -- rent controlled tenants and allowing them to remain in the building, as well. there was a building out in the richmond where i think the bike room was being removed as part of the project, laundry rooms, storage lockers, things that can make it viable for people to remain in a housing unit. so it's not just parking spaces. it's many other issues, as well. so thank you for that opportunity, and i'm happy to answer your questions. >> just one question, the l.a. model, what is that? are you familiar with it? obviously, if you're not, that's fine. >> yeah. i'm not familiar with the particular ordinance, but it sounds very similar to what we do have here in san francisco, which is called -- you can
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get -- the term is called a housing reduction service. so if you have a laundry room on your floor and now there's not, you could go to the rent board and get a reduction. that happens frequently. you go to the rent board, you get a reduction in housing service. i don't know if there's a schedule, like the caller mentioned, of what those rates would be, but the hearing officers and then it's appealed to the rent board, adjudicates and determines what a fair amount is to compensate for the loss of a housing service. >> and vice chair tam, please? >> thank you, jacob. i have no questions. >> commissioner -- i wish -- i'm sorry commissioner tut isn't here for this one today. she would have a lot of input,
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as well. commissioner bito, please. >> i don't have any questions at this moment. >> commissioner jacobo, please. >> yes. thank you, president mccarthy. there goes the echo that follows, but i will try to do my best to channel our commissioner tut here. i know she would have some, but she's out ill and not able to be here. kind of on the forefront, i want to be -- put out that i'm personally in support of this. it is not a secret to any of us that we are facing an affordability crisis in san francisco, and that obviously helping bring on units that could be affordable is vital, and increasing the housing stock to some degree also help
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in that calculus and that balance. but what i would like to remind folks when we think of policy and when we think of development, it always -- and we should be prioritizing both equitable development that encompasses and ensures that a wide variety of san franciscans can live here and thrive here, but more importantly, that we're building out and supporting complete communities. and when we, you know, just think about building, building, building, there's a lot of things that come with that. there should be parts, there should be dry cleaners, there should be restaurants. you know, that's the kind of exterior development that you're doing, but there is also something to be set about the internal. a lot of these buildings that are not rent controlled come with some amazing amenities. when we look at this legislation, although i agree
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with the a.d.u. program and it's a good incentive to develop new units, we have to walk the careful balance to make sure that we're not eroding all of the amenities that exist for san franciscans that cannot afford new market rate buildings in the city of san francisco, so ensuring that they have access to services that they had previously, so a bike room or storage lockers or laundry units. it's not only about parking spaces, it's not housing complete communities, and a part of that is ensuring that amenities are included in that. and so that's kind of where i am on that situation. also, because i'm a renter, i vibe with it very much, and a
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lot of my colleagues do, as well, so i just want to thank supervisor mandelman and jacob, as well, for presenting. >> jacob? >> we, because of a lot of soft storage that we had to do what are essentially just rent controlled small sites, a few of the garage spaces cease to be garages, and because of structural beams and what other things that we had to put in there, we are converting those to a.d.u.s. not -- no one parks in those garage spaces, however, they're -- below, the structural retrofit, and it's my understanding that then supervisor, but i can't
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remember if it was a state senator at the time, scott wiener's bill allows us to do a.d.u.s when we do those programs. even if a tenant doesn't use the parking, if they say i don't want to use that service, and it's not prescriptive -- it seems to me that the supervisor is trying to more prescriptive in how we use these things, so i guess i'd like to hear from jacob about that.
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>> thank you, commissioner. we would like this declaration to go to the rent board because they're the folks who would decide that if there ever was a dispute. they're the folks familiar with piecing together that kind of a record, and then, they'll deliver that information to the planning staff which really will be a burden off of their shoulders and the planning commission, as well. >> so in the event they were using the parking space, but the structural retrofit removed that space from reality, and we turned that remaining space into an a.d.u., would you consider that the same thing? >> i think there may be some. i'd have to go look more at the structural retrofit piece, but
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that does exist locally, and it's how you can make an a.d.u. from a soft story retrofit. let me look and learn more about whether this would impact that. if we're given the ability to do that kind of project in a seismic retrofit, you know, there could be different considerations in that case so let me follow up on that piece. >> great. i would also just like to say in the interest of being prib tiff, i do think it would be helpful, even though it's -- prescriptive, even though it's redundant, if the tenant is okay with getting rid of its washers, this is the way to have the rent reduced by. there's a way to get an equitable dollar for dollar
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[inaudible] if my landlord wanted to turn that into an a.d.u., i think some people could read that legislation to say i don't want to allow that because you're removing a service. and i just feel like the more prescriptive you can be with this, the better because it is admittedly pigging backing on preexisting law, and that's it for me. thank you -- piggybacking on preexisting law, and that's it for me. >> thank you, commissioner moss. commissioner sommer, please? >> i don't have any questions at this time. thank you. >> thank you. i think that leaves with me hear, then, jacob. i have a few questions, and i just want to thank you and supervisor mandelman for bringing this item to us this week because it's so important
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that we get to talk things through. it's in motion right now, and there's more work to be done on it. and always at the contractor's seat, i've always worn the hat as best i can for the tenant over the years or working through different legislations that protected the tenant but also got the end game, which was to create units and so on. so i have a couple of questions that i'd like to read into the record, and if you don't have answers right now, that's fine. it's just something to consider. when you were crafting the legislation, did you ever consider if it did pass as is, what kind of effect it would have on a.d.u. construction? >> yeah.
