Sunshine and shadows - Page 2

How downtown tried to scuttle a law protecting city parks

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"The mayor made clear the importance of asking the supervisor to withdraw the measure," Winnicker wrote in an e-mail to us. "The mayor was clear that backroom deal-making should not be tolerated on the issue."

Chiu was somewhat aghast at the mayor's statements. "The context for all this is that the developers and their lawyers were trying to change the rules," he said.

Aaron Peskin, the former supervisor and longtime North Beach neighborhood activist, told us that the "hysteria around this is factually untrue. This isn't about stopping development — it's about making sure development doesn't have an adverse impact on the city's common space."

So now Chiu has agreed to hold off — but only if the key stakeholders (not just developers) have some input into how planning devises new shadow rules. And he's ready to go back to the ballot in November if the developers try to play games again.

That makes sense, Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, told us. "There should be a heavy burden of proof on the people who want new rules," he said. "And there should be a heavy burden of proof for anyone who wants a ballot measure."

In other words, Prop. K — as it is, as it's stood all these years — is working pretty well. And if the developers hadn't tried to sneak in some big changes, none of this would have happened in the first place.

Comments

Lets see, Tim Redmond penning an article that venerates an unplanned, unstudied, last minute rush to the ballot by a ex supervisors lap dog? Unfathomable!

I can see how this was another late night drunk dial by Herr Peskin to Chiu. It falls right in line with the preserve SF in amber committee which Peskin left as his goodbye gift to SF. You know, the committee which has deemed the bookshelves in the North Beach library historical - and therefore worth saving over the proposed new branch?

No construction would be halted? Is that really true? Is it not the case that anything that shadowed a public park at the day of the lowest sun angle for one minute would have been blocked.. period?
Was there not talk of adding additional parks to the legislation?
High rise hegira part two. The only thing good about these luddites is that they wont be around forever.
I think the new cell antenna bruce is making money off of on the SFBG building is shading my apt.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 8:40 am

Mr. Redmond writes:"The measure he drafted would have barred any new guidelines that allowed more shadows — and would have required the Board of Supervisors to sign off any changes. It would still allow the city to make case-by-case exemptions for projects that cast minor shadows but are otherwise deserving of approval — affordable housing developments, for example."
The problem at the very outset was the measure was poorly drafted and confusing--even the Planning Dept. wasn't sure of its meaning--and it is reflected in the above-quoted para. If the intent was to allow a BOS waiver on shadow criteria, then the word "except" or "unless" should have been added. And, the measure wouldn't have permitted "case-by-case" exemptions on parks with zero shadow allowances. "Changes to the criteria" (quoting from the measure) may have been intended for criteria other than actual allowances for shadows on certain parks, etc.

Posted by Guest tony gantner on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 3:06 pm