Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    September 12, 2013 1:00pm-1:31pm PDT

1:00 pm
field is being used between the dbi system and the planning system are already there. it's just a matter of what you really want this new mapping system to bring up for data. if it's not efficient, the public may be stirring around different maps including the [speaker not understood] permit maps and the property information map. there's a lot of maps out there under the planning website. if you don't integrate them all, you don't get all the information and it's true because i was playing around with it last night and i played around with it this morning thinking maybe there are amendments that would have made it better before this meeting but it didn't get any better. and a lot of times, here's the other thing. the kicker is these green dots, they vaporize after a amount of time. i don't know what the criteria is when they disappear, but they do. and the old list, it never disappeared. you could still go like in to see memorialized cad exs, but this way you can't. so i think it's not quite ready and that's all i have to say. thank you. >> thank you.
1:01 pm
is there any additional public comment? okay, being none, public comment is closed. commissioner moore. >> i had one question regarding your slide on electric notification, sarah. your first bullet point is subscription based e-mail notification system. who are the current subscribers, who will subscribe in the future and if that is the only way to access information partially because not everybody has the type of computer and the capability of downloading and viewing these large files as was indicated a few minutes ago. >> i think we're a long way from subscription-based e-mail being the only way that people might be able to get information. and i don't envision that that would ever be the case. the steps -- right now we have neighborhood notification lists for each defined planning neighborhood. and, so, we are going to be
1:02 pm
getting the people who are on those lists the option of converting to electronic notification rather than paper mailed notification, and also opening the list to others who might choose to receive this information. ~ giving but at this time in time we're not seeing the e-mail subscription notification as replacing any other information or notification that we provide. >> thank you. >> commissioner borden. >> yeah, i think this is really interesting. i wanted to ask a question about whether or not -- you brought up overlaying data with existing property map database that you have when people search and you can actually get all that information in one spot. >> that information is all available via the property information map, but there was a desire to specifically provide information about cad exs that are issued. and the idea would be on those
1:03 pm
dots on the map would stay up for the period of the 30 days after the approval action has occurred. and once the appeal window on that project has closed, then that map -- that dot would be taken off the map. >> it will show in the property information section -- >> yes. so, the information doesn't go away. >> okay. and i guess if you looked at how -- is this data available like if i were a map developer, [speaker not understood] i can't remember the name of it, where someone is tracking moving permits and the cost of a construction project for homes and things that people are doing. you could overlay all those -- so they're actually able to track the permit and how much money they paid based upon what the construction costs, which i thought was interesting. is our data available if somebody wanted to take it and do something more robust with it, they could? >> i am not the best person to ask on that question. but i can have a discussion with some of our data staff
1:04 pm
about it. >> yeah, because i think that would be helpful. and i also think that, you know, looking at developing an app, the property information thing would also be a helpful thing for those people who like to look at things on their phone and other sort of form. the other thing i was thinking is that in general -- and this is not c-e-q-a specific, but a website specific thing, you know, our website is too crowded. even when i was looking just to go find this sort of like, oh, where exactly is it? i feel like if we could maybe just start with the planning website and just do four areas and then you click through a little more, i think one of the challenges that people have i think is that it's hard to -- the page is overwhelming. and we now know in web design it's much more simplistic information people are drawn to. if you have four choices and people said permits and
1:05 pm
projects, supplying, planning commission, whatever, you did four categories. again, this is not specific to c-e-q-a necessarily, but something that i've thought about because i do think our site is overwhelming in that regard. but i think that it might be useful in your map that you say -- that when you log or scroll over things or maybe a disclaimer about the 30-day notice window and please see the property information map to find out. also, the community plan exemption appear anywhere other than like if you were to look at a project in c-e-q-a, you would see part of the community plan exemption and can you also run queries to export a map of a street? i know that was something someone brought up. >> in terms of community plan exemptions, those are shown -- if we just do a community plan exemption, we don't need to do any other focused environmental review. yes, those are shown with
1:06 pm
exemptions. and i do want to note that neighborhood -- we have by practice been sending out those neighborhood notices at the beginning of the process of the cpe under the chapter 31 legislation we are now required to send neighborhood notices on those, particularly the process ~. but specifically about cpes, we don't at this time provide sort of in one place information about all of the cpes that have been issued pursuant to any one area plan. we can gather that information as required. >> maybe one of the things that could be overlaid on the map, then, is just kind of like an outline of community plan area. so, like an overlay where it would show the market octavia area, so when you are looking at the map, you would know this is eastern neighborhoods, you know, just show the borderline
1:07 pm
