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tv   [untitled]    May 17, 2011 3:00am-3:30am PDT

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>> thank you. i am sitting in for delvin washington who is the team leader and this is an abbrevi e abbreviated discretionary review request and the project proposes to replace an existing single story deck and shed structure at the rear of an existing single family residence and placing a three-story horizontal rear extension at the two main levels over the basement and the additional measures are approximately 10 feet by 20 feet wide with a slope roof that
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measures 3 feet tall at the highest point to allow for a clear story window into the living space for additional light if project includes a triangular bay projection and among interior expansion and is 160 square feet and the proposed new rear building wall will be set back 22 feet from the rear property line. the project property is located with the rh2 zoning district and is 25 feet wide by 88 feet deep and somewhat shallower than a typical lot in the zoning district. also the building is set back rather substantially and constructed circa 1900. the d.r. requester's property is within the rh 3 zoning district and immediately abutting the corner lot property and is full lot and six units and both a noncomplying structure and that is full lot coverage where we would have a rear yard requirement and additionally is not conforming in that it contains double the number of
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dwelling units that would otherwise be authorizeed. the subject lot is slightly down sloping and the rear will appear higher than the front. additionally noted as an older building and therefore with the front setback and the department would prefer to have any developments be located at the rear of the property. and it is my understanding the d.r. requester's concerns have been in regards to access to light and light for property line win dose and the commission know -- and windows and this is not something we can typically protect and not required windows and it is my understanding that these windows have been covered up and they are windows on the property line that have already been covered up. second concern was regarding reduction of light through a rear stairwell and this was raised and the d.r. requester brief of may 5 and apologize the brief came in on may 5 and we haven't had the time to include a detailed analysis that went out to the commission on may 5
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as well. the stairway was covered and intended for interior circulation and didn't find any of the issues rose to the level of exceptional and extraordinary that would need to have additional changes made to the project. and finds that it complies with the residential design guidelines. so the department is recommending that the commission not take discretionary review and take the project as proposeed. we are available for any questions. >> i have a model.
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>> good afternoon. i am sue hester the attorney for the owner of the building that is the d.r. request. this is the building that is the building -- the building isn't 100% lot coverage. as you can see, there are not just here -- there are notches here and here and basically goes lot line to lot line east and west. this is the building in the middle. the one story cottage in the front and the two story addition that exists already and was built in 1988 and the three-story addition in the rear. and what we are asking for is this commission to remove the clear windows that goes the length or the width of the lot and this is -- these are the elevations in your folder. this is the front version of it.
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and this is the side version of it. so the lot that was developed with stairwells and the stairwells provide interior light because there are lights into the stairwell. this is the top floor unit on the north and this is a six-unit building with three units stacked in the north side and three in the south side. this is the affected units are on the north side. and this is the top story unit. and as you can see, the layout of the building is -- and this is facing east, is that there is a lot of light. this is the interior stairway from the street and this is the unit itself on the top story. these units have had a lot of light historically. we have got now is a situation where the first addition cut off
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the light in the stairwell. and the second addition that's proposed will cut off the light totally. there are three areas this project has light. again, on the model that you see, there is the units in the front, the -- pardon me, the units in the rear have kitchen and dining room in the rear and they are not on the property line and they are angled windows. and we had a situation where the current developers, the owners, planted bamboo forest to cut off the light to the kitchen and dining room windows. these pictures were taken last summer when we had the preapplication meeting. there was no light coming into the apartments at all. this is the lower unit. this is the middle unit. and then this is their photos. these are the photos and these are from their record.
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we couldn't take -- we had no access to the site with the property manager. they planted a bamboo forest and the addition at the middle of the window of it is the window and these are in my brief to you where they cut off the light and the stairwell. so the stairwell addition was constructed by the previous owner, by a previous owner, not the previous owner, and they cut off the light into the stairwell. this is the ground floor and you can see there is even light here at the ground floor because it only covers part of it. they're going to build the wall back over the back window. we asked to understand the light and they said, no, it is not required and we are not going to do it.
