All That Urban Planning Jargon No One Understands, Translated
By: Andrew Keatts : voiceofsandiego – excerpt
In a year spent writing about land use in the city, I’ve learned the only people who use more jargon than the military are urban planners.
The field is filled with so many acronyms, Orwellian euphemisms and largely meaningless buzzwords, I’ve even broken into audible laughter at public meetings out of the sheer (and seemingly intentional) incomprehensibility of the discussion.
But you’ve gotta learn the language, as they say, and I’ve started to become fluent in planner.
There are far too many terms, blurbs and newspeak to list in one story, so we’re trying out an occasional installment where I provide a few terms, their meanings and links to relevant examples in San Diego. If people like it, we’ll keep it up and flesh it out going forward. (Add requests in the comments for terms you’ve heard at public meetings/always thought were ludicrous, and maybe we’ll include them in a future post.)…
California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA: Passed in 1970, CEQA is maybe the state’s most influential planning law. To provide decision-makers information on the environmental effects of a project, it requires developers and planners to specify “significant” environmental effects and how they can be avoided. It also requires decision-makers to disclose to the public why they ignored those issues if they ultimately approve a project anyhow.
It’s sometimes referred to, jokingly, as the Consultants Employment Quality Act, as its presence has provided much demand for land use consultants on large projects. (See also: Environmental Impact Report, or EIR)… (more)
Voter signatures to qualify waterfront height measure on ballot await certification
by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt
by Joshua Sabatini
February 4, 2014
San Francisco voters could soon become the official guardians of the allowable height limits for The City’s prized waterfront property.
It appears more than enough signatures to place an initiative on waterfront height limits on the June ballot were submitted Monday to the Department of Elections. If the measure is approved, proposed developments that exceed current Port of San Francisco height regulations would be forced to receive voter approval. Waterfront height limits generally range from 40 to 105 feet.
While 9,702 valid signatures were required, proponents submitted 21,067, which were gathered in the past three weeks by 400 paid or volunteer workers. The department has 30 days to certify them. The effort comes on the heels of voters soundly defeating in November the 8 Washington St. luxury condo waterfront development, which the Board of Supervisors had approved… (more)