tv Government Access Programming SFGTV January 13, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PST
kind of the structure that's on 27th street, the new home, kind of the typical 25-foot lot. so i think the program here works. i think i'm fine with the program. there's obviously a large family that you're trying to accommodate in the main home, and then there's a second home in the rear. i like the discussion that this is not a demolition under the building code, so it's only the tantamount under our code. so the rent control provisions should prevail. i kind of agree on the front. it could use, you know, softening to make it -- i don't know if it's -- so it will feel less bulky on that building. there are some others like this on 27th street that have kind of the large kind of how things work, but i think, you know, the
bedrooms, while there's five of them and they're fairly modest size, it's not what we've seen in other places where there's bathrooms on every bedroom. so i think the program works. i would just like to see some design modifications so it doesn't read as large from the front on 27th street as it does under the renderings we have before us. >> commissioner: i was going to say something very similar in that, you know, yeah, the difference to me is the design. it doesn't have, you know, two media rooms and some of the things that we've seen in some of these other massive expansions. it is clearly designed for a family, a large family. so that makes a difference to me. i do agree that, you know, there's some design elements that could, perhaps, be tinkered with to make some of the neighbors, you know, less -- you
know, more comfortable with how it fits in to the fabric of that block. but, you know, i think that expanding the back unit actually is a good thing. it makes it rentable and provides a home for someone. so i think that with some design tweaks, i could support this project. >> commissioner richards. >> commissioner: i guess the question is we have one 3d drawing, and it clearly really jumps out because it's a very big building. do you have any other 3d drawings from the neighbor's back looking towards the front? any other things we could use? >> does it help to look at the model? >> sure. >> so the neighbor's house, can you walk us through that? >> you into he had to speak into the microphone.
>> if you can set it up on top of the flat surface there, we can see it. great. >> okay. so the 761 27th street, one of the reasons the front yard setback is as severe as it is is because altogether the other houses are kind of -- all of the other houses are in there line here and this one jumps back. basically, it goes from -- it's right here. >> okay. >> okay. and because we have to average between this and karen buckley's house over here, because of that average, we have to push it back to the maximum front yard setback. in if we could do the normal averaging, we would probably be where we are right now. >> so in the demo counts for the tantamount's demolition, were both buildings, walls and all
that, considered one unit, or did you -- do we look at only just that building? >> we were just looking at this one. it was just this one house because this house here basically all this exists right now. all that is happening is part of this was jetting over to this side. so it was just a matter of reconfiguring this. by the way, we did -- lenore and rachel have a lot of support. we didn't have a chance to present that, if you would like to look at that. >> it looks like the commission is going with changing the design of it. i think the design needs changed. when i heard stucco, i kind of thought oh, you know, generally not a -- to me, not a high quality finish. i think there needs to be something with the masking. there is a deck in the front. there's a deck on the side. there's a deck in the back.
a lot of decks. i appreciate you bringing the model. i'm open to design changes to make it less aggressive. >> you need to switch on your microphone. >> commissioner: when i first opened the packet, it seems like the more typical oversized and then looking further with our limit of two units and the, you know, compliant height limit, i'm learning towards supporting this project. i am totally open to any design changes, but within my head, racking my brain to see what other options i can think of and don't have too many. so i'm still open, like i said, to hearing any design changes you would like to see. overall, i'm probably going to support this project.
>> commissioner moore. >> commissioner: i still would like to see the project modeled in context of the adjoining heights because that is what is throughout. that is where the building rather large and that is what i personally like to avoid because it invites just this continued maximizing real estate notion which is part of how i feel about this building. these are buildings set in traditional neighborhoods warehouse holds are mod -- where households are modest. they're on a slope. to really understand and benefit the project and full disclosure, i would like to see it in the context of the adjoining heights, modeled in a 3d or added to that model. it can be in design block. it's not very difficult to do. but that would be for me a determining factor to look at this. my instincts tell me i would probably suggest at this juncture to take the 4th floor
off. >> again, i think it's not enormous. that 4th floor could read differently. you're designing it so it reads that way with the awning and kind of that infrastructure around it. so i'm fine. i think you're trying to, you know, solve an issue to accommodate a large family and extended family. it is not the type of project we have seen where there's decks and media rooms. if you look at the layout of the plans, they're modest size bedrooms and bathrooms. so i think it's fine, but -- it is set back fairly significant from 27th street.
