Height Limits

Market Street San Francisco

San Francisco Could Strike Deal on New Tower

The city is leveraging height increases and density bonuses to acquire more properties for affordable housing.

November 16, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

View of Ocean Drive with colorfu three-story buildings and palm trees

Voters Reject Miami Beach High-Rises

Developers planning to build above the city’s current height limit will have to go back to the drawing board.

November 16, 2022 - The Wall Street Journal

A picture of a decorative sign announcing “The Domain” surrounded by high density shops and apartments.

New Building Heights Approved for Austin

A zoning change has increase height limits from 308 feet to 420 feet for new buildings near the city’s MLS stadium.

November 7, 2022 - Austin Monitor

South San Jose houses

More Evidence Upzoning Alone Won't Boost Housing

Experts caution that to encourage significant new housing production, other zoning reforms that reduce costs and streamline permitting should accompany increased density requirements.

January 27, 2022 - Governing

San Francisco Skyline

San Francisco's 1971 Urban Design Plan Echoes Today's Concerns

A 1971 effort to quantify the city's values and design goals reflects many of the same priorities that planners and residents face today.

January 13, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Single-Family Housing Construction

Watch: The Laws and Policies Driving Up the Cost of Housing

A Vox explainer video tackles the rising cost of housing in the United States.

August 31, 2021 - Vox via YouTube

Affordable housing

What Will Cambridge's New Affordable Housing Overlay Do?

The policy is aimed at reducing the cost of building affordable housing and helping affordable housing developers to better compete on property acquisitions.

July 18, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Building Heights and Step-Backs

What Are Height Limits?

Height limits are a critical component of almost every zoning code in the United States.

June 3, 2021 - James Brasuell

The Peninsula

New Housing Law Quickly Enacted in Bay Area

A four-month-old California housing law that applies only to 100% affordable housing near transit has dramatically changed a housing proposal in an affluent Peninsula city, though it is too soon to say if the additional two-stories will be approved.

February 26, 2020 - San Mateo Daily Journal

The Penninsula

Are Charter Cities Subject to California's Housing Laws?

After a San Mateo County Superior Court judge ruled that charter cities are exempt from the Housing Accountability Act, aka the anti-NIMBY law, the state stepped in to support the appellant, a YIMBY group that launched a "Sue the Suburbs" campaign.

January 24, 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

gaslamp Quarter

San Diego Could Eliminate Height Limits Near Transit

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is following up on an idea first pitched during a State of the City address, but with a few teaks.

December 9, 2019 - Voice of San Diego

Denver, Colorado

Zoning Change Could Produce a Skyline Change in Denver

The owner of three centrally located parking lots in Denver is seeking a zoning change that would leverage affordable housing for free future development from height restrictions.

October 3, 2019 - The Denver Post

San Francisco Sprawl

Amendments to Sen. Wiener's 'More HOMES Act' Address Jobs-Housing Balance

"Jobs-rich area," a new term that targets some suburban regions, is among amendments added March 11 to Senate Bill 50, the reincarnation of Wiener's controversial SB 827 housing bill that died last year.

March 16, 2019 - San Francisco Examiner

San Jose, California

Editorial: Raise Height Limits to San Jose's Proper Stature

The city of San Jose has the "least distinctive" downtown skyline of the nation's major cities, according to editorial board of The Mercury News. The City Council has a chance to change that.

March 12, 2019 - The Mercury News

San Diego Harbor

Major Parking Reform Effort Moving Forward in San Diego

Civic San Diego and San Diego planning commissioners approved new parking standards that would eliminate minimums and set maximums of one space per multifamily unit. Those reforms and more must still be approved by the City Council.

February 4, 2019 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Jose, California

Downtown San Jose Could Get Taller

In the Bay Area's biggest city, the debate over density pits two economic drivers against each other.

October 1, 2018 - Mercury News

The Penninsula

Bay Area City Could Extend Development Restrictions Beyond Their Expiration Date

A signature-gathering campaign has expressed a desire to extend height and density limits in San Mateo.

July 19, 2018 - The Daily Journal

Paris Trees

The World's Most Iconic Architecture, Brought to You By Taxes and Regulation

How many now-classic design features are actually tax-avoidance strategies?

February 16, 2018 - 99% Invisible

The Embarcadero

Trial Over San Francisco Waterfront Development Height Limits Begins

The State Lands Commission filed suit shortly after San Francisco voters approved Prop. B in June 2014, requiring waterfront developments exceeding height limits to obtain voter approval rather than go through the Planning Commission process.

January 15, 2018 - San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco Construction

Taller, Denser, but More Affordable Housing Coming to San Francisco

Following a similar ordinance signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee last July that dealt with developments that are 100 percent affordable, the new housing density ordinance apples to market-rate developments that have 30 percent affordability.

May 27, 2017 - San Francisco Chronicle

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