tv Government Access Programming SFGTV September 22, 2019 12:00am-1:01am PDT
i would like to remind members of the public that the commission does not tolerate disruption or outbursts of any kind. please silence your mobile devices. when speaking before the commission, if you care to, state your name for the record. i would like to take roll at this time. [roll call [ we expect commissioner johnson to be absent today and as of yesterday, commissioner hillis has officially resigned from the planning commission. commissioners, first on the agenda, item 1, 2018, noe street. at the time of issuance, the matter was proposed for
continuance to october 24. it is now proposed for continuance to october 10, 2019. no other items for continuance and no speaker cards. >> >> president melgar: do any member of the public wish to speak on the matter of continuance? >> jonas: i apologize, commissioners. items 14a and b, for case number 2016-001794, 95 hawthorne street, shadow findings, we received a request to continue this matter to october 10th, 2019. and under your discretionary review, 19a and b for case numbers 002545env-90 at 2417 green street -- >> president melgar: sorry to interrupt you. commissioner richards needs to recuse himself from one of the items proposed for continuance,
so i believe we have to vote on that first. >> jonas: we do, but if i could just read them into the record. you could let us know which one you need to recuse yourself from. again, items 19a and b for case number 2417 green street. an appeal of the preliminary negative declaration and discretionary review. we received a request from the supervisor's office to continue this matter to november 14, 2019. now i have no other items proposed for continuance and no speaker cards make a motion to recuse commissioner richards. >> jonas: from which matter? 258 noe street. it's a procedural matter, i don't think you need to leave. there are two other items
proposed for continuance, you should vote on. so on the recusal of commissioner richards, from 258 noe street, commissioner fung? richards? koppel? president? so moved. commissioners, that motion passes 5-0. commissioners, the project sponsor for 21st street is also requesting a continuance. >> president melgar: i think we're going to hear 21st street when it's -- we may choose to continue it when we hear it. >> jonas: very good. so on the three matters proposed for continuance. >> president melgar: does any member of the public have any public comment just on the continuance?
>> thank you, commissioners, here on behalf of john, the project sponsor of 95 hawthorne. it is 2019, but a lot can happen in three hours. we're way aware of the continua request. i ask that the commission give us the time around 4:00, or 5:00 and we can revisit the issue then? thank you. >> i did not quite understand the question. my apologies. here requesting that the continuance staff recommends for the 26th be considered for the 10th of october. the necessary -- >> being read into the record continued to the 10th. >> thank you very much. that was my comment. thank you. >> president melgar: any other public comment on the
continuance? with that, public comment is closed. >> commissioner koppel: i guess we'll take the noe street first because of the recusal motion to continue item 1 to october 10. >> second. >> president melgar: commissioner fung? >> noe is being proposed by staff and the other two from the supervisor office. on the motion then to continue 258 noe, commissioner fung? commissioner moore? commissioner koppel? and president melgar? so moved, that motion passes 4-0.
items 14a and b and item 19a and b. >> commissioner moore: look to continue items 14a and b and 19a and b to the days noted. >> president melgar: commissioner koppel, second? >> commissioner koppel: i actually wanted to see if something could materialize for the 14th. i wasn't going to second. i was literally see if we could honor mr. kelvin's request. >> president melgar: why don't we vote on green street first and then we can take on -- okay, who made the -- you made the motion. can you amend the motion? >> yes, move to continue 19-a and b to november 14. >> second. >> jonas: on that motion to continue items 19a and b to november 14, commissioner fung?
