Lots of cleanup at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, as it felt like a million different pieces of longstanding proposed legislation finally got approved. Let's take a look at the highlights.
First up - bird killers. And by "bird killers," we mean "buildings." Supervisor Mar’s “Bird-Safe Buildings” standards finally got approved after almost a year. Last week the supervisor gave some info about the issue, calling buildings “one of the greatest manmade killer of birds” and that 1-3 million birds die each year from flying into buildings. His legislation will “prevent hundreds of thousands of needless bird deaths." It passed unanimously, so the birds of San Francisco are sleeping soundly tonight.
The heavily debated new park at 17th & Folsom was finally approved unanimously after a 10-year community planning process. Supervisor Kim, who sponsored the legislation, said even though it has nearly 60,000 families with kids, the Mission has less than 1% of parkland in the whole city. She basically admitted the whole conversion to parkland was wicked complicated with all the public agencies involved, so thank goodness we’re finally voting on it.
Target! In the city! The “City Center Special Sign District," which would allow Target in the City Center at Geary and Masonic (“Winner” of CurbedSF’s 2010 Ugliest Building contest), passed unanimously. The project got a unanimous vote at the Planning Commisson, and there were no appeals, so it’s now an entitled project - which surprised Supervisor Weiner after the whole Target-LGBT facepalm last year. The new signage district would allow the giant bullseye signs proposed by Target to increase visibility and create better traffic flow around the clusterf**k that is the Geary and Masonic intersection.
Supervisor Farrell’s legislation on Film Fees and Rebates also passed unanimously. The proposal would bolster the Film Rebate program to include documentary films, docudrama films, and "reality" programming. Real Housewives of San Francisco, coming soon (we hope)! The legislation was meant to get companies to spend production dollars in SF and hire local crews, and they’ve already received numerous inquires since it was introduced. Supervisor Avalos couldn’t let a freebe like this go by without saying “we have a pretty good reality show going on right now in the Mayor’s race, it’s like a game of Survivor!” Groan.
Last but not least, President Chiu introduced legislation to help city small business accomodate ADA requirements, since many have been sued for ADA violations. The Pres stated there have been 5000 lawsuits in CA, with 300 businesses sued in SF, and some had to close because of it. The legislation would prioritize permit applications for ADA work, require commercial landlords to bring ground-floor entrances and exits into compliance with pre-existing access laws before a new lease or renewal is signed, require commercial landlords to inform small business tenants they have potential ADA obligations, and allow small coffee shops and self-service restaurants to exclude square footage for disabled access from the calculation of the maximum allowable square footage. No word yet on how the commercial landlords feel about this, but no doubt we’ll hear soon enough. - Alex Bevk