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tv   [untitled]    February 1, 2015 9:30am-10:01am PST

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deputy city attorney. marla burns. the board could take different actions. it could merely send the item back to planning for further analysis and discussion without directing specifically what kind of documents the planning department should prepare. it should layout the kinds of questions the board would like to address and leave it to the department to whether those would be addressed in a negative declaration or whether they need an environmental impact report or the board could be more directive and say we don't understand this and there is a fair argument that this project does require an eir. if the board would take that, i would advise the board to give some planning on the direction there on where the lack of substantial evidence is. >> so by voting against the
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negative declaration we are not voting against the project, we could be simply saying we want an environmental review. too project could not go forward without a ceqa document. until there is this negative declaration upheld and affirmed by this form or some environmental report completed. without that, no project can move forward on this site. >> same as the indemnitial review departmental review who have to be conducted. >> yes. any planning review would be avoided by the board of supervisors over turning this internal document. they would have to start over with the process. they would have to go back and do whatever of the environmental review is required and go back and get
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the earlier approvals already received and another appeal would have to be filed if it needs to come back on this board for another appeal. >> could the department come for approvals after the environmental review. in other words if there is a subsequent environmental review the project could still be approved. >> assuming whatever project is proposed has the environmental review finalized for it. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you, supervisor avalos? >>supervisor john avalos: thank you. this was kind of deja vu when on the other side in 2009. but, i do have to state that my father was a long shore worker and every july 5th, we would go in san pedro, go to peck park and celebrate bloody thursday. it has some significance in that way. i remember that was
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significant for me looking at the building back in 2009 and for me it was ascribed as not a very interesting historical resource. there was talk about just a shell of a building and i recall my father's long shore hall in wilmington california, a very big shell of a building. i'm trying to remember what was happening in the embarcadero side when the last appeal came before us. what was the design for that building just trying to compare you know today's design that we have before us to that? >> that was an entirely new 10 story building. so it was a contemporary design on both sides. >> they used a shell of the building but it would be built
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above the current height. >> no. it was demolition of the entire building and construction of a new building and much at taller. >> i'm trying to figure out this process for this current design. was there an approach to planning with a particular design and based on this being a historical resource there was encouragement to preserve the historic side and then allowance to dramatically change the embarcadero side or that was the planning that came before planning from the get-go? >> tam from the planning department. we responded to the plan that was given. >> wondering other examples in san francisco where the building is historic resource, the entire building is an historic resource is bifurcated like this. i think
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the example that campos gave as in city hall with a historic resource. what are the examples of buildings where planning has made the determination. bifurcating one side of the building over the other, a building that is an historic resource. is this an exception to what typically happens in the planning commission department? >> no, it's not an exception. very often a project that involved modification to a building that is an historic resource would remove some of the historic features of the building, and you know remove them or alter them. and also typically involves restoration of the remaining portion of the historic building. one of them that is coming to mind that's been constructed is 178 townsend street. it was a
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power plant, the electric and power company. the shell remains, some of the features were removed and there's a good sign addition of a contemporary design added to the building and resulted to not impact the resource. >> there was no appeal on that but they were trying to get a mills act determination for that building if ire recall correctly and that it was an historic resource and the tags to keep up for the historic resource but what they really wanted to use it for a high level and keeping the shell building in place. in that case there was the core of the building on townsend was built
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it was a building in height in function. but the building in its entirety remained. is that correct? to differentiate that building from the current where we are at on stuart and embarcadero. >> yes, as i recall. it was years ago now. i didn't go on this particular project but there were smoke stacks on the building. >> smoke stacks are not in vogue these days, is that correct. >> i don't think it would help with the luxury of the condo sales. >> it seems like it's a very uncommon thing is what i'm hearing. if you can only give one example it's not
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something that happens very frequently and to me it doesn't seem like something that is the norm for how we approve modifications in historic buildings that are historic resources in its entirety. >> part of the reason that we are having a little bit of struggle is this building is unusual in being significant. when you have a building significant for it's architecture, it's something that is clearer to parse out to modify the building and maintain it's historic character. it happens with for example many of the single family homes and the models that we see. in this case,
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the planning department needing to tie the changes to the building to the events as they took place and make the connection between a physical structure and historical event which is why the issue of the interpretive display is so important here. in terms of conveying actual history and meaning to display the meaning there. >> i think this building had an historic significance as well. this is not part of the historic district? >> that's correct. >> supervisor campos? >>supervisor david campos: thank you. i wanted to follow-up on that because this is historic because of an event that that's unusual and that's why it's different .
