San Francisco

San Francisco Planning Director Announces Retirement After 11 Years

After more than 11 years, San Francisco's Planning Director John Rahaim announced Wednesday he would be retiring.

Rahaim, credited with helping grow and develop several city neighborhoods like South of Market and downtown, was first appointed to the position back in 2008 by then Mayor Gavin Newsom.

"My time serving as San Francisco's Director of Planning has been the greatest honor of my career," Rahaim said in a statement. "I am grateful to have led this exceptional department through the growth and change that San Francisco has experienced over the past decade and continues to see today."

Rahaim will continue to serve as director until the department finds his replacement, he said.

"John oversaw the department and city through unprecedented times of recession and growth," Mayor London Breed said. "Under his leadership the Planning Department delivered area plans which allowed for new levels of public benefits and much needed housing in transit rich neighborhoods."

During his tenure, several area plans were adopted, including the most recent Central SoMa plan. The SoMa plan is expected to bring nearly 16 million square feet for new housing and jobs, over $2 billion in public benefits, $500 million for transit, and funding for cultural preservation, the mayor's office said.

Prior to being appointed to the director position, Rahaim worked in Seattle in positions such as the executive director of the Seattle Design Commission and as the planning director for Seattle's Department of Planning and Development.

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