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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  October 17, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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he could have submitted surveyor findings as evidence to support his position but he failed to do so. additionally, this request would give the appellant additional opportunities to contest the permit and construction completed outside of the property line. and the request, the appellant specifically request to have an opportunity to appeal the conditions which are the landing in the back alley. this would indicate a dispute is beyond the fence and is well within our property line. we are actively working with s.f. planning and d.b.i. to ensure these elements are correctly documented, reviewed, inspected, and improved. we believe the rehearing request to appeal the additional work is in overreach. the process has been fair and the respondent and board have followed procedure in both public hearings. the appellant is claiming unfairness. i would like to point out that at the august 7th hearing, the appellant did not comply of
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section 60 of the rules of the board of appeals. his son spoke in public comment. it states that persons who are not party to an appeal shall not represent parties. suffice to say this process has been an undue burden on myself and my family. i spent in a considerable amount of time trying to resolve this issue at the onset of construction. the appellant is not willing to accept the outcome of the board 's decision on the rehearing request is an attempt to get what he wants rather than rely on the board for their adjudication. based on these points, specifically on the basis there haven't been any new evidence submitted that would imply manifest injustice, we respectfully ask for the board to deny the request for a hearing. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. mr. sanchez, anything? >> we will hear from mr. duffy.
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>> evening, commissioners. just on the appellant's rehearing request, i didn't hear anything new either. i would sympathize with him on his property line issue, maybe at the rear of the property, but certainly right next to his property where the fence is, it is completely nailed. the fence is attached to the permit holder's property clearly maybe as it goes up the yard, it's towards the rear, there is a possibility goes over the property line, but i don't think so. we are going to see a special conditions permit with the property lines defined on them and i will have a discussion with the permit holder about how those lines were defined. if it was discovered that the fence is over the property line, d.b.i. could follow up with that and -- quite easily by requiring that all work be removed to his side of the property. i think the property line could
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be something that could be resolved. in the past i have also seen examples where if both property owners could split the cost of the survey, it is only one side of the property. we are not having the whole property surveyed. it is the north side. we don't need the front we're side. it is only one side. i think that it would be a good deal of effort if they both decided to split the cost of that. they could at least resolve that other than that, d.b.i., if there is a special conditions permit, we will follow up with the inspections on the work. he has some issues with some of the concrete that was poured without inspection, but that is all he had to say on it. >> joe, this is the first time i have ever heard you use the term defined line from the department i thought the department doesn't >> we don't get into boundaries.
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>> so without a survey, how do you determine where the line is? >> that is up to the permit holder to put it on the drawing where is. if you see any plans d.b.i. look at, the property line is shown, that is where it is. it is shown on the drawings. we take it as we get it and we deal with it. if it is -- usually the onus is on the person making the complaint to provide the evidence. that is typical, that is our usual d.b.i. line. if you think it is over the property line, go ahead and prove it. in this case -- i think it would be will be a good effort. we can't enforce it. we can't force a permit holder to do that unless -- sometimes there is clear evidence it is really over a property line, but certainly where the fence starts at the rear of the property going back, you can clearly see from the photographs that i had at the previous hearing that the fence is actually connected right to the trim of the permit
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holder's building. it couldn't be over the property line otherwise the whole building is over the property line. >> doesn't the appellant have a fence that runs on their property line? if the two fences are fence is our meeting, it might suggest -- >> there is only one fence, i believe. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> commissioners? >> i will make a comment to the appellant directly. we were all in attendance that evening. if any party, even though you are -- you have set a certain much of time, it is not absolute if we have further questions or there's information that my fellow commissioners or i want to hear, where we have the ability to let someone speak, as long as they want roselawn is we
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need to, also, at the last hearing, it was indicated not only for me, but from presidents wake that this is a boundary line dispute and the only way to solve that is to hire an outside surveyor to decide where that line is actually at. this board is only to determine if weather permits were issued properly. in that particular case, i believe they were. also, to have a rehearing, it is manifest in just. something that is so special that was not heard in the last hearing. there is nothing that was presented in our packages or early this evening that would suggest that. >> would you like to make a motion? >> my motion is to deny the request for rehearing on the grounds that there was no manifest in just. >> okay. we have a motion from commissioner haunted to deny the request on the basis that there
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is no manifest injustice. on that motion... [roll call] that motion carries 5-0 on and the request is denied. we are now moving onto item number six. this is appeal number 19-067. subject property is a 21, 825, 829 hampshire street. and alteration permit, kitchen and bathroom upgrade. three apartment units and no change to its existing layouts and life safety equipment. this is permit number 2019060627775. for further consideration. on september 18th, 2019, the board voted 5-0 to continue this matter to october 16th, 2019 so d.b.i. can revisit the property and report back to the
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board on various projects and permits. we will hear from the department of building inspection first. mr. duffy? >> i think it is 10 minutes, right? >> i think it is six. on this one, i did follow up on the case with the contractor. i met the contractor and the architect at the property and i did not meet the tenant. we were playing phone tag and i did speak to his attorney, michael, but i inspected the building and the work that was done, the work has been started in five of the units. the only unit they haven't worked on was 821, which i believe the appellant lives in.
