As we wonder about the role and reach of Planning in San Francisco, this afternoon San Francisco’s Planning Commission will vote to endorse the Planning Department’s Mission, Vision, and Value statements intended to guide department staff in their work.
The Planning Department’s proposed Vision Statement: “Making San Francisco the world’s most livable urban place – environmentally, economically, socially and culturally.” And the Department’s proposed Mission:

The San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.

Deliberately and rather ironically removed from the Planning Department’s list of guiding values at the request of the Commission: “Deliberate: We are deliberate in our process and stand by our decisions, even when others disagree.”
Planning’s thirteen proposed Values with which the Commission agreed:


1. Collaboration: We collaborate with the people of San Francisco.
2. Education: We educate our community about our work and we learn from our communities about their neighborhoods and their vision.
3. Respect: We treat our stakeholders with professional courtesy and respect.
4. Trust: We build trust.
5. Open Dialogue: We facilitate ongoing dialogue that is open and responsive.
6. Inclusive: We provide clear communication that is accessible to all members of our diverse population.
7. Fairness: We provide a fair, objective and equitable process.
8. Consistency: We are consistent in our application of policy.
9. Efficiency: We are efficient and timely.
10. Innovation: We are innovative in setting new planning standards, and guiding change that embraces our extraordinary setting, unique heritage, vibrant communities and the aspirations of our diverse population.
11. Employee Satisfaction: We are a great place to work – cultivating intellectual inspiration, professional satisfaction and creativity.
12. Passion: We are passionate about our work.
13. Visionary: We are visionary in our plans and practical in their implementation.
Should Our Planning Commission Dictate Which Businesses Survive? [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Also missing are
    Reasonable: We will not stand in the way of meaningful progress to salvage a historically insignificant home that is not unique in any real way.
    Efficient: We will not allow baseless DR requests to stop otherwise obvious progress
    Any others?
    Also, I get “Critic of Peeev” as an jumbled acronym. :)

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    … and 17 points X 2 to eddy for “Critic of Peeev” !
    Ugh. I dislike mission statements because though they look nice written down, rarely is the organization ever funded well enough to actually fulfill the mission. So they just end up being up a wedge occasionally trotted out to keep the worker bees working harder. “Have you met your education and outreach goals yet? There’s only two weeks left in this fiscal year.”

  3. Posted by wrath

    And, most importantly,
    “gosh, darn it, people like us!”

  4. Posted by wrath

    I suggest anyone applying for a job, copy this list as useful in responding to a “describe yourself” type of question.

  5. Posted by conifer

    Cloying. Close to repulsive.

  6. Posted by soccermom

    Here is a chance for you to engage the Matrix as it tries to evolve. Streamlining the permit process and creating an accessible data base format is an admirable goal. Plus they promise snacks:
    “You are invited to get a special sneak preview of a new system that will help you apply for and track certain planning and building permits online.
    Learn all about the Permit and Project Tracking System from the Department of Building Inspection and SF Planning, as they give a presentation and brief demonstration on its many features. The new system allows you to track Planning applications and Building permits, file certain applications and permits, make a complaint and search for general property information – all online and available 24/7.
    Join us at the informational session:
    Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Time: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
    Location: San Francisco Planning Department, 1650 Mission Street, 4th floor, Room 431
    Agenda: Presentation and demonstration 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Q&A 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
    Please RVSP to Carolyn Jayin at carolyn.jayin@sfgov.org.
    Light snacks and beverages will be served.

  7. Posted by sparky*b

    The 13 proposed values are really “proposed” values, as in try to do them, versus the way they are written which sounds like they already do it that way. The 2 biggest ones are:
    8. Consistency: We are consistent in our application of policy.
    9. Efficiency: We are efficient and timely.
    Those are things to work on, but are not the way things are currently done.

  8. Posted by BobN

    We must be missing some pages. I don’t see “petty interference in design decisions” anywhere.

  9. Posted by futurist

    Here’s two to add:
    + Be nice to people at the Planning Counter. Stop chit-chatting with your own staff.
    + Stop chewing gum in a Planning Commission Meeting: Are you listening Christina Olague?

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