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tv   Board of Appeals  SFGTV  November 2, 2021 5:30am-7:31am PDT

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>> vice president rick swig will be presiding officer tonight and joined by commissioner and lazarus, chan and lopez . president honda is absent this meeting. brad will provide the board with any advice. the board's legal assistant alice one way and i am the board's executive director . we will be joined by representatives from the city department presented before the board this evening . the administrator representing the planning department as well as scott sanchez, zoning administrator. we have joe duffy, acting acting deputy director and the
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building inspector both from department of building inspection and acting urban forrester for san francisco public works euro urban forestry. the board request you silence all electronic devices so they will not disturb the proceedings. the board's rules of presentations are as follows . permit holders areeach given seven minutes to present the case and the three minutes for remodel . people affiliated must include their comments within this period members who are not affiliated after three minutes each to address the board and no rebuttals . time may be limited to two minutes if there are a large number of speakers.mister long wayour legal assistant will give you a verbal warning before your time is up . votes are required to grant appeal or modify a permit or to grant a rehearing request. if you have questions about requesting a hearing the board will have a schedule so email board staff .
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public access and participation of paramount importance and every effort has been made to replicate the in-person hearing process. to enable participation sfgovtv is broadcasting this hearing life and you will havethe ability to submit public comments . sfgov tv is providing closed captioning for this hearing . to watch the hearing go to sfgovtv, cable channel 78. it will be rebroadcast on channel 26 . a is on our website at /doa. public comment that can be provided to ways . join the meeting my
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so we would need a motion as well as fill out a comment anyone is here for that >> so moved. >> is there any public comments on commissioner lazarus motion
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to continue this itemto the 15th ? if so please raiseyour hand . anyone for publiccomment . there's no public comment on this motion, commissioner lope . you are on mute.commissioner lopez. >> looks likehe's frozen . >> commissioner lopez, can you hear me? >> i can. sorry, it's a connection issue. >> on that motion to continue the item your voteplease . [roll call vote] >> clerk: that motion carries 420 and those items are continued. we are now moving on to item one is general public comment.
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this is an opportunity for anyone who would like to speak on a matter that is not on tonight'scalendar . any member of the public wishes tospeak on an item that's not on tonight's calendar, if these raise your hand . okay, if i don't see any hands raised we will move on to item number two, commissioner i comments and questions. >> vice president: comments or questions? >> clerk: we will move on to item number three. before you or public adoption of the minutes for the 2021 meeting. >> vice president: motion from anybody. >> moved to adopt the minutes has submitted a. >> clerk: anypublic comment on that motion to adopt the minutes seeing none on that motion commissioner lopez . [roll call vote] that motion
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carries4 to 0 and the minutes are adopted . we are now moving on to item number four which is a rehearing for 21 035 subject property 2722 fulton street. the appellant requesting a rehearing of 21 035 planning department decided july 7, 2021 and at that time upon motion by five vice president swig the board voted 3 to 1. a full request for suspension on the basis of the zoning administrator did not use discretion in thedetermination was properly issued . michael strong is the determination holder and the determination description is the issuance on april 8, 2021 of the century request requesting suspension of two building permits, 20/20 0681 8414 approved the following scope of work.
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is there fire smoke and water damage, no exterior work, and bathroom near the existing bedrooms and access to living and dining study. all work is in unit 2724. plans on file show one extension on the ground floor and 113 room for the front of the ground floor which is in sync inconsistent withprevious plans . therefore it appears the plans on file or 2020 0681 414 misrepresentingliving conditions in the subject property and number two , the 2020 1005 5501 as the following scope ofwork . it's a revision to the previous permit just described and shows inconsistency withrespect to existing commission . the request is to allow the permit holder time to address inconsistencies onthe subject
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permits and on prior permits and correct any misrepresentations . so we will hear first from the appellant. i believe mister patterson will beaddressing the board . you have three minutes, mister patterson. >> evening commissioners, brian patterson for a permit holder michael ulloa street. this regards the suspension after mister turon performed $400 worth of construction. as the overhaul of planning departmentwas to re-create an illegal kitchen is going by fire . but the space was permitted to be alaundry room. we will start with that . >> hello commissioners. my name is matt go and i'm a licensed professionalengineer practicingfor over 10 years . i'm the engineer of record for this project and am familiar with the permitting .
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while there were quite a few permits this isto do michael forthrightly documenting all aspects of the work . this is not a case of serial permitting. i agree with the assessment in his july 17 declaration. to reinstall the illegal kitchen destroyed by the fire would require demolition and reconstruction of several completed doctoral elements including shear walls, concrete grading and the floor/ . the cost of the structural work alone would be into the six figures was the cost of the finished kitchen itself. i've already performed my structural observation and have submitted my reports attesting to the satisfactory completion of the root doctoral work . at this stage of construction addedanother kitchen is not a simple or inexpensive task . thank you. >> the electrical requirements are different or a laundry room versus the bathroom also including under planning code 703.2 and electrical subsection
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210. there has not been a determination of any authorized units . just an assertion by planning. the evidence shows the space in question does not meet requirements for treatment as an unauthorized dwelling unit. the question for you is de novo andyou have the power to make this right . last week you heard it the old life taxi medallion older who relied on the city for incorrect advice you noted the injustice of taking away his medallion because of the city's error . the permit holder relied on permits properly issued and even if there were a flaw the city can't pull the rugout from under him after he relied on the city's authorization . the planning department had numerous opportunities to say no before michael spence's family's retirementsavings on construction when it approved the garage permit , approved the 20/20 prior repair permit and declined toopen an
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assessment in 2019 about the same issues . they waited until the work was almost finished before they suspended thepermits. it's wrong and it's illegal . this ismanifest injustice and we asked that you grant a rehearing request .>> before you ask the question i would like to clarify for the record i need to ask commissioner chang and commissioner lopez if they have the opportunity to watch the video and review the materials for theroom which took place on july 7 . >> i have's thank you. >> i'll confirm i had a chance to read the materials. >> clerk: commissioner lazarus has a question. >> i be interested to know why at the end of october when this was heard in july? >> we've been trying to work withthe city to find a resolution . we are continuing to work with the city but have some outstanding questions are
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trying to resolve with the city attorney's office and don't want to write things out further so the fastest and least expensive and simplest way to resolve it would be to the board of appeals to as i asked make this right. it would avoid a enormous amount of expense going through a long and difficult process with the cityattorney's office .hence coming back to you. >> clerk: we have a question from vicepresident swig . if you could move closer. >> vice president: i'm getting afternoon sun, sorry. i'd like to ask our city attorney something before i asked my question. this is the third or fourth time that we have dealt with this property. and i know ... i guess this is
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de novo. i'd likeclarification on that from the city attorney . i'd like to know how much i should deny the knowledge that i have from our february 1 hearing on this property and the legacy that at least on this board tonight commissioner lazarus and myself have experienced. >> eveningcommissioners, deputy city attorney brad duffy . commissioners on their first question. the underlying decision appeal here with the extension last boards review of that decision wasfor error or use of discretion . now the board found there was an error in use of discretion in its initial decision on the rehearing the request the boar . request is i can read it for
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you but it's basically an extraordinary case and the board may grant a rehearing request upon the submission of new facts or evidence that words it available at the time of this initial hearing. here i believe the requester is serving aboard underlying decision constitutes manifest injustice. in terms of your question concerning the past case that was before the board, the issues were similar and i believe a lot of the same evidence has been submittedhere . i believe in the initialhearing on this matter . i don't think you need toset that aside . you can consider the evidence presented for this proceeding. withthat answer your question ? >> i'm going to ask mister patterson. mister patterson for the benefit of our two commissioners who have not
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experienced this legacy of this property, can you give a truthful answer? about the history of this property and how it first came to us with multiple dwelling units and we reviewed those and trump it to i believe three drawing units and then somehow due to a fire it automatically you're automatically claiming you have the right, your client has the right to bring it to 2 dwelling units in the city that is suffering from a housing crisis . >> certainly. the prior appeal that came to this board was regarding a permit to correct theproperties correct the unit
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counts . there was a previous inaccuracy in permitting history that said there were three units here in this building. the permit holder discovered that that was inaccurate. and followed the city's process laid out for him commensurate to pre-applicationprocess, file a permit to correct from three units to2 . the city denied that permit application . and we appealed. the board denied our appeal and we filed suit to challenge tha . and succeeded working with the city attorney'soffice , corrected the records from 3 to 2 and received a new certificate of final completion. thisdid not result in the displacement of any tenants . this was a paperwork error or the property. the planning department has asserted in this process that they believe therewas an
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unauthorized dwelling unit . but despite that approved the subject permit proved to other permits correctly we believe that resulted in the space that was previously an illegal kitchen and was destroyed by fire, not destroyed by the permit holder . that was redesignated by an earlier permit thatwas not subject to appeal or any other appeal , redesignated so the issue in this appeal was is there an inconsistency between the previous illegal kitchen and the permits now that show that redesignated as a laundry going forward and the answer is no, that was properly redesignated by adifferent permitthat is not suspended . that still remains in force .
