tv [untitled] August 23, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
we believe the design before you seeks the best elements of the approved 2008. it improves upon that plan. the current plan remains the only feasible alternative. we passed a memorandum yesterday. let me introduce one of the six firms working on the design of the project to walk you through the design -- or is it -- revised design. thank you.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. we are one of the number of design firms working on the project. a quick overview of the site, everybody knows where the site is. it is an extremely important site to san francisco. the neighborhood, the decency to market street. there are very lovely -- i decency to market street. as a brief reminder of the approved plan from 2008, there were several things that stood
out to us, improvements that could be made. we felt like some of the new buildings were to close to the historic buildings. we felt the alleyway that -- was unnecessary. we were concerned about the car- garage and trees. -- in trees. we are concerned that the committee garden was a little bit too buried on to the side and not continuous to some of the major streets. this is the current site plan. what we have done is tried to create more breathing room for the historic buildings. we have moved the community garden closer to the corner of laguna. there is not a direct connection into that community -- now a direct connection into that community garden. one of the other concerns, we
have kept the alleyway that runs in the north-south direction, but that no longer has correspondent. it would only be for emergency vehicle access. it would just be pedestrians and bicycles. we have to change the orientation of several of the buildings to run more parallel as opposed to perpendicular. there is quite a -- there is 80 feet of slope from corner to corner. there has been a lot of discussion and good feedback about accessibility. this diagram shows everything in rain is completely open to the public 24-7. then we have the area in the purplish-blue color, which is the community garden.
and in the orange areas are of the courtyards for the residence. i want to point out an important -- there is a new connection now that will run -- it will allow connection into the community garden and down into -- community garden. the overall design, it has been a challenging project, there has been a lot of great discussion with the neighborhood and would city staff. our goal was to try to do something to respond to the neighborhood. there are a lot of interesting variety in the neighborhood. we're not looking to make a super project.
as we looked to the design, at bleecker really thought as much about the space between the buildings as the buildings themselves. we thought about the perimeter streets,waller park, the courtyards, and also the musie. starting with the streets first, looking at 8 street, -- haight street, this has been designed to be more responsive to the historic buildings. we're trying to take some cues from those buildings. we're not trying to look like a 1920's building, but his in terms of heights, proportions of windows, callers. that influences how we treat parts of this street corners.
as you move around on to the corner of haight and laguna, which tried to break the scale of the buildings down a little bit more. we're trying to respond to both of those smaller buildings and larger buildings. along buchanan street, it is meant to more closely take cues. the buildings on the right are broken down in scale. along waller park, the goal is to emphasize the site. we broke the building into smaller pieces, more vertical pieces. you can see a rendering of the park. it is meant to be a very rich space, and a lot of variety, places for assembly, farmers' market, activity.
the nemuse is meant to be simpl, quiet, calm, repetitive. all the different than the other spaces. it is a little bit tighter space than the rest of the spite -- site. the courtyards or men to feel different from one another. the court yards closer to the hall took a lot of their cues to what is on the historic buildings. i want to touch on the amenity building. in response to the comments come that we have altered that amenity building significantly. this is a section of the building. we have eliminated the circular drum that was at the end of the
mews. we have taken one floor of the amenity building. one elevator that pokes up above grade. we have reduced the scale of the building significantly. this is from laguna street, looking from -- looking towards open house. >> thank you to the commissioners. i am the executive director of open house. we're delighted to bring to the planning commission these committee driven plans to develop 110 units of affordable housing. that will be welcoming to lgbt seniors.
we're very proud to be partnering with mercy house in california on constructing this project. we strongly support the construction of as much affordable housing as possible, including the 50 units of below market family rentals. we're very happy and pleased that a consensus has been reached on reaching the critical goal. open house and mercy housing will be renovating richardson hall. it will include 40 usance of housing -- units of housing. it will include a retail space. next to the retail space in richardson hobbled the 27 square feet of open house service offices -- richardson halt will be a 2700 square feet of open house service offices.
