Wiener calls for review of waterfront ballot measure impacts

San Francisco’s waterfront politics heated up Tuesday with Supervisor Scott Wiener calling for increased analysis over the impacts of a June ballot measure that would empower voters to decide project by project if height limits should be exceeded.

The request by Wiener was blasted by Jon Golinger, the campaign manager for the Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Initiative who suggested it may be illegal.

Not so, says Wiener, whose office staffers referred to state election code that says a legislative body may request such analysis no later than 30 days after the Elections Department certifies a signed petition to place it on the ballot. The petition for the waterfront development initiative was certified Friday.
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The June ballot measure has become politically charged as it would force a host of high-profile developments in the pipeline for the waterfront to undergo voter approval, perhaps most notably the Warriors’ arena
project.

Wiener’s requested study asks city departments to report by March 7 on how the proposed initiative, if passed, will affect the city’s housing, infrastructure, transportation and open space needs.

“The public deserves all information needed to make an informed decision at the ballot box. If this measure may impact the production of housing, particularly affordable housing, the public should be aware of those impacts,” Wiener said in a statement, noting that city officials are attempting “to address our housing crisis.”

But Golinger claimed Wiener is still bitter from when Golinger helped convince voters to overturn the Board of Supervisors’ approval of the 8 Washington St. luxury waterfront condo development.

“Scott Wiener … clearly didn’t get the message from voters that he lost, so he’s still trying to find a way to build luxury high-rises on public waterfront land,” Golinger said. He called the supervisor’s proposal an “ill-conceived scheme” to use public dollars and city employee hours “to generate a slanted critique of a ballot initiative he doesn’t like.”