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because the ordinance does include some planning code changes, it would have to go to the planning commission. that's scheduled for september, i believe the 23, if not the 9. so because of that, planning staff will be conducting an analysis and presenting a report. they are in control of the various programs, and i'm looking forward to getting that kind of information from the staff review. that's not the kind of thing that we're able to pull together for that legislative introduction, but we do have that process, so i'm sure we'll be learning more about the numbers and that. >> okay. that's helpful. thank you. [inaudible] and my item, talking to a lot of the people in the industry has been that the ability of the apartment building owners [inaudible] besides the upgrading of their building. as we know, senator wiener
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[inaudible] that allowed a.d.u.s to be provided when building owners were upgrading their building [inaudible] based on the legislation, and do we know that there is going to have an impact on the legislation, the a.d.u.s on these properties? >> i appreciate you raising that, as well as commissioner moss, but i'm going to have to look more on that issue, on the issue of seismic retrofits. >> and a few other ideas that i've gathered if you would consider that as we're going down the road with your ordinance. adding the type of housing service restrictions for only, let's say, senior housing, disabled parents, with school aged tenants or children who need their cars for school kids or working reasons, treating
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parking or storage differently than laundry service, being more restrictive on a.d.u. creation for certain things like laundry service than working or storage would require financial compensation or money in return. i think commissioner moss would be going in that direction. that's just another consideration that i threw out if you could take a look at, jacob, i'd appreciate it. but appreciate you doing what you do and trying to make everything as fair and even keyed as possible. but i think, you know, the a.d.u. program from where i'm sitting has been successful, so i'm very anxious and very keen wherever this ordinance lands, that we've vetted every possible ordinance here.
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>> all right. thank you all for the opportunity, and september 9 was the planning commission date just so you can all circle your calendars. all right. appreciate it. you all have a good rest of your meeting. >> appreciate it, jacob. thanks. madam secretary, we would now go back to item 5, and if i may, we would go back to item a, and commissioner jacobo, please. >> clerk: okay. >> okay. so this is kind of question
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time, and i think at this point, this is probably a good juncture to bring this up. so can you hear me okay, sonya, is my video and sound okay? >> clerk: yes. >> okay. so as many of you may recall, last month, i went ahead and put forth a request to get more information about the concerning issues that were raised in a mission local article regarding property 2869 san bruno avenue. the article was obviously very concerning in that it indicated that the property was indicated only planned to build about ten units and with the final project having 30, and that there was an emergency exit for the tenant to be able to use that was a semi permanent scaffolding structure, and so obviously, that raises concerns for different reasons. the first was the safety at the
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property, and the safety of the property i think is the first and foremost. i think there was mentions of the scaffolding having open side handles, if you will, where a child, you know, could maybe fall through, etc., so a lot of concerns around that piece that obviously need to be addressed. but the second, and as important in a different way is the ability for this developer to skirt plans and not actually pay into what would be the affordable housing requirements for anything over ten units in this city, and that obviously harms all of san francisco as we were just talking about a.d.u.s being built and not having enough units. the biggest question for all of this would be how this could happen under our department, how this could happen seemingly the way it did.
