Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Sunset Beacon


Recently, after complaints about drivers on the Lower Great Highway, SF Supervisor Katy Tang had the SF Municipal Transportation Agency make up a plan for traffic calming measures.

They displayed plans and diagrams at a recent meeting at the Sunset Co-op Preschool. I was shocked to find that their plan would eliminate 40 parking places from Lincoln Way to Sloat Boulevard. This plan involved red curbs and bulbous with red curbs at every intersection from Lincoln to Sloat. Tang said they could cut the loss to 20 places with diagonal parking.

I told Tang it is not acceptable to lose even one parking space. I have lived in the Sunset since 1955 (minus eight years in the Richmond District) within five to 10 blocks of the beach. I have surfed for 50 years, jogged for 30 years and fished for 20 years at Ocean Beach. It’s been getting harder to park on the Lower Great Highway steadily, and on  some nice days there’s no parking left.

There are at least several hundred surfers in San Francisco, Daly City and at SF State University who surf in the area and who need to bring boards, wetsuits and towels with them. There are hundreds, or thousands, of walkers, joggers, dog walkers and dozens of fishermen with poles and tackle boxes. And, families with kids and beach toys, boogie boards and picnic baskets. These people need to drive and park.

I recommend that we return to the traffic control used on the roadway for more than 50 years, that I grew up with; traffic cops, mostly on motorcycles with radar. This was effective.

The acting mayor, Mark Farrell, wants to add 400 more police officers in the new budget. We need a commitment to assign one or two of them to the Taraval Station to work as traffic cops. If they can’t increase police patrols, then they could put a stop sign at each block, instead of every two blocks.

Richard Goodwin

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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