Bay Shore Hotel Before BCDC

 

Property owner Daxa Patel has reapplied for a building permit from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Patel still hopes to build a five-story hotel on a 1.5-acre parcel at 2350 Harbor Bay Parkway. 

One of BCDC’s many roles is overseeing the 100-foot shoreline band that surrounds San Francisco Bay. The commission may authorize buildings within that 100-foot band. However, in a May 2016 study, BCDC’s Design Review Board found that the proposed location of Patel’s hotel is too close to the shoreline. 

The Design Review Board asked Patel to explore design solutions that would allow for the building to move back from the shoreline and minimize the area of the site devoted to surface parking. In addition, Design Review Board members encouraged Patel to make the site more welcoming to the public, encouraging visits not just to the hotel, but the shoreline as well. 

In addition the Design Review Board stressed the need to tie the hotel’s landscaping design in with the adjacent shoreline in order to provide continuity. Board members also asked that Patel consider moving the bike path closer to the shoreline. This would require Patel to move the building further away from the shoreline.

When the full commission reviewed Patel’s plan last August, Commissioner Wilma Chan, who represents Alameda, questioned the hotel’s 27-foot setback from the shoreline. “My understanding is the hotel is 63 feet high but the setback from the water is 27 feet,” Chan said at the meeting. “Normally wouldn’t it be a 63-foot setback? It is quite close to the water. For people who have gone out there and seen it, it is very close to the water.” 

Indeed the commission has a rule-of-thumb that adheres to a good urban design principle: the width of the public access should be about the same size as the height of the structure, no less. Patel’s design violates this rule. 

In addition, nearby shoreline setbacks are inconsistent with Patel’s plan. The McGuire Hester building and the Stacy and Witbeck building, both right down the street near the ferry terminal, provide 75 feet of waterfront public access.

Some feel that Patel’s plan is too large for the small footprint.  “You know, it’s like trying to put a size 10 foot into a size 6 shoe, it’s just too painful,” said Chad Otten, member of the board of directors of the neighboring Headlands Homeowners Association, which opposes the project.

It is unclear what changes to the plan Patel will propose to the commission, which may vote on whether to grant the permit. 

The commission is scheduled to take up Patel’s request at its Thursday, Feb. 16, meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., at the Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale St. in San Francisco. 

Comments may be sent to Wilma Chan at wilma.chan@acgov.org and to BCDC staff care of Jhon Arbelaez at jhon.arbelaez@bcdc.ca.gov.