Rachael Tanner wants to look at the big picture.
Tanner, the president of the city’s Planning Commission, was appointed by Mayor London Breed in 2020 and elected president in 2022. Trained as a city planner, she’s worked in local government, the nonprofit sector and once served on the city’s Board of Appeals.
Tanner assumed the presidency at a critical time: San Francisco is in the process of planning for how to add 82,000 new units to its housing stock—and affordable housing is top of mind, as are potential penalties of not hitting the state’s goals.
There’s also a state investigation underway of San Francisco’s housing policies and practices—the precise mechanism that she and the Planning Commission deal with every week.
Tanner said she hopes San Francisco can tackle the root causes that led to the city’s unusually slow permitting timelines. According to Tanner, some aspects of discretionary review—the policy that gives her board the power to stall projects—should be on the chopping block.
But in the meantime, Tanner doesn’t want to lose focus on the primary goal: Housing San Franciscans, especially those who have been pushed out in the past.
“Housing is essential for people to survive, to thrive in our community and in the world,” Tanner said.
Sarah Wright can be reached at [email protected]