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the notice of violation was issued by d.b.i. was properly issued to get exceeded the scope of the permit. they had filed a permit to comply with that. it has not been issued yet. what they did was -- some people get ahead of themselves the call it a kitchen and bath remodel and decide they will remove some walls. the units are quite small so they ended up changing walls and they got into trouble for that. they fell the permit to comply with the notice of violation and i also spoke to the contractor pretty sternly about the fact that some sheet rock had been placed without inspection. that will have to be removed and they would have to -- we will have to inspect it. i did speak to him about his behavior in relation to their scope of permits, and having respect for security in buildings. if there's people living in the building. he did agree to do better and i will let the attorney for the permit holder speak, but there
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was a letter about some concessions about agreeing to do certain work and stuff like that i think they want to remove the language of unit 821 from the permit, which is the units that the tenant is in. there are other issues as well with -- that they want construction from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. they are all tenant landlord things. i have no problem with them. the only thing i would say is it is hard to police them. it will not be easy for d.b.i. to do that. we don't want to do that. we don't mind doing building code stuff, but if someone starts at 7:25 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m., that will be hard to manage or -- manage that. we are not there for that. that will have to be an agreement between the parties. i think with -- taking the
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reference to a 21 off the permit , and the new permit that is required, that will put them back in good standing, in my opinion anyway. i'm available for any questions. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> it is your opinion that all the miscellaneous stuff which may come from -- we had a document in place in front before we set tonight, so it hasn't been presented formally, but anything that may come up formally on that list, that is really more cymbeline nature then permit -- civil in nature. we should note that in your recommendation to keep it tight and just deal with staying out of that unit. >> correct. that's right. i did speak to the contractor with d.b.i. and the tenant. probably a good idea would be to
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put a sign up the building in case someone shows up early or keep the doors up. some signage for subcontractors. a lot of the times, if he is not here, the electrician will show up and leave the door open. obviously these people are living in the building and i do sympathize with them. there are five units being remodelled and he is living in one unit with his wife and two kids. that is not an easy situation. contractors need to take that into consideration that there is still someone living in the building that is under construction. the tenant also has the option going forward of contacting our department, the building inspector, if there are issues related to the work that is taking place. and the work that falls under d.b.i.'s jurisdiction. >> thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the permit holder. the attorney for the permit holder. you have three minutes. >> thank you. good evening, board members.
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i wanted to follow-up. at the last hearing we addressed all of the tenants' concerns at that time. i expressed many of them fell out of the jurisdiction but that we were bending over backwards to do everything we could to satisfy his concerns and the letter you saw a copy of that was sent about mr. duffy and his council for transparency and accountability expresses our concerns about how to address what he is worried about. in their we put in limiting time of construction, monitoring noise levels, giving him advanced notice. all of that can go on time. we are more than willing and happy to have the current permit modified per mr. duffy see's suggestion to exclude 821. we have no intent in working in that unit. if that will satisfy the tenant, then they can feel that is written in stone, we are more than willing to have that be expressed in the permit. my understanding is you have the authority to do so, and mr. duffy has recommended that. we are fully in favor with that.
