DZLU MEETING DATE: May 21, 2019
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. 915 NORTH POINT – The 37-unit project was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission on 5-2-19. RHN had issued a letter of support. DZLU will continue to follow the project as it receives final permits and proceeds into construction.
b. 945-951 GREENWICH – DZLU representatives attended the Pre-Application meeting on 5-3-19 for this project which proposes to demolish an existing garage, construct a 4-story two-unit building facing Valparaiso Alley. Uphill residents who attended the meeting were very concerned about the project. One of the potentially unusual aspects of this project appears to be that it is a “through lot” with two street frontages, raising the question of how the open space requirement is being calculated. DZLU will contact the architect and ask to be kept in the loop regarding any changes to the project, and also to request an elevation and site plan that show the project in the context of the larger neighborhood. Drawings to date show only immediately adjacent neighbors. Once a Planner is assigned, DZLU will also contact him/her to request that RHN be kept informed about the project.
c. 1580 PACIFIC (@ Polk) – DZLU received a Notification of Project Receiving Environmental Review. This is the “Jug Shop” location. The project would demolish the existing one-story 8,366 square-foot commercial building with parking lot and construct a six-story, 65-foot-tall building with 50 housing units, 5,500 square feet of retail space, 4,000 square feet of open space and 25 below-grade parking spaces (net increase of 2 spaces). DZLU will continue to monitor. Future notices for a pre-application meeting and potential conditional use application are anticipated.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. VACANT STOREFRONT REGISTRY AND POSSIBLE VACANCY TAX – What are the next steps on the issue of retail vacancies? It was suggested that there needs to be a process to determine what businesses are lacking that neighbors want, and then to ask those who support existing limitations to identify reasonable and specific businesses to meet those needs. There needs to be an analysis of whether there are unintended consequences occurring as a result of such things as current square footage and use limitations.
RHN has lent its support to North Beach Neighbors for the recommendations in NBN’s Small Business Roadmap.
b. TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING—STATE LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS—SB 50 – Since the last meeting, a number of things have occurred. First, Senator Wiener’s SB50 was merged with Senator McGuire’s SB4 which removed the application of the legislation to smaller counties and jurisdictions. Next, the bill went before the Senate Appropriations Committee where its consideration was deferred to 2020. Although it is unclear precisely on what basis the deferment was based, it does appear that there was intense lobbying against the bill from many parts of the state. At the same time, a statewide initiative has been proposed for the November 2020 ballot which would permanently prevent the state from overriding local control on zoning issues. On the local level, three initiatives have been proposed for the November 2019 ballot which relate to affordable housing, including a large bond measure. It was recognized that housing remains an important and controversial issue. Senator Wiener sent a recent email in response to RHN’s letter regarding SB50. It was decided that RHN should reach out to Senator Wiener and request a meeting with those DZLU members who are available to meet and discuss his response to RHN’s concerns.