tv Board of Appeals SFGTV April 9, 2021 4:00pm-7:31pm PDT
>> the meeting of the san francisco board of appeals. president darrell honda will be the officer presiding tonight. also present is the deputy city attorney he will provide the board with any needed legal advice this evening. the legal clerk his here and i the executive director. we will also be joined by representatives from the city department that will be present -- presenting before the board this evening. the board meeting guidelines are as follows. we request you turn off or silence all phones and other electronic devices so they will not take -- disturb the
proceedings. appellants, permit holders and fondant are given seven minutes to present and three minutes for rebuttal. people affiliated must approve their comments. members of the public were not affiliated will have three minutes each to address the board, no rebuttal. our legal clerk will give you a verbal warning, 30 seconds before your time is up. four votes are required to grant an appeal. if you have a request, please e-mail board staff. public access and participation are paramount. every effort has been made to replicate the in airing -- in-person hearing process. we will be broadcasting this streaming of this hearing live.
please note, it will be rebroadcast on fridays at 4:00 p.m. at channel 26. a link to the livestream is found on the homepage of our website. public comment can be provided in two ways. you can join the meeting by computer. please go to our website and click on the zoom link or you can call in by phone. to block your phone number when calling an, press start 67 then the phone number. listen to the public comment portion for your item to be called and i'll start nine which is the equivalent of raising your hand so we know you want to speak. you will be brought into the hearing when it is your turn and
you will have three minutes. our legal clerk will provide you with a verbal warning 30 seconds before your time is up. there is a delay between the life proceedings and when it is broadcast on the tv and internet. it is important people calling and reduce her turn off the volume on their t.v.s or computers, otherwise there is interference with the meeting. if participants need a disability accommodation or technical assistance, you can make a request in the chat function, the clerk, or send an e-mail to board of appeals. the chat cannot be used to provide public comment or opinions. now we will swear in or affirm all of those who intend to testify. any member of the public may speak without taking an oath pursuant to the rights under the sunshine ordinance. if you intend to testify and have the board give your testimony evidentiary weight, raise your hand and swear i do after being affirmed. do you swear it will be the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? okay. thank you. if you are a participant and not speaking, please put your zoom speaker on mute. we will now move on to item number one, which is general public comment. this is an opportunity for anyone who wants to speak during the -- on items that are not on the calendar. if there is anyone here to provide general public comment please raise your hand. i see one hand raised. if you are here for an item not on the agenda -- so, are you here? what item are you here for? >> i here for an item on the agenda. >> okay, no problem. okay. i don't see any hands raised. we will move on to item number two. commissioner comments and questions. >> first of all, i would like to apologize. during the meeting two weeks ago i lost connectivity with my
internet and was not able to participate for the rest of the hearing. i do apologize for that. >> okay. thank you. is there any public comment on this item? commissioner comments and questions? >> seeing none, we will move on to item number three, the adoption of the minutes. before you for consideration by the minutes of the march 10th, 2021 meeting. >> motion to adopt. >> we have a motion to put those minutes in. >> okay. we have a motion from commissioner his wake to adopt the minutes. is there any public comment on that motion? i don't see any. on that motion... [roll call] okay, that motion carries 5-0
and the minutes are adopted. we will now move on to item number four. edward riggins versus the zoning administrator. the proposal to demolish an existing second-story deck and spiral staircase within the required rear yard of the three-story, single-family house and replace them with a new horizontal expansion of a spiral staircase and the roof deck. the existing building is noncompliant as a portion of the building and the existing deck encroaches 17 feet into the required rear yard. the proposed project would be within the required rear yard and needs the variance. they denied the variance because it does not meet the five findings required by planning code section 305 c.
i understand the parties have come to an agreement. the deputy zoning administrator will be addressing this first to outline the details. >> is this time sensitive? >> let's start with seven minutes. >> thank you, good evening. i just want to update you on where we are with this case that has been appealed for the subject property which is in and r.h. taught a zoning district. not only this one, but a previous variance for a similar project was denied. it was denied in 2017. this more recent one was appealed to the board after the filing of the appeal. the appellant reached out to me and wanted to know what could possibly be approved here and wanted to find a code compliant alternative and after much review, there was no way to find
this code compliant because the existing rear building wall extends 1 foot 8 inches into the required yard. you can go to the yard, including a 12-foot pop out, which could be one story that can go out 12 feet or be sent back 5 feet and then go up two stories. unfortunately, in this case, they weren't eligible for this provision because the existing building encroached. looking and seeing it was a minor encroachment was working for the appellant to see what they would desire. there were some limits of what we could approve with the variance. we discussed with the zoning administrator and he would feel comfortable with the project that has been divided and that doesn't extend as far as either the existing deck that as -- that is at the rear of the
building or what they had previously proposed. it would extend a total of 10 feet into the rear yard or 10 feet 4 inches beyond the existing rear building wall. is one story tall and it would also be set back 5 feet from each property line. the idea is this is fairly comparable to what a code compliant option would be if they were to remove the last 1 foot and 8 inches of the building. this is an appropriate compromise. the existing deck that is there provides usable space accessible for the living level of the unit. it is my understanding the deck is not in a good state so this will maintain that deck and we will have additional pool -- additional habitable space. with that, we have prepared draft findings for the board to consider that were submitted to
the board. they may choose to adopt those findings and adopt the revised plans. we wanted to let you know we would be supportive of that and have this project being presented to the zoning administrator at the hearing that rome months ago. it would've been approvable. with that, i'm available for questions. thank you very much. >> president honda has a question and then commissioner his wake. >> mr. sanchez, looking at the plans, i see that 131, the neighboring property to the right, if you are facing it, has quite an improvement in their backyard. was that a consideration? was there a variance given or granted to that property? >> excellent question, mr. president. it was something that was recently approved on that property. they are able to extend further back into the rear of the lot
then the subject property because the other side -- on the other side of them, to the north is a building that extends further. that is adjacent property at 131 that was able to extend further. it was a consideration and the appellant did speak with both of the adjacent property owners and they submitted letters to support. >> just one last question for commissioner his wake. if the property to the right of it is larger, does that mean you are guaranteed that approval without a variance? >> if -- they do use rear yard averaging here. if the adjacent property to the north had extended another 3 feet or so into the required rear yard, then using the averaging method, it would be a code compliant project. i don't know that that property
to the north could extend any further without the variance. it was a consideration. this is what happens when you have averaging and buildings of different depths. and makes the calculations a little more complex. >> thank you. i like your idea, mr. sanchez, and my question is, you have -- i did not see any findings supplementary findings supplied to us. only the originals. do you have them tonight or will you make them available to us? >> they were posted online. >> they work? >> we can send them to you if you want right now. >> do you want to send me a quick e-mail? >> no problem. >> thank you.
>> these were dated february 25th. >> i would agree with those. thank you. >> okay. did we want to hear now from the appellant, mr. riggins? will you be speaking? he was here. mr. riggins? >> he is muted, julie. >> we can't hear you. >> can you hear me now? >> yes, we can. >> im the architect for mr. riggins. i wanted to briefly say and point out that the deck that is there now has a larger footprint than what we are proposing to build. in the end you would get the
reduction or you would get increased open space into the rear yard. i think this is a great improvement. it is a one-story deck. i think this would improve the open space or midblock open space into the neighboring property so it has a major benefit. basically we are just asking for habitable space under this roof deck. that was the reason for the compromise and our willingness to give up this larger deck and reduce the size of it. and mr. riggins, i want to point out he is the owner. he has lived there for quite a number of years. he does a magazine called thrasher magazine. i not a young one, but i believe that -- he also does, in his basement, his passion is for restoring very old antique
cars. one of the reasons why he was hoping to do this outside that envelope and not within it. i can answer any questions. thank you. >> okay. thank you. did the apartment -- that it did the department of building inspections want to comment on this case? deputy director duffy? >> no, thanks. >> okay. just checking in. is there any public comment on this item? please raise your hand. okay. i don't see any other public comment. i would like to ask if you have anything further to add. >> commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> does anyone have a motion at this point? >> yeah, sure.
i would motion -- >> i think commissioner lazarus is raising her hand. did you want to say something before you make a motion? sorry. commissioner lazarus? did you want to say something? >> sorry. i think i may have lost connection. no problem. did you want to say something? >> i always found it very satisfying when the parties are able to reach a resolution, and if this is satisfactory to everybody, i can't see any reason why we would not adopt the findings and grant the variance. >> they are also seeking to adopt the revised plan stated on for very 25th. >> right. hold on. it looks like commissioner his wake has something he wanted to add. >> just to support your motion.
[laughter] >> good job. [laughter] >> i make the motion to adopt the new plans as submitted. there were various findings and to grant the variant. >> variance. >> okay, grant the appeal an issue the variance that the draft findings might be adopted as well as the plans stated on february 25th. what basis is this made on? >> on the basis that it becomes code compliant and satisfies the parties. >> okay. the requirement is three '05 c.? >> yeah. that is exactly what i was thinking of. >> okay. commissioners like, did you have something else? no? >> i do not. >> okay. on this motion from commissioner lazarus... [roll call]
okay. that motion carries 5-0. i would like to state for the record that if the parties waive their right to a rehearing on the record, i can issue the decision tomorrow. >> we would like to move forward as quickly as possible on the project. >> okay. you waive your right to a rehearing. >> thank you. we will get the decision out tomorrow. >> i want to give a thumbs-up to thrasher magazine. thank you. >> thank you. we will now move on to item number five. this is appeal number 21-008. the subject property -- [indiscernible] appealing the issuance of
genuine 208th, 2021 to the bureau of urban forestry of a public works order to remove hazardous trees in the avenue. the eucalyptus tree has dead branches within the canopy and there is a concern the tree could fail at the root. the basin takes up half the sidewalk and would not allow for 4 feet minimum clearance. and number two, three trees for removal with replacement. tree number six is large stem failure, tree number eight, branch failure from pruning cuts and tree number 10 is in the similar condition. this is ordered to 04218. we will hear from the appellant first. welcome let me just confirm that
>> he is just getting it set up. >> can you see the slide now? >> i can't. we can just do it by slide number. >> the thing is, your video is on a second link. let me know. >> oh,, really? >> what you might want to do is if you look in the upper right under view, if you do standard of you, then the whole screen will show and your video -- i don't know what you are on right now. maybe that is preventing you from seeing it. >> i on my spare computer which i'm not good at using. >> on zoom there is an icon at the top. it says the view if you put the cursor up at the top. if you are on standard, you will see the full-screen. if you know the number, we can show them. >> let me just do it that way.
