CFAH

311-313 Eureka
From one of two sisters living at 309-311 Eureka, a two-unit building that has been in their family since 1964 and which the sisters would like to raze, rebuild and reoccupy:

I have lived in the building for the past 19 years and my sister Clare has lived here for most of that time as well in the other unit. Once this project is complete, both Clare and I plan to move back into the new units.

Based on early records from the water department, the building was originally built as a single family home but was converted to 2-units at some point prior to my parent’s ownership. The lower unit is sub-standard. It has low ceilings (only ~7’4), is constantly cold and dark because it has limited access to direct light and also has a tendency for mildew. It is essentially a 4-room basement apartment. There is a huge disparity between the two units in terms of size, with the upper unit being the only one considered a family-sized unit.

In 2007, our family initiated discussions about a project that would enable my sister and I to continue to live in the building with our partners, each in a family-sized unit. During those discussions, the question of whether to pursue a remodel or a demolition came up. We evaluated the reality of modifying the existing building to achieve our goal of 2 family-sized units and recognized that there was nothing of the existing building worth saving.

∙ The foundation, where it exists, is old brick. It would need an entirely new foundation to support any new structure or addition to the existing building.
∙ The ceiling height of the ground floor would need to be elevated, meaning the floor of the upper unit would be moved (and the walls that support that floor).
∙ The ceiling height of the upper unit would be lowered (and the walls that supported that ceiling).
∙ The peaked roof would need to be replaced by a flat roof.

Based on the extent of the changes we needed to make, it seemed likely that the Planning Dept would declare the project a “de facto” demolition, so we chose to file form demolition. This seemed like the honest, practical and above all, safest way to pursue the project.

I know one of the City’s concerns regarding demolition is that it may reduce affordable housing. In this situation, it is the only way that my sister and I can afford to stay in the neighborhood we were born in and the city that we love.

San Francisco’s Planning Department supports both the demolition of the current building and construction as proposed.
311 Eureka Rendering
Opposing the project, however, are a couple of neighbors, including architect George Hauser whose stated issues include the potential “demolition of a historically significant building,” a new building inconsistent “with the character of the neighborhood,” and the impact on “a significant tree.”
At the heart of the matter, however, appears to be the impact on the “light, air and privacy” on the portion of Hauser’s home at 313 Eureka which was expanded, and to which lot line windows were added, three years ago.
From Mr. Hauser to the owner of 311 Eureka in 2009:

When I was undertaking the design for my remodel at 313 Eureka Street you made me aware that you were contemplating a replacement building at 311. I attempted to engage you in an effort to concurrently design our respective buildings. In the absence of your own resources to advance your thinking about the design for 311 and based on my extensive experience in residential design, I offered to assist you with schematic designs for 311. I did this because I wanted to be assured that our projects would be compatible to the maximum extent possible, especially with respect to the issues of access to light, air and privacy. You refused my offers and I was forced to proceed without the benefit of understanding your specific intentions.

Out of a deference to certain impacts that a vertical expansion of 313 would have had on surrounding properties, including 311, I made some very modest additions to the sides of my property, even though there is substantial unused zoning volume above my existing building. The 311 additions that were permitted and eventually constructed were unopposed by neighbors. Now, 3 years after my project was noticed and after it is 100% complete and occupied by me and my family, you have prepared plans for 311 that take almost full advantage of the 311 permittable zoning envelope, reflect an intention to invest millions of dollars in construction costs and show absolutely no consideration or sensitivity to the design of 311. In fact, you have designed 311 in such a way as to nullify some of the most important features of 313, especially with respect to access to light, air and privacy. I find this approach extremely insensitive, at the very least. The sums of money involved in the proposed 311 project alone warrant the forethought and collaboration I requested of you 3 years ago.