commissioner moore? commissioner richards? commissioner koppel? and president melgar. so moved. that motion passes unanimously 5-0. is there a motion for items 14a and b? >> president melgar: i will let -- this was at the call of the chair that i defer to the supervisor, you know, whenever a supervisor asks for something in their district, you know, i take them at their word they're working it out. so there has got to be like a really great reason for me not to defer to the supervisor. >> i appreciate you giving me 10 seconds. the supervisor had requested a continuance. we were working out final negotiations with the construction trade. you should have received an e-mail this morning from the supervisors -- >> president melgar: i didn't. >> it was attempted to be e-mailed to you, it didn't make
it there, so supervisor haney's office has withdrawn the request for the continuance. we're actively working with him at this moment. it's not from the supervisor. secretary, i can forward you that e-mail. it's been forwarded to me. thank you for the -- >> president melgar: i'm sorry, can you please come up. >> good afternoon, president melgar. supervisor haney's office. i did e-mail yourself -- you last night. i apologize if you didn't get it. i cc'd courtney and patrick to let you know we were withdrawing because of the building trades and they're negotiating. there might be developments going on with the different continuance request. the request we received yesterday was with the building trades and labor. it appears there is something else we're not involved with
that they're trying to work out. >> president melgar: i appreciate you clearing it up. i have a text from your boss asking for a continuance just a few minutes ago. it's okay, we'll hear it. >> yeah, a lot of moving parts. >> president melgar: thank you. so we don't vote on the continuance, right? >> it's been called up as a matter of continuance, if any commissioner would like to make a motion to continue, if not, it will remain on the agenda. >> commissioner richards: why don't we hear it out of order to give them time in the hallway to negotiate. >> president melgar: okay. let's do that. >> very good. items 14a and b will remain on your agenda. i don't think we've had that much confusion on a continuance calendar yet. that places us on the consent calendar, all matters listed
constitute a consent calendar, considered to be routine by the planning commission and may be acted upon by a single roll call. there will be no separate discussion of the items. in which event the matter shall be removed from the consent calendar and considered as a separate item. item 2, case number, 31-37 camp street. item 3, case number 2017-0133, 2015 diamond street. i have no other items under consent calendar and no speaker cards. >> president melgar: does anybody have any public comment on the items on the consent calendar? or want to pull anything off consent? >> commissioner koppel: motion to approve items 2 and 3. >> second.
>> jonas: thank you on the motion to approve items 2 and 3 under the consent calendar, commissioner fung? [roll call] >> so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously 5-0. placing under item 4, consideration of adoption of draft minutes for september 5, 2019. there was one misspelling that has been corrected. >> president melgar: any members of the public wish to comment on the draft minutes? okay, public comment is closed. commissioner moore? on that motion then to approve the minutes for september 5, 2019 -- [roll call] -- so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously, 5-0. item 5, commission comments and questions. >> president melgar: so i will
just take a minute to thank commissioner -- former commissioner rich hillis for his time and his service. as president last year. i think he did an outstanding job. bringing us all together and setting very clear policy priorities. and i really appreciate that about him. i also very much appreciated his keen intellect and his outstanding sense of humor. i think i have worked with very few people who are as funny with a very dry and intelligent wit as commissioner hillis and i'm really grateful to have had this time on the commission with him. so thank you, commissioner hillis, for your many years on this commission. commissioner richards? >> commissioner richards: i'll do a mia kul pa as well.
he's an incredible guy. we are still able to tell each other to go to hell and go out and have a drink after the hearing, and celebrate the fact that we come to a decision as a commission. the legislative session has ended in sacramento. i just received this morning, sb330 and what it would do to the processes in los angeles. i want to understand, based on all the ways we approve projects here, including such things as 650 divisadero how this law affects us, how it affects public input and democracy? and how this law affects other things like historic
preservation. staff has already done a great job with the bigger piece of sb330. they did a update on the smaller piece, now it's final and sitting on the governor's desk ready to sign, but we don't know the actual impact. i hope we do it how our processes are followed, such that, what is included in a public meeting. a prop k shadow hearing, is that included in a de novo hearing? we need to understand this. i'm not sure exactly what this does. i'd like to form an opinion on it based on department's fact of what a typical project requires. and also the fact that determining -- they're turning up the permit streamlining act and they're requiring historic resources to be identified within 30 days. i'm not sure we even have the head count or staff to implement these things. i would also like to understand what it's going to do to the department in terms of what its impact is.