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and i know there's a lot of complexity there and i'm happy to get any clarification. >> there seems to be a lot of revisionist history. i have my revision, maybe you have your revision. i look forward to the planning department coming up with their version of revisionist history. and maybe the city attorney can give us his view on the lawsuit and your success. i seem to believe otherwise and i seem to believe that this commission has done what it's done because it believed that the kitchen was illegally replaced by a laundry room due to alcoholic a clerical error. i know mister duffy, i don't know if he's here tonight got
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upset when we were talking about this so i hope he's able to control himself, he's always able to control himself but okay. mister t, when you have your chance if you could please give us your version of the same story. mister patterson. >> i believe scott sanchez wil be presenting to the planning department . should he his participation first ? >> i appreciate he gets his presentation first and then he can answer my questionif it's not covered additional remarks ? >> we will now you from scott sanchez of the planning department. >> scott sanchez, subject property is 2722 alston street located in our zoning district and the matter for you is a rehearing request of an appeal related to a suspension reques . the board first heard this july 7, 2021 and denied the appeal.
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we appreciated that the city attorney was clarifying the standard of review and not de novo and also clarifying what is before you this is a rehearing request. i have not heard any new arguments or new material that wasn't already presented to the board in the previous hearing. we had a pretty thorough discussion about the history of this property as it has developed over the years. the hearing request was filed july 19. originally scheduled for hearing on august 11 but then continued multiple times to allow the city to work with the property owner on a potential resolution. we have been continuing to do so and there's an ongoing discussion and dialogue with the parties. i'm a little bit surprised we're having the hearingtonight but i'm happy to move forward and get this resolved .
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in the meantime also is my understanding that the appellant has filed a lawsuit in federal court regarding this matter is pending which can be resolved through either litigationor the settlement process . many of the arguments raised in their prehearing request brief are really their legal arguments are best addressed through the courts but i would note that to clarify some of the discussion from the previous hearing under section 317 there would actually not b able to remove those units . so given the addiction history on the property. >> third unit, scott. >> that would be the unauthorizeddwelling unit . it's the goal of the appellant to remove the unauthorized dwelling unit which is there's three units in the building, two on the ground floor. one towards the front is the unauthorized dwelling unit and under the code under 317 you wouldn't be able to move back in the history but there is a
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path towards legalization through section 207.3 in terms of what's the fastest most straightforward process to legalize the unit in place. the appellant has different goals and we're happy to work with as part of thesettlement discussion . that can happen after this is finally result . we don't believe it needs a standard to grant the rehearing request and we maintain your decision from the previous decision. i'm happy to go into some more in the history but we had an extensive andexhaustive discussion the last hearing . >> clerk: vice president swig. >> vice president: to questions please. did we not discuss the option of chairing this as you just just discussed? that there is a path and wasn't that fully discussed and fully
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made available to the permit holder? >> yes, that's just the path they want to proceed with. >> did we not i believe that in significantly extensive public comments which i alwaysvalue , i always like to hear the progress of whatever the conversation is. it's always valuable. did we not hear a lot of discussion on the issue of manifest injustice and did we not take into consideration manifest injustice as part of our initiative to deny the appeal? >> i believe that the previous hearing. the board heard testimony from the appellate and the public as well about the impacts on the appellant but i think that the board consideredthat . the code doesn't allow for the flexibility of the appellant. >> the final question is given
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that the council is not presenting any new evidence, given the council is not presenting any new alternative, anything that wasn't previously discovered and manifest injustice which we discussed extensively and took very seriously and very sincerely, what is , where is the new evidence and where is the new example ofmanifest injustice ? >> i haven't seen the standards for the rehearing request have been met. they haven't met the burden fo granting a rehearing . >>thanking . >> the of building inspection with a light away in? i don't see joe duffy. i did see matthew green. okay, i do see. director duffy, welcome.
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>> i don't have anything to add, thank you. >> clerk: thank you. >> quick question mister duffy, can you reap us again on i'm sorry, i don'twant you to get upset again . the whole issue related to the marking down of a kitchen as the bathroom on a piece of paper. i know we've discussed this, it's not new evidence but i wanteverything to come to the surface . can you discuss and remind us how we resolve thatplease ? >> the reason why i say i got upset was mister patterson was relating that by virtue of the fact that i had authorized the use of a building as a laundry area by getting a permit i would say that you can't sell
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out a building permit because you wrote laundry area so how joe duffy presented that to be a laundry area. i was just trying to make that at the last but that's my memory orrecollection. >> in your opinion it wasn't recognized, authorized or otherwise included as part of the permit . >> the last time i think i asked mister toronto at dvi where are you replacing and he said a laundry area and i wrote laundry area on the permit because at that time the permit was on the side of theday i where i had worked . and i've been wanting to ask people if you'redoing work in an area of the building tell us where it is . i don't before for customers but that does not then authorize that area to be used. it wasn't the laundry area, i
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didn't say was that. it's the use of an area is governed by the planning department generally in the building permit process. >> that you very much. >> clerk: we will now move on topublic comment. anyone here to provide public comments, raise your hand . this is your opportunity. okay.tammy pressler. i'm going to move you to the panelist position .tammy, please go ahead welcome. >> thank you, and iable to begin speaking ? >> you have three minutes. >> thank you for allowing me to
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attend. as some of you recall i was part of the july. request as well. i get emotional every time i talk on behalf of turon. i've been a longtime resident of san francisco,19 years in the mission district , 12 years as a homeowner myself and i was part of the board of directors for my own 808. old material for six years now. i've been lucky to be part of their lives and see them as they participate in the community. it's disheartening and i understand as someone who's gone through the fire of my own just the emotional financial spiritual turmoil that takes on someone but on topof that recognizing that rebuilding a home is in the mercy of somebody else . i ask again today similar to the last time i know the emotional appeal means something recognized again this is coming from a good place like i know the turon'sare coming from a place of transparency trying to do right by the city . if anything actually the
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turon's are people asked for input and advice on how to navigate my own issues or my own questions around construction rebuilding, property assessments and so forth. as i was on this call i was looking at my own record and recognized when i changed some things to my title was part of theliving trust . the assessor got it wrong though now my name is wrong on that and i noticed my property has four bedroomsinstead of three. that's never been the case that i don't know what to do next . turon's are the people i go to to navigate but trying to figure out how to do thisis incredibly complicated and disheartening . if i wanted to sell tomorrow i can't my property numbers are wrong and thathas nothing to do with no error on mypart . i ask again today to think about these people. they're wonderful , they are caring. they really are selfless and they have been part of what makes the mission district so beautiful andvibrant .
