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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  July 4, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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permit holder, and if the owner would like to come forward, it's his option, too. >> we actually have been hearing things that have never been presented in a brief. >> so counselor, can i ask the question first? >> sure zm. >> so the question is there's been receipts where it's brought before the operator, so the customer was in the business while the vehicle was being towed. and the other question as one of the public mentioned, the authorization for that lot on valencia street, it was never sent to her, it was sent to her regarding the bayshore lot. >> so i think one of those people presented a taqueria receipt -- >> counselor -- please listen to me. >> sure, i heard your question. >> i'm asking regarding the
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people that produced the burger king receipt. they indicate -- they said that the receipt said 10:23, or the receipt said 10:32, and your own information from your tow yard said it was 10:23. how is that possible? >> so ultimately what my client was a contract with a burger king manager who has east bay and san francisco locations as well as along the peninsula, so there's several. the manager of all those restaurantsedn't work inside -- restaurant doesn't work inside burger king, so it's the manager that calls of all of these restaurants. my client indicates he gets a call from this manager for all of these burger kings that they work at. however when the car is food, they can walk in and order food and act as if they were there. in some cases, there are going to be inconsistencies, but the fact of the matter is there's really no proof unless we get
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video from burger king showing they're actually there in the restaurant eating or they went to other businesses in the vicinity. >> okay. and the second question is is there an hour rule that someone -- you can't tow a car before an hour? >> so the hour rule exists, and it's on the poster, but it does say unless you're not using this restaurant, then, we can immediately tow, so it's a two-fer, one hour or use the burger king, and if they go to the taqueria, the manager will say they didn't even use the burger king. >> okay. >> further questions, commissioners? if not, comments. no?
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anyone want to start? >> i'll start. so as i mentioned in the last hearing # being towed -- hearing, being towed, whether your vehicle is broken-down or whether you're parking illegally in someone's private lot, it's a very stressful time. being a long time resident of the city, i have several close friends that are tow operators, and they don't have any issues. looking at the briefs -- and they were quite colorful in the fact that people took their time off to explain these, and they weren't really answered off by the tow company. you know, you're -- this business is really taking advantage of people that are in a tough and tight spot. and to me, that -- that's unacceptable. i mean, that really is unacceptable that you're going to prey on the citizens of this city, and we've heard multiple
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testimony that give me 125 cash, i'll drop your truck, and then, all of a sudden, it's 500 bucks or i'll move across the street and i'll release it. i mean, this is -- the people that came before us, although they predate the hearing, this all happens in the last -- since we had the hearing. i mean, to me, that's crazy. i mean, i have a family, i have a wife and children. they drive. i can't imagine if i would have someone from this company, you know, jerk my family around. i -- i think that, you know, i see all you guys in the back, and i'm sorry. this is unacceptable practice as far as i see. i mean, look at the people that are here that spent -- they had to deal with this night in and night out. so in my mind, everything in here, he has violated it. i don't believe that he should have a -- a valid tow license
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here in san francisco. >> i'm in agreement in general, but i would state it slightly differently. the information that was presented in the -- in the police department's brief was countered anecdotally came from the office manager as a declaration and did not have the level of information to refute the information that was in the police brief. so i'm not supportive of the appeal. >> nor am i. >> is there a motion? >> i'll let you make it. >> did you make the last one?
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>> deny the appeal on the basis that the department did not err. >> on the basis that the revocation was proper. >> correct. >> it may help -- it may be advisable in this situation for the board to determine the police department's decision based on the evidence that was presented at the time of that hearing was sufficient to justify the revocation. >> i agree. >> so the information that was presented prior in regards to what was -- what was stated and what the brief was based on was sufficient. >> so the motion i think that commissioner honda would like to make is a motion to deny the appeal and uphold the revocation of the permit. there's two mer mits that issue here -- permits that issue here, based on the evidence that was presented at the police department's hearing at the revocation hearing. >> i like the way you make my -- i did such a good job with that, didn't i? >> okay. so we have commissioner honda's motion to deny the appeal and
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uphold the revocation of the permit on the basis that the revocation was proper based on the evidence presented at the revocation hearing before the san francisco police department. so on that motion -- [roll call] >> okay. so that appeal is denied, and the revocation is upheld. thank you. okay. we are now moving onto item number 8, this is appeal number 18-058, connie mar versus san francisco public works bureau of urban forestry.
