San Francisco needs simple planning code

The planning code for our city of 800,000 residents has grown to 3,000 pages. Why was it necessary to create such a code, which architects and the public can’t read and can’t use to find references and digests for every situation?  It hurts everyone in terrible ways.

The Planning Commission has some great staff helping the public at its front counter. Recently, however, their own online designation for a “limited commercial use” on a property was shanghaied by an obscure rule in these massive documents, forcing a commercial building to become a strictly residential structure rather than having its 60-year commercial use continue on ground level. This has cost the owner of the property  tens of thousands.

San Francisco is being badly served again. We can only hope that Supervisor David Chiu’s correction of such obscure code passages will be passed. The Board of Supervisors needs to go back to the previous 300-page planning code, because San Francisco is slowly decreasing in population and, worse, losing businesses right and left with arbitrary restrictions of commercial space.

Janet Campbell, San Francisco

Breast-feeding is natural

It just seems to me that the people who complain about mothers breast-feeding their infants in public are the ones causing all the uproar. I see this on Muni occasionally and the only problem I’ve encountered is to keep my eyes focused in an appropriate direction. It is a shame that such a loving and natural function is shunted off as obscene. All in the mind of the beholder!

William J. Coburn, San Francisco

Nurses deserve support

I am distressed every time I see our Mills-Peninsula Health Services nurses out on strike in the street. I am in sympathy with their fight to retain high levels of patient care and their fight to protect what remaining services we still have in our hospital.

I think it is in our community interest to let Sutter management know that it should not lock out our nurses and import out-of-state nurses for even a single day during a signed employment contract. Sutter should bite the bullet and recognize that the cost of doing business is to send the replacements home and allow our nurses back to work, lest our community suffer a patient tragedy similar to what happened in San Francisco at a Sutter hospital during the last lockout.

Pat Giorni, Burlingame

Call for direct democracy

Campaign financing is the root of all political quid pro quo evil, which puts special and moneyed interests ahead of the people’s interests. There should be no state or federal campaign financing. It is self-corrupting, self-serving and promotes the pursuit of personal power by elected officials. Surely, if there were to be a constitutional amendment, it should establish nonpartisan direct democracy by secure voting networks connected to voters’ homes.

The amendment should require representatives to be highly qualified, well-compensated professional government managers — rather than partisan professional politicians — subject to annual confirmation by voters to remain in office. Voters would decide all matters of taxation and public policy. And existing constitutional rights and protections could not be removed.

Daniel B. Jeffs, Apple Valley

2011letters to the editorOpinionSan Francisco

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