Public Advisory Committee - January 28, 2015 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
January 28, 2015 - 2:00pm
Location: 
1660 Mission, Room 2001

PDF iconpac012815minutes.pdf

 

PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MEETING NOTES


Wednesday, January 28, 2015
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
1660 Mission Street
2nd Floor, Room 2001

       
1. WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS

Director Hui welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

2. MISCELLANEOUS PLANNING ISSUES

Jeff Joslin announced that starting next month, he will be having Dan Sider and Elizabeth Watty reporting on new projects and special projects team programs. Dan will also be speaking about small business permits.

He provided an update on CEQA related efforts. Sarah Jones, Planning asked for specific questions/issues to be addressed. Drake Gardner inquired about the progress of streamlining the CEQA process. Ms. Jones stated she would provide a graphic on their various streamlining efforts. They are in a situation where they are currently receiving a high volume of applications. Where once they were receiving 5-10 applications per week, they are now receiving 5-10 applications per day. 

Other improvements:
* Staff is working to advance the special studies that are needed, so those could be started before the Planner is assigned.
* Postponed time fee is submitted.

Suggested changes
* Expanding number of choices on consultant list 

An instance was brought up where an interior 3rd Floor TI project in a historic building was routed by intake to Planning, per Planning’s request. Jeff Joslin asked the customer to follow-up with him on the specifics. Director Hui stated that generally, it depends on what type of historical. If the exterior is historical and you are doing work inside, it does not get routed back to Planning. If the interior is considered historical, then it does get routed to Planning.

Alyce Brown asked if Planning had a plan for new buildings that are going up around the City. Mr. Joslin responded that projects come in on a project by project basis with underlying zoning. Planning does not have control over concentration of projects in a given area. They are looking at anticipated projects and ensuring they are compatible with existing historical elements and context.

Mr. Joslin reported Planning is in the process of crafting a new urban design guidelines document which they hope to have in the next six to eight months.

3. UPDATE ON PUBLIC HEALTH BACKLOG

Director Hui stated there had been customer complaints about the backlog related to Maher. DPH provided their numbers for 2014:

* 72 toxics/Maher reviews
* 98 cellular permits
* 495 food permits
* 2 medical cannabis facilities
* 3 swimming pools 
* 5 body art/massage facilities

As of January 2015, thirty four plans have been submitted of which 29 have been reviewed and approved.

There was concern related to the review time on Maher projects. DPH stated there have been some transitions in staff conducting this review. He will follow-up on this item.

4. UPDATE FROM DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

DPW have implemented the use of printed signs and they are in the last phase of implementation. This makes signs more legible for the public and contains a QR code to pull more information from the signs. Signs are required to be in color on 11x17 paper and properly displayed/maintained. Enforcement will begin on March 2 across all DPW permits. This will not affect DBI operations. 

There are Q&A sessions scheduled for February 17, 18, and 20. Letters will be sent to contractors who have already applied for permits at DBI.

The new process will now have a web form available where customers may initiate the process, but will still need to come in to complete the process. Another change is that customers will have three ways to print out their signs once approved by DPW: 

* Customers print their own sign
* Print through a vendor
* DPW printed at $4.00/sign. Pick up at DPW main office.

5. DISCUSSION OF PLAN REVIEW SERVICES

Director Hui stated the backlog is roughly two weeks. For larger projects, it is approximately six weeks. 

An issue was brought up about plan checkers reviewing already approved reference sets when one comes in for a revision. A customer had this happen multiple times, more from the engineering group. Customer was asked to follow-up with Ed Sweeney on their specifics. 

6. UPDATE ON LEGISLATION AFFECTING DBI

DBI has issued three permits related to the David Chiu legislation on legalization of in-law units. A number of them are under Planning review and expect more to be approved. 

Phase One of the Soft Story Program is almost complete with 99% of screening forms submitted. There are 30 properties that will be going through the code enforcement process. 

The 7% DBI fee reduction will be extended until the new fee study has been completed in the next few months. Once the new recommendations are completed, they will need to go through Commission and Board of Supervisor approvals.

Related to the Vacant Storefront legislation, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Small Business Office are working to match businesses looking for spaces with available properties. Bill Strawn stated there are 270 days before the first notice of violation is sent to property owners who have yet to register their vacant properties.
 
7. UPDATE ON PERMIT & PROJECT TRACKING SYSTEM

As of last quarter 2014, the project team has conducted extensive user acceptance testing (UAT) and identified various items that need to be addressed. The project team is focused on fixing items discovered during UAT and adjusting the project timeline for Go Live.

8. ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

Dan Lowrey announced they will be having a demonstration for inspection scheduling on the new Accela system module tomorrow in Room 6034 between 2-3pm to obtain feedback from customers.

Dan reported inspection requests are on schedule. If one has an problems, customers are advised to seek assistance from a supervisor.

Code enforcement is fully staffed and working on the backlog. 

There was an inquiry about have a desk on the 5th floor for SF Water. Director Hui stated space on the 5th floor is limited and is being reviewed as other agencies are expanding their counters. Planning is currently re-working the PIC counter and will have more staff on the 5th floor temporarily. Short term rentals applications are also being handled on the 5th floor.

Kudos to 3rd floor inspectors and 5th floor staff for their hard work.

9. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

No future agenda items were discussed.

10. ADJOURNMENT 

       There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.