Skip to main content

tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  September 22, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

8:00 am
have the authority to do so, but we on our own have proposed alternatives, limiting the schedule, and complying with extra measures, putting security cameras in. mr. castro was seen removing pas tick sheeting from the doors where construction is taking place. the lock box has been altered because new holders for the lock box were modified and screwed into the wall. no one would do that to vandalize. the point is he wants to keep his low-cost property. i understand that. but that is not what's happening here. this is not about ellis or not about those impact on housing, as is expressed in their papers. it is about this permit and the conduct of this contractor and this owner. we are complying with the law and have the right to proceed and it's already been delayed two months without basis.
8:01 am
8:02 am
again, we would like to have this permitted before, the appeal denied. if you have any questions i would be happy to answer them. >> i have a question. first of all, your brief was well laid out in response to the appellant's brief, what you've done, what you plan to do. you mentioned that the owner, contractor has been doing business in san francisco, knows the permit is from modesto. >> the contractor is not the owner, but the contractor is
8:03 am
from modesto but works in san francisco. a handful of other projects currently going forward. i think the reference by appellant's counsel was not the contractors working on other projects, not the owner. >> and then, the last question was, goodness, i forgot. that's it. thank you. >> thank you. >> we will now hear from mr. mr. duffy. >> commissioners, joe duffy, dbi. a lot of paperwork on this one. we will start with the permits, i'm sorry -- the permit that is under appeal, the kitchen and bathroom, three apartment units, no change to existing layouts,
8:04 am
units 821, 825, 829. that permit was filed on june 6, issued on six june, and then suspended on 21 of june. there is another permit currently became in there, in july. remodel of five units, unit 21 will not have had any work. modify floor plans, that permit has gone through a lot of revi review, through planning, mechanical, fire department review. we had a soft story on the building, which got completed and the certificate of completion got done. that got done when they signed off on january 30, 2019. it looks like the work was done between september 2018 or
8:05 am
january 2019. that is good that they got that taken care of. they have for standing complaints on the property. i haven't spoken to the building inspector. i was just researching this today. the notice of violation was issued following an complaint. i'll just read it out to you, looks like they have some issues they need to resolve in addition to this board. the scope of work on the suspended permit, and another permit, removal of structural and nonstructural have been installed without plans, or approve permits. units 819, 825, 823 impossible
8:06 am
829, work has been covered without the legal inspection division. compliance with chapter 34 of san francisco building code regarding lead and i and asbestos issues have not been addressed. regarding structural issues, retaining new building permit with plans, and amended evaluation of safe lead and as work as design. safe inspection before resuming any work. basically what that is saying is that the project is currently shut down. the permit that was suspended was stopping the work anyway. in addition to that, we now have a notice of violation from the building inspector. basically saying they have exceeded the scope of the permit. some structural work that was not part of the permit under
8:07 am
appeal or the earlier permit in january, which was for kitchen and bath remodel. they've got a few issues now. they did find the permit that complied with at violation. that is the one that has gone through in july, but they. some people -- they do not have it issued yet. when there is a permit under appeal, we do not like to issue additional permits because he gets in the way of the appeal process. if someone got there permit appealed, or simply came in and got another permit, it would lessen the appeal process. so, i guess what i'm saying is, they have some issues to resolve right here. i'm not saying -- they have gone about it it sounds like, and they got ahead of themselves, i would say. i didn't hear it from the contractor, i think he is here tonight. i didn't speak to the building inspector about this building. it definitely looks like they do need to get their ducks in a row, and try to get this
8:08 am
resolved. they obviously have the issue with the tenant as well. i am available for any questions. >> the appellant had a list o of -- well, ten, 12, 14 conditions going forward. the only one that strikes me as potentially something that could be part of the permit would be the hours of work, but i am not certain that any of the others are relevant. have you had a chance to look at that, if not, could you and get back to us? >> i did look at it last night, i read it at home. sometimes i think before, they come up with an agreement of what they will do, and they will work between eight and six, i think this board has done this so well, they allow pretty
8:09 am
generous. i think the board can do that. the other items, i thought it wasn't really anything to do with d.b.i. >> thank you. >> the question was, one of the requests on the list was to ensure that work is not performed in the appellant's unit. i know there was in compliance, i think it's exhibit d of the respondent's brief. you just read it that unit eight does that cover the subject permit, or do we need to add that the subject permit which includes 821 would specifically not contain that unit? does that make sense? there is some request for assurance that 821 would not be subject to remodeling. because there are a number of permits, i want to understand the distinction between the permits.