311-313 Eureka Rear
Tomorrow, it’s up to the Planning Commission to decide with whom they’ll side.
309-311 Eureka Discretionary Review Analysis [sfplanning.org]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Ta hoe

    Here we go again with another obstuctionist DR request. “demolition of a historically significant building,” a new building inconsistent “with the character of the neighborhood,” Classic. “I get my house the way i want it, but you can’t do what you want to yours” I wonder if those lot line windows are deeded?

  2. Posted by walker

    I have no experience in residential design or construction, and am wondering why someone who does have such experience would assume that a neighboring building would not be built up vertically? That is, without knowing any better (which I don’t) I would assume that such expansion could happen, and, to what degree I could, would design accordingly, especially if a neighbor’s architect wasn’t cooperating with me.
    Also, just so I understand the perspective of the post title, for which architect is this a nightmare? (both?)

  3. Posted by huxtable

    this is great – an “important tree” – I love it

  4. Posted by sfrenegade

    That junky building is “historically significant”? Please explain. This is abuse of the DR process, yet again, by a neighbor who got his already.

  5. Posted by noearch

    Yes, I agree: a complete abuse of the DR process.
    This appears to be a case by an architect (no less) who got “his” but he doesn’t want the neighbor to have “theirs”. His addition at 313 certainly appears to be much more than a “modest addition” to his property; seems like he built mostly out to to setback and height and bulk limits.
    Sounds like the Planning Dept. is on the right track with this one, fully approving the new project, as they should. The new design is appropriate, contemporary, residential in scale and articulation and would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
    Time to get rid of the old shack and build new.

  6. Posted by lurker

    Note to self-if neighbor is an architect make sure I hire him/her. Doubt if the tree would be a big deal then.

  7. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Is it abusing the process if the city arms people with these tactics? It’s a shame and all, but hate the game not the player. This will keep happening, again and again, until it doesn’t happen any more. And that’ll only be when the city wakes up. Yes this neighbor architect would have cursed this same guy’s name had he had to go through the same processes. But hey, what a shocker! Many people will prove to be base hypocrites when it comes to their own personal gain. It’s a fact. San Francisco building/planning needs reform, and it needs reform immediately.

  8. Posted by zig

    Agree with anon.ed
    People are very self absorbed and in SF in particular and the process is a reflection of us

  9. Posted by tipster

    Architect:I came to these women years ago, they were uncooperative, so I assumed they would cooperate with me later.
    DSK from the IMF: I came to this women minutes ago, she was uncooperative, so I assumed she would procreate with me later.
    Men. They are all alike.

  10. Posted by Always Anonymous

    Everytime I hear about this guy it’s either through bad design or how much of a jerk he is. The city will certainly not do him any favors, that’s for sure.
    Actually, I’m surprised he could afford the $300 DR filing fee, considering all his failures of late.

  11. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    At least the we don’t have to read complaints that the owner of 313 Eureka St., “doesn’t understand Modernism”.
    But I agree with noearch that the existing two unit bldg. at 309-311 Eureka should be allowed to be demolished.
    Hauser seems to be saying a few different things, but one of them is: “if I’d known you were going to do this, I’d have built my place out to take up more of the allowable envelope”, even though it features lot line windows, as Ta hoe points out. I can’t imagine that this is going to fly with the Planning Commission.

  12. Posted by ever12tz

    Are not lot line windows against code? How did they get built to begin with?

  13. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Is it abusing the process if the city arms people with these tactics?”
    I’m not unsympathetic to that argument, fluj, I just expect better from people. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so idealistic about self-absorbed NIMBY SFers.

  14. Posted by EH

    I love the “architect’s” “hey, I would have been happy to design their house around my plans” attitude.
    tipster: you’re way off.
    anon.ed: a poor craftsman blames his tools. just because there’s a game doesn’t mean you have to be bynum.

  15. Posted by snob city

    This is why we are a national laughingstock.

