Central SoMa Plan Area

San Francisco’s Central SoMa Plan will define the City’s vision and strategies, and the overall potential, for developing the area bounded by Market, Sixth, Second and Townsend Streets, 260 acres of prime urban space bisected by the Central Subway project and an emergent Fourth Street transit spine.

En route to publishing the plan’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) early next year and aiming for the Planning Commission’s blessing of the plan by the end of 2015, the Planning Department’s Central SoMa team has published a series of new policy papers that define their thinking with respect to affordable housing; community facilities; Production, Distribution and Repair; and privately-owned public open spaces.

The summaries for each and links to the four policy papers:

  1. Affordable Housing: The Department will attempt to ensure that 33% of new housing enabled by zoning changes in the Plan is affordable to low- and moderate-income households through including below-market rate units in new construction, new construction of 100% affordable housing developments, and preservation of existing naturally affordable units.
  2. Community Facilities:  The Plan will ensure space for community facilities is provided in the area as it evolves with new development. Concepts being explored include a potential impact fee on new development to be used for building community facilities, incentivizing protection of existing facilities, and requiring and/or incentivizing the development of new space for community facilities.
  3. Production, Distribution and Repair: The Plan will ensure space for PDR through such means as maintaining some PDR-protective zoning, limiting conversion of PDR, incentivizing protection of existing PDR, and incentivizing and requiring the development of new space for PDR.
  4. Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces: The Plan will require that newly constructed office buildings and hotels in the Central SoMa Plan Area provide publicly accessible open space.

An open house to discuss these policies and an update on the Central SoMa Plan’s progress will be held this evening at 6pm.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Conifer

    “preservation of existing naturally affordable units.”
    naturally slums ?
    The planners seem always to keep in mind the famous words of a former supervisor now resident in Fairfield, “Drug dealers and prostitutes need a place to live, too.”

    • Posted by Indeed

      Excellent point. I suggest they live in Fairfield.

  2. Posted by Mark

    “preservation of existing naturally affordable units?” translation: rent controlled units. How about affordable units for the supposed middle class (or what’s left of the middle class in the city)?

    Sadly, the emerging new “transit spine” lacks a central nerve: the Caltrain extension to the TTC.

  3. Posted by Mark

    Also, the location of the Montgomery station on the map is incorrect.

  4. Posted by BigV

    how about an exemption to prop M office space limitations for developments in this area?

  5. Posted by zig

    Why would you invest in a subway and then protect adjacent Production, Distribution and Repair? This is nonsense

    • Posted by Jake

      The draft plan (namelink to pdf of PDR section) proposes removing most of the existing PDR protection in this area. It estimates there are about 5,600 total PDR jobs in this area as of 2012, of which 2,280 have protection, but this plan would remove protection for 1,800 of them, leaving only 480 with protection.

      Part of their softening of the impact of this is to claim that this plan will allow for 50,000 new office jobs and the portion that go to people without 4-year college degree will create more jobs than those lost by displacement.
      Much of this draft is under the heading “Concepts Under Review”, so who knows.

      Interesting history from the document: “The number of PDR jobs in the city is down nearly 60% from our peak of 165,000 PDR jobs only 40 years ago when the city was home to several major manufacturing plants and a working waterfront.” That would mean PDR jobs have gone from roughly 4 out of 10 jobs in SF to about 1 in 10 in 40 years.

  6. Posted by Joseph A

    The proposal goes too far and in a direction that is misguided

    This part of San Francisco is natural for residential expansion since it could allow Thousands of Residential Units to be placed within both easy Walking & Biking distance of downtown work places

    The PDR needs a place in San Francisco , BUT , it should be mostly relocated ,

    Affordable Housing should be provided , BUT , only based on the current guidlines ,

    Community Spaces already exist , but with increased Property Taxes that will result from development funds will be available to expand what San Francisco can offer City Wide

  7. Posted by unlivable city

    Today I saw 1st hand the effect of all this hype. Across the street from Showplace Square East they fenced off the entire block with brutal chain link fences, so they can pack a once peaceful stretch with tech-douche micro housing. Its not right. Leno for Mayor.