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the -- [inaudible] >> -- which was denying the request to remove two significant trees with replacement on private property, order number 187562, and we will hear from the appellant first. you have seven minutes. >> thank you. thank you. i was told that i could do a powerpoint presentation. i'm sorry. i'm new to this. i'm not sure how i can do that, but i do have -- >> you can use the powerpoint. we have -- >> okay. >> i don't have a stick with me. i have it on mine, so i apologize. >> unless you want to show it under the overhead. >> i can do that, as well, and i can also give you hard copies, as well, since i produced those. >> go ahead. pass it down.
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>> so -- >> we'll share. >> is there enough copies? >> oh, okay. an introduction. my name is connie mar. i own and have lived at 2 garfield street at merced heights for the past 20-plus years, and my purpose today here is to request the board of appeals -- [inaudible] >> -- monterey pine trees on my property. i think the biggest question is why remove the trees? i feel that they constitute an unacceptable risk to my property, occupants of my home and to the general public. the limbs have a high chance of failure, and the consequences of such failure can be
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catastrophic. just a little background. i want you to really know that i have an abiding respect for nature. i appreciate the contributions of the trees to the health and the aesthetic nature of the environment, and one of the reasons i purchased this property actually was the trees. there were five trees on this property originally. they were planted by the previous owner around the edge of the property. i don't know if you can see the picture of the -- i think i have a picture in here someplace -- yes, sorry -- of the property. the two remaining trees are on the west side. it is a single-story ranch home. there were two other trees at the end of the lot here where this pole is on the corner of the lot, and then, there was a fifth tree on the corner at the
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back of the lot that was adjacent to my neighbor's property. and i purchased the home because of a number of reasons. one of the nice things about it i thought, it would be nice to live in a free-standing home that had trees around it. i thought it was going to be like being in the woods. well, unfortunately, living with pine trees, five monterey pine trees around your home is not the same. just on the nuisance factor, i have a sewer pipe that regularly clogs up because one of the pine trees on the east side. it requires regular rooter service. i'm going to have to replace that. obviously, there's pine needle, pine cone, pine tar droppings around. my neighbor that had -- that is
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next to me complained regularly about the years, about the cracked driveway that she had because of one of the pine trees, of the pine tar dribbling into her yard and into the gutters, so shortly after i moved in, in order to maintain good relations, i removed the tree. in 2013, a storm caused damage on one of the pines. it's one of the pines that you don't see there anymore. the limb fell on the power line. the service was lost to several blocks adjacent to the home south of where i am on 2 garfield street. that was a major event. remember required assistance from fire -- repair required assistance from fire, police. they had to reroute muni. it took about 18 hours of pg&e service and an electrical repair crew to restore power. i applied for and received a
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permit to remove those pine trees in 2014. in 2014, also, roots from one of those pine trees that remains, i called it pine number four, caused a water main leak. the water infiltrated the foundation into the tenant's part of my home. i have tenants who live in the bottom part of the house, and during repair large parts from sawed off and removed. so i'm just going to show you the -- this is the area of the sewer main that was leaking. they put a sandbag on top of it to stop the leak. these are major roots that were around the lateral -- i mean, not the lateral, but the water main. there's some ancillary roots, as well. you can see after the removal that they took out all those roots.
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those are for the pine trees that still remain. and in 2016, during a storm, a healthy limb, fell from the tree. it grazed the roof of my home,s ayou can -- as you can see here, and removed several feet the gutter. here's the sidewalk, here's the limb, and this is the street. at the previous night -- this is the day after, obviously. the previous night, i discovered there were people sitting in a parked car right here, and it disturbed me quite a bit to know they were this close from this possibly hitting their car. just a few more pictures of that limb. this should give you an idea of this kind of limb failure.
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so what -- when did i make the application for removal? i became increasingly anxious about the safety of the tree. i called in a professional to inspect the tree later that year. i asked him if they could safety trim the trees so they wouldn't be a risk. they recommended having a full assessment done by an independent arborist to do a comprehensive before and after trimming, health, and safety assessment. remaining trees, four and five. based on the report submitted as part of the brief. i'm sure you have gotten the brief, i applied for the permit to remove the trees on september of last year. basically, the trees pose a high risk to limb failure and above normal or average risk for several limb failure and for up rooting.