we'll be constructing a new building which will have 70 units of housing. it will include about 8700 square feet of an activity center that will be open to residents and lgbt seniors from across the city. our vision has always been to combine housing with service base an activity center to create a vibrant community hob for residents and the broader community. the housing we are proposing will provide an efficient, cost- effective service called for those who live at 55 laguna and lgbt seniors. combined with the retail space on the corner, this block will be a very active and accessible to a very diverse group of people. the need for the open house
project is very clear. you'll hear from some lgbt seniors in a minute. the bottom line is that residents and lgbt seniors across the city will have a central place to get the help they need. >> thank you. in the other presentations from project sponsor? calling public comment. [reading names] if you want to line up on the right side of the room, that would be great. >> [inaudible]
>> thank you. i cannot believe it is so late. i want to make a few comments. she would like to express how happy she is with the progress made on this project. she supports the changes adopted by the project sponsors. give more consideration to the facade facing haight street. she appreciates the commitment of the developers to work closely with the community, especially with members of the neighborhood association. she hopes that more can be done with regards to the parking. i want to express her thanks to the mayor's office of housing, mercy housing, planning staff. there has been so many hours in some many people involved in this.
it is a completely different project now. thank you. president fong: thank you. public comment. >> i am a massage therapist and health educator. recently, i joined the class of lgbt seniors. i turned 60 a couple of years ago. in the gay community, you become a senior around 35. [laughter] hopefully, i am to were three years from retiring. i have to do that and live in
this wonderful space. i have not seen anything like it in my time in any city i have lived in. i am born and raised in new york, lived in boston, d.c., and it is fantastic. i have a question. it has come to my attention, in other projects similar to this, contractors, developers that have built low-income housing or below market rates housing, in the past they have sold the rights and responsibilities to other contractors. as a result, the bmr housing has been transferred to other areas in the city. and not actually been utilized
at the initial location. i was wondering if there was any provision in this whole project that prevents that from happening. >> maybe we can respond back to that. no dialogue during public comment, and generally. >> that is a big concern of mine. it needs to stay where it is. the project itself, something that the lgbt seniors really need. it puts everything together, the health care, the socialization, farmers markets, it is a wonderful thing. i urge you to approve it. >> thank you.
>> i was going to say good afternoon, but the evening. -- good evening. i am delighted to be here this evening. this has been an extraordinary efforts, open house, i am the founder of the open house and on the board. this has been an extraordinary effort since 2006. open house has been working to develop our housing on the site. we have for closely with the other sponsors, with the city of san francisco. here we are tonight. i urge you, after six years, i think you could hear tonight from what everybody was saying, this is the kind of moment where everybody feels really good about what we have done together. the time has come to move
forward on this project. i urge you to support the development of 55 laguna. 55 laguna development includes urgently needed affordable housing being built by open house. it will be welcoming to and inclusive of lgbt seniors. the open house building will include on-site services and activities center so residents and seniors from across the city will have a central place to get the help they need. lgbt seniors are underserved in senior services and senior housing here in san francisco. there are 25,000 lgbt people over the age of 55, but few about lgbt seniors can be identified and utilize senior services or live in residential facilities. lgbt seniors do not feel safe to be out to their service providers or to live in residential facilities for fear
of discrimination. all too often, lgbt seniors hide their identity or choose to leave san francisco in the comfort and safety of their friends and loved ones to find the services and housing been need. san francisco can and must do better than that. besides open house senior housing, the 55 laguna development also provides much needed rental housing, affordable housing, preservation of historic buildings, and a wonderful park. this is the kind of mixed in calm development that makes san francisco the kind of livable city we can all take pride in. we need to move this project forward. thank you so much. >> good evening. i'm a board member -- we are
encouraged that this project will bring new residents to our neighborhood. we are pleased that 50 units will be included as well as senior housing that will add great neighbors. we do appreciate the design adjustments. our association has been and continues to work on some serious crime and other issues in this specific area. most of our feedback has been around that. we are very interested in having more active use on the haight street side. we are not able to design the appropriate kind of the sod on that building. we have made an attempt to make a few changes to fit within those constraints. that includes more windows on the mid glut interest -- mid
block entrance is quite important. it is a huge improvement to be able to make that connection. we do ask for additional work to be done with the developer. we do ask the condition be added that additional work be -- continued feedback been made around making sure the entrance is inviting and will lead, etc. -- well lit, etc. we need more time to work on the landscaping just to make sure the final design meets what we
need. finally, in terms of the parking, we do wish the parking ratios mets contemporary standards, but the most important piece is the curved cuts on buchanan. we feel there is a possibility that could be reduced. we appreciate that changed. thank you. president fong: thank you very much. i am going to call some more names. [reading names]
>> good evening. i am a volunteer for the service agency for san francisco's lgbt frail seniors. my having worked as a volunteer for many years has afforded me the opportunity to assess what their needs are. two of the largest of them are affordable housing and a sense of community. it is for this reason that i strongly encourage the board to go ahead with a 55 laguna project.
