tv [untitled] September 17, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT
residential structures with property line windows overlooking the side yard. there is also similar 1390 francis could is proposing a deck in the side yard and 3700 broderick is proposing in fact enlarging a balcony and adding a new balcony in the side yard which the planning department has also designated as a rear yard. the buildings are also the projects are also dissimilar in a couple ways. side yard on broderick is notably more open, more characteristic of the side yard on its block, more critical to the light and air of the immediately adjacent neighbors and whereas francisco only proposes -- only proposed exterior deck broderick proposes both exterior balconies and substantial construction and three different directions. you may recall staff recommendation for that case was to -- no d-r approve the project and you may also recall, commissioners, you voted unanimously to overrule the department 7 to 0 vote. on this more egregious violation of a more important side yard, we hope you'll do
the same. >> okay, calling now speakers in support of the d-r. each will have three minutes. john hook. darren [speaker not understood]. karen [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. david [speaker not understood]. alan silverman. and bill gabriel. honorable commissioners, i'd like to thank you for hearing our discretionary review. my name is darren rishwain. i live with my wife pamela and our two kill den at 1990 jefferson street. ~ first of all, i'd like to provide you with over 90 signed letters of opposition all from marina residents to this project at 3700 broderick street. i am sure you have also been given the numerous opposition letters mailed to the planning
department by mr. cabrera. i would like to thank youv on some very important points discussed in some of the letters presented to the planning commission office. the first letter written by mr. [speaker not understood], a marina resident, lawyer, and owner of two lots on the same block as 3700 broderick street. in his letter he cites precedent setting cases in support of our discretionary review. the first point states that a variance must prove a hardship will ensure will ensue if the variance is not granted. town of agenter ton versus templeton, california appellate case, ~ judged the voluntary purchase of a lot too small for further development is not a hardship justifying the granting of a variance. in a letter written by jeff wood, a member of the cal hollow association zoning committee, states that, and i quote, to significantly reduce or destroy these side yard open spaces to provide arbitrary benefits to a single homeowner, ashe trayerly denies the same
light and air benefits to all other property owners on the common side yard ~. it is the duty of each planning commissioner to respect and protect these common benefits that are provided for the enjoyment of not just one individual to cherish or throw away, but for all the public to enjoy. another letter written by darwin [speaker not understood], the previous owner of my home at 1990 jefferson [speaker not understood], and i quote, i previously owned, remodeled and lived in the home and know how the side yard allows for the majority of sunlight and air flow into the home, garage, and yard. this is due to the fact that over 50% of the windows are western facing. i also know the sibleys who own 37 08 broderick street [speaker not understood] would eliminate sun and air and cause significant privacy issue. i truly do not believe the planning department of san francisco wants to set a precedent for future projects and thus destroy this
architectural design intended when the marina was built in the 1930s. this has been quite an education these past few months since we were forced to follow our discretionary review with the sibleys. [speaker not understood], the resounding theme and comments were consistent. isn't it very difficult if not impossible to get i variance in the city? ~ according to code doesn't 25% of the lot rear and/or side yard need to be nonbuildable? isn't that one of the largest homes on the block already? why would a neighbor want to block your sunlight coming into your home? i don't even remember receiving a notice regarding this project. >> sir, your time -- in closing we hope you consider all of these points made by our neighbors. >> sir, your time is up. thank you. >> next speaker, please.