>> i don't mind continuing this and having the architect work to minimize the impact to the 4th floor. i think the first two floors read kind of tall because you've kind of put them -- which i think could be fine, given some adjustments to the 4th floor, but i would just work with ret and work with a design to bring back that 4th floor from the street level. >> commissioner: move to continue four weeks, which would be february 15th -- february 22nd. >> commissioner: to the maker of the motion, i would like to ask that there is further disclosure on the massing and height of adjoining buildings as part of
this investigation. i would also like to suggest to visit with commissioner hill is is -- hillis, i would like to see a partial 4th floor which modifies or kind of composes with lower heights and adjoining buildings because those buildings are all lower. just extruding it out 4 floors here, i will not be supporting it now. if there's an attempt to preserve a portion of the 4th floor, then it will deal with adjoining massing, including sloping, collective hill form, et cetera. >> if you could, with the architect, you want to bring back a model that shows the adjacent neighbors in the same form and or do the 3d renderings with the buildings. i look at the 3d renderings -- >> i don't think you have to
bring back a model with the neighboring -- that's expensive. >> in like to do that because it's not difficult to do. others like 3d. whatever you choose. >> so when i see the -- when i see the last actual 3d drawings, i see the front of the building looking, looks like, west, but there's kind of something over here, and it's like, is that the neighbor's house? i mean, i really want to see what it looks like contextually. so have one looking forward if you're going to do a drawing, but if you're requesting -- going to do wood, that speaks volumes. i would leave it up to you. >> commissioner: just purely a suggestion, i think i initially didn't have a problem with that perspective drawing if the third floor looks like it's set back. the reason i don't have a problem with the 4th floor was asks -- because it's so set
back. i don't know if setting back that third floor half the distance of the 4th floor setback might be somewhere to start or an option just a suggestion. >> okay. >> i did not hear a second to the motion. >> shall i call the question then? on that motion, commissioners to continue this matter to february 22nd with some varying degrees of direction from the commission. commissioner -- [ all ayes ] >> commissioner: continue the hearing to february 22nd as well. the commission will take a 10-minute break.
welcome back to the hearing for thursday, january 11th, 2018. i will remind members of the public that the commission does not tolerate outbursts. silence your mobile devices and when speaking before the commission, if you care to, state your name for the record. we left off on your regular calendar item 16. it's 668 through 678 page street. this is a condominium conversion subdivision. commissioners, the case before you is a request for a condominium conversion, subdivision for a building and a 40 example height and bulk district in a residential condominium. to alterations to the buildings other than those resulting from
the department of building inspections physical report. the subdivision code requires that the plan commission hold a public hearing to review conversions containing 5 to 6 units for consistency with the general plan. prior to the publishing, they received one letter of opposition from the housing rights committee and one e-mail letter requesting that the case be pulled from the consent calendar and be placed on the regular calendar. there will be three more received. an e-mail from iris, a member of the san francisco tenants unit, francis taylor, a community member and from [indiscernible], from the chinatown development center. they are being distributed for review. this focuses on ms. iris canada, a senior citizen who resided in one of the units.
