A view of City Hall San Francisco from the Civic Center Plaza. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed on Tuesday to wait on voting on a proposal that would remove remote public comment at weekly meetings.

Authored by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the proposal would require residents wanting to participate in public comment to show up to meetings in person, unless they request special accommodations 72 hours in advance because of a disability.

City Hall first permitted public comment submissions via Zoom and phone in response to mass shutdowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mandelman said that as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are easing up, remote public comment section has made meetings run significantly longer — citing instances where public comment went on for hours — allowed people from areas outside of the city to infiltrate the meeting and ultimately prevent staff and clerks from being able to return home at a reasonable hour.

Supervisor Matt Dorsey proposed a deferral and requested to keep remote public comment open without the requirement of residents having to disclose that they have a disability.

Supervisors Connie Chan and Myrna Melgar backed Dorsey in his sentiments, noting that although public comment can be lengthy, remote public comment can preserve the public’s right to voice their concerns to their government, even if meeting times conflict with work or family obligations.

The board will reconsider the proposal with potential amendments at their next meeting on March 7. Remote public comment will still be available until the board’s decision.