DZLU MEETING DATE: August 21, 2018
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. WHOLE FOODS 365 AT 1600 JACKSON – The Planning Commission’s Conditional Use hearing has been continued from 7/26 to 9/27/18. Whole Foods management has explored including a residential component to the project as desired by the Commission. It has found this infeasible for reasons that include structural constraints as well as negative impacts on the layout of the grocery level. We are awaiting additional updates from Whole Foods. RHN will shortly continue outreach to membership in preparation for the hearing, likely including another call for additional support letters from the Board and from neighbors. DZLU will research the number of new housing units within a ¼ mile radius of the site to augment the argument for a full-service grocery.
b. 915 NORTH POINT – Planning’s Urban Design review team has reviewed the CU application and issued comments in a Notice of Planning Department Requirements (NOPDR). Comments include seeking larger setbacks at the rear west wall of the part of the complex on Larkin Street. At the part of the complex on North Point comments include deletion of the roof deck, a request for brick or stone cladding and a more compatible architectural vocabulary on the upper floor. Planning will await Jamestown’s revised submittal. In the fall, pending review of the next iteration of the plan, concerned neighbors abutting the project may attend a DZLU meeting.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. UNION STREET REPLACEMENT STREET LIGHTS – In response to DZLU and neighbor input at a 7/19 site meeting, PG&E explored modifying the order for the fixtures to incorporate a solid top more akin to the new fixtures at Washington Square Park. PG&E has relayed that this would not be feasible at this stage. We had expressed our sense that the process warrants improvement going forward and that full outreach should have been completed prior to ordering fixtures. Despite frustration with the process, the fixtures that will be installed have been successfully utilized in other jurisdictions, are architecturally respectable and we believe are suitable for Union Street. PG&E has agreed to work with us and PUC after installation if adjustments to the light intensity are warranted.
Streetwork to install underground electrical cable for the lights is planned to start on 9/4 on the section of the project between Leavenworth and Larkin Streets. Anticipated work hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 – 5:00.
b. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO PLANNING CODE ON OVERHANGS AND BAY WINDOWS – There will be an informational meeting on 9/5 at Planning. Planning has explained that some architectural projecting features that provide sun shading or an improved bay window configuration now require a variance process, as they do not strictly align with current codes but are deemed desirable. A Zoning Administrative Waiver is proposed in lieu of a variance. All existing applicable staff design review processes apply. DZLU’s primary concern was the elimination of any dimensional constraint on the projections and we will either attend the meeting or relay our concern in writing.
Subsequent to our meeting, a DZLU representative attended Planning’s 9/5 presentation. Dimensional limits have been restored and the code improvements appear non-controversial.
c. SF PROPOSED ROOF DECK POLICY – DZLU representatives met with Planning on 8/3 and sought clarification on area thresholds, beyond which greater review is triggered by the Residential Design Advisory Team (RDAT). DZLU also suggested that guidelines on setbacks and guardrail materials should respond to context and impacts, such as visibility or massiveness from the street, or privacy concerns, rather than apply overly rigid “one-size-fits-all” rules. As the draft is refined, we’d seek additional opportunity for input.
Subsequent to our meeting, a new draft was distributed in anticipation of the 8/30 informational presentation to the Planning Commission. These now include an improved description of the threshold process that triggers broader review, such as limiting deck area to one-third of roof area without fuller RDAT review, requires minimum 5-ft setbacks except at the rear of a property, and is less prescriptive on materials. They appear to be positive changes.