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tv   [untitled]    April 29, 2011 10:30pm-11:00pm PDT

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department is describing them but i could buy a pretty good chocolate soda and tuna sandwich there but we never called them a restaurant. something has been constantly changing since the old rexal drug stores of 50 years ago and i don't think we've kept up with it. i don't think the codes have kept up with it, the department hasn't kept up with it. i don't know what this animal is that's in front of us. i have absolutely no idea because there's nothing to try and designate it and tell me. i don't know if all of these are in the same big box, and i'm having a problem with it. and i think it's about time we decided what these stores actually are. we talk about overconcentration of certain businesses in certain areas. we want to get away from this. we talk about lack of certain types of businesses in certain
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retail commercial areas and we want to bring them in. but we have a multiheaded animal here and where do we put it? and i'm not sure. i'm not directly speaking against the ocean project. but it is extremely confusing the way it's presented to us. i'm not doing a direct criticism of the department, it's just that i think it's about time we took cognizens of something and did something about it to clarify for the public and also the commission. president olague: commissioner moore? commissioner moore: since we're adding milk, bread and eggs, it gets more complicated and on the sideline we have beauty projects, photo finishes and seasonal merchandise which is probably sun tan lotion, i'm not quite sure. i would very strongly support the questions which commissioner
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miguel raised because i had the same question. my first page is all question marks and that is not in contradiction to being happy that somebody is taking on what was previously a a big box space and moving it without major modifications. the question i would ask, is the loading dock provision including specific garbage removal requirements for this multiuse retail pharmacy set up for doing what it needs to do? it's different from a block blockbuster because you have refrigeration and other things, back of house which you don't have with a big blockbuster. when you do sell food items, you have the health department in there. so there's a whole bunch of questions this i don't think this particular presentation
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fully analyzes that i understand what's ended aside the fact -- you know my position on formula retail, i don't have to elaborate but i understand the neighborhood is supporting this project and most and foremost we have a space by square footage suitable to use as to whether or not the subcategories of use are all met in the existing envelope including loading and garbage, i don't know, so this particular presentation leaves questions for me which is not contradicting that there could be an adaptive reuse for what's intended here. president olague: commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: correct me if i'm wrong but cvs is the equivalent of walgreens, actually larger from what i understand. i don't know if that's entirely true but it is a large pharmaceutal chain in the simplest of terms and what these stores have become in many
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neighborhoods is the replacement for the neighborhood market, the five and 10 cent store and sundry items that you pick up and i frequently go to the nearest -- there's no cvs yet but i will go to the walgreens to pick up items like milk or eggs or something like that because it's the cleft -- closest to the house. so, yeah, i think this is a good use and it's always been a challenge. commissioner miguel may be able to enlighten me on what was there before do radoterras but i think there was a convent or institution in that parcel and if you look at the map, dorado terrace -- you don't get the connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood and then of course you're not far from engleside
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terraces and o.m.i. on the other side of ocean so whoever has gone in there has always had a challenge. blockbuster has gone out for other reasons, of course, but there was a safeway across the street and i'm happy that cvs is going in and i think it will innervate that area which has been frequently boarded up and will start to bring more foot traffic to the area which i think will help everybody. so i'm supportive of the project. i think it's a step in the right direction. president olague: commissioner borden? commissioner borden: i likewise, i thought the questions were interesting that commissioner moore and commissioner miguel brought up. i grew up with cvs and i'm familiar with the store. my dad gets all his medications there on the east coast. when i lived in washington, d.c., the cvs was my all-around store so i'm familiar with cvs
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so i didn't think about of the way they did because i was very familiar with the store and the model and have found it to be a good community partner and participate in community health fairs and do special events and i like to hear that they're already involved with the local community. given the size of the space, 15,000-plus square feet, it's pretty much the only thing you really are going to have in that size of a space is formula retail and it's so large that it's hard to subdivide so i think this is the highest and best use especially when i hear about people in the community talk about the issues they had. when i worked at the board of supervisors over 10 years ago, ocean avenue was always a street looking for more services and felt it was the street most in need of services and least able to get that. sometimes when they were looking for formula retail, they were having a hard time getting the retailers to realize what a great community they had.