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my hope is you'll take into account people like myself and people like them in the financial investment that they put into this on top of the personal investment they've made in terms of reading friendships, fostering community and creating a space for people to bepart of their home.i hope again you will think of this as their home, a place they want to reside . and really take into account. thank you. >> we will now hear from the dewey. >> i would the script but i'm going to read up . ultimately my name is bud, and a renter at 2700. nader and michael and lawrence property and i'm here to show my support that they are good and honest people and injured in first to the san francisco community. they engaged in the permitting process with honest intent and
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transparency. they invested their life savings into their home. their permits to the honor and should be allowed to finish the repairs. my askedis to grant the request and subsequently lift this wrongful suspension. >> we will now hear from beth. please go ahead. you havethree minutes . >> my name is beverly and i'm a native san franciscan born and raised here. been here all my life and current homeowner in san francisco and past board of directors for her house in san francisco. i first. [inaudible] i'm getting emotional. i've had just grief on being homeowners, how hard is it for us as law-abiding citizens in san francisco paying our mortgage suffering something
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that the city is helping us when we spent so much money of our time making the city a beautiful place tobe . i wanted to let you know that lauren and michael are really good people . i'm taking my time out so hopefully youguys also believe us . just like the other caller sai , there are real people and genuine people. people that we need in san francisco to stay here and not moveout because of what the city has done to them . their life savings have been part ofthis journey with the city . their hopes and dreams of starting a family .i really hope the city really considers granting their request and remove this wrongful suspension because they are good people of the city of san francisco and
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thank you for your time. >> clerk: wewill now hear from jim, you have three minutes . jim, you had your hands raised before. jim, please go ahead. >> my name is jim moore shall andi also spoke at the last meeting . i appreciate that vice president swig and scott sanchez both spoke to all those positive comments that occurred at that meeting and at the end of it board president honda said i wish i had so many people wholeheartedlyendorsing my character in community engagement and integrity . i think that is something that i don't need to dolater. i think others people were speaking to it .
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>> clerk: we can't hear you jim, we lost you. can you pause? hello, jim. we lost you for a moment. please goahead . >> i was saying that i think other people are going to speak at length about their personal characteristics again but i'd just like to reflect on something. when i served on thebuilding inspection commission , i always did it trying to stay very right with what's rightin terms of the law . i have a very special sensitivity to concerns of the day. pressing issues such as the housing unitsand housing shortage that you're dealing with . and yet there was one time when the entire board felt we had to take a very hard line on an issue which was key to the
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building inspection commission of the time. and we came down very hard. somebody who clearly was not an egregious offender who had made an honest mistake. and it was more of a paperwork mistake . it was really difficult. it was the first decision that i seriously regretted and the person set work for it, the city lost but we quote" sent a message. on reflection i've really come to understand that this was wrong. when good people are trying to do the right thing and trying to follow the law if there are some issues that come up, that really do seem the odd reasonable control, then it
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might overrun manifest injustice and my personal experience was i didn't realize the magnitude of it until later reflection. while i respect vice president swig's comments that that was takeninto consideration at the time , i would ask you to search your souls and think about it because possibly this is an issue similar to what i dealt with. i hope that you could find that these are notserious offenders .these are people that are well-intentioned and you should be helping them thank you. >> clerk: anymorepublic comment on this item? please raise your hand . anyone with public comment on thisitem . i don't see any hands raised so commissioners.
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>> commissioners. conversation? motion? i would move to deny the appeal or sorry, denied the rehearing request and note evidence that have not beenpresented before has been presented today and on the issue of manifest injustice , this issue was clearly and justly addressed in previous hearings and therefore the full board does not create aneed for a rehearing . >> clerk: is there for their commissioner discussion ?
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so we have a motion from vice president swig to deny the request on the basis there is no manifestinjustice or new evidence . on thatmotion , commissioner lopez.[roll call vote] >> i just want to say that again this has nothing to do with the degree of the appellant. it is obvious that you are incredibly welcome and contribute significantly to the community. i'm hopeful that there's something, there's a prospect that can be worked out with the planning department and that you can work to the planning department to figure out. how to clean the record because i think there is a path here especially i think this was said in previous hearings but i think it's sustained about the
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planning commission hearing . i would imagine we would be inclined to work with the appellant so i just want to put that out there and i know that kind of is time is money but i think that there are good staff at the planning department who are really moving to help good people such as yourself so just put that out there. >> thank you commissioner for your comments, i concur. >> we have four votes, 4 to 0 todeny the request . the request is denied. thank you. we're moving outonto item number five, this is appeal 21 087 . versus department of building inspection and approval, subject property is 4241 ulloa street. alteration permit amendment to permit application number 20 161-121-3200 change rear stair
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deck location per client. permit number 2019 1104 6312. we will hear from the appellan first . miss mont-eton. okay, let me just ... welcome. >> high. i don't see my picture. >> we don't seeyour picture. do you want to wait a moment ? >> you don't need it, do you? okay. >> we are fine waiting if you wantyour video shown . >> i've asked to start video. >> i'm old and visually impaired so i'm going to let my
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daughter be my agent. my name is jean mont-eton and my daughter elaine will be reading my statement. thankyou . >> clerk: thank you. >> welcome. >> this is my mom statement because i live at 4333 ulloa street in what was a typical single-familydwelling in the san francisco sunset district . many of these houses now have added units. in august i received a letter from the permit enters of the san francisco department of building inspection informing me of the approval of a permit to relocate a stair deck at the rear of the house next door to my west 4341 ulloa street. i had 15 days to appeal. prior to this i have never received a letter regarding any changes to that address or the
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original address of that house, 4339. now given to the unit built downstairs. both houses were single-family dwellings i brought mine 59 years ago. there is no stair deck at the back of the house and hasn't been one since i moved here the permit was confusing . icalled the number given . for more information and was told i would have to come to 49 s. avenue to see the plans. my daughter drove me. i looked at the plants. the specifics aredetailed in my brief appeal . i saw the stair deck landing would extend three feet 8 and a half inches from the east facing wall of the room that extends from the middle of the back of the house. both houses have been extended room. sometimes called the sunroom. the stair deck would extend to
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within five feet of my bedroom window. i believe this was compromised mysafety and my privacy. i am old , 92 years old and i have many health issues that placed me on the frail elderly of san francisco. i have greatly diminished strength and balance. and move very slowly. i am visually and hearing impaired. i live alone with daughters that visit. i realize the fortunes of the stair deck but believe it could be placed at the back of the extended room without impacting neighbors on either side. another consideration is the children living in the downstairsunit. i like children and raised four dollars. i taught first grade and kindergarten insan francisco public schools for 28 years . i think children like to play upstairs. i did when i was a child . if the stair deck is allowed
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the location requested . i request that some type of opaque shield also bebuilt above the railing on the landing and above the banister of the stairway . something permanent about 3 to 4 feet high to block the view of my bedroom window. thank you for your attention. >> thank you. are you finished? >> thank you. we will now hear from the permitholder . we have an agent here,chris. you have seven minutes . >> can you hear me?>> welcome . >> so after reviewing the briefs, i feel that we can definitely come together and work on building, adding a three foot high wood lattice or similar screen to the landing area. and to a portion of the stair.
