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tv   [untitled]    August 23, 2011 3:00am-3:30am PDT

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>> good evening and welcome to the board of appeals. we're joined by representatives from the planning department and
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the department of building inspection. we are joined by a -- representing the department of public health. at this time, if you would please go over the meeting guidelines and then conduct the swearing in process. >> the board request that you will turn off all phones and pagers so they will not disturb the proceedings. the rules of presentation are as follows, appellants, permit holders, and a part of representatives each have seven minutes to present and three minutes for rebuttal. people affiliated must conclude their comments within the time
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given. those who are not affiliated with the party have up to three minutes each to address the board. to assist the board in the preparation minutes, members of the public that wish to speak on an item are asked but not required to submit a card. speaker cards and pens are available on the left side. the board welcomes your comments and suggestions. there are comment cards on the lectern. if you have questions about a rehearing schedule, please speak to the staff or call the office tomorrow morning. this meeting is broadcast live on san francisco government television, cable channel 78.
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the meetings are available for purchase on dvd directly from sfgtv. if you plan to testify and wish to have the board give your testimony, please stand, raise your right hand, and say "i do," after you have been sworn in or affirmed. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you will give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. >> thank you. we will move on to item number one, which is public comment.
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is there anyone that would like to speak on an item not on the agenda? we will move to item number 2 which is commissioner comments and questions. >> item number3 is the adoption of minutes. before you are the minutes of the meeting of july 27th. >> if not, i will move the adoption. >> is to any public comment on the minutes? >> on the motion to a job the minutes to launch on the motion to adopt the minutes. -- on the motion to adopt the minutes. thank you, at the vote is 5-0. >> the next item on the calendar is a special item, this is a
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presentation of a resolution honoring of florence corn field for his service -- a warrants -- this is a presentation of resolution honoring laurence kornfield for this service. >> it is my honor to read this. he first attended the board of appeals meeting in 1988 and went on to serve as a representative for the board of appeals for nearly 20 years. first as the chief building
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inspector and then as the deputy director for the apartment building inspection. whereas with great professionalism and technical expertise, he carried out his duty, displayed a deep understanding of the issues and loss associated. and an ability to address the questions posed by the board and the public, clarity, compassion. whereas laurence kornfield uses exceptional problem-solving skills to help resolve a dispute. also helping to amend these, sometimes literally. -- also hoping to amend fences. also working to work with earthquake reduction efforts. there are new responsibilities.
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where as the commissioners and staff of the board of appeals will miss the extensive knowledge and good humor that laurence kornfield brought to the meetings. be it resolved that the san francisco board of appeals command laurence kornfield for his many years of service and a member has a staff of the apartment building inspection. the commissioners and staff of the board of appeals express their heartfelt a fishy asian -- expressed their heartfelt appreciation. adopted by the san francisco board of appeals at our meeting on the 18, 2011.
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[applause] >> if i could say one or two words. it has always been one of the highlights of my work of that apartment building inspection and this allowed me to combine all of the technical issues with the complex issues that are brought before the board and i enjoy that as one of the highlights of my career. they've you very much. >> let me take a quick second to describe this position. >> we're trying to understand
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what the impact will be. they asked me to come off with a plan for earthquake safety. right now, i am finishing drafting a 30-year overview plan which would have been next year. we would try to make some changes. if we're lucky enough to have an earthquake, maybe we can go way ahead. name me -- every little incremental step makes it a better place to live. >> thank you. your testimony is were always --
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and i know that we will be in good hands. [applause] >> it is there any public comment on this item? we will move on to the next item, the jurisdiction request. the subject property is at 33 to 44 market street. -- 3344 market street. this is asking the board to dish jurisdiction over notice of violation of an efficient -- issued. the board voted to set aside the
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decision to deny jurisdiction of may 11th, 2011. mr. paul, you can start. >> thank you very much. i have three minutes to cover a great deal of information. i want to explain why the trigger is important, why are we asking for a waiver of penalties and fines? what about the citizens who would have liked to have been. the planning department enforcement process has lacked clarity and is getting better. at the time of this violation, the penalty was launched. this is not simply about the finds. this is about a tremendous
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amount of money that was used to spend the previous night club. there is a plan now proposed to change the structure and to undo some physical problems that were in transit to the design that went through a three-year approval process that led to the building not being sound tight. most of the sound problems that have been experienced at the trigger have been ameliorated to a large extent and comes from the smoking patio. in terms of why the planning
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process is flawed and you ought to take jurisdiction over this, the building department has a violation, they need to cite a business with, they go out and they slapped an orange notice to the door and a notice of violation. it says to file the building permit applications and do this for a number of days. this was issued on may 7th of 2010. this lists of things that needed to be done that were first put in writing on april 28th, 2010. those exact items came up in conversation as things are explored as sound mitigation solutions. these were not an easy solution or an easy fix.