    • Posted by Joseph A

      Dude, micro housing is a result of SF not allowing buildings to be constructed at realistic building heights

      • Posted by Futurist

        No, it has absolutely nothing to do with building heights. It has to do with huge demand by those who wish to move here and by those who are WILLING to pay high costs for living in a closet.

    • Posted by woolie

      There are many cities where the population peaked long ago. Those places will have very little disruptive construction and chain-link fence.

    • Posted by Indeed

      Leno for Mayor LOL LOL.

      This is JUST a partial listing of monies that Leno has gotten from big entertainment over the years..he supports their efforts at both the state and local level to dismantle local controls on big clubs located adjacent to existing residential land use that was in place way before clubs…he could care less about residents in the city and their neighborhoods. Just ask him! Why should residents want someone as Mayor who does not care about their lives and livable neighborhoods??

      Mark Leno and the Big Entertainment Industry- Follow the Money!
      SAN FRANCISCO LATE NIGHT COALITIONSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107 $1500 2011-05-26
      SAN FRANCISCO LATE NIGHT COALITIONSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107 $1000 2009-10-22
      GOLD CLUB – SF, LLCSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105 $3900 2011-12-12
      ENTERTAINMENT, LTD. DBA HUSTLERSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133 $3900 2011-12-12
      JOSHUA ROBISONSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123MUSIC MANAGER/MTT, INC. $1000 2011-06-06
      MICHAEL T. THOMASSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123MUSICIAN/MTT, INC. $2000 2011-06-06
      SAW ENTERTAINMENT, LTD. DBA HUSTLERSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133 $3900 2009-10-22
      GOLD CLUB – SF, LLC DBA GOLD CLUBSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105 $3900 2009-10-22
      BT CALIFORNIA, LLC DBA BROADWAY SHOWGIRLSSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133 $3900 2009-10-22
      DEJA VU SHOWGIRLS OF SAN FRANCISCO, LLCSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133 $1500 2009-10-22
      DEJA VU SAN FRANCISCO, LLC DBA CENTERFOLDSSAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133 $3900 2009-10-22
      CINEMA 7, INC. DBA MITCHELL BROTHERS OFARRELL THEATRESAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109 $1000 2009-10-15

      • Posted by spencer

        the only guy ever to have a net positive balance with strip clubs

  8. Posted by jamesjr

    Right on, Joseph A. Taller buildings with more units. Manufacturing in SF? What an anachronism. Maybe in south SF or the Bayview. Face it, SF is now the Manhattan of the Bay Area. The outer burroughs can absorb manufacturing.

    • Posted by Mark

      We don’t have boroughs, JamesJr. And for the record, SF is not even close to being like Manhattan, just because it has tall buildings downtown. Manhattan has a robust transit system. SF does not. Manhattan is 99% urban and people are packed in like sardines. Development West of Twin Peaks is mostly low-rise and suburban in design.

      JosephA, the western SOMA plan illustrates your point to a T, but the city has decided that there is enough of an existing “neighborhood” to warrant the decision to limit building heights for new development.

      • Posted by spencer

        the western SOMA is the worse neighborhood plan ever created . it was out of date way before it got approved. Western SOMA is a perfect place to build high and dense, and it currently has no architecture, culture and is a perfect wasteland to start from.

  9. Posted by James

    Seeing this plans makes it so obvious that the HSR terminal should have been planned for the CalTrain yard, as the southern anchor of this corridor.

    • Posted by Mark

      A big part of me agrees, considering that the Caltrain extension has been pushed back a generation (if it ever happens) and especially if the central SOMA district builds up. Companies will follow, both new ones and existing ones relocating from less “trendy” areas of town. Happened in NYC. Twenty years ago Times Square/ E. 42nd St was less than desirable. Now it’s home to many of the largest professional services firms as towers replaced porn theaters. What’s sad is that in a few years we will be left with a huge ass bus station with almost zero integration with existing mass transit. Only in San Francisco…

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