tv [untitled] May 25, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
>> will come back to the may 25, 2611 meeting of the board of appeals. we continue now with item number 7, appeal number 10-131. the subject property is 3506 16th street, a.k.a. 282 sanchez street. appealing a notice of violation and penalty dated july 13, 2010, regarding an allegation of illegal commercial activities at the subject property. f. public hearing was held on april 6, 2011.
for further consideration today. on march 23, 2011, the matter was continued to allow time for the appellant to review the subject property owner's brief. on april 6, 2011, the matter was continued further so the missing commissioner could participate in the final vote. there was no motion on the floor the last time this matter was before the board, so we can return to deliberation. there is no further comment to be made by the parties unless there is commissioner question and no further questioning by the public. commissioners, the matter is before you. president goh: we are in deliberations now? >> correct. vice president garcia: madame president, i was the missing commissioner and i watched this on streaming video and i am prepared to participate. president goh: my note was that we continue to allow of vice
president garcia to participate. the somebody want to make a motion? vice president garcia: actually, it is not just my vote, it is a motion to vote. the commission of only took a straw vote. president goh: ah, understood. vice president garcia: i beg your pardon? it appeared, by reading that happened, there were some commissioners to reluctant. commissioner hwang: reluctant to reduce? vice president garcia: to the minimum. and i would say my reasons, how i feel about a reduction, and where we proceed from that would be up to the president. but i watched the streaming video, and i also read the papers. i guess my comment would be that
i think it was mr. sanchez had made some comment about the fact that appeared to him, or maybe he had some other evidence beyond the fact that appeared to him, that a business decision was made, and the decision was that the operators of ike's had decided maybe it would be better off paying the fine and continuing to operate. there seemed to be a little lack of some sort of cooperation, and my interpretation of it was that the seriousness of this and working as well as they could with the department. but the other side of that, according to the papers, 20-40 people worked at this operation. there is ongoing concern for them. at one time, the ultimate landlord had agreed the process
to go forward, then changed his mind. my feeling was that to shut down at a viable business until an alternative is found would probably be a serious financial burden, certainly on the operators of ike's as well as the people who work there. i am definitely for a reduction. i guess the discussion, at least from my point of view, is how much to reduce that, bearing in mind we can only reduce it to a figure of $100 today. i don't think i am prepared to stick with the $250, and i don't know if i am prepared to go as low as $100. commissioner hwang: vice president garcia, i appreciate your summary and refreshing my memory. i was present and i am inclined to reduce it to $100. president goh: i support a reduction as well. is there a motion?
vice president garcia: is there no other comment? commissioner peterson: i support a reduction. i think a was at $100, as well. commissioner fung: i don't support a reduction. commissioner hwang: i remember that. vice president garcia: and what would your reason be, if you don't mind? commissioner fung: 1 was to address the complaints puckering in the neighborhood, and second was after they had been served notice of the regulatory requirement by the department multiple times, nothing occurred. vice president garcia: what would you consider to be, knowing the feelings of at least three other members, what would you consider to be reasonable reduction? or any at all? commissioner fung: i don't think there should be a reduction. vice president garcia: i think
there should be a reduction. i think $250, having to do with the economic impact on san francisco and this operation, on the people who work there, i think it was reasonable for them to make the efforts to continue to operate. i don't care for the way they chose to continue to operate, and therefore i would suggest and maybe move that the finding reduced to $150, rather than $100. president goh: okay, that is fine. i would support 100, 150. >> should we call the roll? >> we have a motion from the vice president to grant this appeal and modify the notice of violation and penalty to $150 for the tunnel they. -- $150 for the product. on that motion --
[roll-call vote] thank you, the vote is 4-1. the appeal is granted and the notice of violation is modified to $150. thank you. >> thank you. calling item number 8, appeal number of the 11-035, victoria rideout and lorraine anderson, vs. the zoning administrator, 161-165 newman street, appealing the denial on march 15, 2011, of lot area, rear yard and usable open space variances, reconstruction of an existing stairway. variance case number 201 0.0467 v. we will start with the appellants. you have seven minutes.