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to help with privacy. i think that's okay. >> clerk: mister scott. >> i don't have much more to add to that. i think that would be fine and reasonable. >> we will now hear from the planning department . >> mister sanchez, anything to add austin mark. >> .sanchez, it's great to hear the compromise that is being proposed here as we speak at the hearing. and i think that would be a reasonable condition for the board to adopt as part of this permit . it would need to be something included in the permit . it could be as a condition on this permit or in subsequent permit. the most straightforward should
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be included as a condition of this permit is theboard feels that is necessary and something that should be maintained in perpetuity . i would note that the additionalscreening would be allowed at the landing and the first part of the stairs . closest towards the landing . but that would only be within a portion of in the visible area so the direction to the permit holder would be that they can or must provide the privacy shield of the landing and upstairs within the buildable area that would be a code compliance alternative . as a solution here. and i'm available for any questions. >> vice president. we can't hear you. >> i hope you that downward forward. so we can do that if they choose. and include that in their
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motion. if you need anyfurther plans on this or is that simple step good enough for you ? >> i think we ultimately will need some revised plans that showed that lattice. i defer to the department of building inspection ifthat's something they would require on as a revised plan sheet . i think certainly we would see that element on the plan but perhaps deputy director can that. >> for me it's the difference between getting this done tonight or saving this until later after we see plans it's really your direction and i'm looking forward to it. >> the board to give that direction and it would necessarilyneed to come back in the future to the board because i think the directionis very clear and we wouldn't need revised plans to review . >> that's very much for that
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direction . >> wewill now hear from matthew breen, senior building inspector with dvr.welcome mister green. >> thatevening, this is my first time addressing the board. thank you for the opportunity . this tollingpermit was filed november 3 , november 4, 2019. it is an over-the-counter permit , it was done in the 27th and on the same day and on august 25 or sorry, august 19, 2021 . it's correct as you approve plans to show that there is an 8 and a half inches from the property. i would say that they do want to put the latticework therapy would let them detailed how it's going to get past the stairs for safety. i'm here for any questions. >> same question to you. would you rather have us postpone this decision based on submission of plans or if we get the direction would that be
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satisfactory? without a planthat you would catch up with you later ? >> would it be possible to get details submitted how the lattice would be attached to the stairs ? >> you can make your motion after the case has been concluded and we can have them submit as the requirements revised plans and i could meet with the department of building inspection and approve them . so you can make your decision tonight and then once they submit arevised plan sheet we can get that approved. after i can confirm with dvi. >> that's the direction i'm sure you will provide networks necessary.thank you. >> thank you. isthere any public comment on this item austin mark if so please raise your hand . okay, i don't see any public comment but we are moving on to
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remodel. miss transit mont-eton, i'm sorry. you'll have your turn in a moment sir. going in order. first we're going to hear from miss mont-eton. you have three minutes.>> did you want to use your rebuttal time or did your daughter want to speak for you ? we can't, okay. we can't hear you. one moment. >> you have mute on. >> you can go ahead now. >> you're talking about latticework. that will work for revision because that is not opaque. she won't be able to see. she has to keep her drapes open all the time to be able to see. we're not clear why this can't
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be moved either to the west side were out the back of the sunroom because that won't help her vision at all. it's still a safety concern. >> it's not going to go down to the fence. >> it will go all the way down to the fence, right. >> you have anything further? >> are otherconcerns as it won't go all the way down to the fence, only go partway . it's not okay and it still wouldn't go all the way down to the fence to protect her privacy and her safety. >> thank you. we will now hear from chris for check. permit holder. you have three minutes. >> maybe i wasn't clear. the screening would extend out to the bottom of the railings at the landing and on the stairs. and you know, somebody
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something else that's truly opaque would be a little out of price range . we're talking frosted glass or metal. so i think latticework is pretty dense. and additionally, putting the stairs on the west side of the sunroom would interfere with the atlantic or lower unit to access the downstairs. to access the yard. additionally having the stairs, the center of the sunroom would effectively by for kate the rear yard.and limit it to use. iq. >> kenny paul the time? i believe are you present? your listed as chris but i believe you have some time.>> time is thought at 2:05. >> mister singh, you have about one minute but your own use.
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>> two minutes. >> we still can't hear you. >> the button that says unmute . i think you are on muted. please, go ahead. >> i'm trying to share the screen. there i don't know ifyou can see that. >> we can see it . >> that's the one i wanted to show you.that's all. >> i see. that's your proposed privacy. space. okay.
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>> thank you, anything further? if not, mister sanchez. >> scott sanchez, planning department. sorry, i guess i don't have the design between the parties on potential resolution so i'll back up a little bit. this kind of explaining this permit . there was a 2016 permit to legalize a unit on the ground floor of the subject property because as part of that, that removes the access from the other units to the rear yard those stairs of some type to the rear yard are necessary in order to maintain these access for the upper unit. i believe on the 2016 permit they do show stairs coming from the rear pop out to the yard. that is the current approved condition.and now they are seeking to move that kind of so it doesn't impact the rear yard of the space as much to move it
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into that kind of notch. unfortunately i don't think plans were provided tothe board by the permit holder so the board doesn't actually have the plans before them .but the proposal is code compliant. it does have less of an impact on the midblock and on these open spaces. it would be our residential design guidelines i think that what is being proposed is reasonable and pro-code compliant as well but also meets the existing proposal. i just wanted to give a bit more background on the needs of the stairs to the board so that you have that and also i think this permit solely moves existing approved stairs from the rear to that notch so the board has that information as well. thank you. >> q, vice president . >> given the appellant's discomfort about the material to be used as a screen,
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listening to her testimony, what is your suggestion to satisfy this need? >> i think the permit holder is compromised and it's a reasonable compromise. the existing proposal is code compliant with our existing guidelines . i think the compromise is also reasonable and appropriate but that doesn't say that it's required. under our design guidelines. >> so the permit holder can choose to do whatever they want with regard to the screen and what i'm interpreting that you're saying is there's a benevolent accommodation to his neighbor to try to do his best in an affordable and accessibl fashion to supply her needs . >> that's good to hear a compromise, we don't always hear that at the readings but i
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understand itmay not address everything on the appellant's concerns . >> in fact, what you're saying is the addition of the privacy screen is an accommodation and for the neighbor to be neighborly and i think in fact if he doesn't have to do a privacy screen and he doesn't have to be benevolent. >> that is correct.>> thank you. we will now hear fromthe department of building inspection . senior inspector greene, anything further? >> i want to note it is three feet from the property line so it's three foot eight. a firewall would be required. it's think the price between is a great solution. we're willing to move forward.
