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City and County of San Francisco 
Planning Department 



APR 1 4 1998 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



OMNI San Francisco Hotel 

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT 
97.447E 



Draft EIR Publication Date: April 11, 1998 

Draft EIR Public Hearing Date: May 14, 1998 

Draft EIR Public Comment Period: April 11, 1998 to May 26, 1998 



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PLANNING DEPARTMENT 

City and County of San Francisco 1660 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103-2414 



PLANNING COMMISSION ADMINISTRATION CURRENT PLANNING/ZONING LONG RANGE PLANNING 
FAX: 558-6409 FAX: 558-6426 FAX: 558-6409 FAX: 558-6426 



(415) 558-6378 



DATE: April 12, 1998 

TO: Distribution List for the OMNI San Francisco Hotel Project Draft EIR 

FROM: Hillary E. Gitelman, Environmental Review Officer 

SUBJECT: Request for the Final Environmental Impact Report for the 
OMNI San Francisco Hotel Project (Case Number 97.447E) 



This is the SupplementafDraft of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the OMNI 
San Francisco Hotel Project. A public hearing will be held on the adequacy and 
accuracy of this document. After the public hearing, our office will prepare and publish a 
document titled "Summary of Comments and Responses" which will contain a summary 
of all relevant comments on this Draft EIR and our responses to those comments; it may 
also specify changes to this Draft EIR. Public agencies and members of the public who 
testify at the hearing on the Draft EIR will automatically receive a copy of the Comments 
and Responses document, along with notice of the date reserved for certification; others 
may receive such copies and notice on request or by visiting our office. This Draft EIR 
together with the Summary of Comments and Responses document will be considered 
by the City Planning Commission in an advertised public meeting and certified as a Final 
EIR if deemed adequate. 

After certification, we will modify the Draft EIR as specified by the Comments and 
Responses document and print both documents in a single publication called the Final 
Environmental Impact Report. The Final EIR will add no new information to the 
combination of the two documents except to reproduce the certification resolution. It will 
simply provide the information in one rather than two documents. Therefore, if you 
receive a copy of the Comments and Responses document in addition to this copy of 
the Draft EIR, you will technically have a copy of the Final EIR. 

We are aware that many people who receive the Draft EIR and Summary of Comments 
and Responses have no interest in receiving virtually the same information after the EIR 
has been certified. To avoid expending money and paper needlessly, we would like to 
send copies of the Final EIR to private individuals only if they request them. 

If you would like a copy of the Final EIR, therefore, please fill out and mail the postcard 
provided inside the back cover to the Office of Environmental Review within two weeks 
after certification of the EIR. Any private party not requesting a Final EIR by that time will 
not be mailed a copy. Public agencies on the distribution list will automatically receive a 
copy of the Final EIR. 

Thank you for your interest in this project. 



REF 711.4097 Oml05d 



OMNI San Francisco Hotel 
: draft environmental 
1998. 



3 1223 04643 1558 
S.F. PUBLIC LIBRARY 



OMNI San Francisco Hotel Project 
Draft Environmental Impact Report 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 



I. Summary 1 

A. Introduction 1 

B. Project Description 1 

C. Main Environmental Effects 2 

D. Mitigation Measures 3 

E. Alternatives to the Proposed Project 5 

F. Areas of Controversy and Issues to be Resolved 7 

II. Project Description 8 

A. Project Sponsor's Objectives 8 

B. Site Location and Project Characteristics 8 

C. Project Approval Requirements 18 

III. Environmental Setting 22 

A. Historic Architectural Resources 22 

B. Transportation/Circulation 27 

IV. Environmental Impacts 31 

A. Historic Architectural Resources 31 

B. Transportation/Circulation 34 

C. Growth Inducement 50 

V. Mitigation Measures Proposed to Minimize Significant 

Impacts of the Project 51 

A. Cultural Resources 52 

B. Transportation 52 

C. Hazards 53 

D. Construction Air Quality 54 

VI. Significant Environmental Effects Which Cannot be 

Avoided if the Proposed Project is Implemented 55 

VII. Alternatives to the Proposed Project 57 

A. No Project Alternative 57 

B. Preservation Alternative 58 

C. Reduced Intensity Alternative 59 

D. Office Alternative 61 

VIII. EIR Authors 63 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



Table of Contents 



Page 

IX. Appendices 64 

A. Initial Study and EIR Requirement A-1 

B. Draft EIR Distribution List B-1 

C. Intersection Level of Service Descriptions C-1 

D. Pedestrian Level of Service Descriptions D-1 

List of Figures 

Figure 1 Project Location . . 9 

Figure 2 First-Floor Plan 10 

Figure 3 Second-Floor Plan 11 

Figure 4 Third-Floor Plan . 12 

Figure 5 Typical Guest Room Floor Plan (Floors 4-15) 14 

Figure 6 South Elevation 15 

Figure 7 East Elevation . 16 

Figure 8 Building Section 17 

Figure 9 Existing Street Network and Transit Routes in the Project Area ......... 28 

List of Tables 

Table 1 Existing Intersection Levels of Service 43 

Table 2 Existing Plus Project Intersection Levels of Service 45 

Table 3 Existing Plus Project Pedestrian Crosswalk Levels of Service ........... 46 

Table 4 Future Cumulative Intersection Levels of Service 49 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



ii 



I. SUMMARY 



A. INTRODUCTION 

This document is a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) prepared in accordance with the 
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on the proposed renovation of the historic building 
located at 500 California Streets as a hotel. CEQA requires that an Environmental Impact Report 
(EIR) be prepared for any project to be undertaken or approved by a local or State agency that 
may have a significant effect on the environment (California Public Resources Code, Section 
21000). 

An application for environmental review evaluation for the 500 California Street OMNI San 
Francisco Hotel Project was filed on July 1 1 , 1997. On the basis of the Initial Study published 
on January 31 , 1998, the San Francisco Planning Department, Office of Environmental Review, 
determined that an EIR was required. This document, together with its appendices, constitutes 
a DEIR on the proposed OMNI San Francisco Hotel project. The Lead Agency responsible for 
preparing the EIR on this project is the Planning Department for the City and County of San 
Francisco. This EIR is intended to provide sufficient environmental documentation to allow the 
San Francisco Planning Commission to make an informed decision concerning the proposed 
OMNI San Francisco Hotel project. 

B. PROJECT DESCRIPTION 

The proposed project entails the conversion of an existing vacant office building at 500 California 
Street to an approximately 362-room hotel with a ground floor restaurant and bar. About 53,800 
square feet of new floor space would be constructed in additions to the 2nd through 1 7th floors 
on the north and west sides of the L-shaped building. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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I. Summary 



Several modifications would be made to the building's primary facades on Montgomery and 
California streets. The polished granite that was added to the first four stories in 1 956 would be 
removed and replaced to resemble the original 1927 facade, including an arched doorway and 
arched windows. The entrance to the building would be moved from Montgomery Street to 
California Street. Openings would be punched into the arches in the cast-stone cornice arcade 
to accommodate about 60 new windows in the new 17th floor. All of the primary facade 
rectangular wood-frame windows would be partially replaced: the original wood window frames 
would be retained and covered with aluminum pan painted to approximate the original window 
frame color, the window sashes would be replaced with new aluminum frame and the single- 
glazed glass would be replaced with thicker, laminated glass. These would be designed to 
closely match the existing windows in size and shape. 

The project would require the following approvals: 

• The City Planning Commission must certify the EIR; approve a Permit to Alter for 
alterations to a Category I building following review and recommendation by the 
Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board; approve project compliance with Section 
309 of the City Planning Code, Permit Review in C-3 Districts; approve a 
Conditional Use Authorization for hotel use in C-3 District and exceptions from 
certain City Planning Code requirements for tour bus loading; approve the use of 
square footage entitlements through transferable development rights (TDRs) 
derived from preservation of other historic buildings in the area, and find the 
project consistent with the Priority Policies of Section 101.1 of the City Planning 
Code and applicable Objectives and Polices of the City General Plan. The 
Planning Department must approve the construction permit. 

• The Department of Parking and Traffic must approve proposed loading zones 
(white and yellow curbs). 

• The Department of Building Inspection must approve the construction permit. 

Construction of the hotel would take about 18 months, including interior finishing, after which 
initial occupancy would occur. Estimated cost of the project would be about $28 million (1998 
dollars). Patri Merker Architects of San Francisco is the lead project architect. 

C. MAIN ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS 

The proposed 500 California OMNI Hotel project would change the former office use of the site 
and increase activity in a building that has not been in use for nearly a decade. Potentially 
significant environmental effects of the project include the effects on architectural and historic 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



2 



I. Summary 



resources and effects related to transportation issues which are discussed in this EIR. The Initial 
Study determined that issues related to land use, urban design, glare, population and housing, 
noise, air quality, wind, utilities and public services, biology, hydrology, water quality, geology 
and topography, energy and natural resources, hazards, and cultural resources (archaeology) 
would be either insignificant or would be mitigated through measures included in the project. 

CHANGE TO PRIMARY FACADE WINDOWS 

The proposed project includes the retention of the existing original wood window frames and 
removal of the single-glazed, double-hung window sashes (approximately 450 windows) and 
their replacement with thicker, laminated glass, single-hung aluminum sash windows. 
Replacement of the existing single-glazed windows with laminated glass would reduce the 
building's energy consumption and would provide important sound insulation for the proposed 
hotel rooms. However, removal of the window sashes would conflict with the City's standards 
pertaining to the preservation of distinctive architectural features which affect the overall 
appearance of an historic building, and would constitute a significant impact. 

CREATION OF NEW CORNICE WINDOWS 

In order to create a new floor within the attic story of the existing building, a new row of windows 
would be installed within the existing cast-stone ornamental arcade at the top of the building on 
the primary building elevations. Openings (in groups of three) would be punched into 60 of 
about 90 existing ornamental stone arches adorning the arcade, and arched-top windows would 
be inserted into the voids. The new windows would require removal of existing historical fabric, 
in conflict with standards pertaining to the preservation of historic buildings contained in the San 
Francisco Planning Code. 

D. MITIGATION MEASURES 

Primary measures that would mitigate potentially significant environmental effects are presented 
below. A full recitation of mitigation measures proposed as part of the project or under 
consideration by the project sponsor, and those under the jurisdiction of other agencies is 
presented in Chapter V, Mitigation Measures. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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I. Summary 



MEASURES PROPOSED AS PART OF THE PROJECT 
Cultural Resources 

• Should evidence of archaeological resources of potential significance be found during 
ground disturbance, the project sponsor would immediately notify the Environmental 
Review Officer (ERO), and would suspend any excavation which the ERO determined 
could damage such archaeological resources. Ground disturbing activities which might 
damage discovered cultural resources would be suspended for a total maximum of four 
weeks over the course of construction. 

After notifying the ERO, the project sponsor would select an archaeologist to assist the 
Office of Environmental Review in determining the significance of the find. The 
archaeologist would prepare a draft report containing an assessment of the potential 
significance of the find and recommendations for what measures should be implemented 
to minimize potential effects on archaeological resources. Based on this report, the ERO 
would recommend specific mitigation measures to be implemented by the project 
sponsor. 

These additional mitigation measures might include a site security program, additional 
on-site investigations by the archaeologist, and/or documentation, preservation, and 
recovery of the cultural material. Finally, the archaeologist would prepare a report 
documenting the cultural resources that were discovered, an evaluation as to their 
significance, and a description as to how any archaeological testing, exploration, and/or 
recovery program was conducted. 

Copies of all draft reports prepared according to this mitigation measure would be sent 
first and directly to the ERO for review. Following approval by the ERO, copies of the 
final report would be sent to the President of the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board 
and the California Archaeological Site Survey Northwest Information Center. The Office 
of Environmental Review shall receive three copies of the final archaeological report. 

Circulation 

• During the construction period, construction truck movement would be permitted only 
between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (on weekdays) to minimize peak-hour traffic (including 
transit) conflicts. The project sponsor and construction contractor(s) would meet with the 
Traffic Engineering Division of the Department of Parking and Traffic, the Fire Department, 
MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, and the Planning Department to determine feasible traffic 
mitigation measures to reduce traffic congestion, including transit disruption (for example, 
potential relocation of bus stops), and pedestrian circulation impacts during construction 
of this project and other nearby projects that are planned for construction or which later 
become known. To minimize cumulative traffic impacts due to lane closures during 
construction, the project sponsor would ensure that the construction contractor 
coordinate with construction contractor(s) for any concurrent nearby projects that are 
planned for construction or become known. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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I. Summary 



Construction-Related Air Quality 

• The project sponsor would require the project contractor(s) to maintain and operate 
construction equipment so as to minimize exhaust emissions of particulates and other 
pollutants, by such means as a prohibition on idling motors when equipment is not in use 
or when trucks are waiting in queues, and implementation of specific maintenance 
programs to reduce emissions for equipment that would be in frequent use for much of 
the construction period. 

Hazardous Materials 

• The project sponsor intends to remove or encapsulate all friable asbestos in the existing 
building on the site in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal regulations. 
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is vested by the California 
legislature with authority to regulate airborne pollutants, including asbestos, through both 
inspection and law enforcement, and is to be notified ten days in advance of any 
proposed demolition or abatement work. To document the sponsor's compliance with 
applicable regulations, the Planning Department would be provided (by the project 
sponsor) with a copy of the BAAQMD notice prior to issuance of the permit required for 
building alterations by the Department of Building Inspection. 

Emergency Response 

• In order to reduce potential injury to building occupants during an earthquake or other 
catastrophic emergency, an excavation and emergency response plan would be 
developed by the project sponsor or building management staff, in consultation with the 
Mayor's Office of Emergency Services to ensure coordination between the City's 
emergency planning activities and the project's plan and to provide for building 
occupants in the event of an emergency. The project plan would be reviewed by the 
Office of Emergency Services and implemented by building management insofar as 
feasible before issuance by the Department of Public Works of final building permits. 

To expedite implementation of the City's emergency response plan, the project sponsor 
would prominently post information for building occupants/visitors concerning what to do 
in the event of a disaster. 



E. ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED PROJECT 
THE NO-PROJECT ALTERNATIVE 

Under the No-Project Alternative, the proposed project building would remain vacant and in its 
current unusable condition and continue to deteriorate to some degree. None of the impacts 
associated with the proposed project would occur. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



5 



I. Summary 



PRESERVATION ALTERNATIVE 

The preservation alternative would expanded the existing 500 California Street building for hotel 
use similar to the proposed project except there would be no cornice windows or replacement 
of the upper-story windows (from the 4th to 16th floors) on Montgomery and California Streets. 
The existing wood-frame double-hung windows in the primary facades would be retained where 
possible and restored in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for 
Rehabilitation. Because there would be no cornice windows, there would be about 17 fewer 
rooms on the 17th Floor. All other aspects of the proposed project would occur with this 
alternative including the expansion of the north and west facades of the interior part of the 
building, the addition of a ballroom and terrace on the third floor, replacement of the facade on 
the lower four floors, relocation of the entrance from Montgomery Street to California Street, and 
new loading docks on Montgomery Street. Implementation of the Preservation Alternative would 
avoid the significant environmental impact on a Category I historical building. In all other 
respects, the impacts of this alternative would be similar to those of the proposed project. 

REDUCED INTENSITY ALTERNATIVE 

This alternative would entail adaptive reuse of the project building as a hotel utilizing the existing 
203,820 square feet of space. Transferable development rights would not be used to expand 
the building size. The existing building with structural reinforcement and limited modifications 
could accommodate approximately 238 hotel rooms. The four-story base of the building would 
still be re-clad in cast stone to resemble the original design complete with arched doorway and 
windows, and the ground floor would contain restaurant and retail space, and a relocated 
entrance on California Street. The glass and sashes of the original wood-frame windows in the 
Montgomery and California Street facades would still be replaced with new aluminum sashes 
and thicker, laminated, glass windows under this alternative. The non-significant traffic impacts 
of this alternative would be less than those of the proposed project. In addition, the construction 
period would be shortened, reducing the temporary construction impacts on traffic. With respect 
to impacts on historic architectural resources, the significant impacts associated with removal 
of the primary facade windows and the addition of windows in the cornice arcade would still 
occur under this alternative. The rear elevations would remain as they are, avoiding the removal 
of historic fabric from those facades. A project benefit would result from restoring the building 
base similar to the original rusticated cast-stone design. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



6 



I. Summary 



OFFICE ALTERNATIVE 

Under the Reuse as Office Building Alternative, the building at 500 California Street would be 
reused as an office building, and none of the proposed building modifications would be made. 
Between 660 and 800 office workers would be employed in the 203,820-square-foot office 
building. This alternative would result in fewer non-significant traffic impacts, including 
intersection and parking impacts, than the proposed project. It is expected that this alternative 
would increase transit demand on all of the downtown transit lines. Although the significant 
impact to historic resources associated with the proposed project would be eliminated through 
retaining the main facade windows, the benefits of the project would not occur because the base 
of the building would not be restored to its original 1927 design. 

F. AREAS OF CONTROVERSY AND ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED 

The primary area of controversy associated with the proposed project is the proposed removal 
of substantial amounts of historic fabric (i.e., changes to cornice and the windows) from that 
building. Accepted preservation practice would be to retain the original windows. The project 
sponsor asserts that replacing the windows will be necessary to meet energy conservation and 
sound attenuation requirements. 

Another potential issue of controversy surrounding the proposed project is the traffic that would 
be generated by a hotel project in the heart of San Francisco's busy and congested Financial 
District. In response to these concerns, the project proposal includes relocating the project 
entrance from Montgomery Street to California Street, which can more readily absorb the 
projected additional traffic from the project. The existing curb along California Street would also 
be reconfigured to create a recessed passenger loading zone, addressing a concern about lane 
blocking on that street. 

The San Francisco Planning Commission (or the Board of Supervisors on appeal) will decide 
whether to approve or disapprove the proposed project, including replacement of the primary 
facade windows, after review and certification of the EIR. Decision makers may also make use 
of other information in the public record, such as studies associated with various window 
treatment/replacement strategies. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



7 



II. PROJECT DESCRIPTION 



A. PROJECT SPONSOR S OBJECTIVES 

Omni San Francisco Corporation, the project sponsor, proposes to develop an approximately 
362-room hotel through the renovation of the existing building at 500 California Street (also 
known as 405 Montgomery Street — the Financial Center Building). The project sponsor has the 
following objectives: 

• Restore a vibrant use to a prominent site in Downtown San Francisco that has 
been vacant since 1990 

• Adaptively reuse and upgrade the architecturally historic Financial Center Building 

• Provide luxury hotel space that is easily accessible to the City's financial district 
and business community 

• Complete the project on schedule and within budget 

• Develop a project with minimal environmental disruption 

B. SITE LOCATION AND PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS 

The proposed project entails the rehabilitation of the architecturally historic 500 California Street 
building, located on the northwest corner of California and Montgomery streets (Figure 1, 
page 9). Situated on Assessor's Block 240, Lot 3, the square-shaped site is 19,100 square feet 
in size. The vacant office building is rated Category I, an architecturally significant structure. 
The project would develop the building into an approximately 362-room hotel that would serve 
the business community in the downtown financial district of San Francisco (C-3-0 Downtown 
Office Zoning District). The hotel would feature approximately 15,000 square feet of meeting 
rooms, an approximately 5, 000-square-foot ground-floor restaurant and bar, and about 1 ,000 sq. 
ft. of retail space (Figures 2, 3 and 4, pages 10 to 12). 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



8 




97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



9 



PROJECT LOCATION FIGURE 1 




California Street 



Source: PBM Architects. Inc. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

1ST FLOOR PLAN FIGURE 2 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



10 




California Street 
Note: Shading represents floor extension 

Source: PBM Architects. Inc. 



2ND FLOOR PLAN FIGURE 3 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



11 




California Street I 
Note: Shading represents new additions m 

Source: PBM Architects. Inc. 

3RD FLOOR PLAN FIGURE 4 I 

I 
I 
I 
I 

97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 12 m 



II. Project Description 



As shown in Figure 1, the existing building is L-shaped and forms an internal "light court" with 
the two other buildings to the north and west of the project site. The two wings of 500 California 
would be widened from about 47 feet to approximately 70 feet in order to accommodate a 
double-loaded hotel corridor (rooms on both sides of the corridor) (Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8, pages 
14 to 17). The widening would require the removal of the existing north- and west-facing walls. 
The new light court walls would consist of reinforced concrete, either painted directly or covered 
with painted cement stucco, and would have new windows. As shown in Figure 8, the roof of 
the existing light court would be replaced by a floor for the new ballroom (an addition of 
approximately 5,100 square feet). The roof of the new ballroom would fall between the fourth 
and fifth floors. 

A new floor would be added at the current mezzanine level becoming the building's second floor 
(Figure 8) and a former attic floor (the 17th) would be replaced with a new floor and the roof 
would be raised about six feet (but not above the existing parapet) in the main portion of the 
building. In total, about 53,800 sq. ft. would be added to the existing building, resulting in a 
finished building approximately 257,700 sq. ft. in size. 

About 60 arched-top windows would be placed in the California Street and Montgomery Street 
facades at the newly-created 17th floor. The windows would be incorporated into the existing 
ornamental arcade at the top of the building, with some of the cast stone friezes (sculptured 
band) situated beneath the arches punched out to accommodate windows in their places 
(Figures 6 and 7). These windows would be recessed and, due to the shadow of the arcade, 
would generally not be visible from the street level during daylight hours. 

