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tv   [untitled]    August 26, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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have these major corporations squeezing the small guy. this is tough from that perspective. on the reading of it, i don't think we have a lot of wiggle room. >> this case is difficult. this is quite compelling. it goes through the point by which the appellant is not comply. there is the issue of knowing
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about the application and its subsequent removal. also the issue as required by law and the order from the court which plays into that particular statement. on the other hand -- i am in concurrence. contrary to this is the question not so much for the property rights but to the issue is as we interpret the specific
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language of a policy and we are not able to redefine that policy so much as trying to interpret it to some degree. we then need to go beyond just a letter of the briefs, the letters of those actions and see if it was really voluntarily done and to what extent -- played into this issue. it really bothers me the monopolistic approach and attitude of this country -- company. at this board, we are faced with not only trying to interpret the policy but also the
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implementation of the enforcement. in this thing together case, i will have to go with the department. this does not make me feel good to play into the hands of a company that has a monopoly. i have a growing concern as these cases come before us about the voluntary nature with other cases where the owners claim that these were forged.
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i don't feel comfortable uphold in a series of conduct that is very concerning, so i respect the opinions of my fellow commissioners but i would be inclined to side in this case and others with the owner. >> i agree with those who say that we should support the department, is there a conclusion? >> for the record, proposition g notified at 611. this is a planning code. this comes along because of actions by this board having to do with the determination that a permit those with the land, that
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would cause this. this is not was done by the voters. to say that they have set this situation, i think it is a tragedy and a city should deal with that and the fact that they have traded an incredibly unfair business situation. >> i would not make a motion.
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"i will move to uphold the department. >> i will be voting against it because i will vote for a motion cannot be done because this is not in compliance but i will not vote on something based upon a finding that has to do with the approach. >> a friendly amendment to add.
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>> this is a non complying use and a non compliant structure. >> i did not hear that. >> the motion is to deny the appeal and uphold the the mile with the findings of this line is not compliant. >> will also based this on the department's brief and finding in their letter. >> on the basis of that listed in the denial letter and brief.
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on that motion -- >> aye. >> aye. >> no. >> no. >> the boat is 3-2. the appeal is denied. the department's denial is upheld on that basis. >> thank you. >> we are resuming the meeting. we are calling appeal number 8. the property is at 42 days
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street, this appeals the denial of the permit to alter a building, remodeling of a two- story single-family we are on for hearing today. you will hear from the apellant first.
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>> good evening. hello. good evening. my name is jean and next to me is my husband. i'm a graphic artist and i divide my time between teaching at the california college of the arts and creating my art at my home. our two children live with us. my home is not a place where i sell my art and i, like john, enjoy working from home. it gives us a chance to be with our kids more. it has been essential to the way we parent. and saves me the expense of renting a work space. that i could on the use part time due to my teaching duties.
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as you likely know, john, my husband, has not gone into the lucrative private practice. most of his medical student colleagues have. and works for the federal employee of the v.a. hospital and teaches medicine as well. for us, buying a large home as never been a realistic financial option. i think you have seen the letters my parents have submitted to you. they already visit a great deal and look forward to the time when they can move in with us if we can get permits for more space. i want to thank all of my neighbor who is have come to support us and coming here tonight. i would like to introduce our attorney. thank you.
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>> good evening. there is an existing photo of the building as it exists today. i wanted to thank everybody. there is about 20 people here who came to speak, but we are asking them to keep their speeches to two minutes or less and i wanted to thank them all. first, john and jean were very disappointed in the planning staff recommendations because they did make eight of the nine or 10 changes staff wanted and it was surprising that the staff and not a neighbor would d.r. the project. there are portions that planning thinks are excessive. let's start with those. the staircase, a doughnut hole in the middle of a staircase is making it grandiose. it is the home of a future wheelchair accessible elevator once jean's parents move in and stairs become inaccessible.
