19. 2002.1258E (T. CHAN: (415) 558-5982)
STONESTOWN VILLAGE PROJECT - 3251 20TH AVENUE - Public Hearing on Draft Environmental Impact Report: The project site is located on the south side of Eucalyptus Drive, immediately west and northwest of the Stonestown Galleria shopping center. The proposal includes a mixed-use development comprising approximately 366,800 gross square feet (gsf) on approximately 13.7 acres primarily used as surface parking for the shopping center. The proposed development includes both residential and neighborhood-serving retail components. The residential component includes three five-story, 50-foot-tall apartment buildings, approximately 96,250 gsf, 71,400 gsf, and 62,350 gsf, respectively, with 202 subsurface parking spaces; and a two- to three-story, approximately 30-foot-tall senior care facility, totaling approximately 70,300 gsf, with 17 parking spaces. The proposed retail component includes development of a 27-foot-tall, 41,600-gsf grocery market, and construction of neighborhood-serving retail spaces totaling approximately 24,900 gsf. The project would include construction of two parking garages and reconfiguration of two surface parking lots that would contain about 1,684 total commercial parking spaces to replace 1,500 existing commercial spaces displaced by the proposed project construction, and provide 184 net new parking spaces to serve the proposed retail uses. The proposed project would also incorporate landscaping features, such as streetscape connections, landscaped walkways, interior courtyards, and open space. To implement this project, the proposed project would require a Conditional Use authorization (CU) to amend the existing Planned Unit Development (PUD) to modify allowable residential density for the apartment community and potentially modify rear yard setback requirements for both residential components. In addition, an amendment of the Zoning Map would be needed to change the height district from 40 feet to 50 feet. The 13.7-acre project site is located in the Lakeshore neighborhood within Assessor's Block 7295 and includes portions of Lots 21, 22, and 23. The site is primarily within a C-2 (Commercial Business) zoning district, and portions are within a 40-X and 65-D height and bulk districts.
Preliminary Recommendation: Receive Comments. No Action Required.
Note: Written comments will be received at the Planning Department until 5:00 p.m., on March 3, 2003.
(Continued from Regular Meeting of February 13, 2003)
Supervisor Tony Hall
- He has submitted a letter to the Department detailing all his concerns about the completeness and accuracy of the draft EIR and hopes the Commission will each take the time to read it.
- He will touch on a few of the highlights of his comments, which are a result of his analysis of the DEIR as well as a compilation of many of the concerns he has heard raised by the neighborhood.
- Initially, the DEIR was only going to include an impact study in 3 of the 14 possible areas. After a public scoping hearing which he sponsored last February, the scope of the Report was expanded to include 7 of the 14 possible areas.
- He thinks the DEIR should include a full discussion of why the other seven areas are not included in the DEIR.
- The most incomplete statement, and what he thinks is the biggest failing of the DEIR, is on page 60 where the DEIR says that the project will not disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of an established community, and that the project will not have a substantial impact upon the existing character of the neighborhood.
- The DEIR only defines community and character with technical planning jargon. The real neighborhood community and the real character of the neighborhood are standing behind him at this hearing - whether or not they are opposed to the project or in support of the project. The neighborhood is not defined by planning jargon but by the people and institutions in the area. They are not adequately and completely defined in the DEIR.
- To be complete, the DEIR should better define what the neighborhood's community and character are.
- He thinks the DEIR, in order to be complete, needs to provide more discussion about how the increased traffic will affect pedestrian safety in the area. The DEIR only mentions that there are three schools in the area. It fails to include Lakeside Presbyterian Pre-School, Mercy High School, and San Francisco State, which are all within walking distance of the project. The DEIR says there will be no impacts on pedestrian safety. However, I think the DEIR should use a higher standard of care in evaluating whether or not there is an impact because there are so many children in the area.
- There are a number of traffic estimates in Tables 3,4, and 5 on pages 90 and 91 that appear contrary to common sense. These tables estimate that the new grocery store will only generate 149 more trips on a Saturday than on a Tuesday. It seems to him that the vast majority of people do their grocery shopping on weekends, and the weekend number estimate should be much higher.
- The Table 7 on page 97 states that there will be a 0 short term parking demand for the 202 units. Does this mean that the residents of the units will never have any visitors? Table 7 also estimates that the short term demand for parking at the Senior Care facility will be the same on weekdays as it will be on weekends.
- There appears to be a conflict between Table 5 and Table 7. Table 5 says 2,483 daily vehicle trips will go to the market. But then Table 7 says there will only be a need for 128 parking spaces. How do 2,483 cars fit into 128 spaces. Granted, the 2,500 cars will be dispersed throughout the day, but that seems to be pushing the envelope by expecting no more than 128 to be there at any one time. If each car did one hours worth of shopping and was evenly spread out throughout the day - which is really a faulty assumption, the store would have to be open 20 hours a day to fit all 2,500 cares in the 128 spaces.