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for this particular property, as the article stated, one occurred in 2014 for work started and another was for rebar inspection that same year, and then, nothing happened for about 907 days until a final inspection by an inspector who just recently stepped down. so saying all of that, last month, i asked for a closed session or to try to host a hearing on the matter and was informed by the city attorney, and the city attorney can kind of clarify that, is closed session are for particular things, either pending litigation or litigation or staffing issues, so, so be it. this may not fall into that category, and that there's a
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technical distinction for what that should have, so instead, was heard that a presentation could be put together and prepared. obviously, you know, as time moves on and everything, we don't have a presentation prepared, and i'm okay with that, so long as there's one on the horizon here. and i think in talking to the director, it sounds like we'll be able to get some traction on that very soon here. but i do want to ask some questions that i think are important for us to at least begin to either answer directly if we have an answer today or at least put in the hopper to be able to address for when we do have our hearing. it is incredibly important not just for the reasons of this property and the impacts that the construction has had on the tenants and for san francisco, but it is incumbent on us as a department to ensure that we're on top of this kind of behavior
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in being transparent and showing that we are taking steps forward to eradicate that type of behavior going forward. so with that, director or deputy director, i don't know who can jump in here, i'm going to have maybe four or five questions for now, if that's all right, and we can go line by line, president mccarthy, if that seems like it works for this? >> i believe it's totally appropriate. is interim director answering? >> yes, i'm prepared to answer the questions, commissioner jacobo. happy to do so, as a matter of fact. >> great. great. thank you, director, and i really do appreciate it. i want to preface this by saying this isn't a gotcha
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game, and whatever isn't answered here is something we can put into a hearing for next month is what i'd like achieved. the first question is an important one. after all that has been discovered for this project, how or what as a department are we doing to audit all of the projects either touched by this inspector or its insubordinates to ensure or produce that this is an anomaly, so what kind of work are we going to do to audit the work that has been done in the past? >> thank you for that question, commissioner jacobo. to start out, i think it's very important to address some of your questions here because in my mind, this is about public trust and restoring public trust. there's also an element of staff morale here because folks come in here every day and do
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their work and do it well, and they're far removed from the things that we're reading about and hearing about. so i just want to say that i do share your concerns, and in fact, i'm outraged with what happened at this property, and i'm committed to doing what i can to make this right for the tenants and the neighbors. so what are we doing about this was your question. so what we're engaged in right now is we're forming an audit team to review these projects with the individuals that are under investigation to ensure compliance and safety. safety is paramount with -- you know, with these buildings because folks are living in these buildings and we want to obviously be sure that the buildings are safe for occupancy. and i'm cautious about saying too much here with an on going
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and active investigation in regards to some of the other matters. >> thank you, director. and so the audit team -- and, you know, i don't know how much -- and i know there is an active investigation with a couple of different elements, and so we have to, you know, obviously, be cautious and cognizant of that. whatever we can say, obviously, we should, and whatever we cannot, obviously, i've been briefed as to why. but in terms of this audit team, public commenter earlier mentioned something that i think was very pointed and i think makes a lot of sense in terms of auditing, which is, you know, who is on the audit team? is it only internal? if it is, how can we ensure that this audit from a third party or from another -- you know, i don't know what the structure would be, has some kind of transparency to make sure that the audit is above
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board and does actually serve the process and function that we're setting out to do? >> yeah, that's an important question, commissioner. and, you know, we have been talking for the past week about how we can set up a process whereby we have external oversight and potentially oversight within, you know, the city, and maybe not d.b.i. itself. those conversations are on going. we're, you know, having a meeting later this week to talk about what the team might look like and our vetting processes. so i think it's very important to have, from a perspective of accountability and transparency, to have some degree of oversight in regards to what we're actually going to do here. >> okay. obviously, those are things that i look forward to, and i
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hope fellow commissioners do, as well. i think an audit team is a starting point. it's important whoever is on the team, but i think external oversight, however that can be carved out, and it ensures the public that okay, it is being important in -- what measures have we put in place today or
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do we have now to ensure that there's either active auditing of projects from inspectors, whatever that may be, to know that there's none of this happening present day, and how do we put that in place? do we have anything that you can kind of speak to today? >> yes, commissioner. we do have measures in place that make it impossible for this to happen now. so a senior inspector in the past had the authority to sign off after checking the property inspections were completed. in this case, the senior building inspector assigned himself to the project, and there were no safeguards in place at that time to ensure that the inspections were conducted appropriately. in other words, that person went around the chain of
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command. so that is no longer the case. we now have clearer records and accountability for who and where inspectors are assigned. the acting deputy director, who you heard from earlier, joe duffy, has changed the inspection assignment process so that any change in inspections is published on the inspector's daily schedule report, along with the senior building inspector who made that new assignment. joe reviews the schedule and speaks to his senior inspectors who made the change, and if there's any way a different -- he speaks with them in regards to why these inspections were assigned the way they were, and there's on going oversight from him in regards to what the senior inspectors are doing in relation to these assignments. that wasn't there before. we're also implementing a series of reforms to prevent this from happening again, but
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a real goal is to change the culture that has allowed this kind of behavior to happen. that's the message that we're driving every day. changes here, and we're better for it. >> thank you, director. i think all of that is important. obviously, the structure that was in place in 2007, and i'd like to also mention that you were not the director at that time -- in 2017, i'm sorry -- and obviously, there was the ability to do these kinds of things -- you know, if it happened, it happened, and that's what happened in this particular case. i think there's an external audit team that can randomly audit projects and check work, if you will, and i don't know if that exists in a form or not, and not that we don't trust current inspectors or
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this one represents all of the work that everybody else does. i don't want to confuse people and assume that i am alluding to that, but i think in terms of transparency, accountability, and credibility, most importantly, for the general public, a team that can randomly audit projects would be a good idea to discourage bad behavior in the future, so just kind of looking forward. >> yeah. >> so the next -- and this is now -- so we've talked two things, right, kind of the audit team and what will happen, and i think this will be involving discussions that we're really actively working onto produce things in the next few weeks. this is incredibly important because it is a life saving matter for buildings in some cases, and it's also been a way to get around affordable housing, which is important,
