Are San Francisco Planners Going Too Far?

Architects in San Francisco say that the Planning Department has gotten increasingly involved in design decisions over the past two years, favoring traditional projects over contemporary designs.
May 24, 2010, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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A very contemporary 28-unit Nob Hill development designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz has faced criticism from the Planning Department -- so much so that the architect believes they are overstepping their role.

Planning Director John Rahaim recently expressed his frustration about another Saitowitz design going through the approval process:

Rahaim (quoted in Curbed SF): "I take great offense to the community comments that staff has no role in the design process. Staff's role in fact is exactly not to rubber stamp everything that walks in the door. ... Our role is to really look at the context and understand how a building fits into the context."

Another architect working in the city complains that the approval process is less than clear. "The planners have an unwritten agenda that must be satisfied, and to the uninitiated it seems like a game of Marco Polo," the anonymous architect says.

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Published on Monday, May 24, 2010 in Curbed SF
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