On the Planning Commission agenda this week is the continuation of a somewhat controversial item introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener earlier this month that would limit the citizenry's ability to hold up development projects with their appeals. On the plus side, for developers, this will likely speed things up. On the minus side, for many a community activist, this is an attack on all things they hold dear, and this means war.
A Guardian piece today by editor Tim Redmond calls Wiener's proposed changes "a developer's wet dream," borrowing a quote from vocal neighborhood activist and former supervisor Aaron Peskin. But to Wiener's mind, this is just a streamlining of the process, and one that won't allow for eleventh-hour appeals that needlessly stall approved projects. He says, "The goal is to make sure we have a good CEQA process but also a more predictable process." If you're a true wonk, you can read all the exact details being discussed at tomorrow's meeting here.
Between this and Wiener's recent sponsoring of the nudity ban, he's quickly earning a reputation as a loud moderate (some would say conservative) voice on the Board, and this particular bit of legislation does seem geared toward pleasing a well heeled sector of political donors who will likely give heavily when Wiener is up for re-election. Also, some have predicted that he appears likely to become the next President of the Board, after David Chiu steps down.