City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Civic Design Review Committee - March 17, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

Civic Design Review Committee - March 17, 2014


Monday, March 17, 2014

3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


Committee Chair Cass Calder Smith called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Cass Calder Smith
    Leo Chow
    Dorka Keehn
    Kimberlee Stryker

    Commissioners Absent
    Roberto Ordeñana

    Staff Present
    Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs
    Jill Manton, Director of Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
    Sharon Page Ritchie, Commission Secretary
    Matt Pearson, Civic Design Review Extern

  2. Dupont Courts Restroom Replacement: Phase 3
    Marvin Yee, Project Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
    Tony Leung, Project Architect, San Francisco Department of Public Works
    Edward Chin, Project Landscape Architect, San Francisco Department of Public Works

    The design team gave an update on the project, reporting positive comments from the community. They pointed out changes made in response to the Committee’s prior recommendations. Noting that hazard abatement has been completed, the design team reviewed the status of the historic resource evaluation of the building as a WPA structure and the appeal of the demolition permit. They said that despite what might be said in public comment, the survey of nearby buildings revealed great diversity in age, including construction since 2000. Further, they explained that the restroom is largely hidden from neighbors by grade differences, plantings and street trees.

    Public Comment:

    Jeff Kelly said that there have been numerous community meetings, and that people would rather see the existing structure maintained as historic. He said that there had been no California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) review, and no final approval by the Arts Commission. He said that the demolition had ruined the project, and that it should be protected. He added that a neighbor found a website which described it as a WPA project, and said that the original project was closed out on March 19, 1937, and asked the Committee to mark this anniversary with preservation rather than destruction. He quoted Clyde Healy as saying the project was designed to conform to the general character of the neighborhood, and that 80% of buildings are contemporary with the structure. He added that a neighbor, Roberta Wahl, was an architect who had written a letter supporting his position, but the Committee had not seen it.

    There was no futher public comment.

    Tina Tam, Planning Department Senior Preservation Planner, discussed the historic resource evaluation report, explaining that the site is a contributing resource to a noncontiguous historic district of the WPA era, but the building itself is not character-defining. She explained that the Planning Department’s position is that the site is a contributing resource, and the construction project can go forward.

    The Committee discussed which agency had jurisdiction over which aspects of the project, and staff reported that they have been meeting with City Attorney staff and Historic Preservation staff to clarify the respective jurisdictions. The Committee agreed that its role was to evaluate the new design, and not to determine whether the original structure should be replaced. The design team pointed out that the appeal was set to be heard on April 9 by the Board of Appeals, and that any approval by this Civic Design Review Committee would be on hold until the appeal was resolved.

    The Committee went on to review some details of the project, including tiles, a water fountain, landscape plans, the placement of the door and other items. Staff agreed to do administrative review of these details.

    There was no further public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows, pending the decision of the Board of Appeals.

    Motion to approve Phase 3 of the DuPont Courts Restroom Project, contingent upon (1) extending the overhangs out in two directions by a couple of inches to clear the corner angle; (2) recessing flashing and concrete; (3) painting the doors, metal grill and flashing a dark charcoal; (4) extending the tile along the full length of the wall, with administrative review of the final design of the corner treatment; (5) moving the door to the end of the wall to eliminate the return; (6) integrating the stainless steel signage into the tile surface by replacing the appropriate tiles with the stainless signage; (7) using stainless steel for all hardware; (8) clumping plants rather than spacing them out, and using low-growing plants such as phormium at the entry of the ramp and taller plants such as ceanothus toward the higher part of the ramp to disguise it.

  3. Staff Report
    Ms. Manton asked for further direction on the Committee’s request for a regular public art report.

    The Committee discussed a potential memorandum of understanding with the San Francisco Airport regarding the scheduling of reviews for design-build projects and fast-track projects, to ensure that the Committee can effectively review them at the appropriate times.

    The Committee discussed how the budgets are determined in “2% for art”; staff explained that the Public Art Program Director reviews the budget to determine its accuracy, and the project does not come to this Committee until they have confirmed their public art allocation.

    The Committee discussed whether a “Phase 0” review for conceptual design should be added, to ensure that the preliminary design is reviewed before excavation begins or permanent elements of the structure are in place. They proposed that Phase 1 review cover 50-75%, schematic design; Phase 2 cover 75%, design development; and Phase 3 cover 100%, construction.

    There was no public comment.

  4. Public Comment
    There was no further public comment.
  5. New Business and Announcements
    Commissioner Keehn said that the Visual Arts Committee had recently discussed the Moscone project, and review panels had just selected two beautiful artworks for the Airport’s Terminal 3.

    There was no public comment.

  6. Adjournment
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:22 p.m.

    spr 5/9/14

    Language Accessibility

    Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2585,

    我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料和口譯服務。如需協助,Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2585,

    Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2585,