In its effort to preserve the past of San Francisco, the Historic Preservation Commission might just be hindering the city from having any kind of real future — one with affordable housing, good transit, and healthy redevelopment.
It was a good thing for San Francisco when voters in 2008 passed Proposition J — a measure pushed by then-Supervisor Aaron Peskin — which elevated the Historic Preservation Commission from an advisory body to one that wields real authority.
Just as there is such a thing as too much development, there can also be too much preservation. In the last year alone, historic preservation advocates have been running around town trying to mark libraries, buildings, trees, and parks as historic.
More recently, the city hired consultants to survey properties citywide and decide what they thought was historically significant. Consultants looked at buildings built more than 50 years ago, but as some developers pointed out, that doesn't necessarily mean they are historically significant.