Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor


San Francisco is about to enter a sea change for all development in terms of

building expansions beyond limits allowed under the current SF Planning Code.


The SF Planning Department’s idea is called the Residential Expansion

Threshold (RET), which will be heard by the SF Planning Commission on Dec. 7,

at City Hall, Room 400, at 1 p.m. Go to the website at http://www.sf-planning.org/ residential-

expansion-threshold to learn about how large numbers used for commercial

lots will be assigned to residential lots.


Also, another document that by “design” will go against the existing

Planning Code for residential lots will be planning’s “Urban Design Guidelines”

(UDGs), which contain vague criteria that almost anything will go and actually can

work together with the RET for massive buildings not traditionally placed on a lot

to be adopted.


Please write letters to Commissions.Secretary@sfplanning.org and

Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.org or call her at (415) 554-7410.

Rose Hillson



Concerning retired Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Tom Doudiet’s commentary

(Sound the Fire Alarm) about the west and south sides of the city being exposed

to a firestorm after a massive earthquake.


That’s the point, isn’t it?


Allow everything wooden, two-storied and with a garage to burn so that the

mayor and supervisors can deliver all that flat land in the south and west parts of the

city to their developer friends.

Judith Berkowitz



Do we residents of San Francisco value having blooming cherry trees on our streets?

Here is your chance to save two Inner Sunset cherry trees (and three other trees) from

being replaced with palms!


The SF Department of Public Works plans to remove five trees from 1327–1333 Ninth

Ave. and from 701–772 Irving St. and replace them with palms. This is part of the

“streetscaping” program, which will install two “themes” at newly relocated

N-Judah  stops.


The best solution would either be to restore these trees to their present location

following construction or to replace them with cherry trees of equal maturity.


To send a comment, please write: urbanforestry@sfdpw.org. The Facebook

page is: http://www.facebook.com/savethecherryblossoms/about.

Harry Pariser



As a second generation dentist on Taraval Street, practicing here for 20 years, I thank you

for the article on the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). I particularly align

with the “scorched-earth” reference to its autonomy.


Though the SFMTA put up a modest show of concern prior to physical action,

hearing from local residents and merchants, it was clear in the end that indeed

it was just for show, not making any real changes to their plan. I contacted the numerous

powers-that-be many times since the first proposal, but never received any reply except

from our local supervisor, Katy Tang, who essentially said, ‘The SFMTA doesn’t

listen to us.’”


My staff and I, neighboring merchants and patients have seen nothing but significant

negative consequences of this “soft roll-out” of their changes. It is clear the SFMTA not

only has an inflexible agenda, but it just doesn’t get the Sunset District. It is not

downtown Manhattan, or even downtown San Francisco.


I consider myself just lucky that they currently haven’t stripped my block of

metered parking, but I weep for the merchants who have lost their parking and

have had to close their business or are looking at that possibility.


Again, thank you for your attention to this issue and I hope things like this spark

some change.

Curtis Raff, DDS



Great article about the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). I will

be donating to the cause (www.sfsensibletransit.org).


One of my favorite peeves is the fact that they can’t take the time to adjust the

Sunset Boulevard lights to change in order, the way it did for the last 40 years.


Any time our supervisor is asked about it, she’ll just say the SFMTA says it can’t be

done. Why not? There are no busy thoroughfares that run across Sunset Boulevard that

need to be synchronized.


It used to be all the lights changed in order so everyone drove the speed limit

because it wouldn’t help to speed, otherwise you’d catch a red light. So, it was a

calm drive down Sunset. Also, it was safer for pedestrians because after all the

traffic went by it was safe to cross.


Now, you have two and three groups of cars coming at you, making it more likely

to be hit. Also, while driving you catch a red every few lights, so speeding is encouraged

if you want to make the light.


When traffic moves along evenly like it used to, it’s easier for people to change lanes

because the cars are slow, which allows space between them. Now, cars are closely

bunched, making it difficult to find space to merge.

Thomas Kleinhenz

1 reply »

  1. Leland Yee, Fiona Ma, and Carmen Chu all left representing the Sunset for higher office. This isn’t a bad place to get experience for the ambitious.

    In 2007, when Ed Jew got indicted, Mayor Newsom appointed young, ambitious Chu to represent us. In 2013, when then Supv. Chu was elected Assessor, Mayor Lee appointed young, ambitious Katy Tang to represent us.

    November 6th may be the first time in a while District 4 has had an open race without someone anointed from City Hall. We owe that chance at democracy to our Dept. of Elections after they extended the filing deadline so that Supv. Tang’s surprise announcement that she was not seeking a second term would not be to the sole benefit of her young ambitious legislative assistant, who had filed an intention to run.

    There are now eight candidates running, and it will be about the issues, not who can appoint you. It will be about ambitions for the Sunset, not for the resume.


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