Planning Commission Minutes July 3, 2007



Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Council Chambers, Daly City



Chair Kelly called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


ROLL CALL:         Present:             Smith, Satorre, Kelly, and Salamy

                              Absent:               Tallerico


      Staff Present:     Sedik, Zimmerman, Mothershead, and DeFries


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Moved by Commissioner Salamy, seconded by Commissioner Satorre, to approve the minutes of June 5, 2007.  Motion carried 4-0.




10.       Major Subdivision SUB04-2 and Environmental Assessment for a 12-lot subdivision for single-family development – Accacia Street , south of Velasco Avenue


            Staff report presented by:       Tatum Mothershead, Senior Planner


            Ms. Mothershead presented the request by Sia Tahbazof and Javad Zolfighari to subdivide a property into twelve lots and construct a single-family home on each lot.  The site is within the Bayshore Redevelopment Project area and is located immediately south of the San Francisco/Daly City border.  The property is zoned R-1 (Single-Family Residential) and is designated Medium-Low Density Residential in the General Plan.  The site consists of 14 lots that were legally created in 1927 and each of the lots was 2,500 square feet and fronted Accacia Street.


            A Redevelopment Agency committee reviewed a proposal at this location and recommended that the plans be redrawn so that the lots fronting Accacia Street have wider lots.  To make up for some of the lots that would be lost as a result, the Committee recommended the vacation of a portion of right-of-way for the construction of two single-family homes. 


            The applicant submitted a subdivision application that reflected those recommendations.  However, due to the Accacia Street right-of-way being partially located within the City and County of San Francisco, that jurisdiction would have to also vacate a portion of the right-of-way.  San Francisco’s Department of Street Use and Mapping staff indicated that they would not support such a proposal and therefore, the applicant requested the Redevelopment Agency reconsider this recommendation. 


            On August 8, 2005, the Daly City Redevelopment Agency conceptually approved the revised site plan and that site plan is what is being presented in the current application.


            The property being considered for subdivision consists of two 17,500 square foot noncontiguous parcels that are separated by the unimproved portion of Accacia Street.  Each of the lots would be subdivided into six equal sized parcels for a total of twelve lots.  Each of the resulting lots would be 2,916.7 square feet and a single-family house would be constructed on each lot.  The developer would have to improve the Accacia Street right-of-way to city standards.  The improvements would have to include the street, sidewalk, and extension of utilities such as water and sewer.


            Each of the new proposed lots would have 29.17 feet of frontage on Accacia Street with a three foot sideyard at the south end of each lot.  The homes would have to comply with the zoning standards for the R-1 district.  The homes would be about 3,480 square feet and would include a two-car garage, four bedrooms, three bathroom, living room, dining room and family room.  The overall design of the homes is a typical Daly City prototype with a large bay window and Spanish tile accents.  There are four different designs and these are distributed throughout the development to provide variation.  The design of the homes would be subject to Design Review Committee approval. 


            Commissioner Satorre asked for assurance that parking and traffic was properly addressed.  Ms. Mothershead replied that the zoning ordinance requires two parking spaces for a single-family home and this project provides four parking spaces per home with two in the garage and two in the driveway.  Commissioner Smith remarked that she was happy to see 19 foot driveways and pervious pavers being used.


            Speakers:        Iris Gallagher, resident of 57 Accacia Street

                                    Frank Berlanga, resident

                                    Sia Tahbazof, applicant


            Iris Gallagher had some concerns, but first wanted an explanation of what the Environmental Assessment meant.  Ms. Mothershead explained that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) establishes standards to review discretionary projects and this project is exempt from further environmental review because it’s an infill project on  a site of less than five acres.


