Building Inspection Commission - September 18, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 18, 2019 - 9:30am
Location: 

PDF iconBIC Minutes 09-18-19.pdf


BUILDING INSPECTION COMMISSION (BIC)
Department of Building Inspection (DBI)

REGULAR MEETING
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416
Aired Live on SFGTV Channel 78
ADOPTED October 16, 2019

MINUTES
The regular meeting of the Building Inspection Commission was called to order at 9:52 a.m.

1. Call to Order and Roll Call - Roll call was taken and a quorum was certified.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:
Angus McCarthy, President
Debra Walker, Vice-President
Kevin Clinch Commissioner
Frank Lee, Commissioner
Sonya Harris, Secretary
Shirley Wong, Assistant Secretary

D.B.I. REPRESENTATIVES:
Tom Hui, Director
John Konstin, Commissioner
Sam Moss, Commissioner, Excused
James W arshell, Commissioner
Edward Sweeney, Deputy Director, Inspection Services
Mauricio Hernandez, Chief Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Services
Daniel Lowrey, Deputy Director, Permit Services
Taras Madison, Chief Financial Officer
William Strawn, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager
John Murray, Legislative and Public Affairs
Lily Madjus, Communications Director

CITY ATTORNEY REPRESENTATIVE
Robb Kapla, Deputy City Attorney

2. President's Announcements.
Vice-President Walker made the following announcements:
• Thank you to Tom Hui, who spoke to a delegation from.Seoul, South Korea's "Local Construction Safety Center" about how the San Francisco Department of Building inspection issues permits and ensures that buildings in San Francisco are safe for residents and visitors.
• A special thanks to Senior Building Inspector Stephen Kwok, for participating in a hearing on streamlining the pe1mitting process for restaurants at the Board of Supervisor's Land Use Committee Hearing on Monday. Stephen provided a great overview ofDBI's permit process for restaurant owners and the efforts that the department has made to streamline those processes in recent years.
• Thanks to David Jones, from our Plan Review Services Team for taking part in a presentation on the permitting process ADUs with the Small Property Owners Institute. Thank you David for your efforts to educate stakeholders on this important program
• I'd also like to commend our very own Commission Secretary Sonya Harris, who received a very nice note from a long-time customer, thanking her for her "professional, respectful, and very competent service" to the Building Inspection Commission. Thank you, Sonya
• Thanks to Matthew Armour of the Technical Services Division who received a letter stating that he was "very helpful, accommodating, patient, knowledgeable, and detailed" when helping a senior customer with their home improvement project
• A letter of appreciation was also sent to Hareg Shawl of Initial Plan Review Services for helping a customer through the process of getting parking permits. The customer said she "showed great empathy, customer service, and kindness."
• A big thank you to Wai-Fong Cheung and Brenda Yan of the Central Permit Bureau who received a letter from a customer thanking them for resolving a difficult case regarding a missing address
• Congratulations to Director Hui who participated in another Seismic Safety Outreach Program graduation in Chinatown last week-where another 70 residents graduated from the 5-day training course. This brings our total number of Seismic Safety Ambassadors to nearly 4,000 since the program began in 2015 - and means we are better prepared to respond and recover quickly after the next Big One.
• Earlier this month, Director Hui also took part in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Chase Center. Special thanks to you and your team for everything you did to ensure that the project was completed and ready to go on time.
• A special thanks to all DBI staff and management, who worked hard to ensure normal operations while many of their colleagues were taking part in mandated training at the CALBO conference. I know it's hard to juggle schedules and duties, so we appreciate the efforts made to ensure that service to DBI's customers was not disrupted.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

3. General Public Comment: The BIC will take public comment on matters within the Commission's jurisdiction that are not part of this agenda.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment.

Mr. Jerry Dratler said that 4118 21 st Street is an example of failures to enforce Planning codes and this project should have been stopped. He said this project was one of many where DBI and Planning should have intervened and stopped the project at an earlier point. He said 347 18th Street was also an example where it should have been stopped and redirected. Mr. Dratler urged both Commissions to support Supervisor Mandelman in efforts to address these issues. On August 29th Planning Commissioners expressed frustration in being asked to address demolitions that DBI should have addressed. Mr. Dratler said the citizens of San Francisco have lost confidence in DBI and the Planning Commission, and would like the BIC to address this problem.

Ms. Georgia Schuttish said that the focus of both Commissions occurred after demolitions have happened, and suggested one definition in these cases where an error or a malfeasance has occurred on part of the project sponsor. She also stated that two definitions are needed at intake, one that is a demolition, and a second one for demolition calculations. Ms. Schuttish said soundness studies are needed to provide affordable housing that can be sensibly updated.

Commission Secretary Harris called for additional public comment, and there was none.

4. Commissioner's Questions and Matters.
a. Inquiries to Staff. At this time, Commissioners may make inquiries to staff regarding various documents, policies, practices, and procedures, which are of interest to the Commission.

There were no inquiries to staff.

b. Future Meetings/ Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Building Inspection Commission.

Secretary Harris stated that the next Regular Meeting would be held on October 16, 2019.

