“If you have to go before the planning commission to get a conditional
use permit and you think it's 50-50, you'd be crazy to do things that
way,” former deputy mayor of housing Brad Paul told SF Weekly. “This policy allows you to break the law and then
say, 'Oh, sorry,' and work with staff and get them to do the homework.”
The planning department now apparently feels the same way, having informed Academy of Art to start complying with city rulings or start paying out fines of up to $250 a day — for myriad infractions.
“Better late than never,” said longtime Academy critic Aaron Peskin, the former president of the Board of Supervisors. “This should have been done years ago. If this were any other institution, this would have been referred to the city attorney for a code compliance lawsuit years ago.”