8:10 am
>> right. it looks like they put that on that permit and then i got appeal. every permit .-dot they've got to comply with, the inspectors noticed a violation. i read that out that unit 821 will not have work. so -- >> mr. duffy, in terms of the allegations about construction, what work does d.b.i. have in policing the construction process after the permit issues, and in terms of what you have seen here. is there anything d.b.i. would do to ensure this particular project is moving forward as it should? >> that's a good question. obviously doing it the right w way, from d.b.i. you get your building permit before you start your work. you do your demolition, you do whatever whatever electrical you have to do, whatever plumbing you have to do.
8:11 am
you get rough electrical extractions, you get rough plumbing inspections before you cover. you get a building inspector to inspect any possible framing that you have done, insulation usually goes into the exterior walls. these are permits that we get with our plans come on talking about here. that would be if we're doing this are permits under appeal, kitchen and bathroom remodeling permits we see them all the time. we like to be involved in basically we make sure there is no additional work being done, which in this we would check f for, any building code requirements. when you open up a lot of these buildings, they had old plaster. they just usually upgrade the electrical, the plumbing,, insulated exterior walls, sheet rock it again and put a new tile and fixtures. there's not a lot of alteration done to the framing. there's not a lot to look at.
8:12 am
but there are certain things. they are easy inspections is what i'm saying, as if it's done right. in this case they got the permits, they got ahead of themselves and they did some work that would have required plans. now were looking at more issues because we are looking at new framing and the structural members. looking at engineered drawings. so it takes a little bit longer. >> sorry -- the three separate divisions are there, you have building, electrical and plumbing, they'll have to inspect the work. quality of life issues with debris falling, thus getting into other units, the building inspector should be told about that. we will speak to them about that. they need to do better on that. >> what about security issues with holes in the walls? >> yeah, the building code does address that the site has to be secured. safety issues and all of that is in the building code. a lot of times when i get those, i will simply make a phone call
8:13 am
and say, look, we have a complaint, were coming out tomorrow. get this fixed in they usually do. they are listening. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on this item? >> welcome. >> my name is sarah, and i believe i am your neighbor, i live at 22nd and york street. we were here before this board last year appealing a permit. it is obvious to me this gentleman really wants to stay in his home. i was wondering if there's been any discussion of perhaps negotiating with him on the owner's part for maybe him purchasing his home or, you know, just some kind of dialogue
8:14 am
between them where they could possibly stay in their home? thank you. >> ma'am? can you please put your name on the speaker card? thank you. any other public comment? seeing him. we will move on onto rebuttal rebuttal. you have three minutes. >> thank you. first i would like to give my client the opportunity to finish the statement he was reading earlier. >> will continue our left off which is basically to paragrap paragraphs. a laundry list of issues created by him, i would like to highlight more egregious examples for the board. first the contractors left the front door, of the building wide open resulting in the theft of my bicycles, my son's bicycle, including one valued at approximately $2,000. i asked them for their insurance
8:15 am
on this, they refused, they were not give it to me. second the scaffolding, and the scaffolding mesh they left it in place for the better part of a year so far without any work necessitating the scaffolding being done. constituting a security risk. third, the generally negligent approach during and after work each day, even the last couple of days per they were not supposed to be working. i spoke to mr. gonzales and they said they weren't doing work the mailboxes right now, they didn't even touch them, they took them down, they are flopping, you can get right in. they just did this a couple of days ago. this is a lazy approach to debris cleanup, each and every day. if the board is not inclined to take my word for it, it is my understanding they have had numerous notices of violation, issued by the department of building inspectors for performing work outside of the
8:16 am
scope of true permits. i informed you of these issues since i made one of the complaints only for kitchen and bathroom remodeling but they completely gutted the apartments. all i'm asking here is for the board of appeals to condition so that they meet safe, ethical and reasonable requirements. i have personally seen numerous weeks where there were no contractors working on the buildingbuilding, only to startt thing in the morning on saturday or sunday. i also believe it is completely reasonable to ask for detailed construction plan, and work schedule for the entirety of the project, with scheduled updates to completion. no professional contractor would operate without these. it's strange credibility to think a client would sign a contract without them. if planned work is going to be particularly extensive during the week, maybe i can plan to take my family out, off premises.