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thank you. >> thank you, this matter is submitted. >>comments, thoughts, emotions . >> i'm of two minds. i appreciate the willingness to come up with this new option and clearly there's a way to deal with that tonight if we want. the other thought running through my mind is to continue this for a couple of weeks and have the chance for the appellant and permit holder to discuss what the options are so thatperhaps the appellant has a better understanding of the limitations so that's where i sit , scrambling. >> any other comments? i president honda were your he would have shown some upset with regard to the permit holder not submitting a brief
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period so i want to note that . second of all the option that commissioner lazarus presents provides the opportunity to the permit holder both to work on a solution with his neighbor and also to presenta proper brief . and i would just settle for plans at this point. so that this body is not placed at a disadvantage to have to look at a set of plans as the department holder popped onto the screen for 30 seconds and make a decision on that so i think it's a wise idea even though we could solve this tonight probably. i think it's more responsible to get a proper set of plans to get the opportunity for neighbors to have a discussion and to see if they can come up with a solution. by themselves. if they are, i'm sure that this may not have to come back
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because there's really nothing to discuss . they come up with a solution. so i would suggest that we postpone the decision and we have plans for other advice that is no longer necessary to dothis . >> commissioner, is your idea. would you like to move forward with youridea often mark >> if there are any other comments by fellow commissioners . for executivedirector , how do we look. i think it's two weeks. >> november 10 is our next one and we also have november 17. we can put it on either because i don't think this will take that long. >> so as not tokeep the parties going much longer i would move to continue this item . >> maybe we should make sure their available. >> that's a good point, i was going to suggest november10 so they could let us know if that
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works . >> are you available on november 10 to come back often mark i can't hear you. >> okay. >> yes i am. >> thank you. and miss mont-eton. >> yes. >> yes, wonderful. >> that gives us a good set of plans, please. >> i hadn't finished my motion. continue the item to allow the two parties to discuss options to meet both their needs and if and when a resolution in achieved, that plans be submitted to this board for review.
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>> clerk: thank you. we have a motion from commissioner lazarus to continue this item tonovember 10 so theparties can discuss options and if they resolve it , plans can be submitted for review. on that motion, commissioner lopez . [roll call vote] that motion carries 4 to 0 and to the parties, if we do come up with a set of plans i'd appreciate it if you could submit them to the thursday prior to the hearing and if not i think at the hearing would be okay. just one page. that concludes thisitem. we are now moving on to item number six . this is appeal number 21 050, doctor mahermemarzadeh versus the zoning administrator , subject property cortland street. appealing the issuance on august 26, 2021 of a revised
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hearing decision, denial of application for a rear yard barrier .the project proposes to construct a rear building roof deck and increase the height as measured of both of the basement story from 16.2 inches to 32 feet. the new story is proposed to be used as a neighborhood serving commercial use. the project proposes a stairway and firewall to provide access from the second story of the front building to the new roof on deck on the rear building. planningcode section 134 requires the subject property to maintain a rear yard equal to 25 percent of the lot at the second story . the existing building at the rear lot occupies the entirety of the rear yard and the proposed addition will increase the rear building envelope within therequired rear yard therefore a rearguard variance is needed . the zoning administration denied the rearguard variance on the basis that planning code
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section 305c has not been met. we will hear from the appellate first i believe is representative mister thomas havel is present. welcome, you haveseven minutes to present your case .>> i was going to make a couple of motions first . >>sorry, i do believe we have a point of order . mister havel like to request that the board continue this item for the purposes of business, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> you can have three minutes to address the board on your request. >> as part of our presentation to the zoning administrator we've requested a site visit as well. in light of the numerous documents both visual and written it's difficult to understand the facts of the case, the true facts of the case without being on site. so we feel that a site visit is appropriate and necessary to avoid any abuse of
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discretionary justice as my client is seeking in respectto being able to understand the true facts of the property and something ourexperts are about to present tonight . that's the reason behind our request . >> the planning department will have three minutes to address the board on this request . >> thankyou. good evening vice president swig and commissioners for the planning department . we generally would not order a continuancebut for this purpose , there was a request as part of the variance itself for a site visit at various times and we communicated that we did not feel that was necessary to fully understand the proposal and the lot and we had the same position here. of course this is a decision that's entirely up to the board
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if they felt a continuance was necessary due tothe need for desired conduct site visits . >> thank you. is there any public comment on this request to continue? i see one hand raised. right now we're just discussing therequest to continue, not the substance of the case so we have tocall in user please go ahead . there is no number.someone called in on the phone . please press ... go ahead. >> caller: i work with the site visit posted in advance several days. and the date to be set so the public can look. there have been comments from the joint property owners and people who've been near the project. a right to come to the site visit as well. so please give that notice to
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encourage it, to enable people to come to asite visit . thankyou very much . >> anymore public comment on this request. i see karen, please go ahead. this file. please go ahead. >> can you hear me?>> we can hear you.>> just as a member of the public and a member of the neighborhood i feel like i'm hearing a topic that just delays and delays and wears th people in the neighborhood down .it's kind of hardto keep track of all these meetings .
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and they keep being postponed and it'sjust aware down tactic . that's all i have to say. >> thank you, anyother public comment on this request . >> commissioners on this request you can either make a vote for you can just try to entertain it. >> can we make a comment often mark. >> of course. >> it would be my point of view notto do a site visit . simply to the rest of the site visit because you come to understand after years of doing this and being commissioner on other boards that everybody's appeal, everybody's reason for being here is the most important thing in the world to them and i honor that and want to rock that has an outward position . and we take that seriously. however, it is in the general policy of this board not to do
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any site visits and it is my experience of being on this board several years and commissioner lazarus has been on this commission longer. that with the proper presentation for proper plans, proper visuals could be commentary from both sides as well as the public that there's this body does a very good job of blasting the most complicated series of situations. additional if we were to bring this site visit, we set a precedent to go on a site visit to as a matter of request to everything that comes in front of us . that would turn this commission to a full-time job this is not our full-time job .
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we are volunteers although we did get a stipend enough to pa . and when we were meeting in person anyway. and so anyway, i don't see that i see that it was it would set a precedent. i see that it is completely unnecessary although again i am sympathetic to the request of the permit holder. so i would not be able to support the needfor a site visit and the scheduling a site visit . >> commissioner lazarus. >> i was essentially going to say the samething . i believe i'm coming up on 10 years on this commission and for the benefit of ournewer commissioners , i have not on one site visit and as vice president swig indicated it is very believable to make a
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presentation sothat we can get the understanding that the appellants require. i would not support a site visit in this case . >> i guess the question is now does someone want to make a motion orbe fined entertain request . you don't need to vote on it but you can .>> i would decline the request but if the, if the commissioner would be more comfortable i would make a motion to deny the request to postpone this hearing and deny the request to do a site visit. >> sounds like wehave a motion on the table . on that motion, commissioner lopez. . [roll call vote]. we can't hear you.