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but let's talk about the event because my understanding is that the slay men they lie in state in the entire building and i think the canisters of gas went through i think both sides of the building, it wasn't just historic street side. is that incorrect going back to the event. do you know if for instance looking at the canisters were they thrown on one side of the building and not the other. >> the planning department. i would have to go back to the file and read through the information to give you that answer. >> the appellants are saying the canisters are thrown on both sides. so, if it's tied to an event, doesn't seem like you can really distinguish for purposes of the event one
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side or the other. do you have evidence to the contrary? >> we are simply saying there is more information about the building and the cessation on the stuart street side. we are not saying the entire building on embarcadero didn't also play a part in the building significance. we are saying that the stuart treat side is the facade most closely associated. >> for purposes of looking at the event for what was said earlier is the event makes it other unique. for purposes of the event is there a distinction between one side of the building or the other? >> not from our standpoint. both facades have their defining features and they are outlined very clearly about what they are. >> i think that's the crux of what i have a problem with that in a way you are saying two different things. so, it
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doesn't make sense to me. thank you. >> thank you, and with that we are going to hear from the project sponsor at this time. you will have up to 10 minutes to present. >> hi. the project sponsor has a couple of slides. >> i'm gloria duffy president of the common wealth club. the club was founded in 1903 by reference to the common good. the club's purpose to bring people from a different perspective for common goals. today it has 150,000 members and hundreds of volunteers still seeking the solution for the common good. when the club decided to establish it's first permanent headquarters
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we sought the best design for the benefit. the design achieves three goals. 1, commemorating preservation and history for the building. two, using the only available at this sight for a viable building with a glass facade allowing the windows to be cooled without outside air. three, bringing vitality for over 600 civic forums every year. our attorney will describe how this design fulfills the obligation of the california environmental quality act. >> good afternoon, president breed, members of the board. the only issue before you today is whether the m and d
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adequately disclosed and project limitations based on ceqa standards. i already heard the commission deny the appeal of course we are going to ask you to deny the md and hold it and with coninclusion and there is no fair argument towards mitigated impact in terms of the project. with that said, i want to turn to your discussion of the planning department which is the crux of this issue. i do want to start with the idea with what ms. jones said and miss tam as well. the events criteria is unusual. what also is unusual with regard to this project is we have a through lot. there is not a lot of through lots in san francisco. when planning refers to the idea that we treat the front facade different from the back facade, typically in a historical preservation project, what the public
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see's is a front facade. here we have embarcadero and the street facade. that's what was in the evaluation and planning's follow up with the resource evaluation response. i think that's something to keepen mind. i want to also go to the direction of and what are the facts that distinguish the stuart's street facade. those are clearly explained on page 59, the entire low down of what was happening uniquely. we listed that on our letters to you on page 4 and 5. there was a wall between two buildings. there there was the ila union hall. the ila organized out of that facility. again, uniquely
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localized connected to the building not as a result of architecture or person, but as a result of events that took place in 1984. there is no whitewash to pretend the events didn't happen in embarcadero. the issues of ceqa, if the events caused the building to be historic and those events happened all around embarcadero. wouldn't those similar buildings be historic. i think that defeats the historian guidelines for the ceqa and historic determination. you have to show there are facts supporting that. here, the department concluded based again and not just on their own evaluation but on the independent evaluation who also did the evaluation in 2009 and found the building was a historic resource based on the events. the difference between 2009 and today and
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why nobody thought about the embarcadero facade is the building was going to be demolished. that puts the entire category in another consideration. but today it formed the bases for historic preservation, that is being preserved when thinking in the more common situation if the basic historic preservation with contact with associations. i'm hoping that again, if you look at the facts and i can read them but they are in our letter and they are in the historic resource evaluation. but clearly indicate that the most intensive activity or events that took place as part of the 1934 strikes leading up through the murders of the two dock workers and the proceedings that went from stuart street down market street down san francisco,
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those happened on the stuart street facade. those unique events didn't happen on embarcadero. they were very much localized on stuart street because the ila hall was there and there was in and out organizing for the strike and taking care of the wounded when they were injured and memorializing those. that's why this is different. again, while this maybe an uncommon set of facts. ceqa not always being intuitive, but ceqa knows about factual evidence. there are facts in the record and independently evaluated facts that say what happened on stuart street based on evidence, there is 23-foot notes that cite to documents research elements and cultural that made clear going back in time that we can document for
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purposes of the evaluation and the preservation of the stuart street facade that this facade was differentiated from embarcadero facade first and foremost by the stuart street facade. i want to make it clear that the record does state this facade. i want to move to the connection from the preservation of the building for historical significance of the building and architect garren who submitted last week and supported. let me deal with architect gairhan. nobody has heard of him and they can't provide proof that he was the architect for this building. if he was the architect in the bay area and contributed to the architecture style that the