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the consequences in a failure scenario is catastrophic, and could result in severe personal injury or death. d.p.w.'s reasons for denial basically boil down to the trees are healthy. there's no reason to remove them. my opinion is the trees, even though they're still healthy, there's significant chance that they will fail, and i've put that in the brief. >> thank you. >> you'll have three minutes of rebuttal to state your thoughts. >> now we'll go to the department. >> did you see the department's briefs in terms of the legality of ownership of the trees? >> yes. >> so mr. buck, we're expecting something really special since you're sitting in
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scott's seat this evening. >> thank you. good evening. chris buck, bureau of urban forestry. i'm going to have a bunch of images on the overhead in a moment. >> have a seat, miss mar. >> so we'll go to overhead now, and you can just keep these zoomed out because there will be some that are horizontal and some that are vertical. the subject trees are two large monterey pine trees, and i do acknowledge that the property owner has done a good job of being a steward of these trees. i also agree that she's committed to keeping them and her intentions originally were to really live with these trees. we did approve a permit to remove two monterey pine trees about the same size in 2014. so we are out there approving trees. we approve a lot of trees for
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removal. one item of housekeeping, we do still need two trees to be planted. it's not the subject of tonight's hearing, but the spaces are close together. i do want to be realistic, and i think there is space for one tree at the site of the two former trees. here's a photo of the subject trees. there's actually two trees, the tree, the east tree, or the tree on the right is tree number one. that is a single trunk. the tree on the left is the west tree that is comprised of two trunks. the trees have good vigor, but we absolutely agree that tree structure is critically important. the wind that comes up the hill here that goes up several blocks from ocean ave. so the wind is really at a fever pitch
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in one afternoon. i went there one afternoon and got to experience the full brunt of this wind, see the canopies blowing hard. the next day, i went in the morning, when it was very still. we did want to, once the brief was filed, make sure that we saw these trees in both environments. the appellants arborist report had talked about the trees being topped before. i agree, i think the trees were topped by the wind. i don't think they were topped by a tree contractor years ago. the trees continue to take a lot of wind, and over the years, they've evolved with that wind. it did, as you saw, the tree closest to the house lost a really large limb. it's pretty hard to come up before you when someone has pretty kind of startling image like that, it makes my job that much more difficult.
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that said, you know, that was 2016, we've had a couple of winters. we haven't seen limb failures on the trees. trees drop limbs as a survival mode. it's difficult to predict when that's going to happen. i do believe that what remains in in the canopies is sustainable. i will admit there are challenges with these trees, especially where they are located in the site. i think the tenant would be interested in removing the trees. what was a little unusual was that the applicant applied to removed the trees if significant trees on private property. our inspectors didn't bring a measuring tape because the trees were behind the fence. the previous trees applied for removal were outside the fence.
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so what happened four years ago didn't necessarily inform whether these were in the right-of-way or not, so i don't feel that's necessarily showing incompetence on our part. i just think it's unusual to have a setting like that. where the fence is is technically in the right-of-way without a permit, but it also lines up with where the vels sidewalk is, and the neighbor has a fence -- developed sidewalk is, and the neighbor has a fence in the same area, too. it's just a note on why when i'm preparing my brief, we're suddenly realizing these are in the public right-of-way. the reason why that may be significant if the concern was not just public safety, but the concern was financial only, that would be one thing that we could at least address and remove from the property's concerns. i understand this is about public safety and it's not about nickel and diming the issue. but i did go to the site, take some measurements, photo,
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9 feet from the face of the curb shows that tree one is predominately in the public right-of-way. it's also on public property. the property owner allowed me access to the site, which i appreciate. she was very cooperative. want to try to work together. so tree one is mostly in the public right-of-way. tree two is almost wholly in the public right-of-way. regarding the rooting structure of the tree, they did experience root pruning during that water main break. no one contacted our department about concerns related to the roots that they cut. on the backside of the property, this shows that the site is relatively free of disturbance. there's no real signs of bark beetles or pitch cankers, so we can rule that out of the discussion. these trees are very susceptible to that, but we can
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rule that out. tree one, just wanted to show a few signs of pitch canker here, here, and here, very minimal. the appellant's report did note this is where the large limb failed in 2016, so that section does remain problematic, but it doesn't kpriez the entire -- comprise the entire canopy, so that section could be pruned out. here's another picture of tree two. other factors is that tree number two is also partially on the neighbor's property. as you can see, both trees are very close to the sidewalk. the upper canopy of the tree. tree number two also has a guy wire on it placed by pg&e, which is unacceptable, and here's a view of the current
