A developer's wet dream - Page 3

Wiener offers far-reaching proposals to amend environmental-review laws

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Sup. Scott Wiener has sponsored some of the most controversial legislation of the last two years.
PHOTO BY SF NEWSPAPER CO.

Many of the lawyers and activists who have reviewed the legislation say it limits public notification of some CEQA determinations, particularly when the city concludes that a project is categorically exempt.

"If the ERO determines that a project is exempt from CEQA review, he may or may not be required to provide public notice of this determination," the Hastings analysis states.

There's no question that it would add to the complexity and burden of filing an appeal; and shorten the time frame for doing so — in a way that some say would actually encourage more lawsuits.

Kevin Bundy, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, argues that "The proposed amendments create a situation where appellants will be required to file litigation prior to the board's decision on appeal."

It's a complicated situation, but in essence, the new Wiener rules would set the timeline for project approval at the first stage of policy decision — and if the supervisors overturned an environmental appeal, the clock for the project would be set back to that day.

That could upset the statutory timeline for CEQA lawsuits — and thus lead to more cases.

Wiener acknowledged that there were a lot of technical issues like that one that still need to be resolved. "We will be conferring with the people who have commented on the legislation and making the appropriate changes," he said.

He added, however, that he sticks by the essential parts of his proposal despite the opposition: "There are a lot of CEQA lawyers out there," he said. "And they aren't always right."

Comments

This is the same attack on environmental regulation that Republicans all of the country have been mounting. Mitt Romney talked about it, and used the same language that the proponents are using in San Francisco.

There was a lot of money from Republican billionaires in the last few San Francisco elections. They're pushing the same deregulation mantra here that they push everywhere else.

Watch out, San Francisco.

Posted by 99 Percenter on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

What a nightmare this Wiener creature is, on so many issues. Check out how he's wasting taxpayer dollars to have two sheriff's deputies investigate and intimidate me . . . for snapping a photo of him holding a toothbrush at a sink in a City Hall restroom:

http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2012/11/wiener-uses-sf-sheriff-to-intimida...

and

http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2012/11/sheriff-investigating-wiener-restr...

Posted by MPetrelis on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

And you feel you're entitled to sympathy for this?

Pathetic.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

Sorry, kind of creepy taking pics in the bathroom.

Posted by D. native on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

While the idea of taking pictures of public figures in public places is uncontroversial, the taking of pictures in bathrooms is fraught with risk; if only because of the way people with no intellectual integrity will portray it.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

..and do you think that you might favor us with a few seconds of intellectual treatise on the photographing of people using the bathroom? Please do enlighten us.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

but I think it refers to not trying to win arguments by mistating the facts.

A technique which is just short of an outright misstatment of facts is the use of ambiguous terms to state said facts, which though technically true have connotations which render a totally.wrong, totally unfair misrepresentation.

The latter case describes your dishonest association of taking a photo of a person while he is at a sink to "photographing people using the bathroom;" which is a euphemism for something it would clearly be illegal and in bad taste to photograph.

Thank you for freely providing such a great example of intellectual dishonesty; I couldn't really hope to come up with anything better.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

guaranteed to be popular with anorexics and bulimics everywhere. Or anyone who's overeaten this Thanksgiving.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

but nonetheless I'd like to say that your seeming revelation that I made you physically nauseous elicited a happy response.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

Nonetheless I'm sure triggering emisis is as close to intimacy as you've ever gotten.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

I've met the guy and like him. I also voted for him. The point with Scott is that he actually listens to his constituents and then acts acccordingly. this is surprisongly rare in most Supes, who have their own ideological agenda and pursue it.

So Scott listens to us on Ross, on nudies, on housing and development, and then acts on our behalf. The SFBG will hate him for that but it's actually what politicians are supposed to do i.e. do what we want not what they want.

And one thing many of us are tired of is these petty, NIMBY attempts to stop almost every new development that isn't public. Scott hears us and wants to act - he's doing his job. Welch and Hestor are obstructionist and petty-minded minded NIMBY'ists.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

The moment that Scott gets a 40 story tower entitled west of Noe, get back to me on his anti-NIMBY credentials.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

People like you wont be happy until everyone is paying $20,000 a month rent. Why dont you go live in Dallas, Texas where you can push your conservative boring views at a party with George Bush Jr.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

San Francisco archetype.