- Without getting into further detail, he would like to alert the Commission to the other points he has raised in his letter:
1. The DEIR should include a complete discussion of why there are no geology/topography effects resulting from the project.
2. The DEIR should identify the eleven so-called "soft sites" in the area where other development may occur.
3. The DEIR should explain why the nearby Stonestown Apartments are lower in density and height.
4. There are four schools along Eucalyptus - not three schools as listed in the DEIR.
5. The cumulative impact of the traffic of the four schools should be looked at as a whole, not in groups.
6. There is no discussion of future expansion and growth of these nearby schools and that impact in the area.
7. There should generally be more discussion about the impact of the project on the schools, rather than the other way around, which is how I read the DEIR.
8. The pedestrian patterns of Mercy High School's students should be evaluated.
9. St. Stephen's peak passenger loading area is not between 8:30 and 9:00 as stated in the DEIR - school starts at 8:00 a.m.
10. The morning p.m. peak period on Ocean Avenue between 19th Avenue and Middlefield should be discussed.
11. What are the pedestrian volumes along Eucalyptus, and will there be an impact?
12. On what Sunday were the 113 church related parked cars observed in Lot D - on a three day weekend or a Holy Day of Obligation or on an average Sunday?
13. What kind of squeeze of parking will result in the Merced Manor neighborhood from the YMCA and church goers who currently park in the Stonestown property?
14. Is 263 vehicles for 202 units a realistic estimate of the vehicle demand in the proposed building?
15. Will people visiting the Senior facility and/or proposed units be more likely to park in Merced Manor than the Stonestown property to avoid internal Stonestown traffic?
16. What route will construction vehicles and future loading vehicles take to reach the site? Will they be going through the neighborhood?
17. Finally, I think there needs to be further explanation of the fact that the proposed grocery store is the real cause of the resulting traffic increase as opposed to the proposed housing.
- He thinks his office has been very fair, patient, and deliberative in reviewing this project over the last 2 years. Balancing both property rights and the varied wishes and desires of the neighborhood, he has consistently respected the process, and it is his sincere hope that the Commission and the Planning Department will follow his lead in respecting due process by responding to all of the questions and concerns raised tonight.
(+) Kate White - Director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
- Stonestown village will provide a mall with much needed housing as well as neighborhood-serving retail.
- She would like to grow old in this town and the senior units are the kind of support housing that is desperately needed especially right near services and transit. Seniors own less cars and will not have such a traffic impact.
- The project sponsor has "bent over backwards" to accommodate the neighborhood's concerns.
- This DEIR takes a very careful look at the impacts. This project replaces a surface parking lot with a very-much needed transit oriented development. It is perfect for this area because it is right near MUNI. The community needs a grocery store.
- She urged the Commission to support this project.
(+) Rick Quire - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- He requested a continuance of this case because of the newsletter that gave erroneous information.
- People have been misinformed about this project. Who knows how many people have read the newsletter and the draft DEIR.
(-) Bill Chionsini - West of Twin Peaks Central Council
- He is here on behalf of this organization and other citizens.
- He agrees with the previous speaker regarding continuing this project.
- He submitted a letter that asks to discuss certain sections of the draft DEIR.
(-) Adena Rosmarin - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- This project will have significant negative impacts on areas that have not been included in the draft DEIR.
- They have submitted factual evidence and expert opinions regarding these impacts.
- This document is very incomplete.
(-) Jim Herlihy - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- There are critical areas of study that have been left out of this draft EIR.
- Noise is not covered in this document.
(-) Ron Chun - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- The neighbors are all here to respectfully request that this commercial developer answers all the questions (required) by law that should be discussed in a draft environmental impact report.
- This neighborhood approved the creation of the Stonestown mall that (that exists today), and made it the success that it is.
(-) Len Stefanelli - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- He feels that this draft EIR is incomplete.
- There is a possible landfill site in back of the Stonestown mall.
- There was a revene that has been filled in with something over a period of time.
- There has not been any testing on the soils on this site.
- He recommends that this document be reevaluated and submitted for review.
(-) Gregory Bayol - President of the Sunset School Board
- Nowhere in the draft EIR does it discuss the issue of noise during construction and how it will affect the schools in the area.
(-) Stephens Johns - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- He also spoke on the negative affects of noise during construction.
- There is no noise report in this document. This makes it completely inadequate.
- This document is supposed to provide something that the neighborhood could look at and not have to figure things out.
(-) Richard Levino - St. Stephens Church
- The direct negative impacts of this project on the schools in the area are not addressed.
- The document also does not give correct information on traffic impacts.
