By Thomas K. Pendergast
Plans to demolish the one-story home of Livingwater Fellowship church on Vicente Street and replace it with two four-story residential buildings of six units total are now under review by the San Francisco Planning Department.
The new buildings are planned to be 40-feet tall. The project would entail the subdivision of the existing 4,087-square-foot lot into two equal 2,043-square-foot lots, which now sit between 34th and 35th avenues at 2306-2316 Vicente St.
One building would total 5,780 square feet and the other would be 5,770 square feet. Each would include a three-car parking garage and three bicycle parking spaces on the ground floors, a three-bedroom “flat” unit for the second floor, while the third and fourth floors would feature two, three-bedroom townhouse units.
Open space for each building is provided by a rear yard area, as well as 142 square-foot common roof decks.
According to the department, the current site now contains a 3,132-square-foot, one-story building with three separate commercial or retail spaces, two of which are now vacant, while the other one is occupied by the Livingwater Fellowship church.
The westbound lane of Vicente Street along that section contains a class II bicycle lane, located between the car lane and curbside off-street parking spaces.
The department says the immediate area is predominantly residential in character, with clusters of commercial and retail businesses. This neighborhood includes a two- to three-story residential development to the west and north, a three-story residential building to the east at the street corner, and two-story commercial and residential buildings to the south. While this address and the building to the east are zoned as neighborhood commercial, the rest of the block to the west is located with a residential housing district zoning, for single- and multi-family dwellings that are developed with ground-floor garages accessing Vicente Street via existing curb cuts.
The proposed new uses and building, at the size and intensity contemplated and at the proposed location, will provide a development that is necessary or desirable, and compatible with the neighborhood or the community, according to the department.
“The size of the project and the units within the proposed four-story, three-unit buildings are in keeping with other residential properties in the neighborhood. The project is necessary and desirable because it will replace underutilized and partially vacant commercial building with two new buildings that maximize the allowed density of the proposed lots,” the department’s report says. “The property is compliant with the Planning Code and the Urban Design Guidelines and contributes to the mixed visual character of the neighborhood. The new buildings are within their buildable areas and will not require any variances or modifications.
“The project would provide two new curb cuts on a street with an unprotected bike lane, but is located on a calm block with five existing curb cuts located within a quiet neighborhood. The new buildings are compatible with the neighborhood and zoning and will bring the lot into compliance with the Planning Code, resulting in a project that is necessary, desirable, and compatible with the City at-large.
“Overall, the project is proposing to increase the total number of dwelling units, while providing them as upgraded, modern, family-sized units,” according to department documents.
The property is located within a quarter mile of Muni lines 29 and 66 and the L-Taraval light rail train. The project will provide a total of six off-street vehicle parking spaces, which is the normal permitted amount and six bicycle spaces. Two proposed curb cuts would not substantially affect operations of emergency services considering the context of the five existing curb cuts on the remainder of the block, the low vehicle and bike volume of the street and the unprotected nature of the bike lane. The addition of the garages would also not generate substantial new traffic volumes on to Vicente or the surrounding streets, according to the department.
The department says that so far it has neither received any letters in support of nor in opposition to this project.
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