  16. Posted by noearch

    Yea, I would have to say this: Our current design review process is not completely at fault. It does allow for a “wide audience” using a democratic process to object/review/critique new construction.
    But I would say, this particular neighbor (the architect) is simply using the process in an extremely selfish and mean-spirited way to stop the neighbors plans. He is abusing the process, IMO, and he is not a particularly objective, or open minded citizen.
    As for lot line windows: The are allowed under the building code, with a long, define list of requirements: size, location, materials, etc. But they are possible..with restrictions. Check the code out in detail for more info: sfdbi.gov

  17. Posted by monkey bizz

    Great advertising for the architect’s business, specializing in residential design and all, that he screwed up so badly on his own home.
    He didn’t design his home to “share” light and air – he took it from above the neighboring property. In some circles, taking what does not belong to you is considered stealing.
    Now the sisters can take back what was theirs to begin with.

  18. Posted by Dude

    If you think that the DR process is being abused, you have never lived next to someone who wants to do a major project without any consideration for their neighbors. The two sisters want this for themselves and their families? If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge for sale. How often do we hear that claim, only to see the building sold as soon as complete. Or the equally popular: we need it for our expanding family. And on the market as soon as complete, sometimes before. Dude

  19. Posted by EH

    And if you check the rear shot it’s not like he’s hurting for light. looks like he could grow coconuts in his kitchen.

  20. Posted by EH

    Dude, I don’t want to say too much, but you’re clueless. That is all.

  21. Posted by Tom

    what an arrogant, hypocritical, selfish a** Hauser is (and a crap architect). Dude, your post may prove true in the end, but who cares, the DR process is being abused by an “I got mine, Jack, screw you” pos. Argue to the point instead of pointless speculation.

  22. Posted by georgey porgy

    George hauser is a sleazy slumlord. I wish the sisters the best of luck. Build tall, build proud.

  23. Posted by noearch

    @ Dude: whether the “sisters” want this new project for themselves or for future sale and investment is fairly irrelevant to the approval process.
    Certainly, they must build to the planning and building codes, and the Residential Design Guidelines, but what they do with the house once it is completed is their business, and has nothing to do with the DR process.

  24. Posted by apropos

    As an Architect, Hauser knew that building those property line windows on the side wall of his house would only be approved on the condition that improvements to the adjacent property to a vertical height exceeding those windows would require him to cover those added windows. This is the way it works, and he would have been required to sign legal documents acknowledging such by the building department as part of the approval of his permit. He knew the risk. As an Architect, he should be ashamed at the actions he is now taking.
    To Hauser’s comment of 311 being a potentially historic building, all I can say is, “Seriously?” This guy should have his license revoked.

  25. Posted by young money

    the sisters should have threatened to DR every single project the neighbor ever submmited to planning… that would have kept him quiet

  26. Posted by BobTheBuilder

    @noearch: the current DR process is completely at fault here. A “democratic process” for objecting/reviewing/critiquing is completely inappropriate when it comes to case-by-case land-use decisions. A decision about whether to approve a project like this should be achievable by an administrative official (yes, a paid civil servant) consulting the Code Book and weighing the project against a set of objective criteria.
    A lot of people have, over the years put in a great deal of selfless work in writing the code book that we have and, in general, it is a fair, consistent and balanced set of technical rules. Where it has gone wrong is in the number of politically motivated rules, some added by legislation, some by popular ballot, that muddy the waters and leave deliberate vagueness or ambiguities, giving voice to patently unqualified or biased opinions at public lynchings and that are often seized on by narrow-minded, over-worked commission members in a misguided attempt to calm the mobs.
    Time to return to a code-based planning approval process.

  27. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    BobTheBuilder – That’s a great summary of the problem. If the code were less ambiguous and more objective then DRs would be rare.
    But what I really want to know is whether those are the sisters meeting up at the base of the stairs in the first photo.