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if you have any questions, i'm happy to try to answer them. the manager of -- and the owner his here, as well as the contractor. mr. duffy says he has been properly admonished. we have taken that to hard. going forward we will comply and not let the contractor anybody get ahead of the job. we want this to finish as quickly as possible. that is the fastest route. if you have any questions, i'm happy to answer them. >> just a comment, you guys said you wanted to abide by the rules , you are were working with the tenants in good faith and it is hard to believe the tenant has a different story. it is tough to say who is right or who is wrong. and now the department comes before us and says, hey, these guys will not wait beyond the scope of their permit. >> if i could address that, the permit that was before you is not the one that was beyond the scope of the work.
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>> but it goes to the totality and entirety of the job project. >> i understand that. >> and it goes to the reputation of the permit that is of the person speaking before us. >> absolutely. to be fair, the presentation was about that permit and whether we had exceeded the scope relating to that permit and whether there had been noise issues that had exceeded the sound decibels about that issue. when mr. duffy brought up the other ones, we addressed them separately. i agree with you that that notice of violation, frankly was not on the computer system and our architect was the one aware of it and he probably should have let mr. duffy no earlier. there were errors that happened. we take full responsibility. the position we took, just to be fair -- >> i understand. i'm putting you on point that we don't see this again because it would be not in your client's interest. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the
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attorney for the appellant. >> ladies and gentlemen of the board, thank you for having us back. thank you for giving this matter the extra consideration of a second hearing. we really appreciate it. in respect to the short time, i will try to be brief and address some of the concerns that have been raised here, as well as concerns that were raised last time we were together. first, there is some conversation on the power of the board and what conditions can be opposed -- impose, when conditions can be enforced, what modifications can be made here. while i am no legal scholars such that i can give exact boundaries of where those authority start and end, i would remind the board that the powers are substantial and large and that they do include revoking
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permits, granting permits, modifying permits, and condition permits. the board -- if the board would like to take another look at our moving papers, i can provide a site mac to the paragraph that we discussed. the second thing i want to address is that just by taking my client's apartment number off the permit addresses a situation ladies and gentlemen of the board, i would like to be really blunt here. the conversations we have been having this whole time have been without a single day of work happening on my client's unit. all these issues, we are here before you on have all occurred without any work in my client's unit. there has never been a concern about work and my client's unit, there has been a concern about the work all around my client's unit as a means of forcing him out of his home. we do agree that his apartment number should be taken off the permit, especially if the intent is to work at the apartment. there has never been a conversation or concern about some point seeking in and doing
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something sketchy in my client's apartment. all these issues, all these problems, the notices of violation, the board sounds particularly concerned. they came about without any work in my client's unit. so i really push back on the notion that just by taking my client's unit of the permit we are resolving the issue in its entirety. next, joe duffy both and my conversations with him over the phone, which i did really appreciate the phone call, it was very nice, as well as the last time we are here together, there has been concerns about what d.b.i. can and can't enforce, or what means d.b.i. can do to enforce or what means this body has for enforcement. i can't speak to the inner workings of how the city will interact, but from what i can tell, if conditions are imposed on the permit like the conditions we request, if those conditions aren't met, the permit is suspended until the conditions are met. last, i want to speak to the
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fact that what resolution we have had here so far has only been with the board's oversight. it has only been with the board 's involvement and it has not been just on the word of the landlord. it has been with someone looking over their shoulder. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i would like to ask a question. >> yes? >> i don't disagree with anything that you are saying so we will not have a conflict, but i have to listen to mr. duffy and be careful that whatever conditions that we place on moving forward, they actually can be -- somebody can actually be held accountable, or when the building department says, that's a great idea, that we take this letter here and put it in as conditions, but d.b.i. can't
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hold the developer or the permit holder accountable for somebody showing up five minutes later or whatever. that's where i find that we have a conundrum and that we place -- we can place all the conditions on the -- in the world on this even though it is not in our jurisdiction, but d.b.i. will be the first to admit that they can't be 100% watchdog on this situation. that is what i am wrestling with >> president, my response would be that i don't think it would be fair for us to sit here and say that d.b.i. is 100% watchdog for any aspect of this situation but if the conditions are placed on the permit and those conditions are violated, it seems that making a complaint to d.b.i. is the same about those conditions.