take a look at l.a. one, it's an exhaustive one. that, plus the one we did, shouldn't be a big burden. one other thing, it seems like we're becoming a bit to our senses. i have to say "the chronicle" i don't think has always been at its senses. this morning's editorial, i'm not sure if everyone read it, i know commissioner moore says everyone reads the paper, but president trump was in san francisco. he railed on the fact that we've got homeless, needles in the storm drains and on and on, yet not offering solutions in terms of additional money. "the chronicle" has been coming out against strict violations with serious doses of the editorial, nimbyism. they're major contributors to the housing crisis. but while there is overlap, they
aren't necessarily the same thing. so here's the punchline. there are excellent reasons to increase housing development, but doing so isn't going to solve the homelessness problem. you can't build a million dollar condo and expect the person living on the streets to be able to afford it. they go on to say, homeless people aren't in a position to compete for market rate housing. bingo. maybe there is actually some place in the middle where we can meet and it's not the damn supply-demand problem we've been being spoon-fed. thank you. >> president melgar: commissioner moore. >> commissioner moore: i wanted to second and chime in on you, thank you to commissioner hillis. he will be missed. i have to pick the subject which really struck me. he is the funniest person i've ever met, particularly in a public forum. he's the funniest.
we always agree to disagree and we were good friends, respected colleagues. and i think in his triangulating into a different realm, based on the significant amount of experience, he created just the tension in the commission discussions that i really appreciated. i'll miss him and i wish him the best of luck whatever his next step will be. >> president melgar: commissioner koppel? >> commissioner koppel: i'm going to make comments along the same lines. hopefully it's not me, commissioner fong, director ram, commissioner hillis, i don't know if i have anything to do with that, but they sit next to me when they leave. i want to thank rich. he's taught me a lot and his experience and time through many departments through the city will be greatly missed. and hope we will get a good replacement for him. >> president melgar: commissioner fong? >> perhaps we should all have training as a comedian in
chicago. it may help in the discussions. this is the second time now that commissioner hillis has resigned on the commission that i've been involved with. i wish him the best. >> there is a pattern there. >> president melgar: i will end the comments by apologizing for not being here last week while you guys were talking about the balboa reservoir project. it is something that i really care about. but i just wanted to -- just bring to your attention, my bedtime reading this week is a book called "the road to resegregation", by a professor of planning at u.c. berkeley. he's got a lot of great ideas, brilliant and researched book with planning in the bay area, but one of the things he talks about is how our fragmented planning system has reinforced
patterns of racial segregation in the bay area. because we approve transportation and planning, you know, and office and things in different departments, different jurisdictions and certainly different municipalities, and that has reinforced the patterns we as a society has chosen to prioritize. i was thinking about this as i was watching you last week. because we are, you know, adding housing, as we need to. we're asked affordable housing in the west side, like we need to do. but yet the transportation decisions are lagging woefully behind. and you know, i am hoping that connect sf and some of the work that we're doing with transportation actually helps us make progress in realizing some racial equity and density equity
between the west and the east side. so i would highly recommend the book to everyone, it's a dense book, but also emotional hard to read because we've been part of the system. and sometimes it's hard to say, well, we made that decision, and that led to something else. but highly recommend it. commissioner richards? >> commissioner richards: while on books, i think i mentioned this a couple of weeks ago. if you want to understand how we got where we are today, please take a look at "capital city" gentrification, the rise of the real estate state. i read it from cover to cover in two hours. i bought a copy for each member of the commission. and every time i walk into dog eared books on castro street, they say 10 more copies? i say yes. it's a great book. >> thank you. can i have rich's copy?