ms. canada was granted a life estate giving her the status of owner and allowing her to occupy the unit. in 2017, the superior court said she had not permanently resided there since 2001. per the orders, ms. canada's belongings were removed by the san francisco county sheriff in february 2017. the commission's role in reviewing condominium conversion cases is to determine the project's consistency for the january plan and the subdivision code. the code section 1396.2e defines any six as a notice terminating tenancy. section 1386 directs the commission to disapprove condominium conversions projects in which an elderly or permanently disabled tenant is displaced. given ms. canada's life estate agreement and the court's finding that she had not resided in the unit since 2012, she was not considered a tenant nor was
the residence considered a leasing united. because it complies with the applicable standards of review, we are recommending that the commission approve the projected. thank you and i'm available for my questions that you may have. >> thank you. project sponsor. >> president hillis, members of the commission, i'm scott. i'm here speaking on behalf of the applicants. because we're restricted to ten minutes and there are several applicants, i would like to ask them to stand so you can meet them at least a little bit because they're not all going to be able to address you in the ten minutes that we're allotted. this is obviously a rather unusual situation for the planning commission to be dealing with, but you have regularly had applications come before you involving conversion of 5 to 6 unit ti cs into condos. you get a staff report almost like the one you received in
this case that recognizes that the conversion is consistent with the planning code and with the subdivision code. then, this commission approves virtually every one of those. this application should receive that same treatment. there's nothing about this application that differs from a code perspective from the scores of other applications you've approved in terms of compliance with the planning code and compliance with the subdivision code. so why could this application be treated differently? i could think of three reasons, and i urge you to reject all three. one is that perhaps the commission doesn't think this application satisfies the code. but since it's the same set of circumstances as every other application that's come before you that, would mean you would have been making mistakes all these years in approving the other applications and necessarily would be against further conversion of condominiums of this size. i don't think that's the commission's policy, and i ask that you don't single out this application for differential treatment. a second reason this might be
something that someone might disapprove is essentially politics. the opponents of this application are politically savvy. they're well-connected, like the residents of the building. i urge the commission to leave the politics, if it belongs anywhere, to the board of supervisors where this application, of course, has had it. i urge the commission to address the code compliance issues within the per view. the third reason they might object is frankly falsehoods. the opponents have spread a series of falsehoods about the applicants. if you took everything they said at face value, the applicants are just about the worst people on earth. when i was first contacted late last year by the applicants, i didn't want to touch this with a 10-foot poll -- pole. then i realized, if you look at the facts here, it's the applicants who have been suffering and victimized by this whole process.
in today's political environment especially, facts matter. i invite you to listen to some of the applicants, hear the facts about this building, and please just give them a fair shake. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm peter owens, and i am the original owner of the page street property. my family and i have been portrayed as the bad guys here. i thought it might be useful for you to hear briefly my side of the story. in 2002, we bought and renovated the building on page street with the express goals of creating entry level homeownership. however, there was one tenant in the building who didn't want to move. for good reason. iris had been there for many, many years. even though law mandated we evict here, we didn't want to do that. so what did we do? we found another way, a legal way, to keep her in the building
so she could age in place by making her an owner. for nearly a decade, this worked well. even as her health declined. but then in 2012, her family moved iris out of the apartment, which ended her life estate because the life estate was based on her actually living in the apartment. the family then proceeded to cut off all communication between myself and iris canada, and soon became apparent there was another agenda at play. the commissioners, there was no eviction. this unit has been not lived in for 6 years. for anyone who doubts this fact, even in the face of multiple court judgments, of sworn testimony, of the sheriff's independent verification she was not in fact living there, i would simply ask you this question: why do you think that over the course of 12 months of a trial, neither ms. canada nor
her family presented or testified a single piece of evidence that she actually lived there? there's no court in san francisco that would foreclose the home of a 99-year-old woman if there was any credible evidence she lived there. here's the real kicker. we still cared about iris. we wanted to help her and offered a simple remedy. the family wasn't interested. they weren't interested. instead, with the help of activists -- you'll hear from them tonight -- they made -- they devised a tv story, a jointly we were something kicking an old lady out in the street forcing the sale at a wind fall place. it boiled down to giving the unit or paying me off or i'll
cry eviction to the press and raise holy hell. that's pretty much what happened. in the process, not only was a lovely and gentle woman exploited, but she was exposed to absolutely senseless distress in the final years of her life. in my mind, that is truly the unconscionable part of this story. certainly is no basis for denying the motion before you. thank you. >> hi. i'm ana munoz. she was not evicted. she moved out in 2012 and left the unit vacant. that is a fact along with -- a fact that i along with several of my neighbors testified to in our declarations during the litigation process. a fact that was only verified by the sheriff, a fact that couldn't be contested during the
litigation process business her herself neither her family. the syrian disability action groups harassed us, bullied us, broke the law by breaking into the building next to ours so that they could get on to our roof in september 2016. they created an atmosphere of hostility in the weeks following. three of my neighbor's cars were broken into. >> will you go to the overhead? sorry. >> this is them on my roof. here is a member of the committee on my roof as well. they created an atmosphere of hostility. our garage was broken into. three of my neighbor's cars were broken into. one resident was assaulted at our building.
