HEARING DOCUMENT
Last Updated: 10/12/2018

Hearing Procedures (CPC)

Sound-Producing Devices Prohibited: The ringing of and use of mobile phones and other sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a mobile phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices (67A.1 Sunshine Ordinance: Prohibiting the use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices at and during public meetings).

Persons attending a hearing may comment on any scheduled item.

  • When speaking before the Commission, please note the timer indicating how much time remains. Speakers will hear two alarms. The first soft sound indicates the speaker has 30 seconds remaining. The second louder sound indicates that the speaker's opportunity to address the Commission has ended.

For most cases that are considered by the Planning Commission, after being introduced by the Commission Secretary, shall be considered by the Commission in the following order:

  1. A thorough description of the issue(s) by the Director or a member of the staff.

  2. A presentation of the proposal by the Project Sponsor(s) team (includes sponsor or their designee, lawyers, architects, engineers, expediters, and/or other advisors) would be for a period not to exceed 10 minutes, unless a written request for extension not to exceed a total presentation time of 15 minutes is received at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing, through the Commission Secretary, and granted by the President or Chair.

  3. A presentation of opposition to the proposal by organized opposition for a period not to exceed 10 minutes (or a period equal to that provided to the project sponsor team) with a minimum of three (3) speakers. The intent of the 10 min block of time provided to organized opposition is to reduce the number of overall speakers who are part of the organized opposition. The requestor should advise the group that the Commission would expect the organized presentation to represent their testimony, if granted. Organized opposition will be recognized only upon written application at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing, through the Commission Secretary, the President or Chair. Such application should identify the organization(s) and speakers.

  4. Public testimony from proponents of the proposal: An individual may speak for a period not to exceed three (3) minutes.

  5. Public testimony from opponents of the proposal: An individual may speak for a period not to exceed three (3) minutes.

  6. Director's preliminary recommendation must be prepared in writing.

  7. Action by the Commission on the matter before it.

  8. In public hearings on Draft Environmental Impact Reports, all speakers will be limited to a period not to exceed three (3) minutes.

  9. The President (or Acting Chair) may impose time limits on appearances by members of the public and may otherwise exercise his or her discretion on procedures for the conduct of public hearings

  10. Public comment portion of the hearing shall be closed and deliberation amongst the Commissioners shall be opened by the Chair;

  11. A motion to approve; approve with conditions; approve with amendments and/or modifications; disapprove; or continue to another hearing date, if seconded, shall be voted on by the Commission.

Every Official Act taken by the Commission must be adopted by a majority vote of all members of the Commission, a minimum of four (4) votes. A failed motion results in the disapproval of the requested action, unless a subsequent motion is adopted. Any Procedural Matter, such as a continuance, may be adopted by a majority vote of members present, as long as the members present constitute a quorum (four (4) members of the Commission).

For Discretionary Review cases that are considered by the Planning Commission, after being introduced by the Commission Secretary, shall be considered by the Commission in the following order:

  1. A thorough description of the issue by the Director or a member of the staff.

  2. A presentation by the DR Requestor(s) team (includes Requestor(s) or their designee, lawyers, architects, engineers, expediters, and/or other advisors) would be for a period not to exceed five (5) minutes for each requestor.

  3. Testimony by members of the public in support of the DR would be up to three (3) minutes each.

  4. A presentation by the Project Sponsor(s) team (includes Sponsor(s) or their designee, lawyers, architects, engineers, expediters, and/or other advisors) would be for a period up to five (5) minutes, but could be extended for a period not to exceed 10 minutes if there are multiple DR requestors.

  5. Testimony by members of the public in support of the project would be up to three (3) minutes each.

  6. DR requestor(s) or their designees are given two (2) minutes for rebuttal.

  7. Project sponsor(s) or their designees are given two (2) minutes for rebuttal.

  8. The President (or Acting Chair) may impose time limits on appearances by members of the public and may otherwise exercise his or her discretion on procedures for the conduct of public hearings.

The Commission must Take DR in order to disapprove or modify a building permit application that is before them under Discretionary Review. A failed motion to Take DR results in a Project that is approved as proposed.

Hearing Materials

Advance Submissions: To allow Commissioners the opportunity to review material in advance of a hearing, materials must be received by the Planning Department eight (8) days prior to the scheduled public hearing. All submission packages must be delivered to 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400, by 5:00 p.m. and should include fifteen (15) hardcopies and a .pdf copy must be provided to the staff planner. Correspondence submitted to the Planning Commission after eight days in advance of a hearing must be received by the Commission Secretary no later than the close of business the day before a hearing for it to become a part of the public record for any public hearing.

Correspondence submitted to the Planning Commission on the same day, must be submitted at the hearing directly to the Planning Commission Secretary. Please provide ten (10) copies for distribution. Correspondence submitted in any other fashion on the same day may not become a part of the public record until the following hearing.

Correspondence sent directly to all members of the Commission, must include a copy to the Commission Secretary (commissions.secretary@sfgov.org) for it to become a part of the public record.

These submittal rules and deadlines shall be strictly enforced and no exceptions shall be made without a vote of the Commission.

Persons unable to attend a hearing may submit written comments regarding a scheduled item to: Planning Commission, 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103-2414. Written comments received by the close of the business day prior to the hearing will be brought to the attention of the Planning Commission and made part of the official record.

Appeals

The following is a summary of appeal rights associated with the various actions that may be taken at a Planning Commission hearing.

Case Type Case Suffix Appeal Period* Appeal Body
Office Allocation B 15 calendar days Board of Appeals**
Conditional Use Authorization and Planned Unit Development C 30 calendar days Board of Supervisors
Building Permit Application (Discretionary Review) D 15 calendar days Board of Appeals
EIR Certification E 30 calendar days Board of Supervisors
Coastal Zone Permit P 15 calendar days Board of Appeals
Planning Code Amendments by Application T 30 calendar days Board of Supervisors
Variance (Zoning Administrator action) V 10 calendar days Board of Appeals
Permit Review in C-3 Districts, Downtown Residential Districts and Large Project Authorization in Eastern Neighborhoods X 15 calendar days Board of Appeals
Zoning Map Change by Application Z 30 calendar days Board of Supervisors

* Appeals of Planning Commission decisions on Building Permit Applications (Discretionary Review) must be made within 15 days of the date the building permit is issued/denied by the Department of Building Inspection (not from the date of the Planning Commission hearing). Appeals of Zoning Administrator decisions on Variances must be made within 10 days from the issuance of the decision letter.

**An appeal of a Certificate of Appropriateness or Permit to Alter/Demolish may be made to the Board of Supervisors if the project requires Board of Supervisors approval or if the project is associated with a Conditional Use Authorization appeal. An appeal of an Office Allocation may be made to the Board of Supervisors if the project requires a Conditional Use Authorization.

For more information regarding the Board of Appeals process, please contact the Board of Appeals at (415) 575-6880. For more information regarding the Board of Supervisors process, please contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (415) 554-5184 or board.of.supervisors@sfgov.org.

Challenges

Pursuant to Government Code Section 65009, if you challenge, in court, (1) the adoption or amendment of a general plan, (2) the adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance, (3) the adoption or amendment of any regulation attached to a specific plan, (4) the adoption, amendment or modification of a development agreement, or (5) the approval of a variance, conditional-use authorization, or any permit, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the Planning Commission, at, or prior to, the public hearing.

CEQA Appeal Rights under Chapter 31 of the San Francisco Administrative Code

If the Commission's action on a project constitutes the Approval Action for that project (as defined in S.F. Administrative Code Chapter 31, as amended, Board of Supervisors Ordinance Number 161-13), then the CEQA determination prepared in support of that Approval Action is thereafter subject to appeal within the time frame specified in S.F. Administrative Code Section 31.16. This appeal is separate from and in addition to an appeal of an action on a project. Typically, an appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days of the Approval Action for a project that has received an exemption or negative declaration pursuant to CEQA. For information on filing an appeal under Chapter 31, contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244, San Francisco, CA 94102, or call (415) 554-5184. If the Department's Environmental Review Officer has deemed a project to be exempt from further environmental review, an exemption determination has been prepared and can be obtained on the website. Under CEQA, in a later court challenge, a litigant may be limited to raising only those issues previously raised at a hearing on the project or in written correspondence delivered to the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Planning Department or other City board, commission or department at, or prior to, such hearing, or as part of the appeal hearing process on the CEQA decision.

Protest of Fee or Exaction

You may protest any fee or exaction subject to Government Code Section 66000 imposed as a condition of approval in accordance with Government Code Section 66020. The protest must satisfy the requirements of Government Code Section 66020(a) and must be filed within 90 days of the date of the first approval or conditional approval of the development referencing the challenged fee or exaction. For purposes of Government Code Section 66020, the date of imposition of the fee shall be the date of the earliest discretionary approval by the City of the subject development. 

The Planning Commission's approval or conditional approval of the development subject to the challenged fee or exaction as expressed in its Motion, Resolution, or Discretionary Review Action or the Zoning Administrator's Variance Decision Letter will serve as Notice that the 90-day protest period under Government Code Section 66020 has begun.