8:17 am
i would also ask the board to ensure that hampshire flats operates legally and ethically within the conditions here. i am new to this process they would like to ensure the safety and quality of life for me and my children. thank you. trent 20 thank you. >> i have a question for the appellant. i guess whoever wants to answer. the briefs emitted by you, as well as by the permit holder there has been discussion about ensuring that work is not performed in your unit, do you feel satisfied with the documentation, thus far, that work will not be performed in your unit? >> i guess so. i understand it was a mistake on their part. that is when i made the -- that is when i did this filing here. previously they were in the other units, their six units with their own addresses. when i saw 821, i thought holy
8:18 am
mackerel, they're going to come in and get this place. this is what the processes. i think so. i hope so. it appears that that is the case. >> thank you very much. >> another question. your original scheduling for this hearing, i believe, was in august and, you know, the permit holder was willing to extend it even though their permits are being -- yeah, on pause, right? is that normal? they seem like they work with you on that -- >> what i would say to that, commissioner, is that it is completely true that we stipulated to the extension and rescheduling. >> did they ask for an extension or did you ask for an extension extension? >> that was a joint decision between the two of us. that is the best i recall.
8:19 am
it was important to me at that time, because given the briefing process, obviously the appellant is responsible for the initial briefing. it was obviously to mutual benefit of both parties. less attorney hours on their end and less attorney hours on our end. >> thank you. >> commissioners, to address the one point at the end, who is a proposal was it to continue this hearing? it was not mine, or my clients. it was for the respondent to negotiate, and i knew he was under pressure because he had to file a brief period we allowed for that because we wanted to try to resolve this. it delayed the project by two months trying to move this forward, and this particular permit. as you can see by the communications between the parties, we worked extremely hard to address his concerns only to be rejected.
8:20 am
again, i do not think his request, the laundry list is within your authority. we were willing to work with him and mr. castro to try to address those. as for the scheduled hours which i believe are in your authority, we have proposed 730 -- 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. monday through saturday. not eliminating the whole weekend are starting too late because of time getting in and out. the other request, again, not within the board's authority, we are willing to do. giving him the particular schedule for the entire project is unfeasible, because even our client cannot get it, my client, because conditions change. seventy-two hours to give notice about certain actions, also impossible, because things change. we propose 24. just to show we are willing to work hard. as to the issues related to scaffolding. it is required by state law for it to be done because it's too high. we haven't been able to move on the windows in part because of all of these problems. one of the windows is actually
8:21 am
thierry castro's unit. we have no idea if he's going to let us work on those windows. we cannot hire the painting contractor until we have this worked out. on the issue of the other, aga again, we are not prepared to talk about this, we could, but we are not. that was not on today's agenda. today's agenda is about the single permit and the issues around this permit. to mr. duffy's point, i beg to differ, with the records that we have, one of the permits is active and that is why people are visiting the site to see what they can do. that is permit ending with 0671 which is work on the unit. initially that scope was beyond it. we explain how it wasn't and that was reinstated. again, they're going to have to work with all of their permits. this permit is the one before you. on this one we're trying to meet every requirement we, because there is no basis for it. there is nothing here to justify
8:22 am
the evidence that is not there. we have a right to move forward, and we would like to have the permit denied. thank you. >> on the subject of the specific permit and whether it should be denied or upheld. it seems to me just reading the language of the unit it would include the appellant's units, which was a mistake or an accident, whatever you want to phrase it. therefore, the current permit is by all parties agreed to not be performed in that unit. is that an accurate understanding? >> correct. to say it was a mistake. this was obtained over an explanation was given for the project. at that time there was no intent, or any intent now to enter a unit that is occupied. obviously if the unit became vacant tomorrow, the permit would allow us to go forward. if there is a modification that the board feels is appropriate to indicate that, we are happy doing that. no one is trying to interfere
8:23 am
with this unit. no one is going to going to do any construction, or demolition in his unit. we will repair any issues that relate to the unit being up to standard if it needs to. for example the issue he raised earlier. >> that answers that question. the other question i would raise, and i think concern would be -- while the violations of the other permits are not a subject of this hearing, does raise questions as the client's performance of the work and they are exceeding the scope of the work which then raises questions around, you know, are they over the scope of this current perm permit? while it may not be the subject of today's hearing, it doesn't look good, at least what we have heard from the building inspector. i don't know if you have anything to offer in defense of that work that was performed out of scope? >> again, i am not prepared to discuss it. the best of my understanding, there was a project manager that was referenced earlier, she has