Commissioner Warshell said illegal demolitions occurred where DBI, BIC, and Planning Commission's competence and integrity have been questioned and this needs to stop. He recommended a Joint Planning and Building Commission meeting to review the status of all major cases to bring to attention the major failures to ensure they are properly monitored and to stop systematic failures. Commissioner W arshell said the public deserves a status update of these well publicized cases to address them firmly and fairly.

Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

5. Director's Report.
a. Update on DBl's finances.

Ms. Taras Madison, Deputy Director of Finance Services, gave an update on DBI's finances and discussed the following items:

2019 Fiscal Report (First two months):
• Revenues are up from the same time last year ( due primarily to Plan Checking revenues and valuation has gone up)
• Expenditures are also up (primarily due to salary increases)

b. Update on proposed or recently enacted State or local legislation.
Mr. John Murray, Legislative and Public Affairs, gave an update on proposed or recently enacted State or local legislation and addressed the following points:
• No File Number/Plumbing Code Cross-Connection Controls - A proposed ordinance sponsored by SFPUC and DPH that deletes a local amendment referring to SFPUC rules - continued on advice of City Attorney, will be added January
• File No. 190899 - Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to add a preference in City affordable housing programs to tenants temporarily evicted from rental units for capital improvements or rehabilitation work; requiring landlords who regain possession of such rental units to provide evidence of complying with a tenant's right to re-occupy such tenant's rental unit- Working on notification with Supervisor Peskin's office
• File No. 180323/170937 - (Supervisor Tang) Extension of Compliance Time for Mandatory Accessibility Improvements from 5/23/18 to 1/1/19 - Have about 9K noncompliant owners, Director Hui has requested Supervisor Yee extend the deadline to July 1st from December 1st. Compliance is lower than expected.
• Legislation on Restaurant streamlining presented & received well, legislation on this streamlining expected down the road

c. Update on major projects.
Director Tom Hui said there was a 2% increase in major projects & permits filed due to people wanting permits processed before the new Code cycle ensues.

d. Update on Code Enforcement.
Deputy Director of Inspection Services, Edward Sweeney, presented the following Building Inspection Division Performance Measures for August 1, 2019 to August 31, 2019:
• Building Inspections Performed   6294
• Complaints Received   513
• Complaint Response within 24-72 hours   504
• Complaints with 1st Notice of Violation sent   66
• Complaints Received & Abated without NOV   278
• Abated Complaints with Notice of Violations   48
• 2nd Notice of Violations Referred to Code Enforcement  28

Deputy Director Sweeney presented the following Housing Inspection Services Performance Measures for August 1, 2019 to August 31, 2019:
• Housing Inspections Performed   1,134
• Complaints Received   334
• Complaint Response within 24-72 hours   323
• Complaints with Notice of Violations issued  146
• Abated Complaints with NOVs   552
• # of Cases Sent to Director's Hearing   42
• Routine Inspections   185

Deputy Director Sweeney presented the following Code Enforcement Services Performance Measures for August 1, 2019 to August 31, 2019:
• # Housing of Cases Sent to Director's Hearing   191
• # Complaints of Order of Abatements Issues   59
• # Complaint of Cases Under Advisement   24
• # Complaints of Cases Abated   174
• Code Enforcement Inspections Performed   295
• # of Cases Referred to BI C-LC     -
• # of Case Referred to City Attorney    2

Deputy Director Sweeney said Code Enforcement Outreach Programs are updated on a quarterly basis, so there is no change in data until next quarter:
• # Total people reached out to    *42,045
• # Counseling cases  *1,174 
• # Community Program Participants   *2,050
• # Cases Resolved   *173

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

6. Review and approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 21, 2019.
Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 21, 2019.

Secretary Harris called for public comment, there was none.

The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 039-19

7. Discussion and possible action on the annual performance evaluation for the BIC Secretary.
a. Public Comment on all matters pertaining to the Closed Session.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

b. Possible action to convene a Closed Session.
Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to convene a Closed Session. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 040-19

c. CLOSED SESSION: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and the San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.l0(b).

Secretary to the Building Inspection Commission - Ms. Sonya Harris

d. Reconvene in Open Session to vote on whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session (Administrative Code Section 67.1 0(b ).

Commissioner Lee made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to reconvene and not disclose discussions held in Closed Session. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 041-19

8. Discussion and possible action on the annual performance evaluation for the Director.
a. Public Comment on all matters pertaining to the Closed Session.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

b. Possible action to convene a Closed Session.

c. CLOSED SESSION: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and the San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.l0(b).

Commissioner Lee made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to convene a Closed Session. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 042-19

Director of the Department of Building Inspection - Mr. Tom C. Hui

d. Reconvene in Open Session to vote on whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session (Administrative Code Section 67 .1 0(b ).

Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to reconvene, not disclose discussions held in Closed Session, and continue the item until the next meeting.

The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 043-19

9. Adjournment.

Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Konstin, to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 044-19

The meeting was adjourned at 10:56 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shirley Wong, Assistant BIC Secretary


Sonya Harris, BIC Secretary

SUMMARY OF REQUESTS BY COMMISSIONERS OR FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Requested a Joint Planning and Building Commission meeting to review the status of all major cases to bring attention to systematic problems - Warshell Page 3