and people would at least know projects in that area could be subject to community plan exemption and they can look up specific addresses. anything we can do to make the map a little hotter so thats it's easier for people to say where things fall in. obviously in an ideal world you can scroll over and see general zoning and much more detailed information. but at least if we could just hot -- do the borders of the plan areas, then people at least have a sense of whether an area would be -- could be eligible for a community plan exemption even for a project that comes forward. >> we might want to do that in the context of the website dealing with those specific plan -- with those plans themselves and provide that as an ongoing information source. >> in terms of search and query, can you pull up a list of -- i saw that there was a list for a particular site. are you able to pull up a list for like if you want to say, you know, market street or
1:08 pm
market street between this block -- is there any other way to pull up permits like that? is it pretty much just a visual -- >> i don't believe it's set in that way at this point. >> something to think about just for being able to in some way have a list or be able to view a list would be helpful, i think. thank you. i think still it's great work. i don't want to [multiple voices] >> absolutely, thank you. no, thank you for the constructive suggestions and steps to take. right now the concentration of our effort is in getting to the point where we're meeting the requirements under the new chapter 31 and then we will always hope to -- we'll find things and make it more usable for the public. >> it's a great first step and i think we can do a lot more with this. >> commissioner antonini. >> yes, sarah, thank you very much. following up on the questions about community plan exemption or area plan exemption, you're saying that the notification is
1:09 pm
going to occur if a building, proposed building was not part of an area plan exemption. then, of course, it would be notified in a certain way there would be certain environmental hearings that would be needed, often an e-i-r. and if it satisfies the requirements and it does president have to go through that same process because it's conforming to the exemptions within an area, there would still be the same notification if a building was conforming to the air exemption? >> yes. there are sort of a number of types of notification that are all being talked about at once. the neighborhood notification that we send out at the beginning of an environmental review process is something that is done for negative declarations and certain types of exemptions. and what this legislation did was it added community plan exemptions to the types of projects or the types of
1:10 pm
environmental reviews that get that particular notification. and that's not a notification that's discussed or envisioned at all under c-e-q-a. i think it's probably pretty unique to san francisco. the other notification changes or enhancements or improvements that are generally talked about in this ordinance would also apply to community plan exemptions as well as every other type of exemption, and that has to do with how they're posted, identifying the approval action, informing people of their appeal -- you know, of their opportunity for appeal. so, those changes affect every type of exemption and indeed every type of environmental document. >> thank you. yeah, i think it was talking more in -- just in general about an individual project which lies within an area and, you know, there still will be
1:11 pm
the same environmental noticing even though it may not have to go through its own e-i-r because it's conforming. but there still will be the opportunity for the public to, you know, comment on that as part of the process because we do approve the exemption as part of our approval of the project. it just stated. >> the community plan exemption is something allowed under c-e-q-a and we can then exempt projects that are contributing to the cumulative impacts of the plan. >> okay, thank you. >> commissioner borden. >> [inaudible] i guess we make a motion to [speaker not understood] the clerk of the board [speaker not understood]. >> we have to call that? >> yes, i need to advise the clerk of the board or the supervisor of the [speaker not understood] compliance [speaker not understood]. >> second. >> if there is no other
1:12 pm
discussion, commissioners, on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> no. >> commissioner moore? >> commissioner sugaya, did you have -- >> i'd like to understand what we're voting on. i understand sarah's presentation and all, but i'm still -- could somebody explain what this means? >> yes. the legislation had a provision in it which i'm not aware of this normally being the case with legislation, but it had a provision that it would not become effective until the planning -- until we put the cad ex posting map in place and demonstrated that to the planning commission. so, the motion being voted on now is to transmit a memorandum to the board of supervisors -- to the clerk of the board of the board of supervisors that that event has occurred so that
1:13 pm
the legislation may go into effect. >> okay, thank you. >> commissioner moore. >> wouldn't that also, then, include the advisory that as you volunteered, technical refinement and really respond to some of the concerns expressed by the public will be part -- when and how this tool is ultimately implemented? it's another static thing, technology changes and additional requirements become necessary, it becomes a living tool to stay at the edge of information dissemination about c-e-q-a. >> yeah, commissioner, what you're doing is simply saying we meet the requirements of the code. then we will continue to refine these things as we move forward. >> thank you for clarifying that. >> okay. if there's nothing further, commissioners, on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye.
1:14 pm
>> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously 7 to 0. commissioners, that will place you on item 13 for case no. 2011.1122e for 75 howard street. the public hearing on the draft environmental impact report. please note that written comments will be accepted at the planning department until 5:00 p.m. on september 16th, 2013. >> good afternoon, president fong, members of the commission. i'm don lewis, planning department staff and e-i-r coordinator for the 75 howard street project. joining me is noni [speaker not understood] senior environmental planner. the item before you is review and comment on draft e-i-r. the draft e-i-r found that the proposed project results in significant and unavoidable impacts on land use esthetics, shadow, transportation and hydrology. the draft e-i-r [speaker not understood] he can logical resources, noise and vibration, air quality, hazardous materials and biological resources could be mitigated to less than significant level.