  28. Posted by pep

    oh george…it is clear that the main issue is the loss of view, at that section of Eureka you have a great view of the city. Views are not protected so you claim loss of light and privacy.
    Hauser’s rear yard side facing windows are already very public and do not provide privacy for him or the sisters so his privacy claim is specious. The poor sisters are very exposed if they want to hang out in their own back yard but that is the nature of the city.
    As someone had mentioned those property line windows will have to be sealed per a recorded agreement if the neighbor wishes to build up so he has no fight there.
    As for light, it is the nature of the city that natural light typically only comes from the front, rear and lightwells, anything else is a bonus. He knew this and that is why he set back his rear addition from the side.
    As for that tree, I am sure it he is glad it not tall enough to block his view.
    If you have been to any of George’s condo projects you know that he finds ways to manipulate the code in his favor, that is his job and that is why I am not surprised that he is doing this.
    As for the sisters, they should have had the foresight to negotiate with him when he did his remodel.

  29. Posted by Joshua

    Seems the sisters have two political posters in their front windows…did they bet on the right (incumbent) horses?

  30. Posted by justme

    Is it abusing the process if the city arms people with these tactics?

    Yes.
    This episode of Simple Answers To Stupid Questions is brought to you by…

  31. Posted by lolcat_94234

    This stuff is what makes socketsite so interesting. What a crazy town.

  32. Posted by Brian

    The neighbor is totally out of touch with reality if he thinks this dump is historically significant.

  33. Posted by diemos

    ^ He doesn’t, it’s an excuse to protect his views.
    If he thought it would work he would run his hose on his neighbor’s lawn in the hopes of getting it declared a protected “wetland”.

  34. Posted by xx

    Regardless of the specifics of this situation, this kind of stuff happens all the time in other cities (and frequently in suburbs). People who own property protect their assets. Down on the peninsula, neighbors get in squabbles over placement of windows that are 6 feet away from the property line. The richer the suburb, the bigger the stink, the faster the lawyers get involved. The SF process doesn’t seem so out of line in comparison.
    I’m not sure I buy the argument used in this particular case, but I don’t think the neighbor is out of line in requesting a DR.

  35. Posted by lol

    Views are also an issue there, I think. I am sure those windows did “unlock” some sweet city views from North to East. Of course views are less protected than access to light…

  36. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “This episode of Simple Answers To Stupid Questions is brought to you by…”
    So the city makes the tactics easily accessible, but it leaves it up to whether or not individuals are fair minded or not. Yeah, I’m the stupid one. Whatever, guy. Learn to communicate on blogs without being insulting.

  37. Posted by bernalkid

    back when the eucalyptus were being chopped and the little boxes built on the hills, the wag comment was that the developer would build houses on the inside of the street, and sell the houses featuring great views, then build the houses on the outside of the street blocking said views, and sell the new houses featuring great views.

  38. Posted by lol

    People have to understand that higher density comes with compromise. This is not the countryside, not even suburbia. But people expect unrealistic outcomes simply because they shelled $$$ to live there.
    Count me among the ones who believe there will be a resale after the redo. Maybe it was not the original design, but this kind of bitter fight doesn’t bode well for future relationships. Better cash out, pack your bags and enjoy a better life.
    The buyer will start with an (almost) blank slate. After all the situation is not his responsibility. I have moved into a place after there was a bitter fight with the neighbor about an extension. I didn’t get why one neighbor was so distant until I talked to the people next door. The neighbor lost some privacy, this issue had festered for 3 years and the 2 guys tried to up one another on very petty things after that.

  39. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Why is San Francisco a “laughing stock” because of this story and how is this story evidence of an over burdensome government? Aren’t the shrieking libertarian monkeys getting what they want from the City in this case?
    The story is:
    Opposing the project . . . are a couple of neighbors . . . whose stated issues include the potential “demolition of a historically significant building,” a new building inconsistent “with the character of the neighborhood,” and the impact on “a significant tree.”
    San Francisco’s Planning Department supports both the demolition of the current building and construction as proposed.
    This is an example of government working. And what’s the alternative? Maybe we should let howling libertarian monkeys on the internet decide who gets to bring a request in front of the Planning Commission. Or maybe they will let Nevius or Jon Stossel be the gatekeepers.

