By Thomas K. Pendergast
A new building project to replace a single-story dance school and theater at 3055 Clement St., at the intersection with 32nd Avenue, is scheduled to come before the San Francisco Planning Commission on Jan. 13.
The proposal is to demolish the current building and replace it with a six-story building with seven residential units – a total of 11,201 square feet – above 614 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.
The dwelling units would be a mix of four two-bedroom units and three four-bedroom units, with 336 square feet of common usable open space on a roof deck and 288 square feet of private usable open space on a second-floor terrace in the rear yard.
The project also requires a HOME-SF authorization, which allows for additional floors above the general area zoning allowances if below-market-rate or “affordable” units are included. HOME-SF is a local density bonus program designed to incentivize building more affordable and family-friendly housing in neighborhood commercial and transit corridors.
In this case, a “Tier 3” HOME-SF authorization is under consideration, which requires 30% of the dwelling units built be affordable. In this case, that amounts to two of the seven proposed units.
According to Planning Department documents, the project is eligible for the HOME-SF program as a Tier 3 Project.
The documents also show that, so far, the department has received at least one letter in opposition to the project, focused on the height of the building and the lack of off-street parking and dwelling-unit density.
The documents further state that the sponsors of the project held a meeting with community members on Nov. 27, 2019 but at least one member of the community and possibly more apparently missed that meeting. The project had come up before the Commission previously, on Nov. 18, 2021, but was continued until January 2022.
“A project that was requiring a number of exemptions suddenly was getting pushed through without the community really knowing about it,” said Alfredo Cahaus, who lives in the area.
“The meeting was scheduled for Nov. 18 and I, thanks to a neighbor of ours, found out about this the day before,” Cahaus said. “And then I reached out to other neighbors and I asked if they had heard of this and no one did.
“And so we were concerned because, again, it is a massive project,” he said. “I think the design itself seemed not to fit. The quality of what they were proposing didn’t seem to be consistent, or the style didn’t seem to be consistent with the neighborhood, so that was one issue.”
Another problem that Cahaus has with the proposal is the lack of motor vehicle parking space, which could increase the competition for street parking.
“The other issue is that the units … were not providing parking,” Cahaus said.
“I know, for some of my neighbors, that was a big issue to them. For me, it was an issue too. Only because it appeared that for a building of that scale, the fact that they were not providing parking raised more questions.”
Department documents say the project would provide a total of eight Class-1 bicycle parking spaces in a bicycle storage room on the ground floor and four Class-2 bicycle parking spaces would be provided along the street frontage.
According to minutes from the Nov. 18, 2021 meeting, the proposal was pulled from the Commission’s agenda and proposed for continuance at the Jan. 13 meeting at the request of the project sponsor.
“It appeared to me to be very quickly put together. It was very opportunistic. It wasn’t really part of a longer planning process that I know the City and our supervisors are working hard to address. It didn’t seem to fit with that planning and that long-term objective.”
The Planning Department, on the other hand, is recommending that the Commission go ahead and authorize the proposal as a HOME-SF project.
“The Department finds that the project is, on balance, consistent with the objectives and policies of the General Plan and meets all applicable Planning Code requirements,” according to department documents. “The project will provide seven new dwelling units, (including two on-site affordable housing units) in a mixed-use area, which will assist in meeting the City’s affordable housing goals. All units in the project will provide two-or four-bedroom units which are suitable for affordable housing goals. All units in the project will provide two-or four-bedroom units which are suitable for families with children. The project sponsor has included an array of family-friendly amenities required by the HOME-SF program, such as ground-floor stroller storage, an indoor recreation room and a common roof deck.”
Categories: SF Planning Commission