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commissioner, youare still on mute .let me check in with commissioner chang. >> my internet just disconnected and reconnected. is there a motion to deny the continuance? >> i reiterate that vice president swig made a motion to deny the request to continue the matter. for a site visit. and we had commissioner lopez and commissioner lazarus were in agreement with that. so. >> okay. for 20 on the request for continuance is denied. secondly vice president swig i believe the amended brief would correct typos and add an
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additional exhibit, is that the case mister havel? >> that is the case. >> what are you asking vice president swig if we will accept, do you want to say for the record?>> in our lead up to submitting the brief we had a few technical difficulties and some typos. and one exhibit was but not included in our submittal package so i wanted a chance to review those corrections. correct that exhibit before the board gave proper consideration to the appeal. >> he should alsoshow it during his presentation . >> i was about to say, i would recommend that you call these omissions and make, show us the corrections you would like to make. and submit any exhibit you would like to show within the
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timelimit you are, are allowed in presenting your case this evening .>> it sounds like vice president swig is not accepting the document. okay. thank you. we will move on to the case and mister havel, you have seven minutes to present. >> i want to make sure i have an expert witness calling in to bepresent . >> letme check . let's check his phone number. i see it. i see him. we could posit the time as we transition to. >> i'm going to make a brief statement and transferred to peter. board member are experts confirm the circumstances are unique due to combined impacts of topography and structure
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improvements to the site constraints relative to lots in the same class and district and other lots in the vicinity identifiedin the planning code section 14 3745 and i'd like to share my screen . >> positive time, share your screen. peter will be speaking but mister becky, why don't we wait until we get the screen up? pleasesee the screen . mister becky, please go ahead and revisit the time. >> i wait untilhe starts . >> you may have topressásix . okay, i see that we can hear you now. please go ahead. >> i'm a california licensed
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general engineerlicense number 14786 . i have over 40 years of experience in civil engineering and land surveying.2018 property owner i heard my company casey a and the survey brought five, six, 78 properties where they are located on 125 near the southeast corner of bennington. bennington is the dividing line sloping northerly and southerly for 3.9 percent inthe northern direction . from the intersection of bennington being about eight feet. this has a negative impact on the westerly quarter corridor where the subject matter is located. this change of slope on portland and bennington the change in direction of the slope to the cross streets on the south side of portland also occurring at bennington has a
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negative impact on 9025 in the east slope of 1.7 percent funding portland and these fresh slope of 18 percent which is a large differential on the block. this is an exceptional and extraordinary circumstance compared to other properties in the adjacent blocks verging on portland. additionally there's an 11 foot elevation within the subject property. the retaining walls can have demolition of the subject property. there's a 40 foot elevation change between alert and bennington . the slope between bennington and ehlert across the first hundred 45 is 20 percent. bennington is at 902 cortland at 102547.25 feet. subject to the rear east facing
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window is approximately two feet higher in elevation to the top of the building at 9026. but the elevation at 9021 is 15.7 feet higher with peak elevation of the rear structure of 9027. elevation is higher than grade elevation of 901. the rear window elevation is higher by about 15 feet and the top of the rear window of 9021. the rear property line of the bennington property was approximately 17 feet low the greater bennington and this is about four feet between the 025 and 026. it's about a three foot block in elevation between 021 and the rear of a 15.
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this research also impacts lot 226 requiring the use of retaining the elevation changes between properties. there's a 7.45 foot distance between rated lot 20 in the race facing window. this the rest of the rear of the building 4026 is our rear elevation to 31 and the rear of the building at lot 205 is a high point of to do 2.33 feet. thank you. >> time please. >> time is three minutes. by the second expert roderigo sanchez. >> mister sanchez, welcome. we can'thear you .
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>> can you hear me?>> can you movecloser to your microphone please .>> commissioners my name is roderigo santos, a licensed structural engineer and civil engineer as well as a licensed surveyor practicing engineering for the last 40 years. i have a substantial amount of sidestreet work and structural work at 9698 a few years back when it was known as the liberty cafi and there was a structural design of the deck that not only served as a connection between two buildings, the front building and the rear building provided a structural strengthening between the two buildings. the architect on the project was at 61 wallace and the
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requirement at the time was to ensure ... [inaudible] >> positive time,mister santos we lost you . >> time is lost. >> can you hear me? >> relied about 30 seconds because we lost you. >> you have two minutes 30 seconds. >> mister sanchez, you can go ahead. >> i work with the architect at the time and the requirement from the engineering standpoint was to ensure that the deck not only provided vertical support for the courtyard betweenthe two buildings but created structural buttressing between those two buildings . the cost of that project at the time was i think $5000 and obviously it would be substantially more now but planning is requiring us to
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move that structure and to build an extension on the front of the building which we think that's not only wasteful but obviously it would be quite incompatible with all the work that we did in 96 and 98. asking us to remove that patio would weaken the seismic performance. it would involve a substantial amount of retaining walls that will have to obviously be done with an interior system or we will get an underpinning permit for thoseproperties. we would be going approximately 8 1/2, nine feet below the neighboring . and obviously that would trigger an indefinite agreement
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and substantial amount of work that we think is quite unnecessary when our options is simply to leave the structure that we built in 96 and provide a strengthening of the rear of the office when we proposed the addition of the back portion of that. the original design in 1906. had a front building and maybe had a 25 foot courtyard anda rear building so . >> please go ahead. >> the thinking at the time was that it was quite compatible with the topography in creating a frontbuilding and and and courtyard between two buildings . we're hoping to preserve that compatibility and not only that but preserve the structural work that we implemented in 96
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that has performed so well in terms of preserving thosetwo. >> . >>
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>> the project proposes a substantial vertical nonconforming building at the far rear of the lot along with the stairway to connect the front and rear buildings. the proposed upper floor of the rear building is proposed to contain a new and separate commercial use and the requirement of the rear yard is 25% of the year 25' of the subject lot. please note that such a rear yard variance is not a minor request. the planning department engaged in significant feedback and project sponsor over this multi-year period and the department's consistent feedback has been that the proposed design of the original
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and revised was not supportive and consistent with the proposed guidelines and policies. but not completely outside the realm of the possible, it would be unusual to provide support for an additional rear yard especially one within height and the low scale fine grain of an area like bernal heights. and the appellant's brief and their presentation tonight did not really address the five findings in much detail. as detailed in the decision august 26th of this year and my brief i submitted to the board, i determined that the proposed project did not meet any of the required five findings. to briefly mention, the
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proposed project would be built at the rear of the property that would have a total height of 40'. the properties to the south are down slope from the subject property. they're zoned rh2 and all contained residential buildings. the existing development on the lot is very much consistent with the other properties in the area. it already includes substantial masking within the required rear yard and it has existed in such a state since at least 1938 in terms of the rear portion of the building and perhaps as early when the property was originally developed in 1902. therefore, i have determined that there are no unnecessary hardships or difficulties that would require a variance to preserve substantial property rights. the heights are not consistent with applicable design guidelines and would negatively impact the new block open space and adjacent properties. the department received eight
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letters of opposition to the project and no letters in support. based on this information, it is the department's position that the denial of the proposed variance was appropriate and we respectfully request that the board uphold that decision also please note that the denial of the variance especially no action to demolish or remove any existing decks on the property. that concludes my presentation, but i'm definitely available for any questions you may have. thank you. >> director: now, did the department of building inspection want to weigh in on this case. >> director: is there any member of the public who would
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like to provide public comment on this item. call-in user number two, please go ahead. press star six and that should enable you to be unmuted. okay. go ahead. >> caller: this is sue hester. i've submitted a letter on behalf of myself who is three blocks away from the site and we have good life grocers on our block. basically, while it was put in print by the developer and the p.o. which i got on monday is that he thinks he's entitled to have more development because he has a lot that has minimal f.a.r. compared to what is allowed. if you have f.a.r. for a ratio