san francisco's iconic columnist referred to the city as the city that knows how. today, this city that knows how has failed to show the same level of leadership that many other cities throughout the nation have already shown in providing care to its marginalized lgbt seniors. special need housing already exists for the homeless, and the addicted. are we not as equally important to the city? many of these singers have spent most of their productive working lives -- seniors have spent most of their productive working lives contributing to making the city the viper 1 it is today? many are forced to -- the vibrant what it is today? many are forced to leave their family and friends today because it does not offer them
affordable resources and quality care as they age. it is a shame that we continue to treat our lgbt seniors as second-class citizens. i urge you to rectify this by moving ahead with the 55 laguna project. thank you for your consideration. commissioner wu: thank you, next speaker. >> hello, commissioners. this is my first time at one of your meetings. i have watched you for years on cable. tonight was a great education for me. it is tonight now. i never thought that you showed so much attention to detail. there are a couple of commissioners that were really outstanding. it has been wonderful in a lot
of ways being here tonight. today. i really encourage you to approve this. i hope you will approve this project. mainly at of the need that is here in at the city for housing -- affordable housing for seniors. i would like one day to move into this project and be among people that i respect and that i am not afraid of. and that i felt equal to. a lot of them, being at the meetings i've gone to from -- sponsored by open house, are extraordinary people with extraordinary pasts that i never had an idea existed in such
great numbers. i know we deserve the kind of housing that is open house and its partners are providing and are committed to. i hope he will approve of it. thank you. commissioner wu: if you could please give your name for the record. thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. what a difference four years have made. i was here when the first design was mentioned and when this project came forward. the new design is looking good. i will give you a report that came from our own department of
adult and aging services this year. the department of adult and aging services says within the next 10 years, there will be a great deal of people turning 60 years old. i am in that category as a baby boomer, in less than 10 years, it will be great to have a place where i can go and well with my community members without being criticized and ridiculed. the lgbt committee has come a long way in the last 45 years. it makes no sense that our department -- our members are being phased out of the city do to their sexual orientation and have no place to call their own. a city that is supposed to be the game at the of the united states of america -- gay mecca of the united states of america.
i am ready to see this go forward and be down at the ground-breaking ceremonies. commissioner wu: thank you. i'm going to call a few more names. [reading names] >> good afternoon and good evening. i have the. here once or twice before. i come here wearing two hats, as a senior and as a gay man. i am addressing affordable housing parts of the project. when i was growing up, in the
midwest coming into my identity as a game boy and and a gay adolescents and and a gay man, it never crossed my mind that i could stand in front of the commission and ask for consideration as an openly gay man. there is a part of me -- i am jewish so the word is -- i take pleasure in being able to make this appeal. to be able to be here for a full afternoon to watch you function. it is a joy to see the attention, patience, insurance and sensitivity that you have shown. even to see the diversity amon