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near and dear to what i work on in the city, so the audit piece is incredibly important, and i look forward to hearing more about that. obviously, the audit things are something we can look to to strengthen. and then, the last two questions are really focused on the property in particular, and this is just to understand what happened there. what did we at d.b.i. do to ensure that the property was safe after discovering that these immediate inspections had not occurred, and regarding the emergency exit, is it only this temporary scaffolding, and a, is that even safe to use? >> yeah, thank you, commissioner jacobo. so the data was flagged for d.b.i. a task force inspection that included building inspection,
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plumbing, electrical, code enforcement, fire, planning, and the city attorney's office was organized. that -- we subsequently, and in the following days, we issued 16 notices of violation relating to that -- those properties. so while there were no hazards making the building uninhabitable at that time, there were some conditions that needed to be mitigated. for example, measures like a fire system, and a permit was issued altering rear windows and the temporary second means of exiting the building that you mentioned. the owner has worked with d.b.i. on these issues. the relevant permitting departments have subsequently inspected the mitigations to
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conform with code compliance, and i think you kind of specifically asked in regards to the scaffold system. so the scaffold system, yes, it is temporary. it's there for the purpose of having a second means of exiting from a building that has more units now than it was originally permitted to have. the scaffold system was inspected by the relevant departments, including building inspection. i believe the necessary work is going before the planning commission in september, and with the issuance of that work to be performed, we will have a second means of egress from the building. i know that was a long answer, and i hope it addressed your
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question. >> it did. thank you. well, director, thank you very much. again, i know it wasn't in the presentation format, but i did think it was incredibly important to begin to ask those questions and dialogue and ensure the general public knows that we're working on this or
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at least attempting to get answers to questions or begin trying to problem solve, and i appreciate your willingness to try to answer these questions. >> would you mind if i had a few comments, as well? this is joe here. >> yes. >> in anticipation of that, we are reiterating the call to inspectors at our weekly staff meeting. we are bringing in some other quality control measures that's going to take a few months to get going. that would involve seniors doing additional inspections. in addition to that, our orientation for any of our new building inspectors has
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increased, as well, and we do give them a lot more one-on-one with the senior, making sure that anyone is up to speed before they go into the phase, and any ethical behaviors and statement of compatiblity factors, as well. i'm confident that we're getting to where question need to be. this again was very disappointing, and shopping for other inspectors here who work very hard, as well, so thank you very much for bringing the issue up. >> thank you very much, mr. duffy. that concludes my question to this section. i just had a question for the
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pg&e gas line issue and that. >> is that item 8 there. >> and if i could, i'm coming up next after this item. >> okay. great, mr. buckley. appreciate it. >> okay. and once again, thanks, commissioner jacobo, for your line of questioning. so i need to go to my next commissioner. commissioner bito, please. >> i have questions, but are we
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on 6-a or 6-b because i'd like to propose an agenda item for next month. >> we are still on 6-a, but moving onto 6-b. commissioner sam moss? >> no, i have no comments. >> thank you. and commissioner sommer? >> no questions from me. thank you. >> and madam secretary, could we go onto item b of 6-b, please? thank you. >> clerk: okay. 6-b, future meetings and agendas. at this time, the commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a special meeting in order to take up those issues at the next meeting and future meetings, and the next meeting is august
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18. >> commission vice chair tam? >> nothing at this time. i'll reach out if i could. >> commissioner bito please. >> i have an agenda item that i've spoken to you about, president mccarthy, and it's looking at all of these processing reporting done in 2007 and 2008. there are four or five documents that i've read through, and then based on some of the conversations that i've read through, it touches on building inspection, planning, and automation. and i feel, like, on a monthly basis that we're not able to
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accomplish, like, some of the issues and interests that we're interested in hearing on, particularly parts of the permitting process. and i think all of these issues that we're talking about are sort of tangential on that, because it touches on all of these areas for plan review and inspection. so i'd like to propose, and i think, like, what it needs -- because this report, there's been a lot of resource and a lot of time that's been spent on this report. and after reading it and asking questions, it feels like there's a lot of information is there that is still jermaine today and there's a lot of thing -- germane today and there's a lot of things that have been tackled or accomplished. i'd like to propose, and i don't know how to do this, but to propose a subcommittee or some kind of committee, or i don't know what form that is, but where we could meet or
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possibly talk about this, not proposing something weekly, but to propose thi -- i'm proposing to the commission something that will attract and help a new director coming in that, you know, the issues that d.b.i. are not all being tackled by, you know, by one person that's coming on board, so i wanted to ask you or
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attorney robb kapla how we do that without making it cumbersome? >> deputy city attorney robb kapla. i believe if you're asking for the formation of a subcommittee, we would need to put that on as an item at the next b.i.c. to consider an appointment or formation to a subcommittee. i don't believe we can consider the formation of a subcommittee during the period. >> okay. so if it's something we'd have to agendize, is that what i'm hearing? >> yes, that's correct. >> president mccarthy, i just wanted your feedback on that. >> okay. so usually, how i handle these is you and i will get together before the next meeting and
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talk it through to be clear what we're looking for. we'd probably have to have robb there, as well, just to make sure we do it correct. is that right, robb? >> yes. deputy city attorney robb kapla. yes, that would be [inaudible]. >> we didn't hear you well, attorney kapla. >> sorry. the echo may be back. >> yes, it is. >> we could have a meeting or discussion where we would decide whether to agendize this and whether a subcommittee makes sense. but i think for now, you are proposing a future agenda item which is ripe for 6-b, but we would not be able to decide on a subcommittee and appoint on
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this item right now. it would be something that we would considerate a future date. >> no, i wanted to broach it as a future agenda item, to your point exactly. >> okay. agreed. okay. commissioner bito, do you -- okay. mr. jacobo, we already talked to you on this item -- sorry. commissioner jacobo. >> just want to make sure that the hearing for -- presentations, if there's a presentation that we talked about in a more in-depth sense on what the plan is and present that to the public, if we could get that on for august and into september. thank you.
