DZLU MEETING DATE: April 18, 2023
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
a. MACONDRAY LANE ENTRANCE TRELLIS
The fundraising target has been met to replace the deteriorating trellis! Every building with a Macondray Ln address has contributed, in addition to generous contributions from other neighbors and RHN’s seed grant. We’ve reached out to the construction team and anticipate scheduling this work in June/July.
b. 939 LOMBARD ST. (at Jones)
This is a proposal for a 4-story, 40-foot single-family house of approximately 4,900 sf to replace an existing carport on the Lombard St. frontage. The lot has another 3-story single-family residence at the rear that would remain. The block has a mix of single-family and multi-unit buildings.
Planning has issued a 311 Notice indicating that the project is consistent with the planning code including the Residential Design Guidelines. Several neighbors have relayed concerns to us about the massing and potential shadowing of the adjacent Yick Wo school yard. The project is exempt from preparing a shadow study as it does not exceed 40-feet in height.
Other neighbors have expressed a desire that the project be comprised of 3 or 4 modestly-sized units, rather than one large single-family unit. There have been recent efforts at the Board of Supervisors and Planning to modify the zoning of parcels like this to incentivize a higher unit density, and that work is still in process.
Per the 311 Notice process, a neighbor has submitted a request for Discretionary Review (DR) by the Planning Commission. Effecting changes to the project through the DR process requires a finding by the Commission of exceptional and extraordinary circumstances. The DR hearing has been scheduled for 6/29.
DZLU is continuing to research this project, and the sponsor will discuss it at DZLU’s May meeting. We always encourage neighbors with concerns to reach out directly to the project sponsor and planner to discuss their concerns and explore any potential compromises.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. MISCELLANEOUS HOUSING AND COMMERCIAL POLICY UPDATES
In addition to rezoning, especially in the city’s western neighborhoods, that is a central piece of the Housing Element, other policy tools are being proposed to incentivize housing. These include adjustment of mandates such as those that set the minimum share of affordable units in a development, provision of tax incentives, revisions to the planning code on allowable uses and on design aspects such as rear yard and other features. Recent examples with links are below. Pending are additional proposals that will be summarized next month to reduce the number of projects subject to conditional use approvals.
– Revision of inclusionary housing requirements, fees and taxes to incentivize housing production
– Office-to-housing conversion incentives by reducing real estate transfer taxes
– Breed-Peskin proposals to increase housing downtown and to reduce Union Sq. commercial vacancies
b. SITE PERMIT PROCESSING REFORM, STREAMLINING
Currently, after a project is initially submitted for review, it is sent sequentially for plan checking to the several subgroups within the Dept. of Building Inspection (DBI) that are responsible for their own disciplines (structural, mechanical systems, fire safety, elevators, etc.) as well as other city agencies with review responsibility. This reform creates a concurrent review process to significantly decrease processing time, and centers the process in Planning rather than at DBI with a single point of contact and coordination responsibility. The scope of review and expectations about the level of detail required at this early submittal stage of a project are clarified.