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i would move to approve the project but i want to ask about the loading questions that commissioner moore raised. >> rick crawford, department staff. there is an on-street loading cutout right in front of this that should be sufficient for their purposes. commissioner moore: should be sufficient or is sufficient? >> they also have the option of loading out of the parking lot during off hours. president olague: it's like a 22-space parking lot. so is there a second? >> second. president olague: commissioner sugaya? commissioner sugaya: yes. this is not a comment about cvs but, you know, this is a really bad building. i mean, it really is a bad building. and it looks like some outlet mall got dropped on us from suburban america somewhere.
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on that note, i would like to have cvs consider working with staff and see what you could do with something in terms of maybe paint. i don't think we can -- we're not interested in redoing the building so to speak but if you could explore something with your architect. i know we have a signage plan in front of us but something that goes beyond hanging signs on the outside of the building to give it a little bit more architectural something. i don't know what that would be. i'm not a designer. but i would encourage you to do that, not making it a condition, but -- president olague: i just wanted to suggest that we have a conversation at some point with staff that's calendared to discuss this type of use, because we're seeing a lot of these questions become more
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complicated around these retail types of stores with the targets that are selling food and selling pharmaceutical items and all the rest of these issues that we might be confronted with in the next few months so before a hearing i think it's better to have these types of conversations in a more proactive way so it's not dumped on us at this kind of a hearing where we really don't have, i don't think, all the information in front of us to really kind of understand better where we can go with this type of an establishment for lack of a better description but i think that we have a lot of -- i'm not sure how we would frame it but we can talk with ms. avery at one of our monday meetings and figure out how to phrase it and have that conversation here. commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i would ask that the reference that the code is probably o.k. isn't quite enough for me.
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it is either o.k. or it doesn't and i do believe that since these large stores have very large turnover when their semi trucks come, that their loading is not taking off the curb but goes to the rear of the building in order not to impair the other retail which is on that street. i think it is extremely important so i do think my question about the proper number of loading docks in adaptive reuse and we can always take an exemption to it is a code question which i would like to ask. is for this type of use at 15,000-plus square feet, the existing loading dock provision to code or does it require a variance? that has not been answered. somebody said you could do it off the curb and i'm saying if are this type of use, no. i'm not going to basically support that the smaller stores which are in the other part of the building are being impacted
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by loading occurring off the street. i just cannot support that. i am prepared to support the the adaptive reuse but with the rules that apply to this type of a store. and your answer. >> kelly ander, department staff, are you asking, commissioner, if this proposed loading complies with the planning code for this project? commissioner moore: correct. for this type of use. for the previous use, it's a no brarn because it didn't have the various happy impact loading requirements. >> rick crawford, department staff. the uses required to have one loading space. this is a code complying loading space. commissioner moore: for this type of use? >> yes, it is. it's retail. the code does not distinguish, basically, as commissioner
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migueling -- suggested, this is a retail store. retail stores are above 10,000 square feet and below 20,000 need one off-street loading dock. commissioner moore: i think the introduction commissioner miguel gave is an intelligent one where we have a mixed mashed retail where every possible of retail is coming together in one large oversized store so i think this is something we might have to look at and ultimately track through the code. adaptive use is a fine thing to do but if it really changes how the store behaves, one type of retail which -- what was it before, big box or whatever it was, what was its name? blockbuster video is one type of use, no matter how you slice it. here we have everything all at
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once so we might have to take the further of this project. president olague: we plan on having that calendared and having that conversation and in some situations in the past i remember we limited the amount of space that certain types of goods could be -- the amount of space that would occupy certain types of goods so there's different ways of approaching this but i don't think we have -- commissioner moore: we will not take it out on this project but it's a further reaching conversation? president olague: yes. >> i was going to add for the benefit of the public that all of these categories of retail use are within one section of the planning code so that section of the code does capture everything from grocery stores to pharmaceutical retail establishments to flower shops to a variety of retail uses. that, to me, is not the question here but the application of the
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criteria for formula retail and that requires us to compare to other similar uses in the neighborhood so that's where we get into trying to distinguish what is this particular use going to include in it, is it going to be competing with other local uses. it is all lumped together in the planning code which we think is appropriate, the impacts are similar for all those retail uses except when considering the formula retail criteria. president olague: thank you for that. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: it sounds like the loading is code compliant from what i'm hearing and the problem there is not too much activity but not enough activity around the adjacent stores so if you had to, you could load almost off -- there's tons of street parking, there's tons of parking around there so it's not an area that's very much impacted at the present time. we hope there is more activity. and just in earlier comments about doradoter.