  40. Posted by instant karma

    Wow — only in SF. I hope the neighbor in the big house loses badly on this, and that the new building blocks as much light and air as possible!!!!!!!! What a jerk. You wonder why they didn’t want to work with him, yes? And, how arrogant to put in property line windows and then whine later when you have to take them out — that is the understanding when you put them in to start with.
    Not only that, I hope the construction of the new house starts at 7am every day for about 3 years and requires lots and lots of jackhammers. 😉
    KARMA

  41. Posted by steve

    Very amusing. I used to live on that block and knew one of the women casually. (Nice person; we took our dogs to the same sites.) The “significant building” is and has been a dump. You’d think the neighbor would be glad to see it replaced. He certainly comes off as an arrogant ass, throwing his weight around, trying to get his neighbors to cede to him their rights to their property so he could capture views. He’s probably so outraged because he took a risk with those precious windows and lost. Poor baby.

  42. Posted by Mole Man

    One remarkable thing about this letter of opposition is the arrogant disrespect for the intentions of the process. Objections are to be addressed to responsible officials and the planning department and should focus on the design. The objection does briefly mention some architectural issues, but is structured as a contest of wills between two residents. As if that weren’t bad enough the focus is kept on the aggrieved party with 9 instances of “I”, 5 of “my”, and 2 of “me” despite the distraction and lack of relevance. If it is that important then get someone with some experience to review arguments before committing to them.
    On the good side this makes these objections relatively easy to reject.

  43. Posted by justme

    Whatever, guy. Learn to communicate on blogs without being insulting.

    Coming from you, that’s pretty funny.
    As to the substance, simply because guns are available to people doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse of the right to shoot somebody.
    DR has a purpose, whether you agree with its existence or not. This guy is abusing the process by using it for personal gain rather than its intended function.
    It sounds like Planning understands this, and is telling him to go pound sand. That such distinctions are lost on you, or that you’d like them to be, speaks volumes.

  44. Posted by LiveNearby

    The joke regarding restrictions on demolitions because they reduce affordable housing is that a full gut remodel does exactly the same thing, it adds significant value to a property, by default reducing the stock of affordable housing.

  45. Posted by plantguy

    Even if the sisters’ intent is to flip the property for the highest dollar possible, they should be allowed to do so. It’s almost a moot point that they want to live in the redesigned property. The design is sound and fits in with the structure of the neighborhood. \”Significant tree” my patootie.
    George Hauser specializes in these Napolean-like dramatics and temper tantrums. Usually, it’s HIM who wants to throw up a poorly designed, questionably built monstrosity.
    Hopefully the DR will allow the sisters to have the home they desire. Best of luck to them and raspberries to Mr. Hauser.

  46. Posted by kthnxybe

    Well, now here’s a case that has me nodding in agreement with noearch’s comments.
    Hopefully the sisters will prevail and enjoy their home for years to come, or sell their flats, make a killing and enjoy sweet revenge from their lovely new suburban homes.

  47. Posted by castrogurl

    It seems like the real reason that George is upset is because he will lose the tenants currently living in the 3rd floor of his building. You know, the tenants who probably rented the place because of the gorgeous view. I innocently clicked on the link to the DR analysis, not realizing it was 193 pages long, but then couldn’t stop reading because it turned out to be better than a soap opera. The tenants’ email to the Planning Dept popped up on p. 119. What’s next? Maybe a sexy Latina housekeeper will appear on page 125? Keep reading to find out…

  48. Posted by noearch

    I think the DR process is essentially working. Yes, there are people who abuse it. This is one strong example.
    The process is code based, perhaps complex, but workable.
    However, the code is in place, and does allow for this new building. It appears the Planning Dept. is ready to approve this and move forward.

  49. Posted by BobN

    I’m trying to reconcile the idea that “the process is working” and a (reported) 193-page analysis.

  50. Posted by Joe

    Are you kidding? In this town you could do a 193 page report on the “important tree” alone!