A Democrat; relocated from somewhere else; middle to upper middle class; liberal on non-class based social issues, like gay marriage; hates poor people (wants to close down the recycling center, removal of benches from Harvey Milk Plaza), eager to take corporate money and represent their interests

If he were multiracial, he'd be a shoo-in to be the first openly gay mayor; as is he has an excellent shot.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

Scott Wiener works tirelessly to push poor people out of the city, to push people out he feels are odd. He is a cold, heartless man who judges a person only by how much money they make. He doesn't care about the environment, art, the development of the creative economy or civil rights. He and his rich friends got theirs, to hell with everyone else.
His stances on most issues mirror Republican's policies. It's impossible to defend him as anything other than a pet of the money interests in the city who are interested only in rich residents. He needs to be voted out in 2014.

Posted by Viper on Nov. 24, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

He listens to us a lot and has a good and clear sense of what his residents want. He puts such pragmatic representation above mindless kneejerk ideological dogma, and we will easily re-elect him when he stands again.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

I didn't vote for Scott and I have known him for years. Indeed, I count him as friend though our politics are by San Francisco standards miles apart. He wasn't the most progressive candidate in that race and if you're complaining about that now well pay attention. He was the best financed candidate along with Rebecca Prozan who was the worthless Bevan Dufty's (also an acquaintance) choice to succeed him. Where do you think that money came from?

I will also concur with another commenter, yes, Scott listens to his constituents. The nudity ban was demanded by those of us who have had to put up with wanton exhibitionism in Jane Warner Plaza for over two years. But Scott also failed to forge a compromise that should have found a way to accommodate nudism in some remote corner of Golden Gate Park and in Baker Beach. Instead, we now have a far-ranging ban that affects all of us who enjoy occasional discrete nudism. Scott is a good guy, a friend but he is a horrible leader, too amenable to shifting winds.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 9:03 am

The common thread with Scott is that he will always take the most conservative approach to any policy question.

Similar to how the Supreme Court plucked "Citizens United" from obscurity to enshrine corporate dominance, Scott will pick up a live political question and refashion it into the most conservative interpretation possible.

It is not sufficient to be okay on queer issues, to finance gender reassignment surgery as a pass on the rest of social policy. Scott was impervious to less intrusive compromise on this nudity ban and that reflects on his approach to governing in a pluralistic city. It is the political weakness of the now clearly suicidal progressives that has opened the door to these outcomes.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 11:51 am

You can still show your wrinkled hairy scrotum at various SF beaches, at the Folson Street pervfest and at the B2B race. Exceptions were carved out for places where nudity is expected and where there is no risk of children being inadvertantly exposed to indecent exposure.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

Would not have waited two years to stop the naked people.

Posted by D. native on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

He had to wait that long for progressive power to wane before he could get away with it which he did at his earliest opportunity.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

The idiot nudists would police themselves.

Posted by D. native on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

He had to wait that long for progressive power to wane before he could get away with it which he did at his earliest opportunity.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

was DEFINITELY a hallmark of conservative philosophy. But you're right - it's "not enough." Nothing is ever enough for purity progressives like yourself Marcos - which is why Scott gets along fine ignoring the screechiest amongst us.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

Including GRS in HSF is not controversial in SF, it was a freebie for Scott and as is typical, applies to a very small number of people, won't cost that much compared to what Scott's Republican deregulation economics will gain.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

this a reasonable use of taxpayers' funds?

I'm guessing a very unrepresentative minority

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

HSF paying for GRS passed with eleven votes, it is not controversial and the bill to the taxpayers will be imperceptible compared to the windfalls taken by developers when those same San Franciscans are frozen out of any say over environmentally destructive projects.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

Can they still file appeals,prtoestetc. Sure, just makes the process cleaner and faster to a decision.

Posted by D. native on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

More conservative than Ronald Reagan.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

Wiener's local "reforms" are overreaches in most respects but they pale in comparison to what Jerry Brown and Senator Rubio are up to with their CEQA "reform" behind closed doors in Sacramento. Wiener should save his energy. When Brown and Rubio finish their dirty work there won't be any need for his "reforms"

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 11:21 am

This is correct, and they are both taking their marching orders from the big land use firms.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

The Sunshine Case 11048 specifies criminal corruption by Supervisors David Chiu (D3), Malia Cohen (D10), Eric Mar (D1), and most importantly, their ring leader in corruption, Scott Wiener (D8). The City Attorney Dennis Herrera and a half a dozen members of the City Attorney's Office are also guilty of the crimes and coverups, as are Mayor Ed Lee, and District Attorney George Gascon.