good afternoon. i'm pamela [speaker not understood], darren's wife. our home is very special to us as it's the place where we live and create memories with our family. i'm a stay at home mom with two young children. most of the time is spent in our sunny kitchen where we eat, play, eat, play, and i'm sure you get the picture. if you came to our home you would see that you're immediately drawn to the western side of our home because that's where more than half of our windows reside. the thought of a side yard rear yard and vertical construction next to our small home is very concerning and will sacrifice sunlight and air into our rooms. as you heard today, we already have a noncomplying, nonconforming very large apartment building on the east side of our home. we are a family truly living in each square foot of our 1500 square foot little home and we appreciate all the light and air that comes through it. compromised sun means little to no sun in my daughter's room where we open the shutters every morning and look at the
sun. this means our kitchen window will no longer have the fresh ocean breeze. light and air important to us and our children, just the same way as it is important to mr.and mrs. [speaker not understood]. we are not asking for anything more than any other family would ask for in our situation. this fact immediately raised concerns when we received the architectural plans for 3700 broderick. i shared my concerns with david armor, the project sponsor's architect. we vetted our home to show them firsthand how the addition would block all of our light and air. because the sponsor's architect didn't want to provide us with a sun study nor story poles no look at alternative with us, we felt we had to hire an architect of our hone and you will hear from him shortly. [inaudible] you can see the proposed elevations looking from our house. these are the existing and these are the proposed. the dotted windows that you can
see here on these areas are our windows. the project sponsor left out one of our windows, there are western facings that reside right there, pretty large window, master bathroom window that gets a lot of sun and we open it every day. we pointed this out in the d-r application four months ago. all the windows on the west side of our house benefit from light and air from the side yard as mary pointed out and in some rooms the western window is the only window in the room. with the proposed construction, a new building wall and balcony, this home is going to come within 5-1/2 feet from our dining room which is right here. and the new construction also comes all the way back into the rear yard. the effects from the expanded balcony and new balcony will be noise just like the deck was going to be at 1490 francisco street. the new balcony appears to have
a taller parapet than it does [inaudible] and you can tell that by the size of the windows. but there aren't any dimensions -- >> thank you, ma'am, your time is up. thank you. my name is ford sibley. i'm the owner with my mom and my grandmother. i've been the owner of this house since the '50s. we are a true definition of san franciscans. my great grandfather moved here from france to open a nursery, bought his first piece of property on chestnut street in 1890 and had a french nursery there and was instrumental in building those gardens she spoke about during the pan pacific expo. and my grandfather opened the creamery on chestnut street where he met my grandmother. and they together bought the 37 08 broderick which is here and
raised my mom and i spent a good portion of my life living in the house there as well. and i just want to bring up the point that the project sponsor i think had a very good point about the architectural significance and size of corner houses and why they should be given extra importance, because as you can tell here typically a corner lot would take up the additional space over here. but this developer chose to infill that portion of the lot that's making the typical corner lot substandard in size. and as you will notice when you drive around most of san francisco, most of the time those corner lots were taken by apartment buildings because the developers knew they could make more money by putting an apartment building on the corner and not needing the back yards and side spaces. so, i think when the developer decided to build this house the way he did, he intended that side yard to be the outdoor space for that house. and i would say that this corner is one of the most unique corners in san francisco
and that you don't often see the open space like that between two typical single-family residences. in all the examples that she showed earlier, you see a garage or a [speaker not understood], but not two typical marina residences. as i was a young boy i often remember the tour buses would stop in front of the house and take pictures and one day i stopped the tour bus driver and asked him why do you guys stop in front of our property and take a picture? he said when we come around from the golden gate, we want to give the tourists an opportunity to take a picture of two of the most beautiful traditional marina houses in all of san francisco. and, so, i feel that by building into those side spaces it will diminish what we consider a beautiful space, a beautiful house, and a beautiful neighborhood. i have a very interesting paper here that shows some of the things that the marina, when they first built it, the marina vanderbilt track. and i would like to say i'm glad that we still hold some of
the things that the developer intended important and i'm glad that many of the things the original developer intended are no longer held as important. you can see here we want no unsightly improvements, white or caucasian race only, and limited to residences, flats and apartments, setbacks for front, lawns, and gardens and fences not over 6 feet in height and uniform sidewalks. so, i hope today you guys can see our point and hopefully preserve the beautiful marina. thank you. >> next speaker, please. good afternoon, thank you for having me. my name is david [speaker not understood] and i'm a practicing attorney here in the city. my wife and i moved to the marina when she was [speaker not understood] residency at ucsf medical center and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and we're looking to purchase a home.
three of the attributes we're looking for is a side yard, rear yard and plenty of natural light and i am here to avoid what i would consider a destructive precedent in the neighborhood. it's my understanding the project at hand proposes at least five variances from the rear backyard requirements. first addition of a separate laundry room. second, the expansion of a mud room to a bedroom on the first floor. third, the expansion of the kitchen and powder room and addition of a deck on the second floor. fourth, the expansion of a bathroom and balcony on the third floor. and fifth, the expansion of a fourth floor tiled roof feature, 4-1/2 into the rear yard that currently exists. as you all know, san francisco planning code section 305 article 3 mandates that to meet a variance you must meet the initial threshold test of the variance must be to the extent necessary to overcome a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and in addition you must meet 5
distinct elements. i do not believe that any of these are met here. to speak to the threshold test, [speaker not understood] in the law of zoning and planning describes three expressions would indicate the existence of a practical difficulty. first, the restriction destroys or greatly diminishes value of a specific piece of property. second, the property in question cannot reasonably be put to conforming use. and third, the use restriction viewing the property in the setting of its environment is so unreasonable as to constitute an arbitrary and capricious interference with the basic right of private property. here i have a hard time seeing how a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship is being suffered only one year after the subject property was purchased. more over, denial of the variance won't destroy or diminish the virginiavthv of the property, [speaker not understood] and it will certainly not be so
