City Planning Process to Get Easier

Good news for homeowners

By Zephyr Real Estate News

The good news: Reforms are in store for the San Francisco Planning Department. The bad news: You now have one less thing to commiserate over cocktails with your fellow city homeowners.

Whether you’ve attempted a major project like adding on to your home, or just wanted to do something as simple as plant some trees out front, you may have had to deal with the frustrations of working with the Planning Department. Of course, we all wish the city’s land to be used appropriately, and so someone must enforce some guidelines. It’s just that up until now, the processes have at times seemed overly complex.

But these reforms introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Planning Director John Rahaim back in July, promise to create a more streamlined, more efficient planning process.

–  Some of the program’s features include:

–  Integrated online tracking of permits

–  Streamlined California Environmental Quality Act review procedures

–  A more consistent design review process

–  Improvements to the Discretionary Review process

–  A reduction in the current backlog of project applications

–  Immediate feedback on projects so that sponsors can anticipate potential changes.

Although it may take up to two years for all the improvements to come into play, some reforms may be in place as early as the fall. These include streamlining environmental reviews in new neighborhood plan areas and simplified procedures for small projects affecting historical resources. However these reforms affect you and your household, it’s good to know that the city we’ve invested in
continues to improve.

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