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it is the same as making a complaint about work outside the scope of the permit issued in the first place and there are semi mechanics there would be advised here. beyond that, i don't think would be fair for me to sit here today and tell d.b.i. had to do their job in much finer can't -- mechanics, but as a private attorney representing a private citizen in a building where he is afraid to lose his own, that is my first response. >> i want to raise the issue of aspiration. our aspiration is to protect the public against people who may not be never do wells, but at the same time, we can only aspire to it and not by -- bite off more than we can chew. i just want your understanding on that. >> thank you for that. i appreciate it. >> did you have any response to the letter that you received from the permit holder? does that contain the condition that your climate that your
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client is seeking? >> those are the same conditions that were present in the up parent opposition. when i saw that letter yesterday afternoon, it didn't cause much of a reaction either way. it felt like it was the same conversation we were already having. the only thing i would add to it , and i don't recall if this is a concern that my client had a chance to raise, is that there is a point raised on the second page of that letter about adding security. as this board is well aware, we raise security as a major issue. the only concerned with the cameras is that in the description of the cameras, in the event a camera happens to be lined up on the client's front door, there is an invasion of privacy and in the event that that is the terms we operate under, they would need to be additional conversations to protect my client and his children's privacy rights. >> thank you. >> thank you. you can be seated. is there any public comment on this item?
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commissioners? this matter is submitted. >> commissioners? >> i guess it is me. i don't have a problem taking the appeal and conditioning it with these additional terms, but as senior inspector duffy indicated, enforcement would be difficult. at which point, we have a starting point going forward. we have done this in the past. generally you are allowed to work longer hours if the contractor, as well as the tenant agree that they will shorten their hours and both parties say they have. i don't see a problem with it. >> the only question i have, looking at this list, is the practicality of it. >> i was not going to read the whole list. >> i was just going to say, if
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the department of building inspection will be called in to respond to each item and adjudicate what was or wasn't done, or if a complaint on one of these items leads to them stopping work until d.b.i. can go and investigate the veracity of one, that would be great. >> i would be willing to condition it on the work hours that the tenant's address be removed and if there is any notice of shut off of utilities, and then strongly advise both counsellors, tenant, and landowner to work this out. >> i would be willing to support that motion. >> any further discussion? that would be my motion to accept the appeal and condition it, that construction hours will
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perform from monday through saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., that they will provide 48 hour notice to the tenants or any -- for any plant shut off any utilities and -- >> and the permit would remove 821 from the address. >> yeah. >> on what basis? >> keep it very short and no arguing. >> i want to make sure. you said earlier that when i stated i didn't find this shocking or changing anything
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because it was the same suggestions made before. the parties have mutually agreed to all of these terms. >> my point is you want more restrictive as wrist -- as agreed to this, so i assume you have no objection to us applying these conditions that we are discussing to the permit. >> as an entirety, i am not comfortable putting this whole list as a condition. >> i want to make sure that there wasn't a carte blanche. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the permit holder has agreed to the conditions. >> that is what i said. >> okay. we have a motion from commissioner honda -- >> it was a joint motion. [laughter]. >> a joint motion. >> we will go with honda. >> we have a motion from commissioner honda to grant the appeal and issue the permit on the condition that it be revised to require the removal of the unit 821 and the scope of the
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work and to limit the hours of work that construction will be performed monday through saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and that hampshire will provide 48 hour notice to mr. castro of any plant shut off of the utilities. >> any or all utilities. >> any and all utilities. >> mr. duffy is playing waccamaw [laughter] >> it should state remodel of two apartments, not three. i think the language of the permit says remodel three apartments. we need to change that. >> we can change the language on the permit. remove a 21 and clarify that only two apartments are being remodelled. >> correct. >> this is a joint operation. >> so on the basis of that, the appellant agrees to these terms.