>> i think slide three is your video. >> that's right. >> when you are ready for video, i will help you. >> okay. >> okay. we have slight one. good evening -- we have slide one. good evening. my name is lance. and a copy of these slides can be found on our website. slide number two should be viewing. there is a map and some data points. these trees were on the agenda from january 20th, 2021 at the removal hearing. what i am looking for in this appeal is the director's decision that -- let me scan down here. that reflects the removal
hearing and settles the question of whether there is a disconnect between the trees' street address and the database location. i have a copy of the d.p.w. tree database obtained by the california public records act and i often check tree information. i compared to the google map for the removal hearing showing the trees were 2 miles south. i showed this map during public comment and the database data. the point at the top is the boulevard. the green points at the bottom is 2 miles away. i stated further that my concern
>> now, i believe she said joshua flipped it for you. >> yes. that is a possibility. >> why don't we try that? i can promote. mr. clip? i promoting you to a panelist. i understand you might be able to share the screen. let me check in with alex. >> i'm getting it. i got the button just half an hour ago. [please stand by]
we list to train a database but now we're concerned about someone moving up and we're moving the wrong tree. i worry about that narrative because that's obviously damaging. we will look into the specific issue that mr. curren identified, but just hearing from three people now that it's a disconnect. i'd like to address that and then wait to see if there's a disconnect. >> sure. >> okay. mr. karnes. your video's finished. >> on the left-hand side, you can see a map that shows the street address at the top point
so the disconnect to me seems obvious. >> yeah. we see the map. >> mr. buck promised to look into the disconnect. he never did. everyone i'm showing this to can see the disconnect. on the afternoon of the hearing of january 20th, mr. buck wrote this e-mail saying he didn't understand what the issue was and wasn't able to see the disconnect from the map provided. a few weeks later, the decision was released. the paragraph above was written by mr. buck. in his response brief filed
last thursday, mr. buck stated we also did acknowledge the discrepancy in the decision. though this decision did not include that acknowledgement. did mr. buck verify the disconnect? no. so the summary of what we've covered so far, mr. buck promised to look into the disconnect between the is it true street address. he did not do so. even it's obvious from looking at the map. his staff inspectors could have verified this in a minute. commenting about long trees being removed. the map rendering was accurate. lawn trees being removed is my
warning. so next slide, number 8. this is an example and a question on whether m. buck deserves the public's trust. prior to the hearing, i researched the tree and find this dpw photo on the left from january 15th, two thousand twenty-one five days before the removal hearing it shows an empty base in it. so why is this tree now in a removal hearing. next slide. mr. buck presented the tree from a photo october 19th. when mr. buck finished his presentation without mentioning that the tree had been removed, i was stunned. i checked with the buf office
later. mr. buck knew the tree had been removed and so the tree was still in place. so how can the public trust him or buf? next slide, number 10. my rare to the board. it's really quite simple. i reported an error in the d.p.w. database. i ask for a report of the director's decision at the time the decision was written. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the bureau of urban forestry, mr. buck. >> good evening commissioners. chris buck with the bureau of forestry public works. so just to review, the tree conditions are not in question.
the three trees are i'll cibarian elm trees. we posted them about a tree removal about a year ago. and we had a hearing. at that hearing there was several points that the town brought up. it wasn't just the latitude longitude disconnect. there were questions about sequencing. he had a very detailed slide show presentation which he showed you part of and there were questions about the trees matching, trees that have been moved years before and the photos in the database that were matching those. there was this additional issue with the xy latitude longitude coordinate. mr. carnes understandably is seeing a disconnect. we've stated there was an issue in the data.
we did not send a tree crew out based on a latitude longitude. some day we may and when people bring discrepancies and data to us, we will fix those. mr. carnes is not correct when he states that we didn't follow up with him. i didn't try to involve all our e-mails. we've been trying to answer several of our questions. the one for a few months was the latitude longitude. i've never had someone come to me before this day with this issue. it's actually hitting from our view from the inspection team. we did not send them out. so as i was stating in response to this detailed power point provided a hearing during public comment, largely was i can't completely comment because i need to take a closer look at this. we're going to address this.
we sent e-mails immediately. we've had a number of e-mails back and north. i provided mr. carnes with a powerpoint well over ten pages trying to explain the data we had in our database. i was not trying to undermind the fact he found a discrepancy in the latitude and longitude. which caused additional members of the public to jump on the band wagon and repeat the same thing. regarding the subject trees themselves, they were properly noted and properly noticed with fie 10 day tree removals over a year ago. they were posted on the website. they were posted physically onsite. we had a hearing for them. no one at the public hearing came from the immediate neighborhood to raise concerns about the structural stability of the trees and the decision
did state that the appellant did bring forward information and that that was going to be looked in to and it was looked in to. we were actively discussing the issue. but, again, me and my staff, we're not used to having someone bring up a latitude longitude coordinate issue. if someone brings it up again, now we know what to do, but we've been responsive and the resulting decision was accurate. it stated some of the information as portrayed. so when people bring issues up to us, we're happy to address that. again, first time anyone's brought up longitude. we hope to use it. it's in the database, but it's literally hidden from view in our database interface. so that's what i took issue to in that hearing. with that said, i think i've addressed the issues here. the subject tree's health is
not at issue. we've had many e-mails back and forth with mr. carnes on this issue including a powerpoint. so to say that we didn't respond and didn't follow up is completely false and, again, when people bring very detailed power points to a public works public comment period, i need to evaluate that information and then respond and that's what the hearing officer did. so, again, if we stepped on toes, we apologize. we do want to correct any data that's brought to our attention, but, in this particular case, the tree health is not in question. the permission to removal is not issued in error. there's zero public feedback from the neighborhood and we actually have them trying to address this issue and then within our brief, we did submit that we have identified the correct latitude and longitude and that's now been input into
the database. so we do respect the work that our advocates do and it's now reflected in the database. thank you. >> thank you. president honda. >> so, mr. buck, in your presentation i understand the actual trees in question were not in jeopardy or the wrong trees were not in jeopardy about being knocked down. and, evidently this is a technical issue. you have a part of your program that is identifying and geo mapping the tree. so is there a correction for that or is that part of that program going to be disabled? because if you're not using it, what is it there for? and i'm not trying to make this
really long. >> chris buck from public works. it's there for the future. we hope to use this data. the data was provided by arbor pros. we talked about the amazing accuracy of the arbor pro data and every time they maintain a ficus be obtained. arbor pro data understandably from 125,000 data points, there are going to be some data points that are off. i can go to our superintendent and say, let's go check some more of these. let's make sure if we do move to a next life coordinate base system, we clearly need to make sure those are accurate. so we do hope to use these some day and certainly we're not going to roll out and start
moving trees that are perm meant. we have a physical address with cross streets and so we also have trees with sequencing numbers. so we have three data points that we use. we don't actually send them out with the xy coordinates and that's where i disagree with the appellant respectfully. the idea that the crew was out there and they could of arrived two blocks away is simply impossible right now and we do need to check the data. >> thank you, chris. >> okay. thank you. we will now move on to public comment. is there anyone here to provide public comment on this item, please raise your hand. mr. clip, please go ahead. >> great. can you hear me? >> yes, we can. welcome. >> thank you. you know, back when we were able to meet in person i attended a lot of board of
supervisors meetings at city hall and supervisors have this tradition of recognizing a member of the community typically an advocate or activist who's made some kind of activism. and you hear that sentiment at some point in time this person was a real pain in the backside and what i hear from that is change isn't easy and it's not comfortable and a lot of times it's easy to kind of blame the person asking for the change than really digging in to the substance of what that person is asking for. now i don't know if lance is ever going to be recognized at city hall to clean up their database, but i will say firsthand his goal always seems to be to reserve this issue without the need for appeals and i also don't pretend to understand more than half of what lance is talking about most of the time, but i do know first of all, he always includes a substance of
suggestion on how to fix an issue and, two, as a community activist his record keeping has been critical to our work here at canopy management because almost no information is readily available online. my understanding is that the bureau is basically working off two different censuses, one from 12 and then arbor pro from two thousand seventeen and one uses street addresses and one uses gps. and so what i think what lance is asking for and has always asked for is consistency and accuracy and he's not wrong that mistakes can result and that is wrong if no one is around to catch it. i think what he's asking for is an amendment of the decision and the order and permit here. and so i would support that. i would respectfully support his request. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from
mr. nulty. please go ahead. >> good evening. can you hear me? >> yes, we can. >> good evening. i was also at that hearing with chris buck and i too was amazed at the work that lance did in that hearing and amazed at his consideration of the different databases in which there current is and i still am lowing the mistakes that forestry has done over the years. i still feel that's the problem when they contract these problems out. that's the way they are done. since they're part of the contract process, they would know what is being done for the city to build these databases and therefore since they already know what they've been
asked and use the city money to pay for these databases to be collected for the [inaudible] in san francisco, they made their own mistake and now they want to excuse themselves from the decisions they made and also to not be consistent in what they do with the data they collect in other databases. so that is the problem. that's all i have to say for that. >> clerk: thank you. if there's any other public comment on this item, please raise your hand. we have mr. michael nulty. please go ahead. >> i'd just like to applaud the
tree huggers online here today. i think that a lot of times they're not recognized for the due diligence that they do. it's not about chastising the public representatives that have to -- that we believe are going to do the work correctly. and it's also about the process and a lot of times. the general public has to find a way to make sure everything is done in a manner that is amenable to everybody. and, in this case, i believe an amendment to the decision needs to be done so that everybody leaves the table tonight with knowing that there was some
progress made and an understanding that there's an open mind to a process and that's what the board of appeals is is to understand that there's some issues and those issues have been addressed at least in this hearing and everybody understands that it was, you know, somehow corrected. i do want to applaud buck for his understanding that the public does do a lot of work and people do make mistakes and we just all have to work together. so thank you. >> clerk: thank you. is there any other public comment on this item? please raise your hand. if you called in, you can press star 9. then we know you want to speak. okay. i don't see any further public comment.
we will move on to rebuttal. mr. carnes, you have three minutes. we can't hear you. >> okay. am i on now? >> yes, we can hear you now. >> thank you. let's see. mr. buck, on the very same day as the removal hearing, he wrote me an e-mail saying he couldn't understand what the problem was even though he spent like a minute and a half taking us to task for bringing this stuff up. secondly, regarding latitude longitude, i've corresponding with several buf inspectors with google maps. google maps uses the latitude longitude points in the database. the followup was not done.
mr. buck pretended he didn't understand the issue this and that and when the director's decision came out, it did not include any followup as to whether there was a discrepancy or a disconnect. and, you know, this whole thing could have been resolved in you know, a half an hour. so instead it took two months. as far as i can tell he waffled and shied away from actually facing the problem. so here we are two months later and i read in his response brief that he did change the values and that's all that needed to be done. that could have been done the same day as the removal hearing. so i would credit most of the delay and confusion to
mr. buck. >> clerk: okay. thank you, are you finished, mr. carnes? >> i have a little more to show. >> no. you have your time. >> okay. slide 18, please. tree expert. can you see that one. keep going, 18. >> i paused time. >> clerk: i think you're on slide 16. yeah, i see 16, do you see slide 18. here we are. >> stop that one. another thing mr. buck, when i was preparing this, i talked to a tree mapping expert and he was astonished that b.u.f. uses
addresses for sites like site 6. that's called a tree identifier. the tree i.d., for example, one, two, three, four, five, six is an identifier. the tree locate pins it on the planet. latitude longitude is the most common way and in our part of california, there's an xy they use. tree crews can't figure out a site number or a street number and the tree locator is the best way to go and anybody using google maps driving you would tap in those coordinates and that's right next to the tree. >> that's time, thank you. >> clerk: thank you, mr. carnes. >> sure.
>> clerk: okay. we will now hear from mr. buck. >> thank you, commissioners. understandably lesson learned in terms of just, you know maintaining the utmost respect for public comment whether it's someone who's providing submitting a billion records requests, appeals and things like that suggest that why are you behind on 15 day hazard day removals? how can that be? so lessons learned including within this testimony. so one of the things that i think was a blind spot for both myself and my staff again is no one has ever asked me to classify an x-y latitude longitude point. but it was not that issue only. it was with identifying the
tree i.d. with photos from previous trees that existed there or nearby. there were many aspects to his inquiry and our team had to address two or three or three out of four of them. so we're actively addressing this inquiry. and so that's why i kept coming back to mr. carnes saying are we there yet? my reaching out to him is not waffling. i don't understand the question. where's the disconnect here. i think we probably could have done a bet -- it would have been productive for us to get on the phone together and say we've got three or four but i'm sensing you're not there yet, there's something else we haven't responded to. we do agree, it shouldn't require an appeal to get that level of detail. but, again, we are doing a lot of work for a lot of people across this city and we value
everyone's advocacy, absolutely. we're not going to get funding for more trees without our advocates. so that's the lesson learned here. is be open. sometimes. i'm learning. x-y coordinates, we don't send our crews out with those, but if someones and me about that i'm going to handle that with more sensitivity. we're not giving the message that the testimony. even the brief from mr. carnes. so that's a little bit about how we got to this point. we certainly don't want to make anyone do this level of work to make a simple latitude longitude correction. >> clerk: thank you. we have a question from commissioner lazarus.
