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tv   [untitled]    May 2, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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supplants the planning commission -- >> in terms of article 10 districts? the hpc only has purview over certificates of appropriateness, related primarily to design review. all other land use entitlements lay with the planning commission. supervisor weiner: what about building work or you would need to get a building permit? would that go to the hpc? >> it depends on the designating ordinance. the majority of the work has to receive hpc approval. supervisor weiner: any appeal of that would go to the board of appeals, requiring a four out of five boat? >> that correct.
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supervisor weiner: unless there is a cu or something like that. >> correct. the survey is a policy-driven tool. we use it to inform our long- range planning efforts. it also helps us determine whether a building is historic or not and helps facilitate survey review. a survey is a technical study, much like a transportation study. since 1968, the planning department or the community level service have been initiated. they are used to inform area plan development. however, there are some misconceptions about how survey is used. a survey does not automatically designate a property as an article 10 or 11 landmark. it does not listed on the national or california registers. there is a big difference between what is identified as a
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historic resource in a survey versus what should be retained and regulated under articles 10 and 11 of the planning code as a state landmark. a survey does not create a heightened level of scrutiny or review. this is not a comprehensive map, but it does illustrate our most recent community and department initiated service. there are several city wide surveys that were conducted in the past, such as san francisco architectural heritage and in richmond survey, the san francisco architectural survey of 1976, and so on. this does give you a good idea of the areas we have surveyed in the last five to six years. >> does that include older surveys as well? >> this only includes our most recent, or surveys in process or
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recently adopted. supervisor weiner: and not every survey will result in a district, is that right? >> surveys will not result in article 10 or 11 designation unless the board of supervisors designates them. supervisor weiner: but the survey would be a critical first step. you cannot have an article 10 district without a survey first. >> correct. >> the math that you see actually includes the entire survey area. within that service area, there are typically districts that are a subset of what you see on this map. that is not implying that this whole area is potential districts. supervisor weiner: i presume this is because of market octavia and eastern neighborhoods. a lot of these survey areas are
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some of the most transit-rich areas in the city. do you agree with that? >> yes. supervisor weiner: do you foresee any potential impact of focusing a lot of our surveying energy on the transit-oriented parts of the city that could perhaps absorb additional transit-oriented development in terms of meeting our goals of building housing near transit? >> how we approached it is the survey is one of the many tools and studies we need to accomplish to support -- range planning efforts. what we found with the service, even though the area plans move forward in the surveys, is there were a lot of complex sites in terms of areas that werere- known for higher density or development, increased heights,
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etc. the survey is one component we use, but it does not necessarily become the only thing we rely on when developing policies, whether they are transportation policies or other policies. i would like to briefly focus on ceqa. supervisor cohen: i have a question about survey process before i move on. do your surveyor's represent the ethnic community of san francisco? >> we do surveys in house and complete service with consultants. the decision or how we determine who we hire as a sub-consultant is a city process. that are required to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the city hiring program.
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i cannot tell you specifically whether they are made up of ethnic communities or they represent the ethnic community. supervisor cohen: you have done surveys and know your colleagues. when you look around yourself, is ethnically diverse? >> in terms of planning department staff, i would say yes. supervisor cohen: director, would you agree with that? >> i think the answer is yes. i think we have diversity on staff. supervisor cohen: i will not quibble over what the definition of diversity is we are working with. but i do specifically want to know if the group of analysts -- from my account, i would say there is room for the city to do any better job in increasing the ranks of a more ethnically diverse survey team, particularly because there are
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groups and perspectives and cultural values that may be lost in the analysis. if the group of analysts to not reflect diversity in the city, i am curious to know what the department does to determine or to ensure that the history of all constituencies are represented. >> that is a good question. the first step in developing a survey is preparing a historic context statement for the study area. that is essentially a short history on that area. in preparing that context area, we are able to identify important themes or parts of history that need to be explored to the survey. often, historic context statements are limited by budget or their overall scope. for instance, the eastern neighborhood plans are focusing more on zoning changes. it is more about the built
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environment and less about cultural or ethnic significance. but there are many contexts statements that are currently in process or have been developed that address important historical themes. those are generally looked at as a subset of the larger historical context statements. i can say they were not a primary goal in the eastern neighborhood areas plan because of the limited budget. we were trying to address what is being resound in those areas. -- being a re-zoned in those areas. supervisor cohen: hominy context statements did you get? >> dozens. supervisor cohen: and were the statements from a large majority perspective, a euro-centric perspective? or are they written by members of the samoan community, the
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african-american community, the asian community? >> i know a number of the statements were prepared by members of the community, qualified historians within the community. i believe there is a philippine -- there is a filipino context statement. there is a gay, lesbian, career, and transgender context statement. we are happy to provide you a list of those. supervisor cohen: japanese lgbt? >> i believe there is a filipino context statement. i can provide you a comprehensive list. supervisor cohen: that would be great to have. chairperson mar: it would help me if you could be more specific on, for example, the fillmore jazz district, the african american or jazz cultural