  51. Posted by around1905

    If the architect neighbor lowers the steeper portion of his gable roof next to the sisters, he can put windows in the new wall he creates as it will be far enough away from the lot line. The windows would look right over the neighbor’s front deck. Of course, he’s left with fewer square feet of house and might have to go through DR himself, but he could keep an eye on the sisters….

  52. Posted by EH

    “As to the substance, simply because guns are available to people doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse of the right to shoot somebody.”
    Exactly.
    You know, I don’t think I’ve seen anybody notice what a complete Frankenstein the George house is, but turning bay windows into boxes is a particular peeve of mine.

  53. Posted by castrogurl

    Now that you mention it, the “important tree” did generate its own trail of paperwork. It is a cypress tree that is being nominated for Landmark status due to its “very special meaning…the ability to grow and thrive in adverse conditions.” I don’t know what Landmark status means, but you can read all about it on page 121 of 193 of the report! So riveting…must buy the Kindle edition…

  54. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “t sounds like Planning understands this, and is telling him to go pound sand. That such distinctions are lost on you, or that you’d like them to be, speaks volumes”
    Yeah right. They understand. Now. And pound sand, is it? Pound sand, after months of delays and a 193 page report later? I think not. I think the taxpayers of SF just spent a bunch of money on a pile of sand. Nothing was lost on me dude. I posed an apropos rhetorical question and you started in with some name calling, unfortunately very much like most people who can’t communicate on the internet without being ubernegative.
    And you know what? Sometimes this process doesn’t work at all. Suppose somebody of a degree of local renown, or particular neighborhood import had occupied the home for a period of time. We’d be talking about a whole ‘nother result right now. Even though the structure is obviously architecturally devoid of value.

  55. Posted by matt

    This is crap, and Hauser should be ashamed of himself. It is good to see that pretty much every poster here agrees, and no need to restate the reasons. Instead, I would suggest telling Hauser directly:
    [Removed by Editor]
    I AM NOT recommending nasty, personal-attack emails. I AM suggesting everyone simply say what they think. For me it is that this is hypocritical to say the least, and that he should be ashamed of himself for his “I got mine, so screw everyone else” actions. As someone involved in architecture, development, and urbanism he should know better. I will certainly never consider him for any work for me.

  56. Posted by noearch

    Two points:
    Just because the report is 193 pages long, does not mean “the process” is NOT working. Thoroughness is not a flaw.
    Bay windows can be defined as angled bays or square bays. Both are nice.

  57. Posted by steve

    I particularly enjoyed Hauser offering to help design his neighbor’s house. And then he was offended that no one took him up on it!

  58. Posted by justme

    I posed an apropos rhetorical question and you started in with some name calling,

    Actually, no. You proposed a rhetorical question as an apologia for abuse of the system, then denigrated the system itself. I then referred to the question, rhetorically, as stupid, as the answer was obvious to anyone who might care to think about it.
    If you are so thin-skinned as to feel that anyone pointing out that not every word you type must be the most brilliant and considered piece of received wisdom in the history of man, it’s hardly my problem. I did not call you any names. If you are interested in a treatise on “ubernegative” internet posts, I suggest you re-read your own history of comments here.
    Back to substance again, I certainly never claimed the process to be perfect, or even well implemented. Hell, I never even said I thought DR was a particularly good idea. The foibles of said process aside, abuse is abuse, and disliking the “game” is no reason to absolve the “player” of any and every wrong.

  59. Posted by noearch

    Well said “justme”. well said.

  60. Posted by justme

    Meh.

    If you are so thin-skinned as to feel that anyone pointing out that not every word you type must be the most brilliant and considered piece of received wisdom in the history of man, it’s hardly my problem.

    Should read,

    If you are so thin-skinned as to feel that anyone pointing out that not every word you type must be the most brilliant and considered piece of received wisdom in the history of man is a direct insult, it’s hardly my problem.

    I blame the Planning Commission.

  61. Posted by justme

    Thanks, noearch.

