DZLU MEETING DATE: April 17, 2018
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. PHILZ COFFEE at 2230 POLK — The Conditional Use hearing (because Philz is a formula retail use) is scheduled for May 10th. The consensus of DZLU (7 in favor, 2 abstentions) was to support Philz’s application. We agreed that DZLU should draft a support letter to the Board expressing our concern that this location has been vacant for over 10 months and about the increasing number of empty storefronts on this northern part of Polk Street’s commercial district, and noting that Philz has offered ideas to “localize” this café by planning such events as local art displays, literature readings, etc. Though there is concern that the market for this use may have reached its limit, each café nevertheless has different products, ambience and personality. Philz was founded in San Francisco, appears to be popular in other SF neighborhoods, and there seems to be interest among Russian Hill residents.
b. WHOLE FOODS 365 at 1600 JACKSON — RHN sent another letter of support to the Planning Commission, its third over the past 2+ years, as did many individual supporters. Planning staff is supporting the project. It was urged that all attend the Conditional Use hearing on April 26th.
Note: Subsequent to DZLU’s meeting, the Commission voted, after much testimony pro and con, to continue the hearing for 90 days asking the WF team and the building developer to consider the possibility of retaining the existing building with the full grocery in the 20,000 sf ground floor, but using the 2nd floor, and perhaps some expansion to a 3rd floor “penthouse” in order to incorporate a housing element into this project. While the Commission directed the developer to explore adding housing, a totally new replacement mixed-use building project would not be able to include a grocery store of this scale because Polk Street’s zoning prohibits retail space over 4,000 sf. Most of the Commissioners appeared to acknowledge the breadth of support from neighborhood residents.
c. 915 NORTH POINT – 37 units in four stories. Jamestown (developer) relayed there is no firm date yet for a Conditional Use hearing, though it is anticipated it will be scheduled for late summer or early fall.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. POLK STREET/PACIFIC AVENUE SPECIAL AREA GUIDELINES — DZLU representatives had met with Planning who shared the guidelines and invited comment. These are a parallel document to the more general Urban Design Guidelines approved by the Planning Commission on March 22nd. They focus on site planning, architecture and public realm design principles with a sharper focus on issues pertinent to Polk St. As with the Urban Design Guidelines, they do not modify existing zoning or height limits. DZLU will draft a comment letter to Planning for Board review.
b. SB 827 TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING — Scott Wiener’s proposed legislation failed to advance at the Senate’s Housing and Transportation Committee’s hearing on April 17th. It may be taken up again after more revisions next year.
Note: Subsequent to DZLU’s meeting, RHN President met on 4/27 with Senator Wiener and neighborhood association representatives from Cow Hollow, the Marina, Presidio Heights and Pacific Heights requesting a “seat at the table” on any future efforts on this bill.
c. RESIDENTIAL DESIGN GUIDELINES REVISIONS — DZLU requested that Planning keep RHN/DZLU involved and updated on this.
d. SF URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES — Planning Commission approved these on March 22nd. RHN had sent a letter providing comments over a year ago which have been incorporated or acknowledged, and DZLU had no objection to the final draft.