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>> and commissioner moss, please. >> clerk: commissioner moss? may be unavailable at the moment. >> okay. what did you say? [inaudible]. >> commissioner sommer? >> oh, nothing from me at this time. >> time for commissioner moss. >> sorry about that. nothing. >> okay. madam secretary, do we have to go to public comment? >> clerk: yes. is there any public comment on 6-a and b? >> operator: there does not appear to be any public comment at this time. >> clerk: okay. thank you. >> clerk: okay. also, again, i wanted to say for any members of the public
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listening, call-in number is 415-655-0001. access code is 146-829-7021. also, commissioners, i was informed by two commissioners that one party has to leave at 1:30, another has to leave at 2:00, so i don't know if we'll get through all of our agenda items, but we'll go. >> as i look at our agenda items, we'll look at item 9, and i know that it was an item that commissioner alexander-tut wanted to be involved in [inaudible]. >> i want going to ask if that was something to consider.
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she was asking about that, so i was going to put that to the team here. >> i am open to it, and if there's no other objection to the commissioners, i am just more mindful of the people and staff, if there's someone here who could weigh-in on it. >> clerk: okay. i don't know if christine or anyone would like to answer that. is it okay with the staff to continue this, item 9, to next month? >> i don't see a problem with that, sonya. >> clerk: okay. so all parties are in favor -- >> okay. >> clerk: okay. so we are currently on item 8, update regarding oversight and safety of construction conducted under the mandatory soft story retrofit program.
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>> hi. good afternoon, commissioners. jeff buckley, policy and public affairs director. i'm here to briefly discuss or methodology to ensure -- our methodology to ensure the service of the gas lines in the city's soft story retrofit program. i want you to contemplate what changes we're proposing, and give you a timeline for the work. so sonya, if you could allow me to share my screen. >> clerk: or john, if you could do that. you are the host. >> operator: you should be able to share your screen now.
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>> okay. so our objective is to confirm the safety of our soft story retrofit program in the most transparent way possible so that you, the public, residents, and businesses living and working in these buildings as well as the board of supervisors are satisfied with the work and that it's done safely. we're also working to make changes to the program so that new projects will benefit from this process. so we will be flagging any quality control issues that we open -- observe on our review of the plans, and we plan on doubling back. supervisor melgar's office informed us that we will likely have a rehearing on this in october, so we will likely have presented this to you and
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planning by that time. we have developed a strike team under the leadership of the director's office. we've been meeting every week -- excuse me, every other week, and we are going to be -- begin meeting with [inaudible]. we flagged addresses, which our inspectors noted, had new grade beams installed, so our list contained the widest possible universe we could establish. we'd rather err on the side of caution. so we are in the process of
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cross-referencing these addresses with pg&e to determine if pg&e show these old gas lines were sleeved to better conform with earth movement. we are using the pg&e term of cased. that's essentially what they use. that's their definition of the term. pg&e has agreed to assist us in this effort, and we are actively working with them. because those pipes were updated or pg&e confirmed that it was sleeved, we believe the underlying concern of gas line safety has been adequately addressed. we will focus on the addresses that pg&e records show have not been upgraded and our inspectors indicate have had a great beam or concrete -- gray beam or concrete pour at the
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addresses. we will do a check to see if a new gray beam was added to the front or rear of the property and check to see whether the gray beam or gas line insecretary. if there's a -- intersect. if there is a chance they intersect, we will flag the address for pg&e, as well. we are meeting tomorrow with seaonc not only to get their methodology to date but also to seek their guidance on what to do when we identify locations that weren't in a site visit for further review. we are also going to be asking their input for criteria when it comes to quality control, and we plan on meeting with them regularly prior to publishing the report. we also want their input on
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information sheets. we have held two code advisory committee meetings on this issue and debated it internally and are working to build consensus. we are actively seeking the guidance of our structural engineering community on that particular topic. we are also open to changes in procedure about what we require of contractors or design professionals before authorizing any future concrete pours or new gray beams installed. this work is on going, and again, we will complete our report before the board hearing, which we anticipate to be scheduled in october, and i'm here to answer any questions that you may have on our process.