unreasonable as to interfere with the basic property right. in addition, the proposed variance does not meet any of the requirements that would allow for a variance. for example, section 305 only allows for a variance in exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. they apply for the particular property. i could cite several cases for you. one supreme court opinion [speaker not understood] there the supreme court wrote that only at best a small fraction of any one zone could qualify for a variance. here, an addition of a powder room and second laundry room, if you grant those you're going to have to grant a variance to every other person in the marina. [speaker not understood] city of los angeles is another opinion. a variance must be denied unless the applicant is deprived of privileges -- >> thank you [speaker not understood]. sir, your time is up. thank you. thank you. nobody else has this. thank you. >> if your name has been
called, please approach the podium. i will call some more names. [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. mary smith. nicole prieto. and pam [speaker not understood]. if you would like to line up, you can do so on the screen side of the room. >> you can start speaking, sir. thank you, commissioners. first of all, thank you for approving a project that i waited three years to get to this point, [speaker not understood] on the consent calendar. appreciate that. after three years. i decided to stay an extra four hours because i am a character witness for darren rishwayne who i've known his entire life. he is a fine neighbor and can't believe that they have to go through what they're going through in order to, what is obviously just maintain the condition that allows their
home to have appropriate light -- >> sir, are you speaking in favor of the project? absolutely in favor -- no, i'm actually in favor of darren's position. darren's position in protecting his light and air. and, so, the effort that he had to go through to do something that should be obvious to anybody that wants to live in that house today or tomorrow is, is unfortunate. and, so, to me it was worth it to spend four hours listening to all of the wonderful things that you folks listen to every week. ~ to support him as a character witness and to say that please accept his position which is to prevent the expansion of a large home already in san francisco that eliminates all the light and air of his neighbor. thank you.
hi, my name is [speaker not understood]. i'm speaking in opposition of the project. i have been a resident of the marina for 20 years and i view this not as just a precedent setting case, but i view it as a significant step along what i believe is a trend that's been occurring as long as i've been living in the marina, which is to allow bigger houses on small lot spaces that were never intended to be occupied by such big houses. we personally had a situation several years ago where we were promised that the project sponsor immediately to our east would not encroach on our light and safety. and when the ultimate house got built, it was twice its original size and, in fact, the entire east side of our house was blocked. and to make matters worse, the property line is encroached upon so that we have no exit
for our children. we have two daughters and we now have no exit on a breezeway that used to run through our house which obviously in the marina is critical given the seismic issues. so, i think what i would ask the commission is we respect -- in our case we respect that our neighbor's right to build and encourage that and we oppose the idea of expansion, but i think there is a run away trend in the marina which was never intended to have such large houses and such intrusive projects and ones that block light and air to so many. i think it is a fair time to ask the commission to pause and think about what the marina was originally intended for, the type of structures and houses it was intended to be there and light and air that all of us are entitled to and we need to protect. thank you. good afternoon, president fong and members of the
commission. i am here in full support of darren and pam rishwayne. i am a resident of the marina and live on [speaker not understood] street and have been a resident of the marina 12 years and of the city for 28 years. i chose the marina 12 years ago because it was always my dream to live there just because of the ambience and all of the wonderful young families who keep all of us young and vibrant in the city. in fact, in the marina, even later this month, it will be [speaker not understood], it's all about families. so, i'm here to support them. and i've been in their lovely home and i know that if this project goes through, they will be plunged into darkness in their beautiful dining room and kitchen. thank you for the consideration.
good afternoon, commissioner. i am alan silverman. i am a 29-year resident of the marina and i moved to the marina because it had a special character. and i would ask you specifically to, when considering these variances or request variances, to consider article 10 of the planning code which specifically finds that areas of special character of which the marina is clearly one, continue to be unnecessarily destroyed. and the problem that i think we're dealing with is the incremental problem of a variance here, a variance there, a variance there, and pretty soon what all of the gardens in the marina are going to be concrete. the subject property at 3700 broderick that we're talking about, it already has a variance in the backyard which
is going to be extended even further and a variance in the side yard which is going to take away more garden. and i was walking this morning along jefferson street at the opposite end at webster and there is another requested variance that was going to come in front of this commission in the next few weeks for someone to build in nigh backyard. the marina has a special character. those of us that move there move there because of that character. and by allowing one variance at a time for people to replace yards, side yards, back yards, green space with concrete is going to destroy the character that article 10 of the planning code asks you specifically to protect. so, i would ask you not just to consider your action in this, but consider the accumulative action you may take when you grant all of these variances
and you will eventually concrete over the whole of what was supposed to be marina gardens. thank you. good afternoon, commissioners. my name is pam [speaker not understood] and i'm a marina resident for the last 18 years. one of the many positive attributes of the marina is that there is a very limited and coveted pocket of the side -- side and rear gardens which incorporate light, air, and open space. and as a marina resident, i totally value this. i walk all the time and walk my dog all the time and that's one thing that we are seeing less and less of. so, the adjacent neighbors have already acted, i believe, in very good faith and very neighborly by already not opposing the additional height requirements on 3700 broderick
street. please hear the marina neighbors and residents that are already here in support of these neighbors and limit the mcmansions that are trying to be built or already have been built on the limited property in the marina. please do not allow the side yard construction. thank you. >> are there any other speakers in support of the d-r? in support of the d-r. that would be opposed to the proposed project. good afternoon, commissioners. i am jeanette [speaker not understood]. i live in -- i'm a native san franciscan and i have lived in the marina for over 50 years, okay. as a marina district resident, i want to voice my opposition in part -- to part of the proposal at 3700 broderick street.
