§ 309.

PERMIT REVIEW IN C-3 DISTRICTS

The provisions and procedures set forth in this Section shall govern the review of project authorization and building and site permit applications for (1) the construction or substantial alteration of structures in C-3 Districts, (2) the granting of exceptions to certain requirements of this Code where the provisions of this Section are invoked, and (3) the approval of open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code. When any action authorized by this Section is taken, any determination with respect to the proposed project required or authorized pursuant to CEQA may also be considered. This Section shall not require additional review in connection with a site or building permit application if review hereunder was completed with respect to the same proposed structure or alteration in connection with a project authorization application pursuant to Section 322.

a.

Exceptions. Exceptions to the following provisions of this Code may be granted as provided in the code sections referred to below:

1.

Exceptions to the setback, streetwall, tower separation, and rear yard requirements as permitted in Sections 132.1 and 134(d);

2.

Exceptions to the ground-level wind current requirements as permitted in Section 148;

3.

Exceptions to the sunlight to public sidewalk requirement as permitted in Section 146;

4.

Exceptions to the limitation on residential accessory parking as permitted in Section 151.1(e);

5.

Exceptions to the limitation on curb cuts for parking access as permitted in Section 155(r);

6.

Exceptions to the limitations on above-grade residential accessory parking as permitted in Section 155(s);

7.

Exceptions to the freight loading and service vehicle space requirements as permitted in Section 161(i);

8.

Exceptions to the off-street tour bus loading space requirements as permitted in Section 162;

9.

Exceptions to the use requirements in the C-3-O(SD) Commercial Special Use Subdistrict in Section 248;

10.

Exceptions to the height limits for buildings taller than 550 feet in height in the S-2 Bulk District for allowance of non-occupied architectural, screening, and rooftop elements that meet the criteria of Section 260(b)(1)(M);

11.

Exceptions to the height limits for vertical extensions as permitted in Section 260(b)(1)(G) and for upper tower extensions as permitted in Section 263.7;

12.

Exceptions to the height limits in the 80-130F and 80-130X Height and Bulk Districts as permitted in Section 263.6 and in the 200-400S Height and Bulk District as permitted in Section 263.8;

13.

Exceptions to the bulk requirements as permitted in Sections 270 and 272.

b.

Design Review. In addition to the requirements set forth in this Code, additional design requirements and limitations (hereafter referred to as modifications) may be imposed on the following aspects of a proposed project, through the imposition of conditions, in order to achieve the objectives and policies of the General Plan or the purposes of this Code:

1.

Building siting, orientation, massing and facade treatment, including proportion, scale, setbacks, materials, cornice, parapet and fenestration treatment, and design of building tops;

2.

Aspects of the project affecting views and view corridors, shadowing of sidewalks and open spaces, openness of the street to the sky, ground-level wind current, and maintenance of predominant streetwalls in the immediate vicinity;

3.

Aspects of the project affecting parking, traffic circulation and transit operation and loading points;

4.

Aspects of the project affecting its energy consumption;

5.

Aspects of the project related to pedestrian activity, such as placement of entrances, street scale, visual richness, location of retail uses, and pedestrian circulation, and location and design of open space features;

6.

Aspects of the project affecting public spaces adjacent to the project, such as the location and type of street trees and landscaping, sidewalk paving material, and the design and location of street furniture as required by Section 138.1;

7.

Aspects of the project relating to quality of the living environment of residential units, including housing unit size and the provisions of open space for residents;

8.

Aspects of the design of the project which have significant adverse environmental consequences;

9.

Aspects of the project that affect its compliance with the provisions of Sections 1109(c), 1111.2(c), 1111.6(c), and 1113 regarding new construction and alterations in conservation districts;

10.

Other aspects of the project for which modifications are justified because of its unique or unusual location, environment, topography or other circumstances.

c.

Application Process for 309 Review. Review subject to this Section will be triggered by submittal of a Section 309 Application or submittal of a building or site permit.

d.

Notice of Proposed Approval. If, after a review of the Application or building or site permit, and (1) the Zoning Administrator determines that an application complies with the provisions of this Code and that no exception is sought as provided in Subsection (a), and (2) the Director of Planning determines that no additional modifications are warranted as provided in Subsection (b), and (3) the project meets the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code or (4) the project sponsor agrees to the modifications as requested by the Director, the Zoning Administrator shall provide notice of the proposed approval of the application by mail to all owners of the property immediately adjacent to the property that is subject of the Application no less than 10 days before final approval, and, in addition, to any person who has requested such notice in writing. If no request for Planning Commission review pursuant to Subsection (g) is made within 10 days of such notice, the Zoning Administrator shall approve the application.

e.

Hearing and Determination of Applications for Exceptions.

1.

Hearing. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on an application for an exception as provided in Subsection (a).

2.

Notice of Hearing. Notice of such hearing shall be mailed not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to the project applicant, to property owners within 300 feet of the project that is the subject of the application, using for this purpose the names and addresses as shown on the citywide Assessment Roll in the Assessor’s Office, and to any person who has requested such notice. The notice shall state that the written recommendation of the Director of Planning regarding the request for an exception will be available for public review at the office of the Planning Department.

3.

Decision and Appeal. The Planning Commission may, after public hearing and after making appropriate findings, approve, disapprove or approve subject to conditions, the application for an exception. The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the Board of Appeals by any person aggrieved within 15 days after the date of the decision by filing a written notice of appeal with that Body, setting forth wherein it is alleged that there was an error in the interpretation of the provisions of this Code or abuse of discretion on the part of the Planning Commission.

4.

Decision on Appeal. Upon the hearing of an appeal, the Board of Appeals may, subject to the same limitations as are placed on the Planning Commission by Charter or by this Code, approve, disapprove or modify the decision appealed from. If the determination of the Board differs from that of the Commission it shall, in a written decision, specify the error in interpretation or abuse of discretion on the part of the Commission and shall specify in the findings, as part of the written decision, the facts relied upon in arriving at its determination.

f.

Administrative Approval of Design Review.

1.

Recommendations. If the Director of Planning determines that modifications through the imposition of conditions are warranted as provided in Subsection (b), or that the open space requirements or the streetscape requirements of the Planning Code have not been complied with, the matter shall be scheduled for hearing before the Planning Commission. If the Director determines that the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code have been complied with and the applicant does not oppose the imposition of conditions which the Director has determined are warranted, the applicant may waive the right to a hearing before the Planning Commission in writing and agree to the conditions. The Zoning Administrator shall provide notice of the proposed approval of the application according to the notice given for applications governed by Subsection (d), so that any person seeking additional modifications or objecting to the open space or streetscape requirements determination may make such a request for Planning Commission review as provided in Subsection (g). If no request is made within 10 days of such notice, the Zoning Administrator shall approve the application subject to the conditions.

2.

Notice. If the proposed application will be heard by the Planning Commission, notice of such hearing shall be mailed not less than 10 days prior to the hearing to the project applicant, to property owners immediately adjacent to the site of the application using for this purpose the names and addresses as shown on the citywide Assessment Roll in the Assessor’s Office, and to any person who has requested such notice. The notice shall state that the Director’s written recommendation will be available for public review at the Planning Department.

3.

Commission Action. The Planning Commission may, after public hearing and after making appropriate findings, approve, disapprove or approve subject to conditions applications considered pursuant to Subsection (b) or for compliance with the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code.

g.

Planning Commission Review Upon Request.

1.

Requests. Within 10 days after notice of the proposed approval has been given, as provided in Subsection (d), any person may request in writing that the Planning Commission impose additional modifications on the project as provided in Subsection (b) or consider the application for compliance with the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code. The written request shall state why additional modifications should be imposed notwithstanding its compliance with the requirements of this Code and shall identify the policies or objectives that would be promoted by the imposition of conditions, or shall state why the open space and streetscape requirements have not been complied with.

2.

Commission Consideration. The Planning Commission shall consider at a public hearing each written request for additional modifications and for consideration of the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code compliance and may, by majority vote, direct that a hearing be conducted to consider such modifications or compliance, which hearing may be conducted at the same meeting that the written request is considered and decided. Notice of such hearing shall be mailed to the project applicant, to property owners immediately adjacent to the site of the application using for this purpose the names and addresses as shown on the Citywide Assessment Roll in the Assessor’s Office, to any person who has requested such notice, and to any person who has submitted a request for additional requirements. In determining whether to conduct such a hearing, the Planning Commission shall determine whether, based upon a review of the project, reasonable grounds exist justifying a public hearing in order to consider the proposed additional modifications and the open space and streetscape requirements of the Planning Code compliance.

3.

Commission Action. If the Planning Commission determines to conduct a hearing to consider the imposition of additional modifications or the open space and streetscape requirements compliance, it may, after such hearing and after making appropriate findings, approve, disapprove, or approve subject to conditions the building or site permit or project authorization application. If the Planning Commission determines not to conduct a hearing, the Zoning Administrator shall approve the application subject to any conditions imposed by the Director of Planning to which the applicant has consented.

h.

Mandatory Planning Commission Hearing for Projects Over 50,000 Square Feet of Gross Floor Area or Over 75 Feet in Height. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing not otherwise required by this Section on all building and site permit and Section 309 applications for projects which will result in a net addition of more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area of space or which will result in a building that is greater than 75 feet in height. Notice of such hearing shall be mailed not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to the project applicant, to property owners immediately adjacent to the site of the application using for this purpose the names and addresses as shown on the citywide Assessment Roll in the Assessor’s Office, and to any person who has requested such notice.

i.

Imposition of Conditions, General. If, pursuant to the provisions of this Section, the Planning Commission determines that conditions should be imposed on the approval of a building or site permit application, or Section 309 application and the applicant agrees to comply, the Planning Commission may approve the application subject to those conditions, and if the applicant refuses to so agree, the Planning Commission may disapprove the application.

j.

Change of Conditions. Authorization of a change in any condition previously imposed pursuant to this Section shall require an application for a change in conditions, which application shall be subject to the procedures set forth in this Section.

k.

An approval action in accordance with this Section shall constitute the City’s decision to approve the project for purposes of Administrative Code Chapter 31.

AMENDMENT HISTORY

History

(Added by Ord. 414-85, App. 9/17/85; amended by Ord. 79-87, App. 3/20/87; Ord. 255-88, App. 6/22/88; Ord. 314-95, App. 10/6/95; Ord. 129-06, File No, 060372, App. 6/22/2006; Ord. 140-11, File No. 110482, App. 7/5/2011, Eff. 8/4/2011; Ord. 182-12 , File No. 120665, App. 8/8/2012, Eff. 9/7/2012; Ord. 56-13 , File No. 130062, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013)

Undesignated introductory material and divisions (a) through (i) amended; Ord. 140-11, Eff. 8/4/2011. Division (a)(1) amended; new divisions (a)(9) and (a)(10) added and former divisions (a)(9) through (a)(11) redesignated as (a)(11) through (a)(13); division (k) added; Ord. 182-12 , Eff. 9/7/2012. Divisions (a)(7) and (b) amended; Ord. 56-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013.

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