Anniversary Issue: First, do no harm - Page 4

A sustainable land use plan is about what we don't allow as well as what we do

That means that the more we green our city, the more we slow down the rate at which runoff mixes with sewage, the more we reduce the risk of floods and overflows, and the more we reduce the rate at which we'll have to pump SoMa, as rising seas threaten to inundate our sewage system.

The SFPUC also appears committed to replacing ten seismically challenged and stinky digesters at its southeast plant.

<\!s> Strictly control the type of new housing

Marc Salomon, who served with Meko on the task force, told us he thinks the city needs to create a "boom-proof" development plan, "a Prop. M for housing." That's a reference to the landmark 1986 measure that strictly limited new commercial office development and forced developers to compete for permits by offering amenities to the city.

The city's General Plan currently mandates that roughly two-thirds of all new housing be affordable — but the city's nowhere near that goal. And building a city where the vast majority of the population is rich is almost the definition of unsustainability.

"Too much construction is not sustainable at any one time, nor is too much uniform development," Salomon said. "If we see too many banks, coffee shops or dot-com offices coming in, we need hearings. We need to adopt tools now, so can stop and get things under control next time one of these waves hits. And since infrastructure and city services are in the economic hole, we need to make sure that new development pays for itself." *