To the Editor…

by on March 17, 2014

“I just finished reading the brief by the opponents of the voter initiative that would enable the public to weigh in on any requests to increase building heights beyond current limits along the SF waterfront…and I wanted to share some insight.The opponent petitioners are exercising their right to challenge the legality of the initiative itself. Their theme is that this initiative abuses the initiative process because waterfront land use decisions should never be left in the hands of the people, but in the purview of the experts. Their document cites current statutes and laws, 14 legal case precedents and includes their arguments, which interpret those laws and precedents. (You can find the documents pro and con on the website for No Wall on the Waterfront.)I found one basis for the opponents’ arguments pretty odd: They argue that decisions about SF waterfront land are not for the people, nor for the Planning Department, nor for the Board of Supervisors to make–but almost exclusively for the Port Commission, because the administer the land.Democracy, anybody? The opponents of the voter initiative go on to illustrate what they think of San Francisco residents in the following statement: “Permitting initiative proponents to go directly to the ballot would…subject complicated land use planning decisions to the uncertainty of the electoral process. “In my opinion a good reason for this initiative is that it’s become clear the Planning Department and the Board of Supervisors and indeed the Port Commission can make and have made some mistakes. The 8 Washington project had so many things wrong with it that–after the vote last year that halted the project–the majority of members of the BoS admitted they made a mistake in giving it the green light. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay — just admit a mistake when it happens.My interest in land use stems a great deal from my living in the shadow of one of those mistakes. It’s called the Fontana Towers. Great for the people who live there, an eyesore for everybody else!”

This feedback was sent by:Roland SALVATO from San Francisco, california

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