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sidewalk. the current sidewalk conditions are fair. to very quickly summarize, i'm out of time, but trees of this size, we really do try to hold onto as long as possible, as long as we feel that they're sustainable. i recognize these two large trees are just 15 feet apart from each other. they're much larger than the building, and that can be very intimidating, especially have experienced large limb failure. i just wanted to provide a defense on why our department would try to hold onto these tr trees. they're so susceptible to pitch canker, when you see trees like that that are really healthy and vigorous. we're not going to have trees on this block in our lifetime, so i'm just trying to hold onto this, in this habitat. >> okay. thank you. >> so i'll follow up with my questions on re -- any questions on rebuttal. >> granted that you're the tree guy already, we know that,
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usually, when there is a codominant situation like that, the recommendation is usually removal. i can just remember recently, we had 75 howard, which the bigger of these trees looked fantastic, and i've seen for the last 30 years myself personally, but the department went for full on removal of eight or ten trees, and most of that was in response to the codominant, and i believe the strongest argument that the department has was the codominant limbs. so why in this case, since we're further down, is the department recommending saving of this? >> i understand. those trees at 75 howard are different species that are more susceptible to those. in this case, we have a tree
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that's been exposed to the wind from the day it's originated on-site, and that really helped. as the tree grows, it's going to form a root system and a trunk system that's going to essentially hold itself up. monterey pines have a pretty good track record with codominant stems. the two stems aren't really growing against each other here. they still do blow in the wind, and that's a factor, but we just don't see a lot of stem failures that have codominant in this species, so it's really a matter of it just being a completely different species. >> and the second question, mr. buck, in regard to the limb fall your, i went over -- failure, i went over the briefs, i don't remember the specific times, had she with within -- been talking about
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failure before that? >> the limb failure that occurred, the very compelling limb failure that damaged the front roof, that occurred in 2016. again, i want to commend the property owner. she didn't run out the next day and try to remove the tree, she hired a professional to address those concerns, and she clearly gave that some thought in her timeline presented earlier today. she spelled out that she waited a while, she hired a professional. so we received that report, and since that time, you know, we made our decision, but we did review that limb failure as part of the permit process at our public works hearing. >> okay. >> so i don't know if that answers your question. >> no, it does. >> it establishes a timeline that she has clearly sought to retain the trees as long as possible. >> and the last question, that
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cement looks like it's been repaired. it's a different color. it's a newer cement. do you have how many times that sidewalk has been altered? i believe that's on holloway. >> it's on garfield, it's parallel to holloway, but it's very similar. >> okay. >> and i bring that umm p in te images boit has been -- because it has been repaired. sometimes property owners come out, and they're just going to hack at it and hope that the tree declines. i don't have any sense that there's been any effort to try to impact these trees negatively at all. >> oh, no, you can tell that she's been vested. >> yeah. >> mr. buck, how old is this tree? >> my least favorite question. they're approximately 50 years old, and -- they could be a little older.
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>> and the life expectancy? >> you know, in it an urban environment, it's much different. even in golden gate park, these trees would go to 100, 120 years. these are so close to the sidewalk, these aren't going to approach that. we're not going to see that. >> just to clarify, when you indicated that most of one tree was in the public right-of-way and part of another was, what do you mean by that? >> so the significance of that is that as of july 1 of last year, 2017, public works now maintains all trees in the public right-of-way. what this would theoretically mean is that with these trees being located in the right-of-way. public works could assume responsibility for the trees. i've reviewed this with our superintendent this afternoon because i had discovered this in the brief as i was writing the brief last thursday. and so i wanted to put that out
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there, that if -- you know, if the concern was financial and not just public safety, public works would continue -- would maintain these trees. the trees are located behind the fence, so we typically wouldn't want to maintain the trees or prune them with them located behind the fence, and i just -- at this point, i had to bring it up, but i don't feel like it's all that germane unless the property owner felt like that would provide them relief, and they'd be comfortable living with the trees for another five, ten, 15, 20 years or so. >> but in your brief, you've mentioned three points to that. one is maintaining maintenance of the trees. second is repair of the sidewalk should there be any damage, and third was assume liability for the tree, right? >> correct. so the implication is that future round of sidewalk repairs would be the responsibility of public works.
