BETTER NEIGHBORHOOD PLUS LEGISLATION FULL OF HOLES
The San Francisco Planning Department has failed the constituents of San Francisco for the last 10 years at least. A plain evaluation of the SF Planning personnel will reveal that an over 60 percent turn over within the Planning Department means that something stinks.
The SF Planning Department has wasted money before and done great disservice to the constituents of San Francisco by adversely affecting Health and Safety issues using poor planning to adversely impact thousands of innocent constituents. Spending appropriated money elsewhere without any accountability and full transparency.
Larry Binder and Amit Ghosh have had it more then good and with Gerald Green gone these two are having a field day today more then they had before. We all are fully aware that the Planning Department does not care to return calls and if one visits them the nightmare is even worse.
The Better Neighborhood Plan today is endorsed by Sophie Maxwell who joins Jake McGoldrick who was the first to bring this ill thought out plan and try to introduce it as legislation. Every time one reads the legislation one find new language, which make the legislation all the more convoluted. Citywide there has been very poor outreach.
This legislation was not formally put before the San Francisco Planning Department. There should have been some informal and formal analysis and recommendation by the SF Planning Department but this has not happened. Just when most people are on vacation this legislation has been making its rounds. The timing is the worse possible and it is simply wrong to think that without meaningful participation this legislation will really help the constituents of San Francisco. This legislation should be delayed until at least October 21, 2005 so that experts and the City Constituents can study the legislation as I have done. There are so many loopholes that it does the innocent tax paying constituents injustice. The Better Neighborhood Plus legislation tries to get some solace by taking matters into the City Administrative Realm and trying to give the constituents opportunities to have a meaningful dialog. All that is available today but the SF Planning Department chooses to hood wink the constituents and forces those that dare take them on to pursue matters in the Court of Law. The last City Charter amendments have not been studied by this poor legislation.
In the past we saw this clearly with the Transbay Project. The SF Planning Department with intent gave permits to projects without paying close attention to nearby projects. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The Natoma case is a clear case of the SF Planning Department having NO check list and a free hand to cause as much as confusion in any process that should follow due process.
It is a nightmare for anyone that wants to do the right thing to deal with SF City Planning Department. For years the SF Planning Department has failed to fine-tune its General Management Plan. It has failed again and again to carry out a through Environmental Impact Report. Often times to avoid spending money it will declare huge areas as fit for development by using the Negative Declaration as a tool.
Again and again some developers have been forced to use EXPIDITORS to push the paper work side stepping others that have been in line and breaking all rules and regulations preserving certain zoning rights that the neighborhoods fought for but cannot take on SF Planning because the higher officials within SF Planning change the game plan in mid stream and use fake and convoluted language to guarantee them some play room.
SF Planning Department has gone to bed with SF Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) counting on SF Redevelopment Agency a quasi-state agency to do the Environmental Impact Reports. When SFRA fails to do its job SF Planning will start the blaming job. This has happened with the Transbay Terminal Project and with huge areas in the Bayview. This legislation gives SFRA all the wiggle room especially in the Bayview Hunters Point area that is the last frontier. In the Bayview the Project Area Committee (PAC) is paid by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. The Survey Area in the Bayview Hunters Point Area has NOT been conducted in a fair manner. One glance at the Blight Report will tell you that it needs to be revisited. Over $100,000 linked to the Blight Report went missing.
The Project Area in the Bayview Hunters Point has NOT has any Accountability and Transparency. How can the PAC bite the hand that feeds it?
The Better Neighborhood side steps the main issue linked to Land Use in our City and makes it clear that it has no clout to monitor the evil deeds of the SFRA. In the Bayview Hunters Point the SFRA has expanded and taken over the Parcels on the Shipyard as and when they are turned over to the City and County of San Francisco.
The City and County of San Francisco does not have the money to conduct the Environmental Impact Reports and does not have the money to build the new Infrastructure. All over the City and County of San Francisco our roads are in poor shape we have an over $300 million back log. The over 900 miles of sewer pipes need heavy maintenance. So do the 1500 miles of clean drinking water pipes. The Better Neighborhood Plus Legislation thinks that City Departments can remedy this situation.
Some advisory committee that the legislation mandates is supposed to help the SF Planning Commission. Then all of a sudden the Department Heads and others will act. It takes time to create any meaningful Blue Print and much more time to raise the money to undertake huge projects anywhere in our City and County of San Francisco.
Right now there is no real leadership at the Department of Public Works. The Director's job has not been filled. Even if it is filled the DPW has no money or the person power to accommodate the Better Neighborhood Plus Legislation. As I said it has a $300 million backlog and lacks fiscal support in other pertinent areas too. The Better Neighborhood Plus Legislation has no plan to deal with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). We now have an inept, ignorant, and very arrogant Manager Susan Leal. Try discussing with her about the Better Neighborhood Plus Legislation?