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they believe the third floor deck is larger than needed and the two light rails should be put in the center of the building. the solution was to -- space that's on the third floor brings in light and heat into the interior rooms, provides some shelter and a neighbor asked that there be no stairs to the roof because of its height and the roof deck was eliminated and this takes its place. that makes this open space very important. i heard it asked why two parents cannot share one work space. graphics are certainly a noisy showing produce. the overhead drawing shows that john and jean would lose a
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bedroom. the next one, the planning department requires 15-foot setback be done. why? because the former two bedrooms here would have to be reconfigured. this building would be under 70 square feet. one bedroom wall must be seven feet under the housing code and this room, one bedroom wall would have to be seven feet under the planning code. as a result, these two would be merged and what we have is two teenage kids of different sexes losing their privacy and there is nothing more important to any age than people -- teenage -- teenagers to have their privacy, boy and girls especially at that age. it results in a lossor a laundry room which is important to them
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and reduces the size of a bedroom. it is already small enough that nothing but a bed can fit in it. also they ask why the second floor of the living room has a double height space next to the open space, and that's simply because the living room has no natural light given it is the middle of the existing building. as for guidelines, you know, as i have said in my brief, the guidelines call themselves recommendations and suggestions. since design is inherently very circumstantial, subjective and reflect differing contexts, the -- as i mentioned different contexts i think are what made the drafters make it flexible. the case before you is a very unusual context. it is a factual context in which
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reasonable people have entered into an agreement that there is a tradeoff to be made here, namely the neighbors are concerned that -- be improved -- were the open space important to them and asked that it is done on the top. to do it is more expensive to lean on an additional building but it is something good neighbors do for good neighbors and these neighbors have always gotten along. the 15-foot setback i think would create a i.p.o.ive from the neighborhood that -- a point of view from the neighborhood that they should really think twice before they add an additional story to. there are two stories. half the buildings don't have a third story. many people are looking at this in the future on this block. there are no burdens to the neighborhood going along with what our clients want. the objective shadow standing
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findings that mark macy, the architect is doing, something that planning only speculates on. it shows no shadowing. thank you very much. >> good evening again. dan, department staff. as mr. gladstone has indicated, this project would add a third story to an existing two-story building bringing the total square feet up to 3600 square feet. the planning commission did review this project as a mandatory staff discretionary review and they did exercise their discretionary powers and required two changes in order
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toa assure the project adhere to the long standing residential design guidelines. the first change i made in keeping with the r.d.g. was that exposed, rather that the exposed upper level, the top story, the front of the building beset back by 15 feet. this figure is universally complide throughout the city to expose upper stories. the commission applied that to this case as it has many other instances. the second change the commissioner required to make sure that the projected a theered the residential design guidelines was a rear setback of four feet. this four-foot level brings its along with the proposed top level addition to the average point between two adjacent properties. with these two changes the department if he would felt that the project was compliant with the guidelines and they did
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approve it. now again as mr. gladstone has said there is a good deal of support for the project in the neighborhood and that is indeed a rarity and that's great. we love that. but the implementation of the planning code is not a matter of popularity. the rules must and do apply evenly to everyone and we can't wait for a particular project and not others because of a particular neighborhood or particular area feel something is preferable. the drentsrble design guidelines have been cod find for more than a decade. the commission's decision was consistency with the guidelines. -- consistent with the guidelines. stepping back for a second, getting off my residential design soapbox. mr. glad if stone identified a
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number of particular -- for his client listed on page two of his brief. the three i think are most important are the spatial goals. firstly, desiring a room for their in-laws to move in with them. secondly, they desire a home office space and thirdly a separate home/studio. these are the three key spatial goals for this project. i would like to put the top floor design of the project as proposed on the overhead. this is a gracious, spacious
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floor plan. it is inefficient. very inefficient. and for that reason, it is also full of opportunity. i would like to point out this space here, this is a two-story space over the second level living area. this space directly adjacent to it is sort of a wall, patio that mr. gladstone spoke about. if you add in the void in the middle of the stairs which may or may not be part of the project's goals, that is an additional 50 square feet. 25 feet on each level. what we're talking about here is 350 feet of space that is open. it is open space. the commission asked again for a 15-foot setback at the front.