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history of involvement in the development of plant and for japan town -- development of planning for japan town, how the asian communities were involved in that context. but just some general sense for those examples. >> the fillmore area context statement was before my time, but i am happy to look into it. in terms of japan town, that was also prepared by another member of our department. i am happy to get you information about that. my understanding is there was a high level of community input in preparing the context statement around the japan town area plan. i can provide that information to you in the future. supervisor weiner: i have some questions about environmental review. in the was a lot of focus on the
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hpc and a lot of legitimate discussion that can happen. but in terms of ceqa and environmental review, a lot of that is independent. if you have a structure that is a contributor or potential contributor the starkly -- historically, that could trigger potentially a full eir if you were to try to make some significant change to that structure. am i right about that? >> it depends on the scope of the project and the level of significance that was identified as part of that district. not every demolition to a contributor triggers and eir. -- an eir. if there were not environmental
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impacts, it would just be focused on historic impact. but the things we looked at in reviewing a potential impact for research in a district would be this overall size of the district. why is the district significant? what is the impact of removing that contributor to the overall resource, which is the larger district? if you have a district made up of hundreds of buildings, the loss of one contributor may not be a significant impact that required an eir. if you had a small collection of 10 buildings and they were all fairly unique, that could pose a fairly large impact. supervisor weiner: i know this could vary widely, but in terms of the cost of an eir, and i am not talking about a big project, but somebody making a change to a major renovation -- if an eir
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is required, do you have a sense for what the range of costs would be? i understand this is an estimate. >> it varies greatly depending on the size of the project. supervisor weiner: at the low end, it would be $40,000 to $50,000? >> i think it is important to clarify the need to do an eir. if the work you're doing on a historic resource does not interfere with the historic character of the building -- it is only if there is an impact.
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supervisor weiner: in terms of when the staff determines whether an eir is needed -- >> our environmental review officer would determine what the level of review was. supervisor weiner: cannot be appealed to anybody? >> my understanding is it is not. supervisor weiner: has planning been doing any work or given any thoughts about how to -- i think for a lot of people, doing historic preservation, reviewing whether it is an eir or additional historic review to determine whether it is a resource. the lot of people are ok with that. there is a sense that the costs can be high, and the amount of time it takes can be high.
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the you have any thoughts about how to make that process less expensive to people who are trying to do projects? i have heard of projects where because of the need to do some sort of review, it can tip the project from canceling out to no longer being economically -- from penciling out to not been economically viable, whether because of the cost or the time. i wonder what thought to have about how to make the process less time consuming. >> sure. if i could just jump ahead to this slide, this shows the number of permits and entitlements the department processed last year. about 4200 entitlements. the vast majority did not
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require hiring. the overall majority met what we call our ceqa checklist. it is folks to work anything from ordinary maintenance and repair to fairly sizable dormers on a property. we determined this would not pose an impact on a historic resource. they do not require additional historical review. the 149 projects that did require that additional review or major alterations to a property. the potentially did not meet the checklist. -- and a potentially did not meet a checklist. -- they potentially did not meet the checklist. we are required from ceqa to provide some written determination or evaluation for why we are okay or not ok with the project. to follow up, there were only eight focused eir's in the past year that related to direct
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impacts to historic resources. that does not regard larger processes -- larger projects. supervisor weiner: that was 8. >> that are currently in process or have been certified. supervisor weiner: do you know how many of those projects went away, because it made the project not work economically anymore? that seems like an important statistic. >> we can look into that. i am not sure we have that information. supervisor weiner: we talk to people doing projects, and we get categorical exemptions appealed to the board of supervisors. it is a big deal, because a lot of times if you order an eir that is the end of the project. you never have an actual eir, but just the decision to impose one.
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supervisor cohen: my question still relates to serve a process. i would like you to articulate to me so that i can have a better understanding as to how vendors or a person new contract with -- how you go about selecting them. >> i cannot give you much more information other than we adhere to the city hiring program. i am not sure if the director -- >> as with any contract, which would be looking at the qualifications to meet requirements of the state in filling out the historic survey. the state has very specific requirements and survey forms that require detailed information about the history of the area and architectural character. our selection of consultants is based on their expertise in those areas. supervisor cohen: when you make the selections of people, has
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there ever been a case where a surveyor or member of staff has had to recused themselves because they may have had a relationship with the company or a consultant that has been hired to survey? >> not that i am aware of. >> i cannot think of one. supervisor cohen: thank you. supervisor weiner: proceed. >> this is a slide that indicates the number of permits processed last year. just to go back quickly, all discretionary actions within the city and county of san francisco require some level of ceqa review. we are different than many other jurisdictions in the state. there are many permits that are ministerial or as a right. those are stuck to turley exempt -- those are
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statutorially exempt from ceqa reviews. in the city and county of san francisco, none of those are exempt. this is the first steps. we can often resolve it during a historic resource service. the second step is whether there is an impact to the historic resource. i showed on the next slide the majority of permits were found not to have an impact on any historic resource. i covered the policies legislated under the code, our requirements under ceqa, and i would like to address how preservation works with the policies under discussion by supervisor weiner. every project will have a number of policies that can be considered.