>> commissioner: yeah. mr. buck, the issue seems to be about the order itself. would you say that this order is drafted in the usual fashion and that 46 cragmont 8010 is what you would normal do and that's sufficient for the order? >> correct. we've been combining some of our agenda items at public works when we've had hearings because we've had protests for things like trauma trees. one related to the cagmon. >> commissioner: right. i'm not concerned about two or three or four. is this the address the way they're normally addressed? is there anything unusual about the way this order is written? >> not unusual. no.
it refers to a street address and sometimes we might instead of saying a total number of trees, we might say tree 5 or 7 and the number. >> commissioner: i understand. >> but it's typical to a resulting decision. >> commissioner: okay thank you. >> clerk: we have a question from commissioner chang. >> commissioner: thank you. can everyone hear me? >> yes. >> commissioner: i got some pop-up that i haven't seen before. it sounds like the appeal as commissioner lazarus stated had to do with the order and the specific coordinates. but it also sounded like that has been corrected. am i understanding correctly that the order now accurately reflects and has updated the coordinates per the appellate's
request? am i understanding that correctly? the question can go to chris. >> thank you, commissioner. i can confirm that there were several questions or issues brought up by the appellate and the remaining lingering one was the latitude longitude that has been updated within our database and so it is the correct reference point in the data pace. okay. >> clerk: so commissioners, this matter's submitted. >> would anyone like to start? >> i'd like to ask the appellant exactly what he wants to have emerge out of this hearing. >> yes.
thank you commissioner, swig. i've shown a slide indicating what i wanted. the order, the director's decision as written does not acknowledge there's a discrepancy between the street address and the tree's address. mr. buck only corrected the database sometime between the time he wrote his respondent's brief last thursday and today. i mean, i have no idea. the point is, he could have corrected it the same day as the removal hearing. so the director's decision does not accurately reflect the situation with the trees. >> commissioner: you would like an accurate address to ensure that the right trees are
removed? is that simple language? >> well that's fairly simple. what i'd really like it to say is mr. carnes pointed out there's a discrepancy in the database between the street address and the latitude longitude points where the trees are located. that's it. i'd be happy with that. >> commissioner: thank you. >> okay. >> commissioner: i would, my feeling on this is that i think above issue would be the appeal appropriately. clearly, there is feeling in the public that there's a lack of clarity with the address and i think if we move forward we should deny the appeal and approve the permit with a requirement that there be a further clarification of the
location of each tree to be removed. i think that will handle the whole situation and satisfy the appellant's request, but i'll let somebody else talk. >> madam director, would we accept the appeal? >> i'm unsure what commissioner swig wants. >> commissioner: deny the appeal and all that i want to for the purpose of the appellant, i want to make sure that b.u.f. takes extra care to clarify the location of the trees. >> then we would have to grant the appeal order on the condition it be revised. >> commissioner: you always do a much better job of making my motions than i do. so you're on the right direction. >> so i guess i would want to
clarify what language you want to note there's a discrepancy between that. i mean, it does say here already it notes that he brought this up. did you want an acknowledgement that he's correct? or just correct -- >> commissioner: i want to give -- i want to make sure there's extra care given to the request of the appellant. so i would, again, uphold the appeal, issue the permit with the request or with the requirement that b.u.f. -- >> yeah. >> commissioner: ensures the clarity of the address. that's all. that's what we're talking about here. >> i think the appellant had a clarify for relief in his brief and he wanted the findings to say public works verifies gps points were incorrect and has made appropriate changes to the tree database.
but anyway i'm just telling you what he said. commissioner lazarus has something to say as well. >> commissioner: i don't need to go that far. >> commissioner lazarus. >> commissioner: i mean, i'm looking at the order. and other questions you may have about the site staff will follow up with any outstanding questions remain. for me, that's sufficient. >> would you like to make that a motion, commissioner? >> commissioner: it's worth it. >> okay. so then i would move to appeal that the deny that the director's order was sufficiently worded. >> okay. so we have a motion from commissioner lazarus on the basis of appeal that the order had the proper language on that motion.
[roll call] >> so that motion carries 5-0 and the appeal is denied. thank you. we are now moving on to item number 6. this is appeal number 21-013. vivian padua and ivonne vasquez. subject property is 4840 mission street. appealing the issuance on february 8, 2021, to bridge housing corporation of a demolition permit. permit number 20/08/19/2106. so i'm not sure who's going first. is it ms. padua or vasquez. >> wow. >> yes. thank you. >> okay. so good afternoon president
honda, vice president santacana and commissioners. thank you for letting me speak today. it has been brought up several times now that the board has no authority. why then were we even allowed to submit an appeal. i've learned more about the project and the abatement through briefs only because we filed an appeal. ms. white has stated in e-mail they will pay for the construction assessment only if the companies that requested do not provide the same scope of work as them. i have a proposal from a professional land surveyor. i also have a proposal from a structural engineering firm which provides an onsite evaluation and will prepare a written report with photos. i want to correct what mrs. white stated in her brief. we never made a request that bridge housing made us to obtain our own assessment. we wanted bridge housing to pay
the companies directly. for the sanctity of our privacy and confidentiality we feel it's reasonable to give our reports. bound by law to provide accurate and true information. if and only if our homes sustain any damages, we would then release the report to bridge housing. we do not want bridge housing to have photos of the interiors of our homes prior to that. the best case scenario is never sustain any damages. the worst case scenario is that all of our homes sink into the ground. even with all the expertise and planning, none of the companies involved in the millennium tower construction could have anticipate or expected that the building would sink and continue sinking. sb35 bridge doesn't have to be held accountable to anything. i would like you to look at the photos shared on your screens now. it seems like bridge is using
sb35 as a shield to do what they want without regard of neighbors and community members who work in the area of 4840 mission street. we request that bridge housing take responsibility and have the preconstruction conditions assessment performed by design for the property owners of 1925, 1927, 1923, 1990 and 1996 al manny boulevard. this way bridge housing can continue on with their schedule and be able to provide the much needed affordable housing in a housing crisis. i love our home like i do my family. my siblings and i were raised here. our five daughters were raised here. some of my 13 grandchildren and my nephew were raised here. my mom lived here until she passed in 2010 and my dad lived here several months to him
passing in 2017. my grandchildren always say let's go to mama's and papa's house. i will protect our home like i protect my family. thank you. now i will turn it over to my co-appellant ivonne vasquez. >> am i able to speak now, julie? >> please go ahead ms. vasquez. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak regarding the demolition appeal. only the board could consider. if this is the case, the board has no authority to deny or modify the demolition permit of sb35. then why are we here? contrary to bridge's claim i the homeowner never received issue answer for the demolition permit as required.
ms. white also claims our concerns for the relief of asbestos leaked into the environment. bridge never provided with us osha standard 29cfr1926.85 which would have met the state's requirement. it is our right to ensure that health and environmental standards are addressed. white claims that bridge had no obligation to inform us of the bridge demolition. contrary to what she's stating, i received two letters, one from the department of building inspection and the other from the mayor's office of housing and community development stating otherwise. i'll abbreviate. m.o.h.. i can participate in the consultation of the process of the project and address the cultural and historical resources issues involving this project pursuant to section 106 of the n.h.p.836c.f.r.3800.
the response was by i e-mailed on 5/18/2020 on the properties and the san francisco planning department stating the 4840 mission building was eligible for listing in the national register of historic places and i was invited to participate in the consultation of the subject property. e-mail saying no schedule meeting was set for 6/10/2020. it was held on 12/2019. what was the point of sending me a letter if the hearing had been held? the second letter, department of building inspection sent notification of application for a demolition permit dated 8/31/2020 which would demolish the building and stated i would
receive notification if and when to approve or the right to appeal it. i never received notice to appeal the demolition. also on 12/30/2019, the san francisco planning department determined eligible for a land demolition. it was also eligible for listing in the national register for local significance under criteria and state. and this was based on the planning department's historic resource evaluation response 2hrer. lastly, moh stated on 5/2020. the demolition construction would have an adverse effect on subject resource. president honda, based on the notification of process and
resource evaluation osha. i am requesting the demolition to be denied or delayed at this time. for prior to any demolition process or construction. thank you very much. >> thank you. we will now hear from the permit holder. we have a representative, ms. white from bridge housing. >> yes. hello. can you hear me? >> yes, we can. >> thank you. i'm going to share my screen here. >> did you need me to show that map for you? >> no i understand i have the opportunity to do a 7-minute presentation. can you see my screen? >> yes, we can. >> okay.
thank you. so good evening everyone. thank you for the opportunity to present this evening. my name is sara white, i'm the director at bridge housing in the northern california team and i am working on the project management for the 4840 mission project which is 100% affordable housing development, 137 units of 100% affordable housing. it's an sb35 approved project. we have all our proper permits in place. we have a crew site permits and approved demo permits and we're ready to begin work. the project is fully financed. it has the support of the city and county of san francisco with funding from from the mayor's office of housing and community development. we strongly urge you to deny the appellant's request allowing us to proceed with demolition activities. as part of my brief, i submitted a technical opinion letter confirming that there's no impact associated with
either the demo or new construction on any of the surrounding structures and i can get to that here in a minute. so this, again, this is just an elevation on mission street that this safeway here over on the left and then over here is another -- some more commercial structures. this is the proposed building elevation for on the alamany boulevard. i've got a single family home here 1927 alamany and over here one thousand nine hundred ninety-one alamany, this is one of the appellants with 25' of space between our new structure and 1991 alamany and another 10' or so between separation between 1927 alemany. this is an aerial shot of our current site.
it's about an acre and a half site. this is the existing funeral home. so it's vacant. they sold it in 2017 and bridge was able to purchase that. you see here, we've got about 12' of separation between the adjacent structure on mission and about one hundred thirty' of separation from safeway. one of the appellants is at 1997 alemany, and you can see the considerable distance away from our demolition actions is located. so 220' away. the other appellant is 140' away. 1927, 90' away. 1925, 98' away. these are considerable distances. also, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six was also, you know, one of the appellants requested that we include preconstruction assessments for 1996 and 1990
alemany. you can just see, not only are they across a major arterial road but also 205' away and 250' away. these are considerable distance and not going to have an impact. the demolition is not going to have an impact on any of these surrounding structures. so just to give you a bit of context, here is from mission the existing structure that we're proposing to demolish in order to begin work on the sb35 approved project. so it's a type five three-story structure above 13,000 square feet. i just want to show you our schedule and funding deadlines we resume the demolition as soon as possible. we can come back to this if
there's questions. and, i just want to highlight in our brief, we include it as an exhibit. i did a technical opinion letter from our geo technical engineer in geo. we asked him to specifically study the affect our proposed activity could have on adjoining properties and so he looked at that and, you know, i included the opinion letter in the brief just the highlight of it here. i'll just read it out loud. the northern edge of the structure at 1991 alemany boulevard is greater than 130' away from the building to be demolished. based on the location, the excavation would not impact the property at 1991 alemany boulevard. and such site activities would
be expected to have negligentable impact to the property at 1991 alemany boulevard. furthermore, the risk of undermining the support of the neighboring foundation at 1991 alemany boulevard would be nil. the neighboring foundation at 1927 alemany would be nil. they also made the same conclusions for the structures up on mission as well. so how much time do i have left? >> 1 minute. >> okay. i'll save some of this for the rebuttal, you know, this project is approved under sb35. we believe the board doesn't have authority to exercise discretion to reject or modify the demo permit because doing so would inhibit the construction of this sb35 approved project. all required process has been followed to abate the property
prior to beginning demolition. we have our abatement close-out report that was performed by group delta included. i also included our new technical engineering opinion letter. and, you know, at the march 10th hearing, i thought president honda made a nice recommendation that to do the survey marker work. i knew that the neighbors wanted to use martin ron. so we have. >> 30 seconds. >> you know, we sent out neighboring agreements and notices about our plans and the neighbor agreements would allow us to do that survey marker work, but they're chosen consultant. but, again, just on those structures that are on adjoining properties and that's 1991, 1927 alemany and market street. >> that's time. thank you.