1:15 pm
the draft e-i-r provides three alternatives. no project alternative, code compliant alternative and reduced height alternative. the code compliant alternative would reduce the project significant and unavoidable impact on land use and esthetics to less than significant level. the draft e-i-r was published on july 31st and the public review period closes on september 16th. those who are interested in commenting on the draft e-i-r in writing may submit their comments to the environmental review officer at 1650 mission street, suite 400, san francisco by 5:00 p.m. on september 16. the members of the public who are at this hearing today, please state your name for the record and address comments, the adequacy and completeness of the e-i-r. comments will be transcribed and responded to in response to comment document which will respond to all verbal and written comments received to make revisions to the draft e-i-r as appropriate. when response to comment documents is complete, the planning department will provide copies to those who have made comments in a draft e-i-r. we will then return to the
1:16 pm
commission to request certification of the e-i-r. if the e-i-r is certified, the planning commission may consider approval of the project. this concludes the presentation. thank you. >> opening up for public comment. we have a few speaker cards here. dave osgood, sue hester, and jamie whitaker. i need help with this. those are for the staff, these are for the commission, and one of them is mine. [speaker not understood].
1:17 pm
is this on? ah, okay, it's going up. i'm passing this map up. my name is sue hester -- oh, that clock is already running. james, could you go back? it shouldn't count against me. i was getting the things mounted. sue hester. the map you have on this is a map by som which is the project architect. it's their map, downtown. the project site is right here. and one of the issues that you see is a setback of the city and the embarcadaro freeway
1:18 pm
partly remains. that is one of the huge issues in the e-i-r. the e-i-r basically ignores the fact that the -- it should discuss the construction and the impact of the environmental -- pardon me, of the embarcadaro freeway and its demolition. this site is the site of the project. this site is from the e-i-r and what you don't understand, because there is no clear explanation, is that all of this is city property. this is the gap property. this is the garage. the gap property and rincon annex and this area up here were redevelopment. you have no idea about this site unless you understand redevelopment, the conditions that were put on buildings to set them back from the embarcadaro intentionally because a lot of them were
1:19 pm
placed on by redevelopment. and the post office, rincon annex. the site is very adventurous because they were planning on planning -- the developer was planning -- going to plan the site that the city-owned. city owns a street. city owns this site right here. all of those are remnants of the embarcadaro freeway as is the gap building itself. and, so, as the city goes through this process, they should be looking carefully at what is going on from the city. if you go on to the website, which we were just talking about, the map function, the bright pink section, this is what you have for the gap building, other than this e-i-r. the gap building, i was here and a bunch of you participated or listened to the hiring on the gap building. ~ hearing
1:20 pm
it was pushed back intentionally and it lines up -- the end of this site is the gap building. the gap building increased height starts beyond the point of this parking garage. this is the fourth rezoning of heights along the waterfront. three of the four of high ultra high end luxury housing. the abag study is relevant and the population was scoped out of this e-i-r. there is a relationship between need for housing for the work force and production of housing that is not needed. that is what this is. this e-i-r is grossly inadequate.
1:21 pm
hi, everybody. david os good, rincon center tenants association. i want to second sue's comments. on the screen you can see what she's talking about also. can we bring this up? can we bring up the image? all right, the project is here, 75 howard. you can see the [speaker not understood] all the buildings in this area do one of two things. they are either about 7 or 8 stories tall, or if they are taller than that they have a huge setback from the embarcadaro. the gap tower sets back about 75 feet, three times further than 75 howard was setback. the hills residential tower
1:22 pm
sets back about 180 feet, but 7 times further than 75 howard. the historic hills tower sets back about 100 feet. 75 would only setback 23 feet. it is completely out of sync with the buildings on the embarcadaro. also, i want to talk about stepping down, which is a requirement. so, this map which is not in the e-i-r but should be, very simple, the buildings that are shorter than 75 howard are in yellow. the buildings that are taller are blue. there's an ocean of shorter buildings behind 75 howard. that should be emphasized in the e-i-r, but it's not. i know that some of you, you always do, somebody is going to pontificate that this building steps down. it does not step down towards
1:23 pm
the water. and the best way to gauge that, in my opinion -- and i was an architectural draftsman, so, i know how to do this accurately and in scale. just draw a line like this from a tall building. in this case, from 350 mission street toward the project, and then showing it down below the same line, you can see whether it steps down or not. now, som, i went to their one community meeting. they like to draw these swooping lines across all these shorter buildings to make it look like it's stepping down, but it doesn't. this does not step down. it starts to. then when you get to the project, there's that big jump up. and then a huge 348 drop back down towards the embarcadaro. so, say what you want about the project, but please don't say it steps down. thank you.
