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The S.F. Planning Department Issues Its Annual Report

This just in: the San Francisco Planning Department has guessed it, another report. The 60-page 2011-2012 Annual Report, released on Monday, comes with a cover depicting the Transit Center District as a gleaming beacon from the bright future, and summarizes the achievements of the last fiscal year, highlighting the certified EIRs for the Transit Center District Plan and America's Cup, and the release of the preliminary Central Corridor Plan currently under environmental review. Planning Director John Rahaim emphasized the successes not just in planning, but implementation—made possible by the City's current development boom—and congratulated his staff for persevering through harsh conditions: "San Francisco is a city we all love to love, and for good reason. While our work as planners is challenging in such a love-fest, we do it because we know we achieve results." Sounds rough, but hopefully the nearly $20 million doled out in departmental salaries has compensated the team fairly.

The Report—in addition to detailing such compelling facts as the number of Zoning Administrator Letters of Determination delivered (95) and "Certificates of Appropriateness" issued (76)—contains some more revealing stats. It tells us that just 85 permits for new building construction were issued (down from 123 the previous year), 2,548 new units of housing (largely in Mission Bay, with -10 units downtown) and a whopping 359,248 sf of new commercial space (concentrated downtown) were permitted, and the Planning Department came in only $5 million (~20%) over budget. Now, if only some of the that housing (along with the 43,580 units reportedly in the pipeline,) were actually built, we'd could really have a love-fest. - Laura Tepper
· San Francisco Planning Department Annual Report, 2011-12 [SF Planning]