            Mrs. Gallagher stated that she has lived on Accacia Street, which is a dead-end street, for 35 years. In the 1970s, the subject property was sold to the Samoan Church.  At that time, the Planning Commission determined that Accacia Street would stay closed.  Her concern is the opening of Accacia Street to through traffic.  It will open to Velasco Street in San Francisco and she is worried about safety, security and traffic.  There is a park adjacent to the intersection of Velasco/Accacia and there is a lot of activity there, including gun shots and police.  If she calls Daly City police, they can’t do anything because the activity is in San Francisco.  If she calls San Francisco police, they won’t respond because she is a Daly City resident.  She feels her neighborhood is fairly safe now, but that will change if Accacia opens up to Velasco. 


            Other concerns that she had were storm drainage and dust mitigation during construction.  She stated that she was not opposed to development, just to the street opening up.


            Commissioner Satorre asked if the street could be gated to protect the citizens of Daly City.  City Attorney Zimmerman replied that public streets cannot be gated.  Ms. Mothershead added that there were lots of issues with the previous plan that tried to keep Accacia closed.


            Frank Berlanga stated that he liked the project, but there were a few flaws and he didn’t see why Accacia had to go through as there was no need to open up to San Francisco.  He stated that there was a lot of crime on the San Francisco side and by opening the street up to through traffic, it would be opening up to increased crime as well.  He asked if the street could stay closed with a fence.


            Commissioner Kelly asked what the ramifications would be of a dead-end street.  Ms. Mothershead explained that they would have to provide a hammerhead turn around for fire and lots would be lost. Commissioner Kelly also encouraged the residents of the Bayshore area to work together with the San Francisco and Daly City Police Departments to solve problems. 

            Commissioner Satorre stated that he was really concerned with the configuration of the street and the possibility of increased crime in Daly City.  He asked if there was a way to compromise and keep the street closed.  Mr. Sedik responded that there was an alternative design that was approved by the Redevelopment Agency, but the City and County of San Francisco said no.  A portion of the right-of-way is in their jurisdiction and the City didn’t advocate putting the street through until it was clear that we couldn’t close it off. 


            Sia Tahbazof, the developer, said that he thought the project was good for the neighborhood since the empty lots have become a dumping site even with a fence.  He also explained that it took him 2 ½ years to get the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to accept the stormwater.  He really tried to satisfy the neighborhood and the Redevelopment Agency and came up with the hammerhead, but the Fire Dept. said no.  He also said that a gate would not keep the kids from coming to Accacia Street. 


            Commissioner Satorre wanted to know what was more important fire prevention or crime prevention.  Commissioner Salamy pointed out that developing an area by building homes and bringing families in would help eliminate problems. 


            Commissioner Smith stated that there were two things the Planning Commission can address – codes for fire safety and drainage issues.  She pointed out that the Commission has no oversite of Police issues.  She asked how the project would improve the drainage problem on Accacia.  Ms. Mothershead replied that it would alleviate the problem because the Accacia Street right-of-way will be improved and storm water will be directed to the improved Accacia Street and ultimately to Velasco Street.  The SFPUC has agreed to continue to accept the storm water.  The current problem is that this site is not developed, so if any water pools, it just goes to the lower elevation.  This should improve the flooding problems.  Mr. Tahbazof explained that the issue is a reverse slope on Accacia Street.  They are also proposing two catch basins inside the street to help the problem. 




            Moved by Commissioner Salamy, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to close the public hearing. Motion carried 4-0.


            Moved by Commissioner Salamy, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to adopt the findings as outlined in the staff report of July 3, 2007.  Motion carried 4-0.


            Moved by Commissioner Smith, seconded by Commissioner Salamy, to affirm the Environmental Assessment.  Motion carried 4-0.


            Moved by Commissioner Salamy, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to approve Major Subdivision SUB04-2 subject to the Findings and Conditions outlined in the staff report of July 3, 2007.  Motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote.



            Moved by Commissioner Smith, seconded by Commissioner Salamy, to adjourn at 7:40 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,



                                                                        Terry Sedik

                                                                        Director of Economic and Community Development