Tara Sullivan



Land Use, Zoning, and Historic Preservation

Ms. Sullivan has over 10 years of extensive land use and policy experience in urban planning, historic preservation, and zoning in San Francisco.  She worked at the San Francisco Planning Department for seven years before going into the private sector.  While at the Department, she was a Legislative Liaison and Policy Analyst for five years, where she worked with the decision makers at City Hall and served as Appeals Coordinator for CEQA and Conditional Use appeals at the Board of Supervisors, where she defended the Department at hearings.

Ms. Sullivan has worked on dozens of pieces of legislation, most notably rewriting the City’s Affordable Housing Program, drafting charter language to establish the Historic Preservation Commission, and amending two Articles of the San Francisco Planning Code related to preservation, in addition to legislation that strengthened the city’s nuisance laws to incentivize the rehabilitation of vacant properties, enabling new eating and drinking establishments in portions of the city, and rezoning projects to enable the transfer of development rights.  In addition to her policy and legislative experience, Ms. Sullivan worked on large development projects in the northwest and southeast quadrants of the city, serving as project manager for projects such as the Pier 70 redevelopment project, a 482-unit residential development on Third Street, and a one-million square foot office development in Mission Bay.

Ms. Sullivan was trained in both urban planning and historic preservation and has worked as a preservation planner at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and at the San Francisco Planning Department.  She has evaluated projects for conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and with the California Environmental Quality Act, drafted landmark designation reports, as well as provided technical assistance on historic building materials.


  • B.A, Skidmore College
  • M.S., Historic Preservation, M.S., Urban Planning, 2001, Columbia University
  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School

Other Experience

  • Dyett & Bhatia, Urban and Regional Planners, Senior Associate, 2013 – 2015
  • San Francisco Planning Department, 2006 – 2013
    • Legislative Liaison and Policy Analyst (2007 – 2011)
    • Planner III (2006; 2011 – 2013)
  • New York City Law Department, Summer Associate, Environmental Division, 2005
  • State of New York, Office of Attorney General, Summer Associate, Telecommunications & Energy Bureau, 2004
  • New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Landmark Preservationist, 2001 – 2003
  • S. Committee, International Council on Monuments and Sites, London, England, International Fellow, 1999
  • Sotheby’s New York, 1995


  • Jack Weprin Real Estate Prize, Brooklyn Law School, June 2006
  • ALI-ABA Environmental Law Scholarship Award, Brooklyn Law School, January 2006
  • K. Fellows Prize, Columbia University, May 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • San Francisco Heritage, Board Member, Co-Chair, Projects & Policy Committee, 2013 – present
  • San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, Board Member, Endorsements Chair, 2011- 2014
  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Leadership San Francisco Class of 2011, September 2010-June 2011