San Bruno expedites rebuild process

San Bruno residents who lost their homes in the devastating natural-gas line explosion in September should be able to rebuild their homes as they originally appeared, even if it conflicts with current regulations, city officials said this week.

One Tuesday, the city council is expected to approve an expedited planning process for victims of the Sept. 9 blast, which killed eight people, destroyed 35 homes and caused major damage to 20 other properties.

Proposed new homes that exceed a development regulation — such as the size of the home as compared to the lot size, height or garage size — will only need an OK from the city’s architectural review committee. Currently, those projects must go before the Planning Commission, which takes more time.

If a homeowner wants to rebuild their old home in the same way, he or she could simply go to the building department for review and officials would have discretion to approve features that are out of compliance with the city’s more-modern design standards.

Officials say the changes should cut the time it takes for a typical home’s plans to be approved, from six months to about three months. Also, the city has also agreed to waive all its typical planning and building fees for the blast victims.

“The big reason is to get the neighborhood rebuilt,” Mayor Jim Ruane said. “We think it’s very important from a physical standpoint, of course, but more important from a psychological standpoint. The sooner we get done, the better off we are.”

The changes, which would begin in mid-January, affect 55 properties in an area termed the Glenview Overlay Zone, a special zoning district near the blast site that would be active for five years.

Community Development Director Aaron Aknin said no owners of the affected properties, built in the late ’50s and early ’60s, have submitted any formal planning documents, though Ruane has said he has heard that at least five people have told the city they are ready to start the process.

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsfireLocalPeninsulaSan Bruno

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10), pictured at a team practice, connected on 17 of 25 passes in a Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions. (Courtesy Terrell Lloyd/San Francisco 49ers)
Jimmy vs. Trey: The NFL’s most ridiculous QB controversy

Let’s not forget who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl

Most Read