Supes to radically change notice requirements on development

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The Board of Supes will vote Tuesday/19 on a piece of legislation that would change the way planners give the public notice of upcoming projects. Nobody’s paid much attention to this, but neighborhood advocates say it’s a very big deal…

This matter was continued till June 26, to give the public more time to comment on the various suggestions for speeding up the public review process. Please stay tuned for updates on this legislation, and that “it also eviscerates some of the public notice requirements for commercial projects, including eliminating the requirement that notices be published in a newspaper.”

The legislation, Hestor says, “assumes everyone has computer” – when in fact about 100,000 San Francisco residents lack Internet access. “The legislation assumes that everyone has a printer that can print 11×17 plans. Many, many architects do plans with important details in color, which is expensive to print out.”…

Sup. Aaron Peskin asked for a delay in the Planning Commission’s consideration, saying that most of the public had no idea what this would really do. The commission passed it anyway. So did the supes Land Use and Transportation Committee.

I asked Peskin about Hestor’s concerns that this is a bad piece of legislation, and he said: “I absolutely agree.”

These are significant changes in the Planning Code that have slid by with little public input. The Yimby folks are big supporters. Worth watching, among other things, what Mayor-elect London Breed does on this.

If she supported a continuance, this could get delayed until after Farrell is out of office, she is the mayor, the new D8 supe, Rafael Mandelman, is in office, and her replacement in D5 has been sworn in.

Or she could let it go through as is, to the delight of her Yimby supporters…(more)

 

Prop. 54: A Ballot Initiative That Worked

By Atlas Novack : smmirror – excerpt

There’s nothing politicians and lobbyists in this state hate more than the ballot initiative process to which they all pay hypocritical verbal homage every chance they get.

It’s easy to see why they don’t like lawmaking by the public, the essence of initiatives: The process takes important issues out of their hands. It can alter their working conditions in ways they don’t like.

Sure, politicians will occasionally make use of initiatives, as Republican businessman John Cox and Orange County GOP Assemblyman Travis Allen are doing now in making pet initiatives the centerpieces of their underdog campaigns for governor. Cox is pushing a measure to multiply by 1,000 the number of state legislators, while Allen has virtually appropriated the effort to repeal the state’s new gas tax increase…

But politicians generally hate ballot initiatives unless they’re making such use of them. Brown, for example, opposed the landmark 1978 Proposition 13 property tax cuts because they interfered with his own efforts at tax reform. Most legislators fought tooth and nail against Proposition 20, which created the Coastal Commission and has limited development near beaches and view areas.

But it’s hard to find an initiative that has affected legislators more than Proposition 54, which passed just over one year ago and requires that proposed laws cannot be passed unless they’ve been available in print or via the Internet for at least 72 hours before passage.

Because of Prop. 54, voters could see the final form of Brown’s proposal for California to join a Western regional electricity grid before it actually passed, rather than having to react after the fact as has happened with many last-minute bills in recent years. Because of that notice and the possibility this plan might cause a new energy crunch, opponents could organize loud protests and the proposition died – for now…

No one can be sure just how many lousy measures Prop. 54 spared Californians, because the notorious gut-and-amend proposals that have been common in recent decades were drastically lessened this fall. In that process, legislative proposals which already have a name and number have often been totally changed to cover subjects unrelated to those affected by the original bill. When that’s done at the last moment, the public has no chance for any input… (more)

 

%d bloggers like this: