Civic Design Review Committee - August 21, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
August 21, 2017 - 2:00pm
401 Van Ness, Suite 125
san francisco, CA 94102


Monday, August 21, 2017
2:00 p.m.
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125



Committee Chair Kimberlee Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Kimberlee Stryker, Chair
    Dorka Keehn
    Lydia So
    Paul Woolford

    Commissioners Absent
    Abby Sadin Schnair

    Staff Present
    Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs
    Rebekah Krell. Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs
    Jill Manton, Director of Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
    Kate Faust, Capital Analyst
    Aleta Lee, Program Associate, Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
  2. Public Comment
    Tom DeCaigny acknowledged the public in attendance to make public comment on the Pioneer Monument. He explained that under the Brown Act the Committee would not be able to comment; however, the topic would be listed as an agenda item for the next Full Commission meeting on Monday, October 2nd for discussion. The October Full Commission meeting will be held at City Hall in room 416 at 2:00 PM.

    Members of the public, including Julie Roberts-Phung, Jennifer Cleary, Patrick Flanagan, Iesha Killip, Alexander Cotton,and Tiny, spoke out against Pioneer Monument and asked for its removal as they believed it was not a true representation of San Francisco.

    Dianne Eyer, made public comment the Consent Calendar item of the SFMTA Operator Restroom – Van Ness and Northpoint Project, expressing concern over the location of the facility. She requested that the restroom not to be placed on the median for the safety of the residents.
  3. Consent Calendar
    A. Motion to approve Phase #1, #2, and #3 of the Ringold Alley Project.
    B. Motion to approve Phase #2 and #3 of the SFMTA Operator Restroom – Van Ness and Northpoint Project.

    Commissioner Paul Woolford arrived at 2:06pm. Commissioner Stryker removed item B from the Consent Calendar to be heard later in the meeting.
  4. Rec & Park Playground Design Principles
    Dawn Kamalanathan, Presenter, Recreation & Park Department

    Ms. Kamalanathan began the presentation by describing the current playground trends which include nature, risk, and play environments. She shared findings that parents want playgrounds that incorporate more interaction with nature, the promotion of the feeling of risk and reward, and bringing play environments to different parts of parks spaces. She shared that Rec & Park is focused on using the playground to amplify neighborhood identity. She spoke of resilience and durability as additional important elements in the design process. This also includes the durability and maintenance of the park space landscape. Universal access and making the playground accessible to everyone was also an important factor to highlight. Presenting a map of San Francisco, Dawn pinpointed the next parks to be renovated through funding from the 2012 Bond and SF Parks Alliance which total $25 million dollars. Lastly, she shared that the cornerstone of their design philosophy was being responsive to community desires. They hope to engage in a fluid conversation in a community designed process, along with acting as a resource to the community while balancing customization and maintenance. They hoped that SF residents could feel ownership for their neighborhood playgrounds as if it were their own backyard, especially since many residents do not have one of their own.

    The Committee was curious to know how architecture firms were being chosen to be involved in certain playground projects, along with project timelines in regards to the Civic Design Review process. Dawn answered that the architecture firms were usually selected by donors who were funding the project. As for timeline, projects are matched up closely to the typical three phase construction review.

    Tom commented on discussing how to better streamline design review between departments so comments do not contradict each other, knowing that time is a challenge and projects have particular timelines to keep. He suggested having informal review process for both agencies to work out conflicting points and stressed the importance of engaging both agencies together in a design-centric space.

    There was no further public comment.
  5. Better Market Street Project: Conceptual Review
    Ophelia Lau, Project Designer, Public Works
    Simon Bertrang, Project Manager, Public Works
    John Dennis, Landscape Architect, Public Works

    The design team presented updates to the design of the project, sharing their studies of a previous design model that they found did not work. Called the Cycletrack pilot project, they tested a raised bike track on a few streets on Market, but received feedback that it was not efficient.

