Scott Sanchez Named New Zoning Administrator
This week, after a months-long search, the Planning Department announced Scott Sanchez’s promotion to be the permanent zoning administrator (ZA). Mr. Sanchez had been acting ZA since June 7. Mr. Sanchez received a BA from Berkeley with a major in geography and a minor in city and regional planning and received an MSA in international relations from the Australian National University. He has been with the Planning Department since 2006. We wish Scott the best of luck in his new role at the Department.
SoMa Historic Resource Survey Results Posted
This week, the Planning Department posted on its website the results of a South of Market Historic Resource Survey that it has been conducting since 2007. The survey was conducted to analyze existing properties in the South of Market area to identify those buildings that are historic resources and would be eligible for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources. Three new historic districts were identified and the expansion of the existing South End Historic District is supported by the survey. 2,142 properties were analyzed in all.
The Planning Department is holding a community workshop on the SoMa survey on Wednesday, November 17, and the Historic Preservation Commission is currently scheduled to hold a public hearing on the survey on December 1. The survey, and its findings, will not go into effect until adopted by the Board of Supervisors. Once the survey is adopted, individual historic resources and properties that contribute to a historic district will require heightened environmental analysis for proposed alterations or demolition. Go to “somasurvey.sfplanning.org” for more information.
Park Shadow Task Force Steps into the Light
The Planning Department has announced the formation of a Park Shadow Task Force to examine the City’s codes and policies that restrict shadows cast on parks by new development. The task force is the result of an effort earlier this year by Supervisor Chiu to place a proposition on the ballot to remove all discretion the City has to approve development projects that cast any new shadows on parks under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Parks Commission. Seeing that most downtown development, including projects considered in the Transit Center District Plan, would effectively be killed by the measure, the development and land use policy communities organized a strong opposition to putting it on the ballot. Ultimately, the measure was not placed on the ballot, and a task force was formed to discuss the issue further.
Those interested in receiving updates about future meetings of the Park Shadow Task Force should call Kevin Guy at the Planning Department at (415) 558-6163.
Governor Signs Modest CEQA Amendments into Law
In state lawmaking news, Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed into law two bills amending the state’s CEQA law. The key word here is “modest”- most of the changes tighten up language regarding tiered EIRs, mediation, expedited litigation and standing for organizations formed after a project subject to CEQA is approved. There is at least one substantive improvement though: a newly-added provision authorizes sanctions to be imposed against a CEQA litigant for bringing a frivolous claim. The Governor aptly summed up the new amendments by saying “[t]hese bills are 99 percent garbage.”
The bills, SB 1456 and AB 231, can be found at “http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html”.
Impact Fee Cleanup, Transferable Development Rights Amendments Passed by Board
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors passed on final reading the impact fee cleanup legislation and the TDR amendments that we have discussed in several recent updates. The ordinances now go the Mayor for final approval.
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