San Francisco’s Planning Department has just completed its preliminary review of the bold plans for an all-new United Irish Cultural Center to rise up to 96 feet in height on the site of the existing 35-foot-tall Center in the Outer Sunset and has raised a couple of concerns and/or considerations.
While Planning supports the aesthetics of the proposed approach of the project, it’s concerned about how the building would weather “the harsh shoreline / ocean conditions,” not to mention the “challenges of subsequent value engineering” once the project was approved.
The bulk of the proposed building has raised a couple of flags as well, not only in terms of its proposed dimensions above 40 feet in height, which is limited by Code, but the lack of a required 25 percent rear yard setback above the building’s second floor, for which a Variance could be sought but would likely be fought by the adjacent residences along Wawona, and a proposed Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 6.72 versus a limit of 2.5 as zoned.
And while the center could include a restaurant, “as a minor and incidental use,” restaurants are not permitted above the second floor of the site, which doesn’t bode well for the sixth-floor restaurant and cocktail lounge atop the center as rendered.
As expected, the proposed building’s façade has already been re-engineered a bit, as newly rendered by Studio BANAA below.
The project’s mass (Floor Area Ratio), substandard rear setback and sixth-floor restaurant and cocktail lounge remain as preliminarily proposed, however. And the formal application to entitle the development has just been submitted to Planning, with the approval of a site-specific “Special Use District “(SUD) and Zoning Map amendment to allow for the building as proposed being sought.
We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.