Civic Design Review Committee - November 15, 2021 - Minutes

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


Monday, November 15, 2021
2:00 p.m.

Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing


Commissioner Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.

  1. Roll Call

Commissioners Present
Kimberlee Stryker, Chair
Yakuh Askew
Yiying Lu
Abby Schnair
Paul Woolford

Staff Present
Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs
Alyssa Ventre, Commission Secretary

  1. General Public Comment

There was no public comment.

  1. CDD HQ at 2000 Marin St. Project – Phase 1

Shelby Campbell, Project Manager, SFPUC
Matt Jasmin/Andy Sohn, Architects, SF Public Works
Bill Bulkley, Landscape Architect, SF Public Works

The project team explained that CDD (City Distribution Division) is San Francisco’s water department, which oversees the storage and distribution of water. The team described the site location to be in the Southeast section of San Francisco with Caltrans to the east, Evans Ave to the west, Cesar Chavez to the north, and Marin St. to the south, which will serve as the entrance to the site. The project team stated that the site organization and building location has not changed since its previous Conceptual review. They stated that they lowered the southern side of the parking garage by one floor to lessen the bulk of the building. They also changed the roof form on the shop buildings from sawtooth to butterfly and added PV array to the administration building and parking garage to better conceal equipment on the rooftops. The team created a vehicle free zone between the parking garage and administrative building to expand the central green area as well as extended the site to allow for a vehicle turn around area at the back perimeter of the site. The team introduced the design principles—creating a secure campus, making it pedestrian safe, encouraging community building with over 500 employees regularly working at the site, creating a site that is the public face of the water department. The team explained that all people spaces are oriented facing inwards towards the center of the site and explained that vehicular circulation is organized primarily to the perimeter of the site and away from pedestrian areas. The team recommended the edges and perimeter of the site for public art and stated that the client is interested in artwork that relates to water.

The team then discussed building materials and stated that the mullions would provide a cohesive vertical look throughout the site. They stated that the administration building will feature PV array, sunshades, and a curtain wall placing an emphasis on verticality. The shops are designed through the same language as the administration building with vertical oriented siding and a butterfly roof composition. End plates will be aluminum panel, along with jambs, head sill, and underside of eaves.

The project team went on to introduce the landscape goals for the site--to provide maximum pedestrian safety, improve street frontages, secure site perimeter, create welcoming place for employees to gather, contribute to site ecological design, and to humanize this ultimately industrial site. They stated that they will plant new street trees and sidewalk on Evans and Marin St. and explained that the pedestrian areas inside the site are to be experienced like a “walk in the park.” They stated that all plantings will be climate adaptive, low maintenance, and low water use and that native plants will comprise most of the plantings. At the park’s edge there will be trees in raised planters buffering the site traffic and taller trees planted in the central planting and paved area. They stated that there will be colorful, durable, and moveable seating for gathering and concrete step stairwells, bollards, and pedestrian light poles that will be industrial in nature and contemporary to match the site buildings. They explained that the park space opens up to form a plaza the closer you get to the administration building making the space flexible for larger group functions. The team also stated that they will introduce special unit paving to denote the pedestrian area. They explained that there will be an 8ft high perimeter fence that will consist of vertical steel posts with no horizontal posts or footholds and that they are still considering the color. They explained that some trees and grasses will work with site’s storm water filtration system and that they will work with particular species to accentuate the architectural vertical elements and to provide layers of size, color, and texture to the site. Finally, they stated that the street trees will be constricted by overhead wires so they chose the flowering Cherry Tree to address this constraint and to add seasonal color to an otherwise industrial area.

Commissioners commended the team on a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of a challenging set of issues and coming up with something holistic and attractive. They commented that the most successful structure might be the parking structure and that they would like to see more attention placed on the design of the administrative building as it is so central to the campus. Commissioners had varying opinions on the change to the butterfly roof from sawtooth but ultimately agreed that the project team needed to further explore how best to conceal the mechanical equipment. Commissioners mentioned wanting to see some mention of sustainability and especially around water under the campus principals and asked what the strategy was for the stormwater system for the site? The suggested that permeable paving would be a nice way to highlight SF Water’s work in addition to providing water retention to the site. Commissioners commented that the material palettes and proportionality were thoughtful and that the landscaping was well considered. They also commended the team on the vehicle free zone. Commissioners asked to see section drawings that show how seating and planting will work in the community gathering space. They commented on liking the shape of the perimeter fence but stressed that material and color would be very important in such a high trafficked area with regards to dirt and wear. In considering where the art opportunities were for the site, commissioners suggested something more central to the Evans and Cesar Chavez intersection including a bulb-in for artwork to be featured.

Mary Chou Senior Program Manager with Public Art was asked to speak about the public art opportunity at the site. She stated that the site has a significant art enrichment budget and that she looked at the parking garage and administration building as potential sites for public art. She expressed concern with the project team’s suggestion of placing the art on the south facing side of the parking garage and said that the art would only be visible to those driving north on Evans Ave. and not at all from the much larger intersection at Evans Ave and Cesar Chavez. She also observed that since the area is not a pedestrian heavy area, the art would primarily be seen while driving. With this in mind, she stated that the trees on Evans Ave. would limit the visibility of art on the site. She proposed working with the team to maximize visibility and presence of art at the site.

