Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to establish procedures for reviewing building permit applications for lots in R Districts in order to determine compatibility of the proposal with the neighborhood and for providing notice to property owners and residents neighboring the site of the proposed project and to interested neighborhood organizations, so that concerns about a project may be identified and resolved during the review of the permit.
Applicability. Except as indicated herein, all building permit applications for demolition and/or new construction, and/or alteration of residential buildings in RH, RM, and RTO Districts shall be subject to the notification and review procedures required by this Section. Subsection 311(e) regarding demolition permits and approval of replacement structures shall apply to all R Districts.
For the purposes of this Section, an alteration in RH and RM Districts shall be defined as any change in use or change in the number of dwelling units of a residential building, removal of more than 75 percent of a residential building’s existing interior wall framing or the removal of more than 75 percent of the area of the existing framing, or an increase to the exterior dimensions of a residential building except those features listed in Section 136(c)(1) through 136(c)(24) and 136(c)(26).
For the purposes of this Section, an alteration in RTO Districts shall be defined as a change of use described in Section 312(c) or a change in the number of dwelling units of a building, removal of more than 75 percent of a building’s existing interior wall framing or the removal of more than 75 percent of the area of the existing framing, or an increase to the exterior dimensions of a building except those features listed in Section 136(c)(1) through 136(c)(24) and 136(c)(26).
Building Permit Application Review for Compliance and Notification. Upon acceptance of any application subject to this Section, the Planning Department shall review the proposed project for compliance with the Planning Code and any applicable design guidelines approved by the Planning Commission. Applications determined not to be in compliance with the standards of Articles 1.2, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 of the Planning Code, Residential Design Guidelines, including design guidelines for specific areas adopted by the Planning Commission, or with any applicable conditions of previous approvals regarding the project, shall be held until either the application is determined to be in compliance, is disapproved or a recommendation for cancellation is sent to the Department of Building Inspection.
Residential Design Guidelines. The construction of new residential buildings and alteration of existing residential buildings in R Districts shall be consistent with the design policies and guidelines of the General Plan and with the “Residential Design Guidelines” as adopted and periodically amended for specific areas or conditions by the Planning Commission. The design for new buildings with residential uses in RTO Districts shall also be consistent with the design standards and guidelines of the “Ground Floor Residential Units Design Guidelines” as adopted and periodically amended by the Planning Commission. The Planning Director may require modifications to the exterior of a proposed new residential building or proposed alteration of an existing residential building in order to bring it into conformity with the “Residential Design Guidelines” and with the General Plan. These modifications may include, but are not limited to, changes in siting, building envelope, scale texture and detailing, openings, and landscaping.
Notification. Upon determination that an application is in compliance with the development standards of the Planning Code, the Planning Department shall cause a notice to be posted on the site pursuant to rules established by the Zoning Administrator and shall cause a written notice describing the proposed project to be sent in the manner described below. This notice shall be in addition to any notices required by the Building Code and shall have a format and content determined by the Zoning Administrator. It shall include a description of the proposal compared to any existing improvements on the site with dimensions of the basic features, elevations and site plan of the proposed project including the position of any adjacent buildings, exterior dimensions and finishes, and a graphic reference scale. The notice shall describe the project review process and shall set forth the mailing date of the notice and the expiration date of the notification period.
Written notice shall be mailed to the notification group which shall include the project sponsor, tenants of the subject property, relevant neighborhood organizations as described in Subparagraph 311(c)(2)(C) below, all individuals having made a written request for notification for a specific parcel or parcels pursuant to Planning Code Section 351 and all owners and, to the extent practical, occupants, of properties in the notification area.
The notification area shall be all properties within 150 feet of the subject lot in the same Assessor’s Block and on the block face across from the subject lot. When the subject lot is a corner lot, the notification area shall further include all property on both block faces across from the subject lot, and the corner property diagonally across the street.
The latest City-wide Assessor’s roll for names and addresses of owners shall be used for said notice.
The Planning Department shall maintain a list, available for public review, of neighborhood organizations which have indicated an interest in specific properties or areas. The organizations having indicated an interest in the subject lot or its area shall be included in the notification group for the proposed project.
Notification Period. All building permit applications shall be held for a period of 30 calendar days from the date of the mailed notice to allow review by residents and owners of neighboring properties and by neighborhood groups.
Elimination of Duplicate Notice. The notice provisions of this Section may be waived by the Zoning Administrator for building permit applications for projects that have been, or before approval will be, the subject of a duly noticed public hearing before the Planning Commission or Zoning Administrator, provided that the nature of work for which the building permit application is required is both substantially included in the hearing notice and is the subject of the hearing.