    As guiding principles they wanted the Better Market Street project to prioritize pedestrians and to make cyclists a part of public life. In order to improve the current conditions of Market Street, the design team studied various elements and sections of the sidewalk, including curbside transit stops, central transit stops, loading/ flexes zones, Bart portals, and streetlife opportunities. In the new design the team proposed having a different design for each of the six districts along Market Street and a bike lane on the widened sidewalk. There would be a division between the bike lane and pedestrians that would be dense enough for safety but porous enough that pedestrians would not feel walled in. Loading/ flex zones would operate on peak and non-peak hours, with streets having bays where loading vehicles could park  without blocking bikers or traffic. Also designated for the sidewalk would be a section 10’ x 20’ between pedestrians and the bike lane that would serve as a space for varying streetlife activities, such as vendors, bike racks, and street furniture. Finally, the team provided illustrations and renderings of existing conditions and their proposed design.

    The Committee thought the project was a bold and grand vision for Market Street. They inquired about the pedestrian safety and mortality rates of each intersection, along with the health of the trees along the street. The team answered that they found a pattern pf collisions occurring from straight traffic rather than turning traffic, and therefore are restricting private vehicles in the proposal to reduce the amount of vehicles on market street. As for the trees, 40% are said to be unhealthy and the team plans give a larger soil footprint for trees in the streets. The Committee suggested that Commissioner Stryker be involved with the paving selection process, as the detail of paving would be an important factor. Lastly, the Committee asked that the team look at all projects involved with Market Street holistically for consistency.

    There was no further public comment.
  6. JC Decaux Public Restrooms and Kiosks Project: Phase #1
    Francois Nion, Project Designer, JC Decaux
    Simon Bertrang, Project Manager, Public Works

    The design team presented the updated designs to the public bathroom and kiosks which are more modern and a unique deisgn specific to San Francisco. For the bathrooms they showcased a single stall (6’ x 12’) and double stall (6’ x 16’) design. The restrooms details include a stainless steel pattern doorway, molding along edges and top, and frosted glazing panels with frosted glass. The side panels would have interactive digital screen and a place for graphics. The kiosks would remain three sided and would be approximately 15 feet high and 5.5 feet in diameter. The kiosk design showcased an extended roof for small cells integration and a LED zipper on the corner and length of the kiosk. The team provided renderings of both day time and night time views. Material samples were provided for reference.

    The Committee suggested that the team remove the LED vertical strip on the kiosks, as the kiosks would already produce a glow and to make the design more reductive. They asked the team to refine the design of the kiosk, as it still felt unresolved at the top of the structure. It was agreed that the project would be able to come for Phase 2 and 3 approval in their following review. The team was asked to bring actual material samples to that presentation.

    There was no further public comment.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the JC Decaux Public Restrooms and Kiosks Project.
  7. Central Bayside Station Project: Conceptual Review
    Eugene Ling, Project Designer, Public Works
    Manfred Wong, Project Manager, SFPUC
    Edmund Shum, Architect, Public Works
    Koa Pickering, Landscape Architect, SFPUC

    The design team presented the project context, location, site context, street views, and proposed program diagram of the structure. The indicated the site and landscape objectives include streetscape improvement, seal level rise resiliency, security, stormwater mitigation, and native planting. The team presented the site plan, circulation of the building, precedent images for fencing, and 3D diagrams of the structure. Finally, they presented two design options with elevations. Option 1 incorporated different design element details from the Southeast plant, and Option 2 used channel glass on the façade instead.

    The Committee applauded the team for a job well done, considering the project was only coming for the Conceptual phase review. The Committee appreciated the pure form of the structure, but they felt the team was trying too hard with superfluous décor. They commented that the design looked driven by symmetry rather than necessity, such as having two lobby doors instead of one. The Committee shared that they liked Option 2 for the simplicity of its elements and that the team should continue refining the design.

