Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Richmond Review

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I am a resident, born and raised in the Richmond District, and have also worked for the city for nearly 30 years, first as a muni operator for 20, and for the last 10, as a clerk.

I am writing to you today for help and guidance in what I can do for several problems that I’ve got that are so bad that I’m ready to move out of the Bay Area.

First, my son was murdered 10 years ago and I’ve reached out to SF Supervisor London Breed’s office, and have also spoken to several homicide inspectors since. The case remains unsolved and is now in the “cold case” unit. During the last 10 years, I’ve seen numerous inspectors on his case retire, and I am beyond frustrated at the fact that the cold case unit has only one full-time inspector with several part-time, retired inspectors coming in periodically. I find this unacceptable, but don’t know exactly who to contact for results.

Secondly, the intersection at Fulton Street and 20th Avenue is a death waiting to happen. I got hit by a car walking across the street in the crosswalk in January, 2018, and was lucky enough to escape with a broken fibula and two broken bones in my pelvis. A few years ago, I spoke to a retired SF Police Department cop who works in my office about it as I cared for my mother, who was 91, and how whenever she, myself or my grandkids try to cross the street we nearly get hit every time.

He suggested I speak to traffic engineering, which I did, and they recommended more red zones. Not effective! I feel we need a stop sign, some lights flashing and a pedestrian sign at the very least, if not a traffic light. There are lights on Fulton at 18th and 22nd avenues, so people speed through this intersection frequently.

I would hate for there to be a fatality for something to change.

Name withheld by request


I like reading John Lee’s column in the Richmond Review to keep up on what’s happening in my neighborhood.

In his April article, he had a comment that really caught my attention: “Our top four mayoral candidates have all vowed to add more housing to San Francisco. However, I have not heard any solid and viable plans from them to do so.”

Right on!

A while ago I read about an idea called “Dom-i-city” that proposed a viable plan to implement SF Mayor Ed Lee’s goal of 10,000 new homes for middle income families. I googled it and found a site with a complete description of the proposal. It was pretty impressive. I’m wondering why our leaders and others have not picked up on it.

Maybe you can stir the pot, light a fire under them? We need more housing and new ideas since the old ideas don’t seem to work.

Wasn’t it Einstein who said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”

Name withheld by request


Re: No noticing for building into yards, no maximum for projections

First, the SF Planning Department proposes to eliminate some notices, change public notification periods, limit access for projects to a website rather than in published notices, and to revamp internal documents/procedures to streamline project approvals under case number: 2018-004633PCA (board file #180423), the so called “mayor’s process improvements ordinance.”

Proposed non-noticed items are those in Planning Code Section 136(c)(1-25), and include things like “pop-outs” of up to 12 feet into rear yards and up to two stories tall. Other items not getting noticed are projections over streets/alleys/setbacks/yards/usable open space; fire escapes, awnings, canopies, marquees, retaining walls, steps, uncovered stairs and landings, fences and windscreens, and certain decks.

Though mostly RH-2, RH-3, RM, RTO “residential” zones and neighborhood commercial districts (NCDs) are impacted, some are applicable for RH-1 zones (single family homes).

If another city department notices you on an aspect of a project you may not get a notice from the zoning administrator, who will decide what gets noticed via waivers.

For items the Planning Department will still notice, the combined residential/NCD public notification period gets cut down from 30 to 20 days; and some notices change from a 300-foot radius to 150-foot radius.

Non-English speaking persons calling planning would get calls returned by the end of the following business day.

Some notices may no longer appear in newspapers. Planning’s proposal is to notify people on neighborhood organization lists, but many do not belong to them. Planning proposes digital noticing and posting of information via its website.

With the changes, one may never know what is coming next door. As well, a new consolidated development application will be used with a compressed timeline for project entitlement.

Urban Design Guidelines will be updated and Discretionary Review materials for commissioners abridged. Planning’s staffing will increase for certain things and decrease for others, like discretionary reviews. Residential and Urban Design Guidelines reviews with planner comments will be replaced by matrices.

The legislative proposal will allow 100 percent affordable projects “as-of-right,” with no appeals or protests, and other affordable housing from bonus programs (2-3 stories additional or not) will be decided on by the Planning Department’s director, rather than the Planning Commission, including removal of “Conditional Use” reviews for HOME-SF bonus projects.

Second, Planning Department “initiated” a SF Board-of-Supervisors-sponsored legislative proposal (case #2018-004633PCA) on May 24, which OKs projections with no maximum size of “architectural nature” into rear/side-yards, open space areas (“Section 136(c)(1).”

In order to voice your opinion on the proposal, please attend or communicate with the Planning Commission on June 7, City Hall, Room 400, at 1 p.m. For more information, go to the website at http://sfplanning.org/meetings/17. Send comments to: Commissions.Secretary@sfgov.org, or mail to 1650 Mission St., Suite 400, SF, CA 94103

Rose Hillson

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