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>> appreciate the update. if it's okay with my fellow commissioners, i'd like to go to public comment first. >> clerk: okay. is there public comment on this item? >> operator: there does not appear to be any public comment on this item at this time. >> clerk: okay. thank you. >> so commissioner tam, please, do you have any questions for mr. buckley? >> thank you. thank you, jeff, for the presentation. my only question is i know that you guys mentioned, when you mentioned sleeve, is this -- are we talking about to see if a minimum requirement for a wrap might be sufficient for future use for something like this? you know, we talked about the wrap. is a sleeve the same thing that we're referring to, or is this something else? >> so we are currently having that discussion, and that's something that's been happening, also, at the code advisory committee.
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i would describe that as essentially an approvable method that's allowed under the state code, so that's something that we're looking at now and reviewing. >> wonderful. thank you so much. >> commissioner bito, please. >> hi. i just had a couple of questions about the sequence and inspecting. so when -- when -- when the gray beams were poured, whose responsibility is it to make sure those were wrapped? the general contractor's or is it pg&e? >> well, it depends on the location of where the gas line is running. as you recall, so if it's outside, essentially, the meter or from the street to the meter, that's pg&e's responsibility. within the property line, it's
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d.b.i.s responsibility. >> so jeff, if i could weigh-in a little bit, commissioner bito, i think i can handle that question. so essentially when a gas line is identified in the area where the gray beam is going to be poured, the responsibility for making sure that the gas line is sleeved or wrapped appropriately lies with the contractor. and to what jeff said, that gas line might actually be pg&e jurisdiction until such time as it gets to the gas meter. so there are several layers of oversight that go along with, you know, the inspection of what the contractor did, but, you know, to your point, the ultimate responsibility is with the contractor, you know, in my opinion. >> in this particular case, so the -- and i just want to be
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clear about this, so this is for my clarification. the line of demarkation between pg&es line is the gas meter, is that correct? >> yes. everything on the street side of the meter is pg&e, and everything that exits in the house is d.b.i. >> so there are cases where the gas line has to -- has to tie into a meter at the back of the house, we're talking about an existing structure, perhaps an older structure, that's at least the diagram that was shown the last time. the other question that i have, if the meter is the point of demarkation at the back of the house, have we verified that pg&e has an encroachment that runs with the land on private property? because if that gas line is
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there, is that something we're also verifying as part of this process? >> yeah, the answer is we're not because we don't -- that's not in our purview to do that. we -- in most cases when plans are submitted, we don't know where gas lines are, and it's not until the excavation takes place and the gas line is identified. then the contractor bears responsibility to call -- well, they should have called 811 before they started to dig. but if they can see the gas line, and they can see that it's an old gas meter somewhere behind the property, the front wall of the property, you know, they would have to follow the code requirements in regards to sleeving or wrapping, and they
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should, as well. >> the only point i'm making, interim director, is up until the point where that gas line attaches to that meter, it's pg&es responsibility, correct? >> that's correct. >> whether it's on public or private property, the gas meter is the line of demarkation between public and pg&es property. >> yes. for jurisdictional purposes, the meter is demarkation. >> okay. those are all the questions i have. thank you. >> commissioner jacobo, please? >> no, no particular questions. >> thank you. commissioner moss, please. >> sorry. i was waiting for the echo to stop. i'm just happy that we're
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moving this forward. mr. buckley, we appreciate you putting this -- the info forward, and we're going to produce the end of october. incredibly important. thank you. >> and no questions, right? >> no questions. >> clerk: commissioner sommer, did you have any questions? >> oh, i do not at this time. thank you. >> thank you, mr. buckley. i will also keep my [inaudible] dry until october, when everything is in. thank you for the clarification and what you're doing is very important. thank you. >> thank you, commissioners. >> okay. thank you, mr. buckley. so with that, i am -- we are going to go to item 10, madam
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secretary. >> clerk: yes, that's correct. item 9 will be continued to our next meeting, so we are on agenda item 10, update reporting d.b.i.s initiative to accelerate permit processing during the health crisis. >> i'm going to share my screen. >> clerk: just one moment. >> operator: she should have privileges now. >> okay. good afternoon, president mccarthy and commissioners. just over there. i am happy to share some great news. earlier this week, we returned to [inaudible]. this is after a very long year and four months, we're back to