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and four-foot setback at the rear. there is already a 5 not 10 -- 5'10" setback at the front and a four-foot setback at the rear. that difference come price 330 square feet. so we're pretty much at a wash in terms of the square footage. with this in mind, it is our feeling that the top level really could be reconfigured, to accommodate the commission's decision. it could be reconfigured to take these inward facing open spaces and make them outward facing and in doing so, it meets both the commission's goals, the residential design guidelines, satisfies them and satisfies the appellant's goals.
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now in fairness, commissioners, the house won't have quite the same generous degree of spaciousness, roominess, but the appellant will still have a 3300 square foot house that meets all of their stated goals. so with that, commissioners, i thank you for your time. i would urge you to uphold the rest dent rble design guidelines. >> i agree with you, you know, more than just recommendations. but you state that a 15-foot setback is standard. are there any exceptions to that? >> the residential design guidelines, by definition are guidelines. whenever there is an exposed upper story, the setback is 15 feet. that's the policy.
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when they review cases, there are cases when they feel extenuating circumstances are present and they have been known to increase or decrease that number. the guidelines are clear clear. >> the scenes yes, there are exceptions. >> -- answer is yes, there are exceptions. >> there have been, yes. >> the fact that there are 12 other residents on that block that have three storys with no setback, what effect does that have? >> the immediate context of this house is that it is the center house in a row of five that are all two stories but step down a block. there are houses that are higher up the block. they have their own character and that defines that part of the block. one thing that mr. gladstone mentioned is that neighbors are looking to this house as a
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modeling indicator as to how they might feel about it. we certainly welcome it. we expect them to adhere to the guidelines and the code and so forth but if they are looking to a model, i think it is important that the model is found and the residential design guidelines and the planning code. >> thank you. >> could we see that drawing? could we see that drawing again? where -- there it is. the front, it appears that there is a smallish deck and then your idea is to set it back an additional what, 11 feet? and then so that the total setback is 15 feet. is that right? >> it is about a nine-foot delta. >> ok. nine feet then. that would be a preference of square feet that are in the -- what was your language? the open space inside? >> the rough numbers are the
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combined open area. about 300 square feet and this area here on both the top level and second level is about 25 square feet per level. combined it is 350 square feet. >> is there anything prohibiting the deck of that size on the top of that second floor? >> certainly not in the planning code. >> that five by five doughnut hole between the -- in the staircase, is that big enough for an elevator? >> that is an excellent question. i would have to refer to my colleagues at d.b.i. >> ok. we can ask d.b.i. later. thank you. president goh, do you want me to come up now and answer your question? are they due to come up now? president goh:if you have a question for them, you can call them up. >> please.
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>> good evening, commissioners. tony greko, d.b.i. it could be accommodated at a later time. >> ok. thank you. >> we're ready to move into public comments. can i see a show of hands, please, for those people who are interested in speaking. >> thank you. do i get a rebuttal after? >> after the public comments. >> this isn't your first time here, is it? >> ok. i would ask that anyone interested in speaking to please line up on the walton far side of the room. president goh will need to hear from you to know how many minutes to give to each speaker. president goh: two minutes. >> i would ask that you fill out a speaker card either before and after you speak.
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>> not to embarrass the son and daughter, i don't believe they will be able to speak. >> no, any family member cannot speak under public comments. >> they are not speaking. some neighbor couldn't be here at the last minute and asked them to read something. >> no, it is the time -- they cannot participate in public comments. >> ok. someone else will read. >> please step forward, first speaker. please step forward. >> i'm the neighbor that lives next door to jean and john. i understand that the city believes my house is the most affected by their changes. shadow or affect my privacy. i appreciate that the planning department has rules and regulations made to protect individuals and that they want to protect me and my property,
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but i haven't actually asked for that protection. jean and john have involved me in the planning from the beginning and there is nothing about their plans they feel affect my house or causes me any issues. i've never spoken to anyone in the planning department so it is unclear to me how they might feel that i have some issues when, in fact, i'm really quite supportive of my neighbor's plans. i don't believe that the changes being proposed improve upon the quality of my life in my house but i do believe that the quality of our neighborhood would be negatively affected if we lose jean and john and their family as neighbors. they have been really great neighbors and have been a positive force in our neighborhood and if they had to move because of the changes they need to make to accommodate their family couldn't be made, that would be a great loss for all of us. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. my name