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San Francisco Planning Department Proposes Increasing Heights in Neighborhoods

The San Francisco Planning Department is proposing a trade-off to neighborhoods to comply with a state density bonus law: Modestly increase height and density limits in exchange for more affordable housing.
November 19, 2015, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The City's new Affordable Housing Bonus Program originates from Mayor Ed Lee's plan to comply with state density bonus law. It was introduced to the Board of Supervisors in late September and will be heard by the Planning Commission next month.

As the before and after renderings below show, it would increase building heights in exchange for more affordable housing. 

Screen shot 2015 11 15 at 12.20.43 pmExisting and proposed density heights. Credit: SF Planning, via Hoodline. See below image for transformation.

As described here on September 30, the density bonus program "would help the city build approximately 16,000 new units of housing, including 5,000 affordable units along select transit corridors."

"Under it, new housing built on neighborhood corridors including the Castro, Haight, Divisadero, Inner Sunset, North Beach and Polk could add up to two additional stories if 30 percent of the new units are permanently set aside for middle- or low-income residents," according to Hoodline.

In addition to increasing the number of affordable units in a neighborhood, the Planning Departments writes that it would:
  • Improve feasibility of underutilized sites
  • Increase availability of middle-income housing
  • Expedite entitlement of 100 percent affordable housing units

Below, the Planning Department depicts the transformation. Judge for yourself.

The top image, with the taller version of the building drawn in. Credit: SF Planning via Hoodline.

Next stop for the program: Planning Commission review on December 3.

Hat tip: Len Conly, Sierra Club Bay Area Transportation Forum.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, November 15, 2015 in Hoodline
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