Planning Committee Charter [FOR MEMBERSHIP RATIFICATION]


(for membership ratification September 2015)


Castro/EVNA is the oldest continuously operating neighborhood association in San Francisco. At our heart is the world-famous Castro District. Since our foundation as the Eureka Valley Promotion Association in 1878, our members have been striving to make our neighborhood a great place to live, work and play. Today, we work to preserve the unique character of our diverse neighborhood while maintaining a balance between prospering business and residential livability.


  • Protect and enhance the character of the neighborhood, its historic resources and significant topographic features and open space.
  • Ensure that growth, development, and public access are compatible with and meet the needs of residents and the business community.
  • Protect and improve public health and safety.
  • Encourage friendly association among neighbors and businesses.
  • Provide an educational forum and community outreach to community members.


The Planning Committee addresses the EVNA goals with a focus on protecting and enhancing the character of the neighborhood by ensuring that historic preservation, growth, development, and public areas are compatible with and meet the needs of the residents and the business community. The Committee seeks thoughtful development that preserves our unique neighborhood. We have an interest in both residential and commercial land uses. Overall, we consider historic preservation to be a guiding aspect of our process.

In the residential realm:

  • We favor preserving the small-scale, fine-grained nature of the neighborhood for the residents' peaceful enjoyment of their homes.
  • We do not favor expansive single-family or multi-unit homes in a way that diminishes neighboring properties or reduces rear-yard /mid-block open space.
  • We oppose remodeling for the primary purpose of immediate resale, as it tends to destabilize the neighborhood and accelerates the loss of affordable housing.
  • We work with property owners, developers and neighbors at the beginning stages of a project to find out their goals and to see if we can achieve a collaborative process.

In the commercial realm:

  • We support the development of locally owned businesses and favor a mix of establishments that serve the needs of the local community along with those that serve the wider community and the LGBT community in particular.
  • We endeavor to keep abreast of the major developments occurring along the Market Street corridor in terms of their impact on the neighborhood.
  • To promote locally-owned businesses, we favor small businesses over formula retail. However, we evaluate formula retail on a case by case basis, based on whether the service is desirable or needed, and the degree to which the project can create a design, feel and experience that is unique to our neighborhood.
  • We strive to mediate the stresses that can occur where an entertainment district borders a settled residential neighborhood.


Per EVNA Bylaws Art VIII §5. “Standing Committees which have established and published internal procedures for the governance of the affairs and membership of the committee may act in behalf of the organization with the ratification of the membership.”


Per EVNA Bylaws Article VIII §3 and to provide transparency to the membership, Planning Committee meetings shall be open to EVNA members except during deliberations concerning new member as discussed below.


Frequently, the EVNA is petitioned by project sponsors to support their projects as they go through the entitlement process and/or by neighbors who are in opposition to a project as proposed. Timing in the planning process does not typically allow for serial review and approval by the Planning Committee, EVNA Board of Directors, then general membership. Also, many projects which are routine or for which EVNA has long standing positions would unnecessarily burden the EVNA Board of Directors and membership.

If the Planning Committee has engaged with the general membership within the past 14 months in the format of a Neighborhood Planning Forum or by a Neighborhood Planning Survey of the membership, then the committee may act on behalf of the EVNA Board of Directors and membership in official correspondence to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the District Supervisor, Planning Commission, and Zoning Administrator when all five of the following criteria are met:

1. The project is within the area boundaries of the EVNA as described in Article III §1 of the EVNA Bylaws.

2. The project sponsor and (if any) neighbors in opposition are invited to present the project to the Committee.

3. The project is for use other than formula retail.

4. If commercial, the project is less than 4,500 sq-ft occupied floor area as defined by §102.10 of the San Francisco Planning Code.

5. If residential, the project site is zoned for nine or fewer units.

Any decision appealed to the EVNA Board of Directors should include a detailed summary of the proposed project with cause for the appeal. The Board of Directors shall take one of the following actions within seven calendar days or the decision by the Planning Committee shall stand:

1. Make a final determination of the EVNA position on the proposed project.

2.. Time permitting, forward the determination to the general membership.

3. Do nothing, in which case the position of the Planning Committee is the position of the EVNA.


The EVNA Planning & Land Use Committee is a very active EVNA standing committee. Membership in the committee goes beyond attending the monthly Planning Committee meetings. Planning Committee members are expected to participate in a variety of committee functions, such as:

1. Attend project pre-app meetings.

2. Make site visits to proposed projects.

3. Attend variance hearings of the Zoning Administrator.

4. Attend San Francisco Planning Commission meetings.

5. Attend San Francisco Board of Appeals meetings.

Per Article VIII §2 of the EVNA Bylaws, members of committees must be EVNA members. To become a member of the EVNA Planning Committee, you must be an EVNA member with voting rights per the EVNA Bylaws Article IV §5. Any member of the EVNA may petition the EVNA Board of Directors to be nominated to become a member of the Planning Committee. Upon nomination to the Planning Committee by the EVNA Board of Directors, nominees shall complete a Planning Committee membership application as provided by the Planning Committee after completing the following practical factors which will provide the nominee with appropriate experience and knowledge base such that by the time they are serving as a member of the committee that they should have adequate understanding of the planning process in San Francisco:

1. Attend three regularly scheduled Planning Committee meetings at which the nominee is encouraged to participate in committee discussion but cannot vote.

2. Attend one project pre-app meeting as an observer.

3. Attend one variance hearing of the Zoning Administrator (preferred). As an alternative, the nominee may listen to a full variance hearing via the San Francisco Planning Department web site.

4. Attend at least one San Francisco Planning Commission meeting in City Hall (preferred). As an alternative, the nominee may view a full Planning Commission meeting via the web/SFGTV.

5. Take an open-book quiz (online) on some very basic concepts of planning as provided by the Planning Committee.

Planning Committee nominees shall submit their membership applications to the Planning Committee Chair by email at least one week before the Planning Committee meeting which the Planning Committee will deliberate their application. The Planning Committee Chair will distribute the completed application to Planning Committee members for review. At the Planning Committee meeting, the nominee shall be present for any questions from the committee. The Planning Committee shall enter closed session for deliberations and vote to recommend the nominee become a voting member of committee. The Chair or designee will advise the Board of Directors of the Planning Committee recommendation for approval by the Board.


The Chair of the Planning Committee shall prepare the agenda for the meetings and run the meetings in a manner which encourages participation and effective dialog.

The President is the primary point of contact for all media interaction. In the event that a board or committee members is contacted by the media, members may mention their EVNA involvement members shall make clear that they are not speaking on behalf of EVNA, but personally, and refer media to the President for an official EVNA response.

I, ____________________________, have read and understand the Planning  Committee Charter and Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association governing documents: Bylaws, Governance and Voting Policies, and Operations Manual and will adhere to the requirements contained herein.


2 thoughts on “Planning Committee Charter [FOR MEMBERSHIP RATIFICATION]”

  1. I would like to see us add some very basic, fun practical factors that the prospective member can do to learn a bit more about the planning process in SF before they join us. This could include:

    • Take an open-book quiz (online) on some very basic concepts of planning. I’ve started something at
    • Attend a planning commission hearing
    • Attend a variance hearing
    • Attend at least one “pre-app” meeting

    As a prospective member must attend three PLUC meetings, they would have at least 60 days to accomplish the above, certainly not a tough challenge.

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