"One of Mayor Bob Filner's first priorities when he took office, he said, was to separate the city's planning department and the development services department, which had been operating with a single director since a shakeup orchestrated under Filner's predecessor," writes Andrew Keatts.
The announcement last week that Development Services Director Kelly Broughton would be stepping down seems to signal that shift may be under way.
"Bringing city planning onto its own footing would help neighborhoods pursue big-picture, quality-of-life issues as they grow," says Keatts. "Development services, then, could revert to essentially just approving various permits."
"The new planning department, Filner said Thursday, will take a broader, more ambitious view of the neighborhood-level decisions city planners already make. He threw out 'the department of sustainable neighborhoods' as a possible new name. It would focus on problems facing small businesses, economic development, historic preservation, design guidelines, walkability and bikeability."