tv [untitled] October 10, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
procedurally to change shadow budgets and revise memo requires joint action of both sitting together in a joint hearing. to do that individually would require many joint hearings. so, you know, this would do it. together comprehensively, then subsequently individual buildings would be considered sort of sequentially by the individual commissions, not as a joint body. >> so approving of cumulative shadow doesn't ensure another project that's not been contemplated. >> does not. >> okay. then we did not just -- to follow up. we did not approve a cumulative shadow limit, how we go about updating the -- we do like we have done in the past, updating shadow budgets on a case-by-case basis? >> you could do that. >> would you use the same language? what would be the
philosophy in guiding that? would it be the language of scaling the buildings around the shadow? >> probably similar. we would have to -- i don't know. we would have to consider how that might change. >> thanks. i do think there is a benefit -- i think one of the challenges we often deal with is look in total at impacts of project. i think at least in this case we have more of a sense of that. we don't have 100% because there are other projects outside the plan area that impact the parks, which are obviously at the back of people's minds. in anticipation of making this decision. i think it is an advantage to look at some holistic picture, adding in sidewalks and pointing out other open spaces within the downtown core that are utilized to look at it more
holistically makes sense. the hearing that -- you mentioned the mexican museum, any other sort of projects that might be in the immediate future to look at the total impact we are talking about, not just impact related to the plan area but any other zoning in the area we can anticipate. i think that is one of the things that people are concerned about and how they can't look at this overall. i would agree that, you know, moving shadow budgets is not something we take lightly. i'm a person that always goes to whereever the sun is in an open space. i know we have to balance, you know, our needs. for example, the plan area and the fact that we don't have other ways to fund the improvements that we need to the transportation system or create new open spaces. i realize it is a pull. for a great dialogue it is
useful to look at the full picture. i think you have done a great job to get us to that place. if we can look a little further, taking into consideration other projects in that general area so we can look at it in a concert. >> if i can clarify, to our knowledge as the eir was prepared there was only one that could potentially shade any of these on file, 706 for union square. there were no others on file. >> right. i guess in terms of my question, the zoning, there is no other opportunity that projects based upon overall zoning could shadow? >> that i don't know. >> that is really hard but if we can look where zoning is different than the building and not historic, how could we look at how those new buildings would cast shadow. >> if i may, the shadow
analysis for this plan is one of the most complex shadow analysises ever done. what you are suggesting, it is reasonable, is look at zoning to look at that shadow analysis for every potential site in the area. might be technically difficult. >> right. to the extent -- i think the other thing we are looking at creating another cumulative impact budget. i don't think we want to do that, then two months later start adding more -- sort of like if we are going to take that approach then it might need to be a biger approach because it can't be that we just make this decision then we have to then make the same decision again. then it is not really -- >> i agree. if i may, i guess our thinking since 1989 when these were adopted other than the individual projects, considered by the commissions, this is the first comprehensive plan which has proposed to change the landscape in
this area. barring another comprehensive plan that would also change the area other than individual projects that might pop up, we would think this would be sort of the comprehensive change for the time being, other than if there are individual buildings that pop up. you can't necessarily predict -- >> right. to the extent it would be great to figure out a policy around what is too much shadow. i don't know the answer to that question. i think that that might be an interesting discussion. maybe it is not just -- i'm not saying the answer is raise it 2% on every park. i'm not suggesting that. but the potential of what might be not that sitting of a shadow but every time we do a project it will be.1 or whatever. compared to the existing is
not significant * but overall there is a significant shadow load. where is that threshold? 40% or 60%? i don't know to the extent we could have a conversation around that i think would be helpful. then whatever we do related to transit center district, it could guide future conversations about shadows and impacts moving forward. i mean, you know, i don't have any sense of what that right answer is. maybe there is some sort of scientific analysis or data or information around how much impacts when you get to a certain point. i don't know. but on a project-by-project basis it will always be incremental. when you get all of the sudden incremental gets significant. i don't know what the threshold is. i think we should figure it out. >> i don't think i have questions but sort of
overall comments. i think the video tells a lot. i think it is great technology, great use of technology. to me it does show most of the shadow is in the early morning hours, at least the parks. i think it is important to look at the total package, as we are doing. again in a second round when we look at projects independently. i concur with commissioner moore's comments that it is not just parks affected but maybe building alleys. how many other building alleys in the part of san francisco that may be for us down the road. i know we are not looking at that portion. but i think it is worthy of talking about. glad you did bring that up. as far as parks, i'm concerned about portsmouth square. i realize the shower is early in morning and before
t'ai chi but i'm hoping the 12.5 million allocated, that we bring portsmouth square high tore the priority list. if possible relaying or reformatting that park so the open stays where the t'ai chi is is not in the shadowed area. commissioner wu's comments about the importance of parks in china town, she is absolutely right. * some of the sros or apartments have no backyards, porches or decks. only a light weld to fire escapes. i feel like commissioner mcgel. my grandfather played an important part in building that since he was a merchant. i feel protective that. is china town's backyard along with the chinese reck center and the playground. hopefully we can afford to protect that a little bit.