The 40-acre stipulation regarding an area that should be mandated by the proposed Legislation may suit the China Town Area but really we have other areas that block-by-block undue process and development as has been done in the past could and has ruined the neighborhood. It all boils down to a current, detail, well-studied Environmental Impact Study for the whole City and County of San Francisco. More precise and current ones for the larger project many under 40 acres.
SF Planning Workshops with the constituents in the Bayview Hunters Point and Mission have failed. Hundreds of hours at the workshop turned out to be an exercise in futility. Plans and ideas that the constituents brought forth in good faith were dumped aside. Today many Community Based Organization and advocates do not TRUST City Planning.
The SF Planning Department should permit a meaningful dialog all over the City and County of San Francisco regarding this legislation. We have a over 760,000 diverse population as so far none of them in large number know anything much about this ill thought of legislation.
No outreach has been done in the vernacular languages.
Very few have any respect for Sophie Maxwell she is a sell out and is on the take. As for Jake McGoldrick the man can run his mouth and he has failed to prove his mettle before on any worthwhile legislation. As the days go by this legislation is getting so confusing and creating worse headaches for those that are already burden by the basic rules and regulations linked to projects and SF City Planning.
No consideration has been given at this time to the many folks are on vacation. The review period should be extended until October 21, 2005 so that more organizations and a greater amount of meaningful dialog takes place all over the City and County of San Francisco. Persons like Joe Boss do not represent the Bayview Hunters Point. In fact Sophie Maxwell does injustice to Bayview Hunters Point and was twice the subject of a recall. The third time will be the CHARM.
The Bayview Hunters Point in itself is looking at over 15,000 units added here, there, and everywhere. And while most of the housing will accommodate those that have money and sell for over $600,000. The poor and those that live from paycheck to pay check will have to take a hike and seek their fortunes away from San Francisco. The most affected will be the African American population.
Today SF City Planning has no TRANSPORTATION document of its own. We call ourselves a Transit First City though. SF Planning Department has no current meaningful Housing Element. The last one was faked and sent to Sacramento more so that SF Redevelopment could have some money released.
The City and County of San Francisco cannot accommodate thousands of units like Rincon Hill and those slated in the Bayview without evaluating where all the energy to power these units will come from. We will have blacks outs at the rate we build units without proper planning and evaluation. The same holds true when is comes to clean drinking water and sewage.
The Rincon Hill Project should have sent all its sewage to the Sewage Plant by Pier 39. It will not do so it will send it to the Bayview Phelps Treatment Plant which is already over loaded. In the rainy season our dual sewage system that takes both sewage and rainwater flows on the streets of the Bayview and in certain areas there is flooding. All this affects Quality of Life issues. We cannot expect City Departments and the SF City Planning to come to our rescue even as we are suffering the actual consequences.
There is no plan right now in this faulty legislation to spell out the details. We cannot just mention City Department and the SF Planning Department to try to address issues that it has failed to do so again and again in the past. Perhaps the following resolution will see better light: The Bayview Hunters Point Coordinating Council initiated and passed the following Resolution a the Coalition For San Francisco Neighborhood (CSFN) General Assembly on August 16, 2005:
WHEREAS pending Better Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation Process Legislation proposed only " future significant changes by the City in land use controls" and in " planning and implementation process" but also that, if adopted this legislation " shall apply to all planning activities of the Planning Department"; and
WHEREAS, this significant legislation, which will profoundly change the planning process in San Francisco, was not formally put before the Planning Commission with required accompanying materials Case Report, analysis and recommendations prepared by the Planning Department pursuant to Planning Code Section 306.4 (a) until July 21, 2005; and
WHEREAS, this legislation has substantially modified, out of public view, since its introduction by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick; and
WHEREAS, Planning Code Section 306.4 (d) (3) provides for a ninety (90) days Planning Commission review period to run "from the date of referral of the proposed amendment of modification Š to the Commission" thereby codifying intent that adequate time be allotted for Commission consideration of, and findings re proposed legislation which adequate period would thereby run from July 21, 2005, the date of referral of subject legislation to the Commission, until October, 21, 2005; and
WHEREAS, the recently adopted thirty-four (34) days review period extension until September 15, 2005 included a twenty-one (21) days Planning Commission summer hiatus, and whereas City residents have been on summer hiatus as well; and
WHEREAS, there has been, to date, no mailed Notice and no official newspaper Notice regarding this all-important legislation; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Coalition For San Francisco Neighborhoods (CSFN) requests an adequate, appropriate, and ample extension of Planning Commission's review, re subject legislation at least until October 21, 2005.
Francisco Da Costa Bayview Hunters Point Coordinating Council