>> would you read it? if there is nothing further, commissioners, we can move on to item 6. the planning director desired qualifications. this was placed on your agenda to allow yourselves to deliberate and allow the public and anyone else who so desired to submit their opinions. >> president melgar: thank you, jonas. as you all know, our director of planning has announced his retirement. so this commission is charged by the charter to have a process and send the top three candidates to our mayor, from which she will pick one. so in an effort to reset what we're looking for in the head of this department, we put this on the calendar to allow folks who care about this commission, who come and interact with the
department, to let us know what you think are the top qualities that we should be looking for in the candidates for our next planning director. and so the last time we hired for a director was 14 years ago. and times have changed in san francisco. we are dealing with the climate crisis. we're dealing with an affordable housing crisis, homelessness. all kinds of things. and so we thought this >> would be a good time to hear from everyone to tell us what you think we should be looking for. ius to tell you about the process, we'll be having an open process. folks will apply to the position. and we will be interviewing candidates and selecting the top three to send to the mayor for her convenience. so she can pick one. so with that, i'm going to open it up for public comment. i will be -- this will be
recorded. i will be consolidating the comments and sending them over to our h.r. director. okay. i have a few speaker cards, but anyone who wants to come up can. i have georgia, stefani, jerry, jim, and anastasia. >> good afternoon, hello. welcome back. i sent you a pdf with my listing of qualifications. the first thing i put up there was that the new director should watch that hearing on sfgovtv when you had the kids come from excelsior, i think was back in may. because they're going to be growing up under the next director's tenure. maybe that sounds glib, but it's important to think about the children and neighborhoods like the excelsior. i think there should be an occupancy study of all the
luxury condos built in the last 10 years in the eastern neighborhoods to see are they really occupied full-time? what are usage? metadata, you can get a sense of who occupies and how often. you look at your water bill away and when you're here, they change. quickly, understanding the geology of san francisco. understanding the land use history of san francisco. including what happened in the 70s. the gentrification displacement of the last two decades and it's a city of renters. i have a long list of understanding the r.h. neighborhoods. the money bomb in some neighborhoods. the rgds need to be strengthened and reinforced. the importance of mid block open space. is that a place to capture carbon? more efficient use of interior space and new constructions. problems with excavation on 25
by 114 lots. demolitions versus alteration. reports to preserve viable housing. and assessment of densification as it occurs. and finally, close and continual collaboration with dbi and dic. and it should be with the planning and dbi staff on a daily basis. if i could have the overhead. this is my little supplemental thing. that is a table. the goose with the golden egg. i think we all know the story. you don't kill the goose to get all the eggs. need to have sensitivity. here's a chart showing the income and equality. i've shown that before. and then finally, an article from the "new york times", a couple of weeks ago, which is that -- [bell ringing] -- buyers
at the high end of the market are not buying in new york city and i think we follow new york city closely. i'll submit these as extra, plus what i sent you. here's a copy, officially, and that's my comments. good luck. i'm sorry about commissioner hillis. i have my favorite joke, but i'll refrain from telling it. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, president melgar and planning commissioners, my name is caroline kennedy from the delores heights improvement club. i couldn't agree with you more, president melgar, on the backdrop and need for a really strong new planning director. so thank you for asking us to give input before you begin to elect. i worked with leaders over 20 years on selecting and developing leaders. a clear and agreed upon set of criteria are key to recruitment and the selection process.