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>> both parties agree to these terms. >> on that motion... [roll call] >> that motion carries 5-0. [please stand by]
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>> commissioner honda: we have a special guest in the back.
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maybe we could have former president frank fung vote on that. >> i think we'd need a charter amendment, and we're not prepared to do that at this point. okay. we'll hear from mr. paul. >> i was hoping that former president fung to testify in this matter. you might see him tomorrow. yes, those thursday afternoons. thank you, commissioners. dang jeremy paul on behalf of the project sponsor. i just learned of a personal tragedy in my life so i'm having trouble gathering my thoughts. lost a good friend, but i would like to tell you what happened that brought this case to where it is. a bit less than a year ago, i was meeting with a planner
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reviewing the model of a seismic upgrade, existing units, and remodel of the units. and i was discussing with a very experienced planner, max poutra, on what we were going to do with this basement, and how we could best incorporate this basement into the unit above. it was never intended to do this unit as an a.d.u. un-- asn addition. it was staff's recommendation to be a dwelling unit. i'm going to go to the computer now and run through a few slides and show you a little bit about this.
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this is what the basement looked like. it was storage in the back and a row of storage throughout. when the seismic upgrade was done, ceiling heights were increased, and the spaces were improved with windows as you see here. this is what the remodel looks like. this is the angle in the other direction. you can see the staircase that takes up most of this back yard
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patio. a new steel staircase was put in with grating such that the entire staircase that was there is no longer there. here is a entry declaring it as a very clear entry to housing, and this is what one sees when one comes in that entry. so this is not a dark basement by any means. this is quality housing. we can turnoff the overhead, please. i'd like to run through our findings a little bit. because there is actually a flaw in the way the zoning administrator reviewed this and the findings that the zoning administrator made in
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disapproval. in the disapproval findings, the sewning administrator referred to substandard exposure to -- the zoning administrator referred to substandard exposure to light and area in finding three and finding four, stating the proposed a.d.u. would create a dwelling unit with significant substandard to light and air. light and air is a building code issue. light and air in this unit is met light and air of 10% of the floor area, five for ventilation, and five for light, and we exceed that. the outdoor space, it is true
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that this looks an exposure to the outdoor space. you have an aerial photo of what the exposure to outdoor space is like. there is an exit that provides considerable access to sky, light, and air, but we do not meet the minimum standard set by the planning code, and i would argue that the planning code can't always capture all the needs for what defines quality housing. so i'd like to quickly run through the findings that i believe we have sufficiently made in favor of allowing this housing. that there are exceptional extraordinary circumstances is the first one. while the proposed unit would lack sufficient exposure to meet the zoning administrator's
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limit, the lot faces a large protected midblock open space. number two, that there's an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance that would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, and that is always the most difficult finding to make. in this particular situation, the unnecessary hardship is not on the developer, it's not on mr. mallia, who has renovate this particular apartment building. he's not a speculator, he's not flipping this for condominiums, this is for tenants. the unnecessary hardship is upon the community at-large, it's upon the housing stock of the city. that here is a quality space that could be inhabited by a tenant in this very dense neighborhood where basement units are far darker and far
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left exposed by this. i would suggest that in this case, the zoning administrator has erred in his discretion to not approve a housing unit that would add to the qualitying housing stock -- quality housing stock of this city. i have a tenant who wishes to move in who will make statements, and i will answer any questions about the project. >> excuse me, sir. how come you didn't put all those lovely pictures in your presentation? >> i hadn't taken them yet. >> commissioner honda: and what would be the purpose of this? >> can you give me a moment to
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speak with my -- >> commissioner honda: what would be the rent of this? >> it would be 1750 a month. >> commissioner honda: and could you refresh my memory what the square footage is. i'm sorry. you can come to the podium, sir. >> actually, it's a pretty spacious studio. i did some checking in the neighborhood. it's about 500 square feet. >> commissioner honda: and according to the pictures, nice job. >> thank you. believe me, i put an extraordinary effort into this building. i plan to keep it in the familitor generations. >> sir, just for the record, you're ronald mallia.