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as we go through future projects where we're looking at designs of possible area plans. secretary: commissioners, the motion on the floor is for approval on that motion. [the motion passed unanimously] commissioners, you're now on item no. 10, case 2011.00 84c,
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701 portola drive. >> good afternoon. if you liked that last case, you'll love this one. it's a conditional use request to demolish an existing gas station and construct a new retail building for cvs, a formula retail, formacy retail store on a 10,000 square foot parcel. the project needs conditional use authorization for demolition of the gas station and lot size and formula retail. we've revised the motion from what was sent to you in the packed to include ceqa findings and i will provide some hard copies for you now. and i think there's one extra for staff. and i have a couple of copies over on the table in case any member of the public would like to look at them.
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it is cvs pharmacy store is similar in size and design of the previous project and a request is back before the planning commission because the previous authorizations included that granted by the zoning administration to demolish the gas station has expired. there are variances granted for parking and loading requirements are still in effect. the project removes an outdated building and nonconforming auto oriented use for the neighborhood and replaces it with a neighborhood serving pharmacy. the project would increase pedestrian traffic in this portion of portola drive commercial area which would improve business climate for other businesses in the area and result in the addition of seven to 10 new on-street parking
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spaces as a result of the elimination. as you viewed the plans for the project, you may have noticed a large parking area in front of the use. that is on-street parking even though it looks like a parking lot, it is within the right-of-way of portola drive. the site is on portola drive and is well served by transit. employees would have the option of commuting by transit there by mitigating possible impacts for on-street parking. the department has received two letters in opposition to the project for neighbors expressing concerns for alcohol sales and hours of operation extending beyond 9:30. the sponsor has been in negotiations with people in the neighborhood and with the neighborhood organization up there and they have promised to restrict their hours from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 and they propose no alcohol sales from the site.
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we did get one letter questioning the necessity of the project as there is already a walgreens on the next block to the east of the project site. the department recommends approval of the use with conditions as a proposal in compliance with the planning code and advances the policies of the general plan and provides neighborhood uses to the area. president olague: project sponsor? >> commissioners, andrew genial again. i would say this is identical to what you approved for walgreens right down to a few couple of hundred square feet. the team is here and strible answer any questions you might have. president olague: i have two speaker cards. gary na garrah followed by
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kathleen dooley. >> darren o'garrah, i'm the vice president of the neighborhood association, mara loma park improvement club, we represent 2200 residences and we have 600 paid members. we do not oppose the project. the only issues that we had and cvs was acting as a very good neighbor, we oppose the sale of alcohol and they have agreed not to approve that angle and we oppose expanded hours. the hours in place now, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., we're fine with that. we just wanted to affirm, as representatives of the neighborhood, that we do not object to this project.