those are my point. i am supportive of looking at it as an overall plan, as we are doing now. commissioner hillis. >> thank you for the presentation. i have been through a lot of discussions about shadows but this is the first time it's laid out comprehensively. they matter but not necessarily a hard number. though that is important. it is the analysis you did that help us understand when and where the shadow is cast. along those lines, the existing shadows, how are they calculated? take union square, 38.3% is existing shadow. what does that mean? it doesn't mean 38% of the park is fully shadowed. it is a combination of both percentage of park is shadowed and percentage of time that it is shadowed?
>> right. kevin guy with planning staff, commissioner hillis. that number is a function of area and time. take the area of a given park, multiply it by number of prop k hours in a year that are the hours -- one hour after sunrise, one before sunset. multiply that out. for each park get a factor of the theoretical annual sunlight. that assume nos existing buildings. sort of a standardized measurement when you can start looking at each individual park and see how much is potentially available. then add in the existing shadow from the existing buildings to each individual park. that is where you get that factor for union square of 30.3%. >> right. okay. in just -- those numbers are not intuitive. i don't think to anybody. it is a factor of time and of space. i don't know what the answer is. but some measurement that
could help give people a better understanding, including us, frankly, of what that means, how much time union square has no shadow during the day or 75% is not within shadow. just to give us a basis of understanding of when and where shadows are cast on the parks i think would be helpful. i agree that other spaces should be looked at as non-reck spaces, though you could quickly get every open space including streets and sidewalks. a focus i think would be on conventional open spaces that aren't reck park. those have been mentioned. then more information on the projects. 701 mission's been mentioned. somewhere the fairmont edition was mentioned also. as well as other editions.
additional information would be helpful if there are projects proposed that would cast shadows, kind of how much, when and some similar analysis would be helpful to me. i agree a cumulative approach for this i think is best we adopted plan. i think we prefer this analysis be done in shadow limits raised, raised when the plan was adopted. there are reasons that didn't happen but it is an important component to planning and should be considered when plan is adopted. >> commissioner sugaya. >> to follow up on that, isn't the 600-foot increase that was approved as part of the plan for the palace site, wasn't that modeled? because it is one of the black dots. >> yes. >> just as long as you are up there, i have a question
on the portsmouth square evaluation. the first where you show the shadow on the square itself. i don't know if it is pink or whatever, but this one here. i understand that part but when you go into the usage diagrams of the number of people who were there at various times, shouldn't the shadow be cast across the park, or some portion of it, just like this shows? >> let me explain. the usage analysis was done whenever we were able to do it over the summer. which is not -- what we are showing is the actually shadow when we did the analysis, not analysis of where the new shadow is. >> all right, thank you.
i guess the use of the public good is somewhat -- i don't know. is the argument we are making is that there is a public good for increasing all the shadow limits on these various parks because it is going to, you know, generate money and going to contribute one thing or another. so therefore that is defined as the public good. to me it seems like that is nearly an extension of the argument you could make for any building high-rise in downtown is giving the public good because we are extracting fees from them. extracting fees from the developers to, what, help transit. kick i want a jobs fee or housing. any number of fees are
attached to entitlements. you could make the public good argument for any building by merely saying, yeah, we are extracting money. it is going into transit or whatever. i'm having a difficult time trying to figure out what the public good is cumulatively from this project versus individual buildings. i know we have made that distinction before. for example on bodecker park where there was a specific development proposal for affordable housing. we said that was a public good, i understand that. the argument made here seems to just be a bigger set of entitlement extractions from a number of buildings instead of just one. just to clarify, we have 15 9 million for open space estimated. is that -- none of it is going to that elevated park, is that right?