Notification Package. The notification package for a project subject to notice under this Section 311 shall include a written notice and reduced-size drawings of the project.
The written notice shall compare the proposed project to the existing conditions at the development lot. Change to basic features of the project that are quantifiable shall be disclosed on the written notice. The basic features of existing and proposed conditions shall include, where applicable, front setback, building depth, rear yard depth side setbacks, building height, number of stories, dwelling unit count and use of the building.
The written notice shall describe whether the project is a demolition, new construction or alteration project. If the project is an alteration, the type of alteration shall be described: horizontal, vertical or both horizontal and vertical additions and where the alteration is located.
Written project description shall be part of the notice. In addition, the notice shall describe the project review process, information on how to obtain additional information and the contact information of the Planning Department.
The building permit application number(s) shall be disclosed in the written notice. The start and expiration dates of the notice shall be stated. A description about the recipient’s rights to request additional information, to request Discretionary Review by the Planning Commission and to appeal to other boards or commissions shall be provided.
11×17 sized or equivalent drawings to scale shall be included with the Section 311 written notice. The drawings shall illustrate the existing and proposed conditions in relationship to the adjacent properties. All dimensions and text throughout the drawings shall be legible. The drawings shall include a site plan, floor plans and elevations documenting dimensional changes that correspond to the basic features included in the written notice.
The existing and proposed site plan shall illustrate the project including the full lots and structures of the directly adjacent properties.
The existing and proposed floor plans shall illustrate the location and removal of interior and exterior walls. The use of each room shall be labeled. Significant dimensions shall be provided to document the change proposed by the project.
The existing and proposed elevations shall document the change in building volume: height and depth. Dimensional changes shall be documented, including overall building height and also parapets, penthouses and other proposed vertical and horizontal building extensions. The front and rear elevations shall include the full profiles of the adjacent structures including the adjacent structures’ doors, windows and general massing. Each side elevation shall include the full profile of the adjacent building in the foreground of the project, and the adjacent windows, lightwells and general massing shall be illustrated.
Requests for Planning Commission Review. A request for the Planning Commission to exercise its discretionary review powers over a specific building permit application shall be considered by the Planning Commission if received by the Planning Department no later than 5:00 p.m. of the last day of the notification period as described under Subsection (c)(3) above, subject to guidelines adopted by the Planning Commission. The project sponsor of a building permit application may request discretionary review by the Planning Commission to resolve conflicts between the Director of Planning and the project sponsor concerning requested modifications to comply with the Residential Design Guidelines.
Scheduling of Hearing. The Zoning Administrator shall set a time for hearing requests for discretionary review by the Planning Commission within a reasonable period.
Notice. Mailed notice of the discretionary review hearing by the Planning Commission shall be given not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to the notification group as described in Paragraph 311(c)(2) above. Posted notice of the hearing shall be made as provided under Planning Code Section 306.8.
Demolition of Dwellings, Approval of Replacement Structure Required. Unless the building is determined to pose a serious and imminent hazard as defined in the Building Code an application authorizing demolition in any R District of an historic or architecturally important building or of a dwelling shall not be approved and issued until the City has granted final approval of a building permit for construction of the replacement building. A building permit is finally approved if the Board of Appeals has taken final action for approval on an appeal of the issuance or denial of the permit or if the permit has been issued and the time for filing an appeal with the Board has lapsed with no appeal filed.
The demolition of any building whether or not historically and architecturally important may be approved administratively where the Director of the Department of Building Inspection or the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety determines, after consultation with the Zoning Administrator, that an imminent safety hazard exists, and the Director of the Department of Building Inspection determines that demolition or extensive alteration of the structure is the only feasible means to secure the public safety.
Wireless Telecommunications Services Facility as Accessory Use, Notification and Review Required. Building permit applications for new construction of a wireless telecommunications services facility as an accessory use under Article 2 of the Planning Code in RH and RM Districts shall be subject to the notification and review procedures required by this Section.
(Added by Ord. 46-96, App. 2/2/96; amended by Ord. 279-00, File No. 001423, App. 12/15/2000; Ord. 234-05, File No. 050456, App. 9/30/2005; Ord. 215-07, File No. 070213, App. 9/21/2007; Ord. 72-08, File No. 071157, App. 4/3/2008; Ord. 298-08, File No. 081153, App. 12/19/2008; Ord. 140-11, File No. 110482, App. 7/5/2011, Eff. 8/4/2011)
Divisions (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(5) amended; Ord. 140-11, Eff. 8/4/2011.