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and do it yourself. we did it. and this is the clear story window and this is halfway up between the second and third story on this stairway. here you have the amount of light that comes in now and here you have the light that will come in in the future. what we've got is a situation where there are windows that are off the stairwell and off of this stairwell into the apartment and they get light into the apartment and into their stairwell and it comes up from the street and into their bathroom. and my clients closed off the second and third story porch window which used to be the way the light would come in and the stairwell and it brought an amazing amount of light into the apartment. the developer said they will not -- they refuse to pull back the
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addition from the property line which therefore meant they had to close off the windows. they closed off the windows and now they say you have closed off the window, no harm. the harm is from the third story window and the harm is from going up an additional 3 feet with a pitched roof that cut off light to the rear windows on the kitchen and on the dining room as well as no light coming in to the interior window that gives light into the bathroom area. thank you. president olague: thank you. are there any speakers in support of the d.r. requester? seeing none, project sponsor. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is john arden and i am the architect of the project and we have one of the owners here at the hearing. so allison surreal and the
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owners of the property approached me and currently have a two bedroom house. one of the bedrooms and they also have a daughter and the bedroom is 7 by 9 for the daughter and when she puts a bed in there, there is barely any room to move. we looked at how to come up with an addition to the house to seven them and they wanted to have a larger family room area and a third bedroom upstairs, and so we looked at the most economical way to do this and the only way to do this would be to add a small, very discrete addition in the rear to add on to the existing house would have required a full seismic upgrade and numerous upgrades to the foundation and they are on a very limited budget. when we did approach her at the pre-ap hearing she brought along her council which i was very surprised about but there was a lot of issues that were brought up. one was about the bamboo that was growing on the
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surreal-engleman's property which after the meeting they promptly had removed the planting because they knew that was such an issue. and there is a lot of issue about should the planting and there is a small portion of that that is not available and accessible to ms. nadal and it is a light well that is -- there is no door or access issue and a lot of things that came about with the pre-ap meeting. most of them we could address but the issue about light and air was a problem one because they wanted us first to move our addition back 3 feet, 2 feet, 1 foot, and they were willing to have a one-foot lightwall which i as an architect would not support because it would not have an effective use to change the plan. the design here is -- we designed this house to have access to southern light because the house is actually fairly dark because of ms. nadal's property that extends 20 feet
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above their property. so it's a little funny to be hearing all the concern about light and air when actually the existing property of ms. nadal's property that actually blocks sun and light into my client's property. anyway, we tried to negotiate some kind of deal and i looked at how can i ameliorate some of the effects and it is 20%, 6 square feet, of space we're talking about and they are asking for you to take a december krigs naer review for -- to take a discretionary review for. i don't believe this is extraordinary or unusual circumstances here. we could not broker a deal. we were trying to find ways to get more additional light into the lightwell and that model is very interesting because if you look at it, this comes from the east but it is coming up at an
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angle. if you look at where the blockage is, it's the most minimized to that opening. so let's just discuss the merits of the arguments that were brought forth. ms. hester is asking for you to take december cessionary review -- to take discretionary review for unprotected opening from a building code standpoint would be force to have had a firewall and completely closed off because it is a nonconforming, it doesn't meet code. if it was unprotected window on the property line, there would be no question about the merits of the case because you couldn't even consider that. so it's really hard for me to think that you would want to take disdiscretionary review for an opening that doesn't provide light into the habitable space. she did close off the windows voluntarily and we are very happy about that, but the porches were always viewed for store ammige and not habitable
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space. we would be more concerned if it was the only window on to a room. but ultimately what i would like to say is that they have the right to build on their property. they could have, for example, sold the property to a developer who would build a two unit building that was four stories high that would block all the nonconforming openings on the wall, so i believe the act of this addition is quite minor impact and therefore not an extraordinary or exceptional reason to have discretionary review. thank you very much. president olague: thank you. are there speakers in support of the project sponsor? >> i am eric ping lman, the project sponsor. thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak. my wife wasn't able to make it. she is picking up our daughter and i just wanted to say that as john mentioned, we went through a number of different ideas to
