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Scott Wiener's Legislative Misses 

Wednesday, Feb 13 2013

Scott Wiener has proven he can often expedite a sluggish political process. But his attempts to smooth city policy do have some jagged edges.

•Wiener's restaurant legislation did largely unravel the Gordian knot of regulations in this city, reducing the categories of eatery from 13 to three. But, counterintuitively, for some aspiring restaurateurs this created more red tape, not less.

•The transit impact fees Wiener has championed could result in hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into the cash-strapped Municipal Transportation Agency over the next several decades. Rather than undergoing individual traffic impact studies, the parameters of developers' projects would be fed into a city program, which would generate an impact fee to be paid to Muni. Critics, however, claim the program's metrics are flawed and arbitrary. And, more damningly, the money paid to Muni will not be mandated to offset the specific impacts caused by an individual development. It will instead amass in a pot and be used for whatever Muni uses its millions of dollars for.

•Even Wiener's anti-nudity legislation has potential fatal flaws. While courts have consistently rejected that merely being nude is protected speech, the situation grows murkier when nudity is tied to a political message. Christina DiEdoardo, the nudists' attorney, writes that a "naked man with an #occupy cockring" would trump the ordinance. This would make for a most unusual "Exhibit A" — but a judge may yet concur.

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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