more importantly, they're critical to the city of san francisco as you already said, president melgar. i cannot think of a moment of time in our city's recent history. to me, i'm going to go back and the last speaker went sidewalk level, which is also important, but to me sb50 is one of the things that epitomizes the importance of the decisions, choices and tradeoff that will shape -- or the important decisions that will shape the future of our city's built environment. what i hear from neighbors in the street, they're frustrated with homelessness, the lack of affordable housing for your young people, teachers, police officers and others. the polarization of high rise and the traffic and congestion and other quality of life issues that hit us every day. i believe we can forage a better path forward and that the new planning director is going to be an important player in the work. each day you deal with the
issues in the chamber. they're questions how do we balance topdown mandates versus our plan. how we balance the market rate housing. the mix of market rate with affordable that we desperately need. and the need to grow. and other key infrastructure. so the person who succeeds john ram is going to have a lot of challenges. here's the skills an behaviors that comprise my top five. a broad thinker who can analyze the disparate impacts on the city. and advocate for our city's future. as georgia said, it's not about my future, it's about the future of these kids you saw in the chamber. the people who are coming to our city. a political savvy leader who can work with board of supervisors and other elected officials to i cheev goals. we need -- achieve goals. we need city planning out there
and aligned with elected officials. [bell ringing] a relationship builder who can build consensus and someone with the courage to challenge and push back when warranted, who will advise our city leaders, even when the advice runs counter to what they're thinking. and a leader to attracts a topnotch staff. we have a terrific department here and we need to keep them. that's another considerable challenge. so thank you for seeking input. and thank you for all you do to forge a better path for our city in these critical times. >> president melgar: thank you, next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners my name is stephanie peek. i want to thank you for allowing us to voice our comments about the qualifications of the new planning department director and many thanks to director ram for
his years of service. regarding necessary qualifications. one, i would have a new director be mindful of the need for truly affordable housing to protect the diversity of our community, including tenants, homeowners and the unsheltered. two, i hope the new director will be sensitive to our city's unique architecture and the need to preserve our housing stock as we move forward and also to protect our beautiful environment with its green spaces, trees and relatively clean air. three. a new director must have exceptional organizational skills to oversee consistent application of both the planning code and the design guidelines. i have heard that providing a manual for new hires would speed up the process. in sum, i hope for a director with integrity, compassion, and a deep love of san francisco.
thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. good afternoon president melgar, vice president koppel and commissioners. i'm here today speaking on behalf of faith and action. it's a network of congregations and community leaders in san francisco and san matteo counties, working to up hold the dignity of people. we're multiracial, intergenerational and cross class. and an organization that is led by those most affected by injustice, such as low-income renters, workers, immigrants, women and youth. we're bound by a shared commitment to winning and sharing the full rights of people in the communities and the desire to connect our spiritual belief with our civic actions and practices. you have an opportunity in this transition to a new director to
look at the priorities that inform the decisions you make and importantly the priorities of staff as they review and bring forward projects for your consideration. the director sets the tone and culture for the staff. we are here today advocating for a director who understands the need for truly affordable housing in san francisco. especially for our seniors. planning staff is in a key position to work with developers of projects, large and small, to bring the level of affordability down from the six-figure incomes required for much of what is designated as affordable in our city. san francisco is proud of its reputation for innovation. you will be discussing a proposal later today from supervisor haney to increase developer fees for commercial properties. we, at faith and action, advocate for a planning director willing to support and implement
alternative funding for housing such as this. and the director needs to be a strong leader who understands san francisco, its history and politics, how things have been and how they are now. at faith and action, we talk about reclaiming the soul of the city. much of this revolves around the issues and proposals that you consider on a weekly basis. your thoughtful consideration as you embark on this process will be greatly appreciated by all. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. my name is jim. and i'd like to thank her for bringing up the point of collaboration with dbi. that is an aggressive point of view that i think will be very helpful in our next director.