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>> yes ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> excuse me. can you explain how you had had the building approved but did not have the variance yet? why go through the expense without a variance in hand? >> can you for the question, commissioner. the order that things took place is that we had a permit for the remodels of the rest of the building, and we had to resolve the use of the basement and the connection of the basement to the lower unit. planning proceeded to approve the permit for the remodel of the rest of the building for the seismic upgrade without including a dwelling unit down there, allowing us to file a variance application. mr. mallia was the general contractor getting the work done, doing it on his own. he purchased cabinetry and
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materials for each of the units in the building. so he had those setup in the unit as he finished the space out. he got the permit finaled without installation of the kitchen. these materials are just placed against the wall, and it's not currently inhabitable form. >> all right. thank you. >> commissioner honda: you say that with a straight face? i'm sorry. >> there are a few connections to be made, commissioner honda. i'm sure those can be done fairly quickly or undone fairly quickly. >> commissioner honda: thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from the planning department. >> good morning, planning commission. scott sanchez, planning department. double surprise because i had
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no idea that the sunt wunit wa until the photos were put up. that's not what's been represented to the planning department or planning department staff that there was an existing illegal unit ready for occupancy and they've got somebody wanting to rent it. the photos looked like it was all finished and ready for occupancy, but that is not represented anywhere that i saw in the appellant's brief nor the plans nor any of the materials that were presented to the zoning administrator. it's my understanding that the variance for this was filed in january 2018. there was a hearing on the case earlier this year. the zoning administrator denied the application. it's an rm-2 dwelling unit. they're already over density by one, and they we wanted to add
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an a.d.u. the -- generally and historically, the compliant of the code require that each dwelling unit have one room that meets standards of a certain size that have windows of a certain size that face into an area of a certain size. and that's a street at least 20 feet in width, a rear yard that meets the requirements of the planning code or an open space that's 25 by 25 and goes up the larger the unit. the board of supervisors didn't want to remove the requirement entirely because exposure is an important factor for dwelling units, so they allowed
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variances, and allowed a space that was 15 by 15. at the time of zoning administrator, and some of -- at the time i was zoning administrator, and some we would approve, some we would disapprove, and some would go to you. but last year, they reduced it even further to 225 square feet or at least nine neat by 9 feet. so this doesn't meet the original coat requirement, the second code requirement, or the newly reduced. it could have just said that it's a waiver and the zoning administrator would have great flexibility. i don't think the appellant has provided any information to demonstrate what the hardship here is other than they have a
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unit that's already constructed that they would like to occupy. and we very much encourage new dwelling units, but we do have to have minimum standards. in this case, you know, it is at the bottom -- at least it's not north facing, but it is at the bottom level of a very tall building. it's four stories over the basement, at least buildings that are taller. and i could put more work on the overhead -- >> commissioner honda: are your pictures as good as his? >> not at all. but could i have the overhead, please? >> commissioner honda: thank you -- oh, that was in the package. >> no, that's a bad one. you can see in there, you can't even see the floor level that the building is going to be located at. it's four stories over basement. it's four, three, two, one, and at that level there. so -- and i have concerns with seeing the work that was done here without permit.
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i mean, the stairs look at if we were replaced, and i don't know that that was on any of the plans. that's not showing as part of the scope of this project. it may have been other previous permits, and we can review that. but, again, none of that, to my knowledge, was made available -- none of that information was made available to the zoning administrator at the time of the variance hearing earlier this year. and i think the zoning administrator very clearly outlined the reasons -- i know this is not acceptable or appropriate exposure that has been justified by the board of supervisors. the new information that the unit is already constructed, it's not anywhere in the appellant's brief, and i can understand even more now why they want to have the variance overturned, but the fact that
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they've illegally constructed the unit does not justify the approval of this variance. i'm available for questions. >> commissioner honda: i've got a question, scott. so considering the lovely board of supervisors institutes all the laws that we have to file, doesn't he have to legalize it after? >> yes, he has to legalize it after -- >> commissioner honda: and we have lots of illegal units, that have wiring through the wall, and bare piping and substandard egress. and now, the city's goal is to legalize all those units. what happens if this case comes back to us seven months from now and it's been rented out and he has to legalize it?