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try to expand our house and the goal here is to build a bigger bedroom for our daughter whose current bedroom is 7 feet by 6 feet and like to have a bigger space for her and in addition, we would like to have an additional bedroom for our parents. they are getting a bit older and as such, it is harder for them to stay for long weekends and they need to be here for a longer period of time and for them to be able to make trips across country. my parents live in tennessee and allison's parents live in miami. as john mentioned, we went through a bunch of different ideas and this happened obthe best idea and the best way to build to our needs and build within the property and be minimal. we worked with tomasita and sue and tried to come up with a comprise. when tomasita mentioned the bamboo, we cut it out. we hadn't heard that it was an issue before, and so we promptly cut it out afterwards. we talked about a lot of
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different things that she had concerns about, building the property back, which we talked about coming up with different solution and building a fence, building a curb, building some kind of construction in the lightwells and each time they kept being more and more things that we would need to do and things that we need to agree to. we were never able to come to an agreement when we thought we had an agreement, sue would lay on different requirements. i think in the end this was kind of a difficult process because right from the gitgo tomas incompetentsta and sue -- tomasita and sue have been threatening about this and threatening language and interesting to see the different point of view of her here in this room when she is not in public setting and in addition, i think this is very personal for tomasita. and she used to live there
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supposeedly and her family used to own the property and i think she has a difficult time letting go that her family no longer lives there and doesn't own the property anymore. and so i don't think this is an issue about planning. i think this is a personal issue for tomasita. this is not -- this is a personal issue for her and she's not looking to seek to come to an agreement where she wants -- she wants to get vindication and some kind of retribution. this is consistent when she mentioned complaints about the previous owners which she would often times confuse us with the previous owners which happened in the first meeting and the planning meeting and also happened the fist time when we met her. [bell ringing] thank you very much. president olague: are there any additional speakers in support of the project sponsor? seeing none, d.r. requester. >> sue hester -- pardon me.
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>> rebuttal, two minutes. >> two minutes, yes. >> again, the only issue that is before the commission is knocking off the sloped window that goes up 3 feet. this is from the perspective looking down from the stairway between the third and second floors on the stairwell and so it is distorted. but it's this area here that is 3 feet in the rear, and getting rid of the clear story and a flat roof. that is all we are asking for. that spans the light coming through the opening and it's unfortunate that the planning department wasn't -- these issues were raised with staff. i'm sorry they were raised with staff. the staff said we do not protect light wells if there is a roof over it which there is. this building was built around
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1900, 26th street was built around 1880. these buildings have been next to each other for an awfully long time. and it was taking into account the existence of the 26th street building. so they were factored into the existing building. this something where you have the responsibility to look at how you keep light into two units so they remain viable. the bamboo forest is down now. but the light into the windows is still a problem. this shows and this is. this -- and this has been changed from an opaque window to clear glass in the past week. and this is the window that will be having no light into it and coming into it because of position against the stairwell and this is looking out for it. and light comes in and light
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comes into the bathroom. and you have the perspective of one story above -- president olague: thank you. project sponsor, you have two minutes. >> thank you. in regards to this request, what it would imply if you took discretionary review would be that we would have an easement that would have of minimum 3 feet stretching across the property. ms. hester said this building was build in respect to the building that my clients own. i would disagree. i think that it was built, just built because there was an etchty lot next to it -- there was an empty lot next to it and put all the nonconforming windows along the property line. they have gotten to enjoy this light and air and the building is much worse for my clients than the small little addition. secondly, the staircase themselves these are back staircases and these are not the
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main staircase to a unit. so in essence i believe the tenants are using this mainly to take trash down to their trash room. and ultimately, it's curious ms. hester did not show the view from the second and first floor which is full of light already. i believe, again, that the six square feet that we are obstructing which is about 20% of the existing opening, is very minimal and is not an unusual or extraordinary circumstance. thank you. president olague: public hearing is closed. commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: thank you. as was pointed out fairly modest addition here. and if you look at the pictures, i mean, the structure that's being added to is tiny relative to the structures around it. and so these are things we certainly have to take into consideration. staff has said that stairwells
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are not protected as far as light and that according to the staff report that the present design is not have what they feel to be a significant light impact. so i don't know eliminating the pitch might architecturally change the appearance of it and would mean they would end up with a different structure and more cost and redesign. and i don't really see that that is necessary. olague r commissioner moore. commissioner moore: could we see the model one more time please? is that a model you did or prepared -- is this an accurate -- is this an accurate depiction?