  62. Posted by BobN

    “Thoroughness is not a flaw.”
    Pointless, unnecessary “thoroughness” is most certainly a flaw. Paperwork for paperwork’s sake costs the home owner and the City a ridiculous amount of money.

  63. Posted by justme

    Of course.
    And the existence of frivolous lawsuits obviously means we must eliminate the entire court system.

  64. Posted by SFHawkguy

    And this would not even be a frivolous court suit if it were a court suit. The neighbors have a colorable claim, although it appears weak. Because their claim is weak and should be denied (and probably will be denied), does not mean they shouldn’t be allowed to bring the claim.
    And for those that think normal processes should not have been followed in this case: what is the cutoff for giving some neighbors a full hearing and some neighbors the door?

  65. Posted by idiot

    i’m actually most stunned about the last statement in the women’s letter – ‘I know one of the City’s concerns regarding demolition is that it may reduce affordable housing. In this situation, it is the only way that my sister and I can afford to stay in the neighborhood we were born in and the city that we love.’
    really, this is the only way you can afford? if you can afford this, you can’t afford something else? if you can afford this, that necessarily makes it affordable housing? if this is affordable housing, at what price point does it become unaffordable housing?
    honestly, as i couldn’t afford this, it sounds like the family with the bentley is upset at the family with the range rover. high comedy!
    as for the neighbor, good luck, sir. i believe that you may need it.

  66. Posted by [anon.ed]

    ” must be the most brilliant ”
    Must be brilliant versus stupid now, is it? My problem. OK.

  67. Posted by A.Neighbor

    Remind me to use Hauser on my next remodel-NOT!
    The DR is today. Go and support the sisters, if at all possible.
    An improvement like they’re planning will only help neighborhood values.

  68. Posted by zig

    “idiot”
    Pretty clear they inherited the home
    what is absurd is they feel that they have to justify their desire to improve their family property to carpetbaggers in our city government.
    What difference does it make?

  69. Posted by Fishchum

    About the same difference as using the term “carpetbaggers” to refer to any “non-native” San Franciscans.
    Because that’s so important, right?

  70. Posted by Zig

    Fishchum
    Is it not relevant in the context of what I am commenting on? Follow along what I am replying to. It does make a difference in what the woman are being forced to express in their “letter”
    I refer to few non native San Franciscans as carpetbaggers if that makes you feel better.

  71. Posted by Fishchum

    No, actually, Zig – I’m not sure how referring to “carpetbaggers” in our city government is relevant.
    I agree they shouldn’t have to justify their desire to improve their home, but does it matter that they appear to be natives and many pols come from outside the Bay Area?
    Maybe I’ve read to many message boards – it always irks me when someone starts off “well, as a native San Franciscan blah, blah blah……” as if that opinion is somehow more relevant than someone who’s lived here half their lifetime.

  72. Posted by steve

    ^Been wondering for years myself why it is that someone by accident of birth has a greater claim to this or that than someone who actually chose to come here.

  73. Posted by Dude

    Few are fans of George Hauser. But the point here is not that the DR process is being abused (sounds like it is), which the Planning Department seems to have recognized, but the sisters’ claim to be building for their expanding families. Let’s at least try to be honest about the reasons for development. Cannot count how many project sponsors made the claim of expanding families, merging families, you name it. If one percent is true, would be surprised. These projects always end up on the market as soon as completed, and sometimes before. The irony is that most would have been approved even without lying about the rational for development. Can we simply get a bit of honesty into the process? Dude (again)

  74. Posted by noearch

    I basically agree. I’m not really sure they were being “dishonest” or simply suggesting some of their future plans, that may or may not happen.
    Nonetheless, whether they build this to live in or sell immediately for profit, that’s really not our concern, or the concern of the Planning Dept.

  75. Posted by EH

    Can we simply get a bit of honesty into the process?
    Yeah, they owe us that much. /homer

  76. Posted by DCR

    I don’t see anything wrong with the sister’s request regardless if the sell the house during, immediately after, or 10 years from now. If you own property that is regulated by planning and zoning rules you have a right to develop that property within those rules.
    There may be concessions along the way to appease neighbors but at the end of the day every owner should have the same right to develop the property as they choose. That’s what the planning codes are there for.

