Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Castro design plan put on hold

A design plan for new developments in the Castro expected to be heard Thursday, August 7 by the city’s Planning Commission has instead been put on the back burner. It is now not expected to come before the public body until after it returns from a summer recess in September.

The document, known as the Upper Market Community Design Plan, has been in the works since 2006 and outlines the types of developments Castro residents would like to see built in the gay neighborhood.

As the Bay Area Reporter reported last month, the plan has been met with some criticism from residents fearful the plan will “fast track” approval of new buildings and lessen their ability to give feedback on the projects.

Planning officials insist the design plan will not hamper the public’s input and will only speed up the review process for those projects that have wide support from neighborhood groups.

Until the plan is adopted, the planning department has put a hold on calendaring any new developments along the upper Market Street corridor that would be impacted by the plan’s guidelines and suggestions.

Staffers are doing some work in-house on certain projects, such as environmental work, and developers are shopping projects around to community groups in advance of getting the green light to bring their plans before the commissioners.

Due to the oversight body’s heavy workload this summer and review of a larger rezoning of the city’s eastern neighborhoods, the Castro design plan has been put on “indefinite continuance.” It has been routinely kicked back since first been agendized for the commission’s July 17 meeting.

“The calendar is still pretty crazy and busy with the eastern neighborhoods plan. We figured to let the dust settle from the eastern neighborhoods because that is taking up so much of the commission’s time. We can’t compete with that,” said Abigail Kiefer, a citywide policy planner assigned to the Castro design plan.

— Matthew S. Bajko, August 6, 2008 @ 3:30 pm PST
Filed under: News

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