>> thank you. >> president honda has a question. >> yes. >> thank you for taking my suggestion and following up on that. >> yeah. absolutely. >> we can't hear you, president honda. >> muted. >> sorry. here i go again. my screen keeps on switching back and forth. again, thank you for following up on my request and acting on that, i do appreciate that. my question is in regards to in the brief, they mentioned that during a zoom hearing stating agreements that you made with me verbally in our phone conversation on february 3rd, 2021, between 8:00 and 9:30 again, virtual meeting yesterday that bridge housing will pay for pre-construction condition assessment and post-construction condition assessments to the company or companies of my choosing which
it looks like you're doing some stuff. and i noted that you said geotech. she also submitted brief pictures of what it would look like with workers in hazmat suits performing some type of scraping on the building. can you explain what that is. >> yeah. going back to the assessments, you know, i think maybe you got snid bits of the e-mails. so in january and february, i talked with vivian who i understand is at 1997 alemany. and, if i'm still sharing my screen, i'll just go back to the map. yeah. >> we don't see the map. >> we don't see your screen. sorry. >> oh, you don't. maybe i need to reshare it. here we go. >> yeah. you have to reshare it. >> bare with me here. how's that? >> yeah. >> yeah. so things have -- the communications have been a
little from my perspective have gotten a little convoluted. when i first spoke with vivian i think by phone we talked in late, i think it was late january or early february before there was a neighbor meeting, we had like a neighbor meeting on february 9th and so, you know, she and ivonne had just through this whole process it kind of been really active and when i was talking to them, it just seemed like these were the four homeowners that just seemed most active or concerned and i thought, you know, nibby had told me we work with nina kaun a lot. it's a third party photographic assessment and it's sort of like an industry best practice. and so if there's a job, we take site conditions, you can have them come in and do this photographic survey and both parties get a copy.
right. and so it kind of protects both the owner and the neighbor. right. so if there's a claim, you can go back to that assessment and it shows preimposed conditions. so, you know, i would say that's an industry accepted best practice and so i offered that to them, but for whatever reason, they're just very distrustful of bridge and so, you know, my take on it is that because i recommended municon which was recommended to me by our contractor who does this work extensively and has a lot of expertise in this area, they said they didn't want to go with the firm that i had recommended. so my understanding is that they don't want to do these assessments. and, you know, since those conversations happened in early january or in january, early february, you know, i'm taking in the feedback about the
concerns people have and working with my design team because i wanted to get information out to the neighbors to, you know, e highway their concerns. so in that time they were saying they don't want to work with muni con. i never agreed to offer anyone except these four neighbors a survey and i never agreed to expand that sort of circle of people that would be getting this survey and i think, as you can see from this drawing, it makes no sense to extend that such huge distances. and, you know, i thought what you offered at the meeting was a really nice compromise. let's get survey markers done. so i knew vivian and ivonne wanted to work with mark and
ron. for these structures that are immediately adjoining our property. that would be 1927 alemany. 4840 mission. i'm still willing to do the municon assessments for any of those four structures but i think as a geotechnical opinion letter supports, it's not necessary to offer anything beyond those property lines. so that's sort of the complicated history. i hope i explained it okay. it's very confusing. >> no. i would imagine and using specific verbs are challenging during tough times like this. in that second part of the question was in their brief, it shows a worker as of i think the -- >> oh, yes. so, you know, that work is highly regulated. so we have a firm called eco bay, they're a licensed firm
that specializes in abatement work. so, you know, we had group delta go in and do what they call a phase one and a phase two assessment and also lead-based paint and asbestos and hazard paint. prior to doing any of this work, we had that due diligence to tell us what's going on at the property and what do we need to do to abate it in order to be ready to safely demolish the building. what we found was there were some locations of the building that had lead-based paint and asbestos and there were some miscellaneous solvents in the building. the elevator that had hydraulic fluids that need to be removed. so we took those reports. eco bay was the most competitive bid. nibby selected them to come in and do the abatement work. so all of that work, i mean, i just can't stress enough, this is highly regulated stuff.
they're licensed contractors. >> i have to cut you off, ms. white. so much more to the explanation. have those reports shared with the appellants. >> they've never asked for it. i didn't even know it was a concern until, you know, all this stuff started happening. so, you know, we can share that here and there, but, you know, it's just -- >> as you said, this is lead-based abatement and asbestos and chemical. >> highly regulated. >> highly regulated situation and, you know they're concerned as per the brief with the lead-based paint. so, you know, maybe that could be a thing. i do appreciate your reaching out to them and offering what i suggested as well as maybe being consistent in the reports that were provided to you. thank you very much for your
explanation, ms. white. >> absolutely. >> thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. mr. sanchez. >> thank you. the subject property 4840 mission street. this hearing and also previously on the jurisdiction request for the new construction permit. the project is subject to sb35 which does greatly alter what level of discretion especially no discretion that the city has in reviewing the project. no neighborhood notice was required as part of the review for the planning department purposes. also no public hearings. the project isn't bound to meet the standards and requirements of sb30 tai and this 5.
and which i think are generally taken care of by the municipal code requirements, i think all those things are already legislated in terms of how they can and should be addressed. i'm available for any questions, but, again, i think most of the issues raised really relate more to the construction, not to any of the planning issues of which there are none on this property. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the department building inspection. deputy director duffy. >> good evening, commissioners. joe duffy. the permit is a demolish type five, three-story mortuary. it went through central permit bureau fire department d.p.w., planning, building, and
eventually, it was issued on the 8th of february, 2021 and suspended on the 3rd of february 2021, part of the appeal. mr. sanchez, i believe that the permit was probably reviewed and issued. it's a typical demolition permit. it goes how the third party requirement for a special inspection to oversee the demolition. there would be -- i did notice that there was safety permits associated with it. there's also the program for the d.d.r.p. which is overseen by the bureau of environment and that's all because of where the debris has to be disposed of. and we did hear a little bit of lead and and asbestos and that's all good. i have been contacted by the contractor. but that worked to thoshz it
because sometimes the building permit didn't have anything to do with it. i think some of the issues brought up by the neighbors are valid issues and they're pretty typical of what we see. i also heard the project sponsor address them and i would encourage any type of monitoring or anything that's offered in regards to that whether it's noise, whether it's movement, whether it's whatever you're getting, it's a good idea as a neighbor to take advantage of that and because it's always, you know, it sort of documents the project before it's parked in the middle or at the end. we definitely recommend anyone that's getting that offer.
notice. did i see we got the notice. the project sponsor is also supposed to do it at the site when they get the demolition permit. i assumed that happened. i don't see anything out of order here and i'm available for questions. thank you. >> thank you. we will now move on to public comment. is there anyone here for public comment? okay. we have a few speakers. we'll hear from mr. michael nulty first. please, go ahead. mr. nulty? >> yeah. hi, can you hear me? >> yes, we can. >> yeah. i would just like to say that
i'm happy to hear that they -- the neighborhood neighbors are trying to the at least mitigate the issues as they see is happening in the mission, but at the same time, i'd like to see housing it being built on schedule because of financing. i'm also concerned, i haven't really heard any response about the historic value of the mortuary. i think that's being overlooked. we do have historic buildings in san francisco and when it's just kind of put to the side because of the historic value, i'm wondering if there was any mitigations having a historical asset being demolished. and i'm just also concerned
what other community benefit agreements were being met or being given by bridge housing or bridge developers. i'm also glad to see that there will be a community center at the location. thank you. >> okay. thank you. we will go on to the next speaker. steve marzo. please, go ahead. >> hello. good afternoon everybody. i just wanted to say that i'm really glad to see district 11 is seeing 100% affordable project. we don't see a lot of these and as a resident in the area, i am, you know, in strong support of seeing more projects like this built. i really feel like we need to and please reject this appeal. something like this is clearly being done in bad faith and they're just trying to gum up
the works and slow down the development of this project and what we really can't do is slow down development of 100% of affordable homes. there's just so many san franciscans that are getting displaced due to the price, the cost of living here. you know, this is something that folks can actually afford. it will give families and individuals an opportunity to live in the city and stay in a place that they love. so, you know, we really strongly urge you to deny this appeal and, you know, in the pirt of sb35, approve this project. thank you. >> okay. thank you. we will hear from susan marcellus next please. >> thank you. two things i'd like to say. one, my [inaudible] of ivonne vasquez, we've spent a lot of time at 1991 alemany.
4840 is pretty close to our home. i don't know if you notice this, they are going to be building an 8' wall adjacent to the home and that's going to require 8' of excavation that will be 3' from the home, not 104'. so this does greatly impact our home. we've had our home vandalized since we've been next to that site and those individuals who did that were coming from bridge housing. so we are going to be living next to a breezeway which now has public access pretty close, but not on top of our property. if you don't think this is a major impact to the homeowner, that is sad commentary. i watched my spouse go through shear hell in the last three years of this project. and i know the taxpayers in this city are not being heard and certainly not the homeowners. there could have been compromise on this project very
early when we wanted our side on alemany to stay residential and stay with town homes and affordable housing on the mission side and it was just not even considered. so if sb305 is going to run through residential neighborhoods in california, the homeowners have a right for some level of protection of the homes. we are gravely concerned about that excavation work. 8' down, 3' from the home at 1991 alemany street, a wall. and without the wall, we have zero privacy and she never disclosed it. we received the notice on monday and the historic value of that location was also never addressed. that meeting occurred way before ivonne got the notification. so there's a breakdown in the process here and we're not saying that the permits could not be issued, but we are saying that it can be delayed.
so we are saying that these homes and particularly 1991 and 1997 which is even closer to our home will not be damaged through this process. we know we've lost our homes. there will be no privacy. there will be 5' of the building next to us that was never there before. so we know it's been a finger to the homeowners and certainly to us. but bridge housing has been anything but transparent. there has been lines along the way with the process. so i think there's another voice in the room that needed to be heard. thank you, commissioners. thank you, president honda. >> thank you. we will now hear from josephine achuto. >> thank you. i am also one of the homeowners within the 1991 to 1997 addresses. i don't think anybody's trying to gum up the work. i think we're all trying to make sure our homes are protected in this process and i
think that there has been a lack of transparency for certain things. we've already gone through multiple variations of this building. we've gone through multiple variations of companies being involved in this and contractors and things. i personally know that we did not receive some of the letters that our neighbors across the street from us, on the opposite side of the street did receive. so transparency is something that has not been given to us. we did not know anything about the asbestos reports and this and that and i don't think after dealing with us for the last almost four years, i don't think that any of those neighbors have shown a lack of interest in what's happening on that site. so i think it's very deceiving to say that we didn't ask for the reports so that's why they weren't given to us we
personally at the police station near baloa park we met in the community there and several nights on evenings on end. we've had meetings on mission street. we've had the district supervisor at almost every meeting. i mean, we have not shown that we are not interested in what's happening. so to say that we don't care about these reports where things of that sort could be flying through the air. our homes are going to be filled with debris. our yards are right there. our children are playing in these yards. our animals go out in these yards. i think we're all concerned homeowners and i think that now that things are changing, now we're only offering two of the homes something and all the other homes that have been
involved that are worried and concerned are being thrown to the waist side. nobody's trying to gum up anything. in the last conversation we had, we got listed as pardon my lack of better words, but as wealthy homeowners. look, i work for a living. i pay my taxes and i am considered low-income. i could qualify to live in your building. and, i personally am just trying to secure something that we fought hard to get and we just want the structure and integrity of our home to stay the way it is. we don't want to turn around tomorrow. we had to tell bridge housing there was an active creep. >> your time is up. thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate you listening. thank you. >> we will now hear from theo. please, go ahead. okay. we can come back to theo.
we'll now hear from cindy heavens. cindy heavens, please speak for public comment. >> thank you. i'm cindy heavens, mayor's office of housing community development and, good evening, president honda, vp santacana and commissioners. there's no ground for this appeal. the community has been thoroughly notified throughout this project process from the initial design in two thousand seven and through two designs one in which is the current design that sarah presented to you today. the community benefits are the main one being the walkway connecting alemany to mission and that was at the request of not necessarily the next door neighbors, but the whole neighbor process that went through a process with the
supervisor's office through the excelsior outer mission neighborhood. there will also be a community clinic as well as an undefined commercial space but what is proposed as an outdoor seating space with cafes and stuff. that's what the greater neighborhood has requested. while no community outreach has been required on this. the meeting that occurred in december, 2019 i believe was a courtesy to the neighbors and heavily attended by all, not just the adjacent neighbors. and, unfortunately, covid-19 occurred and probably affected bridge's outreach. however, the side reach was coordinated with sb35 in june. the notice period prior to demolition was followed. the city has put in a lot of effort to receive the critical statewide competitive financing for 4840 mission and this
financing construction site has deadlines in order for the housing to be providing. this appeal has already delayed the closing to start construction and depending on today's outcome this will add additional delays that are costly for the project and further exaggerate the housing crisis. we urge the board of appeals to deny the appeal so that the affordable housing can proceed without further delay. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from marcus usamale. >> good evening. i'm a district and resident. the question is solely to confirm this project to deliver 137 new homes to my neighborhood complies with state law sp35 by allowing approval of this project to stand. not to litigate the approval of this project. the bridge housing has thoroughly demonstrated they have taken every legal necessary steps to deliver more
homes on the city's south side. i urge you as a resident to deny this petty appeals process by short sided landowners and allow the planning department of these 137 fully affordable homes for san francisco families to move forward. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from julio buendia. >> hi. i just wanted to call in support of the project and to encourage the board to deny the appeal. this is an sb35 approved project as well as we're in a deep housing crisis in san francisco and 100% affordable housing project helps fix this housing crisis that's going on. so i please encourage the board to deny the appeal. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from joanna v.