you know, i'm normally here talking about the architectural quality, esthetics, impacts on transit, the public amenities, the amount of inclusive housing that is involved in new projects, but today i'm really here to talk about what i think is a pressing need for our next executive director to stand up for preservation as well. the preservation element has been around for a really long time, i believe since 2007. some say it's lingering, some say it's languishing. it really has to become a priority. if that were the only thing, that would be one thing has to be worked on, but when we look at the lax effort on funding city-wide surveys, that is a big miss. if we don't know what we have, we can't know how to protect it. and a third thing that sort of
indicates there is a problem here, when our chief preservation officer, tim fry, left for a new position, the position was not filled. it was turned over to the regionals and i think that shows an indifference to it. as i've worked on a lot of these projects and mostly through my engagements with victorian alliance, where i was past president, i've seen a focus on not helping average people do good restoration, but instead, how many road blocks can we set up, how expensive, how difficult can we make this? that has to change if we're going to embrace and accept all the newness in the city, one way is to respect and have it married with our historic history. i'd like to see the next one really embrace and encourage
restoration. we're too quick to say, it's deteriorated, it's altered, therefore, it has no merit as opposed to see the potential for good restoration. i think this is a critical piece. when people talk about we're losing san francisco, they're talking about not that we don't want anything new, but they see too much of the beautiful things that define our character being lost. we can marry both. this is an important priority. and it needs to be a priority of our next director. thank you very much. >> president melgar: thank you, commissioner. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners and, thank you, president melgar, for allowing us to come and speak to the commission about this item. i'm anastasia, i'm a tenant and housing advocate. in my view, a new director has to recognize and respect san
francisco's history, architecture and its people and acknowledge that our city is not for sale. a new director must not be cow towed by big money. the arena numbers show too much market-rate housing as opposed to too little new housing for low-income residents is being built. a new director must agree to bring 100% affordable housing projects to the front of the queue and devote more resources to training planning staff on rent control and tenants' rights to protect tenants who are rapidly being displaced from the city. the next director must prioritize housing for very low low-income seniors and disabled, since plenty of housing that is market rate and unaffordable to
them has been built. we need a wise director who is willing to direct funds to get our historic resources evaluated and preserved. and who will devise plans that integrate housing with new infrastructure, including plans for transportation, water, sewage, schools and parks, to accommodate a growing metropolis we can all enjoy. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i work with -- as a permit consultant with some of the smallest property owners in san francisco. and small business people, small entertainment venues, are the people whose problems i help solve. and there is a broad feeling in
the city that 4/5 of the city doesn't get the attention at the planning department that it deserves. there is a lot of focus on broad plans and not the focus on implementation that i think is deserved by the community that the planning department serves. i want to echo many of the comments made by the previous speakers. they were all broad and suggesting value judgments and i hope that the new director agrees with me on most of those things. that said, i would like to nominate rich hillis to be the next director of the department of city planning. i believe he must have resigned to put his name in that ring. in all sincerity, i appreciate the work and the candor he brought to this position as a commissioner. and i think his perspective is one that the new director would benefit from.
he was a very practical commissioner. and understood the functioning of a vital city. and that's what we need. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, president melgar, members of the commission, mike buehler president and c.e.o. of san francisco his or her teenage. just -- heritage. just over 2% is part ott landmarks. as legislation is passed on the local and state level to increase production of housing such as sb330. is it more important than ever for the city to understand what is significant and worth protecting in the city's built environment. to this end, i'm going to focus on three priorities of the preservation community i hope any candidate will share. first, we urge you to hire a director who will prioritize and expedite completion of the city-wide historic resources survey. this is a tough recommendation
made by spur in 2014, in a joint policy paper on historic preservation. while cities los angeles have already completed their survey, we don't know what is significant about the city's historic neighborhoods and built environment. as a component of the city-wide survey, it should identify eligible historic districts for future designation. second, we urge completion of the historic. this has languished for 10 years and will help the commission and the new planning director balance priorities such as the need to increase housing production and other planning goals with the need to protect our historic resources. third, we urge this director to rehire and fill the historic preservation officer position recently vacated by tim fry. from our perspective, this is
essential to have leadership within the department who can be an advocate from within for the policy initiativ just described, among others. currently, the responsibilities among the preservation team within the department are diffuse and unclear from the outside and it has made it difficult to discern how to advocate for these policies within the department. finally, i urge any new planning director to build on the innovative work completed by this commission and the department in developing new tools focused on wholistic solutions for preserving communities, such as cultural districts and the business legacy program. san francisco is viewed as a national model and we need to find ways to stabilize and sustain our communities. and finally, we request that the department include representative of the historic preservation commission on the
search and selection committee. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners and thank you for the opportunity to address this important issue. my name is bruce bowen. land use coalition. in addition to the excellent comments, i'd like to focus on two. the director should lead the department and the city into the future, but also should be able to lead in what i would call a manner of planning in the present tense. recently a group of neighbors was meeting with a planner about the unnecessary demolition of a house in order to replace it with a wildly unaffordable box. the planner told us that the department recognized that it couldn't resist the pressure of maximizing the potential economic value of that lot. and so the project would be approved, which it was. this considering value only with
a places economic worth pervades real estate capital where the city is seen as only a generator of return on capital investment that leads to the city we know now, the city of displacement and destruction of communities. instead, we need a director that understands that the neighborhoods and communities and families and the value of a place derives from being useful to people now in the present as well as in the future. it houses them. gives them a sense of community, a place to work and sense of identity. without an understanding of the present use value of the city, we're condemned to live in a city as a growth machine, a city that houses only those that can do without the institution that rely on every day, public transit included. and that can float above the effects of gentrification. the second threat, no less dangerous than global capital, is the threat from sacramento. we can't stop legislators from going to the capital and deciding they'll make their name
by using the money bomb that is rendering the city uninhabitable. and we need a director who will ensure they provide this in a timely fashion. i believe the planning department is well positioned to provide analysis and impact on san francisco and it should be a priority. there is so much more to these things. you've heard many of them. director, we need a director who balances use value against exchange value. that is needs of people today are something to be protected even as we build for the future. and we need to keep ourselves armed to deal with sacramento. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you very much next speaker, please. >> i have a handout.