8:24 am
been terminated. my understanding is she may have misunderstood the scope and there was some confusion on that one. because of that it was presented back to d.b.i. and there was a reinstatement of that permit. i don't know about the other ones. i understand there is some complaints. one is about a porta potty. i'm not sure of all of them. there is no porta potty on the side anymore. we would address any and all of them given the opportunity. we want the project to move forward. we want to comply with the requirements. here today i want to say, we have done everything we can. >> thank you. >> to follow up on that, whether the project manager was fired or not. i see permits all the time that's a kitchen and bath remodel, exploratory demo and roof repair to get them in the door and then they decide hey, let's build a brand-new building. what part of your clients -- and whether it is privy to this case or not, these are questions i'm asking you, the other thing i
8:25 am
is -- what the board can and cannot do, you would be amazed. really. what happened? i would like you to explain. >> have the contractor here. i wasn't trying to say you have power, you do have power. my point was -- >> i just -- you know, as my fellow commissioner has stated, you've got an appellant that is complaining of all of these issues. your brief says you have resolve them, you're going to resolve them, but yet we see a notice of violation that you did not even start off right. he basically said you're going to do a kitchen and bath, and you gutted five units. >> we didn't -- >> can you explain? >> i've been in construction for 30 years, and i've been managing this project for the past seven months.
8:26 am
we started with 827, actually that one does not have a structure or anything like that. that is the first apartment we started work. there is no structure. we took out the permit for the kitchen and bath. >> before you go further is your company responsible for pulling the permits? >> yes. the designers on the project and a jerk, like he was saying, from the previous company came with a different design, and we started doing other projects while this one was empty, the unit. so, as we are going on, we keep doing apartments, when 821 got on board with the permits, when we went to pull the permits he got added into we did not add that one, okay? so, we started doing the construction, and some design
8:27 am
designs -- we started stopping them and telling them 827 this is the design, now we are moving to something different. we have been requested to go ahead and pull new plans, different permit for the remaining units. 823, 825, 819, and 829. that is what happened. >> so, you are the gc? are you on site? >> yes. >> do you normally deal with -- i mean, do you have direct communication with the appellant here? if he has a problem, who does he call or address? >> he is supposed to go through the project company who manages the building. normally, we do say hi, that is it. he hasn't brought anything to my attention for any defect on his apartment.
8:28 am
are we would've taken care of it. >> if you're there every day, he lives there every day -- >> we see each other. >> would be easy to swap some phone numbers, and if there's a problem, you know? >> i have almost 19 projects and i guarantee you all of the other projects -- times when i just asked you if you're there daily? if you have 19 projects how are you there daily? >> i stop every day on every project. >> i asked you are you there? >> yes. >> are just stopping by. i'm not trying to be argumentative. i am just -- >> minimum 2-3 hours throughout the day, and at the end of the day i check with my guys there. and to make sure that it is properly cleaned on that proje project. it's mostly all the projects actually, okay? i always check behind all of my workers.
8:29 am
>> okay. then have a question for the counselor. this building, there are six units? >> correct. >> five are vacant? did they become vacant? >> i was uninvolved in that, but the property owners here. i believe after the notice was given, they each moved out. >> to negotiate a buyout so they moved out voluntarily? with that property manager like to come forward? >> my name is raul luna, i am the managing member of hampshire flats llc. everyone else was willing to work it out, and we did buy outs with them. we attempted to do the same thing with mr. castro. >> i get it. i just wanted to know how they became vacant. thank you, sir. >> commissioner, to raise the issue about contacts, we are happy to give mr. castro all information regarding the
8:30 am
project managers phone number to meet. >> i wish that was done earlier, but okay. >> again, there was a company managing this. >> thank you. any other questions for the council? >> just to reiterate one thing. i also thought your brief was great. and then mr. duffy stands up and says -- they did all of this work without a permit. this is not going to win points. no matter if you did it honestly, dishonestly, it does not matter. you did the work without the permit. it doesn't help really. and, as you move forward there will be further permits. what is difficult for us is -- because you did it, i'm accusing you of anything. people get ahead of themselves all the time.