1:24 pm
good afternoon, commissioners. my name is jamie whitaker, [speaker not understood]. i sent an eight-page letter regarding the e-i-r so i'm going to -- vary a little bit away from e-i-r stuff. my apologies in advance. i think there's a lot of things to like about the proposed project. eliminating a 550 space public parking garage [speaker not understood] the air pollution concerns mentioned earlier during public comment, there is a lot to like about eliminating that parking garage and instead placing residential building, residential dwellings. regardless of the economic status of the people that live there. the mix of the units in the proposed building is also very attractive to me as a resident.
1:25 pm
we tend to see 90% studios are darn close. it's mostly hotel rooms where it brings on unintended consequences. people live alone as they age, they might develop alzheimer's disease and other issues. i see that in my building at bank crest. you have people howling at the moon, so to speak, and there's nobody living with them to take care of them. and it's just unfortunate. ~ outcome of having studios and one bedrooms as the predominant dwelling type. so, the fact that there's 97 two-bedroom units, only 16 studio units, 39 one-bedroom units, more impressive there's 29 three-bedroom units and five four-bedroom units. i don't know if i've ever seen a four bedroom unit proposed in the neighborhood. who can afford these?
1:26 pm
probably a [speaker not understood] washington crowd most likely [speaker not understood] could afford those. the city-owned triangle lap, i want you to notice there's a new playground built at sue beer man park that gets very well used. you should visit on the weekend on a nice sunny day. it's oversaturated. there's more kids [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood] rodriguez who helped design and push for a playground for her kids and other kids in the neighborhood [speaker not understood] this triangle. the port pushed back and said we want to lease this property and make money off this triangle. i really hope this is a chance, regardless of the fate of 75 howard street, for the city to consider making this triangle a playground with the four-foot fence around it. there's five day care centers in the immediate area. there's going to be $6 million in open space money contributed from the office buildings.
1:27 pm
the proposed height is not code compliant and my preference is for a code compliant building, but i'll fight over that. thank you. commissioners, thank you. ian lewis speaking from the restaurant hotel and workers union local 2. i looked at this project primarily with respect to its hotel variant and i poured over it, having submitted comment during scoping and in this two-page -- two-inch thick document, i found about six places where hotels were treated differently from residential. and i need to call that out and insist that you revise this and treat hotels as they should be. they're not a residential use. they function differently. hotels are the place of employment for nearly 20,000 san francisco workers.
1:28 pm
the volumes of trash that flow through the building, the conditions for employees in hotels are extraordinarily important. you know, those six places that were addressed differently seem to me places where some technician looked up in a book and found that the technical follow viewv of trip generation or parking demand differed in some way from verix decksv, no familiarity ~ with what makes hotels unique. ~ uses. i'm not going to go through an inventory of all the omissions here. i refer first back to the comments i submitted in scoping with respect to employee entrance, the employee use of common area elevators, whether that's going to happen and what the consequences would be. in particular, some attention to the layout and design of the kitchen facilities. just so you know, about a year
1:29 pm
ago, workers working in a brand-new kitchen in an existing hotel in union square were taken to the hospital because of ill conceived ventilation allowing the heat in that kitchen to raise over 120 degrees were injured because of very poorly thought out ergonomics. that should not be allowed to happen especially when a project undergoes review from the ground up like this. it seems to me like the hotel variant was thrown into this proposal almost as a throw away. that's certainly how it was treated in this analysis. so, i think either it should receive some real scrutiny and analysis or should be stripped out and the hotel variant eliminated. thanks. >> thank you. good afternoon, commissioners. tim colin on behalf of the san francisco housing action coalition. and the project sponsors
1:30 pm
together with som architects made a presentation on this project a few months ago, and i'd say the quick answer is if a parking garage like 75 howard were proposed today, it would never get built, it would never get approved. it's a relic of a by gone era when the freeway was there, the elevated freeway. we think this project is a terrific use of land. to take down the garage and put up something that responds better to the needs of our city. we thought that the proposal itself was very attractive. it has the kind of uses that we like to see. we want to see more activation on the waterfront. if i had, you know, any reservation at all it's that some of our members are not convinced on the question of the height, having seen a rezoning there recently, how does this play off against value conferred and what's the best way to treat this. we know that there are a lot of people