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future round of tree pruning or maintenance would be the responsibility of public works, and then, just the general liability for maintenance of the trees would belong to public works. the one tree that is two thirds in the right-of-way could be open for some debate, if, again, if the property owner was looking at retaining the trees. the challenge -- the challenge -- >> would you maintain the two thirds? >> well, we -- among civil -- well, when we have trees in the public right-of-way, prior to july 1 of last year, we would sometimes have people -- even though we prevent it and fore bid it, people have planted trees on property lines when it's the only place to avoid utility conflicts. and when problems aevolved over time, which they will, we'd have to step back and say the trunk is significantly here on both frontages. we're going to accept back and
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try to let both property owners assume some mutual liability here, so along both those lines, that's what we're thinking. >> what about health or property damage during limb failure, are you also taking the responsibility for that? >> it would be a public works responsibility, and we're never saying, hey, it's okay property owner, we have a claims department, we're going to help you out. we don't want anyone to have damage to their property. one thing i didn't cover in my initial presentation is there's a lot of fog out there. when fog passes through the canopy of a tree, it condenses. not only does this property owner have fog, but it basically rains all summer. so the front porch is covered with barnacles and lichens and things. there are impacts to these
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trees on this site to this property owner. >> thank you. >> thank you. is there any public comment on this item? okay. we'll move onto rebuttal. we'll hear from the appellant. you have three minutes. >> in my brief because i didn't know in my situation that these are really in the public right-of-way, i assumed that i am ultimately responsible. and if i am ultimately responsible, i could not live with myself if i thought these could fall on somebody or someone's car. i understand there's a chance it could fall on myself or my house, but i think it's worse if somebody were to get injured by the tree. and then we just heard from mr. buck about how this is actually within the right-of-way and
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then is the city's responsibility. but does it matter who's responsibility it is, given the risk? you know, he said that you can't determine when or if a failure's going to occur. if you look at the report, it talks about not just the age of the trees and they're healthy, but the way they've grown, or they have this dog leg or crooked structure to them, and he has observed that this is the cause of more torsional effect on the tree limb, and they have more breakage because of it. i found an article on the internet, and a study they did in golden gate park, that said that monterey pines are more prone to limb failure, and this is due to branch structure and failure of the wood.
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monterey pines are beautiful, but they may have an inherent weakness to them. i think there's a greater risk of limb failure, and at the same time the chances of any failure is significant. it could be catastrophic. there's a bus stop on the corner. the 29 runs along that line. people use this street, and people are walking their dogs on this street. the kids on this, you know, are being pushed by think parents in strollers. i just think to do the responsible thing, there's really only one solution for these trees, and that's to instruct d.p.w. to fulfill its obligation under 801(d) as they good at 201 garfield street, and remove them. and that is they should also consider public safety being the steward of the trees and urban forestry. thank you. >> ma'am, the two replacement
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trees, are they on the adjacent parcel? >> the two trees i need to replace. >> are they on your parcel? >> they are on my parcel. they are on the public right-of-way. >> but you didn't know that before. >> i had applied for a permit to replace them, and i was going to replace them. i still am going to replace them. part of the problem with putting them back with where they are, is initially, they grew up and initially hit the power lines. the way pg&e trimmed them, they just trimmed around them leave the branchs overhanging, so there's always going to be a problem with the power lines unless the power lines go away. the forester that i talked to agreed i could put the tree behind the fence line, and i'm just trying to get my act together and get landscaping done on my property. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. mr. buck?
