Sandoval takes aim at illegal property paving

It’s already illegal for city residents to pave their front yards without permission, but one supervisor’s legislation is intended to give inspectors the teeth to enforce the ban.

District 11 Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval will introduce legislation next week that would empower Planning Department inspectors to hand out or mail citations for violations of zoning regulations.

The ordinance would help remedy a problem that’s plaguing Sandoval’s district, he told The Examiner on Wednesday.

Residents are pulling out gardens and lawns from their front yards and filling them with concrete. Doing so provides an extra parking spot, but Sandoval said it has far-reaching ill effects.

“We passed a law several years ago to make it illegal, but people continue to do it,” he said. “We are in danger of becoming a concrete city.”

He said once one person on a street paves over their lawn, neighbors tend to follow suit. The trend has caught on with entire blocks.

Paving over gardens not only takes away from the beauty of a neighborhood, he said, it means rainfall has nowhere to go except into The City’s storm drains, contributing to the risk of overflow and flooding.

“Together,all these factors send a message to young people that we don’t care about the environment or them,” Sandoval said.

If passed, the Planning Department would be given a power currently wielded by the Department of Building Inspection. Sandoval said building inspectors sometimes issue citations for planning violations, but with their own caseloads to handle, many infractions fall through the cracks.

If the ordinance passes, the Planning Department would be able to levy a fine of up to $500 in what is called a director’s hearing.

The legislation is set to be introduced Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors.

bbegin@examiner.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The Medical Examiner's Office van on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s 2020 overdose deaths soar 59 percent to 699

Fatal drug overdoses surged by nearly 59 percent in San Francisco last… Continue reading

Police Commissioner John Hamasaki questions Chief Bill Scott at City Hall on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD should probe whether officers joined Capitol raid, commissioners say

Chief unaware of any members participating in insurrection

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read