With neighbors having organized to “just say no to the penthouse,” complete with an eleven page Powerpoint presentation prepared by someone at Cisco and a website dedicated to their cause, the fight over the proposed modern home to rise at 437 Duncan Street will be refereed by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this afternoon.
As designed by Iwamoto Scott Architecture, the existing 816-square foot, single-story home on the Noe Valley parcel will be replaced with a 3,972-square-foot home rising three stories over a garage, with the top floor setback 15 feet from the street and a 42″ front parapet wall designed to be slightly lower than the height of the parapet of the upsloping property at 445 Duncan Street in order to match the contextual step-down along the slope.
Characterizing the project as “out of scale” with the neighborhood (and the Planning Department’s response to their concerns as “wimpy”), it’s the top floor “penthouse” and deck which the opposition wants removed, not simply setback from the street.
The Planning Department’s recommendation: remove the front parapet over the second floor, setback the roof deck railing an additional five feet, and otherwise approve the development, a development which they continue to characterize as “compatible with the height and depth of surrounding buildings,” as proposed.
Of course, if the Department’s position is that the existing design is “compatible with the height and depth of surrounding buildings,” one might wonder why they’re calling for the design to be modified at all.