Passmore: Sutro Tower permit to get second look

The City Voice, September 16-October 14, 1997

The SF Planning Department will take a second look at giving the green light for Sutro Tower to apply for permits to reinforce the tower's structure without going through a public hearing.

On May 24, the planning department granted a request by Sutro Tower, Inc. for structural reinforcements to accommodate a 125 foot HDTV antenna in the near future, without reapplying for a Conditional Use Permit, which would have required a hearing before the SF Planning Commission.

According to documents submitted by Gene Zastrow, general manager of Sutro Tower, the existing structure will be strengthened in three ways: steel plates will be bolted to the legs of the tower and diagonal beams and leg braces will be reinforced.

Earlier, GCA Strategies, lobbyists for Sutro Tower, Inc. on the project, argued their position with Robert Passmore, assistant director of planning, by saying the addition of high-definition television broadcasting equipment was basically the same as that which now exists.

Passmore has agreed to take another look at the proposal and says he hopes to have a decision by Sept. 19.

According to Passmore, "It just did not compute (in my mind) that the industry has gone from analog to digital and this change from analog to digital may cause this to be a new use."

Passmore explains that all the questions "were being asked by the industry and I will just have to take another look at it."

Representatives from neighborhood groups opposed to the project brought the matter to Passmore's attention recently, complaining files for the project were not available at the planning department for public inspection.

Back to Press Coverage page