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offering services in the building. we did [inaudible] -- a huge thanks to our staff who persevered during an incredibly difficult time. one [inaudible] paz the appointment system for the curbside system, so i'm happy to announce that we're phasing out the curbside system because we're reinstating over the counter services. you can see our numbers steadily ramping up, especially after we expanded over the counter in-person services, and after a particularly robust march, you can see that those numbers are steadily increasing. and i looked at some of the historical data to see how this measures to the o.t.c., over
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the counter issuances. so i looked at 2018. in that month, we issued 2,016 over the counter permits, so we're on track for what we did before covid. so i want to talk a little bit about our in-house review projects, as well. we're expanding electronic plan review, e.p.r., to all projects. previously, we are offering it to a few select projects, and now, we're expanding it to all of our projects. it can safe applicants -- save applicants time. we revamped or permit intake
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process for our in-house review process, so customers can get the forms on the website and complete them digitally. in the past, customers would come to the building, they would make multiple stops in the building to gather those requirements, and now, the permit technician helps the customer complete those requirements, so it's much more customer service focused. and this is one of the many innovations that our staff has made during the shutdown that have led to lasting improvements, and i'm going to call out a couple of others. one is in the building inspection division, joe duffy's team enhanced our communications with their customers. they now provide a specific time or time window when they're going to come for an inspection. they use tablets to document
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the infractions in real-time and safe trips to d.b.i. by issuing electronic permit violations and renewals. the team redesigned their procedures to move away from paper and fully embrace electronic processes, record production and distribution for everything from building plans to sunshine requests. i would like to thank everyone for their efforts to serving the public, and now i'm going to go back to my presentation. this is a chart of the in-house review permitted we've issued since january 2020. as you can see, other than those three months that were really impacted by the shutdown in march through may 2020, the team recovered in june.
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and while the numbers have been down slightly over the ensuing months, some others have been up and down, they've remained relatively consistent with those few months of january and february. in the next few weeks, we'll have two customer training sessions of electronic plan review to familiarize themselves with it, but they can stay with paper if they prefer it. if they want to use paper plans, we accommodate both options. [inaudible] and we continue to hire on board plan checkers to increase capacity and [inaudible] sector. that concludes my presentation, and i'm available for questions.
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>> thank you very much, christine. if we could, commissioners, we can go to public comment, and then, i will circle back to commissioners. madam secretary? >> clerk: is there any public comment? >> operator: there's one caller in the queue. i need to get my [inaudible] back. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is robert dreckman. i live in district 5. i think it's important that we get to electronic records as soon as possible. one of the ways that walter wong was able to operate his
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corruption racket with impugnity was due to the lack of any electronic records without supervision, so i think this is a great -- i think we desperately need everything to be electronic and visible to the public in some way, transparency as soon as possible. thank you. >> thank you, caller. is there any more commenters? >> operator: there are no more callers in the queue. >> vice chair? >> thank you, president mccarthy. just really wanted to [inaudible] interim director patrick o'riordan, christine, and the entire staff at d.b.i. that was a great presentation,
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positive news. i, too, am glad to see we're moving in the direction of a digital format for clients, and just to entire d.b.i. staff. >> i'd like to say that i think it's positive that you guys are opening up d.b.i., and your numbers are prepandemic, using that as a measuring stick. i have a question about the e.p.r. process. you provide an option for customers to do that review on paper. do you provide that same option
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to the plan checkers. can they say, i want to do plans, but i don't want to do electronic, i want to do paper? >> [inaudible]. >> yes, honorable members of the commission, this is willie gow, acting director of permitting service. at this time, our plan checkers [inaudible] was not electronic or paper. when it's coming in as paper, we check them on paper, and when it's coming in
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electronically, we check it electronically. occasionally, we might request paper from clients just for ease of communication, but that is really up to the plan checkers and the applicants to see which way of communication's going to benefit the review process. so we have cooperative plan checkers as well as the [inaudible] out there, helping the process as everybody has the same goal of getting the permit issued as soon as possible. >> commissioner bito, did that answer your question? >> yeah. i have a couple of -- i have a couple more questions, president mccarthy. are all the staff, the plan check reviewers, are they predominantly all trained now in d.p.r.?
