S.F. Examiner file photo

More violations found in Academy of Art buildings

The process of determining how to bring all 40 buildings in San Francisco owned by the Academy of Art University into code compliance has revealed even more are operating illegally.

The Planning Commission on Thursday is slated to receive an update on the status of enforcement for the academy’s buildings that have flouted San Francisco’s planning and permit laws for years.

The violations, noted for years by city officials, triggered the academy to begin developing an institutional master plan in 2011. The final environmental impact report for that plan is due to go before the Planning Commission in July.

Still, city planners are continuing to uncover various abuses to the planning code.

Previously, nine properties owned by the academy were found to be operating “in a manner not allowed under the planning code”; nine properties required a conditional use authorization; eight properties required a building permit; four properties required a historic preservation review; and 10 were believed to be operating within the law, according to a staff memo dated Oct. 1, 2015.

Under further review, city planners determined only seven buildings were operating legally and need no additional action once the final EIR is certified.

City officials have lamented the purported lack of enforcement at academy buildings for years.

In 2014, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sent a letter to the Planning Department calling for planners to hold the academy accountable for its repeated violations, the San Francisco Examiner previously reported.

And earlier this year, Supervisor Aaron Peskin urged the Planning Department to issue a new round of notices of violation to the university to bring itinto compliance with local laws, the Examiner reported in January.

The Planning Commission is not expected to take any action on the academy Thursday.
Academy of Art UniversitydevelopmentPlanningPlanning CommissionPlanning Department

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