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which is less square footage than what is allowed, you're kind of entitled. and that attitude conveyed basically at the variance hearing and in the brief here. i would request the planning department, pardon me. i would request the board of appeals to take notice of the fact that this is a well developed area that has been developed since before the earthquake. my building, for example, was developed in 1890. so there is a lot of the development and people have gotten used to the scale and used to having light and air and access. basically, he is asking to have a new commercial store at the back lot of the project. no one has a business in the
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back lot. the former liberty cafe had additional seating in the rear of the lot, but there were entirely a restaurant at the front of the lot and they use the rear of the lot for extra seats. that is the same restaurant. having a new facility, a new pharmacy or whatever in the back of the lot is not conforming with the neighborhood. the zoning administrator has gone thoroughly through this project, the zoning administrator is correct. basically, you don't have to have a lot of -- you have to have some understanding of the neighborhood to basically go
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ahead and this is hugely important. we have had a lot of development in this lot proposed. it's not unusual for people to get aware of projects and -- >> clerk: that's time thank you. >> director: thank you. we will now hear from marie alicia mead. please go ahead. >> caller: hello. i have been a resident for some time now and i have experienced myself that many of the long standing have said much better than some of the newer developments for businesses that have been opened and yet still find themselves to stay without any business and i feel that the administrator made the clearest and most concise point with regarding to the neighborhood and the fact that
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this does not seem to provide anything that is not already existing. >> director: okay. thank you. we'll now hear from mary young. please go ahead. ms. young. >> caller: hello. >> director: hello, welcome. >> caller: i am the property owner of the lot next door to this property. so i'm at 414416 portland also known as lotto 26 and i have been an owner and resident for over 20 years. i also conduct business on the property and this addition that would be going up above the
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cottage in the back actually is right next to and above my bedroom. so if you see the little balcony from the drawings that the sliding door goes from my bedroom and i am very much opposed to this mostly as a resident, but also as a business owner because there are so many unoccupied store front spaces on portland as there are all over san francisco and we don't need new commercial spaces being built. we need businesses to come in and open up in the spaces that already exist. also, i'm concerned as a resident for safety because this is not only a commercial space that's being proposed above the cottage, but a roof
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top garden above that. i'm concerned that anyone on that roof top garden would be able to get onto my roof, onto my balcony, break in through my sliding door. i'm concerned about noise coming from people who are on the roof top. i'm concerned that they would be directly over my garden so i'd have no privacy when i'm in the back, in my garden. they would be right above me. they could look over. things could fall from up there. so i think that it would have a pretty big impact on just how i live and how my family is living on the property and any of the other neighbors whether it's on ellhart are along that entire corridor in the back and i am living right between two
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of the [inaudible] so my property's the only one where there are carriage houses on the side, but those have been there for a long time and i really don't see the logic of building something on top of that just because it already exists no more than i would be asking if i could build a carriage house in my back yard because my neighbors have one. that's it. >> director: okay. thank you. is there any other public comment for this item? please raise your hand. i don't see anymore hands. so we will move on to rebuttal. mr. havel, did you want to speak? >> yes. i'm here. i'm going to speak, but i'd like to share my screen again.
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>> director: okay. >> okay. can you see the image? >> director: yes we can. thank you. >> my name is thomas havel, project sponsor. just to briefly reply to the concerns of the owner at lot o26. when you can see this photo. they negatively impacted my clients exterior courtyard and we are trying to we want to resolve that issue just in terms of the interior up a block and also just for the dining courtyard as well as the shadows that are cast over lot 24. i testified that my client has been a victim because the willingness to timely identify.
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mirror plannings to verify facts through the site visit that we've determined through experienced licensed professionals. the z.a. is not a structural engineer. does not express as our experts do. that's why we implore for a site visit to reduce any abuses in the original process. in addition to the sworn testimony by engineers becky and santos, these facts should be observed. lots 5660, 5661, 5668, and 5669 as well as other commercial districts identified in planning code section 7104745. the va has misrepresented its typography. there's substantial evidence that our proposed additions in scale with the adjacent lot which are here and here, this shows the approved addition or the approved proposal at lot 30
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which is not under construction yet, but i know it's been approved by planning. additionally, four story buildings on ehl hart at lot 12 and 13. finally, lotto 20 up here on bennington has the ability to maximize their vertical massing another one or two stories. in regards to the deals over the concern of existing uses, its lack of need for this proposed use and for the proposed section regarding such variance. 43 portland housed a legacy business from 1909 to 1996 and now there's no like pharmacy in the vicinity. >> clerk: 30 seconds. >> in addition, our proposal endorses the existing housing neighborhood character in terms of detail.
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common architectural features of the arts and crafts movement such as found in this house. the figures establish that if b.o a. upholds planning's denial. adjacent lots 026 and 027 have f.a.r.s respectively compared to subject property. >> clerk: time. thank you. >> director: thank you. thank you, mr. havel. vice president swig has a question. >> commissioner swig: you have to be aware of our position of the five findings that which would allow a variance. i've heard testimony from your engineers on many technical items. i've heard your testimony related to those technical items and our inability to make
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a fair judgment based on lack of the site visit. but what we really need here, what you really need here to get your variance is a substantial proof on those five findings. so i didn't see that in your brief and i would love to give you the opportunity right now because it is fair and just to do for you to list for me how this project fulfills the five findings necessary to get a variance. can you provide those for me please, sir? >> director: you're on mute. we can't hear you. >> sorry. i apologize. thank you for the opportunity, vice president swig. the -- there are extraordinary
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and exceptional circumstances due to the typography and the existing structural and building configurations, that was our first one. the ability to have enjoy equal use of the property rights by the owner was in regards to the f.a.r. and there's no impact on existing, i think existing planning and, you know, the -- i apologize, you put me on the spot here. in terms of the those are three of the five. i can't think of what else comes to mind. that's what i have for now. thank you. >> director: thank you. i just want to announce that the public comment portion is over. so we are not taking any further public comment. i also note that there are some
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people present who normally comment on tree cases and item 7a through 7b have already been continued to december 15th. that was at the beginning of the hearing. so if you are here for those items, they are no longer going to be heard. we will now move on to rebuttal for the planning department. you have three minutes zoning administrator. >> thank you, again. i will be brief, but just to point out a couple of things. the appellant pointed to projects and buildings at 420 and 432 portland street as being kind of examples of what they are requesting. i would point out that 420, the adjacent property, the rear addition there was done in the early 2000s and it's completely code compliant. that lot is somewhat deeper which allows a somewhat deeper code compliance and the approved project of 432 has not
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been constructed yet. similarly it's code compliant and is tiered at the rear to respond to the downward slope. so it's just important that those two properties do not propose or contain buildings at the far rear of the lot. so they're not really good examples of what is being proposed by this project. additionally, you know, kind of regarding the site visit again, that's correct, i'm not a licensed engineer or a licensed architect, but i don't think a site visit is going to make me one of those things either. we are happy to receive information from those licensed professionals and take it into consideration. but in terms of the property itself, i think the make up and context of the property is pretty straight forward and easy to understand. i'm aware that there was structural and seismic work done in the '90s to that building, but, again, the planning department by deny interesting variance is not
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requiring the property owner to take any additional action with the neighborhood zoning district and the surrounding properties. it has a full lot coverage basement level that has already a two-story with a peaked roof massing that they are using in a manner that they see fit. i think it was mentioned this used to be carriage houses in the back. there is a pattern of that on this block. it's now used for the restaurant and the building at the front, the two-story nature off of courtland is extremely consistent with the massing and scale of the development and property and buildings on this corridor and specifically on this block. so, you know, even if there
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were. >> clerk: 30 seconds. >> some level of extraordinary circumstance or some hardship that may be present here, that still doesn't necessarily grant a property right or justify, you know, a proposal that would essentially build a four-story building mass at the far rear of the property which is inconsistent with the design guidelines applicable to this property. thank you. >> director: thank you. we do have a question from vice president swig. and you're on mute, vice president swig. >> commissioner swig: i think you answered mostly what i was going to ask. as the property owner to give me his list on the five findings that we would need to accommodate his request for this variance. he talked about three of them.