my name is jerry with the san francisco land use coalition. a leadership change provides opportunity for operational changes. i have five procedural suggestions. one that the department should be required to include a reasoned paragraph explaining why it recommends approval or denial of a project, and the paragraph should be signed by a member of senior management. two, the planning department should reject commonly flawed documents. one architectural plans that lack existing and proposed square footage table. two, unsigned environmental evaluation applications. three, documents that don't include a copy in electronic format. and four, new construction projects that lack a survey of record. point number three, improved
>> good afternoon commissioners. i'm an architectural historian and preservation planner in private practice. in response to your call for a qualifications, i am really focusing on my comments very narrowly. i have to say i really appreciate the breadth of the comments of the speakers that have come before me, and the thoughtfulness. this is impressive that we have dedicated san francisco residents. i'm focusing my wish list for a new director on an individual who would prioritize, my wish list is historic preservation related. a director who would prioritize reestablishing an autonomous historic preservation sector within the planning department that can effectively promote the
goals of the has developed, over decades. build on the existing framework. preservation framework and other planning documents for frameworks by specifically prioritizing one citywide survey , of historic resources, with an emphasis on districts. also, the draft preservation element for the city in 2,009 for review. you've probably heard me say this before, i was the author of the draft preservation element, i would happily volunteer my services pro bono to help you, guide you to move that along anyway i can. another priority, number three, would be training for junior planters that focuses past the planning efforts, which are sometimes forgotten, overlooked, or shelved. libraries get dismantled. training should also focus on the city's history.
really be specific to san francisco. especially for new people who arrive in the department from other cities in are unfamiliar with so much about what san francisco is. number four, i would love to see prioritized a reliable online tool which is the property information map and database. it used to be better. it has somehow changed over time. there is less information now than there used to be. that is so helpful to people all over, in the department and out. i believe that the steps listed above would result in well-balanced, well-informed, well-managed growth citywide that integrates preservation, and environmental sustainability. finally, whether the new director comes from the resulting of an international search or someone local, i don't think it is so important.
really i want to emphasize that they understand what the unique qualities of san francisco are. unique to san francisco is the pattern of small parcels that make walking in the city interesting, not alienating. the fine nature of the city should be respected. quickly i would just like to say that the ideal individual will prioritize communities and not luxury housing. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> kathleen courtenay russian hill community association. commissioners, we appreciate the invitation to make comments about the critical issue of the new planning director. we really urge you to look at an applicant who has the commitment to process and procedures.