i understand the neighbors are not opposed to an enlargement of this home on its interior, but they are opposed to additions into the rear and side yard. the marina side yards are one of this neighborhood's beautiful and unique features. they provide view corridors and natural sunlight to neighboring properties. many of them are landscaped and raised for the entire neighborhood and passersby, tourists to enjoy. i don't understand the variance aspect of the proposal. i thought a variance was only supposed to be grant in truly exceptional circumstances to give the applicant something he really can't do without in order to live a normal life in his building. it cannot be a hardship to live in a four-story 3,000 plus square foot home in the
marina. it's not a hardship to not have a second laundry room added into your rear garden. it's not a hardship not to have a new deck when you already have a deck and a very large roof deck besides. if the city's residential design guidelines are intend today provide meaningful preservation of the neighborhood's unique characteristics, these side yards and backyards must be respected in the same way as [speaker not understood] and footprints are. i hope you will maintain our beautiful marina garden area. thank you. >> if those people -- you can come up to the podium. those people lined up blocking the door, you are creating a fire hazard so i need to ask you guys to line up on this side of the room, please. could you line up on this side of the room, please? closest to the monitors.
on the opposite side of the room, please. >> this is like the ice rink. >> thank you. my name is ford sibley, senior. you already spoke to my son, floyd, jr. and i'm opposed to the project. everything pretty much has been talked about. there is kind of a main issue here. this is one of largest -- the the project is one of largest houses in area already. already. and i can feel the pain they want to president hu an elevator in. but they already have the largest house. the elevator -- a commercial residence elevator only needs to be 12 square feet. that can easily take up a house that's already bigger than almost twice the the size of our house next door at 37 08. so, it was really -- i don't think -- i know they said we need an elevator that's why we want to go the side yard. they don't need to do that. they have plenty of room. it's the largest garage in the neighborhood.
it's the largest house in the neighborhood. it's huge. they don't need to be any bigger. also, just really quick, just show this here. on the original plans they show a house, the addition over here. to be three stories. it's only two stories. so, i can show you a picture of it. i'm a rookie doing this. this is how it really looks. it's only two stories high with a deck. that's our house. in their plans they show three stories. it's not three stories. i just want to clarify that part. the main thing was about the elevator. they have plenty of room inside that house. thank you very much. >> thank you. good afternoon. my name is [speaker not understood]. i am here to support the
rishwains in their denial of the variance that the parties at 3700 broderick would like to have. i am a realtor at pacific union international and we see beautiful houses all the time. we also see a lot of houses that somehow seem to be too big for a lot and some that seem like they are the poor little sister next door. and in this case the rishwains have a beautiful home. it has beautiful charming mediterranean aspects to it, as does the home that's on the corner with different type of characteristics. i am only here to say that in addition to everything that has already been brought up, but if you walk into the house that
the rishwains own, you will immediately -- and i'm just saying this from the perspective of every single seller and buyer who i have ever represented and i have been in the business for over 15 years, that the light and air is the most important thing. i have never heard one person say that they wanted to move to a dark house. so, what your immediate process is going into this house is to be drawn to the west part of this house, which is on the lightwell -- excuse me, it's a lightwell, it's the light source that there is in this house. if that is taken away with the exposure that this has -- that they have, which is north and south, they will have almost complete darkness, which seems like a hardship for most people to endure. and i think that the larger house next door at 3700 is a
beautiful home. i've admired that house for as long as i've lived in the marina. i think those people enjoy lovely space and probably have the room to expand within, without encroaching on the light and air space that the rishwains have. in closing i am here again just to support all the efforts and all the people who are here to do the same. thank you very much for your time. hi, my name is elaine gabriel. i've been a resident in the marina for 25 years. and i'm here to support jerry and pam. everyone keeps describing the side yard that faces jefferson street as a rear yard and the side yard that faces broderick street as the rear yard. but i'd like to suggest that maybe it should be the other way around. on a corner lot, the planning department determine where the rear yard is.