The proposed project would also include the removal of the polished beige granite cladding 
facing the first four floors of the California and Montgomery street facades — part of a 1956 
modernization — and installation in its place of a re-creation of the original 1927 cast-stone 
facade. The rectangular storefront windows would be replaced with replicas of the original 
arched window openings. On the upper stories, the existing cast stone and brick would be 
repaired and cleaned. The street-facing window frames and sills in these upper stories would 
be retained and covered with aluminum pan painted to approximate the existing wood frame 
brown color. The windows would be replaced with thicker, laminated glass and the sashes 
would be replaced with aluminum for improved energy and noise insulation. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



13 




California Street 



Note: Shading represents new addition 



Source: PBM Architects. Inc. 

TYPICAL GUEST ROOM FLOOR PLAN (FLOORS 4-1 5) FIGURE 5 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



14 



New Mechanical 
Penthouse 




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New 
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Montgomery 
St 



New Entrance 



California Street 



Source: PBM Architects, Inc. 

SOUTH ELEVATION FIGURE 6 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



15 



New 
Windows 



New Mechanical 
Penthouse 





New 
Facade 



California 
St 



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New Restaurant 
Entrance 



New Loading 
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Montgomery Street 



Source: PBM Architects, Inc. 

EAST ELEVATION FIGURE 7 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



16 



Height 
"202'-8" 



Replacement of 
<£ 1 7th (attic) Floor 



California 
St 




Existing 
Roof Line 

Extension of 

i -< Existing 

Mezzanine 



Montgomery Street 



Note: Shading represents new addition 

Source: PBM Architects, Inc. 



BUILDING SECTION FIGURE 8 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



17 



II. Project Description 



The main pedestrian entrance of the building would be relocated from Montgomery Street to 
California Street. Approximately 120 feet of the curb along California Street is proposed to be 
realigned to provide a recessed white-curb passenger drop-off zone in front of the entrance, 
where valet parking would take private cars to nearby off-street parking garages. The passenger 
loading zone would narrow the existing sidewalk width from 15 feet to 12 feet, and a corner 
extension or "bulbing" would be added, increasing the width to about 19 feet at the corner 
(Figure 2). At least five vehicles could be accommodated in the passenger loading zone at one 
time. A loading dock with two freight-loading spaces would be added, with access from 
Montgomery Street. 

The existing mechanical penthouse housing the elevator, heating and air conditioning units 
would be replaced to contain a new elevator penthouse, pump room, chiller room and cooling 
tower. The new mechanical penthouse would be about the same size as the existing penthouse, 
would range in height from 10 to 15 feet above the new roof, and would be closer to the 
Montgomery Street facade (about 14 feet) and the California Street facade (about 14 feet) than 
the existing penthouse. 

Project construction would take approximately 18 months. The total construction cost is 
estimated at $28,000,000. The project sponsor is OMNI San Francisco Corporation, and the 
project architects are Patri Merker Architects. 

C. PROJECT APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS 

Following a public hearing before the City Planning Commission on the Draft EIR, responses to 
written and oral comments will be prepared. The EIR will be revised as appropriate and 
presented to the City Planning Commission for certification as to its accuracy, objectivity, and 
completeness. No permits may be issued or approvals granted before the Final EIR is certified. 

On November 4, 1986, the voters of San Francisco approved Proposition M, the Accountable 
Planning Initiative, which added Section 101.1 to the City Planning Code and established eight 
Priority Policies. These policies are preservation and enhancement of neighborhood-serving 
retail uses; protection of neighborhood character; preservation and enhancement of affordable 
housing; discouragement of commuter automobiles; protection of industrial and service land 
uses from commercial office development and enhancement of resident employment and 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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II. Project Description 



business ownership; earthquake preparedness; landmark and historic building preservation; and 
protection of open space. Prior to issuing a permit for any project that requires an Initial Study 
under CEQA or adopting any zoning ordinance or development agreement, the City is required 
to find that the proposed project or legislation is consistent with the Priority Policies. The City 
Planning Commission or Planning Department, during the review and approval process for the 
project, including conditional use authorization, will make a determination of the project's 
conformance with the Priority Policies, and will so advise any other approving bodies, including 
the Board of Supervisors. 

The proposed project would involve modifications to a Category I (significant) historic building 
and would therefore require a Permit to Alter pursuant to Article 1 1 of the City Planning Code. 
Applications for a Permit to Alter in cases involving construction would require approval by the 
City Planning Commission, following review and a recommendation by the Landmarks 
Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB). LPAB review includes a public hearing. 

Part of the expansion would require the use of transferable development rights (TDRs) derived 
from preservation of other historic buildings in the C-3 zoning district in which the project is 
located. 

The City Planning Code, which incorporates by reference the City's Zoning Maps, governs 
permitted uses, densities, and the configuration of buildings within San Francisco. Permits to 
construct new buildings (or to alter or demolish existing ones) may not be issued unless either 
the proposed project conforms to the Code, or an exception is granted pursuant to provisions 
of the Code. Under Section 303, the project sponsor will request Conditional Use authorization 
from the City Planning Commission for hotel use in a C-3 district and exceptions to the Section 
162 requirement that hotels with more than 200 rooms provide off-street bus loading. The City 
Planning Commission would hold a public hearing to consider the project's application for 
Conditional Use authorization in accordance with Sections 304 of the City Planning Code and 
would adopt a motion approving, approving with conditions, or disapproving the project. 

The application and public hearing regarding the Conditional Use authorization may be 
combined with the Permit to Alter per Article 1 1 of the City Planning Code. If the project were 
approved by the City Planning Commission, the project sponsor must obtain building and related 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



19 



II. Project Description 



permits from the Central Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection. An application 
for a Site Permit for the project was filed on April 1 , 1998. 

The project would also require approval under Section 309 of the City Planning Code for 
construction above a height of 75 feet and a request for an exception from the requirement to 
provide an on-site tour bus loading space, Permit Review in C-3 Districts, which governs the 
review of project authorization and building and site permit applications in C-3 districts. Under 
Section 309, the City Planning Commission would evaluate the project's provision of Section 138 
(Open Space), Section 138.1 (Pedestrian Streetscape Improvements), Section 139 (Downtown 
Park Fund), Section 146 (Shadows on Streets), Section 149 (Public Art), Section 102.8(b)(16) 
(Replacement Short-term parking), Section 313 (Office Affordable Housing Production Program) 
and Section 314 (Child Care). The City Planning Commission would hold a public hearing to 
consider the project application, and would adopt a motion approving, approving with conditions, 
or disapproving the project. If the project were to be approved by the City Planning 
Commission, the project sponsor must obtain building and related permits from the Center 
Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection. 

GENERAL PLAN POLICIES 

As noted above, the project would be reviewed by the City Planning Department and City 
Planning Commission in the context of applicable objectives and policies of the City General 
Plan. Some key objectives and policies are noted below. 
Downtown Plan 

• Objective 4, Policy 1 , to "guide the location of new hotels to minimize their adverse 
impacts on circulation, existing uses and scale of development." 

• Objective 6, to "provide space for future office, retail, hotel service and related uses within 
acceptable levels of density in downtown San Francisco." 

• Objective 12, to "conserve resources that provide continuity with San Francisco's past." 

Policy 1 , to "preserve notable landmarks and areas of historic, architectural, or aesthetic 
value, and promote the preservation of other buildings and features that provide 
continuity with past development"; Policy 2, to "use care in remodeling significant older 
buildings to enhance rather than weaken their original character." 

Downtown Streetscape Plan 

• California Street in the Financial District, "sidewalks should be widened to 1 9 feet between 
Kearny and Drumm Streets." 



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II. Project Description 



Commerce and Industry Element 

• Objective 1 , Policy 1 , to "encourage development which provides substantial net benefits 
and minimizes undesirable consequences. Discourage development which has 
substantial undesirable consequences that cannot be mitigated." 

• Objective 3, to "provide expanded employment opportunities for City residents, 
particularly the unemployed and economically disadvantaged"; 



Urban Design Element 

• Objective 2, Policy 4, to "preserve notable landmarks and areas of historic, architectural 
or aesthetic value, and promote the preservation of other buildings and features that 
provide continuity with past development"; Policy 5 to "use care in remodeling of older 
buildings, in order to enhance rather than weaken the original character of such 
buildings"; Policy 6, to "respect the character of older development nearby in the design 
of new buildings"; and Policy 7, to "recognize and protect outstanding and unique areas 
that contribute in an extraordinary degree to San Francisco's visual form and character." 

• Objective 3, Policy 1 , to "promote harmony in the visual relationships and transitions 
between new and older buildings"; Policy 2, to "avoid extreme contrasts in color, shape 
and other characteristics which will cause new buildings to standout in excess or their 
public importance"; Policy 5, to "relate the height of buildings to important attributes of 
the city pattern and to the height and character of existing development"; and Policy 6, 
to "relate the bulk of buildings to the prevailing scale of development to avoid an 
overwhelming or dominating appearance in new construction." 

Environmental Protection Element 

• Objective 1 , Policy 4, to "assure that all new development meets strict environmental 
quality standards and recognizes human needs." 

• Objective 14, to "promote effective energy management practices to maintain the 
economic vitality of commerce and industry"; and Policy 1, to "increase the energy 
efficiency of existing commercial and industrial buildings through cost-effective energy 
management measures." 

Community Safety Element 

• Objective 2, to "preserve, consistent with life safety considerations, the architectural 
character of buildings and structures important to the unique visual image of San 
Francisco." 

The project would respond, in general, to the above noted City General Plan objectives and 
policies, except for the widening of the sidewalk on California Street to 19 feet. The proposed 
project plans to narrow the sidewalk from 1 5 feet to 1 2 feet. 



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III. ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 



A. HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL RESOURCES 1 
PROJECT SITE CULTURAL RESOURCES 

In its natural state, the proposed project area was situated approximately 150 feet to the west 
of the high tideline of the original shoreline of San Francisco Bay, which then lay immediately 
to the east of the line of present day Montgomery Street. Archival research suggests the 
possibility that prehistoric cultural resources exist, or may once have existed, within and/or 
adjacent to the boundaries of the project site. An historic Coastanoan Indian settlement, as a 
temescal, or sweat house is known to have been located less than 1 00 feet to the north of the 
project site during the late 1830s and early 1840s. 

Although not verified, one historical account indicates that the first known structure built on the 
site was a wooden shanty erected in the mid-1 840s by William Heath Davis and occupied 
between 1845 and 1846 by the wife of U.S. Naval Captain John B. Montgomery. In 1849 Davis 
constructed a brick building, which was leased to the U.S. government for its Custom House. 
This four-story building was the first brick building of more than one story constructed in San 
Francisco. This building formed the anchor for the heart of the rapidly developing financial 
district of San Francisco, shifting it from its previous focus to the north and west of the project 
site. The building, described as the most imposing edifice in the City, was destroyed in the 
Great San Francisco Fire of May 3-4, 1851. All that remained was a fire-proof vault that 
contained more than $1 million in gold, which was subsequently transferred to a new building 
at the intersection of Kearny and Washington Streets. 

In 1853 a three-story granite building was completed by John Parrott, a millionaire who had 
acquired the project site the previous year. The building was occupied by the banking firm of 
Page, Bacon & Company and by express agents Adams & Company, two of California's leading 
financial institutions. Both of these companies subsequently failed when the gold deposits in 



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III. Environmental Setting 



the Sierra Nevada were largely exhausted and an economic nosedive occurred around 1 855. 
Wells, Fargo & Company subsequently moved into the "Parrott Building," and remained into the 
next century. Another financial institution and a variety of small commercial enterprises also 
occupied the building following the failure of the building's original occupants. 

The Parrott Building, which was among the relatively few financial district buildings to survive the 
Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, was acquired by John A. Hooper in 1922. Hooper was a 
successful San Francisco commodities trader, banker, and property investor who made an 
immense fortune in downtown property turnovers. Just one month prior to his death near the 
end of 1925, Hooper sold the Parrott Building to a syndicate of Montgomery Street financiers. 
This syndicate demolished the landmark building the following March. 

BUILDING HISTORY 

The Montgomery Street financiers syndicate erected a new Financial Center Building, which was 
completed on January 1, 1927. The 15-story steel-frame Financial Center Building, which was 
indeed located in the City's fast-growing financial center, was designed by architects Frederick 
H. Meyer and Albin R. Johnson. Although little is known of Johnson, Meyer was a well-known 
San Francisco architect who designed the Elks Club (1926), the Chinese YMCA (1926), 
Humboldt Bank Building, apartment buildings, private residences, and the Bakersfield, California 
courthouse. He also oversaw the planning of San Francisco's Civic Center. Meyer had no 
formal architectural training, yet he served as San Francisco City Architect between 1912 and 
1928 and received a Medal of Honor from the Panama Pacific International Exposition. 

Meyers' and Johnson's building design was influenced by the Florentine Renaissance, the 
designs of H. H. Richardson, and the ornamentally-restrained Chicago skyscrapers of the early 
20th century. The building facade relies on a traditional tripartite vertical composition consisting 
of base, shaft, and "capital." The base of the building on the California Street and Montgomery 
Street facades was faced with rusticated cast stone up to the fifth story. The main shaft of the 
building was composed of unadorned red brick interspersed with pairs of rectangular double- 
hung windows embellished with simple, cast-stone sills. The top of the building (the "capital"), 
including the 15th floor, was faced in cast stone punctuated by a series of tall arches, with two 
arched windows set between each archway. The attic story was capped with a corbelled cast- 
stone cornice arcade. 



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III. Environmental Setting 



The original building was laid out in an L-shaped plan to allow light to penetrate every office 
space. Each floor had about 27 offices and was served by 6 elevators. Each wing was bisected 
by a central corridor 6 feet 6 inches wide. The corridors were finished with terrazzo floors, were 
faced with a marble wainscot (facing or paneling) 4 feet high, and were trimmed in oak. 
Ornamental plasterwork adorned some of the interior walls in the building. Though subsequently 
modified, as detailed below, the building created by Meyers and Johnson remains today on the 
proposed project site. 

Since its completion in 1927, the Financial Center Building has been modified numerous times, 
though most of the changes have taken place on the interior of the building. Within just months 
of its completion, an interior mezzanine level was designed by Meyer and added to the building. 
The most substantial modifications ever made to the building's appearance occurred in 1956, 
when the building's owner at the time, First Western Bank & Trust Co., commissioned the 
architecture firm of Loubet and Flynn to remodel the exterior base of the building, along with the 
interior entrance and elevator lobby. The original cast stone base was removed and replaced 
with polished beige granite cladding, and rectangular storefront windows replaced the original 
arched openings, giving the building exterior the appearance it presents today. On the interior, 
the original rich marble wainscoting, carved marble door trim, and cast bronze elevator doors 
were removed from the lobby and the lobby was remodeled. An additional elevator and stair 
were constructed and an aluminum and glass enclosure was installed around the elevator hall. 

The next recorded building modification was made in 1962, when new glass entrance doors were 
created. The building owner at this time was United California Bank. United California 
commissioned Whisler/Patri Associated Architects to construct a steel-frame extension to the 
rooftop penthouse in 1965. Other minor modifications have been made to the building in the 
intervening years, though none have altered the exterior appearance of the building. The interior 
of the building was stripped in 1990 for potential use as remodeled office space. However, a 
small section of original plasterwork remains on the south wall of the 15th floor. 

HISTORICAL RATINGS OF THE PROJECT BUILDING 

The project building has been evaluated and rated as a historic building by the San Francisco 
Planning Department and in the book Splendid Survivors. 2 San Francisco defines a building 
rating methodology in the "Preservation of the Past" section of the Downtown Plan. Based on 



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III. Environmental Setting 



this methodology, the proposed project building is designated a Significant Building-Category 
I. Category I buildings are: 

(1) at least 40 years old; 

(2) judged to be Buildings of Individual Importance; and 

(3) rated 'Excellent' in Architectural Design or are rated 'Very Good' in both Architectural 
Design and Relationship to the Environment. 

The project building was judged to be of 'Excellent' Architectural Design and 'Very Good' in 
Relationship to the Environment, according to criteria contained in the Downtown Plan. 

Splendid Survivors assigns the project building an 'A' rating, indicating the "highest importance." 
The rating system used in the book is based on a rating system used by the Canadian 
government and described in the book The Evaluation of Historic Buildings. 3 The numerical 
scores used in The Evaluation of Historic Buildings was translated into four letter grades (A-D) 
in Splendid Survivors. The 'A' rating assigned to this and other downtown structures in Splendid 
Survivors recognized "individually the most important buildings in downtown San Francisco, 
distinguished by outstanding qualities of architecture, historical values, and relationship to the 
environment. All A-group buildings are eligible for the National Register, and of highest priority 
for City Landmark status." 4 

A Permit to Alter for alterations to a Category I (significant) historic building would be required 
from the Planning Commission, following review and recommendations by the Landmarks 
Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB). In conducting its review of the project, the LPAB will apply 
standards contained in Section 1111.6, Article 1 1 of the San Francisco Planning Code. The 
standards, which are based in part on the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, the 
nationally-accepted standards for the restoration, rehabilitation, alteration, and addition to historic 
buildings, include the following: 

(b) For Significant Buildings— Categories I and II, and for Contributory 
Buildings — Categories III and IV, proposed alterations of structural elements and exterior 
features shall be consistent with the architectural character of the building, and shall 
comply with the following specific requirements: 

(1) The distinguishing original qualities or character of the building may not 
be damaged or destroyed. Any distinctive architectural feature which affects the 



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III. Environmental Setting 



overall appearance of the building shall not be removed or altered unless it is the 
only feasible means to protect the public safety. 

(2) The integrity of distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled 
craftsmanship that characterize a building shall be preserved. 

(3) Distinctive architectural features which are to be retained pursuant to 
Paragraph (1) but which are deteriorated shall be repaired rather than replaced, 
whenever possible. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material shall 
match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture and other 
visible qualities . . . 

(4) Contemporary design of alterations is permitted, provided that such 
alterations do not destroy significant exterior architectural material and that such 
design is compatible with the size, scale, color, material and character of the 
building and its surroundings. 

(5) The degree to which distinctive features need to be retained may be less 
when the alteration is to exterior elements not constituting a part of a principal 
facade . . . 

(6) In the case of Significant Buildings — Category I, any additions to height of 
the building (including addition of mechanical equipment) shall be limited to one 
story above the height of the existing roof, shall be compatible with the scale and 
character of the building, and shall in no event cover more than 75 percent of the 
roof area. 



Additionally, the "Urban Design Element" of the San Francisco Master Plan suggests the use of 
care in the remodeling of older buildings, "in order to enhance rather than weaken the original 
character of such buildings." Although this is not a clearly defined standard for guiding the 
restoration of historic structures, it is a statement that is meant to inform a general ethical 
approach to historic buildings in San Francisco's downtown area. The "Preserving the Past" 
section of the Downtown Area Plan reasserts this statement. 



NOTES - Historic Architectural Resources 

1 The discussion of the cultural resources project area is based on the report Archival Cultural Resources Evaluation 
of 500 California Street, by Allen G. Pastron, Ph.D., Archeo-Tec, November 1997. The discussion on the historic 
architecture of the area and the proposed project building is based on the report 405 Montgomery Street, 500 
California, San Francisco, California, Architectural Resources Report for Environmental Review, Page STurnbull, Inc., 
March 1998. These reports are available for public review in file Number 97.447E at the Planning Department, 1660 
Mission Street, fifth floor, San Francisco. 

2 Corbett, Michael. Splendid Survivors: San Francisco's Downtown Architectural Heritage, San Francisco, 1979. 

3 Kalman, Harold. The Evaluation of Historic Buildings: A Manual, 1978. 



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III. Environmental Setting 



4 Corbett, Michael. Op. cit., page 12. 

B. TRANSPORTATION/CIRCULATION 1 

The project site is located on the northwest corner of California and Montgomery streets 
(Figure 9, page 26). These streets, as well as Kearny Street, provide access to and from the site. 
The project site is located in one of four Superdistricts composed of traffic analysis zones 
established by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the City and County of San 
Francisco; Superdistrict 1 , in which the site is located, extends westward to Van Ness Avenue, 
southward to Townsend Street, and northeastward to the Bay. 

Changes to San Francisco's regional transportation network were brought about by the 1989 
Loma Prieta earthquake, and included closure and/or demolition of several freeways and 
associated facilities. Recent work has included reopening of the section of I-280 between Cesar 
Chavez Street (Army Street) and U.S. 101, demolition of the Terminal Separator Structure (a 
series of on- and off-ramps linking the Bay Bridge with surface streets in the vicinity of Mission, 
Main and Beale Streets), demolition of a portion of the Central Freeway between Turk and Fell 
Streets, and demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway (I-480). The Embarcadero Freeway 
provided regional freeway access for neighborhoods in the northeast sector of the City, including 
Chinatown and North Beach, with the on/off-ramps on Washington and Clay Streets 
approximately three blocks east of the project site. The City is currently studying the alternatives 
for replacement of the damaged Central Freeway. These projects are expected to be completed 
by the year 2000. 