>> thank you. my name is vicki, and i am one of the cone owners -- i'm one of the co-owners of 161-165 new main -- newman street. neither of these homes really stands out as being unusual or out of place in our neighborhood. the two homes are completely independent structures, with no shared access or open space. because of the corner location, each house has a lot of street frontage, plenty of parking, and a lot of light. our variance request does not
involve any structural changes, other than moving and outside staircase about 2 feet to the left. so it will have absolutely no impact on the neighborhood, the open space or rear yard. nothing will change if the variances granted. when we applied for the lot split variants, we were told we needed to request a variance for open space and at the rear yard, but 13 years ago the planning and building department reviewed and approved a permit request to build the new warehouse with no comments regarding rear yard or open space, possibly because this lot had historically been designated as a legal but nonconforming lot. in any case, the decision about open space in the rear yard of this property was made at that time. at a different decision then could have affected the amount of open space in the rear yard, but nothing in today's proceeding will affect either of those issues in any way. having said that, we could do a better job of meeting the open
space requirement then they give us credit for. he did not factor in the large 180 square foot back off the kitchen of my home, which uc and this photo and the other photo of from above. he also discounted the courtyard at lorraine's house, which you will also see in the next photo because it does not meet the minimum size required, when in fact it is 96 square feet, and the minimum required because it is one how to square feet. we feel there should be some leniency there. with regard to lot size, these properties are consistent with the vernal heights neighborhood. there are 22 lots that are small or smaller than ours within a quarter mile of our property, and in this photo you can see the two homes directly across the street from us, where there corner lot had been split into lots almost identical to what ours would be. the same is true of the next corner down from us on the same block. we believe it is not fair to
deny us the same property rights as our neighbors to make independent decisions about how to maintain, finance, insurance, and transfer or two homes. in terms of our chip of homeowners, it is much harder to get a loan for or to sell the pic, and being tied together at financially is also a hardship. one-and-a-half years ago, i was a victim of identity theft. every account that i had my name on was completely emptied out, including the joint account that i share with loraine for our insurance, taxes, and a mortgage on the house. also, year ago i lost the job that i had for 13 years, and i am sure it was not fun for the rain to be on the mortgage with me at that time. we could legally apply for turning it into a condo, but we don't think that is appropriate for these completely independent, non-condo-like structures. we feel they should be considered legally with that
part in fact, separate properties. thank you. >> thank you. my name is lane anderson, co- owner of the property. at first, i would like to recognize the important work of the planning and building department. in our experience, we found the staff to be competent, well- informed, and helpful. we would have liked the initial outcome to be different, but we appreciate the opportunity to present our case. we hope that we have demonstrated that our circumstances qualify for the approval of the variance request. when we began to look to the various procedures, there was a different zoning administrator, and we reviewed a number of the cases he approved, what splits in our neighborhood and other areas, and found them similar to our own and we decided to move forward. however, we spent some time with the building department to understand the ramifications of a lot split relating to fire
reading requirements. when we return it to the planning department, mr. sanchez was in the position as the zoning administrator, the acting zoning administrator. we believe that mr. sanchez performing in this new capacity may have been more conservative in his determination of the extraordinary circumstances, practical difficulty, and the hardship of the merits of the case. i believe mr. sanchez stated in the hearing is concerned that we had not won criteria to overcome, but we also cannot meet the requirements for rear yard and open space. we have submitted cases in our documents in which they interpreted the various elements within the code to allow for the split of properties which without exemptions for all three. as well as the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, similar as to ours.
we feel this is just the type of appeal for which the board was created, which is to provide oversight of the decisions made within the city departments so of residents are given equal and fair treatment. we're not real-estate developers, we're just to residents that would like to own our properties equally. severna heights review committees have shown no concern of our project. we don't believe this case would create any problems for larger development projects. that are ample requirements for code restrictions. as city departments are tasked with many competing and conflicting directives, the board spends a great deal of time and effort to reach a determination of the facts of the case. we know from watching archive broadcast that these proceedings, all of the cases are decided unanimously and understand that well-informed and good intentioned people working together do not always agree. we hope that i bring this to the
board, we have taken it finished to have more than one good intentioned person to decide the case. we are asking the board to review our circumstances and determine if we have been given equal treatment as other cases. and i think that just made it. [bell] commissioner hwang: i have a couple questions. how long have you owned the property? >> i originally owned 161 newman street since 1989. and then -- i am sorry, 1982. then in 2000, a house at 165 was constructed. and vicki bought the house. commissioner hwang: from you? >> from me. that is how we are together as
partners. commissioner hwang: say you purchased the lot and property in 1989? >> 1982. commissioner hwang: in the additional submission, it you pointed out the different split lots on the maps. are there any nearby, in these couple blocks of lots, but there any other properties with two homes on them were the lots are not actually split? >> directly across the street from us, there is a property that has to homes on it, and the next corner down there is a property with two homes on it. commissioner hwang: okay, and the other properties where the lot is not officially split? >> not that we know of. commissioner hwang: okay.
president goh: and the one across the street, newman street, do you know when those buildings were constructed? >> i don't know. president goh: and do you know when the lot was split? >> i don't know. president goh: not within the time that the andersens were living there? >> no. president goh: okay, thank you. commissioner fung: the building on the corner that was constructed in 2000, were there special entitlements related to that? >> no, there were not. commissioner fung: there was no planning? >> the planning department reviewed the drawings and signed off on them, with no comment. commissioner fung: thank you. >> thank you. mr. sanchez?