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>>. >> good evening. chris buck with the public works. couple of points, and then kind of maybe some recommendations for consideration. one quick thing, let me just show the overhead site again. so one thing, if -- if both trees are approved by the commission, one recommendation i would make is the current permit is for the removal of these two trees with replacement of the two. they're only 15 feet apart. we really only need one tree where there's two pine trees right now. i would recommend one tree in the yard behind the fence again. it could be a medium stature tree that's never going to get near the size of these current ones. it won't overwhelm the property and it won't encroach on the
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property across the street. we really only need one tree. so what i would recommend is that we have removal of these two trees with one tree in this location. we can work with the property owner to either have them reduce the open -- open area here or get a landscaping permit if the desire is to keep it open. so that's one point. i do want to be reasonable. the property owner inherited the trees. she's maintained them well. we don't need to cram a lot of trees really closely together there. i think there's room for one replacement tree in the right-of-way, in the sidewalk, on the front side of the fence, and where the subject trees are, we could have one replacement tree behind the fence between the two. there's a little bit of a level spot in that side yard that would make sense, and it wouldn't overwhelm the property. and one point of clarification is that typically, what happens
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when -- let's say these trees are in the public right-of-way. we get a call from a member of the public who says i think this tree has to go. we go out and evaluate the tree, and we say, you know, we're going to respectfully disagree. we think the tree is relatively healthy. what we recommend at that point, our process, would be the owner could initiate the recovery ro removal of that tree, but we would let them remove and replace the tree. it would not be covered by public works. and we're in that situation at this point. we know they're in the right-of-way, but we don't believe they need to be removed at this time. if the property owner wants to proceed with removal despite this recommendation, our recommendation is that if it's approved, the owner bear those costs for removal and replacement the based on the testimony, i understand that's not necessarily an issue
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necessarily for the property owner. it's a public safety, and that's a point we disagree on. but i just wanted to kind of make some clarifying points, and see if there's a way i could provide a road map moving forward. thank you. >> mr. buck, how did you determine where the property line was? >> so we have map viewer, key maps, great maps. we pulled this -- we have an on-line service. we measure -- so we can measure it electronically, but then, we have a measure under each parcel of property where we can get the key maps or the monument maps, and those are the ones that show the little handwritten, you know, seven, nine, 12, five, 15. it shows what the true width of the public right-of-way is. just like sunset, in the sunset we have a 6 foot wide developed paved sidewalk, but the
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property line does not go all the way up to the sidewalk. the reason being when you're developing a neighborhood, it costs a lot of money to pour concrete. so when neighborhoods are developed, you see people pour the minimum sidewalk that's required by planning, and then, the rest -- and there's this ambiguous, well, where's the property line? and the only way to check is to pull the property maps. the measurement is from the face of the curb, so when we measure that, we measure face of curb into the property. and on this one, i double-checked. i didn't just use the electronic, click here, click there, we pulled it up, and it says 9 feet in this particular case. i think because of the history in this site, when our inspector got to the site, there's two trees behind a fence, there's some assumption when you're putting a fence in
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the right-of-way like that, you're kind of taking those trees on, but that's how we check the width of the public right-of-way. we do that in every case the same exact way. >> so i'm confused. the trees are either on private property or in the public right-of-way, and it's -- if you're saying that they're in the public right-of-way, then where -- what happens to the rights of the property owner, vis-a-vis the trees? >> it's never changed. so public works has always had the response -- the jurisdiction over street trees in the public right-of-way. so tree in the public right-of-way is a street tree. >> right. >> a tree on private property that's of a certain size qualifies as a significant tree. so property owners always have a right to submit a removal application to remove a street tree that's adjacent to their property. the one thing -- and so that's
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what we've been doing for decades. two thirds of private properties in san francisco were responsible for maintaining for trees in the public right-of-way, and then, public works maintained one-third of those street trees. so the -- in this particular case, the rights still exist. we maintain the trees in the public right-of-way. we sometimes disagree whether a tree needs to be removed, and when we disagree, it often leads to someone applying to remove the trees on their own if they feel compelled to do so. >> okay. >> and then, the rights of the property owners that we absolutely -- we're public works, public, you know. public safety is a critical tenet of our, you know, strategical -- >> okay. so just to clarify, i heard you say earlier that you would be willing to authorize the removal of these two trees and replanting of one tree. >> correct. >> okay. so you -- >> and if the property owner pays for the removal. >> right, which i gather she was prepared to do any way.
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>> right. >> so you've essentially slipped your position. >> well, i -- not that i -- you know, when there's a large limb failure like that, it's kind of hard to take a hard line and say, you know, hey, live with this, right? private arborists have a two page disclaimer at the end of every report, right? don't hold me liable. city agencies don't have that. we're committed to public safety. we don't want anyone to get hurt, and i just think that -- i do think there's a good maintenance record here, and we wanted to put up a defense of our denial, but at the same time, you know, the trees are in a challenging location so close to the sidewalk. >> do you have further questions? >> no, i have a motion.