here is her. that's the police record that she filed. she had nothing to do with the litigation process. she was assaulted in october of 2016. they lied to the press. the housing rights committee, her family, and the senior disability action network lied to the press. they made it appear as if she was still living in her unit, which she was not. they will stand here to today and they will lie to all of you because they can without risk of perjury. if they so want to claim she lived in her unit up to the day that the sheriff changed the locks, then they should have submitted their own testimony in court in her defense, but they did not. why? because they would have been committing perjury. instead, they engaged a campaign of lies and harassment and exploited an old layy in the last precious years of her life. they are dishonest to say the least. they put me, my family, and my neighbors through distress. i personally had to seek therapy
just to get past this. the lies they tell you today deserve zero consideration in this matter. here is housing rights committee, she trespassed on to my property in 2017. here's another member of the housing rights committee who trespassed on to my building and harassed me. here, again, is a man from the disability action network. they were filming in our building and they were also violating the law by filming in our building. here's further evidence of harassment, a poem written by tony mecca, another passive aggressive harassment aimed at the residents of the building including myself. here he is, tommy mecca, along
with teresa while people were trespassing inside my building, they were standing outside. more harassment. i want to talk about the affordability -- my husband and i purchased our unit in 2010. the market was low. we were lucky. our interest rate at the time was 7.5% on a 7-year arm. we had to morey against our retirement plan to put enough money down for the down payment. >> i'm>> i'm sorry. your time is up. >> i have a number of speaker cards. you can approach in any order, but organize we can line up against the screen side of the room. tommy mecca, tony robles, iris, suzanne prentis, iris cox,
cynthia fong, and gus brown. you can speak in any order. >> good afternoon. my name is dennis zaragosa. i substituted in as the attorney for iris canada in june of 2016. on the day i substituted in, i actually met peter owens, and i was with iris canada and her grandniece outside of the courtroom of department 501. and after -- this was after a hearing. actually, it was 502. but what happened then was that peter owens actually went up to iris, right in front of me, and said, i promise you right now today that i will never evict you. he made that promise before, according to what i was told.
in august that changed. but let's talk about the judgment. they said why is there no testimony? iris had no attorney. iris did not have the benefit of counsel when this matter was set for trial. because of a procedural problem, she actually did not appear at trial thinking there would be no trial. so what then happened is that they had a default hearing in essence where only one side presented evidence, and that is what the judgment reflects. they say that iris did not live there in -- from 2012 on. i can tell you from having visited her apartment that, in fact, she did live there. her furniture dates back to the post world war ii era. i know that because it matches my mother's bedroom furniture. she did live there.
ultimately, when they evicted her and put her items into storage, it took them 20 containers to hold those goods. we're talking about wooden containers that are 8 feet by 9 feet by 10 feet deep. this judgment that they talk about, the homeless advocacy project actually helped to get relief from that judgment. legally, the judge determined she was entitled to relief from that judgment, but he also had a stipulation. the stipulation was that she had to pay attorneys fees. mind you, they were only $170,000. so you can imagine that's easy for a woman to pay who is 99 years old and on a fixed income.
