CEQA circus swirls to a close

28 07 2013

By Thomas K. Pendergast, July 24, 2013

Full story at SFBay, here.

Citizens appealing City decisions about any large building project now have a clear set of rules for filing the paperwork, thanks to a unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Fernando Marti of the Council of Community Housing Organizations… said as affordable housing developers, his organization has had threats of people appealing those projects, neighbors who don’t like an affordable housing development in their neighborhood, but generally his organization has been able to work with them to address those concerns:

“In fact it’s the up-front length of environmental review and uncertainty in figuring out what the direction is that’s been more problematic.”

He echoed Campos’ emphasis on keeping appeal decisions with the full board instead of a subcommittee:

 “In these kinds of things where there is a developer who has a lot of ‘juice’ in some ways, and where it’s very important for the city as a whole to have a successful outcome … being able to have that conversation with a very broad set of stakeholders … who can represent multiple points of view on the topic is very important. So to have it heard only at the Land Use Committee, where there are generally three voices, is very different from having it heard at the Board of Supervisors. … We think it creates a much more democratic avenue for discussions on the myriad impacts that those large developments have.”