>> hello, at our last appealing meeting i was personally attacked. my family and i have worked hard to obtain a dream of owning a home in san francisco. since discussion started with bridge housing a few years ago, it seems those homes do not matter. as long as bridge comes in and continues to tell us lie after lie, promoting their agenda saying they care about the community when all the while those of us who've been apart of that community are being made to feel we do not matter. e repercussions of having a monstrous building built literally in our backyards, dealing with the noise and havoc brought on by three years of construction, what happens if damage is incurred to our homes. if foundation is damaged or walls are cracked, who is going to incur those large expenses. we're doing so out of concern for our homes and our
community. since we the plan has changed two to three times. we have been continually lied to. we would be able to get preand post construction assessment of our homes. we were being forced to deal with municon which we knew nothing about and we offered to get our own companies. but then they came back and gave the ability of the preand post assessments of the area. what impact is this going to have on our environment? there was talk of asbestos and lead. none of us were notified of this. there were three construction workers chipping away at construction of a building and you can see people walking directly below exposed. what other ramifications will the demolition of this building
have? set aside the fact it is most likely a historical building. those of us being directly affected are not horrible people. we are concerned for our neighborhood and those that live in it. thoughts should be given who have supported local businesses and participated in keeping our neighborhoods flourishing. sb35 is an umbrella that sarah white and bridge housing have used to continue to push through their agenda without any concern for those that are going to be directly impacted. we are finding out more and more as we go along. we were told we were going to have weekly meetings to discuss. one week was going to be about noise, the next week was going to be about demolition. i've reached out a couple of times and nothing has been set. and we are interested. we have made a point of being interested. we have two particular neighbors who are the spokes
people for the rest of the neighbors. >> thank you. your time is up. thank you for your comments. we will now hear from sarah ocalvy. you have three minutes. >> hello. good evening. good evening, commissioners. i'm a san franciscan and i'm speaking in opposition to this appeal and i'm in favor of the project. i understand that the neighbors have concern, but i've been looking at, you know, the outreach that was given by the project sponsor and i listened to the mayor's office of housing and, you know, all together, i feel like that the neighbors were afforded their time to discuss their concerns and gain their concessions. overall, i believe that sb35 it stresses in the language of the code is that this issuance, that this project, if we were to stop it now, this would be inhibiting chilling or precluding the development and i believe that that is a very
bad precedent to be moving forward as we will be continuing to see sb35 projects coming forward and we will continue to be welcoming families who can otherwise not afford to call san francisco their home back into our community. we have a housing element that's happening that we're going to be having to approve 83,zero approximate units in the next eight to ten years with 34,000 units of affordable housing on the pipeline. so a project like this really needs to happen in the spirit in the amount of units that san francisco needs to produce if we allow and open the door to delay frivolous appeal. it's frivolous because clearly the interaction had occurred and clearly the interactions were offered and completed. you know, if we do this over and over, it's just a very bad precedent and the thousands of units that san francisco has to
approve and build will be impacted. and so i'm asking this zoning board to please consider the horizon and please, you know, do not make this hard for the 137 families that really are desperately looking to you for hope. and i trust the bridge housing is a professional it's a professional developer that none of these people are throwing shovels into the sand without any idea of what they're doing and what the impacts are. please, let's trust the professionals here that they're going to do a great job. that they're going to provide quality housing to well deserving people. please oppose this appeal and approve the project so that the delay does not continue and a good precedent is set for the housing element that we are facing with our process this year. thank you so much. >> okay. thank you. i've noticed a couple people have put comments in the chat and that is not allowed. please comply with the board rules.
the chat is for technical assistance only. it's not appropriate for you to put your opinions or comments. so please respect the process. so we will go on to the next public commenter chris harriott. please, go ahead. mr. harriott? >> can you hear me, julie? >> yes, i can hear you. >> thank you. >> mr. harriott, let's give him a moment. mr. harriott? welcome. please, go ahead, you have three minutes. >> thank you. i'd like to speak in support of building these 100% affordable homes in the san francisco housing crisis. once this is complete, 137 of those families will gain housing stability. and i encourage the committee
to approve these homes without delay. thank you. >> okay. thank you. we will now hear from kenneth russel. mr. russel. >> yes. >> welcome. you have three minutes. >> thank you. good evening board members. my name is kenneth russel. as a san francisco resident as well as a homeowner who lives farther south on alemany i support the building for more homes. i encourage you to deny this appeals request. and allow the work. the sooner this finishes, the sooner the construction will be complete and the sooner families will be able to live here. our city needs to do all it can to house people. for far too long, we have not built homes for people and we now have a housing crisis. these 100% affordable homes for 137 individuals and families will not solve that on their own, it will be incredibly
important for the families that are able to live there. thank you very much. >> thank you. we will now hear from nel. nel, please, go ahead. have you 3 minutes. >> in my name is janel biers. i support to ensure a preand post assessment done by bridge housing. by the company of their choice. company referred unicon. what is the difference if the two other companies that were referred to that. i understand that affordable housing is in fact needed in san francisco. i used to live in that house.
my grandma was a nurse. and so i think she too would agree to affordable housing. i am a nurse, i had to move out of san francisco i keep hearing these families that will need it. but what will happen to the structure and the damage that's done to ouchlt poor homes. so the future of our kids and grandchildren can have a home too. all we want to have is to make sure a preand post assessment is done and assessment of the house to ensure no damage gets done. to ensure that our legacy and the legacy that our grandfather
-- my grandmother fought for lives on and so we can continue that generation. why are these 137 affordable homes keep getting there lives their family's importance is more important than the ones the houses next -- the families that have been next to the houses. and what will happen if they can't, you know, the structure gets damaged? so i support that preand post assetment is done by the company of the homeowner's choice. what is the difference between unicon and the two other professional companies? they're all professional companies. so why go with the bias of the construction company? that's what i don't understand.
>> thank you. we will now hear from theo. >> hello. i'm a resident of excelsior. i am calling in opposition of the appeal to this housing project. and walkway between mission and alemany is replacing funeral home that at that moment blocks pedestrian access across that area and has already gone before the historic commission that's been declared to have no historic need to be preserved and talked about sb35. the application is a legal recognition of how badly we need affordable homes in this neighborhood. we are now in a pandemic that's highlighting the need for the juks of homes, especially homes and health care.
this project will provide those homes. sb35 doesn't change the city's procedures, but it puts strict limits on how much time and what basis you can delay or deny the project. this project complies with every legally required objective standard and therefore to grant the appeal i think would open the city to legal liable and we don't want that. so i strongly urge you to reject the appeal and allow the construction of these affordable homes as soon as possible. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from colleen ma. welcome. >> thank you. i just wanted to call in support of a project i'm a i'm in support of the 100% affordable housing i strongly feel that the assurance of these neighbors need having
gone through the full legal process. this is more important than the other. expensive as it is. urge this support. we all need to make room for new neighbors. >> okay. thank you. is there any other public comment on this item? please raise your hand. okay. we have scott brodacheck. did you want to go on video? >> that's okay. i'm a resident of the excelsior and live just a few blocks up and i'm excited to see this develop and i urge the board to deny this appeal. hearing some of my. we are seeing empty commercial properties and i'm excited to
welcome more residents to our neighborhood to shop here and continuing to improve the community. thank you to the board to share my views. >> is there any other public comment? please raise your hand. okay. i'm not seeing any further public comment. miss haves easy and padua, you have three minutes total. do you want to split the time? >> yes, we'll split the time. this is vivian. i have clients who are in affordable housing so i will be reforming an assessment for my home as protection should i get any. >> i don't appreciate people
attacking us for standing up if are our rights. when they say that bridge housing is doing so well, i would suggest that people go to mission local stated 131 and 2019 and look up the article on overflowing trash and other problems bridge housing is in charge of that and they have left these elderly people and these apartments in the mission living in such filth and they've done absolutely nothing to address it and these elderly people that live in these apartments in the senior apartment living facility have complaints and have brought it up to the city because they are not getting any action met by bridge housing. i am not going to have that happen to us. these people that are speaking are probably in favor of ausious and are probably his constituents that agree with
him. there are those of us that have had to live with him and heard the lies. when sarah white there were meetings in 2017, there were absolutely no meetings. they are just been sold in 2017. i was never ever addressed in any meetings until ms. padua told me. furthermore, they've not told you these people are not aware of the garbage or the trash it was dam well clean. everything was kept up. she lied when she said there was no trash. she lied when they said they kept things up. ms. rosenburg, what am i going to be putting up with. and a breezeway. and, for your information, i was never informed about this, there's going to be music festivals and art festivals there and he's going to block it from the alemany breezeway.
she's going to block it. you can put up barriers. what i'm trying to say -- >> 30 seconds. >> these people talk. it's very easy to talk when you don't have to live next door to it when you don't have to put up with what i've been putting up with for the past two and a half years. where you see holes in the fences, people breaking in to my back yard. as i said and that's a evacuee cannot lot. what am i going to have to put up with when these tenants come here? i want a delay. i wanted to have the opportunity -- >> time. thank you. >> thank you, ms. vasquez. >> we will now hear from sarah white from bridge housing. ms. white, you have three minutes. >> you're on mute, i believe.
>> yeah. ms. white, we can't hear you. >> thank you, sorry about that. you know, i think, you know, just thank you everyone for your time and we'll just if there's any lingering questions, i'm here and happy to answer those questions in this three-minute allotment. >> thank you. does the planning department have anything further? >> thank you. scott sanchez planning department. some of the comments had a question about preservation issues. so i can just briefly speak to that. under sb35, you're not allowed to demolish a building that would be either a landmark locally listed landmark and the subject property is not a local landmark, it is not on the california or national industry district. so it is eligible for sb35 and
the building can be demolished under sb35. sb35 exempts project for environmental review and this is where the board is found to be categorically exempt. this is completely exempt from environmental reviews. so there is no further environmental review of potential preservation issue at a more refined level that typically occur under normal processing in the city. so this is not -- there's no preservation issue with the project as proposed. again, this is also just the permit for the demolition. i think a lot of the concern is about the raise for the need for construction and excavation and things like that. that permit is not before the board. so this is just related to the demolition of the existing building and, you know, we have very complex building conditions in san francisco. we have steep typographies.
this is a fairly good site for building. it's fairly level. they have setbacks from the properties that would defer to acting chief or deputy director duffy who can better speak to kind of construction issues, but it seems like this would be a fairly straight forward site for construction purposes in my opinion. but i'm available for any questions that the board may have. thank you. >> so, mr. sanchez, you said it's not historically rated on the national registry. what is the historic planning to kind of back that up? >> so it is not my on the sb35 if you're on the california register and you're not eligible for sb35. so they, it doesn't have a
historic characterization or rating that would exempt it. and, because of that, we don't even look into review under this. so we're not looking anymore into the potential preservation issues because there is now environmental review under sb35. >> prior to that, is it a, b, or c? >> i believe that it does appear as an a. but it is not a building that is listing on national register or california register or local landmark, so it can be demolished. >>. >> under local regulations, how is a-classified as far as demolition or removal? >> i mean, that would be evaluated through the [inaudible] process. you would determine what level
may be required for allowing demolition. because you can -- there is a path for demolishing historic buildings. there may be additional mitigation measures. >> i understand. i'm just trying to understand the criteria for sb35 for not only this case, but further cases coming i would imagine it would be hard to make modifications to that under normal circumstances. >> well, you can certainly you can even demolish a building in san francisco, you just have to go through the appropriate process. but this is not subject to regular environment. >> thank you.