finally, like i said, one of the arguments here is that iris canada's apartment was staged. that is impossible considering the amount of goods that were taken out. it was not staged. you have heard all these arguments, but that is it. they have been argued. times i've been told that she wasn't there, and i was in her apartment. i knew she was home. >> thank you, sir. >> chinatown community development center, i have here a packet of information that comes in my presentation. i'll leave it here, 10 copies. the -- if i could borrow one of them. along with this is a letter signed by ten organizations that have been previously submitted.
it raises a number of reasons tn section 1386 of the subdivision code which states that the planning commission may determine that the subdivider that's knowingly submitted incorrect information to mislead or miss direct city agencies. if you make that determination, the application being rejected. so i'm just going to focus on that one question, whether or not there was incorrect information submitted with the application. exhibit a to the letter is the application -- is part one or form one of the application. in that application, they are supposed to identify who occupied the premises for the
six years prior. for 670, the unit that was iris canada's home, they claim that she vacated and moved out on november 2012. between that november 2012 and february 2017, the unit was vacant. furthermore, on the second page of that document, that application, it is stated in response to the question, are there any evictions associated with this building since may 1, 2005. the answer was no. signed by the applicants in this case. both of those statements are lies. they're false. we can prove it. first, with respect to the unit being vacant, as was previously testified, there was furniture there. she resided there.
people visited her there. other people will testify how often they were there. the media interviewed her there. this is an article from the guardian with a photo of her in october 2016. but that's not it. that's not all. in addition, the claim is that she was not evicted. here is the sheriff's notice that evicted her. there was an eviction in february 2017. that's within the period of time obviously of the application. therefore, this application should be rejected based upon the file that's being perpetrated -- >> next speaker, please. >> i'm from the san francisco tenant's union. i would like to share for the record -- introduce into the record further evidence of the fact that you've been given
misrepresentations and lies from the other side. this is an eviction notice that she was given. they did not just come to her with some sort of nice agreement where she -- because they wanted her to stay there. they tried to evict her back then. i would like to submit this for the record. she agreed to a life estate as part of -- with the threat of that being held over her head. iris came to the edc, the defense collaborative. ultimately, when she was in court for her eviction case, she was unrepresented. she did not evidence because she was unrepresented in court. ultimately, she was able to secure support, and she got a motion for a leave granted by the court.
they said, yes, there's an eviction against you, but we'll let you stay in your -- keep your home if you're able to pay the attorneys fees. in the process of fighting, of appealing, of trying to get new judgments, she was evicted from her home. the locks were changed while she was at her senior center, and she went straight to the hospital and never recovered. she decide one month late, from the newspapers. a few days after her eviction, i and some of the other folks who are here today in this room, got a tip that her stuff was being moved out, and we did not know to where. we rushed to the building and saw her belongings being dragged out in the rain, including her wheelchair. she obviously lives there. it was her wheelchair. it was one of -- and we begged and asked that we could take that to her.
just a few weeks later, she died. this is -- please do the right thing in the situation. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm dale smith. i'm born and raised san francisco sis can. obviously i'm here today to speak against this condo conversion happening. as you've heard from many people before me and obviously after me, iris canada was living at 670 page with her belongings, including her id, which was still there when the sheriff changed the locks on her. you know, according to the city's code, supposed to deny any condo conversion if a senior has been evicted from the property in question. therefore, i obviously -- what has been done is illegal. so therefore, you should deny
the condo conversion. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> my name is tyler. i'm a member of dsass and i was looking at the agenda and information for this where it says oh, yeah, this unit has been vacant since 2012. i thought that was maybe just a mistake or something. then i was surprised to come here and find that people are actually arguing it really was vacant when it was all over the news, we all saw the sheriff showing up. we saw the eviction notice as somebody showed on the screen a few minutes ago. that's an eviction. we know what it looks like. that's what it was. so i would echo what was said and just urge you to reject this, and i just also want to say really quickly that i appreciate you taking the time to listen to all of the public comments. i know it goes on for a long time. i was hire for -- here for a meeting a few months ago and they were dismissive of the
members of the public. i appreciate you taking your time. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> for the record, i'm iris [indiscernible] and iris canada was my great aunt. it's sad so say we're no longer living in a time where people feel we're living under slavery. my aunt was a retired nurse and she was allowed to go anywhere she wanted at any time she wanted. she was not subject or chained to her home. if you listen to the application, the applicants, they would have you believe that was the way she was supposed to live. we don't believe that. if it were up to me, my aunt would have moved out of san francisco because it was more convenient for me. she wanted to be in her home, and she loved her home. this is iris canada. >> there you go. >> i have multiple photos on my
ipad of her, not only voting in the 2016, the 2015, every single election she voted in right there at her polling place. she received physical therapy at her home. she left her home to be hospitalized. when you have adults that come together and collude against a senior that's disabled for financial benefit, it's called elder abuse. when you're the director of housing and you have that privilege and you remove property from the housing market in another state at the height of a housing crisis, that's a moral issue. i ask this body that's supposed to protect the rights of the citizens ask -- and that's why you have this process. he wanted her to refuse her rights to refusal.
