DZLU MEETING DATE: April 23, 2019
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. 915 NORTH POINT
This 37-unit residential project is seeking a Conditional Use Authorization at the upcoming 5/2/19 Planning Commission hearing.
The developer, Jamestown, had presented to DZLU on 1/23/18 and has subsequently met with DZLU representatives on four occasions over the past 1-1/2 years, providing updates, seeking input and demonstrating an openness and responsiveness to many of our comments. Jamestown owns Ghirardelli Square, and has been a creative steward in improving the retail environment in this historic location.
DZLU believes the replacement of the existing under-utilized parking garage with the proposed 4-story rental housing is beneficial to the neighborhood. It would add to the City’s housing stock, increase foot traffic to the benefit of nearby commercial uses, and improve the general sense of security in the area.
Setbacks at the upper levels on both the North Point and Larkin Street frontages have been effective in achieving a scale compatible with the neighborhood.
We understand there have been special challenges in mitigating the project’s impacts on two adjacent single-family houses at the southern edge of the site along Larkin Street. In this regard, the project, in addition to the street setback, has reduced the size of the top floor of the Larkin Street structure and has angled rear-yard terraces away from the adjacent houses to aim to ameliorate privacy concerns.
The architects have adjusted the coloration of the materials using fiber-cement panels and refined the proportions of the bay windows. The design has continually evolved and improved, and DZLU recommends that the Board support the project.
b. BROADWAY GREENING (1964 LARKIN AT BROADWAY) – The RHN Board had approved sending a letter to D3 Supervisor Peskin to facilitate this project. Supervisor Peskin requested the project team provide him with the key City contacts involved in the project review to facilitate follow up by his office, and this information has been provided.
c. PROPOSED NAVIGATION CENTER IN DISTRICT 3 – As the original proposal at Embarcadero and Kearny is no longer being pursued, we will delete this from future agendas. It was noted that Supervisor Haney is advocating that every district house a center; if so, the issue may re-emerge on our agenda.
d. 982 GREEN — Planning had approved the permit application on 12/26/18 to restore this historic property that had been altered without approval. Project review is currently at DBI, which issued a revisions request letter in January, and structural drawings are required. Further penalties are not assessed while the project review is active. The architect has been responsive and regular updates will be provided.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. VACANT STOREFRONT REGISTRY AND POSSIBLE VACANCY TAX —
As noted last month, the BOS passed strengthened registry requirements for vacant stores.
As part of a broader strategy to improve the vibrancy of neighborhood commercial districts, North Beach Neighbors approached RHN to elicit support for their recently released Small Business Roadmap. DZLU expressed enthusiasm about RHN working with NBN on an ongoing basis to support these efforts.
b. TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING—STATE LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS—SB 50 — The RHN Board had approved sending a letter with recommended modifications to Senator Wiener, as outlined last month.
Locally, BOS has voiced its opposition in a 9-2 vote. Mayor London Breed favors the bill. Senator McQuire from Healdsburg is attempting to merge his competing measure, SB 4, with Senator Wiener’s SB 50. The Senate’s Government and Finance Committee is meeting 4/24/19.
Subsequent to our meeting, we learned that SB 50, after incorporating aspects of SB 4, was unanimously voted out of the Finance Committee and will now advance to the Appropriations Committee, and if successful, to the Assembly. The revised provisions limit the bill’s applicability in smaller towns and counties. The revisions would not change its impact in SF.
RHN has reached out to Scott Wiener and to David Chiu, SF’s Assembly member, to discuss RHN’s concerns and recommendations as established in the letter.
c. UNDERGROUNDING OF UTILITIES – SFCUU is working with DPW and with Telamon Engineering Consultants on a preliminary master plan study to underground utilities. Also, SFCUU has received endorsements from 10 of our 11 San Francisco Supervisors and from many neighborhood organizations.
d. SF ROOF DECK POLICY — Planning had issued a revised handout outlining thresholds for over-the-counter review, but has withdrawn it pending additional outreach.
e. LOMBARD ST TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT – AB 1605 passed the Transportation Committee on 4/22 by a vote of 11-3 authorizing the SF BOS to implement a pilot program to manage congestion on Lombard St. RHN has advocated for this under the leadership of the Transportation Committee.