Monday, May 8, 2023

Pre-Fab Color Divider

Fabricated in Philippe Bachmann's studio.
Friend who runs a local theater group, wanted a divider between his deck and his neighbor's in North Beach, so that the cat could crawl through, and that either neighbor could open and close depending on how social or not social they felt.
Wanted it to appear beach like, as it was in North Beach. Though not a real beach, it gave off a cheery vibe.
Pre-Fabbed off site for quick install, and easy removal in case the landlord wanted it removed.
Colors generated on a computer, then matched by Jeff Gray's Benjamin Moore paint masters in Burlingame. Boring tan frame matched the building to blend in.

Four Peripheral Interests

 I'm currently involved with 4 different groups peripheral to my own work:

1. The Solar Rights Alliance, working to keep PG&E in check, so residential Owners get a fair shake with the CPUC.

2. The Mission Greenway,  a group promoting the conversion of a former abandoned neighborhood train right of way in the Mission District to a green pedestrian corridor.

3. The SF Climate Emergency Coaltion, a group advocating for the City Supervisors to put a Climate oriented Bond on the ballot.

4. Curbside parking trial, working in the neighborhood to setup test curbside EV charging locations for renters in the Mission District. Currently there are no public EV chargers in the entire neighborhood.

Banks Street SF, 2 Story Addition

This project is a two story addition to a small single family residence on the south side of Bernal Hill neighborhood, including the addition of two second floor decks, a trellis, solar, and removing all gas appliances and replacing with electric.

The project is currently in HR Historic Resource review by SF Planning prior to the 311 neighborhood notification process.

NOV, Notice Of Violation, Clients During Covid

 NOV Client #3

This client remodeled his entire house, and was adding rooms without a permit downstairs, when a neighbor complained.

When the building inspector came out to the site, he served my client with an NOV.

The NOV was originally limited to the new work at the ground floor, but at his discretion the building inspector chose to expand the NOV to the entire building, plus an illegal addition to the building 20 years prior to my client owning the building.

The Punch List of Violations from the City was 160 items.

Prior to myself another Architect had tried to work through the violation list, and quit in frustration.

My first step, after inheriting this job, was to have a series of emails, texts and phone conversations with the Building Inspector to clarify his list, remove items, where possible that were pre-existing.

To further reduce the punch list, lower the cost of work to resolve the NOV, and to remove any engineering reviews for a permit set to resolve the NOV, I had my client remove an illegal ground floor addition built by an owner prior to his purchase of the property.

On the cities first review of my permit set, they had 17 comments.

After a sit down at the office of the inspector, this list was reduced to 2 items, and then the permit was approved.

The work is taking place now, and when complete the NOV will be abated.

NOV, Notice Of Violation, Clients

 NOV Client #2

Neighbor filed an NOV, Notice of Violation, for a deck railing. 

I got a permit over the counter to replace the existing railing in-kind, and applied for a revision to this permit, to add a 4th railing, that SF Planning supported.

There was no deck, only a deck, but the neighbor interpreted the railing as a possible future deck, so they filed a DR (Discretionary Review), which calls for a public hearing before the Planning Commission, to block both the deck and the 4th railing.

My client and the neighbor did not get along, with the neighbor filing a restraining order at one point. 

Both properties had inherited legal existing non-complying buildings, that put the uses of the two properties right at the property line, and in conflict with one another when one or the other wanted to enjoy their respective properties.

I avoided the personal acrimony between the two parties, and eventually was able to get the neighbor to withdraw the DR. 

My Owner originally only wanted a safety railing, but during a pre-DR (Discretionary Review) hearing meeting, the City Architect offered a solution, where my Owner would agree to a buffer between the two properties, by agreeing to not build on one part of the deck, at the property line, while gaining a new deck away from the property line of the neighbor who had filed the DR. When the neighbor relocated to another city, and sold the property, and secured a permit for the original offer by the City Architect for a deck and a deck buffer, and it is built as you see in the photos.

NOV, Notice Of Violations, Clients During Covid

During Covid, a lot of people stayed home. People were much more aware of each other's activities. Because of this, the number of complaints neighbors made about work being done without permits skyrocketed.

Here are four clients I helped resolve NOV's for with SFDBI Code Enforcement.

Much like federal agencies protecting peoples rights to privacy, I've redacted all the Owners names, addresses and permit numbers from any documents posted on this blog.

NOV Client Number 1:

This client did a complete remodel of a single family home without any permits. They also made a curb cut at the sidewalk for auto access without a permit. A neighbor complained because of losing a parking place, and SFDBI Code Enforcement came out and retagged, another term for an NOV, the property.

This retag is sent as a list of code violations. See attached.

When I got involved I called the Code Enforcement Inspector, and told him that many of the items on his list didn't require a permit. He disagreed with me, so I set up a meeting with his superiors, the Senior Code Enforcement Inspector and the Chief Inspector for Code Inspection. At this meeting they agreed with me and reduced the list by 60%. The Owner took care of all the items, the NOV was abated (closed).


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

NOPA. Phase 1 remodel of 3rd & 4th Floor Residential.

Upgrade entire water supply. New bedroom, bath, family, outdoor stainless kitchen, with sink, refrigerator, BBQ, & Trellis.