8:31 am
it is very, very, very important to stay on it. because, we will see you again. not because we want to. not because you want to see us. because you got somebody living there who is already antagoniz antagonized. you've got somebody living there who is protecting his family, i would do the same. you step out of line 1 inch, without filing a permit you're going to be back. just an advisory, we want this, we want both parties to be happy. be mindful of that, it is very hard for us. >> point taken. thank you. >> thank you. mr. duffy?
8:32 am
>> commissioners, just to clear that up, the notice of violati violation, from what i am reading, i did not speak with the building inspector. the scope of work on two permits have been exceeded. it did say stop all work within 15 days. get a permit within 30, which i have not done yet. from what i am reading, that project should not be any work taking place until this is resolved. until the violation is resolved and the appeal is resolved. i just want to clear that up. i didn't speak to the district inspector, but that is what i am reading. the attorney said that he didn't think that there were stops, i beg to differ. i'm happy to meet with them and discuss it. i'm actually going to go to the building as see what is going on. i would also be happy to take one of our housing inspection services right there. the lead and asbestos issue was brought up during this notification. there is still someone living in there, and i heard kids
8:33 am
mentioned. i hope that they are going to comply. they certainly are on notice to. our message at d.b.i. to contractors is; it is as if you are living in that building for the duration of your project. be response -- respectful. let people know what you're doing. it is very easy to let someone know, tomorrow, for the next week we are going to be doing sheet rock, or for the next week we will be doing electrical work. i don't know how hard that is for any contractor to communicate with someone continuing to live in the building. any good contractor would do that, and we encourage it. and then it's nice to have a notice up in the building. this is a cell phone number of the contractor. that is all good stuff, because then there are appeals, complaints and all things to go wrong. and that's when i think some stuff did go wrong. hopefully we get back on track.
8:34 am
i am quite happy to give them my advice and with a contractor like i do every day of the week, try to tell them it is a privilege to be working in someone's building, be respectful of the people while they're still there while you do your work. it can be done if it's for a plan. sometimes we do get bogus complaints, from tenants, saying they are doing this and doing that and we rush out there and there is no issue. we close the complaint. i don't think that is the case. >> okay. [inaudible] >> maybe there's some issues around asbestos, lead, should we be potentially continuing this to go do an inspection? >> well, the permit was issued properly, but that doesn't mean that the work was done properly. i mean, the permit itself was issued by d.b.i., it's a kitchen and bath remodel permit. it's an easy permit.
8:35 am
i explained the process. we think they got ahead of themselves and some of the units, maybe not them all. the fact that the permit managee permit can be upheld. the problem with the permit is that we've got kitchen and bathroom upgrades, three apartment units, no change to existing wall. units 821, 825 and 829. maybe you keep the permit and say work into apartment units, 825 and 829, because 821 is not allowed to be worked on and that is a mistake with the permit. or you just revoke the permit and start again. this is an over-the-counter permit without plans. they're easy to get. >> i think, counselor, the respondent said they had eight to one on their, so the current tenant -- -- 821 on there, so
8:36 am
the current tenant could going to do the work. is that the current approach? >> yeah, it is their building. the sitting tenant that is a civil issue. they could keep it on their and then keep the permit alive -- i'm sorry i'm not giving you -- making your decision for you. i just have to point out, there is issues with the department right i think they are working to get them resolved. they did find the permit to comply with the notice of violation, with a set of plans. there is a permit waiting to be issued to comply with our notice of violation. i'm a little bit concerned about that. i probably need to speak to my inspector to see what the extent of that was, and the contractor. it's in the notice, that's never good. did they cover the building inspection part of it. did they cover the electrical or the plumbing without inspection? i don't know all of that. like i said, it is in their future to figure this all out. we will make sure that we are
8:37 am
happy before we sign off on any of the work. if it's covered, it's going have to be uncovered for inspection. >> who is the senior inspector out there? >> me. >> and hasn't been on my radar until last night. >> who is the inspector designated? >> ken gonzales. >> a lot of times they have permits rather stuff in they are allowed to work, there's nothing that can be done right now? >> not from what i am reading. they have exceeded the scope on the to issue permits, the one on appeal in the january permit which is for the remodel of the apartments as well. because they did structural wora new permit which they did. they have not picked that permit up yet. that is a notice of violation. >> thank you. >> the best way to clean this up, help me with this, please.