The voters of San Francisco now faces a situation where their Mayor, their District Attorney, their City Attorney, many Assistant City Attorneys, as well as over half of their sitting members of their City & Count Board of Supervisors have committed major felonies in office. This may be one of the many reasons these criminals in government all seek to remove the newly elected Sheriff, before he investigates this mess and brings the required felony charges to the attention of the State Attorney General and/or the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

Gee, where have I heard that before?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

Conspiracy to commit municipal corruption and deprive San Francisco taxpayers of the honest government to which we are constitutionally entitled is neither left nor right, it is corrupt.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

about conspiracies, almost as if they have to deflect criticism of their own flawed ideology.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

He doesn't run investigations of anything. Which proves how little you know of or understand the situation in San Francisco.

If you have such well-founded concerns then take them to the FBI. Or perhaps, like Ericka McDonald, everyone is in a conspiracy against you?

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 25, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

Aaron, his wife and the Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association are the poster-child for all that is wrong with the city planning and approval process. The current process puts too much power into the hands of small groups such as this. The THDA stood in the way of a library makeover in North Beach for years dragging out the process through appeal after appeal.

Since the SFBG has not yet met a construction project they like (name a major development project the SFBG has supported in the past 10 years), I am also not surprised that they are against this reform.

Should we have a review and appeals process- certainly but the current process is broken and needs to be fixed.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 8:47 am

Developers are the "small group" which wields too much power in planning. It is all that neighbors and residents can do to ensure that our city is run by "our government" in ways that serve our interests as a democracy is supposed to.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 9:32 am

It just streamlines it so that it doesn't take years and years to get a project approved/disapproved.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 9:50 am

Democrats are more conservative than 1940s Republicans who passed zoning and planning codes or than Ronald Reagan who signed CEQA into law.

In this case, "streamlining" means systematically cutting out points for public participation to speed the process along. That means that the public will have to live with the consequences of a project for decades while our legal rights to participate in the discretionary approvals process are curtailed.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 10:03 am

If you think the parties are too right-wing, chances are that you are too left-wing for the tastes of most Americans.

Anyoner who has been through a planning process or even tried to gets building work approved by the DBI knows that it is a bureaucratic nightmare. That's not "democratic control" - it's an out-of-control impediment to getting things done.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 10:54 am

Americans vote liberal all of the time but the two parties are controlled by corporate interests who only allow this car to turn to the right no matter how elections try to steer it. The only thing that elections determine is how fast and sharp that right turn will be, often times it is sharper and faster with the Democrats behind the wheel.

It sure appears given the number of projects under construction and in the pipeline that the burdens of regulation (what are you, a Libertarian Ayn Rand capitalist or what) hardly impinge upon the increasing pace of highly profitable development.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

Nader has stood on an anti-corporate platform a number of times. The problem is that Americans aren't interested in that. Blaming the parties is ridiculous - they merely reflect what the people tell them that they want.

You've only got to look at the problems 8 Wash is having to see things are out of control. A few flats that will bring millions into the city and yet a few opportunistic NIMBY's are holding it up.

I have no issue with developers making a profit, as long as good buildings are going up.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

Microsoft was found to have a monopoly on x86 operating systems and even though you could always use a version of linux, there was a monopoly nonetheless.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

you have no choice but to buy your water from the bloated bureaucracy that is SF Water. Muni, DBI, DPW and various other local government entities are all monopolies which is why they are so dangerous, inefficient and bureaucratic. You cannot go elsewhere.

There were actually a variety of OS's out there and there always have been. However, if you chose to buy an IBM PC, then there was a standard OS on it. If you don't like that OS, you would presumably buy an Apple, a Sun machine and various others, running Mac OS, Unix, Solaris and so on.

Apple would not have become the largest company on the planet if MSoft truly had a monopoly.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

If the Democrats and Republicans were corporations and politics were a business, there would be illegal restraint of trade prosecutions left and right.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

But don't complian when most voters ignore you.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

Most citizens and many voters ignore most elections because most of them know that the game is rigged.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

representation of both stripes.

For instance, the vast majority of Americans think that corporations should not be considered the same as people and should be limited in their campaign expenditures.

http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2012/01/pdf/lp...

You evidently are the "Guest" who can't shoot straight with respect to the truth.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

and only the activist judges bail out the liberals from those views of the American people.

If you think Americans are left-wing I heartily suggest that you travel outside SF and see what most Americans are really like.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 2:42 pm