Kearny Street. One-way Kearny Street runs north-south, with four northbound travel lanes, a 
parking lane with restricted parking on the east side, and 14-foot sidewalks. Extending between 
The Embarcadero in the north and Market Street in the south, Kearny is discontinuous at various 
points along its length. South of Columbus Avenue, Kearny Street is designated a Major Arterial 
and a Transit Preferential Street in the Transportation Element of the San Francisco General Plan. 

Montgomery Street. In the vicinity of the project site, Montgomery Street is a one-way 
southbound street, one block east of Kearny Street. The street has three southbound lanes, a 
parking lane on the west side, and 12-foot sidewalks. Parking is prohibited during the PM peak 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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Union 

V 




LEGEND 

— Transit stop 
15.30X Muni 
GG Golden Gate 
Source: Korve Engineering 



Muni 

».»».»>> Cable Car 



itiititi BART, MUNI Metro 

► Direction of one-way flow 



500 ft 



EXISTING TRANSIT NETWORK AND STOP LOCATIONS FIGURE 9 



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III. Environmental Setting 



period, providing an additional travel lane during this time period. The General Plan identifies 
Montgomery Street as a Major Arterial and a Transit Preferential Street between Washington and 
Bush streets, and as a Citywide Pedestrian Network Street between Washington and California 
streets. 

California Street. In the vicinity of the project site, California Street is a two-way east-west street 
with two travel lanes in each direction, a parking lane on each site of the street, 1 5-foot sidewalks 
west of Montgomery Street, and 1 9-foot sidewalks east of Montgomery Street. The California 
Street cable car travels the street from Drumm Street to Van Ness Avenue. California Street is 
a Recreational Street and a Transit Preferential Street between Drumm Street and Van Ness 
Avenue, a Citywide Pedestrian Network Street and Neighborhood Pedestrian Street between 
Drumm and Fillmore Streets, and a Citywide Bicycle Route between Taylor and Polk Streets, as 
designated by the San Francisco General Plan. 

TRANSIT NETWORK 

San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI). MUNI provides extensive transit service to the 
project site, with 18 bus lines passing by or near the site. 

Golden Gate Transit. Three Golden Gate Transit lines (routes #30, #69, and #90) provide 
service between the project vicinity and Marin and Sonoma counties. Within San Francisco, only 
passengers destined for these counties are permitted to board. Only passengers destined for 
San Francisco are permitted to board these Golden Gate Transit lines in Marin and Sonoma 
counties. Route #69, which operates along Sansome and Battery Streets, is a feeder route, 
providing connections to the Larkspur, Sausalito, Tiburon, and San Francisco ferry terminals 
during weekday commute hours. Golden Gate routes #30 and #90 are basic routes that also 
travel Sansome and Battery streets in the vicinity of the project. 

OFF-STREET PARKING 

A survey of the off-street parking supply within a two-block radius of the project site was 
conducted on Thursday, August 7, 1997. The survey collected occupancy data for the peak 
midday period (1:00-3:00 PM). Within the survey area, a total of 2,543 parking spaces in 16 
public parking facilities were tallied. In addition, a 17th public parking garage was noted during 
the survey but not included in the results, due to an inability to gain access to the facility. The 



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III. Environmental Setting 



parking attendant at this facility estimated a 90-percent occupancy rate during the weekday 
midday peak period. Among the facilities that were surveyed, the total average occupancy rate 
was 96 percent during the peak period. 

ON-STREET PARKING 

Most on-street parking in the project vicinity is zoned for commercial loading vehicles. Of the 
spaces that are available for general parking, they are short-term, with half-hour parking meters. 
On-street parking in the project area is well-utilized and has a high turnover rate. A survey of 
the exact number of spaces and occupancy rates was not conducted for this project. 

PEDESTRIAN CONDITIONS 

Pedestrian counts for the weekday midday peak period (1:00-3:00 PM) were taken at the 
intersection of Montgomery and California streets on Thursday, August 7, 1997. The counts, 
were taken for all four of the crosswalks at the intersection and for the sidewalks on the north 
side of California Street and the west side of Montgomery Street immediately bordering the 
project site. The pedestrian volumes are for the peak 15 minutes of the midday peak hour, 
which was between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. It should be noted that the pedestrian signal at the 
Montgomery Street/California Street intersection has a "scramble" phase that stops traffic in all 
directions and allows pedestrians to cross the intersection diagonally if desired. 

Pedestrian levels of service (LOS) were also calculated for the intersection of California/ 
Montgomery streets, based on the methodology contained in Chapter 13 of the 1985 Highway 
Capacity Manual (Updated 1994). The results of this pedestrian analysis show that all four 
crosswalks and two sidewalks surveyed currently operate at LOS B 2 during the weekday midday 
peak hour. Pedestrian LOS descriptions are presented in Appendix D. 



NOTES - Transportation/Circulation 

1 Information on transportation was based on the 500 California Street Hotel Transportation Study by Korve 
Engineering, December 1997. This report is on file and available for public review at the City Planning Department, 
1660 Mission Street, San Francisco. 

2 At LOS B, sufficient area is provided to allow pedestrians to freely select walking speeds, to bypass other 
pedestrians, and to avoid crossing conflicts with others. At this level, pedestrians begin to be aware of other 
pedestrians, and to respond to their presence in the selection of walking path. 



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IV. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS 



An application for environmental evaluation for the OMNI San Francisco Hotel project was filed 
on July 11, 1997. On the basis on an Initial Study published on January 30, 1998, the San 
Francisco Planning Department, Office of Environmental Review, determined that an 
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was required. The Initial Study determined that issues related 
to land use, urban design, glare, population and housing, noise, construction air quality, wind, 
shadow, utilities and public services, biology, hydrology, water quality, geology and topography, 
energy and natural resources, hazards, and cultural resources (archaeology) required no further 
discussion. Therefore, the EIR does not discuss these issues. (See Chapter IX, Appendix A, for 
the Initial Study.) Not all of the impacts presented in this chapter are physical environmental 
effects as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Non-physical effects are 
included here for informational purposes only. 

A. HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL RESOURCES , 

In general, substantial adverse changes to significant historic architectural resources are 
considered significant adverse environmental effects. Changes that conflict with the standards 
listed in Section 1111.6, Article 1 1 of the San Francisco Planning Code will also be considered 
significant impacts for the purposes of this analysis. 

CORNICE WINDOWS 

In order to create a new floor within the attic story of the existing building, the project sponsor 
proposes to create a new row of windows within the existing cast-stone ornamental arcade at 
the top of the building on the Montgomery and California street elevations. Openings (in groups 
of three) would be punched into 60 of about 90 existing ornamental stone arches adorning the 
arcade, and arched-top windows would be inserted into the voids. The new windows would 
require removal of a substantial portion of existing historical fabric. Recessing the windows into 
the arcade would reduce this effect, because the windows would be hidden in shadow and 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



therefore not visible during daylight hours. Interior artificial light would emanate from the 
windows in the evening and at night, making them somewhat visible. Due to the height of the 
building, the fact that the windows would be recessed, and the relatively small area of glass to 
be inserted into the arcade, the new windows would be largely unnoticeable from the street 
except at night. However, because distinctive, original historic fabric would be removed from the 
building facade, in conflict with the standards listed in Section 1111.6, Article 1 1 , this would be 
a significant adverse impact. This change, once made, would be irreversible. 

FACADE WINDOWS 

The proposed project would also entail removal of the existing wood-frame double-hung 
windows (approximately 450) and their replacement with 3/8-inch laminated glass, double--hung 
aluminum windows. The cast stone stills and wood window frames would be retained, but the 
wood frames would be covered with aluminum pan painted to approximate the original brownish 
window frame color. Replacement of the existing windows with laminated glass windows would 
reduce the building's energy consumption and would provide important sound insulation for the 
proposed hotel rooms. Removal of the windows and replacement with aluminum windows 
would, however, clearly conflict with the City's standards pertaining to the preservation of 
distinctive architectural features which affect the overall appearance of an historic building, and 
would be a significant impact. Furthermore, even replacement of the windows with windows of 
similar type, size, and exterior glass appearance would constitute a significant effect, due to the 
removal of a substantial amount of existing historic fabric. 

REAR FACADES 

Expansion of the two wings of the existing building to accommodate a double-loaded hotel 
corridor would require the removal of the existing building facades facing the interior courtyard, 
resulting in removal of historic fabric. The original windows on the rear facades would not be 
salvaged or reused, and the new facades would consist of blank concrete sheer walls up to the 
roof, with double-hung aluminum windows on the 4th through 1 7th floors. The project proposal 
also includes raising the height of the enclosed area in the light court space approximately 20 
feet to accommodate a new ballroom. The floor of the new ballroom would be an extension of 
the third floor and the roof would fall between the fourth and fifth floors. Although these 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



modifications would constitute a major change to the building, they would not affect the 
distinguishing historic facades along California and Montgomery streets. Therefore, these 
changes would not result in a significant impact. Furthermore, the replacement windows that 
would be installed in the rear elevations would be similar in size and appearance to the existing 
windows, thereby re-establishing much of the existing relationship between the project building 
and adjacent buildings on California and Montgomery streets. 

ROOFTOP MODIFICATION 

In addition to the planned expansion and interior renovation of the building, new mechanical 
services would be introduced into the building. These services would be located in a new 
mechanical penthouse which would house the same functions and would be approximately the 
same size (about 3,100 square feet) as the existing penthouse. The new penthouse would be 
constructed in a different location than the existing structure. While the existing penthouse is 
situated approximately 29 feet 8 inches in from the California Street facade and 17 feet 1 inch 
in from the Montgomery Street facade, the new penthouse would be placed approximately 14 
feet in from each street frontage. The roof of the building would be raised approximately six feet 
so that the existing attic story may be converted into a habitable 1 7th floor. The new penthouse 
would be about 15 feet above the established parapet at its highest point. The bulk of the new 
penthouse would be approximately ten inches higher than the original structure, however, it 
would not be visible from street level and has been designed so that no shadows would be cast 
from the altered roof profile onto public open spaces. 

RELOCATION OF MAIN ENTRANCE 

The building's main entrance would be relocated from Montgomery Street to California Street in 
order to better accommodate hotel traffic. This would be a substantial change to the street-level 
facade of the building. However, this portion of the building originally designed by Meyer was 
completely altered during modifications to the entrance and lobby made in 1 956. Therefore, this 
change to the building's exterior would not constitute a significant impact. 

MASSING AND COMPOSITION, SCALE, MATERIALS AND COLORS, AND DETAILING AND 
ORNAMENTATION 

The changes that have been proposed for the cornice arcade, streetfront windows, rear and side 
elevations, and rooftop addition would not alter the massing and composition of the existing 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



building at 500 California Street. The architectural historians, Page & Turnbull, believe that by 
adding archways and by removing the polished granite base from the building and replacing it 
with rusticated cast stone, the rehabilitated building would reflect the spirit of the original design. 
According to Page & Turnbull, the entry and exterior wall treatment would effectively re-establish 
the building's connection with and relation to other historic buildings in the area. 

The replicated base would be consistent with the materials and colors used in other buildings 
in the Financial District from the same historical era, such as light-colored granite or brick 
adorned with cast stone or terra cotta ornamentation. The base would also re-established the 
visual cohesiveness in color and material between the base and the cornice of the building. The 
detailing and ornamentation in the base would duplicate the original base to the extent feasible. 



NOTES - Historic Architectural Resources 

1 The discussion of the project area and the proposed project building is based on the report 405 Montgomery Street, 
500 California, San Francisco, California, Architectural Resources Report for Environmental Review, Page & Turnbull, 
Inc., March 1998. This report is on file and available for public review at the City Planning Department, 1660 Mission 
Street, San Francisco. 



B. TRANSPORTATION/CIRCULATION 1 
CUMULATIVE CONTEXT 

Introduction 

Prior to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the recession of the early 1990s, the cumulative 
context for future transportation conditions in San Francisco and the Bay Area was based on 
future year 2000 and 2010 analyses presented in the Mission Bay EIR and the South of Market 
EIR. These estimations of future conditions have been superseded with the recently completed 
analysis conducted for the Alternatives to Replacement of the Embarcadero Freeway and the 
Terminal Separator Structure DEIS/DEIR. 2 The analyses conducted as part of these recent 
studies incorporate the changes to the regional and local street network following the Loma 
Prieta earthquake, and updated estimates of economic growth and change in San Francisco and 
the Bay Area prepared by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Overall, the results of the Embarcadero/TSS Replacement analyses are consistent with previous 
studies, in that in the future, more congested highways combined with improvements in transit 
would result in a shift from autos (especially solo drivers) to transit and ridesharing for trips to 
and from the downtown and vicinity, which includes the 500 California Street San Francisco 
Hotel project site. The relevant transportation analysis from the Alternatives to Replacement of 
the Embarcadero Freeway and the Terminal Separator Structure DEIS/DEIR is incorporated by 
reference and summarized below. 

Future Travel Demand 

The Alternatives to Replacement of the Embarcadero Freeway and the Terminal Separator 
Structure EIS/EIR analysis includes evaluation of transportation conditions in the year 2015. 
Future travel demand was estimated using the regional travel demand forecasting model 
developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). This model utilizes the 
Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) land use database in the nine county San 
Francisco Bay Region to determine the number of future daily and peak period trips. As part of 
the environmental review process, the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department 
developed year 2015 estimates of the number of households and employees at the Traffic 
Analysis Zone level, based on citywide ABAG projections for year 201 0, information on approved 
projects in downtown, and reasonable assumptions regarding future development. 

ABAG Projections '92 for the year 2010 were adjusted for downtown San Francisco zones in 
Superdistricts 1 (northeast quadrant) and 3 (southeast quadrant), and extrapolated to develop 
year 2015 conditions. In total, employment in San Francisco is expected to increase between 
1990 and 2015 by 165,631 jobs (28 percent increase), and the number of households is 
expected to increase by 45,572 dwelling units (15 percent increase). Superdistrict 1, which 
includes the Financial District, is anticipated to experience the greatest growth of the four 
Superdistricts that comprise San Francisco. Employment is anticipated to increase by 128,292 
jobs (32 percent increase), and households by 39,449 dwelling units (68 percent increase). 

A market study conducted for the Planning Department following the development of year 2015 
land use estimates by the Planning Department forecast lower estimates of employment than 
those summarized above. However, the total difference for those travel analysis zones in the 
downtown area between the preliminary and the revised estimates was less than four percent, 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



and even lower (less than one percent) for the four San Francisco Superdistricts as a group, 
As a result, the Planning Department estimates were assumed to be valid and were used in the 
analysis. 3 

Daily travel demand estimates were developed using the updated year 2015 land use database 
and the transportation network included in the year 201 0 MTC travel demand forecasting model. 
Between 1990 and 2015 it is anticipated that there would be an increase of 581 ,1 89 (15 percent 
increase) in total persons trips per day (auto plus transit) within San Francisco. Transit trips 
would increase by 22 percent, while auto trips would increase by 13 percent city-wide. The 
greatest increase for both auto and transit would be in Superdistrict 1 , which includes the project 
site, and Superdistrict 3. 

The proposed project is expected to be completed, occupied and the amount of net new space 
attributed to the project absorbed by 2005. Therefore, the impacts of the project and 
contribution to cumulative transportation impacts would occur within the 1993 to 2015 context. 

Regional Travel 

The October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake rendered many freeway sections and freeway ramps 
serving San Francisco inoperable. The closure and/or demolition of freeways affected 
accessibility to and from San Francisco, particularly the northeast quadrant of the City, the area 
generally north of Bryant Street and east of Van Ness Avenue. The primary freeway facilities that 
provided access to the east side of San Francisco include the Embarcadero Freeway (SR 480) 
and I-280. Both were severely damaged as a result of the earthquake and had to be closed 
immediately following the earthquake. A brief summary of the status of each freeway follows: 

Embarcadero Freeway : Prior to the earthquake the Embarcadero Freeway provided access to 
downtown San Francisco and the northeast waterfront via the Main/Beale, Washington/Clay and 
Broadway ramps. The closure of the freeway following the 1989 earthquake gave the City an 
opportunity to evaluate its role in serving the downtown street network and the I-80/U.S. 101 
connections in relation to its location on the Bay shoreline. As a result, in 1990, the San 
Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution endorsing the demolition of the 
Embarcadero Freeway and calling for the evaluation of alternatives to an elevated structure. The 
demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway and associated ramps resulted in a reduction in 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



congestion at the ramp locations, but affected local traffic by dispersing regional traffic onto local 
streets. In particular, the Clay/Washington ramps to the Embarcadero Freeway were demolished, 
changing traffic patterns in the project area. 

A joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) has been 
prepared by the City, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration to analyze potential 
impacts of the alternatives to the former elevated Embarcadero Freeway. That EIS/EIR was 
expanded in 1 994 to also include effects of demolition of the Terminal Separator Structure ramps 
that led to/from the Embarcadero Freeway and various City streets. A Draft EIS/EIR was 
published in August 1995; public hearings were held during the fall. A Final EIS/EIR was 
published in 1996. 

Five project alternatives and several variants to those alternatives have been evaluated as part 
of the environmental review process. They include a "No Build" alternative and four "Build" 
alternatives. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors selected one of the build alternatives (the 
DPT Variant of Alternative 5) as the preferred project alternative and has requested funding from 
the Federal Highway Administration. The DPT Variant of Alternative 5 would realign and upgrade 
the existing surface roadway along The Embarcadero between Folsom Street and Broadway, 
providing three continuous traffic lanes in each direction during the AM and PM peak periods, 
with the curb lanes providing parking in off-peak periods. This alternative would modify the 
existing Fremont Street off-ramp from I-80 westbound to allow traffic direct access to Folsom 
Street. It would also provide additional off-ramp capacity from I-80 eastbound by widening the 
freeway's approach to the existing Fourth Street off-ramp. 

1-280 : The 1-280 Freeway, which provides access between downtown San Francisco and the 
Peninsula and the southwestern areas of the City, was also damaged in the 1989 earthquake. 
The damage was not substantial enough to merit demolition, and Caltrans decided to seismically 
upgrade the structure. With the completion of the earthquake retrofit and the construction of an 
on-ramp and off-ramp at King Street near Fifth Street combined with the reconstructed The 
Embarcadero, access between I-280 and downtown and the waterfront has improved. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 

Local Streets 

Following the Loma Prieta earthquake and subsequent closure and/or demolition of regional 
facilities, traffic volumes on local streets generally increased, although some decreases occurred 
on some specific streets, primarily those serving as access routes to/from demolished ramps. 

Between 1990 and 2015, daily auto trips in San Francisco are anticipated to increase by 13 
percent, and are anticipated to increase by 9 percent in Superdistrict 1 . This would result in an 
increase in the number of vehicles using the regional freeway facilities to access and travel 
through San Francisco, as well as vehicles traveling on local streets. The projected increase in 
overall trips in the City would result in an increase in traffic on local streets in the future, as new 
freeways are not proposed to replace those demolished. 

The vehicular traffic associated with the proposed project would be part of the cumulative 
increase in traffic on the regional facilities and local street network; however, project traffic would 
not contribute substantially to the cumulative conditions. The project traffic represents less than 
one percent of the total growth in PM peak hour vehicular traffic between 1990 and 2015. The 
contribution of the project to the regional bridges and freeways would be minimal, as the majority 
of the trips (approximately 80 percent) would be from locations within San Francisco and would 
use local streets to access the project. The remaining 20 percent of the project vehicle trips 
would be from outside San Francisco and would primarily use I-80 to access the local streets, 
as most of these trips would come from the east and south bay. The proposed project would 
also contribute to the cumulative traffic conditions on local streets, including Montgomery and 
California Streets. The project trips, however, would not substantially affect the cumulative 
conditions on these facilities. 

The duration of the PM peak period during which regional and local facilities are operating at 
capacity is expected to increase in the future. This extension or "spreading" of the PM peak 
period is expected to occur due both to overall growth in traffic and to no substantial changes 
to the capacity of the regional and local roadway facilities. The proposed project traffic would 
result in an increase in the PM peak hour traffic volumes on regional and local facilities, and 
would therefore contribute to the expected spreading of the peak. However, the project would 
not be a substantial contributor to the PM peak spread. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Transit 

Transit services in the year 2015 would be similar to those existing today, except that several 
planned transit projects are expected to be constructed by 2015. MUNI's planning objectives 
include meeting transit demand and accommodating future growth and transportation patterns, 
and it is anticipated that transit service will be adapted to meet the changing demands within the 
constraints of declining federal and state operating assistance. These objectives are consistent 
with the City's "Transit First" policy that indicates that the City has established transit as the 
preferred mode of transportation for satisfying growing travel demand. 

Planned transit services to accommodate future demand include: 

• The construction of a light rail system within the median along the Third Street corridor, 
utilizing the existing MUNI Metro tracks to access downtown. This project is anticipated 
to be constructed by year 2003, and will include a substantial bus route restructuring, in 
the 15-Third Street bus line. 

• The F-Market electric streetcar extension from Upper Castro to Fisherman's Wharf via 
Market Street and The Embarcadero. The segment between Upper Castro and Fremont 
Street is currently in service, and the segment on The Embarcadero between Broadway 
and Fisherman's Wharf is under construction. 

• BART Service on the Daly City line extended to the San Francisco International Airport, 
and decreased service headways from 3.75 minutes to 2.25 minutes. BART extensions 
to Pittsburg, North Concord, and Dublin in the East Bay and Colma have recently been 
opened and those stations are in operation. 

• Caltrain has a number of rehabilitation/replacement improvements scheduled over the 
next several years designed to maintain and improve the existing service. 

Other transit service providers in San Francisco (the Airporter, Amtrak feeder buses, Gray Line, 
Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD), SamTrans, AC Transit and 
other private bus operators) are assumed to offer services similar to those provided today, with 
adjustments for duplication with planned projects noted above, and possible service increases 
in response to travel demand. 

As identified in the Future Travel Demand discussion above, the number of persons using transit 
to access or leave San Francisco is expected to increase by approximately 22 percent between 
1990 and 2015. This increase is greater than the increase in auto traffic and reflects the shift to 



697.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



transit due to increasing congestion in the Bay Area and improvements in transit services. The 
increase in the use of transit would be most substantial in Superdistrict 1 (25 percent increase) 
and Superdistrict 3 (39 percent increase). 

The approximately 1 1 PM peak hour transit trips generated by the proposed project would be 
part of the overall increase in transit trips identified above for Superdistrict 1 , and would primarily 
affect local MUNI transit lines rather than regional transit service. 

PROJECT IMPACTS 

Travel Demand 

Estimated trip demand for the proposed hotel project at OMNI San Francisco Hotel was based 
on field surveys conducted at two similar San Francisco hotels. 4 Vehicle and pedestrian counts 
were conducted at the Park-Hyatt Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Thursday, September 25, 
1 997 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Similar to the proposed project, these hotels contain restaurant 
and retail uses, do not provide on-site parking, and are comparable in size. Inbound and 
outbound person-trips were counted at the hotel entrances and were disaggregated into walking, 
automobile, taxi, limousine, and shuttle modes. Vehicle trips were also counted at the hotel 
passenger loading zones as passengers were dropped off and picked up. The field survey 
determined that the PM peak hour generally occurs between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. The average 
mode split for inbound and outbound trips was 25 percent walk, 29 percent auto, 34 percent taxi, 
3 percent transit, 4 percent limousine, and 5 percent shuttle. Of the walkers, it was estimated 
that 75 percent of them walked directly from their point of origin, 10 percent used public transit 
and then walked to the hotel, and 15 percent drove, parked in a public garage, and then walked 
to the hotel. 

Based on the results of the field surveys, average trip generation rates were calculated on a per- 
room basis. The average daily person-trip rate was calculated to be 9.58 person-trips per room; 
10.1 percent of these trips would occur during the PM peak hour. The calculated average daily 
vehicle-trip rate was 3.13 trips per room; 1 1 .9 percent of these trips would occur during the PM 
peak hour. The average daily walk-trip rate was 3.34 trips per room. These trip generation rates 
were applied to the number of rooms (400 5 ) proposed for the OMNI San Francisco Hotel project 
to determine the person-trip and vehicle-trip generation for the project. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



The proposed project would generate a total of 3,832 total daily person-trips, with 387 of them 
occurring during the PM peak hour. PM peak hour person-trips were also calculated for 
employees and visitors, based on percentages provided in the Guidelines for Environmental 
Review: Transportation Impacts (July 1991), published by the San Francisco Planning 
Department. Total daily vehicle-trips were calculated to be 1 ,252 trips, of which 1 49 would occur 
during the PM peak hour. 

Trip Distribution 

San Francisco is divided by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) into 
superdistricts, which are geographic zones used for the purposes of travel analysis. The 
proposed project site is located within Superdistrict 1 , which is generally bounded by Van Ness 
Avenue on the west, Townsend Street to the south, and San Francisco Bay to the north and 
east. Trip distribution for the proposed project was determined based on percentages provided 
from San Francisco Planning Department survey data for hotel use in Superdistrict 1 . 
Approximately 12 percent of the hotel trips destined to Superdistrict 1 originate from within San 
Francisco. 

Parking Demand 

Long-term parking demand would be generated by the proposed hotel's visitors arriving at the 
site by auto and parking in nearby facilities, then walking or taking taxi, limousine or shuttles to 
and from local destinations during the day. Long-term parking demand was calculated based 
on the rate determined by the Planning Department, which was one space per four rooms. The 
project's 400 hotel rooms would therefore generate a long-term parking demand of 
approximately 1 00 spaces. 

Short-term parking demand would be generated by the 5,000-square-foot restaurant associated 
with the proposed project. In addition to the hotel guest patronage anticipated, this "high-quality 
sit-down" restaurant is expected to generate many customers who are not guests of the hotel, 
most of whom would walk to the site from other downtown points of origin. However, those 
arriving by auto would generate a short-term parking demand of approximately 20 percent of the 
total daily vehicle-trips estimated for the project, or approximately 25 spaces. The small retail 
component of the proposed project is expected to primarily serve hotel guests, and is not 
expected to generate additional short-term parking demand. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 

The total short- and long-term parking demand generated by the project would be for 125 
spaces. 

Freight Loading Demand 

Freight delivery and service vehicle demand was based on generation rates provided in the 
Guidelines for Environmental Review: Transportation Impacts. The proposed hotel would 
generate about 27 deliveries per day, and an average-loading-hour demand of 1 .2 spaces and 
a peak-loading-hour demand of 1.5 spaces. The proposed restaurant would generate 18 
deliveries per day, and an average-loading-hour demand of 0.8 spaces and a peak-loading-hour 
demand of 1 .0 spaces. Only one daily delivery would be generated by the proposed retail use, 
which would not generate any demand for spaces during the average or peak loading hour. The 
proposed project would generate a total of 46 deliveries per day, and a total loading demand 
of 2.0 spaces during the average loading hour and 2.5 spaces during the peak loading hour. 

Passenger Loading Demand 

Passenger loading demand was calculated based on the field survey of the Park-Hyatt and Ritz- 
Carlton hotels described above. The survey indicated that the peak demand hour would be 
between 4:30 and 5:30 PM. 6 With approximately 11 percent of the total daily vehicles arriving 
during the peak demand hour, it is projected that 71 vehicles would arrive during this time 
period, and 36 vehicles would arrive during the peak 15-minute period within that hour. Based 
on the projected 36 arriving vehicles during the peak 1 5-minute period, four vehicles would need 
to be accommodated in the loading zone during a given minute within the 1 5-minute peak The 
loading zone proposed for the OMNI San Francisco Hotel project would accommodate 
approximately five vehicles within its 120-foot length. 

Traffic 

Local Intersection Traffic. Five study intersections were selected within a one-block radius of 
the project site for traffic analysis. Each of the intersections is traffic signal-controlled. Existing 
traffic conditions at the intersections were determined as a basis for evaluating projected traffic 
impacts from the proposed project. Traffic volume counts were made at each of the study 
intersections on Thursday, October 2, 1997 during the PM peak period (4:00-6:00 PM). 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Levels of service (LOS) were calculated for the five study intersections based on the 
methodology contained in the 7985 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) (Special Report 209, 
Transportation Research Board, Updated 1994). Level of service is a qualitative description of 
traffic flow conditions within an intersection. LOS levels are based on the amount of delay per 
vehicle and range from LOS A, which indicates free-flowing conditions, to LOS F, indicating 
extremely long delays in passing through the intersection. LOS A, B, C, and D represent 
acceptable conditions, while LOS E is undesirable, and LOS F conditions are unacceptable. 
Definitions of the different levels of service are presented in Appendix C. The calculated LOS 
values for each of the study intersections are presented in Table 1 . As can be seen, all three 
Montgomery Street study intersections currently operate at LOS E or F, while the two California 
Street intersections operate at LOS B. 



Table 1 

Existing Intersection Levels of Service 



Intersection 


Delay 
(sec/vehicle) 


LOS 


Montgomery Street/Sacramento Street 


49.6 


E 


Montgomery Street/California Street 


61.2 


F 


Montgomery Street/Pine Street 


51.7 


E 


California Street/Kearny Street 


9.2 


B 


California Street/Sansome Street 


7.7 


B 



Source: Korve Engineering 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 

Traffic Impacts 

The distribution of project-generated trips among area roadways was determined using the 
"TRAFFIX" computer simulation software in accordance with San Francisco Planning Department 
guidelines. Project-generated traffic was then added to existing traffic volumes to derive the 
Existing Plus Project traffic volumes. These volumes were used to derive the Existing Plus 
Project levels of service presented in Table 2, page 45. It should be noted that the traffic 
analysis was based on a larger hotel project (400 rooms) than is currently proposed (362 
rooms). All impacts as reported herein would thus be less for the proposed project, and the 
conclusions of the traffic study serve as a worst-case analysis. 

The City of San Francisco considers a significant impact to occur when a project causes the LOS 
within an intersection to deteriorate from LOS D to LOS E or F. If an intersection already 
operates at LOS E or F, an increase in delay is not considered a significant impact. According 
to these criteria, no significant impacts on traffic conditions would result from implementation of 
the project. The project-generated traffic, however, would cause the intersection of Montgomery 
and Sacramento streets to deteriorate from LOS E to LOS F. The traffic study determined that 
the LOS at this intersection could be improved by slightly modifying the signal timing along 
Montgomery Street. The LOS at the other four study intersections would not change with the 
addition of the project traffic. 

Parking Impacts 

The proposed project is exempt from off-street parking requirements because it is located in a 
C-3 zoning district. 7 Valet parking would be provided by the project, with attendants parking 
guests' vehicles in one of the local public parking facilities. The expected project long-term 
parking demand of 100 spaces would be met by these existing facilities. Peak short-term 
demand of 25 parking spaces associated with the restaurant operation would be expected to 
occur during evening hours, when most of the nearby public parking facilities, as well as the 
on-street parking supply, would have spaces available to accommodate this demand. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Table 2 

Existing Plus Project Intersection Levels of Service 



INTERSECTION 


EXISTING 


EXISTING PLUS 
PROJECT 


DELAY 
(sec./veh.) 


LOS" 


DELAY 

(sec./veh.) 


LOS a 


Montgomery Street/Sacramento Street 


49.6 


E 


>60.0 


F 


Montgomery Street/California Street 


>60.0 


F 


>60.0 


F 


Montgomery Street/Pine Street 


51.7 


E 


55.0 


E 


California Street/Kearny Street 


9.2 


B 


9.3 


B 


California Street/Sansome Street 


7.7 


B 


7.8 


B 



a Level of Service determined from the 1985 Highway Capacity Manual (Updated 1994), Chapter 9. 
Source: Korve Engineering 



Pedestrian Impacts 

The walking mode splits presented in the Travel Demand section above (page 40) were used 
to estimate pedestrian impacts of the proposed project. The Existing Plus Project pedestrian 
volumes for the weekday midday peak 15-minute period were used to calculate the Existing Plus 
Project levels of service for the intersection of California/Montgomery streets and the sidewalks 
adjacent to the project site, based on the methodology contained in the 1985 Highway Capacity 
Manual. For the sidewalk on California Street, two locations were analyzed. North Sidewalk 1 
is at the front entrance to the proposed project and includes all persons destined to the project 
(walk, transit, auto, drop-off), while North Sidewalk 2 is adjacent to the front entrance and 
includes persons walking to the site, as well as a portion of those that would be dropped off. 
The results of this pedestrian analysis are presented in Table 3. As shown in the table, all four 
crosswalks and the two sidewalks would operate at LOS C 8 after implementation of the 
proposed project, including the narrowing of the sidewalk on California Street from 1 5 feet to 1 2 
feet. The addition of project pedestrian traffic would therefore not be significant. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Table 3 

Existing Plus Project Pedestrian Crosswalk Levels of Service 



LOCATION 


EXISTING 


EXISTING PLUS PROJECT 


PEDESTRIAN SPACE 
(sq. ft./ped.) 


LOS a 


PEDESTRIAN SPACE 
(sq. ft./ped.) 


LOS 8 


MONTGOMERY STREET/CALIFORNIA STREET: 


North Crosswalk 


82 


B 


76 


B 


East Crosswalk 


60 


B 


57 


B 


South Crosswalk 


97 


B 


88 


B 


West Crosswalk 


46 


B 


43 


B 


LOCATION 


FLOW RATE 
(peds./min/ft.) 


LOS" 


FLOW RATE 
(peds./min/ft.) 


LOS" 


CALIFORNIA STREET: 


North Sidewalk 1 b 


7 


B 


8 


C 


North Sidewalk 2° 


9 


c 


MONTGOMERY STREET: 


West Sidewalk 


7 


B 


7 


B 



8 Level of Service determined from the 1985 Highway Capacity Manual (Updated 1994), Chapter 1 3. For 

crosswalks, the maximum surge criterion was used. For sidewalks, the platoon criterion was used. 
b Proposed project - in front of main entrance (no trees), sidewalk width of 12 feet reduced by 3 feet for 

luggage/people, and a shy-away area of 1 .5 feet for building and 1 .5 feet for luggage/people, resulting 

in an effective width of 6 feet. 
0 Proposed project - Adjacent to main entrance (with trees), sidewalk width of 12 feet reduced by 5 feet 

for planter and curb, and a shy-away area of 1 .5 feet from the building and 1 .5 feet for planter, resulting 

in an effective width of 4 feet. 

Source: Korve Engineering 



Transit Impacts 

Based on trip generation and mode split estimates, the proposed project would generate 
approximately 5 inbound and 6 outbound PM peak-hour transit trips, or a total of 1 1 trips. Most 
of the MUNI bus routes serving the project site are below capacity even at their maximum load 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



points and would have excess capacity to absorb the additional transit trips that would be 
generated by the project. The additional transit trips generated by the project would therefore 
not be significant. 

The construction of the passenger drop-off zone on California Street in front of the project would 
widen the travel lane adjacent to the existing parking lane from eight feet to ten feet. The current 
width of the cable car/vehicle lane would not be affected. Although it is not anticipated that the 
drop-off activities at the proposed project would substantially affect the operations of the 
westbound cable car service, the project management would need to institute measures to 
prevent double or triple parking at the passenger service zone. 

Freight Loading Impacts 

Based on the proposed 294,000 gsf of hotel use, 5,000 gsf of restaurant use, and 1 ,000 gsf of 
retail use, Section 152 of the San Francisco Planning Code would require the proposed project 
to provide two off-street loading spaces to serve the hotel use (the restaurant and retail uses 
would be below the thresholds requiring loading spaces). The project as proposed includes a 
loading dock with two freight-loading spaces: one 1 0 feet wide by 35 feet long and 1 2 feet high 
and the other 12 feet wide by 35 feet long and 14 feet high, thus meeting the Code 
requirements. 

As indicated in the Freight Loading Demand section above, the project would generate a total 
demand for 2.0 spaces during the average hour and 2.5 spaces during the peak hour, based 
on calculation methodologies provided in San Francisco's Guidelines for Environmental Review. 
The transportation analysis concluded that the two spaces provided would be able to 
accommodate the project demand, and no freight-loading impacts would be caused by the 
project. 

Passenger Loading Impacts 

The proposed project would generate a PM peak passenger loading demand for approximately 
four spaces. The proposed 1 20-foot loading zone would provide approximately five spaces. The 
loading zone would be sufficient to accommodate arriving and departing guests without 
interfering with local traffic circulation. There would therefore be no passenger loading impacts. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 

Construction Impacts 

Most staging of construction equipment and materials would occur on the project site. However, 
the parking lane on the west side of Montgomery Street would be closed during construction 
hours throughout the approximately 18-month construction period for additional materials and 
equipment staging This lane is used as a travel lane during the PM peak period, and its closure 
would increase congestion on a street already at or above capacity during peak commute hours. 
The project sponsor has agreed to reopen this lane each day by 3:30 PM, in time for the peak 
commute period. Since the lane is normally closed to traffic during the rest of the business day, 
there would be no impact on traffic from use of the lane for construction staging. 

A temporary reduction in street capacity would also be caused by construction trucks making 
deliveries or hauling refuse debris from the site. It is estimated that two to three trucks per hour 
would arrive and depart the site during the peak construction period. The incremental slowing 
of traffic movement, including MUNI buses, would be temporary and would therefore not be 
considered significant. 

Approximately 1 20 construction workers would generate an additional demand for parking in the 
vicinity of the project site during the peak construction period. It is assumed that each worker 
would drive a private vehicle and require a parking space. The construction contractor will need 
to arrange for off-street parking in one of the parking facilities located in the project vicinity. The 
additional demand would be temporary and it is anticipated that it could be accommodated by 
the excess capacity in the existing facilities. 

Cumulative Impacts 

Cumulative traffic impacts were assessed for the Future (Year 2015) Plus Project conditions. To 
calculate future traffic, existing traffic volumes were adjusted based on growth rates derived in 
the Alternatives to Replacement of the Embarcadero Freeway and the Terminator Separator 
Structure DEIS I DEIR (August 1995). Annual growth rates ranging from 1 .1 percent to 1 .5 percent, 
which are assumed to include growth from the proposed project, were applied to existing traffic 
volumes on the various streets within the project study area. The projected cumulative traffic 
volumes for 2015 were used to derive the future cumulative intersection levels of service 
presented in Table 4, page 49, for the year 2015. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



Table 4 

Future Cumulative Intersection Levels of Service 9 



INTERSECTION 


EXISTING 


EXISTING PLUS 
PROJECT 


CUMULATIVE 
INCLUDING 
PROJECT 
YEAR 2015 


DELAY 
(sec./veh.) 


LOS 


DELAY 
(sec./veh.) 


LOS 


DELAY 
(sec./veh.) 


LOS 


Montgomery Street/ 
Sacramento Street 


49.6 


E 


>60.0 


F 


>60.0 


F 


Montgomery Street/ California 
Street 


>60.0 


F 


>60.0 


F 


>60.0 


F 


Montgomery Street/ Pine Street 


51.7 


E 


55.0 


E 


>60.0 


F 


California Street/ Kearny Street 


9.2 


B 


9.3 


B 


11.4 


B 


California Street/ Sansome 
Street 


7.7 


B 


7.8 


B 


8.5 


B 



a Level of Service determined from the 1985 Highway Capacity Manual (Updated 1994), Chapter 9. 
Source: Korve Engineering 



Under future cumulative conditions, the intersection of Montgomery/Pine Streets would 
deteriorate from LOS E to LOS F. In addition, the intersections of Montgomery /Sacramento and 
Montgomery/California Streets would continue to operate at LOS F. The intersections of 
California/Kearny Streets and California/Sansome Streets would continue to operate at LOS B. 



NOTES - Transportation/Circulation 



Information on transportation was based on the 500 California Street Hotel Transportation Study by Korve 
Engineering, March 1998. This report is available for public review in file number 97.447E at the City Planning 
Department, 1660 Mission Street, San Francisco. 

2 Alternatives to the Replacement of the Embarcadero Freeway and the Terminal Separator Structure DEIS / DEI R, 
92.202E and 94.060E, published August 25, 1995. 



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IV. Environmental Impacts 



3 Memorandum to file Updated Future Land Use Data Sensitivity Analysis, April 24, 1994 conducted for the Alternatives 
to Replacement of the Embarcadero Freeway and the Terminal Separator Structure EIS/EIFt. 

4 The Hotel Park-Hyatt has 360 rooms and the Hotel Ritz-Carlton has 335 rooms. 

5 Although the project as currently proposed would have 362 rooms, the traffic analysis was based on a 400-room 
hotel. The traffic analysis presented in this document is therefore a conservative analysis, and the actual impacts on 
traffic would be less for the proposed project. 

6 The survey of the similar hotels indicated that the peak demand for the passenger loading zone would occur 
between 4:30 and 5:30 P.M. (when approximately 1 1 percent of the total daily vehicles would arrive), however, the 
overall trip generation peak would occur between 5:00 and 6:00 P.M. (when about 10.1 percent of the total trips would 
occur). 

7 San Francisco Planning Code, Section 161(c). 

8 At Level of Service C sufficient space is available to select normal walking speeds, and to bypass other pedestrians 
in primarily unidirectional streams. Where reverse-direction or crossing movements exist, minor conflicts will occur, 
and speeds and volume will be somewhat lower. 



C. GROWTH INDUCEMENT 

A project would be considered growth inducing if its implementation would encourage population 
increases and/or new development that might not occur if the project were not approved and 
implemented. The current proposed project entails construction of a 362-room hotel in an 
existing building to serve the downtown Financial District of San Francisco. While the presence 
of the hotel would serve to increase the downtown population, the increase would be a transient, 
temporary population, and would not fuel a demand for new permanent housing. The hotel and 
associated restaurant and retail uses would create approximately 225 new jobs in San Francisco, 
which could be associated with a growth in housing demand. However, it is expected that most 
of the employees of the proposed project would be drawn from the existing area labor pool, 
members of which are assumed to already have housing. Some of the employees would already 
be living in the City and others would come from outside San Francisco, and may seek housing 
within the City boundaries. Those who continue to live in outlying areas and commute into the 
City would contribute to potential transportation impacts discussed above. The proposed project 
is accordingly not expected to result in growth-inducing impacts. 



697.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



50 



V. MITIGATION MEASURES PROPOSED TO MINIMIZE 
SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS OF THE PROJECT 



In the course of project planning and design, measures have been identified that would reduce 
or eliminate potential environmental impacts of the proposed project. Some of these measures 
have been, or would be, voluntarily adopted by the project sponsor or project architects and 
contractors and are thus proposed. Implementation of some may be the responsibility of other 
agencies. Each mitigation measure and its status is discussed below. 

Several items are required by law that would serve to mitigate impacts; they are summarized 
here for informational purposes, and may appear below. These measures include: no use of 
mirrored glass on the building to reduce glare, as per City Planning Commission Resolution 
9212; limitation of construction-related noise levels, pursuant to the San Francisco Noise 
Ordinance (Article 29 of the San Francisco Police Code, 1972); implementation of geotechnical 
assessment and recommendation; and observance of State and Federal Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration safety requirements related to handling and disposal of hazardous 
materials. 

State law requires that a reporting or monitoring program be adopted regarding mitigation 
measures that are made conditions of approval for any project that would otherwise have 
significant environmental impacts. As such, an alternative selected by the City Planning 
Commission and proposed for approval will include a monitoring and/or reporting program to 
ensure compliance with all mitigation measures required as conditions of approval. 

Measures not required by legislation but which would also serve to mitigate environmental 
impacts appear below. Mitigation measures preceded by an asterisk (*) are from the Initial 
Study (see Chapter IX, Appendix A, pages A.1 to A.27). 



97.447E OMN! San Francisco Hotel 



51 



V. Mitigation Measures 



A. CULTURAL RESOURCES 

MEASURES PROPOSED AS PART OF THE PROJECT 

• Should evidence of archaeological resources of potential significance be found during 
ground disturbance, the project sponsor would immediately notify the Environmental 
Review Officer (ERO), and would suspend any excavation which the ERO determined 
could damage such archaeological resources. Ground disturbing activities which might 
damage discovered cultural resources would be suspended for a total maximum of four 
weeks over the course of construction. 

After notifying the ERO, the project sponsor would select an archaeologist to assist the 
Office of Environmental Review in determining the significance of the find. The 
archaeologist would prepare a draft report containing an assessment of the potential 
significance of the find and recommendations for what measures should be implemented 
to minimize potential effects on archaeological resources. Based on this report, the ERO 
would recommend specific mitigation measures to be implemented by the project 
sponsor. 

These additional mitigation measures might include a site security program, additional 
on-site investigations by the archaeologist, and/or documentation, preservation, and 
recovery of the cultural material. Finally, the archaeologist would prepare a report 
documenting the cultural resources that were discovered, an evaluation as to their 
significance, and a description as to how any archaeological testing, exploration, and/or 
recovery program was conducted. 

Copies of ali draft reports prepared according to this mitigation measure would be sent 
first and directly to the ERO for review. Following approval by the ERO, copies of the 
final report would be sent to the President of the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board 
and the California Archaeological Site Survey Northwest Information Center. The Office 
of Environmental Review shall receive three copies of the final archaeological report. 



B. TRANSPORTATION 

MEASURES PROPOSED AS PART OF THE PROJECT 

• During the construction period, construction truck movement would be permitted only 
between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to minimize peak-hour traffic (including transit) conflicts. 
The project sponsor and construction contractor(s) would meet with the Traffic 
Engineering Division of the Department of Parking and Traffic, the Fire Department, MUNI, 
Golden Gate Transit, and the Planning Department to determine feasible traffic mitigation 
measures to reduce traffic congestion, including transit disruption (for example, potential 
relocation of bus stops), and pedestrian circulation impacts during construction of this 
project and other nearby projects that are planned for construction or which later become 
known. To minimize cumulative traffic impacts due to lane closures during construction, 
the project sponsor would ensure that the construction contractor coordinate with 
construction contractor(s) for any concurrent nearby projects that are planned for 
construction or become known. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 52 



V. Mitigation Measures 



• The project contractor(s) would determine the location of an off-site parking facility for 
construction workers during the construction period. 

• Work schedules of Pacific Gas and Electric Company and other utilities requiring 
trenching could be coordinated, so that street disruption would take place during 
weekends and off-peak hours. This should be done through the San Francisco 
Committee for Utility Liaison on Construction and Other Projects. In-street utilities should 
be installed at the same time as the street is opened for construction of the project to 
minimize street disruption. 



C. HAZARDS 

MEASURES PROPOSED AS PART OF THE PROJECT 

• In order to reduce potential injury to building occupants during an earthquake or other 
catastrophic emergency, an evacuation and emergency response plan would be 
developed by the project sponsor or building management staff, in consultation with the 
Mayor's Office of Emergency Services to ensure coordination between the City's 
emergency planning activities and the project's plan and to provide for building 
occupants in the event of an emergency. The project plan would be reviewed by the 
Office of Emergency Services and implemented by building management insofar as 
feasible before issuance by the Department of Building Inspection of final building 
permits. 

• To expedite implementation of the City's emergency response plan, the project sponsor 
would prominently post information for building occupants/visitors concerning what to do 
in the event of a disaster. 



• The project sponsor intends to remove or encapsulate all friable asbestos in the existing 
buildings on-site in accordance with all applicable local, State and Federal regulations. 
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is vested by the California 
legislature with authority to regulate airborne pollutants, including asbestos, through both 
inspection and law enforcement, and is to be notified 10 days in advance of any 
proposed demolition or abatement work. To document the sponsor's compliance with 
applicable regulations, the Department of City Planning would be provided (by the project 
sponsor) with a copy of the BAAQMD notice before issuance of the permit required for 
building alterations by the Department of Building Inspection. 

• Lead paint has been found in the existing building, constructed in 1927. The project 
sponsor would comply with Chapter 36 of the San Francisco Building Code, Work 
Practices for Exterior Lead-Based Paint. Where there is any work that may disturb or 
remove lead paint on the exterior of any building built prior to December 31, 1978, 
Chapter 36 requires specific notification and work standards, and identifies prohibited 
work methods and penalties. 

Chapter 36 applies to buildings or steel structures on which original construction was 
completed prior to 1979 (which are assumed to have lead-based paint on their surfaces), 
where more than ten total square feet of lead-based paint would be disturbed or 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



53 



V. Mitigation Measures 



removed. The ordinance contains performance standards, including establishment of 
containment barriers, at least as effective at protecting human health and the environment 
as those in the HUD Guidelines (the most recent Guidelines for Evaluation and control 
of Lead-Based Paint Hazards) and identifies prohibited practices that may not be used 
in disturbance or removal of lead-based paint. Any person performing work subject to 
the ordinance shall make all reasonable efforts to remove all visible lead paint 
contaminants from all regulated areas of the property prior to completion of the work. 

The ordinance also includes notification requirements, contents of notice, and 
requirements for signs. Notification includes notifying bidders for the work of any paint- 
inspection reports verifying the presence or absence of lead-based paint in the regulated 
area of the proposed project. Prior to commencement of work, the responsible party 
must provide written notice to the Director of the Department of Building Inspection, of 
the location of the project; the nature and approximate square footage of the painted 
surface being disturbed and/ or removed; anticipated job start and completion dates for 
the work; whether the building is residential or nonresidential, owner-occupied or rental 
property, approximate number of dwelling units, if any; the dates by which the 
responsible party has or will fulfill any tenant or adjacent property notification 
requirements; and the name, address, telephone number, and pager number of the party 
who will perform the work. (Further notice requirements include Sign When Containment 
is Required, Notice by Landlord, Required Notice to Tenants, Availability of Pamphlet 
related to protection from lead in the home, Notice by Contractor, Early Commencement 
of Work [by Owner, Requested by Tenant], and Notice of Lead Contaminated Dust or 
Soil, if applicable.) The ordinance contains provisions regarding inspection and sampling 
for compliance by DBI, and enforcement, and describes penalties for non-compliance 
with the requirements of the ordinance. 

These regulations and procedures required by the San Francisco Building Code would 
ensure that potential impacts due to lead-based paint would be reduced to a level of 
insignificance. 

D. CONSTRUCTION AIR QUALITY 

*• The project sponsor would require the project contractor(s) to maintain and operate 
construction equipment so as to minimize exhaust emissions of particulates and other 
pollutants through the prohibition of idling motors when equipment is not in use or when 
trucks are waiting in queues, and implementation of specific maintenance programs to 
reduce emissions for equipment that would be in frequent use for much of the 
construction period. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



54 



VI. SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 
IF THE PROPOSED PROJECT IS IMPLEMENTED 



In accordance with Section 21 067 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and with 
sections 1 5040, 1 5081 , and 1 5082 of the CEQA Guidelines, the purpose of this chapter is to 
identify impacts that could not be eliminated or reduced to an insignificant level by mitigation 
measures included as part of the project, or by other mitigation measures that could be 
implemented, as described in Chapter V. 

This chapter is subject to final determination by the San Francisco Planning Commission as part 
of its certification of the EIR. The Final EIR will be revised, if necessary, to reflect the findings 
of the Commission. 

The proposed project would involve physical changes to a building which is designated a 
"Significant" historic building by the San Francisco Planning Department and which contributes 
to the visual cohesiveness of the surrounding Financial District in which it is located. In general, 
substantial adverse changes to historic architectural resources are considered significant adverse 
environmental effects. As described in Chapter IV, Environmental Impacts, the proposed project 
would entail removal of the sashes of the single glazed double-hung windows (approximately 
450 windows from the 4th to the 1 7th floors) windows from the Montgomery Street and California 
Street facades and their replacement with thicker, laminated glass and double-hung aluminum 
sash windows. In addition, openings would be made into 60 of the 90 existing ornamental stone 
arches in the arcade below the cornice, and arched-top windows would be placed into the voids. 
A substantial amount of historic fabric would be removed from a significant historic building. 
Removal of the facade windows and the addition of windows in the cornice band would be 
considered a substantial adverse change to the subject building. 

Projected development in downtown San Francisco would have a significant effect on the 
environment in that it would generate cumulative traffic increases as well as cumulative 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



55 



VI. Significant Environmental Effects 



passenger loadings on MUNI, BART and other regional transit carriers. The cumulative 
transportation impacts could cause violations of the fine particulate matter standards (PM 10 ). The 
proposed project would contribute incrementally to these cumulative effects. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



56 



VII. ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED PROJECT 



This chapter identifies alternatives to the proposed project, discusses environmental impacts 
associated with each alternative, and, where an alternative has been considered by the project 
sponsor in development of the project, gives the sponsor's reasons that the alternative was 
rejected in favor of the project. Regardless of the sponsor's reasons for rejection, the City 
Planning Commission could approve an alternative instead of the project if the decision makers 
believed the alternative would be more appropriate for the site. 

Analysis of alternatives at different sites for private projects is not required except in very limited 
circumstances. Whether property is owned or can reasonably be acquired by the project 
sponsor has a strong bearing on the feasibility of developing a project alternative. This EIR does 
not include an alternate site alternative because Omni San Francisco Corporation, the project 
sponsor, has no feasible alternative site available for the proposed project. 

A. NO PROJECT ALTERNATIVE 
DESCRIPTION 

This alternative would entail no change to the project site. The proposed project would not be 
built and there would be no construction on site. Under this alternative, the OMNI San Francisco 
Hotel building would not be developed and adaptively reused. The proposed project building 
would remain vacant in its current unusable condition, and continue to deteriorate to some 
degree. This alternative would not preclude redevelopment of all or part of the project site in the 
future, with larger or smaller development than the project as proposed. 

IMPACTS 

If this alternative were implemented, none of the impacts associated with the proposed project 
would occur. The environmental characteristics of this alternative would be generally as 
described in the Environmental Setting chapter of this report (see Chapter III and Appendix A, 
the Initial Study, for a discussion of existing conditions). The removal of primary facade 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



57 



VII. Alternatives 



windows, modification of the existing cast-stone ornamental arcade at the top of the building, 
and other architectural changes to the existing building would not occur. In addition, there 
would be no temporarily increased parking demand or traffic congestion impacts associated with 
construction of the project. 

SPONSOR'S REASONS FOR REJECTION 

This alternative was rejected by the project sponsor because it would not satisfy the sponsor's 
objectives of constructing a luxury hotel to serve the business community in the downtown 
financial district of San Francisco. 

B. PRESERVATION ALTERNATIVE 
DESCRIPTION 

Under this alternative, the existing building at 500 California Street would be expanded and a 
luxury hotel would be created, but there would be no cornice windows or replacement of the 
existing primary upper-story windows (from the 4th to 1 6th floors) on Montgomery and California 
Streets. The existing wood-frame double-hung windows in the primary facades would be 
retained where possible and restored in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards 
for Rehabilitation. Because there would be no cornice windows, there would be about 1 7 fewer 
rooms on the 1 7th Floor. 

As with the proposed project, the polished granite facade on the first four stories would be 
replaced with a cast-stone replica of the original 1927 facade, including an arched doorway and 
arched windows. Also similar to the proposed project, the two wings of the building would be 
widened on the interior "light court" sides of the building to accommodate a double-loaded hotel 
corridor. Approximately 53,880 square feet would be added to the building (about 43,600 of 
which would use transferable development rights derived from preservation of other historic 
buildings in the area). An additional floor would be added to the third-floor level of the interior 
"light court" space to accommodate a new ballroom, and the existing mezzanine would be 
extend to form the second floor. Other modifications planned for the proposed project would 
also be included in this alternative, including relocating the main pedestrian entrance from 
Montgomery Street to California Street, providing about 15,000 square feet of meeting rooms, 
and creating a ground-floor restaurant and bar of approximately 5,000 square feet, and about 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



58 



VII. Alternatives 



1 ,000 square feet of retail space. This alternative would be consistent with the Secretary of the 
Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. 

IMPACTS 

Implementation of the Preservation Alternative would avoid the significant impact on a Category 
I significant historical building associated with the proposed project that would result from 
removal of the original single-glazed double-hung window sashes in the primary building facades 
and additional windows in the decorated band just below the cornice. These windows would 
be retained under this alternative and no alterations would be made to the building's cast-stone 
cornice. In other respects, the impacts of this alternative would be similar to those of the 
proposed project. The expansion of the two wings of the building would require the removal of 
the existing building facades facing the interior light court, including the removal of the original 
windows. The increase in parking and transit demand and in local and regional PM peak-hour 
traffic volumes would be comparable to those of the proposed project, as would the temporary 
construction impacts related to traffic congestion and increased parking demand. All of these 
impacts would be less than significant. 

SPONSOR'S REASONS FOR REJECTION 

This alternative was rejected by the project sponsor because it would not enable the sponsor 
to meet its stringent standards pertaining to sound insulation. According to the project sponsor, 
retention and restoration of the original windows would not achieve the level of sound insulation 
required for a luxury hotel, and would be prohibitively expensive. The project sponsor also 
rejected this alternative because it would not allow the sponsor to meet the objectives of the 
project and provide the optimal number and configuration of rooms on the 17th floor. 

C. REDUCED INTENSITY ALTERNATIVE 
DESCRIPTION 

Under the Reduced Intensity Alternative, the size of the existing building would not be expanded 
through the use of transferable development rights and the hotel would be developed within the 
existing 203,800-square-foot building envelope. The existing building with structural 
modifications could accommodate approximately 238 hotel rooms. As with the proposed project, 
the glass and sashes of the original wood-frame windows in the Montgomery and California 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



59 



VII. Alternatives 



Street facades would still be replaced with new aluminum sashes and thicker, laminated glass 
windows. The polished granite facade on the first four stories would be replaced with a cast- 
stone replica of the original 1927 facade, including an arched doorway and arched windows. 
The cast-stone cornice on the top of the building would be retained as is, without changes. 
Other modifications planned for the proposed project would also be included in this alternative, 
including relocating the main pedestrian entrance from Montgomery Street to California Street, 
providing about 1 5,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and creating a ground-floor restaurant and 
bar of about 5,000 square feet, and about 1 ,000 square feet of retail space. A ballroom would 
not be included in this alternative. 

IMPACTS 

The Reduced Intensity Alternative would have the same significant impacts on a Category I 
historical building identified for the proposed project that would result from removal of the 
original upper-story windows in the primary building facades and the addition of windows in the 
cornice arcade. The minor impacts on the building facades facing the interior light court would 
not occur under this alternative because the building wings would not be widened and these 
interior facades would be retained. A project benefit would result from restoring the building 
base to the original rusticated cast-stone design, complete with arched doorway and windows. 

In other respects, the impacts of this alternative would be similar to those of the proposed 
project. The increase in parking and transit demand and in traffic volumes would be less than 
those of the proposed project due to a decrease in the number of rooms (124 fewer) and no 
ballroom. There would be approximately 35 percent fewer daily traffic trips generated under this 
alternative. The temporary construction impacts related to traffic congestion and increased 
parking demand would be similar to those of the proposed project, but reduced in scope. The 
construction period would be shortened, shortening the duration of construction impacts. 
Although the parking lane on Montgomery Street would still be closed during the day for 
equipment and materials staging, there would be fewer truck trips during the day, thus lessening 
the temporary congestion caused by truck deliveries. 

SPONSOR'S REASONS FOR REJECTION 

This alternative was rejected by the project sponsor because the reduction in number of rooms 
and constraint on facilities such as the ballroom would not meet the sponsor's objectives. In 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



60 



VII. Alternatives 



order for the project to be successful, the project sponsor believes that it must be at the size and 
scale proposed in the project description (Chapter II). 

D. OFFICE ALTERNATIVE 
DESCRIPTION 

The Office Alternative entails renovation of the existing building at 500 California Street for use 
as an office building. Under this alternative, there would be no expansion of the building size 
and none of the proposed alterations to the building facades would occur. The original windows 
in the California Street and Montgomery Street facades would be retained and no changes would 
be made to the cast-stone ornamental cornice. The four-story base of the building would remain 
as it was modified in 1956 and would not be restored to its 1927 design. The entrance would 
not be moved from Montgomery Street to California Street, and additional floor space would not 
be added to the building. The building would accommodate approximately 1 85,000 square feet 
of office space and would house between 61 6 and 740 office workers. All renovation would 
occur to the interior of the building. 

IMPACTS 

None of the significant or less-than-significant impacts to historic architectural resources that are 
associated with the proposed project would occur under this alternative. No changes to the 
historic fabric (i.e., the facades) of a Category I historic building would occur. The benefits of 
the proposed project would not occur because the base of the building would not be restored 
to its original 1927 design. As with the proposed project, this alternative would result in less- 
than-significant impacts on traffic levels of service, transit demand, and parking demand. Peak 
traffic demand would be different than under the proposed project because most office workers 
would arrive during the AM peak hour and depart during the PM peak hour, unlike the projected 
demand patterns for hotel patrons. An office building would generate about 162 daily vehicle 
trips and about 66 P.M. peak hour trips (compared to the projected 1 ,252 daily vehicle trips and 
149 P.M. peak hour trips analyzed for the proposed project in the Transportation Impacts 
Section). The impacts on traffic conditions would be less than under the proposed project. 
Temporary construction impacts on parking demand and traffic congestion would be smaller in 
magnitude and shorter in duration as compared to the proposed project. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



61 



VII. Alternatives 



SPONSOR'S REASONS FOR REJECTION 

This alternative was rejected by the project sponsor because it would not satisfy the sponsor's 
objectives of constructing a luxury hotel to serve the business community in the downtown 
financial district of San Francisco. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



62 



VIII. EIR AUTHORS 



EIR AUTHORS 

Planning Department, City and County of San Francisco 

1 660 Mission Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 03 

Environmental Review Officer: Hillary E. Gitelman 
EIR Coordinator: Alice Glasner 



EIR CONSULTANTS 

During Associates 

1 20 Montgomery Street, Suite 2290 
San Francisco, CA 94104 

Stu During, Project Manager 

Doug Herring 

Lynne LeRoy 

Archeo-Tec (Cultural Resources) 
5283 Broadway 
Oakland, CA 94618 

Allen Pastron, Ph.D. 

Clement Designs (Graphics Design) 
358 Third Avenue, Suite 100 
San Francisco, CA 94118 

Kathy Clement 

Hanna Norman 

Environmental Science Associates (Shadow Consultant) 
225 Bush Street, Suite 1700 
San Francisco, CA 94104 

Chuck Bennett, Vice President 

Rowell Llanillo 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



63 



VIII. EIR Authors 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS (continued) 



Korve Engineering (Transportation) 
1 1 6 New Montgomery Street, Suite 531 
San Francisco, CA 94105 

Chi-Hsin Shao, Vice President 

Luba Wyznyckyj, Senior Transportation Planner 

Linda Lee 

Lori Levoit 

Page & Turnbull (Historic Architectural Resources) 

724 Pine Street 

San Francisco, CA 94108 

Jay Turnbull, Principal 

Carolyn Kiernat 



PROJECT SPONSOR 

Omni San Francisco Corporation 
420 Decker Drive, Suite 1 00 
Irving, TX 75062 

Brian Kuckelman, Vice President 



PROJECT ATTORNEY 



Robert J. McCarthy, Attorney at Law 
655 Montgomery Street, 1 7th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 



PROJECT ARCHITECT 



Patri Merker Architects, Inc. 

400 Second Street, Suite 400 

San Francisco, CA 941 07 

Piero Patri, Principal in Charge 
Marie Zeller, Director of Planning 
Dean Randle, Sr. Project Manager 
Bob Boles, Sr. Project Architect 



ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONS CONSULTED 

City and County of San Francisco 

Planning Department 

RanaAhmadi, Planner 
Tim Blomgren, Planner 
Bill Wycko, Planner 
Jim Nixon, Planner 

Municipal Railway 

James Lowe 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



64 



VIII. EIR Authors 

Department of Parking and Traffic 

Jerry Robbins, Planner 

Others 

Treadwell & Rollo 
Charles Salter, Inc. 
Robert LaRocca & Associates 
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger 
Penn Environmental 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



65 



IX. APPENDICES 



Appendix A: Initial Study and EIR Requirement 

Appendix B: Draft EIR Distribution List 

Appendix C: Intersection Level of Service Descriptions 

Appendix D: Pedestrian Level of Service Descriptions 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



66 



NOTICE THAT AN 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT 
IS DETERMINED TO BE REQUIRED 



Date of this Notice: January 31 , 1 998 



Lead Agency: City and County of San Francisco, Dept. of City Planning 
1 660 Mission Street - 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 941 03 

Agency Contact Person: Alice Glasner Telephone: (415)558-6424 



Project Title: 97.447E: San Francisco Omni Hotel 
Project Sponsor: Omni San Francisco Corporation 
Project Contact Person: Marie Zeller, PMB Architects 
Telephone: (41 5) 284-1 1 1 1 , Ext. 4404 



Project Address: 500 California, at Montgomery Street 
Assessor's Block and Lots: Block 240, lot 3 
City and County: San Francisco 



Project Description: The project would develop an approximately 362 - room hotel with a ground floor 
restaurant in an existing building that is currently a vacant office structure located at 500 California 
Street, at the corner of Montgomery Street. About 53,500 sq.ft. would be added to floors 2-17 on the 
north and west sides of the L-shaped building, and above the roof (but not above the existing parapet), 
for a total of approximately 261 ,700 sq.ft. Two new floors would be created where existing floors with 
high ceilings would be divided horizontally. The building is recognized by the City to have significant 
architectural character. The project requires approval under Section 309 for Permit Review in C-3 
District and a Permit to Alter for major alterations to a Category I (significant) building identified in Article 
1 1 of the City Planning Code. It would also require a conditional use authorization for hotel use in the 
C-3-0 Zoning District. 



THIS PROJECT MAY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND AN 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT IS REQUIRED. This determination is based upon the criteria 
of the State CEQA Guidelines, Section 15063 (Initial Study), 15064 (Determining Significant Effect), and 
15065 (Mandatory Findings of Significance), and the following reasons, as documented in the 
Environmental Evaluation (Initial Study) for the project, which is attached. 



Deadline for Filing of an Appeal of this Determination to the City Planning Commission: February 20, 
1998. 

An appeal requires: (1) a letter specifying the grounds for the appeal, 

(2) a $209.00 filing fee. nil A 




Environmental Review Officer 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.1 



I. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 



Appendix A. Initial Study 



The project site is in Downtown San Francisco, on the northwest corner of California and Montgomery 
Streets, (see Figure 1). The approximately 19,100 square -foot parcel (Assessor's Block 240, lot 3) 
contains a vacant office building (about 208,200 square feet in area) that was built in 1 927. 

The proposed project would convert the 15- floor- plus basement structure (formerly known as 405 
Montgomery—The Financial Center Building) to an approximately 362-room hotel at 500 California 
Street, on the northwest corner of California and Montgomery Streets (Figure 1, page 3). The hotel 
would contain meetings rooms, business support services (to attract a business-oriented clientele), an 
approximately 5,000 sq.ft. ground floor restaurant, and about 1 ,000 sq.ft. of retail space, also on the 
ground floor (Figures 2-4.) 

Two of the existing stories would be divided by new floors, creating a total of 17 floors, and the roof 
would be raised by approximately 6 feet (but not above the existing parapet). About 53,300 sq.ft. would 
be added to floors 2-17 on the north and west sides of the L-shaped building, extending existing floors 
and a partial mezzanine, and creating a new floor for a ballroom at the third floor level. There would be 
limited excavation to allow for a seismic upgrade and new elevator shafts. The building would then 
contain a total of approximately 261 ,700 sq.ft. (See Section, Figure 4). Some of this addition would be 
made possible through the acquisition of Transferable Development Rights (TDR), obtained from as 
yet unidentified lots in the C-3 District. 

The existing structure is designated a Category I (significant) Building under Article 1 1 of the City 
Planning Code, which addresses preservation of buildings and districts of architectural, historical, and 
aesthetic importance in the C-3 (Downtown commercial) zoning districts. Proposed changes to the 
exterior of the building include the addition of about sixty arched-top windows, set into the arching 
decorative features near the existing roof line, at the newly created 17th story. The California Street 
entrance would become the main hotel entrance, and a pedestrian loading zone would be proposed. 
Architectural treatment to this facade would include an arching doorway, similar to that existing at 220 
Montgomery. The Montgomery Street facade would have a large entrance at street level to facilitate 
service vehicles loading and unloading. The 1950s-era finish on the two exterior facades up to the 
bottom of the 5th floor would be removed and replaced by a re-creation of the building's original 
architecture. The existing cast stone and brick would be repaired and cleaned, at the 5th floor and 
above. 

The project requires approval under Section 309 for Permit Review in C-3 District. Review of the 
proposal to alter this Category 1 (significant) building by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.2 



Appendix A. Initial Study 





1000 ft 



Sacramento Street 



CD 

Q) 
i 

55 
>> 

c 

CD 
CD 




cd 

CD 
CO 



o 

c 
o 



California Street 



Source: During Associates 



100 ft (APPROXIMATE) 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.3 



PROJECT LOCATION FIGURE 1 



Appendix A. Initial Study 




California Street 



Source: PBM Architects, Inc. 

1ST FLOOR PLAN FIGURE 2 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.4 



Appendix A. Initial Study 




California Street 



Source: PBM Architects. Inc. ^^^^^^^^ 

2ND FLOOR PLAN FIGURE 3 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.5 



Appendix A. Initial Study 




Source: PBM Architects. Inc. ^ i^^—— 

TYPICAL GUEST ROOM FLOOR PLAN (FLOORS 4-1 5) FIGURE 4 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.6 



Appendix A. Initial Study 




California Street 



Source PBM Architects. Inc. 



TYPICAL GUEST ROOM FLOOR PLAN (FLOORS 4-1 5) FIGURE 5 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.7 



Appendix A. Initial Study 



New Mechanical Penthouse 



New 




BBiae.ee:ee.Be;eeee:ea e 
eeiBaiae : flB bb;Bb eb bb b 

B \ BSi BB; Bfl! BBSS iBB :QB EH B 
H i BB' BB HB BB BB ^ BB BB EB B 



B BB BB R3 BB BB BB BB BB B 




mm 





Windows 



New 
Facade 



Montgomery 
St 



New Entrance 



California Street 



Source: PBM Architects, Inc. 

SOUTH ELEVATION FIGURE 6 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.8 



Appendix A. Initial Study 



• New Mechanical Penthouse 



New 
Windows 





New 
Facade 



California 
St 



3H i HH, SB i BQ :QB :BH BH 



■BB;BB;BB:BB!BB:BBiBBBB 

B 

BH HBBHjBB 

BB nnWHH HH BB BH 



B'BB 



mm 




— r c 'T' v 

_Fi i. = 



IT 

=1 J-. 



New Loading 
Entrance 



Montgomery Street 



Source: PBM Architects. Inc. 



EAST ELEVATION FIGURE 7 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.9 



Appendix A. Initial Study 




Montgomery Street 



Source: PBM Architects. Inc. 

BUILDING SECTION FIGURE 8 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.10 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

and approval by the City Planning Commission is required pursuant to Article 1 1 of the City Planning 
Code. The project also requires a conditional use authorization for hotel use in the C-3-0 Zoning District 

Project construction would take approximately 18 months. It would include excavation about 700 cubic 
yards of soil below the existing basement for a seismic retrofit and elevator housing. 

II. SUMMARY OF POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS 

A. EFFECTS FOUND TO BE POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT 

The Omni San Francisco Hotel project is examined in this Initial Study to identify potential effects on the 
environment. Some effects have been determined to be potentially significant, and will be analyzed in 
an environmental impact report (EIR). These potential effects include effects to architectural and 
historic resources, and effects related to transportation issues. For informational purposes, the EIR will 
also discuss land use and the relationship of the proposed project to the Planning Code. 

B. EFFECTS FOUND NOT TO BE SIGNIFICANT 

The following potential effects were determined either to be insignificant or to be mitigated through 
measures included in the project. These items are discussed in Section III below, and require no further 
environmental analysis in the EIR: 

Land Use: While the proposed project would change and intensify the land uses on the project site, the 
proposed uses would be compatible with uses in the project area. 

Urban Design: The proposed additions to the buildings would only be seen on the north and west 
elevations and not from California and Montgomery Street. The proposed alteration in relation to its 
Category I building status will be discussed in the architectural and historic resources sections in the 
EIR. 

Lights and Glare: There is an adjacent building that has windows facing the property line, on the existing 
light well. Windows of one to two floors of this building would be effectively blocked by the addition, and 
other floors would lose some sunlight from the rest of the internal addition. This loss of light for the 
adjacent building would not be seen as significant given the prevalent density of development in the 
downtown area. 

The project would not use mirrored glass. Exterior lighting would be directed or shielded to prevent 
glare on adjacent properties and streets. 

Population: The project site is currently vacant and no tenants would be displaced. There would be 
an intensification of use on the site. Following project completion, it is estimated that approximately 225 

97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel A. 1 1 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

people would be employed on the site, plus about 560 to 656 hotel guests (calculated conservatively 
at 1 .5 to 1 .75 people per room). There could be up to a maximum of approximately 970 people working 
in and patronizing the hotel, 85-seat restaurant, and retail uses in the project during certain peak times. 
Others could also attend meetings at the proposed meeting facilities. While noticeable to people in the 
same block, this increase would not substantially increase the existing financial district's population. 
Weekend and evening activity would also change, since there is relatively little pedestrian activity 
outside of business hours in the financial district. 

Noise: After completion, building operation including project-related activities and project-related traffic 
would not perceptibly increase noise levels in the vicinity. Some increase in noise could be expected 
during construction. The project would be required to comply with the San Francisco Noise Ordinance 
during construction and regarding mechanical equipment noise. 

Wind Exterior changes to the building would not affect wind conditions at the site in any noticeable way. 
Structural additions would be mostly on the interior of the lot. 

Utilities/Public Service: The project would increase the demand for public utilities and services, but not 
in excess of amounts expected and provided for in the area. 

Biology. The project site is entirely covered by impervious surfaces and is within an urban area which 
has been intensively developed since the late-nineteenth century. No rare or endangered plants or 
animals could be affected by the project. 

Geology/Topography. Detailed foundation and related structural design studies would be prepared by 
a California-licensed engineer prior to commencement of construction and would require approval by 
the Department of Building Inspection. The project sponsor and contractor would follow the 
recommendations of the final report regarding any excavation and construction of the project. 

Wafer. The project site is entirely covered by the building and drains to the City's combined sewer. 

Energy. The project would be constructed to comply with performance standards of Title 24 of the 
California Code of Regulations, regarding energy conservation. 

Hazards: The project would alter portions of the existing 500 California Street structure that could 
include asbestos-containing materials. The project sponsor would be required to comply with applicable 
regulations regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos- containing materials. These regulations 
and procedures, established as part of the permit review process, would ensure that any potential 
impacts due to asbestos would be reduced to a level of insignificance. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.12 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

The project site may contain an underground storage tank. If on-going investigation shows one or more 
tanks, the project sponsor will remove or close the tank in coordination with the San Francisco 
Department of Public Health. 

III. ENVIRONMENTAL EVALUATION CHECKLIST 

A. COMPATIBILITY WITH EXISTING ZONING AND PLANS N/A Discussed 

1 . Discuss any variances, special authorizations, changes proposed 

to the City Planning Code or Zoning Map, if applicable. . X 

2. Discuss any conflicts with any other adopted environmental plans 

and goals of the City or Region, if applicable. X X 

The City Planning Code, which incorporates by reference the City's Zoning Maps, governs permitted 
uses, densities, and the configuration of buildings within San Francisco. Permits to construct new 
buildings (or to alter or demolish existing ones) may not be issued unless either the proposed project 
conforms to the Code, or an exception is granted pursuant to provisions of the Code. The project would 
be considered for approval pursuant to Section 309 of the City Planning Code, Permit Review in C-3 
Districts, which governs review of project authorization and building and site permit applications in C-3 
districts. Under Section 309, the City Planning Commission would evaluate the project. A public 
hearing would be held by the City Planning Commission to consider the project application and would 
adopt a motion approving, approving with conditions, or disapproving the project. In addition, under 
Section 314.4 of the City Planning Code, the sponsor would be required to provide a child-care facility 
on or near the site or pay an in-lieu fee to the City Controller which shall be used to expand or improve 
access to childcare facilities by low and moderate-icome families. If the project were to be approved 
by the City Planning Commission, the project sponsor must also obtain building and related permits from 
the Central Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection. An application for a Site Permit 
has not been filed to date. 

The project site is within the C-3-0 Zoning District and the 300-S Height and Bulk District. The City 
Planning Code describes the C-3-0 District as being primarily devoted to office uses supported by some 
related retail and service uses. The district has the City's greatest intensity of building development. 
Retail and restaurant are considered principal permitted uses under C-3-0 zoning, however, hotel use 
is only permitted by conditional use authorization by the City Planning Commission. The project would 
add five vertical feet to the building's top floor, but the building would still be within the allowable height 
limit for the site. It would also be within the permitted floor-area-ratio of 9:1 within the C-3-0 district. 

As discussed above, the proposed project would involve alterations to a Category I Building, which is 
defined and regulated under Article 1 1 of the City Planning Code (please see the Cultural Resources 

97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel A. 1 3 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

Section of this Initial Study). The building permit application would require approval by the City Planning 
Commission, following review and a recommendation by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board 
(LPAB). Review by the LPAB and the City Planning Commission include a public hearing. 

Environmental plans and policies are those, like the Bay Area Air Quality Plan, which directly address 
physical environmental issues and/or contain targets or standards which must be met in order to 
preserve or improve characteristics of the City's physical environment. The proposed project would not 
obviously or substantially conflict with any such adopted environmental plan or policy. 

The City's General Plan, which provides general policies and objectives to guide land use decisions, 
contains some policies which relate to physical environmental issues. The City Planning Commission 
would review the project in the context of applicable objectives and policies of the General Plan, 
including the Downtown Plan, an area plan in the San Francisco General Plan. The relationship of the 
proposed project to objectives and policies of the General Plan will be discussed in the EIR. 

On November 4, 1986, the voters of San Francisco passed Proposition M, the Accountable Planning 
Initiative, which established eight Priority Policies. These policies are: preservation of and enhancement 
of neighborhood-serving retail uses; protection of neighborhood character; preservation and 
enhancement of affordable housing; discouragement of commuter automobiles; protection of industrial 
and service land uses from commercial office development and enhancement of resident employment 
and business ownership' earthquake preparedness; landmark and historic building preservation; and 
protection of open space. Prior to issuing a permit for any project which requires and Initial Study under 
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), or adopting Any zoning ordinance or development 
agreement, the City is required to find that the proposed project or legislation is consistent with the 
Priority policies. The motion for the City Planning Commission will contain the analysis determining 
whether the project is in conformance with the Priority Policies. 

B. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS 

1 . Land Use - Could the project: 

a. * Disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of an 

established community? 

b. Have any substantial impact upon the existing character 
of the vicinity? 

The proposed project would renovate an existing 15-story (plus basement), office building at 500 California 
Street, at the corner of Montgomery Street. The building has not been used since about 1988. 

Land use in the project vicinity is primarily office in high-rise structures. Some buildings have retail or restaurant 



Yes No Discussed 

X X 

X X 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.14 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

uses on the first floor. Because the project would be an add-on to the existing building, within the existing 
parcel, it could not divide the physical arrangement of an established community. 

The addition of about 260,000 square feet of principally hotel use to the project site would be a change in use 
of the site. This intensification of use would be noticeable, especially in the immediate neighborhood, and 
would change the present character of the site which is vacant and unused. The uses proposed with the 
project would be consistent with permitted used in the C-3-0 District and would be compatible with existing 
commercial uses along California Street. For this reason, the proposed project would not have a substantial 
impact on the existing character of the vicinity. Physical impacts of the proposed intensification of use, primarily 
transportation, will be discussed in the EIR. 



2. Visual Quality - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Have a substantial, demonstrable negative aesthetic effect? X X 

b. Substantially degrade or obstruct any scenic view or vista 

now observed from public areas? X X 

c. Generate obtrusive light or glare substantially impacting 

other properties? X X 

The proposed project would result in a visual change, since the proposal includes the addition of windows to 
the 17th floor of the subject building, changing the entrance and facade finish, and replacing the existing 
penthouse with a new one, in a different location. The additions (floors 3- 17 and five feet to the roof top), 
would not be visible from either California or Montgomery Street. Given that these changes would not be 
noticed by most people, they could not have a substantial, demonstrable negative aesthetic effect. 

Design proposals would be considered by planning staff during the building permit and Section 309 application 
review, and by the LPAB and the City Planning Commission pursuant to Article 1 1 of the City Planning Code. 
During the decision making processes, more details about the final design proposal would be available to the 
public and to decision makers than are available now. Aesthetic and design features of the project may 
therefore be more fully considered and commented on at that time. Project design will also be discussed in the 
EIR, as it relates to Cultural Resources. 

There are no scenic views or vistas now observed from public areas that would be impacted by the project. 
This infill project would, however, at least partially block or modify existing views from private buildings or from 
the streets nearby. Blocking of private views, while of concern to those affected, and possibly a planning issue 
worthy of consideration, would not be considered a significant environmental effect in the hilly, urban 
environment of San Francisco. Views, therefore, require no further analysis and will not be discussed in the 
EIR. 

97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel A. 1 5 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

The project would comply with City Planning Commission Resolution 9212 which prohibits the use of mirrored 
or reflective glass. The project would not use mirrored glass, would not include exterior lighting in excess of 
amounts common and accepted in urban areas, and would direct exterior lighting to minimize glare on 
neighboring buildings or streets; it could not, therefore, generate obtrusive light or glare substantially impacting 
other properties. Glare requires no further analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 

3. Population - Could the project: 

a. * Induce substantial growth or concentration of population? 

b. * Displace a large number of people (involving either housing 

or employment)? 

c. Create a substantial demand for additional housing in 
San Francisco, or substantially reduce the housing supply? 

The project site is currently vacant and there is no authorized use of the existing structure. Following project 
construction, the daily population of the site would include employees, hotel patrons, restaurant and retail 
customers. Using standard hotel industry information, 1 it is estimated that about 225 employees, and a 
maximum of 656 hotel guests and visitors (also utilizing on-site retail services), and 85 restaurant patrons could 
be on the site at any one time. The increase in population would be noticeable, but would not substantially 
increase the existing area-wide population. The number of people on the site at any one time would fluctuate 
with the expected maximum population at less than 1 ,000. Physical environmental effects of this increase in 
population on the site will be addressed in the EIR, primarily in the area of transportation. 

Some of the employees of the proposed project would already be living in the City. Others would come 
from outside San Francisco, and may seek housing within the City boundaries. Those who continue to live 
in outlying areas and commute into the City would contribute to potential transportation impacts, which will 
be addressed in the EIR. As part of the Planning Commission's consideration of the project sponsor's 
request for conditional use authorization, the Commission would consider the issue of employment 
generated housing demand. Specifically, Section 303 (f) of the City Planning Code requires that the 
Commission consider trie impact of the employees of the hotel or motel on the demand in the City for 
housing, public transit, childcare, and other social services. To the extent relevant, the Commission shall 
also consider the seasonal and part-time nature of employment in the hotel or motel; and the measures that 
will be taken by the project sponsor to employ residents of San Francisco in order to minimize increased 
demand for regional transportation. 



Yes No Discussed 
X X 

_X_ 

X X 



1 Dale Hess, Executive Vice President, San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, 
telephone conversation with Stu During, Consultant, October 9, 1997. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.16 



4. Transportation/Circulation - Could the project: 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

Yes No Discussed 



Cause an increase in traffic which is substantial in relation 



to the existing traffic load and capacity of the street system? 



To be determined 



X 



b. 



Interfere with existing transportation systems, causing substantial 
alterations to circulation patterns or major traffic hazards? 



To be determined 



X 



c. 



Cause a substantial increase in transit demand which cannot be 
accommodated by existing or proposed transit capacity? 



To be determined 



X 



d. 



Cause a substantial increase in parking demand which cannot be 
accommodated by existing parking facilities? 



To be determined 



X 



The project site is located in a densely built downtown location. The project would cause an increase in 
area traffic, transit and parking demand. But the fact that the area is well served by public transit, no on- 
site parking is proposed, and that the preferred clientele would be business people (not vacationers), 
suggests that there may not be substantial traffic impacts related to the project. However, there will be 
further analysis of traffic impacts in the EIR. The EIR will discuss potential effects of the project related to 
traffic and circulation, transit, and parking. Potential traffic impacts during construction will also be 
discussed in the EIR. 

Deliveries would occur via the loading entrance on Montgomery Street where there would be two loading 
spaces. Pedestrian access and loading would occur on the California Street side. Loading (including 
possible curb modifications) will also be discussed in the EIR. 

5. Noise - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Increase substantially the ambient noise levels for adjoining areas? X X 

b. Violate Title 24 Noise Insulation Standards, if applicable? _X_ X 

c. Be substantially impacted by existing noise levels? X 

The noise environment of the site, like much of San Francisco, is dominated by vehicular traffic noise, 
including trucks, cars, MUNI buses and emergency vehicles. 

Demolition, excavation, and building construction would temporarily increase noise in the site vicinity. The 
construction period, including demolition would last approximately 18 months. Project construction would 
increase noise levels in areas surrounding the project site. Construction noise levels would fluctuate 
depending on construction phase, equipment type and duration of use, distance between noise source and 
listener, and presence or absence of barriers between noise source and listener. Throughout the 
construction period there would be truck traffic to and from the site, hauling away excavated materials, or 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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Appendix A. Initial Study 



delivering building materials. 

Construction noise is regulated by the San Francisco Noise Ordinance (Article 29 of the City Police Code). 
The ordinance requires that noise levels from individual pieces of construction equipment, other than impact 
tools, not exceed 80 dBA at a distance of 100 ft. from the source. Impact tools (e.g. jackhammers and 
impact wrenches) must have both intake and exhaust muffled to the satisfaction of the Department of Public 
Works. Section 2908 of the Ordinance prohibits construction work between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., if 
noise would exceed the ambient noise level by five dBA at the project property line, unless a special permit 
is authorized by the Director of Public Works. No evening construction activity is proposed for the project. 
Project construction noise requires no further analysis and will not be addressed in the EIR. 

An approximate doubling of traffic volumes in the area would be necessary to produce an increase in 
ambient noise levels noticeable to most people. 2 The project would not cause a doubling in traffic volumes 
and therefore would not cause a noticeable permanent increase in the ambient noise level in the project 
vicinity during project operation. 

Title 24 of the California Government Code establishes uniform noise insulation standards for hotel 
projects. The Department of Building Inspection (DBI) would review the final building plans to insure that 
the building wall and floor/ceiling assemblies meet State standards regarding sound transmission. 

The Environmental Protection Element of the General Plan contains guidelines for determining the 
compatibility of various land uses with different noise environments. For typical retail uses, the guidelines 
recommend that new construction or development should generally be discouraged at noise levels starting 
between 75 and 80 dBA. Where background noise levels are found to be about 70 to 75 dBA, the 
guidelines recommend an analysis of noise reduction requirements and implementation of noise insulation 
features. It is anticipated that standard noise insulation measures would be included as part of the project 
design. 

Because the project is not expected to double traffic volumes in the area, and operational noise would be 
limited to 55 dBA, it would not result in perceptibly greater noise levels than those existing in the area. 
Project-related noise requires no further analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 



2 

See Downtown Plan EIR, Vol.1, Section /V.E generally and pp. /V.J.8-7S.lncreases of one dBA or less in environmental noise 
are not noticeable by most people outside a laboratory situation (National Academy of Sciences, Highway Research Board, 
Research Report. 117(1971). (See also FHWA Highway Traffic Noise Prediction Model, Report #FHWA-RD-77-108, Decem- 
ber 1978, regarding doubling of traffic volumes producing increases of 3 dBA or more, which are noticed by most people.) 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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Appendix A. Initial Study 

6. Air Quality/Climate - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Violate any ambient air quality standard or contribute substantially 

to an existing or projected air quality violation? To be determined X 

b. * Expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations? To be determined 

c. Permeate its vicinity with objectionable odors? X 

d. Alter wind, moisture or temperature (including sun shading effects) 
so as to substantially affect public areas, or change the climate 

either in the community or region? X X 



Daily Operations 

Potential effects of the proposed project on local and regional air quality due to its daily operations will be 
analyzed in the EIR 

Construction Activities 

Demolition, excavation, and other ground-disturbing construction activities would temporarily affect local air 
quality for about two months, causing a temporary increase in particulate dust and other pollutants. Dust 
emission during demolition and excavation would increase particulate concentrations near the site. This 
would be somewhat curtailed by the fact that much of the work would occur within the building. 

Diesel-powered equipment would emit, in decreasing order by weight, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, 
sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulates. These emissions would increase local concentrations 
temporarily but would not be expected to increase the frequency of violations of air quality standards. The 
project sponsor would require the project contractor to maintain and operate construction equipment in such 
a way as to minimize exhaust emissions. This measure would reduce potential construction air quality 
impacts to a level of insignificance. Indoor air quality would have to meet California Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration standards. Temporary construction-related air quality effects require no further 
analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 

Shadows 

Section 295 of the City Planning Code was adopted in response to Proposition K (passed November 1 984) 
in order to protect certain public open spaces from shadowing by new structures during the period between 
one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset, year round. Section 295 restricts new shadow upon 
public spaces under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Department by any structure exceeding 40 
feet unless the City Planing Commission finds the impact to be insignificant. To determine whether this 
project would conform with § 295, a shadow analysis was prepared by the Planning Department. This 
analysis determined that the project's new shadow would not shade public areas subject to Section 295. (A 
copy of the shadow fan analysis is available for review at the San Francisco Planning Department, 1 660 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.19 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

Mission Street.). Because of the proposed building height and the configuration of existing buildings in 
the vicinity, the net new shading which would result from the project's construction would be limited in 
scope, and would not increase the total amount of shading above levels which are common and generally 
accepted in urban areas. 

Wind 

Wind conditions partly determine pedestrian comfort on sidewalks and in other public areas. In downtown 
areas tall buildings can redirect wind flows around and down to street level, resulting in increased wind 
speed and turbulence at street level. In order to provide a comfortable wind environment for people in San 
Francisco, the City established specific comfort criteria to be used in the evaluation of proposed buildings. 
Section 243(9)(A) of the City Planning Code establishes equivalent wind speed (as defined in the Code) in 
the Van Ness Special Use District of 7 miles-per-hour (M.P.H.) and 1 1 M.P.H. as comfort criteria for public 
seating and pedestrian use areas, respectively, and 26 M.P.H. (hourly average) equivalent wind speed as a 
wind hazard criterion. New buildings and additions to buildings may not cause ground-level winds to 
exceed the comfort levels more than ten percent of the time year-round between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., 
nor reach the hazard level for a single hour of the year. If existing wind speeds exceed the comfort level, 
new buildings and additions must be designed to reduce ambient wind speeds to meet the requirements. 
An exception to this requirement may be permitted but only if and to the extent that the project sponsor 
demonstrates that the building or addition cannot be shaped or wind baffling measures cannot be adopted 
without unduly restricting the development potential of the building site in question. There is no allowable 
exception to the hazard criterion. 

Wind conditions in pedestrian areas around the site would not be change by the project. The only changes 
to the structure would be below the top of the existing parapet, a shifting of the penthouse location and 
additions to the existing "light well" of the building, which is surrounded by other tall buildings. According to 
a meteorologist consulted for the project, "[t]he new structure would not intercept any wind, as it would be 
completely sheltered by much taller adjacent buildings in all directions. 3 Therefore wind conditions will not 
be examined in the EIR. 



3 Donald Ballanti, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, letter to Stu During, During 
Associates, December 4, 1997. 



A.20 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

Utilities/Public Services - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Breach published national, state or local standards relating to 

solid waste or litter control? X 

b. * Extend a sewer trunk line with capacity to serve new development? X 

c. Substantially increase demand for schools, recreation or other 

public facilities? X 

d. Require major expansion of power, water, or communications 

facilities? X X 



The proposed project would increase demand for and use of public services and utilities on the site and 
increase water and energy consumption, but not in excess of amounts expected and provided for in this 
area. The proposed project's potential effect on utilities and other public services requires no further 
analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 



8. Biology - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Substantially affect a rare or endangered species of animal or plant, 

or the habitat of the species? X X 

b. * Substantially diminish habitat for fish, wildlife or plants, or 

interfere substantially with the movement of any resident or 

migratory fish or wildlife species? X 

c. Require removal of substantial numbers of mature, scenic trees? _ X 



The project site is covered with impervious surfaces and is located within an urban area which has been 
intensively developed since the mid-nineteenth century. No plants or animals could be affected by the 
project. No further analysis is required and this topic will not be included in the EIR. 

9. Geology/Topography - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a. * Expose people or structures to major geologic hazards (slides, 

subsidence, erosion and liquefaction)? X X 

b. Change substantially the topography or any unique geologic or 

physical features of the site? _ X 



The project proposal includes the excavation of 700 cubic yards of soil for seismic/foundation work below 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.21 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

the existing basement. Detailed foundation and related structural design studies would be prepared for the 
project by a California-licensed structural engineer and reviewed by a California-licensed geotechnical 
engineer. The final, more detailed investigations would determine the actual design parameters and 
construction methods to be followed. The building contractor must comply with the San Francisco Building 
Code and the Excavation Standards of the California Occupational Safety and Health Agency during 
excavation and shoring. The final plans would be reviewed by the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), 
as part of the permit review process. In view of the above, there would not be significant impacts from the 
project related to geology. 

The San Francisco General Plan Community Safety Element contains maps that show areas in the city 
subject to geologic hazards. The project is located in an area subject to ground shaking from earthquakes 
along the San Andreas and Northern Hayward Faults and other faults in the San Francisco Bay Area. The 
project site is also located in an area of liquefaction potential (Map 4) within a Seismic Hazards Study Zone 
(SHSZ), designated by the California Divisions of Mines and Geology. In general, new and rehabilitated 
structures perform better than unimproved older buildings. For any development proposed in an area of 
liquefaction potential, the Department of Building Inspections (DBI) will, in its review of the building permit 
applications, require the project sponsors to prepare a geotechnical report. The report would assess the 
nature and severity of the hazards on the site and would recommend project design and construction 
features to mitigate the hazards. DBI would then determine the adequacy of the engineering and 
construction recommendations. Therefore, potential liquefaction hazard on the project site would be 
mitigated through the DBI requirements for geotechnical report and review of the building permit application. 
Geotechnical issues will not be discussed in the EIR. 



10. Water - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a.* Substantially degrade water quality, or contaminate a public 

water supply? X X 



b.* Substantially degrade or deplete ground water resources, or 

interfere substantially with ground water recharge? 
c* Cause substantial flooding, erosion or siltation? 



The project site is currently covered by impervious surfaces. There would be no change in the drainage 
patterns of the site. Site runoff would continue to drain into the City's combined sanitary and storm drainage 
system. No further analysis of this topic is required in the EIR. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.22 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

1 1 . Energy/Natural Resources - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 

a.* Encourage activities which result in the use of large amounts 

of fuel, water, or energy, or use these in a wasteful manner? X X 



b. Have a substantial effect on the potential use, extraction, 

or depletion of a natural resource? X X 

The project would conform to energy conservation standards specified by Title 24 of the California Code of 
Regulations. Title 24 is enforced by the Department of Building Inspection. Energy impacts requires no 
further analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 

12. Hazards - Could the project: Yes No Discussed 



Create a potential public health hazard or involve the use, 
production or disposal of materials which pose a hazard to 

people or animal or plant populations in the area affected? X X 

Interfere with emergency response plans or emergency 

evacuation plans? X X 

Create a potentially substantial fire hazard? X X 



A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of the property was prepared for the site. 4 The site assessment 
surveyed the building for lead in drinking water and paint, asbestos in the building's infrastructure, radon, 
and signs of hazardous waste leaks from building equipment. The consultants recommended no additional 
studies bases on the Phase I. 



Asbestos was the only hazardous substance identified requiring action (though minor amount of soil 
staining was observed in the area of the two elevator hydraulic pumps.) Asbestos-containing materials are 
located in the existing buildings on the site. All friable asbestos would be removed or contained as part of 
the proposed project. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is authorized by the 
California legislature with authority to regulate airborne pollutants, including asbestos, through both 
inspection and law enforcement, and is to be notified ten days in advance of any proposed demolition or 
abatement work. The project sponsor has agreed to provide a copy of this notice to the Planning 
Department, prior to issuance of the permit required for building alterations by the Department of Building 
Inspection. 



4 Joan Jacobs & Associates, LLC, Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, April 30, 

1997. 

97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel A. 23 



Appendix A. Initial Study 

Notification includes the names and addresses of operations and persons responsible; description and 
location of the structure(s) including size, age and prior use, and the approximate amount of friable 
asbestos; scheduled starting and completion dates of abatement; nature of planned work and methods to 
be employed; procedures to be employed to meet BAAQMD requirements; and the name and location of 
the waste disposal site to be used. The District randomly inspects asbestos removal operations. In 
addition, the District will inspect any removal operation concerning which a complaint has been received. 

The local office of the State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must be notified of 
asbestos abatement to be carried out. Asbestos abatement contractors must follow state regulations 
contained in 8 CCR 1529 and 8 CCR 341 .6 through 341 .14 where there is asbestos-related work involving 
100 square feet or more of asbestos-containing material. Asbestos removal contractors must be certified 
as such by the Contractors Licensing Board of the State of California. The owner of the property where 
abatement is to occur must have a Hazardous Waste Generator Number assigned by and registered with 
the Office of the California Department of Health Services in Sacramento. The contractor and hauler of the 
material is required to file a Hazardous Waste Manifest which details the hauling of the material from the 
site and the disposal of it. Pursuant to California law, the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) would not 
issue the required permit until the applicant has complied with the notice requirements described above. 
These regulations and procedures, already established as a part of the permit review process, would insure 
that any potential impacts due to asbestos would be reduced to a level of insignificance. 

Occupants (hotel employees and patrons) of the proposed project would contribute to congestion if an 
emergency evacuation of the California/Montgomery Streets area were required. Section 12.202(e)(1) of 
the San Francisco Fire Code requires that all owners of high-rise buildings (over 75-feet) "shall establish or 
cause to be established procedures to be followed in the case of fire or other emergencies. All such 
procedures shall be reviewed and approved by the chief of division." An evacuation and emergency 
response plan would be developed as part of the proposed project . The project's emergency plan would 
be coordinated with the City's emergency planning activities. Additionally, project construction would have 
to conform to the provisions of the Building and Fire Codes which require additional life-safety protections 
for high-rise buildings. 

Hazards and fire safety require no further analysis and will not be discussed in the EIR. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.24 



Appendix A. Initial Study 



1 3. Cultural - Could the project: 



Yes No Discussed 



a. * Disrupt or adversely affect a prehistoric or historic 

archaeological site or a property of historic or cultural 
significance to a community, ethnic or social group; or a 
paleontological site except as a part of a scientific study? 

b. Conflict with established recreational, educational, 
religious or scientific uses of the area? 

c. Conflict with the preservation of buildings subject to the 
provisions of Article 1 0 or Article 1 1 of the City 
Planning Code? 



to be determined 



to be determined 



The project proposal includes excavating 700 cubic yards beneath the existing basement. Since the 
project site is in a sensitive area for historic artifacts, the EIR will discuss the history of the site and the 
potential for finding cultural artifacts during site development 

The proposed project would renovate the building at 500 California Street, a Category I (significant) Building 
subject to the provisions of Article 1 1 of the City Planning Code. The building also received an rating of "1 " 
on the 1976 City Planning Department's Architectural Survey of 10,000 buildings for architectural 
importance. The subject building is also listed in the Foundation for San Francisco's Architectural 
Heritage's architectural and historic survey in 1979 (Splendid Survivors) and has an "A" rating. The "A" 
designation is given to buildings of highest importance; individually, the most important buildings in 
downtown San Francisco distinguished by outstanding qualities of architecture, historical values, and 
relationship to the environment. Additional information about the building, including its architecture and 
history will be included in the EIR, along with an analysis of the physical changes proposed as part of the 
project, and their potential impact on the preservation of the building. In addition to analyzing physical 
changes proposed in terms of historic building fabric and historical context, the EIR will consider potential 
impacts during construction. 

C. OTHER 

Yes No Discussed 

Require approval and/or permits from City Departments other than 
Planning Department or Department of Building Inspection or 

from Regional, State or Federal Agencies? _K_ _X_ 



The proposed loading zones (white curbs) would require approval by the Department of Parking and Traffic. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.25 



APPENDIX B. DRAFT EIR DISTRIBUTION LIST 



A. DRAFT EIR DISTRIBUTION LIST 

FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES 

Northwest Information Center 
California Archaeological Inventory 
Department of Anthropology 
Sonoma State University 
Rohnert Park, CA 94928 
Attn: Christian Gerike 



State of California 

Department of Parks and Recreation 
Office of Historic Preservation 
1416 -9th Street 
Sacramento, CA 94296 
Attn : Hans Kreutzberg 

REGIONAL AGENCIES 

Association of Bay Area Governments 
1 01 8th Street 
Oakland, CA 94607 
Attn: Jean Pederson 



CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO 

San Francisco City Planning Commission 
1 660 Mission Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 03 
Attn : Linda Avery, Secretary 

Hector Chinchilla, Vice President 

Dennis J. Antenore 

Cynthia Joe 

Richard Hills 

Beverly Mills 

Lawrence B. Martin 

Anita Theoharis 



State Office of Intergovernmental 
Management (10) 
State Clearinghouse 
1400 - Tenth Street 
Sacramento, CA 95814 



California Department of 
Transportation 
P.O. Box 23660 
Oakland, CA 94623-0660 
Attn : Gary Adams 



Bay Area Air Quality Management 
District 

939 Ellis Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 09 

Attn : Joseph Steinberger 



Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board 

1 660 Mission Street 

San Francisco, CA 94103 

Attn : Niel Hart, Preservation Coordinator 

Monica Jacobs, Recording Sec. 

Daniel Reidy, President 

Donna Levitt, Vice-President 

Alicia Bercerril 

Ina Dearman 

Paul Fin wall 

Jeremy Kotas 

Nancy Ho-Belli 

Penney Magrane 

Suheil Shatara 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.28 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



Department of Building Inspection 
1 660 Mission Street 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Attn: Frank Chiu 



Police Department, Planning Division 

Hall of Justice 

850 Bryant Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 03 

Attn: Lt. James Molinari 



San Francisco Fire Department 
Division of Planning & Research 
260 Golden Gate Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 94102 
Attn: Howard L. Slater 



San Francisco Municipal Railway 
MUNI Planning Division 
949 Presidio Avenue, Room 204 
San Francisco, CA 941 15 
Attn: James Lowe 



Water Department, Distribution Division 

425 Mason Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 02 

Attn : Hans Bruno, Assistant Manager 

San Francisco Department of Public Works 
Division of Streets and Mapping 
875 Stevenson Street, Room 465 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Attn : Kris Kilgore 

Division of General Engineering Services 
30 Van Ness Avenue, 5th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94102 
Attn : Margaret Divine 

Bureau of Energy Conservation 
Hetch Hetchy Water & Power 
1 1 55 Market Street, 4th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Attn : John Deakin, Director 

San Francisco Dept. of Parking & Traffic 
Traffic Engineering Division 
25 Van Ness Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 94102 
Attn: Bond Yee 



Public Utilities Commission 

1 1 55 Market Street 

San Francisco, CA 94102 

Attn : Anson B. Moran, General Manager 

Recreation & Park Department 
McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park 
Fell and Stanyan Streets 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 7 
Attn: Deborah Learner 



Regional Water Quality Control Board 
21 01 Webster Street 
Oakland, CA 94612 
Attn: Steven Hill 



Metropolitan Transportation 

Commission 

Oakland, CA 94607 

101 8th Street 

Attn : Craig Goldblatt 

San Francisco Real Estate Department 

25 Van Ness Avenue, 4th floor 

San Francisco, CA 941 02 

Attn : Anthony Delucchi, Director of 

Property 



GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS 
Kim Jackson 

Hotel and Restaurant Employees 
and Bartenders Union Local 2 
209 Golden Gate Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 941 09 

MEDIA 

Associated Press 
1390 Market Street, Suite 318 
San Francisco, CA 94102 
Attn: Bill Shiftman 



Leland S. Meyerzone 

KPOO - FM 

P.O. Box 6149 

San Francisco, CA 94101 

San Francisco Bay Guardian 
2700 - Nineteenth Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 0 
Attn : Patrick Douglas, City Editor 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.29 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



San Francisco Business Times 
275 Battery Street 
Suite 940 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Tim Turner 



San Francisco Chronicle 
925 Mission Street 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Attn : Elliot Diringer 

San Francisco Examiner 
P.O. Box 7260 
San Francisco, CA 941 20 
Attn: Gerald Adams 



The Sun Reporter 

1366 Turk Street 

San Francisco, CA 94115 

Tenderloin Times 

290 Turk Street 

San Francisco, CA 94102 

Attn: Editor 



LIBRARIES 

Document Library (Two Copies) 
City Library - Civic Center 
San Francisco, CA 941 02 
Attn: Faith Van Liere 



Stanford University Libraries 
Jonsson Library of Government 

Documents 
State & Local Documents Division 
Stanford, CA 94305 

Government Publications Department 
San Francisco State University 
1 630 Holloway Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 94132 

Hastings College of the Law - Library 

200 McAllister Street 

San Francisco, CA 94102-4978 

Institute of Government Studies 
1 09 Moses Hall 
University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720 



PROJECT SPONSOR 

Brian Kuckelman 

V.P. Design and Construction 

OMNI Hotels 

420 Decker Drive, Suite 1 00 
Irving, TX 75062 

PROJECT ARCHITECT 

Marie Zeller 

Director of Planning 

Patri and Merker 

400 Second Street, Suite 400 

San Francisco, CA 94107 

PROJECT ATTORNEY 

Bob McCarthy, Esq. 

McCarthy & Schwartz 

655 Montgomery Street, 1 7th Floor 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS & 
TENANTS 

The Lurie Co. 

555 California Street #5100 
San Francisco, CA 94104-1716 
Attn: Gina Morimoto 



ATC Building Co. 

PO Box 63931 

San Francisco, CA 941 63 

Knickerbocker Properties, Inc. 

550 California Street 

San Franciso, CA 941 04-1 006 

555 California Street Partners 
555 California Street #1425 
San Francisco, CA 94104-1517 

Bank of America 

31 5 Montgomery Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 04 

Knoll 

31 5 Montgomery Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 

Dress Barn 

31 5 Montgomery Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 04 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.30 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



Pempire Co., Ltd. 

456 Montgomery Street #700 

San Francisco, CA 94104 

300 Montgomery Associates 
300 Montgomery Street #788 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Ms. Lo 



B. DRAFT EIR NOTIFICATION 
DISTRIBUTION LIST 

GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS 
AIA 

San Francisco Chapter 
130 Sutter Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Bob Jacobvitz 



Richard Mayer 

Artists Equity Assn. 

27 Fifth Avenue 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 8 

Steve Atkinson 
Baker & Mckenzie 
Two Embarcadero Center 
24th Floor 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
John Bardis 

Sunset Action Committee 
1501 Lincoln Way, #503 
San Francisco, CA 94122 

Alice Suet Barkley, Esq. 
30 Blackstone Court 
San Francisco, CA 94123 

Bay Area Council 

200 Pine Street.Suite 300 

San Francisco, CA 941 04-2702 

Albert Beck 
Eco/Plan International 
31 0 B Salem Street 
Chico, CA 95928 



Breitman Co. 

120 Howard Street, Suite 440 
San Francisco, CA 94105 
Attn : Frank Young 

Michael Dyett 
Blayney-Dyett 
70 Zoe Street 
San Francisco, CA 94103 

Peter Bosselman 

Environmental Simulation Laboratory 
119 Wurster Hall 
University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720 

Georgia Brittan 

870 Market Street, Room 1119 
San Francisco, CA 941 02 

Gladstone & Vettel, Attorneys at Law 
1 77 Post Street, Penthouse 
San Francisco, CA 941 08 
Attn: Steven L Vettel 



Gensler and Associates 
550 Kearny Street 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Attn: Peter Gordon 



Goldfarb & Lipman 
One Montgomery Street 
West Tower, 23rd Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Paula Crow 



Greenwood Press, Inc. 
P.O. Box 5007 
Westport, Conn 06881 -9900 
Attn : Eric LeStrange 

Gruen, Gruen & Associates 

564 Howard Street 

San Francisco, CA 94105 

Maxwell & Associates 
1 522 Grand View Drive 
Berkeley, CA 94705 
Attn : Sally E. Maxwell 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.31 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



Valerie Hersey 
Munsell Brown 
950 Battery 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

The Jefferson Company 
3652 Sacramento Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 8 

Jones Lang Wootton 
71 0 One Embarcadero Center 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn : Sheryl Bratton 

Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz 
222 Vallejo Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Jan Vargo 

Legal Assistance to the Elderly 
Brent Kato 

1453 Mission Street, 5th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 03 

Larry Mansbach 

44 Montgomery Street 

San Francisco, CA 94104 

Cliff Miller 

970 Chestnut Street, #3 
San Francisco, CA 94109 

Milton Meyer & Co. 
One California Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn : James C. DeVoy 

Robert Meyers Associates 

1 20 Montgomery Street, Suite 2290 

San Francisco, CA 94104 

Morrison & Foerster 
345 California Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Jacob Herber 



National Lawyers Guild 
558 Capp Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 0 
Attn : Regina Sneed 



Nichols-Berman 

1 42 Minna Street 

San Francisco, CA 94105 

Attn: Louise Nichols 



Norris, Beggs & Simpson 
601 California Street, Suite 1400 
San Francisco, CA 94108 
Attn: Karen Weber 



Pacific Stock Exchange 
301 Pine Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Dale Carleson 

Page & Turnbull 

724 Pine Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 09 

Perini Corporation 

75 Broadway 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

Attn : Christopher Scales 

Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro 
P.O. Box 7880 
San Francisco, CA 941 20 
Attn : Marilyn L Siems 

Planning Analysis & Development 
50 Francisco Street 
San Francisco, CA 94133 
Attn: Gloria Root 



Dennis Purcell 

Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe and Breyer 
222 Kearny Street, 7th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94108 

Ramsay/Bass Interest 
3756 Grant Avenue, Suite 301 
Oakland, CA 94610 
Attn: Peter Bass 



James Reuben 
Reuben & Alter 

655 Montgomery St., 16th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

Capital Planning Department 
UCSF 

145 Irving Street 

San Francisco, CA 94122 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.32 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



Attn : Bob Rhine 

David Rhoades & Associates 
400 Montgomery Street, Suite 604 
San Francisco, CA 941 04 

Herb Lembcke, FAIA 
Rockefeller & Assoc. Realty LP. 
Four Embarcadero, Suite 2600 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 -5994 

Rothschild & Associates 
244 California Street, Suite 500 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Thomas N. Foster 



Royal Lepage Commercial Real Estate 
Services 

353 Sacramento Street, Suite 500 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Richard Livermore 



John Sanger, Esq. 

1 Embarcadero Center, 12th Floor 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

Sedway Cooke Associates 

300 Montgomery Street, Suite 200 

San Francisco, CA 94104 

Shartsis Freise & Ginsburg 
One Maritime Plaza, 18th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Dave Kremer 



Skidmore, Owings & Merril 
333 Bush Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: John Kriken 



Solem & Associates 
545 Mission Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 05 
Attn: Olive Lewis 



Square One Productions 

725 Filbert Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 33 

Steefel, Levitt & Weiss 
199 - 1st Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 05 
Attn : Robert S. Tandler 



Jerry Tone 

Montgomery Capital Corp. 

244 California St. 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

Joel Ventresca 
202 Grattan 

San Francisco, CA 94117 



Jon Twitchell Associates 
70 Hermosa Avenue. 
Oakland, CA 94618 

Stephen Weicker 

899 Pine Street, #1610 

San Francisco, CA 94108 

Calvin Welch 

Council of Community Housing 

Organizations 

409 Clayton Street 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 7 

Howard Wexler 

235 Montgomery, 27th Floor 

San Francisco, CA 94104 

Eunice Willette 
1323 Gilman Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 941 24 

Bethea Wilson & Associates Art In 

Architecture 

2028 Scott, Suite 204 

San Francisco, CA 941 15 

Brobeck, Phleger, Harrison 
One Market Plaza 
San Francisco, Ca 94105 
Attn: Susan R. Diamond 



Cahill Contractors, Inc. 
425 California Street, Suite 2300 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn : Jay Cahill 

Chicago Title 

388 Market Street, 13th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Carol Lester 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.33 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



Chickering & Gregory 
61 5 Battery Street, 6th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Ken Soule 



Chinatown Resource Center 

1525 Grant Avenue 

San Francisco, CA 941 33 

David Cincotta 

1388 Sutter Street, Suite 900 

San Francisco, CA 94102 

Coalition For San Francisco Neigborhoods 

Mrs. Dorice Murphy 

175 Yukon Street 

San Francisco, CA 94114 

Coldwell Banker 

One Embarcadero Center, 23rd Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 20 
Attn ; Richard Leiter 

Mark P. Geisreiter 

Coldwell Banker 

Finance Department 

One Embarcadero Center, 23rd Floor 

San Francisco, CA 941 20 

Attn : Doug Longyear, Tony Blaczek 

Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc. 
Bank of America Center 
555 California Street, Suite 2700 
San Francisco, CA 941 04 
Attn : Wayne Stiefvater 
Lawrence Farrell 

Damner Pike & Co. 
345 California Street, Suite 21 00 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Charles McCabe 



Damon Raike & Co. 
1 00 Pine Street, Suite 1 800 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
Attn: Frank Fudem 



DKS Associates 

1956 Webster Street, #300 

Oakland, CA 94612 



Downtown Association 

582 Market Street 

San Francisco, CA 94105 

EIP Associates 

601 Montgomery Street, Suite 500 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

Environmental Science Associates, Inc. 
225 Bush St., 17th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94104 

Fan & Associates 
Architecture & Planning, Inc. 
580 Market Street, Suite 300 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Robert Fan 



Farella, Braun & Martel 
235 Montgomery Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 04 
Attn: Sandra Lambert 



Food and Fuel Retailers For Economic 
Equality 

770 L Street, Suite 960 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Attn : Doug Stevens 

State Coordinator 
Heritage 

2007 Franklin Street 
San Francisco, CA 94109 
Attn: David Bahlman 



G. Bland Piatt 

362 Ewing Terrace 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 8 

San Francisco Beautiful 

41 Sutter Street, #709 

San Francisco, CA 941 04 

Attn : Donna Casey, Exec. Director 

San Francisco Building & Construction 

Trades Council 

2660 Newhall Street, #1 1 6 

San Francisco, CA 94124-2527 

Attn : Stanley Smith 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.34 



Appendix D. Draft EIR Distribution List 



San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 
465 California Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104 

San Francisco Labor Council 
550 Howard Street 
San Francisco, CA 941 05 
Attn: Walter Johnson 



Tenants and Owners Development Corp. 

230 - Fourth Street 

San Francisco, CA 94103 

Attn: John Elberling 



SPUR 

31 2 Sutter, Suite 500 
San Francisco, CA 94108 

Sierra Club 

730 Polk Street 

San Francisco, CA 94109 

James W. Haas 
Chair 

Civic Pride! 

633 Battery Street, 5th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 

James Chappell 
Executive Director 
SPUR 

31 2 Sutter Street 
Suite 500 

San Francisco, CA 941 08 

Coalition for S.F. Neighborhoods 

628 Ashbury Street 

San Francisco, CA 94117 

Joe O'Donoghue 
President 

Residential Builders Assn. of S.F. 
1212 Market Street 
Suite A 

San Francisco, CA 94102 

Sue Hestor 

Attorney at Law 

870 Market Street, Room 1 1 28 

San Francisco, CA 94102 

San Francisco Tomorrow 
41 Sutter Street #1579 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Attn: Tony Kilroy 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.35 



Appendix C. Interseciton Level of Service Descriptions 
APPENDIX C: INTERSECTION LEVEL OF SERVICE DESIGNATIONS 



Existing and future traffic conditions at signalized intersections within the primary study area 
have been evaluated using the TRAF-NETSIM Traffic Simulation Model. Conditions at 
signalized intersections in the secondary study area have been evaluated using the 1985 
Highway Capacity Manual (Transportation Research Board, 1985) operations methodology. 
Both methodologies use the concept of Level of Service (LOS), which, for signalized 
intersections, is defined in terms of delay, or waiting time at a signal. Delay is a measure of 
driver discomfort, frustration, fuel consumption, and lost travel time. Intersection LOS, 
determined according to the vehicle delay in seconds per vehicle, range from LOS A (very 
low delay) to LOS F (forced flow). Table C-1 (page A. 37) provides more detailed 
descriptions of the six LOS, A through F, for signalized intersections using the 7985 
Highway Capacity Manual method. The TRAF-NETSIM simulation calculates LOS in much the 
same way, with similar results, but refines the analysis based on signal progression along 
streets, such as the Embarcadero, and based on spill-back, when queues from one 
intersection extend back to a previous intersection. 

In the past, for planning applications, the City of San Francisco has used a slightly different 
methodology than the TRAF-NETSIM or 7985 Highway Capacity Manual to analyze operations 
at signalized intersections. That method, known as the Critical Lane Analysis (Transportation 
Research Circular Number 212, Transportation Research Board, 1980), determines the ratio 
of critical opposing traffic volumes to theoretical intersection capacity, yielding the volume-to- 
capacity (v/c) ratio. Intersection LOS, determined according to the value of the v/c ratio, 
range from LOS A (free flowing condition) to LOS F (severely congested conditions). Table 
C-2 (page A. 38) provides more detailed descriptions of the six LOS, A through F, for 
signalized intersections using the Critical Lane Analysis methodology. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.36 



Appendix C. Interseciton Level of Service Descriptions 



TABLE C-1 

SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION LEVEL OF SERVICE DEFINITIONS BASED ON DELAY 



LEVEL OF 
SERVICE 

A 
B 
C 
D 



TYPICAL 
DELAY 
(SECA^EH) 

< 5.0 
5.1 - 15.0 
15.1 - 25.0 
25.1 - 40.0 

40.1 -60.0 

> 60.0 



TYPICAL TRAFFIC CONDITION 

Insignificant Delays: No approach phase is fully utilized and no vehicle 
waits longer than one red indication. 

Minimal Delays: an occasional approach phase is fully utilized. Drivers 
begin to feel restricted. 

Acceptable Delays: Major approach phase may become fully utilized. 
Most drivers feel somewhat restricted. 

Tolerable Delays: Drivers may wait through more than one red 
indication. Queues may develop but dissipate rapidly, without excessive 
delays. 

Significant Delays: Conditions are generally the limit of acceptable 
delays. Vehicles may wait through several signal cycles and long queues 
of vehicles from upstream. 

Excessive Delays: Represents unacceptable conditions with extremely 
long delays. Queues may block upstream intersections. 



Sources: Highway Capacity Manual, Highway Research Board, Special Report No. 209, Washington, 
D.C., 1985; Interim Materials on Highway Capacity, Circular 212, Transportation Research Board, 1980; 
Korve Engineering. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.37 



Appendix C. Interseciton Level of Service Descriptions 



TABLE C-2 

ARTERIAL LEVEL OF SERVICE DEFINITIONS BASED ON TRAVEL SPEED 



ARTERI AL CLASS 




|| 


III 


RANGE OF FREE 
FLOW SPEEDS (mph) 


45 to 35 


35 to 30 


35 to 25 


TYPICAL FREE FLOW 
SPEED (mph) 


40 


35 


27 


LEVEL OF SERVICE 




AVERAGE TRAVEL SPEED (mph) 




A 


J> 35 


>_ 30 


> 25 


B 


>. 28 


>_ 24 


J> 19 


C 


> 22 


> 18 


> 13 


D 


> 17 


>L 14 


> 9 


E 


> 13 


> 10 


> 7 


F 


< 13 


< 10 


< 7 



Level of Service A: Primarily free-flow operations at average travel speeds, usually about 90 percent of 
the free flow speed for the arterial class. Vehicles are completely unimpeded in their 
ability to maneuver within the traffic stream. Stopped delay at signalized 
intersections is minimal. 



Level of Service B: Reasonably unimpeded operations at average travel speeds, usually about 70 

percent of the free flow speed for the arterial class. The ability to maneuver within 
the traffic stream is only slightly restricted and stopped delays are not bothersome. 
Drivers are not generally subjected to appreciable tension. 

Level of Service C: Stable operations. However, ability to maneuver and change lanes in mid-block 

locations may be more restricted than in LOS B, and longer queues and/or adverse 
signal coordination may contribute to lower average travel speeds of about 50 
percent of the average free flow speed for the arterial class. Motorists will 
experience an appreciable tension while driving. 

Level of Service D: Borders on a range on which small increases in flow may cause substantial 

increases in approach delay and, hence, decreases in arterial speed. This may be 
due to adverse signal progression, inappropriate signal timing, high volumes, or 
some combination of these. Average travel speeds are about 40 percent of free flow 
speed. 

Level of Service E: Significant approach delays and average travel speeds of one-third the free flow 
speed or lower. Such operations are caused by some combination or adverse 
progression, high signal density, extensive queuing at critical intersections, and 
inappropriate signal timing. 

Level of Service F: Extremely low speeds below one-third to one-quarter of the free flow speed. 

Intersection congestion is likely at critical signalized locations, with high approach 
delays resulting. Adverse progression is frequently a contributor to this condition. 



Source: Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209, Transportation Research Board, 1980. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.38 



Appendix C. Interseciton Level of Service Descriptions 

Although the two methodologies for calculating the LOS differ, there is usually a good 
correlation between the LOS calculated using either method of analysis. It is only when high 
levels of congestion occur that differences between the two methodologies may be more 
apparent. As an example, using the 1985 Highway Capacity Manual methodology, an 
intersection may be operating at a LOS F, with poor traffic progression, many signal cycle 
failures and vehicle delays above 60 seconds per vehicle; however, the v/c ratio could be 
below one, which would mean a LOS E using the Critical Lane Analysis methodology. 
Conversely, using the 7985 Highway Capacity Manual methodology, an intersection may be 
operating at LOS D, with an efficient signal progression handling large traffic volumes; 
however, the v/c ratio could be above 0.9, which would mean a LOS E using the Critical Lane 
Analysis methodology. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.39 



Appendix D. Pedestrian Level of Service Descriptions 
APPENDIX P. PEDESTRIAN LEVEL OF SERVICE DESCRIPTIONS 



Pedestrian LOS were calculated using the Pushkarev and Zupan's Urban Space for 
Pedestrians (MIT Press, 1975). For pedestrian crosswalks, pedestrian flow rates, or the 
number of pedestrians passing a point per unit of time, are the basis for the flow regime 
designation. The flow rate is calculated using the width of the crosswalk and the number of 
pedestrians using the crosswalk per peak 15-minute period. Qualitatively, the flow regime 
indicates the "freedom to choose desired speeds and to bypass others." Table D-1 below 
shows the relationship between pedestrian flow rates and the flow regimes (categories) 
used to describe levels of operation. Figure D-1 (page A.41) shows definition of pedestrian 
conditions that correspond to the flow regimes. 



TABLE C-3 
PEDESTRIAN FLOW REGIMEN 









FLOW RATE 


FLOW REGIME 


CHOICE 


CONFLICTS 


(p/f/m) a 


Open 


Free Selection 


None 


less than 0.5 


Unimpeded 


Some Selection 


Minor 


0.5 to 2.0 


Impeded 


Some Selection 


High Indirect Interaction 


2.1 to 6.0 


Constrained 


Some Restriction 


Multiple 


6.1 to 10.0 


Crowded 


Restricted 


High Probability 


10.1 to 14.0 




Desiqn Limit - 


Upper Limit of Desirable Flow 




Congested 


All Reduced 


Frequent 


14.1 to 18.0 


Jammed 


Shuffle Only 


Unavoidable 


Not applicable' 



Notes: a p/f/m = Pedestrians per foot of effective sidewalk width per minute. 

b For Jammed Flow, the (attempted) flow rate degrades to zero at complete breakdown. 

Source: Urban Space for Pedestrians, MIT Press, 1 976, Cambridge, MA. 



97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



A.40 



Appendix D. Pedestrian Level of Sen/ice Descriptions 
APPENDIX D. PEDESTRIAN LEVEL OF SERVICE DESCRIPTIONS 



LEVEL OF SERVICE A 

Pedestrian Space: > 130 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: ^ 2 ped/rnin/ft 

At walkway LOS A, pedestrians basically move in desired paths without altering 
their movements in response to other pedestrians. Walking speeds are freely 
selected, and conflicts between pedestrians are unlikely. 




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LEVEL OF SERVICE B 



Pedestrian Space: > 40 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: ^ 7 ped/min/ft 



At LOS B, sufficient area is provided to allow pedestrians to freely select 
walking speeds, to bypass other pedestrians, and to avoid crossing conflicts with 
others. At this level, pedestrians begin to be aware of other pedestrians, and to 
respond to their presence in the selection of walking path. 




LEVEL OF SERVICE C 



Pedestrian Space: > 24 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: < 10 ped/min/ft 



At LOS C, sufficient space is available to select normal walking speeds, and to 
bypass other pedestrians in primarily unidirectional streams. Where reverse- 
direction or crossing movements exist, minor conflicts will occur, and speeds 
and volume will be somewhat lower. 




LEVEL OF SERVICE D 



Pedestrian Space: > 15 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: < 15 ped/min/ft 

At LOS D, freedom to select individual walking speed and to bypass other 
pedestrians is restricted. Where crossing or reverse-flow movements exist, the 
probability of conflict is high, and its avoidance requires frequent changes in 
speed and position. The LOS provides reasonably fluid flow; however, 
considerable friction and interaction between pedestrians is likely to occur. 




LEVEL OF SERVICE E 



Pedestrian Space: > 6 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: < 25 ped/min/ft 



At LOS E, virtually all pedestrians would have their normal walking speed 
restricted, requiring frequent adjustment of gait. At the lower range of this LOS, 
forward movement is possible only by "shuffling." Insufficient space is provided 
for passing of slower pedestrians. Cross- or reverse-flow movements are 
possible only with extreme difficulties. Design volumes approach the limit of 
walkway capacity, with resulting stoppages and interruptions to flow. 




LEVEL OF SERVICE F 

Pedestrian Space: < 6 sq ft/ped Flow Rate: variable 



At LOS F, all walking speeds are severely restricted, and forward progress is 
made only by "shuffling." There is frequent, unavoidable contact with other 
pedestrians. Cross- and reverse-flow movements are virtually impossible. Flow is 
sporadic and unstable. Space is more characteristic of queued pedestrians than 
of moving pedestrian streams. 




Source: Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209, Third Edition, Chapter 13, TRB, 1994 
97.447E OMNI San Francisco Hotel A.41 




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97.447E - OMNI San Francisco Hotel 



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