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>> i would like to ask the architect have you given any thought from the stair side of the other person's building and this angle doesn't look so awkward. is there a way of really closing that all the way to the top and creating an architectural edge by which the stair opening becomes smaller on their side? when you look through this here,
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obviously this is an awkward angle here. >> you mean actually add a -- >> like where the two buildings meet. >> i understood that. yes. it is an awkward connection. we were wanting to keep it as -- we weren't trying to grow the opening any larger or close off the opening further than was necessary. so yes. so we hadn't considered that because we knew they were objecting to the 6 square feet and we didn't want to go any further there. commissioner moore: and i personally do not have any objections to that roof being a pitched roof because it is a small room that's building already creates a lot of mazive relative from the backside of the building but i would like to see is some kind of better transition of this pitched roof meetses this opening. you see what i say?
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it is very awkward. you have this opening sticking up here and i assume there is a kind of closing that this will meet the pitched roof. >> may i make a comment? we could make a parapit but as i hear from her, she is objecting to all that. >> that would make it worse. >> and that big of an issue and building these that are imposing and people are thinking this is a modest addition.
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and i believe that this will give more light is a fair thing to do. i myself live in a building that does similar things and wasn't really disign sod -- wasn't designed but to soften the transition more. >> and with the awkward situation and the project architect, and i do not think this rises to the level of significan significance. and however, looking at this model, this will be at an angle and thought about having a pitch down here at 45 degrees or
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something. >> there is some issue with waterproofing and we don't want the water to flow into the -- >> it will come the other way. >> and the existing two-story addition is awkward. it actually you can see from the photo that it ends at the lightwell and we weren't trying to direct that condition or make it anymore impactful. >> it is really difficult to detail. this is almost impossible. >> okay. i would probably make a motion to not take d.r. and approve with project sponsor continuing to try to work with the d.r. requester if there are any solutions that -- i don't feel that you have to, but it certainly would always be a good idea. >> second. olague r and i have been -- president olague: i have been remotely acquainted with ms. nadal and haven't seen her in a number of years and i think that the issue is well respected in
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the latino community and that sort of thing and i am not familiar with the history with the previous property at all, but i know she is the owner of this one. and to the extent that you could continue to work on softening some of the transitions, i think that would be good thing. i think she is a very reasonable person and like i said, it's been many years since i have dealt with her. i think to the extent that you can continue to engage in some reasonable conversation so that there is some kind of reasonable relationship moving forward, i think it can be achieved. you can continue to work with the project sponsor or with the d.r. requester to get some of these things resolved, then it would certainly be something like commissioner antonini mentioned we would encan you
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remembering here. -- that we would encourage here. and this is an awkward space and there is part of me that wishes it would be brought back a little but i am not sure how you do that. i am certain there is a way to continue conviction with the d.r. requester. secretary avery: the motion is to not take d.r. and continue with the encouragement that the project sponsor should continue dialogue on softening some of the issues that have been raised. on that motion, commissioner antonini. >> aye. >> commissioner borden. >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> i am just returning and i