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>> anybody else? >> thank you, mr. buck. >> thank you. >> i have a question for the appellant. you heard the offer. is that acceptable? >> that is acceptable. >> do i have a motion, madam commissioner? >> there's more discussion, so i would move to grant the conformity inspection of approval to ae plareplace the trees with one tree, as discussed with the urban forester. >> you need to expand this. >> yes. >> that one tree to be planted within your private property. >> oh, on the other side of the fence. >> on the other side of the fence. >> would be, yeah, because actually it would be actually on the level part of the property. >> and we might as well add the other tree. >> yeah, the other tree. >> as she was -- she was really supposed to replace two trees
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with the previous trees. >> that's not before us. >> so -- but he's now willing to allow her to replace one, so it's a change of the condition. >> but it's not part of this permit. >> we should just take it up so it's clear. >> housekeeping. >> if it's all right with the city attorney. >> i think it would be permissible to say a 1:1 replacement the other one is connected to the other permit, but i guess it could be connected to this permit. >> okay. >> it makes life easier. >> fine. please continue. >> whatever you said. >> madam director. >> okay. i think it was a motion to grant the appeal skm to condition the granting of the a -- and to condition the granting of the appeal on the requirement that the appellant
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plant one tree within the fence line and one tree in the area that she was supposed to plant back in 2014, so we're looking at two new trees. so -- and so on the basis, are we saying that the public works order was improperly issued? >> well, on the basis that public safety prevails in terms of the removal of the tree. >> okay. so on the basis that public safety prevails in removing the trees. so on that motion by commissioner lazarus -- [roll call] >> okay. so >> welcome back to the june 20, 2018 meeting of the board of appeals.
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next item up, we have items 9(a) and 9(b). they will be heard together. we have the union square business hired.
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we hire 30 ambassador cleaners. they're out scrubbing, sweeping up. we have public safety ambassadors that deal with all sorts of issues as it relates to this issue that there's clear passage across the sidewalk, that you can walk-through those sidewalks, and that the sidewalks are clean. this is really important to us.
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we consider ourselves property managers for the area, working hand in hand with the city, the different departments: police department, public works, to do this work, certainly mta, and we feel like we're stewards about the area. we care about the area and we're watching over the area. so today, i'm here to appeal the permit that was recently issued by public works of the san francisco hometown creamery at 281 geary, which is right off of powell street. this is the block, again, up geary just facing union square park. i'm sure you're all familiar with it. really important block, very busy block. and to be clear, i'm certainly not against food trucks. we do have food trucks in and around union square. i'm not against ice cream. their ice cream is good. the gentlemen are lovely, and we've met with them several times, but my opposition is just to the location. this is not a good location. as i outlined in my appeal, it doesn't meet the intent of
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scott wiener's legislation in 2013. i know because i worked with scott wiener at the time to craft this legislation. i'll read the legislation here, parts of it. it was to provide and expand the range of interesting food consumption opportunities for mobile food facilities in under served, that's a keyword, and less congested areas of the city. those are key points. regarding the under serves area, union square is certainly not under served by restaurants. we have 38 restaurants and caves within a two block area of this permit, including a pinkberry frozen yogurt, and this argument was used by public works in two recent food truck permits to deny them. the spice affair wanted to go into 46 geary, and another food
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truck was denied recently at 99 post, where there was two restaurants in the area. secondly, we're hardly a congested area. we are a cosmopolitan area. we figure that there are about 146,000 visitors -- 147,000 visitors throughout the year moving in union square. if you break it down by sensor, we have about anywhere between 14,000 and 20,000 pedestrians moving through the sidewalks every day. of course, much busier at christmastime. the tree lighting that happens on this block, this is where chinese new year comes through. this is busy. i'm sure you've all been down this. this is extremely busy, and this is an issue because when a food truck pulls in, it'll
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create a line blocking the sidewalk, and the legislation says there should not be conflicts between pedestrians and the line. the legislation also says there ought to be 10 feet for the sidewalk, 4 feet for the line and 6 feet for pedestrians. if you look at this, i'm not sure the junior officer that approved this visited the site because this just doesn't work. there's two giant flower pots there which move into that 15-foot sidewalk leaving less than ten. so -- and maybe that works in an outer area in the city, but not in union square. it's busy. it's really hard to move through the area. you can see that just across the street with the tour buses double parking and where the hawkers are trying to sell you tickets. you can't move through the sidewalk. it's irritating at best, and it doesn't feel safe sometimes. you cannot walk down the sidewalk. so this is -- this is concerning. and again, to quote the legislation, it's the city must