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it is on the planning code, the general plan, and what is included in the project. as mentioned, we work with applicants and always encourage them to meet with us early and as soon as possible in order to identify any potential issues, and any potential issues -- and potential serb -- any potential solutions to those issues that may arise. we do that understanding of perspectives at the earliest stage possible. with parks, because larger projects that involve historic resources often take more time, we have been collaborating earlier and on a more regular basis. we understand the budget limitations, develop revenue- generating services, and develop
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historic resources under that management. for public libraries, we have a number of examples. this is provided upgrades to meet the needs of the community and retain their architectural character. the proposed improvements at the intersection of delores and market streets are still under public review. it is a great example of how all policies can work together to achieve a solution that meets the goals of the project and the city priorities as reflected in the market and octavia plan. in regards to next steps, to answer visor's it -- to answer supervisor weiner's question, we are always looking for ways to simplify the ceqa process.
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we will expand this document to include other ceqa and environmental review. this is to minimize the number of reports required from outside consultants and the costs incurred as a result of that. our goal in working with the planning commission and the hpc is to transmit revised articles 10 and 11 to the board of supervisors for consideration. we are going to consider outreach efforts to engage the public. we continue to seek funding for additional survey work because of the benefits, and providing more information, better service, and consistency in our decision making. this concludes my presentation. supervisor weiner: i have one final question, and unless my colleagues have questions, i will let you go. i think a lot of times when people think preservation, what
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comes to mind is housing stock and beautiful public structures like the golden gate bridge. but ceqa goes beyond that to other kinds of structures. old warehouses that are no longer being used. old automated uses -- automotive uses a long -- along van ness. transit shelters. i believe the youth guidance center, a jail, effectively. the muni presidio yard. street lights. potentially groupings of plants or trees.
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can you comment generally on those sort of non-traditional -- outside the hiding -- outside the housing stock and the public monuments, and how we should think about that in terms of these other policy goals that we have? >> the california and national register criteria outlined criteria on what is eligible as a historic resources at the state and federal level. those criteria are used by the city in determining what is a historic resource. the building, a site, an object, a collection of objects can qualify as a historic resource under the events criterion, the persons criterion, or the architecture criterium. there are a wide variety of
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different types of resources that can be classified under each of those criteria, and they do not have to be a of the highest style or the most remarkable in terms of the design, or the most significant person had to have resided there, or the most important event had to have occurred. it is all related to the broad patterns of our history and what is represented through the built environment. in terms of how those identification's come into play with other policies, as the director mentioned, it is very different. we treat things very differently in terms of what is it a dandified under a survey and what is important for a city to regulate under the code. if you designate something under the code, it is sometimes a very rigorous process, and it is time consuming. but that is because the city has
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agreed to protect those buildings at all costs. if something is identified as a resource under a service, it is to just understand the light of the land. what is a historic resource and what is not. it helps us make more informed decisions and fully disclosed to the public about what the impacts are in regards to the project or any other decision. supervisor weiner: for each of the items i listed, and i'm sure there are many others, the definition is prod -- is broad. if you have a transit shelter that were to be identified as a historic resources, and if muni then decided that in order to more effectively operate its transit system it wanted to either remove a transit shelter or make significant change to its bus storage yard, that could potentially trigger
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environmental review that could be an additional cost to muni from its scarce budget. >> supervisor, i think that is right. as tim said, there are technical criteria that are not just about architecture. it could be an event that happened there, a type of business that was located there. those are the hardest to explain. you look at a building and it might be a very plan warehouse. i think most of the project to mention -- it is important to remember that the eir is done for a lot of other reasons. i think the real key we have to look at is when does a historic resource issue cross the line -- when is it the only finger crossing the line to a full- blown eir.
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it takes a lot of time. nobody in this room is going to deny that. that is a tough question. i would argue that the larger issue with respect to the ceqa process is how we conduct reviews of the eir. supervisor weiner: i agree. >> i think what is important today is to understand where it is the historic preservation issues are causing a project to go into a full-blown eir, as opposed to other issues like traffic, shadow, and all the other things we do with. -- deal with. i would love to engage with you on a discussion of how the city could streamline the overall ceqa process. supervisor weiner: we are on the same page on that one. chairperson mar: i know we have a number of department representatives. supervisor weiner: