Civic Design Review Committee - June 15, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
June 15, 2020 - 2:30pm


Monday,  June 15, 2020
2:30 p.m.

Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing


Draft Minutes

Commissioner Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:34 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Kimberlee Stryker, Chair
    Mary Jung
    Dorka Keehn
    Abby Sadin Schnair
    Debra Walker
    Paul Woolford

    Staff Present
    Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs
    Luna Izpisua Rodriguez, Program Associate, Civic Design & Special Initiatives
    Alyssa Ventre, Commission Secretary
  2. Public Comment
    There was no public comment.
  3. MUNI Metro East Expansion Project: Conceptual Phase
    Chris Nocon, Project Designer, SFMTA
    Tess Kavanagh, Project Manager, SFMTA
    Andrew Maloney, Architect, DPW
    Andrea Alfonso, Landscape Architect, DPW

    The project team began by giving a brief summary of their project. The MUNI Metro East Temporary Facility stems from a long-term SFMTA project to remodel existing facilities. While facilities undergo re-designing and construction, SFMTA makes temporary spaces like this proposed project to accommodate maintenance and parking capabilities. The scope of work for the project includes construction of an open air parking lot with trolley charging capabilities, construction of a temporary bus wash, fare collection, and storage, and construction of employee facilities like restrooms, lockers, showers, break-rooms, and offices. The project is scheduled to be operational in 2023. The team then gave an overview of the project context and location. The site will occupy 174,560 square feet, and will host buildings that cover 6,080 square feet, trailers that cover 3,080 square feet, and a bus yard that covers 165,400 square feet.  The site is bordered by another MTA maintenance facility, 25th Street, Cesar Chavez Street, and Maryland Street. The proposed site will be repaved and will use collapsible butler buildings for storage. A water-collection cistern will be installed and a portion of the lot will be converted into a bioswale that will collect water run-off and recycle it for bus wash use. A firewall be installed along the perimeter adjacent to the trailers. Options for the execution of the firewall include patterned concrete, modular precast concrete, or a planted facade. There will be a sliding gate at the Maryland Street entrance that will be made of a laser cut pattern, a formed steel, or a steel picket. Bioswale plantings will consist of Bay Area natives. Street tree planting will comply with final street designs and water requirements.

    The Commissioners wanted to know the purpose of the bus yard’s site after its temporary use. The team answered that the four acres of the bus yard will be renovated to expand the existing rail yard. The Commissioners also inquired about the facility’s security. The team will have 24/7 security guards and cameras. The Commissioners would like the gate, entry, and safety enclosure features to be tied together so that there are not opposing aesthetics at play.
  4. 30 Otis Street Public Plaza Project: Phase 2
    Frida Escobedo, Program Designer
    Logan Williams, Project Manager, Align Real Estate
    Bob Baum, Architect, Gould Evans
    David Fletcher, Landscape Architect, Fletcher Studio

    The team framed their presentation as an examination of the public art component of their mixed-use project. The team also clarified that there have been modifications made to the 12th Street boundary by SFMTA and SF Planning that have significantly reduced the footprint size of the project site. The project architect described the flow of people that she hopes will take place at the site— there will be two semicircles that allow for gathering and performance. They addressed the contingencies from a previous informal. A ramp surrounding the semicircles will allow for full accesibility. The possible materials palette consists of varied concrete and aggregates. The amount of concrete aggregate will increase along each strip— it will become smoother to the touch and softer in color. The hand rails will be made of blackened metal that oxidizes to show age and texture. The planting palette will consist of gray plant materials, a cedar tree, and planter boxes. The team is installing a shallow pool of water in the site for children to play in during warmer months. The team is considering adding a fog effect to this shallow pool. Lighting of the site will consist of horizontal LED lights behind the metal handrails and small LED lights within the plants. The team addressed the Commissioners’s previous comments regarding the sharp distinction between the sidewalk and the plaza by creating a smoother transition into the plaza with varied concrete aggregate.

    The Commissioners expressed concerned about the reduced visibility that the minimal lighting and dark materials of the ramp may cause. It may become a safety hazard for people who cannot see the pathway. Commissioners also showed concern regarding the quality and reproducibility of the concrete. Lastly, Commissioners wanted to ensure that there are electrical outlets for use during performances and outdoor events.

    Commissioner Stryker introduced the motion to approve Phase 2 of the 30 Otis Street Public Plaza Project contingent upon 1) consulting an arborist to approve the designated tree for the site 2) that there be electrical outlets for day and evening performances and 3) that there be test pours designated in the contract so that there will be quality control in the texture, color, and gradient for the concrete work.

    Commissioner Schnair, seconded by Commissioner Woolford moved to approve the motion, as presented.

    There was no public comment.

    The motion carried unanimously by the following vote:
    Ayes: Stryker, Jung, Keehn, Schnair, Walker, Woolford
  5. CS235 Southeast Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities: pre-Phase 3
    Rosanna Tse, Project Designer, SF Water
    Carolyn Chiu, Project Manager, SF Water
    Greg Robley, Architect, MWA Architects
    Anthony Esterbrooks, Landscape Architect, DPW

    The team began by prefacing their presentation with the significant changes that have been made in the project’s scope. Given the budget reduction, the project team requested to brief the Commissioners about the project changes before formally presented the Phase 3 stage of the project. The cost of the project rose drastically since the team’s Phase 2 Civic Design Review, so the team needed to redesign the project to accomplish the same objectives. They aim to carry on with the redesign while construction is in motion. Changes in the scope of the project include replacing the energy recovery unit, introducing new natural gas boilers, improving odor control, removing Maintenance Buildings One and Two, and upgrading the existing W2 pump station. Landscape and streetscape changes will include re-evaluating the perimeter fencing along Jerrold Avenue,  the fences and gates around the former Asphalt Plant side, landscape needs, and the Jerrold streetscape design. In light of the budget reduction, neither maintenance building will be demolished and the energy recovery facility will not have any new infrastructure built on top. The Jerrold Streetscape will be rebuilt with new trees and widened sidewalks. The Quint Street entry will become the public facing entry. The 600 Building is the core of the project and will remain unchanged. The team discussed their aesthetic choices— zinc cladding and channel glass on the buildings will emphasize vertical circulation. The anaerobic digestion unit will have a stucco finish designed to replicate the adjacent concrete structures. The team also addressed the contingency regarding variation in their terra-cotta palette by adding varying red and orange terra-cotta and gray concretes. The team also discussed the project’s water fountain. It will be a vertical wall of opaque glass with an inlaid graphic of San Francisco. Part of its purpose is to hide the adjacent equipment. The final contingency from the Phase 2 Civic Design Review that the team commented on examined the panel spacing for the fountain. The team affirmed that the location and placement of the fountain is not flexible because the plaza will need to maintain accessible to wastewater vehicles. In addition, there is very sensitive equipment underneath the fountain. The pile for the fountain lies between the transformers and the utilities, and cannot be moved.  The entrances at Jerrold and Quint Street will have metal perforated gates.

    The Commissioners were wondering whether the team could incorporate an interesting design, pattern, or color for the tanks rather than use stucco to replicate concrete. The surface should add to the sculptural feel of the tanks as distinct forms. The Commissioners would also like the team to see if a material like zinc could be used on the gates so that the words and numbers are more obvious. The Commissioners noted that the fencing is monolithic and could use a technique like pattern or lighting.
  6. Visual Arts Committee Report

    Commissioner Keehn shared news of Dana Hemenway’s new hanging sculpture at the San Francisco International Airport. She also displayed Phillip Hua’s work that will be installed at the Bayview Community Center.
  7. Staff Report
    Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs, notified Commissioners to expect a large amount of projects coming in for Civic Design reviewal in the upcoming months.
  8. New Business and Announcements
    Commissioners would like to change the monthly Civic Design Review Meeting time to 3p.m.
  9. Adjournment 
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

    posted 2/29/20, 2:00 p.m., LIR

Language Accessibility

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Luna Izpisua Rodriguez, 415-252-2252,

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,Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Luna Izpisua Rodriguez, 415-252-2252,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Luna Izpisua Rodriguez, 415-252-2252,

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 Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Luna Izpisua Rodriguez, 415-252-2252,