There was no public comment.

Commissioner Woolford, seconded by Commissioner Schnair moved to approve Phase1 of the CDD HQ at 2000 Marin St Project with the following contingencies: that there will be another study of the administration building to give it more distinction, that there will be more visibility of the mission of the agency in the landscape and or buildings, that there will be a study to look at the screening of the roof mechanicals on the shop buildings, that materials and color will be considered, and that the team will work with the Visual Arts Committee to reconsider the placement of the art on the site.

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

  1. Sandy Tatum Learning Center Project – Phase 3

Dan Burke, Project Manager, First Tee
Gary Head, Architect, Zak Architecture

The project team reminded commissioners of the location of the project to be adjacent to the Harding Park Clubhouse. The team explained that they are incorporating similar materials as the ones used at the Clubhouse which included a standing seam metal roof, stucco façade, concrete flooring, aluminum clad doors and windows, and exterior wooden furnishings. They explained that the building consists of an outdoor classroom and driving range, indoor classroom, restrooms, office, and storage facilities. The public restroom would be accessible via the exterior of the building.  The project team stated that they worked closely with Rec and Park to incorporate maintenance items such as anchor points on the roof, additional PVC conduit for electrical sleeve for future upgrades, and additional flashing. Other than that, there were no further changes to the project.   

There was no commissioner comment. 

There was no public comment.

Commissioner Woolford, seconded by Commissioner Schnair moved to approve Phase 3 of the Sandy Tatum Learning Center Project.

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

  1. Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant Ozonation Project – Conceptual

Bryan Dessaure, Project Manager, SFPUC
Mandy Lai, CDM Smith
Richard Chong, Architect, CDM Smith

The project team presented the project location to be in Sunol Valley in the SFPUCs existing Water Treatment Plant. This site is one of two PUC water supply systems and that this particular plant treats water from the Calaveras and San Antonio Reservoirs. The team noted that with natural algae blooms occurring in the reservoirs this project would add an additional treatment process ensuring safer water for consumption. The team also stated that the project is forecasted to start construction in 2024 and end in 2027.

In describing the site, the team stated that it is not near a population center and that there is no public access. The project team described the components of the site and their function. The Liquid Oxygen and Nitrogen Facility with large storage tanks is where oxygen is fed into the ozone generator house in the Ozone Generation Building. In this building, the ozone generator turns oxygen into ozone gas, which then is bubbled into water that flows through the four large basins in the Ozone Contactor Building. This is where the treatment process happens. Water will leave the Contactor Building for the existing treatment plant. The team stressed that the new buildings are unoccupied, with no personnel or offices. They stated that there will be a new access road through the new area that will provide access to chemical delivery trucks to provide chemicals to the site.

The team presented their project design goals--to respect the natural setting, to allow natural vegetation to act as screening, to provide transparency that highlights the function of the site while emphasizing the industrial process of the facility and natural use of materials for process areas. They stated that their landscaping goals for the site would be developed for next phase of review. The team highlighted areas for landscaping around ozone generation building and expressed that there are some restrictions to landscaping at the site with regards to safety. They highlighted the materials palette to be solar voltaic panels on the roof, smooth concrete and board form concrete for the walls, and aluminum windows and glass doors. The Ozone Contactor Building will be cast in place concrete and on both ends of the building are outdoor equipment areas shielded by metal canopies and a retaining wall. The Liquid Oxygen and Nitrogen Facility will be exposed slab with large liquid oxygen storage tanks and a security fence around structure. They stated that existing trees will provide natural screening of the site from the main road.

Commissioners commended the project team on a well-considered project and expressed appreciation for the presentation and the detailed description of the buildings and their specific function. Commissioners asked the team about site grading and also about earthquake safety. The team assured commissioners that they follow strict seismic design standards for all of their projects. Commissioners also asked about wildfire and whether the site was in a high-risk area. The team responded that there was potential for fire at the site but that they are considering their plantings at the site carefully and with fire safety in mind. Commissioners suggested fire retardant plants and native plants.

There was no public comment.

  1. Staff Report

    Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs, SFAC

    Deputy Director Lee introduced Paris Cotz as new CDR Program Associate. Welcome Paris! 

Director Lee also informed commissioners of the approval of a waiver request from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to waive the architect selection process for a development at 250 Van Ness known as the Kelsey Civic Center. The selection of the architect team was made before MOHCD was involved in the project and therefore requested this waiver from the Arts Commission requirement to participate in architect selection of MOHCD financed affordable housing developments. Proposed public art for this project will be reviewed at the Visual Arts Committee at a future meeting. 

Deputy Director Lee also stated that on November 1, 2021, the SFAC approved the Raymaytush Ohlone land acknowledgment. The SFAC is developing protocols for reading the land acknowledgement at public and internal meetings. The protocol will be in place for the next CDR meeting scheduled for December 20, 2021. 

Commissioners gave a warm welcome to new staff member Paris Cotz. 

There was no public comment.

  1. New Business and Announcements

    Commissioners congratulated Commissioner Woolford for his recent award from the AIA in Architecture.

    There was no public comment.
  2. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m.


Posted 11/22/2021 at 1:30 p.m. mw

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