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. small business commission, kathleen dooley, i'm going to speak on my own. what i want to talk about is the consideration of the cumulative impact on our neighborhoods of so many chain stores opening. we look at these one at a time and they obviously seem fine, but the point is, we know the cvs will be in front of you many more times with many more projects in the city and we want you to start considering when so many go into the city what the cumulative impact will be on small businesses. it's not something that's readily addressed right now, but we are concerned at the commission about the formula retail code and starting to
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consider things on a citywide basis, not just on an individual project. one cvs is fine. two cvs is fine, but if you want to say 25 are coming in, that's going to have cumulative impact on the small businesses throughout the city of san francisco. so we're just asking you to start thinking in that direction. we'd like to work with you on some of these issues and i just wanted to bring that up today. thank you. president olague: thank you. is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i'd like to suggest to this commission the following, i am not opposed to a project of this kind in this area. i am opposed to this particular project and the lack of pushing this project into a slightly different direction. the fact that in 2008 somebody on this commission supported the
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rezoning and the building as it stands in front of us doesn't really matter to me. i believe the department should be given the opportunity to examine a corner location where this new building could be placed in a much better relationship to the adjoining development because indeed we are having a change in use. that doesn't mean that the building has to slip back. and i do object to the fact that parking is assumed on a public right-of-way where there is really no city authority executed here to have metered parking or designate this area as parking and it's a leftover piece and by default people park there. i'm not saying there shouldn't be parking in this area supporting the commercial strip, the question is, as we have the opportunity to have a building really occupy the corner and start recreating the street wall, if you look across to the commercial with residential above across fowler avenue, i
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think we're missing the opportunity to push this project just a little bit further. we have adaptive reuse. we can start from scratch and that's nothing against your building or your use on that side but i think the thing hasn't done anything innovative to ask the next question and that is where i like to suggest to this commission that we continue, give the department more opportunity to work with cvs. again, you have the support in kind, and i personally believe that the pseudo art deco building as an import is a completely wrong building. i think it's unfortunately a backwards looking building which doesn't make any sense to me at all. it could be a much more simple contextual building which deals more with transforming this commercial strip and i think that opportunity could be pushed by the department in a much more constructive way. president olague: is that a motion? commissioner moore: that's a
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motion where i ask the commission not to deny, but ask for further work between the cvs people, their architect, and the department to take this further. >> second. president olague:is there a date? commissioner moore: it probably takes two months or so. president olague: we'll have continued discussion but i wanted to -- we have a motion to continue and a second. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: i'm going to speak against the motion. i like the design. i live in that area. i know what the rest of the shopping center looks like and the only other building of note in that whole shopping center that is nicely done, i think, is tower market. note in the shopping center is to our market. what they are trying to do is to be contextual with tower market. a lot of the other stuff is not of a very high standard. perhaps this can be a catalyst to began to bring the rest of that shopping center all along
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with the. that this is replicating to some degree and that is what is exemplified by tower market. this sets the architectural tone. if you look at the rendering they have produced, they have one that is in the report that is certainly very well done and it addresses the corner extremely well. i don't really know what else i would want to see. i am very happy with the way it is done. i would like to get this settled today. this is not a complicated issue. if we are interested in supporting neighborhood businesses by trying to change the parking that has been there forever and make it more restrictive or perhaps put some charging on it. it will have a lot of impact on the smaller businesses there a
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lot would -- a lot more than it would be on the cbs. i will vote against the continuance. >> i think that this isn't underutilization of the land and an opportunity for -- >i kind of wish that that what could be better utilize than just a single story cvs. if the motion that this is continued, maybe that was something that could be considered, how would we utilize that lot. this is something to think about if you owned a lot and you
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have that opportunity. >> >> i understand what your talking about, maybe to do something. i am not in favor of continuing the item. if the motion was similar to what commissioner sugaya was asking for where some attention was given to the exteriors of the building, i could support that. i find it inconsistent that we are proving one and then asking for a more significant look back. >> we don't have jurisdiction over a lot of areas in the city. there are many areas where these types of businesses are.
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if you notice, you will see one pharmacy on one block and many go to the next one and you see five more. there is an extreme situation that is created by the competitive market. i am not sure that san francisco needs all of these pharmacies. i know that cbs is opening a couple of blocks down and then there is a walgreen's. i think that this is excessive and the city needs to evaluate how many of these establishments we need it. i know that is now really in our jurisdiction and this is not what some of the criteria used tear but i think this is becoming successive.

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