>> thank you. good afternoon. scott sanchez, planning department. just some overview, it is 161- 165 newman street, located within rh-2, two-unit density zoning district, located within the vernal heights special use district. i think this is the first variants appeal that the board has heard that i conducted the hearing since the start conducting hearings in june. this item was heard on september 22, 2010. the subject application seeks variances from the lot area, rear yard, and usable open space to allow the subdivision of the lot into separate, legal bahts, one approximately 25 by 46 and the other 25 by 50, but which are substandard in terms of the lot size, even though it is a
corner lot. it still requires a variance. into the findings, the vernal heights special use district does have some smaller than normal lots, but they are still generally 25 by 80 feet. the subject lot as it exists is generally larger than what we would typically find it in vernal heights. however, the property is excessively developed. in 1998, there was a building permit filed to allow the construction of the single- family dwelling at the front of the property, and that was completed in 2000. that maximizes the development potential of the lot as one lot. had there been a subdivision at that time, that front structure would have been smaller. i think that is the key issue. it was built to the proper zoning for the proper restrictions for the property
of 25 by 107 feet lot. additionally, this is not dissimilar to another case that the board of appeals heard recently last year, v-10-004, 1120 19th street, a.k.a. 398 pennsylvania. the board upheld the previous owner administrator's denial, similar in the existing older building at the rear of the lot and had maximize the development potential and letter thought to subdivide them out. -- and later thought to subdivide them out. the project sponsors have been very agreeable to deal with and i know this is a difficult situation, but i have found them to be nothing but courteous during these times and we have paid to them the same respect to the department. that said, we felt the need to
deny the application because we felt it was not consistent with the planning code. there is not a pattern of these smaller lots, a predominant pattern in the district. we found at less than 2% of the 1000 lots within 1,000 feet, 1868 lots within 1,000 feet of the property, that less than 2% were smaller than 1100 square feet in size. also, as the product sponsor stated, their alternative is here. they can go through the condominium process. they have not exhausted all of their remedies to achieve the goals that have separate ownership, that means available to them. i am assuming they qualify for the condo, it would have on our occupancy for that time, sounds like approximately 10 years. that i think summarizes most of the points i want to make.
some of the other sites that were pointed out by the product sponsor, many of them were nowhere within 1,000 feet of the property and were in different neighborhoods of the city. there were some that were close by, a few properties on cortland. however, those are very distinct and they are 3 lots. there is a different development pattern. as we get closer to mission, one cortland, there are existing subdivided lots, front to rear, and having them divide it on a through lot. with that, i will conclude my presentation and be available for any questions the commissioners may have. commissioner hwang: from an applicant's perspective, what would be the difference between -- why would one be averse to going down the condo route vs splitting the lot? more fees, more time, more
trouble? >> fees maybe -- well, i cannot say because you have to go through some of the process going to raise subdivision. or the condominium forces going to the public works. in terms of the requirement, the process, the time, i don't think it is any more lifey, -- i don't think it is any more lengthy. given what i know about condo conversions, those are generally processed quickly and probably would've been a corker process, at least, than having to go through -- would have been a quicker process at least in having to go through the variance and then the subdivision. commissioner hwang: thank you. commissioner fung: mr. sanchez, the smaller building, what use to beat i guess a bungalow, runs pretty much to the rear property line?
so the only setback with respect to the property line would be the portion of adjacent to the other building? >> rebuilding would have approximately 3-4 foot setback. i can put that on the plans, on the overhead. so the yellow is the rear building you are refering to. the 9 foot yard, in which the stairs go around. there is 4 foot 6 inches at the rear, and this is probably 3-4 feet to the property line. it would be constructed. the building which was built, completed in 2000, occupies nearly the entire front lot and would leave a 5 foot rear set
back. commissioner fung: okay, so when they did the new buildings and it satisfied the rear yard requirement so that the existing bungalow wound up being nonconforming use at that point? >> well, that building would have been non complying at that time, as well, because of publication on the property. even if we were to have had the lot here, even if we had presumed that the frontage on newman, it would still be substandard if this was the rear property line. this was noncompliant at that time, existing, and they wanted to build this structure at the front, it met the rear yard requirements in that this is the front of the property, this is the rear, maintaining 45% of rear yard,