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Light Quality, Ground Stability Points of Contention in Russian Hill Remodel

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Today the Planning Commission will decide the fate of the expansion of 2445-2449 Larkin Street, a 3-unit, 5-story building in the Russian Hill neighborhood. The sponsor is hoping to add a 3-car garage and basement level, expand the penthouse level, and add new decks and solar panels to the roof. The building will rise by over 6 feet, but after being initially lowered, the total increase from street level will only be about 3 feet. That isn't stopping the neighbors from claiming that the increase will negatively affect the quality of the light received in their buildings. The biggest point of contention, it seems, is over the amount of reinforcing the ground will receive to support the rear hillside. Opponents of the renovation hired their own estimator, whose numbers don't necessarily jive with those of the building owner, who will only pay the amount his engineer sees fit. Assuming a few small changes to the lightwells, the Department of Building Inspection recommends approval of the expansion.
·2445-2449 Larkin Discretionary Review (PDF) [Planning Department]