when project comes before you for entitlements. i will reiterate the points mr. swizky raised in his presentation about while in the quantitative modeling of the shadow the lattice was assumed a hard shadow element. not a solid element but the grid would be dark shadow lines. the reality of the sun passing through and around world be more diffuse, especially at distances. you can say the element is con tribing the but in reality less than in the ir. *
>> let's see. i lost my train of thought. i will think of it later. >> commissioner antonini. >> maybe i could shed light on questions raised by commissioner sugaya. i would assume based on the modeling we are spending time on much of the shadow from the new transit tower is from the bulk of the building. i think the percentage from the non-habitable part of the -- above the 990 feet i believe you talked about probably is only a small part of the very small additional shadow cast. that being said the more important thing i wanted to comment on, commissioner sugaya was talking about public benefit. there is sitting outside
the plan, 12.5 million, 9 million earmarked * for improvements in china town. one would assume that these improvements could take the form of creating new open space or adding back open space in areas to existing parks that would create presumably a lot more sunlit areas lost from the blockage, the small shadows allowed by increase in shadow allotment. i'm poising that for your consideration. that is what i would presume would be some of the possibilities for 9 million used to china town, which no one has brought up. but that is important and very beneficial part of the plan. perhaps staff can look at that before the next hearing to say that is possible, yes, to create more space than is being lost if that was the desire
of the community and desire of the commission. >> commissioner moore. >> mr. switzky, your third slide speaks about plan open space program, indicating there would be 12 acres of new open space in vicinity of project which are going to be casting shadows other further away spaces. my question to you is we obviously do not know as to whether or not these particular open spaces will be under jurisdiction of reck and park but in regard to who will be responsible, i like to know the cumulative effect on the new shadows on the open spaces will b. i think it is an important question. particularly the rooftop open space but as well as network of open space planned very desirable. however if it is affected
by direct shadows very close and tall buildings, these open space don't mean very much. >> commissioner sugaya. >> i can remember what i was going to say earlier. in allocation of increasing the various shadow limits in the various parks, there is a table toward the end of the presentation in which it shows the current available absolute cumulative limit. the ones proposed by all the buildings together and one column that shows transbay tower itself separately. the last column is the remaining absolute limit after we allocate the transbay tower itself. all the rest of the buildings would have to
live within the limit of that last column. >> that's correct. >> okay. there is another discussion with commissioner border in which she mentioned the possibility of different design or if a building that came in and had more impact, let's say, it would still come to us for evaluation and approval in terms of shadow. but -- how am i trying to say -- is there potential for the remaining buildings to come in at -- obviously they can come in at different heights. there is a maximum, which i assume was the one that was modeled. let's say a building came in at a le err height. it would not take up as much of the shadow limit as
if it were build higher. i'm assuming that. so could it then be that another building could come in taller. because we are still within the cumulative shadow limit. >> are you asking me if another building in plan area could come into all this? >> yes. >> the modeling is the maximum might in the planning area. theoretically unless the zoning was changed, they couldn't come in taller than this was analyzed. >> okay. >> does that answer your question? >> yep. >> commissioner wu. >> following on commissioner sugaya's question, if at the end of the day if everything gets out from the plan but all of the shadow budget not used --ly use cloak y'all terms, is that thrown away
or remain for some other building to use it? * >> it would remain. but we would posit that the criteria adopted with the budgets themselves would limit that to those buildings that fit those shadow profiles and so forth. so it is theoretically possible a building outside this plan could meet that, but it is also probably fairly unlikely. >> one other comment. in the future if that is found to be the case the joint commissions could act to change the budgets again. it is always within the commission's power to address those issues.
>> okay. no further questions. why don't we take a 20-minute break. >> the commission is taking a 20-minute recess. >> thank you. before we get start ifed i can remind everyone to silence phones. 1126c for 741 valencia. this is an informational hearing. * >> good afternoon, erica jackson, planning department staff. before you is the informational presentation on a restaurant on valencia street, per conditions of approval requiring informational hearing six months after the first day of business operations.
april 28th, 2011 planning commission approved conditional use authorization to convert the vacant ground floor commercial unit of existing two-storey restaurant to a new full-service restaurant and bar with an outdoor area. in 1987 tacolicio us opened. in speaking to neighbors, conditions exist. first, noise. the neighbors indicate there is excessive noise from patrons, cleaning crew, rooftop equipment and after-hours construction noise. second is hours of operations, complaints indicate the areas remaining open past the permitted hours of operation. 10:00 weekdays and midnight weekends. the neighbors indication the cleaning crew sometimes remains in the area even after the establishment is closed. third is light pollution.
complaints indicate flood lights are shining directly into the adjacent residential units. fourth has to do with garbage stored in the interior exit staircase for residential units and patrons in the outdoor activity area. these are monitored by several different city departments. all the city departments have conducted site visits to the restaurant. the police department's had several complaints filed with them for a variety of issues related to noise of patrons and employees usually after the hours of midnight. the police department has investigated these complaints but has no ongoing issues with the tenant. the planning department has conducted visits based on noise and hours of operation. on those we found no violation on these conditions of approval. staff noticed though outdoor activity was open
windows were open onto activity area, that may be contributing to some of the noise in the outside area. the department of public health received one complaint in late june. it was regarding patron noise. the department of public health only enforces the san francisco noise ordinance, which applies to fixed equipment noise. however, they did do a site visit and performed measurements on the rooftop and found the equipment is in compliance with san francisco noise ordinance. charles salter did another study dated september 7th, 2012 as followup. also part of the condition of approval. they measured the fixed noise sources and found that the noise sources were in compliance with san francisco noise ordinance. as this is an informational presentation there is no required commission action. staff is asking planning commission for direction on how to proceed with the next steps. this concludes my presentation. i'm available to answer es