the first application stated that my aunt had moved to texas. however, he visited us on may 29th until the bay area, took a picture in a dr application presented by another one of the residents in the building. that resident is saying she lives there and the property next door would -- would bother her and they're saying she didn't live there, she had moved to texas. which is true here? it bothers me that we can sit here and pretend that it's not a wind fall of cash for a lot of people. but it comes at a casualty. iris canada lost her life for absolutely no reason, and it took us four months to bury her because they removed all of her belongings from her home. her insurance was in those documents, so her body decayed because they moved them out. her insurance and burial insurance would not be in a
place where she did not live. i have the pg and e bills. the reason they weren't presented in court because she had a stroke and the judge gave her issue sanctions. what your planning staff presented to you is inaccurate. please consider doing the right thing. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> hi. i'm from the housing rights committee. i want to first address the two mistakes that i see, the two errors i see in both the application and in the staff report of the planning department. iris just referred to some of it, but first i'll say that i know that she lived there because i had been visiting her place since january of 2016. for over a year, i was there numerous times, inside her apartment sitting on the red sofa with her. the red sofa was her favorite chair. i sat there with her. another one of the people who
will be testifying has photos of her 100th birthday which we celebrated with her in that house, in her living room. so i can testify personally that she had to be living there in 2016 because i walked in there, and it looked like she lived there. the other thing is that it's interesting, as iris mentioned, that in the first application, they say the unit was vacant. okay. so here's that -- i'll present this. i brought copies. that's their application in may of 2014, but on july 2nd of 2014, one of the tse owners in filing for a discretionary review before you folks mentions in the request that there was a
96-year-old who has lived in the building since the '40s and that her light would be blocked by the shadow cast by this building and that was one of the reasons objecting and low and behold, look at this. he included a photo of iris canada, the woman that he's talking about. so i also will give you this. it's curious she did not live there on may 28th, but suddenly she lived there in july. how is that possible? right? i mean, i leave that up to you to decide how that's possible. maybe it's magic or something. i don't know. i want to say that this kind of deception honestly undermines the intent of our condo conversion law, a law that was fought really hard by tenant organizations because we wanted to protect seniors like iris canada and disabled people from being evicted for profit. so honestly, it seems to me that if you approve this application, basically, you're just throwing out the condo conversion protections that we work so hard
to put in place to protect our seniors and neighborhoods. please, send a message to other folks who may try to do this. they cannot get away with this here in san francisco. the planning commission will not let them get away with it. i thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. senior disability action. i am -- i have an image here as tommy just mentioned -- where do i put this again? >> face up. turn it over a little. >> yeah? so this is iris canada's 100th birthday we celebrated with her in july of 2016. so it's a red sofa. it doesn't show up so well. but it is one that was seen in articles that were done by the
guardian, by the chronicle, by hood line, by cbs news local when they did interviews with iris in her home in 2016. so just want to speak to the fact that she was indeed there. my real concern also is this is a building that has been -- has a long history of a lot of heartache. i know that's not something you can judge today, but i do have a copy of the petition for the ellis act that did happen in 2002 that listed tennessee ants -- tenants in the same building which iris was one of them. having bought the building, according to the assessor's site, the owens bought the building in august of 2002 and registered with the assessor's site on august 25th, 2002.