8:38 am
you brought it up, or at least i thought you brought it up. the best way to clean this whole mess up, because they have exceeded the scope of the permit, correct? >> yes. they have to clean that up. they have applied for a new permit. >> correct. >> the best way really to clean this up is to deny the permit that is being appealed here which would force them to get a permit that would wrap everything together, and also in the process they might think about making amends with their tenant -- on the list of items that they have requested, including, most importantly the hours of work.
8:39 am
the cleanest way is to uphold the appeal, denied the permit. that wipes all of chalk off the chalkboard. that makes them go down to get another over-the-counter permit together and move forward -- >> but, mr. president. >> i'm asking. >> i don't know this file permit will comply with the notice of violation. i don't know what they're showing in them. they may be showing the additional work that they got cited for and doesn't show the work on the earlier permit that is under appeal. >> i'm just asking your advice. >> i know. >> what is the most efficient way to move forward to clean this mess up? i'm not saying -- i think the mess is that this permits, which is being appealed has been
8:40 am
exceeded. then there is the piece that has been exceeded is being cleaned up with a band-aid calling another permit. why not just get another one permit? is that not good advice? >> i would need to see what that other permit entails. it's already gone through. it was applied for on july 18th. it's already been through -- i don't know what the plan show. >> since they are stopped now, they are going to be stopped until we resolve this permit, should we follow commissioner lazarus' suggestion to move this thing forward a couple of weeks so you can do your research, so you can get a clean picture of what is going on, and then make a finding accordingly? >> you can do that.
8:41 am
i can go out there and see what is going on. the permit that is under appea appeal -- we would need that work covered on a subsequent permit. >> on top of that, that permit that we are talking about, that work has been exceeded, on top of that there is stuff that has not been -- that has been -- there are other things that you have cited that stuff has been put up an proper inspections have not been made. it has gotten hairy and dirty. why not blow the whole thing up and start all over again? or, why don't we give you some time to figure it all out, and come back with a suggestion on how to best either blow it up, or move forward with some conditions?
8:42 am
>> that is fine by me. might not make the permit holder happy. >> the permit holder made the mistakes. >> i know. as i said, just reading this today reads bad. i did speak to some of this earlier in the year, i didn't even know there was a stop work order. that would not be unusual. i can certainly go out there and get a grasp of where they at. >> don't feel bad, the permit holder exceeded his balance, that is clear. the permit holder should be held accountable for exceeding the boundary while we are talking about accountability, let's get the whole project cleaned up so that the appellant can be happy. which is the whole point of his ability to appeal in the first place. >> the one thing that i heard was from the tenant, he filed the appeal because 821 .-dot mention on the permit.
8:43 am
there was another permit for 819, 823, 827, which that is out of the permit that got issued in january wary. that wasn't appealed. there was complaints filed. the reason he filed the appeal was because of 821 mentioned on it. >> that can also be cleaned up if this permit was denied and then reissued without 821 being in the overall permit. >> may that is the way to go with it. if they're happy to take 821 out until they resolve their issues. they can always come back into the kitchen and bath remodel permit for 821 later. they can uphold that permit and take 821 out of it. let d.b.i. monitor the inspections and make sure that the notice of violation is adhered to. >> i would like to hear with the other commissioners think now that i have stirred the pot a little bit.