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appellants claim, they would have found that. that would have been found when the project was looked at. going to bridges again no effort to try to separate hairy bridges from what he did for purposes of this labor triek and for labor rights after that. the strike led to changes in national and local law including the right to collective barking, union hiring halls and the national relations board. those are great contributions. but because ceqa isn't always intuitive, not common sense, but more finding connections. while mr. bridges may have been revolved at the ila union hall during the strikes and afterwards. he is not associated with the buildings. the ceqa guidelines that has
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the building be historic based on this, clearly says there is an association between this building and the person. that states that a person that lived and worked in the building for a long time. there is no evidence that mr. bridges was in there all the time and the more issue that the strike events were the historically remarkable issue that really determines this building historic resource designation. it is as we noted on papers and you have in the document we submitted, mr. bridges, the artifact building has a commemorative plaque that says harry was in this office building. he wasn't even in. it doesn't matter. that's where he was. we don't believe this building should be an historic resource just because mr. harry has a relationship with it. we think based on the fact in the record, based on substantial
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evidence, not argument not speculation, not guesswork. the bases for this building to be historic resource in the events which were localized for you that are lawyers connect to the strike events of the july 1934 leading up to bloody thursday. we urge you to up hold the md. >>supervisor london breed: thank you very much. we now hold this item to public comment to those excuse me. before we do that, i would like to recognize supervisor kim. >> thank you, i would like to ask the project sponsor to come back to the podium. i have a question. first i was wondering if you can state on the record if ilb stated a
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position on this project? >> yes and i believe there are several representative who will be speaking to that. >> would you like to answer the question? >> yes. they will state it themselves. yes i believe so. there are a number of i lu official leaders that are in support of this project. >> thank you. the second question is, actually is back to the issue of the urban forest ordinance if you can respond to that. i know that planning has stated that you are complying with this and it's normality -- not an issue with ceqa and how it . >> sure. we have four trees within about 40 feet, on the 10 feet apart. they are over grown. the basement is half grade. half of the sidewalk
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is basement and cut in half. much of the trunks are dying and we have photo documentation of that in the project sponsor packet. the plan is to replace them for requirements which recommends more than a 10-foot spacing so we'll probably replace the four trees with three trees and subgrade trenching with new water and gas and electrical and that has clearance and that's probably why the three trees is all we can fit. >> with the replacement of the three trees can you do a fee out ? >> there is a penl -- penalty we would pay for losing the fourth tree. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, supervisor campos? >>supervisor david campos: thank you very much. i want to ask if she would come back. i want to follow up on this
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issue of the connection to harry bridges. what the appellant says is that he worked at this building. is that true or not? >> sorry. i'm just grabbing my book. >> did he work at the building? >> we can both comment on this. the i lw historian is here and may also have comments on this. he was the leader at the i la at the time and a member of the strike committee that worked out of that building. >> again, i'm not looking for a presentation, simply looking for an answer to the question. wasd he work at the building. >> he was a leader of the strike committee and did have a building although he had an office next door. >> that's in the record, there is both a footnote and hre,
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again for the time period -- >> i understand that but do you believe he worked in the building or not? >> i have no knowledge other than what was in the hre. that's the best answer. >> you agree that the union he headed was housed in that building? >> the ila and it became the i lu. >> let me ask you a question, from your perspective what kind of connection does mr. bridges need to have had with the building for your ability to reach a conclusion as to his tie to the building creating historic goal significance here. >> typically as i understand the criteria under the ceqa guidelines for association with the building it means for example the founder of wells fargo lived in a house on
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broadway street for 5 years. i'm using that there is evidence both with longer term activity and somebody was there on a more continuous basis. >> so residence in the building required? >> it's present. i think if i might supervisors to go back the idea of historic resource is not the rule. >> i understand that. for you continuous presence, what's that to you from your perspective. >> again, first of all we need to make sure there is evidence in the record and what appellants have said is not based on evidence. there is no pointing to documents to reference that mr. bridges was there everyday for 40 years. for example. >> from your perspective he needed to have been there everyday for 40 years? >> not 40 years. >> i'm trying to understand. >> i understand. starting with
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substantial evidence. i haven't seen any facts that the appellants have put in the record that mr. heir -- harris was there. that's the substantial of the records. if we are going to try to utilize the bases under ceqa historic records. the best i can give you is what was submitted as part of this appeal. >>supervisor london breed: okay. thank you. at this time we will open up to public comment. each commenter will have up to 2 minutes to those who support the project sponsor only >> public speaker: good afternoon. i'm a supporter of
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preservation. there is nothing more that makes a difference to a city than to historical buildings. it's very tough to be able to get things done through city planning as far as preservation is concerned. it's not easy to do unless you have the evidence to support it. the common wealth is a great asset to all nabts -- neighborhoods in the city. two residents are alike. leaving vacant buildings like this affects the businesses. by this community. also as a fellow australian i'm proud
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of what harry bridges has done. it provides a venue for free speech. i urge you not to support the appeal. thank you. breed supervisor london breed: thank you. next speaker. >> >> public speaker: >> good afternoon. i would like to read from the kevin star, san francisco librarian. wrote. by restoring to the 1934 appearance of the facade. and to place a plaque there to commemorate the 1934 events and will bring the events to far greater focus and make the building much more publically accessible. for over 11 decades no institution is better equipped


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