>> deputy director duffy, do you have anything further? >> i don't have anything further. we talk about it all the time. we do have concerns. [inaudible] file a complaint and we will immediately respond and investigate. there's a lot of provisions in the codes in these types of projects and i'm sure they'll be met. >> so, commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> would any commissioner like to start off? >> commissioner chang had her hand up. >> commissioner: thank you. i had a question for sarah. so it sounds like like bridge housing has proceeded with all
of the requisite. thank you for that and i think you have addressed this and with perhaps the last hearing in your earlier remarks. but there was a couple questions about preand post surveys and, if i understand correctly, you are still open to performing them on those two homes that are immediately adjacent to the subject site, is that correct? >> yes. we have 1991 alemany. 4834 mission and then safeway. i think safeway will want to do the survey markers. they didn't think a photo survey was necessary and then i sent, you know, the notice along with a copy of a neighbor agreement. obviously, we need permission to do the work. so we have sent that notice out
to 1991, 1927, 4834. it did include in the license agreement that we would offer the municon survey, but i understand if they don't want to do the municon work, then the survey marker, they can just do that instead. we, you know, i heard them recommend martin ron and so we reached out and got a proposal and martin ron can do the survey marker work for those on adjoining lands which would be 1991, 1927 and the structures on mission. and so you know we can do that work as a courtesy and i just want to clarify this if it's needed for the demolition work. it's more about the new construction work and so long as we can enter into that neighbor agreement, we can complete that survey marker work. >> got it. and, could you address the
request to use the project owner or the appellant's own consultant instead of municon? >> the communication, as i mentioned in my communication, the interactions with the neighbors has been hard to communicate. like they've kind of appointed a designated representative to speak on behalf of the neighbors and i've offered to meet and try and, you know, get information out so that i mean a lot of the concerns that they have are valid. i mean, i really do hear they're nervous and they're getting information. as the information comes in it shows that the concerns are unfounded. the scientific data shows i did
prior to completing that in their opinion, i did offer the contractor has this firm municon and they're very reputable and they're extremely distrustful. so anything i say will be taken as an untruth at this point i'm kind of assured of that. that's sort of where things are at in my view. they didn't want to do the municon assessment and, at this point, a structural survey isn't needed. and, if they want to do that, they can do that at their own expense. i mean, there's no reason for them to not do that and we're happy to do the survey marker at 1991 alemany so on and so forth, but the mission street structures. i do want to speak to the wall. you know, ivonne wanted some
privacy and said i want like a concrete block wall. so some of this is, you know, they're kind of hard to hear the criticisms. you know, i don't know what they don't know. so seeing a wall is like a heavy structure. in the notice that i had sent, you know, you have to have structural support to do a wall of that type. you know, i hope that we can engage with ivonne and her partner susan and talk through it and at the end of the day, if they're not comfortable with the structural requirements to build a wall on our property line, then we can do like a 6' wood fence or we can find an alternative. you know, and we're happy to spend some time talking through the design requirements associated with that wall. but that wall was just their request and it's actually very expensive. if they don't want it, we can do a wood fence like we're doing along the 1927 property line. >> commissioner: thank you. and, sorry, one more question.
could you also speak to your standard process during construction in terms of information sharing with the community and immediate neighbors? >> yeah. i mean, normally, we don't get a lot of requests for information. i think so what i would propose is, you know, i did an f.a.q. which i included in my exhibit to the march 10th jurisdiction request. so what i would propose is, you know, they can send questions in writing and i can periodically update the f.a.q.. so we've shared some information out about our schedule to construction structure. they had some questions about noise. so we're in the process of working with a more beefed up fence and maybe act as a sound dampener during construction. there's things we can do. but, you know, it's true,
construction is hard on adjoining properties, but there's nothing -- really, there's limits to what we can do to mitigate that. you know, just from, you know, the main concern i've heard is the structural integrity and the technical opinion letter really says that there is no impact and this is a pretty generous site and it's not one that, you know, has a zero lot line condition where it's going to impact the neighboring structures. >> commissioner: thank you so much. i think if this helps the appellants at all, the firms that ms. white is mentioning are very reputable. it may not appease the concerns, but ngo and eco bay and municon are all very reputable firms and i don't know if i would go so far as to say they're all industry standards, but they are very frequently used in san
francisco which is a complicated city to perform development in. and i hope that that gives, you know, at least a little bit of comfort. as ms. white said, development in construction is very challenging, but we are in this situation where the state has passed sb35 for good reason and so i think i will leave my remarks for that and hear from other commissioners, fellow commissioners. >> thank you, commissioner chang. commissioner swig, you have your hand up. >> commissioner: thank you. thank you, commissioner chang if for your empathy and trying to make the appellants more comfortable. i'm going to make a motion to deny the appeal on the basis of the permit was properly issued. but with that saying to ms.
white, clearly and you've been in this position before because um, based on my experience with the redevelopment agency and low income housing developers. there are so many fears that are raised as a new structure that's brought into a neighborhood that isn't used to it. and so i would very highly recommend that you show the ultimate in sensitivity to the neighbors when i hear about trash the building up in the parking lot, you know, what happens in lots that are abandoned. miraculously garbage appears.
i don't know why that is, but it does. and so i although you may adhere to one standard, you may raise that standard to make sure that garbage is -- that the site is observed for garbage and that garbage is removed or any other things that might trigger any energy from the neighbors. and, for the neighbors, the same thing. this project is going to go through. and we normally it's darrell that gives this lecture. but ya'll are going to be living with each other for a long time and i would beg and plead to you that you make peace early and learn how to work collaboratively even when there are challenges as ms.
white said. construction's construction. it's bumpy and it's going to be that way. so i'm asking her to make it as little -- to soften the bumps for the neighbors and likewise, i would hope that the neighbors will understand that bridge housing will use best efforts to recognize the challenges and be good neighbors. so with that, i've made my motion. >> actually, before we hear your motion, can i make a few comments. so i'm extremely empathetic of the concerns of the neighboring homeowners and i definitely am respecting the legacy and the
hard work for the prior generations for you to have these homes. unfortunately, this board, even if we had the power, we would not be able to mitigate what's really at base here is that there's 100' plus structure that is going to be set next to your properties. then, to further that is this is the first sb35 case that has come before this body and all the commissioners that are on this board have, i'm sure looked into what we can and cannot do. and unfortunately, our powers are extremely limited to what we have the ability to do. and i do to the callers out there and to the public to be respectful to the homeowners and demonizing them and categorizing them as rich landlords is probably not correct. they're concerned for the homes that their father, grandfather, and their great grandfather put together and that they've been through for generations. so, again, i'm extremely
empathetic -- i mean, sympathetic of the plight that you're going through. unfortunately, affordable housing is needed and this particular project is next to your homes and, for you i empathize with that. but looking at the brief, looking at the information that has been given both orally and in the brief, i believe this board has not -- does not have the authorization to deny the demolition permit. and, as you've heard in the testimony from the permit holder, if those reports are available and they're willing to share with them, they're also willing to go beyond the scope of what they actually need to do and to provide additional information to the homeowners. so, with that, i'm done. commissioner swig, if you have a motion, please. >> you're on mute.
>> commissioner: yeah. i know. my screen got -- rebelled. i made the motion to deny the appeal on the basis that the permit was properly issued. >> okay. so on commissioner swig's motion to deny the appeal on the basis it was properly issued. [roll call] >> okay. that motion carries. 5-0. an appeal is denied. we are now moving on to item number 7. this is appeal number 21-009. becker boards versus the planning department. subject property 530 howard street. appealing the disapproval on january 28th, 2021, -- >> could we -- sorry. could we take like a two or
three minute biological opportunity, please. >> absolutely. and i will restart. >> thank you. >> thank you >> we are now on item number 7. this is appeal number 21-009. becker boards versus the planning department. subject property 530 howard street. appealing the disapproval on january 28th, 2021, of a building permit. applicant is becker boards llc to remove a 25' by 40' billboard to replace with new 25' by 40' billboard at the same location. the planning department did not approve this permit because the proposed scope of the work constitutes the removal and replacement of a general
advertising sign in violation of the planning code. as a preliminary matter, the owner of the sign currently at the subject property would like to ask the board if it can participate in this case as an interested party. the appellant and the deputy administrator will have the opportunity to address the board on these requests. each party will have three minutes. we will hear first from outside media. mr. lioness will you be speaking, making a request? >> yes, i will. >> okay. welcome. >> thank you. president honda, commissioners, my name is anthony lioness and i represent alpha media in this matter and we are making a request to participate in this proceeding as an interested party. just to explain the current situation, we are a tenant, we are the lessee on the property. the sign structure that is currently located on the property is owned by out front
media and contrary to what was contained in the appellant's brief, the lease is not ended. it is continually ongoing. and the application that was submitted by the appellant was for removal of our sign. and therefore we're directly impacted by this permit. the ownership of the structure is not in doubt. it is outfront media's structure and outfront media has the right to remove the structure. therefore, we are definitely an interested party when someone is applying for a permit to remove our structure. thank you. >> okay. thank you. >> i have a question. >> we have a question from president honda. >> so my question is is were you aware of this appeal and is there a reason you did not submit an appeal as a party of
this billboard? >> i believe that we received notice of the appeal once the appeal was filed. we were not aware of the permit application. and i believe the time to file the appeal had lapsed. but i don't know if we would have been a proper appellant under those circumstances. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the appellant. mr. gladstone. >> hi. rick gladstone representing the becker billboards, another billboard company. first, a clarification, the lease term is expired. the lease is operating on a month-to-month basis. so when i said the lease term is over, literally the term is over, however, it does continue on a month-to-month basis. i don't have a problem with cbs
speaking. i would simply ask that whenever you give cbs you add that to the time i have to speak and whatever you have time to give as a rebuttal to cbs, you can add to my rebuttal. already, there's 20 pages of briefs contrary to my client's position. i have my brief which is half that amount. so already, the two parties that disagree with our position have had a lot of say through all that paper as to what their position is and so, i think that's the other reason it would be only fair to allow me whatever time is given to c.b.s. as an addition to my presentation and also as an addition to my rebuttal. thank you very much.
>> thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. mr. sanchez. >> thank you, scott sanchez. planning department. no opposition to the request formally c.b.s. outdoor. i would note under planning section 604.2, we have a general advertising sign-in venntory process and, out front is the company that lists the sign on their general advertising sign-in venntory. so we do have record of them being associated with this sign and stating that they are the owner of the sign and i'm available as the hearing is resolved. thanks. >> thank you. is there any public comment on this request? okay. i see a hand raised. one moment. eduardo zapata. sorry. if you could go ahead.