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would you say 100%? 90%? >> yes. i think some of them -- i think that a couple of them has been trained because they stopped the electronic process really early [inaudible] all the pandemics when we are trying to adopt to the [inaudible] they have been trained in and following the process. with the rest of them, i think that we do need some additional trainings for them because they were -- they starts with this. during the starting of the pandemics, we have some kind of on-line training classes, which is [inaudible] and due to the adoptions of electronic plan reveal coming in and out of the system, so that has not been formalized, but most of the plan check stuff, i should say
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all of the plan check stuff are able to do certain levels of the electronic plan review, but as for efficiency, probably additional training is going to be beneficial for them, and in which that -- i believe that is some trainings later on this month or in august that we have planned it for. >> it sounds like [inaudible] but that's what i'm hearing, that's correct. my next question, i think, is to director and deputy director o'riordan and [inaudible]. one of the things that really caught my attention on the business processing report, which i've reviewed, was issued in november 2020, on page 3. this is iterative, because they
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stated in [inaudible] one of the targets that they stated this iteratively, the turnaround time for permit processing. so they identified 20 days for small projects, two to three months for medium projects, and four to six months for large projects. that particular target or goal was very, very -- that was one piece of information in this report that caught my eye, achieving some of those, but given how they identified what small projects are, what medium projects are, and what large projects are, we had an offline e-mail where i meant to send you this, but i think i sent an agenda instead, so i want to highlight these particular bullet items that i'm
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interested in. also goes back to my earlier request for looking at a [inaudible] and looking at some of these goals and projections in the e.p.r. report. i don't know if you had a chance to look at that. >> christine, can i ask you to take that since you were working on that, and i can address it, too, if you wouldn't mind? >> oh, go ahead. >> clerk: sorry to interrupt, commissioner bito, but staff wasn't prepared to address that specific aspect today. i believe that's what deputy director gasparic sent you an e-mail about. >> no. i didn't expect -- i didn't expect -- i didn't expect any information or data about, but that was in particular what i intended to communicate, and i wasn't sure if i did.
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and i got that information that it was forthcoming next month. >> in the business process hearing report, i looked back at that from 2007, and i obviously, i wasn't here then, and most of us weren't here then. i did look at the categories that that report created for the small, medium, and large projects, and at the time, the categories were not permanently delineated in our tracking system, so when you asked about that data, i worked with a data analyst to see if we could recreate that. ba uz it wasn't tracked in the annual report, we can't just pull that data for you, but we are working on creating a
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[inaudible] with the intent of what those categories were and to pull that data, and we have to have that ready for the next meeting. >> all right. thank you very much. >> commissioner jacobo, please. >> no, deputy director, just happy to see that things returning to relatively normal and would love to swing by next week and see things returning to normal, so will try to swing by on tuesday. >> great. >> commissioner moss? >> thank you. no comments at this time. >> commissioner sommer, please. >> no comments from me, either. thank you very much. >> thank you. you guys, it's been a long day, but congratulations. i know what you've had to do to
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get to this point, so congratulations. let's keep it going now, keep the momentum going now. >> clerk: great. thank you. and also, for the record, commissioner moss had to leave the meeting. >> do we still have our meeting? >> clerk: yes, we still have our quorum. item 11, director's report. item a, update on d.b.i.s finances.
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>> i hope to have a year-end report to you not by august, but by september, when we close out the report. >> clerk: our next item is 11-b, update on proposed or recent enacted state or local legislation. >> good afternoon, commissioners. john ray, legislative repairs. you may recall that supervisor ronen called for a hearing on 687 san bruno avenue. supervisor haney's hearing on small businesses in san francisco is scheduled for august 29 at the public safety and neighborhood services committee. supervisor mar's hearing on eliminating natural gas in public buildings has been scheduled for august 26.
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the small business recovery act, which would extend proposition h for commercial storefront businesses to all principally permitted uses citywide passed yesterday. it was amended in committee. some of the planning items were pulled off but the streamlining provisions remain. the ordinance amending the city's climate goals was approved by the board yesterday. as you may recall, one of the goals is eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions by city buildings by 2035. [inaudible] was passed by the board last night on first heading, and then finally, supervisor haney announced his
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intention last night to introduce legislation to combat wage theft in the construction industry. it's not clear if this would involve any amendments to the planning code, but with that, i'm happy to answer any questions. >> next item, please. >> clerk: next item is 11-c, update on major projects. >> good afternoon, commissioners. this is a summary of the major projects in the month of june as compared to may. so there has been a .1% increase or $26 million in construction evaluation in june from may, and there's been a .1% increase in the number of
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units, dwelling units, from june over may, and i'm available for any questions you may have. >> thank you, interim director. >> clerk: okay. our next item is 11-d, update on code enforcement? mr. duffy? >> operator: you may need to unmute him in the attendee list. he's call-in user 23.
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all right. joe, you're unmuted. >> hi, commissioners. just an update on numbers. building inspection, 4,657 month of june, and then interesting inspection division, 2,767. our housing inspection services did a total of 404 inspections. that would be a total of 7,828. i was unable to get our plumbing numbers for you. our code enforcement division numbers, so our -- just give me one second there to locate that one. so the code enforcement inspections performed for june was 256, and our cases for -- sent to director's hearing was
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a total number of 47, so pretty consistent with the month before, and thank you. >> clerk: okay. thank you, joe. is there any public comment on the director's report items, 11-a through d? >> operator: there does not appear to be so. >> clerk: okay. thank you. our next item is item 12, review and approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of march 17, 2021. >> motion to approve the minutes of march 17. >> clerk: is there a second? >> second. >> clerk: okay. are all commissioners in favor? any opposed? okay. thank you. the minutes are approved, and my next item is item 13, adjournment. is there a motion to