    There was no further public comment.
  8. Southeast Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities – Maintenance Shops Project: Phase #1
    Rosanna Tse, Project Designer, SFPUC
    Carolyn Chiu, Project Manager, SFPUC
    Frederic Simmons, Architect, Public Works
    Nicholas Ancel, Landscape Architect, Public Works

    The design team presented updates to the design of the buildings, showcasing the street side and campus side elevations of the structures. Wanting to create a warmer and friendlier plant for  the neighborhood, they incorporated more terra cotta on the facades, while taking design elements of the campus, such as the zinc and channel glass to indicate the stairways. The team showed precedent images of the terra cotta fencing over fenestrations and the linear patterns integrated into the design. For the landscape, the team presented a concept plan for Jerrold Avenue, a site section, a material and planting palette, and suggested gateway markers. Lastly, the team presented updates on the campus fencing and pedestrian portals.

    The Committee asked why Public Works had taken over the architectural planning of these structures, when MWA Architects were the main designers of the campus. They felt that the buildings were taking parts of the campus and just piecing them together, suggesting more material manipulation than understanding the programming of the building and showcasing it in the design. The Committee felt that these designs were not holistic or coherent to the rest of the architecture of the campus. The Committee requested that the design of the façadebe more responsive to the building’s programs.  However, the Committee felt the landscape was done well and approved the landscape part of the project. There was no motion.

    There was no further public comment.
  9. Castro Mission Health Center Renovations Project: Phase #1
    Ruairi O’Connell, Project Designer, MEI Architects
    Steven Juergens, Project Manager, MEI Architects
    Mei Mei Chan, Architect, MEI Architects
    Jessica Perez, Landscape Architect, Public Works

    The design team presented updates to the design, showcasing their preferred option to the color zoning and striping pattern studies. In their preferred option they chose a dark grey for the middle strip of concrete to the façade of the building, along with vertical striping for the concrete wall. The team provided an existing landscape plan, sharing that they would remove five eucalyptus trees, along with presenting a new proposed landscape plan. New elevations of the building were presented with the new landscape. A planting palette was presented, along with renderings of the new plaza with proposed improvements.

    The Committee commented that the updates to the building looked cohesive and well integrated. They suggested refining the planting palette and simplifying the pattern of the pavers in the plaza. They thought it was a terrific idea that pavers of the plaza went out to the exterior parking stalls, and appreciated the thought into pulling the textures of the landscape out to the neighborhood.

    There was no further public comment.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the Castro Mission Health Center Renovations Project contingent upon 1) simplifying the planting, 2) refining and editing the paving, and 3) making the two planters in the plaza of the same material.
  10. SFMTA Operator Restroom at Van Ness and Northpoint
    B. Motion to approve Phases 1,2 and 3 of the SFMTA Operator Restroom at Van Ness and Northpoint.
  11. Visual Arts Committee Update
    Commissioner Dorka Keehn updated the Committee on the artist selected for the Airport Hotel AirTrain Station. Artist, Sarah Cain was selected and will be producing a public art piece for the glass wall of the Airtrain Concourse of the Airport Hotel station. For the San Francisco International Airport: International Terminal, Boarding Area A, Alicia McCarthy was selected to create an artwork that would attach to the glass window. Lastly, Commissioner Keehn reported that artist, Favianna Rodriguez was selected for the Garfield Pool Public Art Project.
  12. Staff Report
    Jill Manton updated the Committee that the Guy Mini Place Park project was brought to the Board of Appeals by community members who are appealing the Public Works permit to move forward with the approved design. She mentioned that their ruling was contradictory to what was approved by Civic Design. She is working with the City Attorney to look into this apparent issue of conflicting authorities and will keep the Committee updated on these matters.
  13. New Business and Announcements
    There was no new business or announcements.
  14. Adjournment 
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:34 p.m.
    posted  9/1/17, 5:30 p.m., akl
    updated 9/5/17 5:30 p.m., akl
    approved 10/2/17


Language Accessibility

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2226,

我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料和口譯服務。如需協助,Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2226,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2226,

Ang mga materyales na nakasalin sa ibang wika at ang mga serbisyong tagapagsalin sa wika ay walang bayad. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Director of Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Manager Jill Manton, 415-252-2226,