>> hi, can you hear me? >> yes. >> i'm the representative for the property owner juan timberlake. first i'd like to read you a letter from the passage we've sent to the labor department on october 2020. in that letter, we wrote the owner wishes to contain a right to the billboard on the property and only authorizes the removal of the current billboard upon the successful issuance of a sign permit for the new billboard to replace it. end quote. we also want to reiterate that we want to retain our rights to a resign honor property regardless of the outcome of this hearing. we have leased the space for for over two decades and they have been extremely difficult to deal with. over the years, they have asked for rent reduction. although they've asked companies to advertise their
goods and services. each time they threatened us that if we don't agree they would take down the sign and no one else could build it. when becker boards approached us and realized out front. we were happy to read your previous decisions and briefs from your city attorney to courts which states that the tends of prop g was to disallow billboards at new locations and not to prevent the replacement of existing ones at the same place. we do not believe that our progressive board of supervisors which looks out for the little guy ever intended that section 604 of their billboard law give the publicly owned advertising companies like out front the upper hand to bully property owners like us. we're surprised that the planning department sides with those large billboard companies but glad you have not.
the permit application is to remove it as well. we would not act on it were that to take away our rights to a billboard forever. and, second, if we were to act on it, we would deliver the final billboard material back to out front. thank you. >> thank you. is there any other public comment? okay. so commissioners, what's before you is the request by out front media to join as an interested party or to address you. >> would any commissioner like to chime in first? >> i'd like to know what the standard is for this request. >> mr. russe. >> good evening, commissioners. brad russe state attorney's office. there's nothing identified in the board's rules or in the
code that would govern typically a party as one that actually files the appeal. although, i believe in the past, we have in certain circumstances allowed property owners to participate as parties in similar circumstances. unfortunately, i don't have -- i can't provide you a standard to go by. >> that's helpful though. thank you. >> for me, i'll start. since the appeal was by one party, i believe they should have the time that they're allotted considering that both parties have interest in it. i would allot them half the time and half the rebuttal time. i believe this board has the ability to ask questions and it's going to be interesting to see our eduardo against their eduard. commissioner swig, i see your hand up. >> commissioner: yeah. i'm not in love with the idea
of having another party. i'm also hearing that the owner of the building seems to have an acromonious with relationship. they already have a difference of opinion whether the lease is in place and i think we can settle this without the addition of another party. although, i -- if they want public comment as a nonparty participant, of course, they are welcome to do that with their three minutes. >> i agree. >> we can't hear you, president honda. >> i will agree with that as well. commissioner lazarus, are you fine with that? okay. so with that, commissioner chang, sorry. are you okay with that. >> commissioner: i'm okay with that. i'm also okay with your
proposal. >> so i agree they were not initially putting up an appeal so we're going to deny and they'll have time under public comment and if we have questions, we will ask them at that point. >> okay. so we will now move on to the appeal. and we'll hear from the appellant first. representative, mr. gladstone. >> good evening commissioners. rick gladstone i'm representing becker signs. people find this a complicated case. lots of traditional cases, lots of decisions of your board and lots of facts, but i think it's pretty simple. the key issue in this appeal is whether a billboard replacing one at the same size and location is a new one.
your board is consisting your decisions and court decisions assessing similar decisions and facts. a replacement billboard is not a new billboard. and there's some questions raised here. the board the question is wouldn't they have said that in section 604? or wouldn't they have said that in the materials they handed to voters in the voter pamphlet? particularly after your position of [inaudible] , don't you think sign companies would have gone to the board and the board would have made that change? it's been over 10 years since your board in the lee case made it clear that section 604 of the planning code doesn't say
replanning says it says. and [inaudible] that i know of to make that clear in the law, why do i think they didn't do it? why do i think the board didn't do that? i think they never intended that property owners lose the right to have billboards when there are replacement ones. please look at exhibit f as in frank, my brief, you'll see it's in favor of sg. it says quote, prop g is a city ordinance that would prohibit additional general advertising signs. unquote. please note the word "additional" it does not say the property is having to eliminate them one by one when companies that he can their existing billboards down. is that one minute?
>> i believe so. yeah. it's more. >> in supporting ms. poparova, the property owner may transfer to other property owners and that the right to use the land in this way does not belong to the billboard company. let's look at the timing. the board of supervisors amended the code and put in section 604 that you see today. despite the new wording in section 604, the right to display advertising is not subject to forfeiture. first, let me discuss the important lead position. difference on the one they took in favor of ms. poparova and
took the position at 604 clearly overruled that. now, in the lead decision after that, after 604, you said we find your language quoted by the planning department especially the passive voice phrase that has removed to be at best unclear. you also said if the pass avoids [inaudible] anything and means any removal of a sun structure lawful or unlawful intended or inadvertent by any person, then the vague passive phrase works as a reversal of long standing land use principles that recognize the right to continue in nonconforming issues. it is voluntary permitted by the owner. and you also said to rule quote establishes an apparently unprecedented right in a
discontented tenant to forfeit the rights of its landlord. a more likely interpretation i believe that the added sentence refers to a voluntary removal by the lawful right to sign it. how much time left, please? >> two minutes, sixteen seconds. >> okay. like wise when a retail tend and removes the fixtures, despite the fact that the use is a nonconforming use. the landowner doesn't lose the right to unlease with a new tenant and have the tenant put in its new fixtures. to make it clear, there's no billboard exception to the law of continuation of nonperforming structures. that would take a code
structure and there is none. what i would like you to ask cbs and the planning department is what court decisions clearly said or what decisions of viewers clearly say that the decision in lee was improper and that this right does not run with the land? you know, there are two cases that when against the property owners and those are the last two cases you heard i believe. but those cases have facts that are quite different. in those cases, the property owner did some things that annoyed the board of appeals and according to courts, they breached the contract with the billboard company. i think, you know, the planning department looks at this as sort of a football game. who won the last two hearings. i think that's too simplistic.
i request that you look at those hearings and look at them later. that overturns your decision. and i don't think you'll find it and you should ask them to identify it for you and put it in the overhead. >> one moment. >> it's past the time. did you want to put something on the overhead. >> no, i think i may do that on rebuttal. >> that's time. >> mr. gladstone, you'll have some time in rebuttal. >> okay. >> we do have a question from vice president santacan.
>> i think rebuttal starts after i hear from one of the other parties. >> yeah. public comment and then move on to rebuttal. >> okay. >> vice president santacana. >> mr. gladstone, i have a sort of basic question about billboards. as i understand it from the briefing and everything else, it seems to me any time you're going to change what is up on the billboard, you need to replace it. or at least that's your suggestion of the analysis can you enlighten us about how this industry works? is there always a billboard being taken down and put up in the same sense as this permit whenever the content of the
advertisement is changing? >> well, the industry in the leases with an owner and a billboard company, the billboard company has the right to change the copy because different advertise sorries will want to use that space. some people will have a contract with the billboard company for year, other people for months and so under the lease, the billboard company can remove the copy or in this case the vinyl and put up new vinyl as long as it's the same size, same i illumination and same height from the ground. i think the question is better asked of them. i certainly know that when the tenant changes, when a new advertising company reaches an agreement with the property
owner, that certainly takes a permit. any building required the permit to be taken out. thank you. >> okay. well. so i guess i'm not totally understanding your answer. but if it always takes a permit, or even just if it always takes reconstructing the billboard or replacing the billboard physically the way that your client was trying to do here, then i'm not sure i see the analogy to povarova very well. >> let's hear from the rest of the parties and maybe that will help me understand. >> thank you. >> okay. thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> thank you. scott sanchez of the planning department. the subject property is located
at 530 howard street, downtown office district. also it's in the special transit sign district. permanently out front is listed in our inventory as the owner of the sign. the subject sign was installed in 1998 with a permit that was issued on august 20th, 1998, to advertise structural sign on the property and i think to the exterior wall of the building. across that is going to be the stretched ad copy. no permit is required to change that ad copy. i don't know exactly the material. those copies can be replaced as the business that is being advertised.
no permit is required. what is being thought here is another permit to remove everything. and to put up the brand new structure and sign. we denied that because it's not allowed under the planning code because that's something that's been upheld. i think that's been mentioned. we had prop g which was overwhelmingly adopted by the voters. in june or 2006, the board of supervisors passed ordinance number 140-06, this is legislation that supervisor aaron peskin had offered. it created the sign inventory operant to submit their complete list of all those complete signs to the planning department. we subsequently validated those and signs that were not
properly permitted had to be removed. that's something that occurred over many years following the inventory. additionally, it also amended section 604 and this is from the ordinance from this summary. planning code section 604 to prohibit general advertising signs that had been removed from being replaced on the same site. in the language of 604h, a sign that's voluntary destroyed or required by law to be removed may be restored only in full conformity with provisions with this code. a general advertising sign that has been removed shall not be reinstalled, replaced or reconstructed at the same location and the erection, construction, and/or installation of a general sign at that location to replace the previous listing sign shall be deemed to be a new sign in
violation of section 60 fur of this code. first, you know, section 604h, we agree that prop g didn't have this in there. i would say it in our brief, this was added by the amendment in 2006 amending section 604. we believe that this has been properly interpreted by the department and upheld by the board of appeals on several occasions in the past. eye unique case here with a unique set of facts in the lee case has been decided or discussed greatly. in that case, what was unique about that was that the board found that the sign company that removed the sign within the 15 day appeal period for the permit and that they -- the board found they didn't have owner authorization to do that
and so that is why the board allowed for the restoration of the sign is because they found simply that it hasn't been authorized. that's completely different to this case where we actually have the property owner seeking to remove and replace the sign. they are doing so quite voluntarily, quite clearly. i don't think there's much debate about the clarity of the language. i think the language is quite clear and this is how we've been interpreting it. in the subsequent cases 33 hayes street, there are multiple cases on that. and had it be the board's opinion that signs can be removed and replaced seemingly at will which is what the appellant is saying. they're arguing that that can be done. that has not been done. past cases in the hay street case which actually and in one of the appeals for that was represented by the appellant
here, mr. gladstone, the board found that the sign could not be replaced. in the second appeal, they also found that the sign could not be replaced and in both cases depend on 604 (h) and that language was submitted in the brief that we submitted to the board. there have been other appeals that we didn't reference in our brief. 3125 34th street both involved removal of signs. in one case, cvs removed one sign and then they came back and tried to get the sign restored on the property and the board of appeals said, no. section 604 (h) says once it's approved, it can't be remade. we think this is clear and
unambiguous and that's been our position. yeah. i'm sorry. i think it's [inaudible] . i'm happy to be available for questions. i think most of the points that are irrelevant here, the code is clear and the sign can't be replaced and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. i think commissioner swig has a question and then i'll follow up with one after. >> commissioner: so i would agree with you that the language is clear and ambiguous. so with my understanding of that, i'm still going to ask you many my questions because i recognize that an owner of a building that has a sign on it enjoys the revenue from that building and also a transaction on that building, if that revenue can go away very easily or goes away, then the value of that building is significantly
affected. so, let me get this straight because this is new territory and also new territory for me and also an education much like commissioner santacana seems to be getting educated at the same time. so when a billboard, so the owner of the billboard in actuality is the sign company. that is correct, scott? >> no. not necessarily. >> in this case, the owner of the sign, the building owner or the sign company. >> so, in this case, it is my understanding that outfront owns the sign. but that is really the subject of the lease. the leases will determine who owns the sign structure. that's a business decision that the property owner will make or would have made when entered into the lease with the sign company. some property owners own the sign structure and then they
will lease that sign structure out to different sign companies. i think the model is generally that the sign company, the advertising company owns the sign structure, but that's really dependent on the lease. that's -- we don't typically get into that level of detail. that's something for the parties, you know, and this question of ownership, and after lee because there was concern about removing the sign from a property. maybe the company doesn't want the sign removed. so that's when we started notifying through our notices of a property owner. when someone comes in for a permit to remove a sign, we send a notice to the property owner and to the sign company to make everyone aware of that removal permit and what the
impacts are. so, yeah. the question of who owns the sign really depends on the lease. that's a business decision made by the property owner when they entered into the lease. >> commissioner: yeah. but i think it's a critical element here because it has to do with the removal of the sign. if the owner can maintain the sign on the site and then a cosmetic, some new cosmetics, that would be a new advertiser appears on the sign, then the sign stays and it would seem that the sign is not being removed. what is being removed is an advertisement that is being replaced by another advertisement. but it's a sign impact is owned by the sign company that is leasing the right or leasing
the space to put a sign there, then, in fact, the legislation holds true because the owner in that case of the sign, the ad company would remove the sign and therefore it would have to be in place, the legislation would hold soon you can't change the sign. so i think it would be very important for us to know the ownership of the sign and the ability to sustain the infrastructure. if the sign is owned by the sign company in this case, i guess it's cvs then cvs pretty much holds the property owner hostage because if they remove
that sign, then that owner is out of the sign business clearly because they can't replace it. that's what you just read to me. very clear. that is not ambiguous at all to me. if, in fact, the property owner owns the structure of the sign and they -- a vendor who has or is a lessee of the sign, is abdicating the right to put on new advertising on to an existing structure, then suddenly it gets a little bit more unclear or ambiguous. and then if the latter is -- if the former is the case and that is the owner of the sign is the sign company and not the building owner, then would the
building owner, can the building owner or a new sign company enter into a sublease from the actual sign owner which would be the original sign company and continue the legacy of that sign? because the structure would be gone. this is all seemingly about a structure. what you read to me, if the structure is taken down, sign over. i'm very clear on that. but if the structure is not taken down, sign not over because then it becomes a cosmetic replacement, which in my view would allow the -- it would allow in this case cvs and, in fact, if they own the physical structure to sublease to the new people and they can continue -- that's a business deal, but they can continue putting signs up forever and
the building own has nothing to do with it other than collect rent on the original deal from the original lessee. but if it goes away, it's really clear. it goes away and there's no sign. that's where my ambiguity lies. who is the owner of the structure in this case? >> in this case, if the property owner owns the structure and they want to switch to their what company is coming to their structure and placing ad copy, they don't need a permit. you don't need a permit to change the copy on a general advertising sign. so the fact that we're here indicates that the sign structure is owned by the general advertising sign company. the property owner is through this media, through this general advertising another general advertising sign company by the board is seeking to completely remove one
general advertising sign and replace it with another sign which under 604 (h) cannot be done. >> i'm very clear from your reading that that cannot take place. so thank you. >> i will argue it on. >> vice president santacana. >> yeah. just an effort to wrap that up in something more concise. just to be clear, if the owner of this structure wanted to just switch from cvs to somebody else who's advertising on the sign, they could do so without a permit? right? >> we have that happen. the property owner. and they don't need a permit to do that. they do need to change the registration under section 602.