8:44 am
>> i started as well by reading out the violations. the attorney said has nothing to do with it, and i think it does. i think it's on the road to getting there. i just don't know if it's there yet, that's all. >> do you know tonight the permit that is trying to address the nov, if that includes the five units, not 821, or the other five? we don't know the scope of that permit that is going to be issued. >> exactly. if we could encompass all of the work onto that one permit we could revoked out all over. >> thank you. >> commissioners, this matter is submitted. >> i don't subscribe to blowing this permit up, because there was an nov and they have properly gone in and asked for a permit to correct. i think those need to be kept separate. there are other issues that are muddying this, as i suggest, i
8:45 am
would prefer to continue this and allow inspector duffy to go out there and look at the various permits and figure out what is going on and then report back to us so we can take informed action. >> i agree. i would prefer to keep this permit within the pervy of this board. if it does go forward, we have the ability to condition it, so it at least makes the appellant feel more comfortable going forward rather than having a new process and then having to renegotiate this again. how long are you thinking madam vice president? >> also, to make it really cle clear, obviously none of us have been out there to see work done, or not done, while this permit is suspended. if we move forward and continue this, and this permit stays suspended, mr. contractor, don't you dare lift a hammer. i mean, you've got to respect
8:46 am
the law. >> the question would be to inspector duffy what a likely timeline be for him? two weeks? >> i mean, we would have to put it on october 16. i'm hoping some cases will move off because it's very busy, that calendar. hopefully the matter would be resolved at the beginning of the calendar. is that fine, october 16? >> i don't mind going until midnight, it's all good. >> for the parties does october 16 work? >> counselor. october 16? awesome. >> okay. we have a motion? >> i move to continue the item to october 16 to allow the department of building inspection to visit the property and report on the various projects and permits area. >> we have a motion from vice president lazarus to continue this matter to october 16 so d.b.i. has an opportunity to
8:47 am
visit the property and report back to the board on the situation out there. on that motion; [role call] that motion carries 5-0. >> we will take a break. how long do you want to take? five minutes. >> welcome back to the meeting of the board of appeals. we are now on items 7 a and b, appeal no. 18-135. deetje boler vs. san francisco public works, bureau of urban forestry appealing the issuance on september 27, 2018, to the san francisco public library, of a public works order. approval of request to remove with replacement 19 ficus street trees
8:48 am
along the grove street and hyde street frontages of the subject property; replacement trees shall be a minimum 24-inch box size and the species shall be red maple or a cultivar of that species; of the nine trees to be removed on hyde street, the tree spacing from the utilities and street furniture will reduce the number of replacement trees from nine to six. order no. no. 188456. on january 23, 2019, the board voted 5-0 to continue these appeals to give the parties opportunity to work together to develop a detailed plan that incorporates the following: (1) an assessment of the options for planting the three additional trees (that could not be replaced on hyde street), (2) the feasibility of moving the bus shelter located on hyde street between fulton and grove streets,
8:49 am
(3) an update on the plan for the civic center commons and how that design would impact the plan for the trees at issue, (4) a plan for phasing in the removal and replacement of the trees and the impact it will have on the environment and community, (5) an assessment of the options for the species of the replacement trees, and (6) the effect of the existing electric poles and underground vaults on the plan. as a preliminary matter, commissioner santicana, did you review the materials? >> yes, i have. >> thank you. so we will hear -- i understand, mr. buck, did you want to present the plan? each of the parties has three minutes. so are you going to speak for ms. bullar as well? >> ms. bullar could not join us due to health issues. ms. trainer who has been with us all through the process is going to read her statement. if i may, i know this is a little bit of latitude from the normal process, but i would like
8:50 am
to ask that you sent all of us back to work together. and i want to say we actually did that. so -- >> okay. wonderful. i just want to know in terms of the time requirements. so do you want to take six minutes or three minutes each? >> why don't we let betty read the statement first and then we'll -- >> okay. >> should we run the clock for six minutes, let her speak, and you come up? >> thank you very much. my name is betty trainer and i'm reading the statement of the appellant, deetje boler. good evening. i am requesting that this board reject this application for the following reasons. 1. these trees are too valuable to be lost. they are important for the
8:51 am
library's environment. their effects are irreplaceable. they are an asset to the neighborhood. the neighborhood is soon to be expanded with a residential tower kitty-corner from the trees. 2. it would be wasteful of this asset which would take years to replace. it's hard to consider how a city department would consider such a thing. 3. the consideration to space removals of nine trees leaves it too vague as to when and does not guarantee adequate time for new trees to grow before another tree is removed. it would better meet the expectations of the committee to request permits for each tree separately. we are trying to retain as many trees as possible to increase the city's canopy, which is
8:52 am
