Civic Design Review Committee - March 15, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
March 15, 2021 - 2:00pm


Monday, March 15, 2021
2:00 p.m.
Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing


Commissioner Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:04 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Kimberlee Stryker, Chair
    Yakuh Askew
    Mary Jung
    Paul Woolford

    Commissioners Absent
    Abby Schnair
    Debra Walker

    Staff Present
    Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs
    Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs
    Alyssa Ventre, Commission Secretary
  2. General Public Comment
    There was no public comment.

Commissioner Walker joined meeting at 2:12 p.m.
Commissioner Schnair joined meeting at 2:17 p.m.


  1. Sunol Valley Water treatment Plant - Polymer Feed Facility: Phase 2
    Reggie Stump, Project Designer and Architect, SF Public Works
    Bryan Dessaure, Project Manager, SF PUC
    Julie An, Landscape Architect, SF Public Works

    The project team presented the project location to be at the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant in Sunol, CA 50 miles southeast of San Francisco. The team stated that the purpose of project was to improve the performance of prior existing sedimentation basins and to optimize plant production. The polymer feed building is in the southwest corner of the site and is not visible to the public. The project team briefly addressed the concerns highlighted by the committee in their phase 1 review. They stated that the polymer mechanical process drives the floorplan of the feed building and that the building is similar in scale and height to adjacent buildings. They stated that the butterfly roof with clearstories on north and south façade will bring in light without compromising interior wall space and will also reflect the peaks and valleys of surrounding environment. They also stated that the minimal façade reflects the use of the building with a bifold door for loading and unloading, and the height of the building being based on the monorail interior beam with which equipment is moved around. Building openings are minimal and functional. Louvres are based on cross ventilation and HVAC system. Concrete base along entire building. The team presented the project materials—concrete base along entire building, vertical metal siding and aluminum flush panel doors painted to match chemical lab building on site, frit glass clearstory for bird safety, and linear light fixtures at all doors. The team presented their landscape plan and addressed the landscape specific comments received during their Phase 1 review. They stated that the native plant system would likely only need a temporary irrigation system not a permanent catchment system; they softened berm transition; and added several Coast Live Oak trees and will be transplanting younger Oak trees to the site. The team stated that the site plant palette includes native grasses, colorful wildflowers, coast live oak, transplanted Oaks, and a cobble maintenance strip. 

    Commissioners complimented the team for their honest and contemporary approach to the project and stated that it will be a handsome addition to the site. The team was thanked for their thorough presentation and especially for showing previous and current project layouts side by side. Finally, commissioners complemented the team on their plant palette and expressed appreciation for softening the berm, which now blends more seamlessly with the landscape.

    There was no public comment.

    Commissioner Schnair, seconded by Commissioner Askew moved to approve Phase 2 of the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant - Polymer Feed Facility as presented.

    The motion unanimously carried by the following vote:
    Ayes: Stryker, Askew, Jung, Schnair, Walker, Woolford
  2. Alameda Creek Watershed Center – Historical Reflection Site Project: Post Phase 3
    Carla Schultheis – Project Manager, SF Water
    Tony Ignacio, Designer and Landscape Architect, Environmental Forms

    The project team presented the project location to be in Sunol, CA. The team informed commissioners that the larger Alameda Creek Watershed Center Project is currently under construction and should be completed by Spring of 2022. The Center includes a 13,000 sq.ft. building, a 2.5-acre informal garden, as well as public art piece and that the goal of the project is to increase awareness of the Alameda Creek Watershed while increasing awareness of the SFPUC water supply system. The project team stated that the reflection site being presented at today’s meeting is in addition to the approved project. They explained that the reflection site will provide a quiet space for visitors to reflect on the human history of the area including the historical and continued presence of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe. The team noted that the project site is 2500 sq.ft. and is designed to optimize access, view sheds, proximity to center, and topography. The team presented the project materials to include decorative pavers, fire cracked artifact rock found on site, boulders, block benches, concrete panel walls with stainless steel graphic panels, stone seating, decomposed granite, planting berms, and interpretive panels.

    Commissioners stated that they previously approved a project that seamlessly integrated landscape, architecture, and artwork. They expressed that there seems to be overlap between the project presented today and the artwork already approved for the site.  Chair Stryker invited the Visual Art Committee staff to talk about the approved artwork by Walter Kitundu and how the proposed project may or may not integrate with it. Public Art Manager Jackie Von Treskow presented a summary of Mr. Kitundu’s project, which includes sculpture, sound installation, and an archive that pays tribute to the Muwekma Ohlone people. Ms. Von Treskow stated that she was only made aware of the reflection site a few days prior to the CDR meeting and expressed concern that the two parties had not been in close conversation yet. 

    Chair Stryker thanked Ms. Von Treskow for her summary and asked that the item be tabled until the design team has met with the VAC and Mr. Kitundu regarding the compatibility of the two projects on the site. Commissioners agreed to give additional time for information to be shared between the project teams. 

    There was no public comment.
  3. Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project: Conceptual
    Monica Scott, Project Manager, SF Rec and Park
    James Munden, Landscape Architect, Munden Fry Landscape Associates

    The project team noted that the project originated out of the 2012 Ocean Beach Master Plan. The project will remove the Great Highway between Sloat and Skyline Boulevards to provide structural infrastructure to the area due to ongoing erosion caused by climate change. The team stated that the project aims to protect and restore the natural resources and strategies that promote habitat restoration and enhance recreation and beach accessibility. The project team outlined the main project components--a buried sea wall, the restoration of beach and sand dunes habitat, repurposing land for a multi-use trail, creating new recreation and open space opportunity, roadway changes and intersection improvements, and replacing the restroom at Sloat Boulevard. With consideration to the design of the site, the team talked about taking inspiration from found artifacts along the coastline including weathered steel and broken-down concrete structures as well as looking at the shapes and forms presented by coastal erosion and wind patterns. They identified three geographic zones (sacrificial, vegetative, and stable) that would greatly influence the final design of the site. They also identified the three access points—Sloat Boulevard, the entrance to zoo parking lot, and Skyline Boulevard. The team discussed their consideration of different user groups and the known pinch point between the service road and multi-use trail. Finally, the project team identified Sloat Boulevard as an ideal site for a public art opportunity.

