San Francisco preservation rules reformed 

After nearly 30 meetings, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted heavily debated changes to San Francisco’s historic-preservation rules that could make it more difficult to form historic districts.

Creation of historic districts will now require increased community outreach. Such districts also must consider The City’s housing needs while exempting pedestrian-safety projects and property owners with financial hardship. The City will now also move to create its interpretation of federal preservation standards.

In 2008, voters approved then-Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s Proposition J, which created a Historic Preservation Commission to make decisions about historic designations. Property owners and developers are held to strict standards regarding materials and design when making changes in areas designated historic.

“San Francisco is a great historic city, but it is not a museum,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who authored the legislation changing historic-preservation rules.

The legislation was approved in an 8-3 vote with supervisors John Avalos, Eric Mar and David Campos opposing it.

The three progressive opponents were victorious in picking up the support of supervisors Christina Olague, Jane Kim and David Chiu to shoot down a provision that would have required a survey of those impacted by a proposed historic district.

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