by september 4th, you will see this petition for the ellis act was filed on september 4th, 2002, barely 10 days later. the intent has always been about making money and proudly, peter owens states in one of the superior court records that he -- and this was filed 10-28-2016, that he was able to renovate with his brother christopher and sell 5 of the 6 units by late 2003. this is the beginning. and in the end, it was sitting and celebrating iris' 100th birthday in her home and then being there at the time that the moving van came to remove her things after she was evicted from her home.
so a very sad, sad story, and we cannot reward this kind of behavior. i hope that you will use all the tools you have in your chest to deny this conversion. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. i'm tony robles. you know, it's bad enough what happened to ms. iris canada having been taken advantage of at such a time in her life. it's bad enough that happened to her in life, but being taken advantage of now in her death adds even more insult. there is evidence here of being dis ingenuous, passing or
presenting false information on this application. we strongly urge you to deny this project on the grounds that it is -- it is deceptive. she did live there. i was there during her 100th birthday. there was the eviction notice that was served. i was there on the night that it happened. again, her walker, her wheelchair was out there on the street. we didn't -- couldn't even have access to the unit to get her medication. okay. would not -- could not even get inside to get her medication. we know what happened ultimately to ms. iris canada. so i strongly, as an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities, strongly urge you to deny this project. let's not reward the peter
owenss and the other out out ofn spectators in the world. >> next speaker, please. >> hi. my name is michael, and i'm a counselor with the housing rights committee. if we were able to get legal support to iris one to three months earlier, we would have been able to submit evidence in court. i am against the condo conversion of this unit because she lived in this unit and was evicted. thank you for taking the time for this discussion. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. my name is cynthia from the housing rights committee of san francisco. i'm here today to talk about obviously iris' case and if the planning commission is to generate an extraordinary vision for the general plan, which i took from the website, allowing this condo conversion would be extraordinary but in the wrong way. the san francisco general plan, the primary goal is to
protect -- protection, preservation of the values that establish a desirable quality and unique character of the city. the priority is existing housing and neighborhood character be preserved and protected in order to preserve cultural diversity of our neighborhoods. what has happened in iris' case is already against our general plan, our priority and policies. she died fighting her eviction. we celebrated her birthday in the unit. frankly, i want to live in the city where we respect our seniors and i believe the planning commission should side with us. i think it would be assault to allow for this kind of conversion. please deny it. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
>> commission, my name is suzanne present is. i'm a volunteer. i have just one question for you. i would like to ask the commission, what is the penalty for falsifying an application. it said that iris had not living in the building from 2012 to 2017. you've been provided with ample information and pieces of paper that show that she lived there and she was evicted. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello again. iris [indiscernible]. like iris canada, i'm a retired nurse, a senior and a long time tenant in san francisco. if iris canada wasn't considered a tenant by the owners from 2012, why would she have been asked to sign an agreement to convert into condos in 2015?
when she refused, it was then she was threatened with eviction. iris canada made san francisco great. she was a vital part of the african-american community in the western addition, much which has been kicked out of san francisco. a nurse, a woman devoted to justice and care for all people. others suffered severe i will innocences when threatened with eviction from their homes. she had three strokes while her court case was under way and died in march 2017, about a month after her eviction. this story is part and parcel of the current dire housing crisis in san francisco. the displacement of african-american and seniors with disabilities and the worship of money over humanity. i was shocked to see that she was not even acknowledged in the five-year rental history as other people have said.