poor. 5. the public would be shocked, as it has been at other severe removals, should these trees be removed. the time would be better devoted to planting new trees, rather than removing them, particularly well-established and healthy ones, like these 30-year trees that provide air, wind break, and bird homes. 6 the 2017 every tree survey reports that these 19 trees are no danger and says they need routine pruning but not removal. 7. the trees need to be properly pruned. presumably it is known how to do this, so let's do it. this wouldn't have been such a challenge had the library taken care of them. the residents voted to turn the
8:53 am
responsibility for the trees over to the city. and suddenly there are all these trees to take care. whether there is adequate staffing and funding to plant as many trees as possible, as well as taking proper care of those already standing. the large number of protested tree removals that have resulted in this new arrangement signify a problem. as to the library's water wasteful way of cleaning the sidewalks, surely the facility -- >> okay, ms. trainer, you're beyond three minutes. do you want to come up or for her to take your time? >> many people signed a petition. copies of their comments were provided to you. as the library is very sensitive to bad publicity, as it is not
8:54 am
far-fetched to think that they might be willing to support withdrawal of this application in favor of gradually dealing with one or two trees at a time, if removal still seems necessary. there was a great removal of the old olive trees of each corner of city center plaza. the poor things have shallow roots. that was the end of them and the green groves. let us not add to the pile of dead trees. in conclusion, the simple fact is that we need all the trees possible for many reasons. we need to plant new trees. we do not need to up root and throw away any trees. proper pruning is what is necessary. trees are living beings and we are human beings should recognize that fact and cherish them. they are too valuable to be
8:55 am
disposed of. rachael gordon is quoted in 2018, the city never wants to remove a tree unless it is absolutely necessary for public safety. one has to ask whether d.p.w. always holds to this sense when people protest removals that are proposed. some of the removals turn out to be ruled unnecessary. perhaps the department needs to include the word absolutely in their proposals. last but least, keeping these trees will keep the birds in them. >> from the demonstration gardens, we started from a similar perspective, and i wanted to read our recommendations that we started with before we entered into such detailed work with the library
8:56 am
and the bureau of urban forestry. we wanted to remove no healthy trees due to the tree emergency -- >> you have 30 seconds. >> prune and improve drainage to keep -- this is not possible. i can't present our plan in -- >> why don't you tell us what your proposal is. you have time in rebuttal. >> there's no rebuttal. but i understand the library wants to cede their time. >> yes, we would do that if it's acceptable. >> since we're talking about this for 30 seconds, maybe we can add 30 seconds. since there were two appeals, the library would have six minutes. >> that should give us enough time. so we -- we didn't want to remove any trees at all that are healthy. we wanted to improve drainage to
8:57 am
keep as many as possible. we wanted to create an offset grove before removing any trees to demonstrate positive will in the right direction. we wanted to remove the bus shelter if the bus stop should stay. we wanted to modify lighting as needed to improve visibility, work with the petitioners, the 3500 people who signed the petition to keep the trees to create a stewardship program. and overall reduce trauma wherever possible by a gradual approach, no stumps, increase green wherever we can, and replace any lost trees with evergreens, such as redwoods or lindens. so we did research that issue as requested, and found that those trees were meant to be evergreens. so we started from a position
8:58 am
similar to ms. boler's and by working together we have addressed many of those problems. could i have the laptop. so we've come up with a working draft tree management plan together. this is a view of the ficus from the main entrance. we've got from looking at it as individual trees to a grove. we've gone from being adversaries to becoming a working group. we've gone from working with problems, lots of different problems, to treating the situation as one of creative opportunities, problems such as perception of safety on the one side from the library and on the other that we should never remove any trees for any reason. we've moved into a different
8:59 am
zone with this. we've moved from looking at 19 individual street trees to thinking of this as a grove, as a unified place, and as a place with an opportunity for people to work together. so that's what i'd like to report about our process. we are -- we have the steps we propose to move towards this are, first, demonstrate commitment from the library to ongoing green space. that means that we're going to expand the planted areas before any removal is done and maintain work to maintain the existing trees. when we're going to work to engage a community of petitioners by
9:00 am
building out a community steward program with internal library resources and community partnerships. we have the really significant problem that two of our three neighborhood parks are closed for renovation. so we've all agreed that until those parks are reopened, which is a matter of six or eight months we think, we won't remove any trees. we don't want to stop people. after they open and steps one and two are done, we will work to gradually remove no more than nine, instead of all of them, no more than nine after careful assessment. tonight, mr. bucklet looked again at a tree that is troubled and he thought that it could be -- we could save that tree as well. also, in terms of the species replacement, we're going to

21 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on