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>> so the code says you must legalize it, but if you can't legalize it -- and in this case, they've gone through the -- even though they didn't ask for legalization, they tried to get the a.d.u., they would be required to remove it. the code requires that you seek legalization, but if the legalization is denied, then, the unit is to be removed. >> commissioner honda: okay. i'm not an architect or a planner, but looking at the pictures, and a picture is worth a thousand words. i lived at 101 suramonte, and that is way nicer. >> i would ask the appellant why they didn't present this to the zoning administrator? why they didn't present this at the time of the hearing? maybe it was still under construction. i don't know if these photos were available at the time. i spoke with the zoning administrator today, and i
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didn't ask him if the unit was there -- >> commissioner honda: i talked to him today, too, but he didn't make any mention of that. i don't think any information was made available to the zoning administrator about those qualities of the unit. >> commissioner honda: so looking at the unit, i see lots of light and air in my thoughts. so why would it -- and i'm not trying to be argumentative. why would it not qualify at that point? >> we are looking at the dimensional requirement. that photo is probably taken at the best time of the day and best time of the year to get that. >> commissioner honda: no one knows how to photoshop in this modern technology. >> but we've been very strict on applying the standards -- and again, this may be new information that was not available to the zoning administrator -- >> commissioner honda: would you be interested in taking a look at it and us potentially continuing it?
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>> i could take this new information. we could certainly review the history as well and review it with the zoning administrator and get his updated view on the -- >> commissioner honda: i trust you as a junior zoning administrator and joe duffy as a senior building inspector, i look at the pictures, wow, that looks like a really nice unit. if you do a site inspect, you can say hey, they probably brought in flood lights to bring that light? >> i can review it with the zoning administrator, and get his review on this, and report back to you. >> i have a question for you. in regards to a.d.u.s that the zoning administrator has granted or not granted since the more relaxed 225 square foot regulation came into
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being, does he tend to allow variances, in terms of this is half the required size or is it pretty strict, you don't meet the 225, you're not getting the variance fore exposure? >> it's my understanding that there's only one two units approved under the negate reduced standards. one, it has a street that didn't meet the minimum street requirements and set back. independently, they didn't meet the requirements, but separately, they did, so that satisfied the intent of the code requirement. and then, the other one was had -- situated in a way that there were two very large light wells, and basically every room in the a.d.u. had exposure on to one of those two very large light wells, that, you know, were each very close to meeting the minimum dimensions, so it was substantially different from what we have here, where there's just one area and it's
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very clearly not meeting the code requirements. >> okay. thank you. >> does the 110 measurement include or exclude the measurement of the staircase? >> it excludes it. >> does anybody know what it would be including the staircase? >> i believe it would be a larger area. >> and before making these findings, did planning visit the unit at all? >> in this case, i don't know. probably staff did not do a site visit and relied on the materials submitted by the applicant to demonstrate their case. >> i had another question. for finding number five, it says a requirement -- i was
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confused. it says a requirement for finding number five was not met, but then, the discussion seems to say that actually it is met. so i -- it looked like a mistake to me on that finding. >> well, actually under finding two -- or a-2 of finding five, it does say that the project will not be in keeping with the existing housing and neighborhood quality that the a.d.u. is of substandard quality, falling below the requirements of such unit. so with that -- >> okay. so that's in keeping. essentially, i read this as for all five findings, since it's below the statutory number of 225, we shouldn't do it, which sort of seems like weird logic since the purpose of a variance is to go below the code. >> but it's also based on the materials that are presented by the appellant, and they weren't able to show that there are exceptional or extraordinary conditions. we can't make findings that
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don't exist. >> i see. >> vice president swig: can i grill you for a second? >> or two or three. >> vice president swig: i'm like commissioner honda. we see these circumstances where people have been living in so-called your mother-in-law units or grandmother units where wives or mothers are picked on, and the intent of the legislation was to try to limit illegal rental of really bad units, and hoping that people would come out of the closet and say okay, we've been renting this unit illegally. now, we can make it legal again. and with -- and this kind of flies in the face of that. i think commissioner honda's