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exercise care and consider public safety in addressing appropriate locations for mobile food facilities in order to minimize these conflicts between pedestrian movement and customers. i know this area well. we work right on the corner there, and i walk by there four or five times a week during the weekdays. as i mentioned earlier, we do have some food trucks in you know square, and we work with -- union square, and we work with different organizations that are appropriate. we work with off the grid, for example, on our winter walk. maybe some of you have been down at christmastime where we're there. we also are about to work with off the grid again on maiden lane. it's a much quieter street to start with, so we don't have those conflicts. our merchants are concerned on maiden lane, and that's why we're doing a pilot program. again, when you work with these organizations and you can test it out, you work with them for
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a period of time. when you get a food truck, it takes seven years, and this is your location. this is prime real estate in union square. so finally, our other concerns also are around the truck itself. i mean, the truck is charming. if you've seen it, it's a v.w. wagon. i doubt whether the department of public health is going to approve this truck. there's ten different requirements that you need to have, a hand washing station and the other sink and all these other things. i don't think it'll be approved. we got charmed by once before. there was a creme brulee cart, and it wasn't that, it was a kettle corn, kitchen equipment thrown on the sidewalk right on the corner of market street. it's ugly and tachy, and it's -- tacky, and it's not
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what we were sold. and i'm happy to answer any questions. thank you. >> thank you. we will now hear from mr. roth, the other appellant. >> my name is stanley roth. i've been in this business 44 years. in 1974, this board actually overruled the police department and gave me a peddler permit, which was actually the first peddler permit in the city. i am the owner of the stanley steamer hot dog cart. i have to agree with karen, this is the wrong location for a food truck. and my job tonight is going to be to try and go into the --
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the legislation. i think the most important line in this is line 23, where it says consequently, the location restrictions included in this legislation are intended to -- i'm sorry, the locational restrictions are intended to address these public concerns, and those are the concerns about -- and so the locations that are put together, these restrictions are the foundation of the ordinance, and there's three mandatory location requirements that are violated in this approval, and that's what i'd like to review. so if you'll bear with me, they are -- the location is -- violates the 6 feet from sidewalk furniture rule. it doesn't provide the clear path of 6 feet of walkway and 4 feet for customers, and it's also within 75 feet of my operation, and that's a prohibition. so here is the definition of an
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m.f.f., a mobile food facility. and the first one is mobile caterer, so a mobilized vehicle. so when they say a mobile caterer, that's a food truck. down below is push truck. that's any wagon or cart, but in the middle, a mobile cart, and a push cart or mobile caterer are both referred to as a mobile food facility unless specifically stated otherwise, and that's important because here is the ordinance. the ordinance says all m.f.f.'s, all mobile food facilities must maintain a minimum clearance of 6 feet from existing street furniture, including, but not limited to, parking meters, pay phones, pedestrian sfmta crossings, news racks, kiosks. so must, as the commission knows, is a word of mandate. it's not optional. so this is what that location
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looks like with the street furniture, and you can see that it is -- every yellow zone has something in it. there's no way that a food truck can be 6 feet from that. and i pointed that out in my brief, and the answer we got from the department of public works was this, which says public works considers this code section to only apply to push carts, and that's not what the code says, and i don't know how they can do that for a lot of reasons. one is because the code mandates it applies to both, and secondly, it -- i'm sorry. let me -- time pressure. it -- it's unfair. there's two permits in the city. there's food trucks, and there's carts, and subtly, by this, i would own a lesser of two permits. and also, it doesn't seem that
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anybody knows this because on the department's website, it still says all mobile food facilities must maintain minimum clearances of 6 feet from street furniture. so the effect of that would be that if anybody was thinking of looking for a location, they would be discouraged from going toward a yellow zone that had street furniture because the website and the code both say you have to be 6 feet from it unless -- but now, this truck is right there. and by the way, that truck can be anywhere in those four yellow zones because the code allo allows them to have two yellow zone parking spaces, and the d.p.w. allows them to move one space forward or one space back, so all four of those zones are available. and it's important about street furniture because what street furniture does, and that's that clear path of pedestrian travel, street furniture narrows the sidewalk. so this is where the d.p.w. says this is a 15-foot