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would you please comment on those three? i think you did a little bit if you think you've done this that's fine. one thing that i would like clarification on, however, is the issue of f.a.r. which is just because a building has -- may have more f.a.r. than it has been into the five findings, does that mean anything if in fact the building is fully built out in other ways or may have inadequate back yard space or open space to go further. can you focus on that, but first please comment on the five findings? >> absolutely. i'm happy to. i'll save the f.a.r. to the end
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because it's a little complicated and not as relevant. but, yeah, the five findings generally there needs to be an exceptional circumstance that applies to the property. in this case, the applicant has made the case that it's essentially the typography and, you know, we found that the typography here, it does not meet that finding. there's essentially a 10' drop over the course of 100'. so a one-story slope, that's very common in san francisco and generally is not a condition that's going to roll into the second finding which is, you know, an exceptional and extraordinary circumstance. that's creating unnecessary hardship or practical difficulty. in this case, any difficulty relative to' developing the site was addressed in 1902 and when the full lot basement was built with two structureses on top of the front and the rear. again, that kind of slope is
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not really significant in san francisco and clearly the property was developed and existed that way for over 100 years despite that slope and that type of development is very consistent within this area. the third finding is that the variance is really needed to preserve a substantial property right. this gets into the argument a little bit with f.a.r. and this was raised by ms. hester which is the planning code does allow a certain amount of building envelope, a maximum building envelope on a site that can be permitted. but just because it allows a certain envelope doesn't mean that in all situations, the city is required to gop that envelope. of it's a little complicated. the four findings is basically that the project will not be materially detrimental to adjacent properties.
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a lot of this is based on the design and impact and most of the projects are going to be looking at light and air and access to sunlight to other properties. in this case, because of the far rear of the property and given its uphill nature for the rest of the block, going from a two-story massing that exists to a four-story massing, we have impacts on a new block open space and on the adjacent properties. it's just consistent with the general plan and because we didn't find it was consistent with the other findings, you know, we determined it was not consistent with the general plan as well. i would just note that, you know, if you look at the zoning, or the planning code and the section four of the cortland avenue commercial district it has a description and talks about the small scale and nature of this district. the f.a.r. issue is -- the reason it's a little confusing is because again, there's a
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maximum building envelope that's permitted on the site. kind of regardless of uses. and then f.a.r. in this district really only applies to nonresidential uses. doesn't apply to residential uses. so f.a.r. isn't an accurate representation of the full development potential of the site. the other thing that's a little weird about the f.a.r. calculation here and the numbers that are being used is whether or not the basement is being included in those numbers which i don't really think they are. and that may be fair and it may not be. it's not uses for commercial use. but it could be used for other commercial uses in the future. so i hope that helps, but i'm happy to answer any other questions. commissioner swig thank you for your answer. drkt thank you. so commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> commissioner swig: comments, questions? a motion?
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step up, don't be shy. >> commissioner: well, i'll start. i have not heard anything to persuade me that the variance was not properly denied. >> commissioner swig: other commissioners? ms. chang? >> commissioner: thank you. i concur with commissioner lazarus. it seems to me that the zoning administrators' decision was properly issued and based on the five findings required. >> commissioner swig: mr. lopez? >> i agree. i think the zoning administrator's findings, the planning commission's findings are compelling. the public comment likewise and
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just counter vailing points from the appellant to merit a reversal of that denial. >> commissioner swig: okay. i will pile on and say i agree with everybody and raise the conscience of our ex-commissioner frank fung who was rigid on those five findings and i don't see that the five findings have been met which is according to this whole discussion. commissioner lazarus, since you started, would you like to make a motion, please? >> commissioner lazarus: certainly. i need a quick reminder. is this -- do we just have to uphold the decision? >> director: uphold the denial of the variance on the basis of the five findings requireded under planning code were not met. >> commissioner lazarus: you
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essentially said it. that's my motion. >> director: we have a motion from commissioner lazarus. deny the appeal and uphold the variance based on the five findings have not been met. on that motion, [roll call] so that motion carries 4-0 and the appeal is denied. as i said before, item 7a through d have been continued. so that was the end of our items. mr. havel, we weren't taking anymore comment. the decision's been made. do you have a question about the process? >> i do not. i was just hoping i'd have a chance to collect my thoughts. >> director: okay. thank you. so vice president swig, did you want to adjourn the meeting? >> commissioner swig: thanks everybody for your time and attention today and i would like to adjourn the meeting.
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until next time. >> director: okay. thank you. have a good evening everyone.
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shop and dine in the 49 promotes local businesses and challenges residents to do their shopping and dining within the 49 square miles of san francisco. by supporting local services within our neighborhoods, we help san francisco remain unique, successful, and vibrant. so where will you shop and dine in the 49? >> my name is ray behr. i am the owner of chief plus.
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it's a destination specialty foods store, and it's also a corner grocery store, as well. we call it cheese plus because there's a lot of additions in addition to cheese here. from fresh flowers, to wine, past a, chocolate, our dining area and espresso bar. you can have a casual meeting if you want to. it's a real community gathering place. what makes little polk unique, i think, first of all, it's a great pedestrian street. there's people out and about all day, meeting this neighbor and coming out and supporting the businesses. the businesses here are almost all exclusively independent owned small businesses. it harkens back to supporting local. polk street doesn't look like anywhere u.s.a. it has its own businesses and
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personality. we have clothing stores to gallerys, to personal service stores, where you can get your hsus repaired, luggage repaired. there's a music studio across the street. it's raily a diverse and unique offering on this really great street. i think san franciscans should shop local as much as they can because they can discover things that they may not be familiar with. again, the marketplace is changing, and, you know, you look at a screen, and you click a mouse, and you order something, and it shows up, but to have a tangible experience, to be able to come in to taste things, to see things, to smell things, all those things, it's very important that you do so. .
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welcome to the october 28 meeting of the public safety and neighborhood services committee. i'm joined by supervisors catherine stefani and matt haney. madam clerk, do you have any announcements? >> clerk: yes, mr. chair. the record will reflect that members participating in this video conference to the extent as if they were physically present. the board has determined that public participation is vital to the meeting and public access will be available in the following manners: either


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