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exactly right. if i was the building owner -- now, it wouldn't be me, but it wouldn't be unheard of that a building owner would say okay, fine, i lose. i'm going to rent illegally, and we have another illegal unit on the streets of san francisco. here, we have a unit that may be out of compliance but it gives somebody who might otherwise be homeless an opportunity to live under a roof instead of under the stars. so i'm really trying to work hard to -- in the spirit of creating housing right now, it's clear that the project sponsor blew it, you know -- >> commissioner honda: jumped ahead as we say. >> vice president swig: jumped ahead and done a few things,
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and now he's being justifiably punished for that because you're not going to do that you're not supposed to do the act and then pray for forgiveness, but it is more housing stock in a city that's plagued with no housing stock. so what i'd like to know here and help me with this. under finding one that there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances applying to the property, etc., etc. if -- if this unit were permanently designated as an affordable unit, and this unit could not be rented as a market rate but add restrictions on its rental to a person that met the affordable status, would
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that create a -- a -- an exceptional or an extraordinary circumstance? >> the planning code does not require an affordable unit for this proposal and one has not been proposed. >> vice president swig: i understand. but if this were conditioned, and the property owner were to mandate that -- >> i would discuss that with the city attorney, but that would be an ad hoc condition of approval -- usually, there needs to be a voluntary concession here on the part of the property owner. if they want to designate a unit as affordable that's not required under law, there would be certain other requirements to make that happen. but this unit has not been proposed by the applicant as affordable. it's not required under the code. >> vice president swig: for example if we were to continue
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this and as far as your oversight, you looked at it further, and during the hiatus, the project sponsor would voluntarily designate this as an affordable unit, would that create an exceptional extraordinary situation? >> i would -- i'd be careful in how i -- i want to be careful in how i respond to thatthat. i would want to discuss that with the zoning administrator before i get an out on that. >> commissioner honda: calling corey now. >> vice president swig: i'm not trying to pardon a misdeed on the -- clearly, there was a misdeed done. clearly, there was an improvement that should not have been made. clearly, it was done outside the permit. clearly, all these things are wrong. at the same time, where i'm trying to go with this, at the same time, if this is going to
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find itself under further review, i'm just asking if that condition was voluntarily made, would it be something that the zoning administrator would consider as an exceptional and extraordinary circumstance. >> in regards to this case, this is a de novo hearing, and it's now before this board to make a decision to the variance, it would be up to the board to make that finding as an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance. >> commissioner honda: mr. vice president, may i interject. i think we're trying to stream line conditions, but i'm personally leaning towards a continuance. we can stream line that instead of hearing all this process and potentially is that -- is that eveni even okay to suggest? >> vice president swig: yeah. we have to go through rebuttal and save this discussion for later. >> i would have to research if
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this is a condition that the board can impose. >> vice president swig: i'm hearing, counselor, that that's good advice, we can't suggest thation. i'm just raising that query that if we were to continue this case and at the suggestion of commissioner honda on that the zoning -- honda that the zoning administrator take this under recommendation -- >> commissioner honda: it's a beautiful illegal unit. i used to be the standard in san francisco several years ago, just so you know. >> vice president swig: then maybe another circumstance be considered, that it be permanently voluntarily deeded to an affordable situation. that's all. and it would be already rent controlled. >> i can have the zoning administrator review the photos and get his opinion on the --
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>> commissioner honda: the new nonlegal improvements. >> vice president swig: why don't we move on to public comment. >> clerk: okay. i just wanted to say that vice president lazarus has a prior commitment and has to leave. madam vice president? [inaudible] >> vice president swig: okay. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. we are now on to public comment. is there anyone who would like to speak on this matter? >> commissioner honda: good evening and welcome. >> hi. good evening. my claudine, and i have been looking for an apartment in the area. so far, the apartments that i look


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