San Francisco's Shady Fight Casts a Long Shadow

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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San Francisco's Shady Fight Casts a Long Shadow

Shadows could become a major issue in the City.

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Citing "some individuals within the San Francisco Planning Department and the mayor's office (who) have unfortunately abused their discretion," the Board of Supervisors president is introducing legislation that would increase shadow restrictions on new developments.

In summary, it would strengthen the 1984 rule against tall buildings casting shadows on city parks by adding more open spaces to the protected list, including U.N. and Hallidie plazas, and any open space near Yerba Buena Gardens.

And any changes (exceptions?) to the rule would be put in the hands of the board, rather than the Planning or Rec & Park commissions, as the decision-making process currently has it.

The mayor's office and the Planning Department have predictably freaked, saying the ordinance would kill or harm a ton of projects, including a number of high-rises planned around the Transbay Transit Center, and that Tenderloin gro-sto that's currently on ice.

And had the measure existed in earlier years, projects such as Asian Art Museum wouldn't have been possible, they say. According to Gavin's office, the ulterior motive on this project is simply to kill the FiDi's twisty cylinder project.

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