- He has read other impact reports and they are very detailed where this one is not.
(-) David Dawdy - Merced Manor
- He lives one block away from the project site.
- Hydrology is not considered in the impact report.
- The good points and the bad points should be covered in the draft EIR, but they are not.
(-) Maureen Bender - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- There is a park located in the area and she is concerned with open space.
- This project would come as close as 9 feet from the park. This would cause damage to the trees in this park. She is also concerned with the birds and animals of that park.
- She is concerned with the church and how it will be impacted.
- She is also concerned about noise.
- She and her neighbors are concerned about neighborhood character.
(-) Doris Dawdy - Merced Manor
- She is a freelance writer and researcher and has done a lot of research on this project and this document.
- She is concerned that the document does not provide all the facts.
- There has been unfair advertisement of this project.
(-) Karen Niglio - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- There is nothing wrong with promoting the project, but she has a problem with promoting the EIR.
- She asked the Commission to extend the comment period.
- She does not understand how many of the facts of the draft EIR were computed.
(-) Cristophe Niglio - Preserve Our Neighborhood
- He has extensively reviewed the draft EIR.
- Although he will be submitting his written comments on the draft EIR, there is one critical and damaging error regarding traffic impacts that should be addressed.
- He urged the Commission to request an accurate transportation study.
(-) Michael Garcia - Board member of Merced Manor
- He is concerned with the traffic impact this project will cause.
- He would like the Commission to insist that this document be accurate and objective.
(-) Stephen Wilson - St. Stephens School and St. Stephens Church
- As a parish and a school, they are concerned with the safety of the children.
- His three summary points: 1) this development has become a moving target because it is incomplete and inconsistent; 2) there is a problem with (not) presenting a cumulative impact; and 3) the project alternatives are weak.
(+) Susan Calapietro
- She is happy to see the Stonestown project become a reality because she does not drive-she takes public transportation.
(+) Tim Colen - President of the Edgehill Way
- He is a geologist and has helped prepare many EIRs.
- The geology has been adequately addressed in this document.
- A lot of the other issues have been address quite adequately.
- This project brings senior assisted housing, 200 units of rental housing, and better retail services.
(-/+) Dick Morten
- He has supported the construction of housing in his neighborhood.
- He is disappointed in the process because he could not understand where the rental units will be.
- He would recommend that a better break-out be established by type of use.
- He also agrees with a lot of the concerns from the previous speakers.
(+) Catherine Russo
- She lives in Stonestown.
- The traffic from the market is spread out during the day.
- Housing is desperately needed in the City.
- This is a big under used piece of land.
- Housing for seniors is greatly needed. Some seniors need to go to other counties because they can't receive housing or services here.
- It is a fact that there will always be noise when there is construction.
(+) John Frank
- He urged the Commission to adopt the draft EIR.
(+) Bette Landis
- She supports the draft EIR.
- This project has some very important aspects that are greatly needed.
- The kids going to the schools in the area are going to need places to live.
- There will be an increase in revenue from property taxes and commercial exchanges.
(-/+) Robert Bender - Park Merced Resident Association
- The Commission should get more information from this draft EIR.
- There have been some things that have been glossed over.
- This housing should be built.
(-) Ted Theotis
- He has listened to the traffic situation. However, his personal concern is that crossing Junipero Serra and Winston Drive is the most frightening thing in his life. He does not wish to die at the present time. He hopes the Commission will keep their eyes open on the traffic situation.
(+) Robert Blandis
- Housing is severely needed.
- He urged the Commission to support.
(-) Nancy Hagen-Crawley
- She has children at St. Stephens and has concerns about traffic.
- Some guarantees need to be established regarding the grocery store.
- There are a lot of senior assisted housing units vacant--although she is not discounting the need for senior housing.
(-) Sue Chin Chow
- She has many concerns regarding this project and the draft EIR.
(-) Bud Wilson
- As a senior, he supports senior housing, but it should not destroy the integrity of a neighborhood.
- There are a lot of alternate locations that were not included in the document.
- He is concerned with the parking and traffic areas.
- This document has not adequately raised the issues presented by the public.
- He requested that the public comment period be extended.
(+) W. Schneider
- Built out, this project is a full 14.7 acres.
- He urged the Commission to deny the conditional limit on height, setbacks and density.
(-) Therese McGovern
- She urges that this draft EIR not be accepted.
(-) William Wortsen
- He noticed that something was overlooked or omitted regarding transportation in the neighborhood.
(-) Willow J. Solomoni, Jr.
- He is concerned with the negative effects this project will have on the school.
ACTION: The President extended the written comment period on this Draft EIR to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2003
EXCUSED: Commissioner Antonini publicly recused himself from participation in any discussion and/or decisions related to this project because his home is within 500 feet of the project site.