    Commissioners complimented the project team for their work and a beautiful and thoughtful project. They expressed concern around being able to distinguish between the multi-use trail and service road. Commissioners asked the project team what their community engagement process with residents and beach goer has been thus far. The team responded by saying that they held a community meeting in December 2020 and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Commissioners asked if showers would be included in the new restroom. The team responded by saying that while there would not be full showers, there would be footbaths. Commissioners also addressed the issue of climate change and sea level rise and the importance of working with coastal biologists on a project like this. They asked whether the team has looked at the distance needed to take to address future sea level rise and the inevitable erosion of the area. Project Manager Anna Roche addressed the committee. She stated that each project, depending on the planned lifespan of the amenities, has to include sea level rise and storm surge into their design. She continued by confirming that this project is incorporating sea level rise and storm surge through end of century and that sometime before then the site will be reviewed to see how it is adapting to sea level rise. In addition, Ms. Roche informed the committee that the site will be monitored yearly as sand replenishment will be a regular occurrence with this type of site. Finally, commissioners expressed gratitude to the project team for already considering location for public art on site.

    There was no public comment.
  4. Botanical Garden Nursery Replacement Project: Phase 3
    Ben Golvin, Project Manager, Equity Community Builders
    Susi Marzuola, Project Designer and Architect, Siegel & Strain Architects

    The project team described the location of the project as being along Lincoln Avenue in Golden Gate Park. They explained that the goal of the project was to consolidate the nursery and maintenance facility into one area and that the project goals were to create a better site for propagation and cultivation, to provide an opportunity to implement best practices, to replace existing aging structure, and to consolidate the Garden’s nursery and maintenance facility into one location. The team described the project design main drivers--improving the visitor experience by shifting the visitor path so that it does not wander through work area, considering the existing climate and environmental characteristics and factors, and topography. The team stated that in previous reviews commissioners asked the project team to simplify plan, which has been done. The team confirmed that it has moved forward with saving the large Torrey Pine on site and that they were able to maintain the ground beneath and create a tree protection zone. The team confirmed that very few changes have been made to the drawings since the last review and that the building materials and landscape palette have remained the same.

    Commissioners congratulated the project team on a nice design.

    There was no public comment.

    Commissioner Woolford, seconded by Commissioner Askew moved to approve Phase 3 of the Botanical Garden Nursery Replacement Project as presented.

    The motion unanimously carried by the following vote:
    Ayes: Stryker, Askew, Jung, Schnair, Walker, Woolford

Commissioner Schnair left meeting at 3:47 p.m

  1. Sandy Tatum Learning Center Project – Phase 1 & 2
    Stacy Bradley, SF Rec and Park
    Dan Burke, Project Manager, The First Tee
    Gary Head, Architect, Zak Architecture

    The project team located the project in the Harding Park at the southwestern edge of San Francisco. The team stated that the project goal is to provide a place of learning for the students of First Tee, a non-profit youth development program that uses golf as a catalyst for personal growth. The team explained that the project site is situated within a grove of Monterey Cypress trees and will include an outdoor leaning area, an indoor classroom, office space, an indoor/outdoor driving range area, private restrooms for staff and students, and public restrooms. The team stated that the project will utilize the existing footprint of the former structure which was removed when the PGA came to town in mid-2020 and plan to have a minimal touch on the site and surrounding landscape. The team informed the committee that no trees have been removed and presented their project materials as simple and fitting the surrounding environment--concrete base, wood siding, metal roof, and site furnishings in a natural color.

    Commissioners asked the team to clarify if there was an existing structure on the project site. The team clarified that the structure was removed in 2020 but that the foundation that remains they plan to use for the new site. Commissioners then stated that Monterey Cypress trees are extremely sensitive to any kind of disruption and asked if there had been an environmental review performed of the site. Commissioners also commented on the materials being used for the siding and stated that the current material (wood) will have to be resurfaced frequently and requested that the project team revisit this material choice. Commissioners also recommended the project team revisit the size of the overhang near the public restrooms.

    With consideration of commissioner comments, Chair Stryker asked the project team to come back to CDR with a more developed plan, and an arborist assessment of the roots of the Cypress trees and the impact construction in the vicinity may have on them.

    There was no public comment.

Chair Stryker gave a brief report on the Bay Corridor Transmission and Distribution Project that came to CDR in February 2021 for Phase 3 review. In that meeting, commissioners approved their Phase 3 presentation on the contingency that the team provide an assessment of the site’s exterior lighting. The project team presented CDR staff with their assessment, which determined that exterior lighting was appropriate for the site and surrounding area. CDR staff have accepted their assessment.

  1. Visual Arts Committee Update
    There was no VAC presentation.
    There was no public comment.
  2. Staff Report
    There was no Staff report.
    There was no public comment.
  3. New Business and Announcements
    There was no new business or announcements.
    There was no public comment.
  4. Adjournment
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:17 p.m.

posted 3/26/2021 at 3:30 p.m. mw
approved 4/5/2021


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