that's part of this case to be reviewed. she's been disappeared. but we will never forget her. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello. my name is [indiscernible]. this is a problem in san francisco where our senior tenants are targeted for eviction and many of them go under this scenario, like we have in this case. so the statements that iris canada's unit was vacant since 2012 until 2017 comes to a great disagreement with facts stated in the superior court documents, the case of her eviction. no one can evict someone from that unit. why mr. owens was looking forward a way to keep iris in
the unit if he also says that she was -- she was not living there. did he want to forcibly [indiscernible]. this is just like an insult for humans minds. this was a big abuse of the law in the recent sentences of history. we all know the story, and it was in the press until the nation and worldwide. i hope we will not make more news today accepting this condo conversion. many politicians and officials also raised their concerns about this case, and the district attorney's office now has been protesting the case of elder abuse that iris canada experienced last years before she got evicted. so this is evidence that she resided there.
i personally visited her in 2016. i understand why mr. owens is trying to mislead us, because [indiscernible]. i talked to elder abuse lawyers and the majority of them say that there is an open opportunity to file a lawsuit for financial elder abuse in this case. so we will continue discussion on a community, political, and legislative level to understand how we arrive at the situation where all social institutions failed to protect the most vulnerable member of our society and how to prevent those situations in the future. please deny this application. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
>> yes. my name is gus brown, and i am an advocate at the housing rights committee of san francisco. i got involved in this because both iris canada and her mother who is now -- grandniece who was alive at the time were clients of mine and of the housing rights community. as an advocate, i've had some experience having a law degree as well and so i have a chance to ask you, please, you're the last, the very last place that can prevent a great injustice from happening. these two people both iris and her great aunt did not have proper legal representation at the right time when they needed
it. up until the time we got involved, it was a pro per case. they were representing themselves. you can imagine what it means when a lady at that age and her niece who does not have a legal education or anything. are up against the battery of people you see here. well, well, well legalized and what we call lawyered up going in up against these two people. they never had a chance. as a result, by the time they contacted us and we managed to get some free legal advice for them, there wasn't really a trial of any sort. that's why i'm asking you at this point, please, you're the last that can help, even if it means putting off the decision from a little bit to give us a chance to properly litigate the matter. i would ask that you would do
that. i say that because there is an incident that occurred that i want to tell you about, which is i went there on one occasion when the basis of this case was that she wasn't living there. what we discovered is that there were a bunch of cameras put all around the building and focused on her apartment so that whenever she left, they could tell. the wiring to the doorbell was also removed. the result was we had tons of people in the apartment waiting, and i went there and rang the doorbell, pressed the buzzer. we called it out to the newspapers that this has been part of the problem. they were trying to do something, but they were not doing it honestly. if, in fact, they had tried to really pursue and find out where she was, they could not have
come to the conclusion that she didn't live there. she was living there. >>. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is andrew from the south market community action network. i am here to speak out against the condo conversion of ms. canada's home to prove this application is to reward the heartless and unjust eviction of a 100-year-old african-american senior from her home, an economically motivated fact contributed to her untimely demise. it is disrespectful to the family and all the activists in this room who are fighting with all they have against the further displacement and destruction of our community. fact, this city does not need more condominiums. fact, the city needs more affordable housing. it should be noted that the
conversion of a rent controlled unit into condominiums removes it from rent control raising costs and values by hundreds of thousands of dollars. passing this conversion would be inconsistent with two of the planning code's priorities. one that existing housing and neighborhood character be preserved and protected in order to preserve the cultural diversity of our neighborhoods and two, affordable housing be preserved and enhanced. the stated priorities and upholding your integrity is now. unless existing tenants are given due protection against agreed and excess conversion of recent controlled housing will become a threat and owners will be given impunity to remove low income tenants as if these weren't human lives in question. i implore you in good faith to reject this proposal. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
>> lyla stanley with the san francisco tenants union. i've been a counselor for 7 years. the displacements we see of elderly tenants is disturbing. counsels see far too many of these every week. however, the city and county of san francisco has passed laws to make these actions less profitable and to hopefully reduce the number. the planning commission is an important line of defense to make sure the city and county of san francisco is not dereceived and that rules are followed. this subdivider has knowingly misrepresented material facts. the evidence that you've heard is overwhelming that iris canada did live in the unit and was, indeed, evicted from the unit. for the purpose to prepare this