>> i believe that commissioner lazarus and i have been there for two or three of those. according to the counsel for the billboard, he said there was two cases post section 604 that we ruled against and then you definitely clarified one case. was there any case that this body or board went against 604 (h)? >> well, the other case was in our brief. but the timing of that was unique and considering that the board considered a lot of -- this was right around the time where the revision to 604 (h) was adopted and the board based
their unique faction on the case based on things before 604 (h) had been amended. it's a completely different set of facts to that case than there are in this case. i think the most comparable are the front properties, the hay street. >> so for verification, you would know it's post 604 (h) and so this body made an exception because of that. >> yeah. sorry. let me find it here. the board found that there were a number of relevant actions that had taken place prior to prop g as well as the adoption of this ordinance, 140-06.
so their actions before any of these laws changed, the board made their decision. >> and, how did frank vote? >> that's a good question i know he was there for lee and for the front properties and on the front properties he voted -- >> not that it matters. you shouldn't answer that. thank you. >> okay. thank you. did the department building inspection want to comment on this case? >> i think he's gone. >> okay. then i will take that as a no. so we will move on to public comment. so we have someone raising their hand. mr. lioness, please, go ahead. >> yes. thank you president honda and commissioners. just to clarify, first of all,
outfront media does own the sign structure. that's why we are here. we do own the sign structure and have the right to remove it. regardless of how appellant tries to characterize these prior decisions and i think mr. sanchez has done a good job of explaining to the commissioners why pocaroba and others weren't affected by ordinance 140-06. the problem is that you can't avoid the express language of the ordinance post 2006. and, if you look at -- let me just put it up on the screen here. hopefully this will work. if you look at, and i know counsel for appellant mentioned that addition of a sign after prop g and determined not an
addition the nornd answer 140-06. here you have finding d which clearly says the objective of prop g will be accomplished by prohibiting the replacement of signs on the same site after they have been removed which will reduce over time the total number of general advertising signs in the city. this was the intent of prop g. this was the intent of supervisor peskin's ordinance 140-06 which was enacted by the board of supervisors. and, when you look at the actual ordinance itself, again, mr. sanchez went through this, it's clear. and i know commissioner swig is very clear on this point as well that a lawfully existing sign can remain to the end of the sign's normal life and then a sign however cannot be replaced. it cannot be altered.
it cannot be reconstructed or relocated. and here's the language that was added by 140-06. it says clearly, a general advertising sign that has been removed shall not be reinstalled, replaced or reconstructed at the same location. and the erection, construction and/or installation of a general advertising sign at that location to replace a previously existing sign shall be a new sign in violation of section 611. so there is no doubt here that once outfront media removes its structure another one cannot be replaced. >> that hay street matter was directly on point to this matter. there really was no difference. it was ten years ago. the reason why we haven't had a matter in ten years is because it's clear what the code says. everyone has been clear. >> that's time. >> commissioner swig, i'll let
you go ahead and ask your question first. you're muted, sir. >> yes. thank you. mr. lioness, i'm going to ask a question. please don't take offense to it because i can't think of how to phrase it in a better way. by owning this sign, you are the holding the building owner hostage in effect. because it's either you, your ownership, not you. sorry i didn't mean to personalize it. either your company that's going to have a sign there or nobody else. is that true? >> well, with all do respect, commissioner, if i can say, it's almost a mutual problem here because if we remove our sign, we can't generate revenue from a new sign. so the last thing that outfront media wants is to remove signs in san francisco and i understand the property owner feels and i'm sorry for this
that obviously there's a misconception of how much revenue these signs generate. i can tell you during covid, it's been a bloodbath and we've still paid rent. so i just want to say that it's mutual here. we can't put up any new signs. >> thank you. and so, the only -- if you if your company does not want to participate there act ily because you don't feel that it is a good business deal and you're in business to make money and another sign company thinks it's a good business deal to be there, the only option based on your interpretation and my interpretation see we agree is that another company would, in fact, enter into a sublease agreement with you pay you a fee and then you would continue to pay fees to the property owner and that would be the
only way that that sign could continue living in the city of san francisco if you were going -- if the other alternative was you're just going to abandon it. >> if we were willing to do that. if outfront media was willing to sublease the structure. however, in this particular case -- >> that's all i wanted to find out. we're not here to negotiate. >> thank you, commissioners. i have a question as well. so understanding that under covid situations, it's been challenging at best to lease. but the property owner has mentioned that i guess -- did you ask the property owner for a prior reduction in price even though you were generating more income and revenue? and you're under oath, sir? >> yeah, i have to be honest. i'm representing outfront media as their attorney on this issue. i don't know. >> you have no knowledge of the revenue that was generated before? >> no i don't. the only knowledge i have is they have no intent of
terminating this location or abandoning it. >> okay. so, to be honest, i personally despise bullying. the fact you have no knowledge of that is kind of concerning. that's my question. >> hello, i'd like to speak -- >> i'm sorry. we're still on public comment. are you here? >> i'd like to speak on public comment. >> okay. but you're with becker boards, right? so you have to speak during the time allotted to mr. gladstone. >> i see. >> you need to check with mr. gladstone. >> i'm so sorry to interrupt then. >> no problem. is anyone here for public comment that's not a party? please raise your hand. okay. i see one hand raised. mr. nulty. please go ahead. >> hi michael. >> mr. nulty, did you want to
provide public comment? >> michael, are you there? >> yes. i just wanted to say that i agree with the zoning administrator's findings. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. any other public comments? okay. i don't see any. so we will move on to rebuttal. mr. gladstone, you have three minutes. >> you are on mute, mr. gladstone. >> mr. gladstone, we still can't hear you. >> can you hear me now? first of all, take a look at the front case. the front case, the client and it was only my client in the first hearing obtained, asked for a replacement billboard on the basis that the billboard was there right near the pedestrian walkway was dangerous and falling down and it asked for replacement not
pursuant to your decision under lee and urplins but rather using the reconstruction repair provision section 604. i don't know why it was not clear when the case went to the board of appeals. it went twice. you have to look at what were the arguments that the appellant brought. this particular front property did only apply for a replacement on the basis that the sign was dangerous and it didn't call up this decision. i don't know why. and, i urge you once again to ask the planning department and cvs to tell you what portions of your cases and decisions say
we no longer believe that our holdings in the lee case are so in effect. i urge you to do that. i have provided a number of court cases in my exhibits that hold the [inaudible] on this. completely different. so i think i understand commissioner santacana's question because if a sign comes down because the advertiser changes and you take prop g literally, that would mean you can't change, the advertiser can't change the copy and the company that wants to be seen on the billboard. and so i would say that's a point well taken. the obviously we haven't voluntarily given up anything because the permit has been issued and even if it issues, you've been told that the property owner won't necessarily allow the billboard company to actually remove it.
so that's the complete nonissue. i think it's very important to know that property owners around the city look at precedence of your board. they take it very seriously. >> 30 seconds. >> and, therefore, i ask you to look at your precedent, look at the lead case, look at the supple case, look at their analysis and ask yourself whether it's really important whether it's really fair to overturn those precedents. the city looks carefully and understands precedence and tries to follow them and this would be a major change to the policies. >> that's time. >> and, i can speak to outfront's bullying if you want to ask me too. >> thank you. we are now moving on to the planning department. >> thank you. this is scott sanchez planning
department. so i mean, there is no precedence that the board of appeals has established that signs can be removed and replaced at will. that's not in any of previous boards' decisions. looking back at lee, it's very clear that the facts are different, but the board found in that case. had that been the law and the position that signs could be removed and replaced, that would be happening throughout the city. mr. gladstone would have made those arguments when he appeared before you in the 1 hay street case. in that case, representing the property owner and seeking to replace the sign under planning commission resolution provision that allows for signs to be replaced if they are life-threatening. there would be no need for that if you could just replace a sign anyway. it just doesn't make any sense to me. after that hearing, the 1 of
hay street case i believe that the sign company got a court order and the sign was removed. there was no appeal of that permit to remove the sign. the new property owner thought to restore the sign and the board, you know, they've struggled with these issues and i believe the board has been very sympathetic to the property owner and nobody likes a bully. no one is going to defend a bully in this city. and so and the board has been sympathetic to that and several of the commissioners garcia particularly i recall found that 604 (h) was wrong. the body can't change the clear and unintended language of the section 604 (h). it is a desire to change the law, 604 (h) needs to be
amended. that can happen. it hand happened. i'm available for questions. >> did mike say that with a southern draw? >> i love listening to hearings with him. the speeches that he gave were tremendous. >> commissioner lazarus has a question and then commissioner swig. >> mr. sanchez, i recall somewhere and i believe it was in your brief that this sign might become moved in a little while because of a building going up next to it? >> there's been a perpetual project next door. but they've also been reauthorized a temporary parking lot. so i don't know what if any plans they have to build the projects. but projects have been approved
on that adjacent lot which would render the sign not usable anyway. >> probably not super relevant. but i just wanted to clarify that. >> commissioner swig. >> commissioner: yeah. so if we deny this appeal, then the permit to put a new sign in goes away. >> the sign can be maintained as is. >> commissioner: and then the sign can be maintained as is and whether the building owner wants to continue with the lease with the owner of the sign. correct. >> right. and you gave the option of subleasing. the property owner could seek to buy the sign. there's all sorts of things they can go about and discuss. >> commissioner: right. so. i'm fine. perfect. thank you very much. i appreciate you. >> thank you. >> okay. thank you. so commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> so, commissioners, if you mind, i'm going to start.
having heard a couple of these cases in the past, it's very similar to -- we've had buildings recently that they knocked down a legal nonconforming structure and then had to apply for a permit to reinstall those. in this particular case, you couldn't do that because of prop g and then subequential. if the building owner made the frame that was made, unfortunately, they don't. and cvs built it and you have to dance with the partner that you came with. i don't see that this board has the ability to reconstruct and go against 604 (h) or prop g and allow the deconstruction of the billboard and then to put it back up. and so, as much as like i said, my bullying comment may be a
little much, but they made the agreement and made the bed and so unfortunately, they would have to agree with it. i see commissioner swig's hand raised. >> commissioner: yeah. are you done? okay. >> if you could allow me to speak. >> commissioner: no. you can't speak. >> i'm sorry. you can't speak. >> commissioner: sorry. so i agree with commissioner honda and also i'd like to site to the building owner and counsel that, clearly, the building owner still has an opportunity to sustain that billboard as pointed out by mr. sanchez and whether they continue with the current lessee whether they work a deal
with the current lessee subleases to the wannabe sign owner. so i don't feel as. i'll still sustain the comment that the current leaseholder. there's a significant amount of leverage over the building owner, but the building owner isn't dead in the water with regard to continuing to yield revenue from a lease agreement unless the sign owner just decides to take down the sign. so long winded, i support commissioners honda's direction which is i think is designed to be -- [inaudible] >> do we have any further comment from a commissioner? otherwise i would make a
motion. >> commissioner: i guess i would just say i don't think the contractual relationship between the parties are really at issue here. it's really about the permit and its applicability to the current law. >> i'll make a motion to deny the appeal on the basis that the building, that the planning department did not use their decision. i've spent most of my childhood at dv8. i figured i would make that motion. >> okay. just for clarity, the standard of review is not error or based on discussion. you might want to say that the proposed work institutes the general advertising sign in violation of planning code section 604 (h). >> i think he said that. >> i'm just mirroring what the planning department says. >> that's my motion. >> okay. on president honda's motion to
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