the prior speaker laid out issues of process, the community relies on a consistent process so that we can inform all of our members, and work with the planning department. you can't change process on us without any heads up. without the understanding, appreciation, and implementation of a process, which the community and public entities have developed over decades. the foundation of good planning system deteriorates. community organizations also rely on a planning department of planners who understand procedures which frame the process. there is no procedural manual in the planning department as i believe, and commission secretary correct me, but the commission secretary, years ago
put together some training notes for a inexperienced planners. there was a note to my knowledge, that is the only thing, thank you very much, jonas, for doing that. there is no procedural manual that tells people to look at the general plan, or the residential guidelines. most of the people in this audience were mentored by an extraordinary woman, mary gallagher. she was a planner, she was with the san mateo planning department, she was a consultant she was one who really knew the code and understood the planning process. the notorious 60 russell street, who some of you said were the parameters for matching light rails -- it took mary gallagher to come in and clarify the guidelines for the planners in the community. we have a similar situation
right now, on union street, and another one in the marina. a new planner, using google earth, and a developers comments made an error in judgment. the judgment has been changed. we are not able to catch every error in the process. you've got an overworked zoning administrator who cannot mentor the group. you really need somebody who has a commitment to process and procedures. thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon commissioners, peter papadopoulos with the mission agency. i want to pick up on some comments from a number of folks, and add some more, in terms of the qualifications and commitment, and hands-on experience we like to sea one a candidate.
we would hope that they are experienced and knowledgeable in the area of equitable development. we think is the number one priority going forward. at this.because, we would like to see more inclusion of the ideas of how do we actively offset gentrification impacts. someone who has a real understanding, and evaluation of true community engagement. someone who will come in ready and committed to build on our existing neighborhood community stabilization programs that are already active right now. committed to building on the planning department's growing race and equity frameworks that they are just recently, and we'll sort of move that forward towards both internally, and externally. a true equity first lands. we want to see this department move in a direction of always asking the question first.
does this project go forward or not go forward, whatever it is on an area plan or whatever, based on what those impacts might be on her most vulnerable residents. moving away from ideas of mitigation. in that way we hope we are working closely with the new office of an equity, in the area where we do think the order of timing and everything happens is a lot. that can often get overlooked. when do we create new area plans and why? when do we not move forward in a given area. someone who is going to be willing to see creative new solutions that may be have to move us into the front. let's invent a few more zonings, that creates downward price pressure. micro- area instead of upward price pressure like we know some zoning areas are. can we prioritize with new zoning areas, community serving, community stabilizing ideas.
someone committed to resourcing, our own perhaps studies where they are needed, we have done a little bit of that. if not, if there is not the resources to. someone who is going to work closely with other departments, because things do not happen in silos, the whole north mission, the lower mission, has a series of unrelated projects in different department's going on right now. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good after -- good afternoon commissioners. as you mentioned earlier,
president melger, times have changed. we find ourselves in the midst most apparently, someone who truly understands the nexus between planning, community, and equity. someone with a proven track record for working with both the city agencies, and the communities that we engage in planning with. someone who knows that when cities and communities engage in meaningful collaborations on projects and on plans, we not only get a better project, we get a healthier outcome. we find ourselves at a critical juncture right now. this housing crisis that we face is immense. it threatens to displace communities, and divide ourselves within the city. we need a unifier. i would say, this moment, we need somebody just like the planning department's very own
claudia florez. if she has submitted an application i would recommend taking a look at that application. if she hasn't it would be incredibly proven of you to speak with her. i believe she represents those qualities that would lead the planning department forward, and create a bridge to meaning full collaboration with communities. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon commissioners. i am with a counselor community housing organizations area first of all having just gone through a whole set of research about the planning to part and has done recently. i want to commend director and the kind of research that has been produced by this department. that being said, i think when we look forward, we need to be looking for somebody who has the qualities of being both humble and the gutsy visionary. by humble, i mean, somebody who truly understands participatory planning. who, as a leader, trains their
staff on issues, gentrification, displacement, racial equity, and social economic impacts in all of the work that they do. more portly, by participatory planning, i mean, someone who trained staff to build trust with their communities. by gutsy, i mean, somebody who is willing to take on the challenges of the city to expand the geographies where we build, whether that is in the sunset, the rich men, whether that's about, but keeping those primary key issues at hand. where is the affordability. where is the access that low income folks will have two transit, housing? purchase and coeducation are key , which means the staff learning from the community. the impact that our city is placing today,