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claim asking you to grant jurisdiction so that we can discuss these issues. these penalties are about $60,000 and these are really fair. >> the department has concerns about the board granted jurisdiction in this matter and other matters that have come before the board that are related to the violation of the penalty. the department has been supportive of the board's decision. they do not justify a second chance on the notice of violation and penalties.
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the case was approved in 2008 and 2009. we had complaints and we initiated the enforcement process. the notice of violation penalty was issued on may 7th of 2010. this is not come into compliance until they had the entitlement revoked. we had to take it to the planning commission for it to change. they did a very simple thing, they closed the door by this outdoor smoking area that they then closed in december and that is why they came into compliance with the conditions of approval. the issue of the penalties was discussed last november with a meeting with supervisor dufty about the project and we informed them that they can come to see board of appeals to
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request jurisdiction. they failed to file an appeal. that advice was given in november of last year. they did not file the request until april of this year. then they missed their first hearing on this. it seemed like it was an error on when they put the item in their calendar. we think that the violation had gone on for far too long. they were forced by the planning commission to come into compliance and they finally did so but in the past few months we have uncovered more issues. sound was continuing to be an issue and we sent an inspector out in july. they observed this smoking area which was supposed to be closed. this would violate the city's
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second hand smoking ordinance and a violation of state law. they might be able to answer some questions what triggers with the compliance. they have been smoking they're in violation of the law. they are operating in violation of the city law, and they have not made good consistent efforts to come into compliance. with that, we've pressed the board to not grant jurisdiction. >> the roll door that encloses the patio, has any of your staff or other inspectors noticed whether this is up or down? >> we have had inspectors out and we have noticed that it is down.
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that is good. it is reported that there still smoking in that area which is a violation. >> has there been recent complaints? >> the most recent complaints were earlier this year. >> what is the final amount of the sanctions you are seeking? >> i believe it was $30,000. >> can i see a show of hands of women and people are interested in speaking on this item?
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>> ayman neighbor in the district and i am a board member -- i am a neighbor in the district and i am also a board member of the neighborhood association. the inconsequent noise violations and other complaints that have been violated since the club is open from a random check from my personal records the other day showed over 30 complaints assisted with the cast members from april through september. all of them were told, i will fix it. we're still talking about it. if you will be able to walk
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with a penalty that demonstrates that a well-connected businesses will trump city rules. >> i am president of the -- neighborhood association and we serve 3000 houses by the castro market and older. we have been involved in this project since the beginning. we wrote a letter supporting the project. why would like to submit this. we thought that the business was compatible with the neighborhood. in may of 2009, the club opened. i was there on opening night. shortly thereafter, the issues
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started to pile up and the file shows that there was probably about a hundred calls over the course of the year regarding this. the zoning administrator went to impose fines. i personally called president dufty's office and asked that the fines not be imposed so we would not be here. i asked for a meeting and we had the enforcement staff, we have the planning staff, we also have supervisor dufty, we have the neighborhood associations, we had mr. paul. coming out of that meeting, we were really hopeful because the project sponsor indicated that they would mitigate the noise. we did not want to come here and talk about this.