  77. Posted by idiot

    zig,
    no difference at all. just high comedy from someone sitting on the outside.
    i’m a big believer of personal space and get irked when others believe that they have a right to dictate what i may or may not do. as shown in this case, it appears as if the neighbor has done the ‘i got mine, you don’t get yours’ routine which is contradictory, self-righteous and sad.
    unfortunately for these women, this individual will likely still be their neighbor for the foreseeable future (as we’re not suppose to speculate that it may be sold) and there will be tension. it’s never enjoyable to have your home not be your santuary.
    my comment was merely to point out the hyperbole in the letter. it was not to state that they do not have all rights to modify their home as they see fit.

  78. Posted by kic00

    Check the link on my name for some entertaining Yelp reviews of Hauser architects.

  79. Posted by ph

    How could anybody demolish that beautiful facade at 311? Surely it should be preserved for aesthetic reasons. Seriously, you guys are too hard on Hauser. Despite some design accomodations from 309-311, the new design still very much devalues 313. If I owned 313, I’d be pissed too. I’m new to this DR thing but it is fascinating. How much money is wasted…I mean spent on something like this?

  80. Posted by Dubocian

    So did anybody go to the hearing? What was the result?

  81. Posted by LD

    The elephant in the room– both Hauser’s project and the Sister’s project stink. Cheap looking, slap-in-the-face design and complete disregard for context. Shameful! And equally as shameful, architects on this site trolling for work. Bleh!

  82. Posted by Skirunman

    Continuance 6-1 with direction from Commission to Planning Staff to work with owners and DR applicants to reduce height and massing to better fit in to neighborhood context.

  83. Posted by katdip

    this is why people hate DR. The women already worked closely with Planning Dept staff to reduce massing and height. Now they are being forced to work with the “i’ve got mine” neighbor who took the risk to build lot-line windows and decks. The minutes aren’t up yet – how much guidance did our esteemed public servants give to the staff and the applicant? What if they can’t come to agreement? What is the “right” amount of massing? Feh….

  84. Posted by sflogistics

    Both of these parties are terrible…why not have cooperated and found a design that works for both properties…it could have turned out so much more beautifully and offered more harmony to the neighborhood. When that was no longer feasible, the architect indeed took a risk. While I appreciate novel design…the city really shouldn’t perpetuate this haphazard amalgamation of homes that I see. Nevertheless, anything is better than what the current facade is. I have found my favorite blocks typically all worked with the same architect who brought out the best of each property – it appears to be a successful strategy thus far. I am curious what Hauser proposed to these sisters three years ago.

  85. Posted by jules

    hauser, its pretty transparent that you are arguing for your lot line windows which you are not allowed … I understand you tried to come to an agreement about a mutal design years ago, but not everyone has this foresight, and you should have built your home design around a worse case scenario. hauser, you should be ashamed of yourself. This is an abuse, an abuse as an architect I have to deal with time and time again in the form of frivolous DR’s. You are a disgrace to the profession, and an impediment to my enjoyment of it.

  86. Posted by kdog

    hilarious reading. The wetlands comment had me rolling. Huge coup today for the sisters who, btw will REALLY be living in the home, (grew up in that house!) They have given every consideration to Hauser during this process. From the moment he remodeled and put those windows an inch from the fenceline, WITHOUT permit, mind you, they mentioned the future remodel. He chose to ignore them. The planning commission saw right thru the abuse and voted in favor of the remodel…YAY!! justice prevails. The family, who are about the most considerate people you’ve ever met, have been through hell dealing with this and deserve the win!

  87. Posted by noe cat

    demolition has started on the sisters’ house. it appears to be fully gutted on the inside.

  88. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Glad to see the right thing happened here. The City should institute some sort of policy so that people who file nuisance DRs have to pay for the process.

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