June 24, 2015

This Week At The Planning Commission: Revised Proposal For Tom Rai Restaurant And Bar

A look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission this week. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

Originally planned to be heard (again) on June 11th, the proposed project at 4022-4026 24th St to replace the burned out Bliss Bar is on the docket for approval tomorrow. To recap, project sponsors wished for the moon - a full service restaurant with live music open until 2am that would occupy the entire lot right up to the property line. In exchange they'd remove the bar scene and add 2 additional units of housing to the mix. No parking is on the table.

Predictably, neighbors were upset and all sorts of issues - noise, loss of green space, noise again and of course the lack of parking. Here are the details of issues addressed (and not addressed) so far.

The Achilles heel of the project turned out the be the lack of green space. The Zoning Administrator went so far as to say there was no way he would grant the required Rear Yard Variance. However... if enough green space was provided he could consider approving a rear yard modification because the "yard" would essentially be scattered across the property - decks, etc. The project sponsor was sent away with a warning to make a stronger effort to listen to neighbors' concerns.

The schematic above shows the proposed solution. Here's the description of the revised project:
In response to the Commission’s direction to redesign the rear area and scale back the project, the sponsor has revised the project to set back the ground floor of the building three feet from the rear property line to allow trees (Wax Myrtle) to be planted at the rear property line. The usable open space on the roof of the ground floor extension has been replaced with a green roof and all of the usable open space for the dwellings has been relocated to the roof. Because of the relocation of the usable open space the project now requires a rear yard modification from the Zoning Administrator and not a rear yard variance as originally requested.
They've also proposed new hours:
The sponsor’s proposed hours of entertainment have been revised to: Wed 4pm – 10pm / Thu 4pm – 12am / Fri 4pm – 2am / Sat 9am – 2am / Sun 9am – 10pm.
Of course it remains to be seen if neighbors will continue to oppose the project, or if the sponsor has done enough reworking this time to assuage an irritated Planning Commission. And as far as we know, the new owners of the $7M house out back haven't weighed in yet. Stay tuned.

[NVSF: Tom & Rai Will Move Into Rebuilt Bliss Bar]
[Planning: 4022-4026 24th St (PDF)]