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the enforcement officer talked to mr. paul and told him that they would keep piling up. you're forced to go to the planning commission under the threat of the revocation. this was not a very hard compliance. it was pulling the garage door down. i know the people that work in the business want to frame it in terms of what it's going to do to the business. that's something you need to consider. i also want to frame it in terms of what the business did to the neighborhood as well as, by reducing or eliminating the fine to a great extent would do to the conditional use process. i think we need a process that has integrity. the project sponsor signed the conditional use application thing that if he didn't comply, there would be a $250 a day penalty, which there was.
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i think any substantial fine will send a message to businesses that they can't break their promises, keep getting second and third chances. even with that equipment, nothing happens and we're forced to fight these things. i think eliminating the fine or reducing the substantially will hurt the integrity of the process and some substantial fine needs to be imposed. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> it's my letter to bill hayward, who was the aide. >> good evening, my name is alan nelson. i'm the president of the neighborhood association. i was here in july and spoke to you. i actually wrote the conditions of use for trigger. i worked with greg braunstein
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and i worked with his representative to come up with agreeable conditions of use that would be good for the neighborhood. greg agreed to them. he loved them. he was reaching out to the community. it was fabulous. unfortunately, right after he opened, everything that we talked about in the conditions of use he started violating. lots of the conditions he was not adhering to. we had numerous complaints. i called greg, i talked to greg. i talked to bev and dufty, i talked to beau hayward. it got so bad that we were engaging enforcement. enforcement was doing sound checks repeatedly. i think at least nine times the sound checks were done, and he was in violation of his conditions of use. the noise was so lloyd and so pervasive across the street -- loud and so pervasive across the street. it was closer to a bar across the street, you could actually
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hear trigger, and you could not hear the cafe, which is also a dance club. we decided to get together in february, because we didn't want to get to this point, as dennis mentioned, and we agreed to reset the clock. the agreement was between everybody in that room, which dennis has outlined, was that by the end of march, greg would be compliant. greg committed to that, and mr. paul committed to that. we talked about it. everybody in the room. so end of march comes by. we do a sound check. guess what, he's not compliant. he hasn't done much. so then we have sound check done at the end of april. then another one done at the beginning of may. greg is not compliant. so then he gets the notice of enforcement. greg ignores that notice. i even called bev inn, a friend of mr. braunstein's. nothing happened. greg did not respond to the notice of noncompliance until august 8. i believe it was august 8 or august 10, 2010. that's an awful long time to be
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just ignoring a notice. the whole issue here is greg has made promises. i know this is a huge setback. but if we're not going to adhere to the rules and if people aren't going to have to pay the fines, why have them? it basically neuters or whole process. if i run a stop sign, i get a fine. i don't get out of it. greg should not get out of this. and that's really our whole position. it's been a lot of work and taken an enormous amount of city resources and an enormous amount of the community members' time, to actually be a neighborhood-serving business and have respect for the neighborhood. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> good evening, my name is david troupe. i'm on the board of the neighborhood association. i don't want to be here tonight, and i didn't want to
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be at the planning commission hearing where mr. braunstein's c.u. was nearly revoked. i didn't want to be at any of the other meetings we had over the last two years trying to get resolution on this noise issue. but this has been a litany of broken promises and lies from the very beginning. greg came to our organization. he had the existing bar on the site. there had been a lot of noise problems there. and one of the reasons that we supported his plans to basically completely reconstruct the building is that he promised that the noise issues would be addressed and we wouldn't have them to worry about anymore. that didn't happen. and even very specific things that he agreed to. the building has sort of an air lock door system where there are two doors, and you have to go through one door and then another door to get in. the conditions of use specified that the outer tour always be
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kept shut. he said the east most outer door would only be for an emergency exit. for most of the last couple of years, up until the he began complying, that upper door was open nearly every night. we had multiple meetings where he feigned ignorance of that and promised it would change. it didn't, and the sound would be blasting out of there. the meeting in february of last year, where there were promises made about resolutions, he gave a phone number to the neighbors who were complaining about noise. said this phone will be carried by someone all the time when the club is open. if you have a complaint, just call this number. the folks that lived across the street and were experienced these problems told me that they never once reached anybody on that number. they would get a number that they would get a number that said the mail box is full and