San Francisco’s New Large Residence Legislation Unveiled

Large Residence

This past Monday, the Land Use and Transportation Committee unanimously voted to recommend a new scaled-back version of Supervisor Mandelman’s proposed Large Residence Legislation (the “Legislation”) that could greatly affect a large number of homeowners in central San Francisco neighborhoods. As we reported in prior updates on October 4th, July 29th, and March 31st of last year, the original form of the controversial legislation was introduced to discourage a growing trend of large homes. However, after the Planning Commission disapproved the original form of the legislation, a new version has been introduced with significant changes:

Central Neighborhood SUD:

  • The proposed new Legislation creates a Central Neighborhoods Special Use District (“Central Neighborhoods SUD”) which includes the Duboce Park, Castro, Noe Valley, and Diamond Heights neighborhoods. The Legislation only affects dwelling units on lots zoned RH and within the Central Neighborhoods. The Legislation does not affect units within the Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District.

Prohibited Dwelling Units:

  • The Legislation would prohibit residential development or expansion that would result in a dwelling unit with over 4,000 square feet of Gross Floor Area (“GFA”). Under the Legislation, accessory parking counts towards the GFA of a dwelling unit. Construction of a home over 4,000 square feet where the Legislation applies would require a variance.

Dwelling Units that require Conditional Use Authorization:

  • The Legislation would require Conditional Use Authorization where residential development or expansion of residential buildings would result in a dwelling unit with either a GFA with over a 1:1.2 Floor Area Ratio or over 3,000 square feet of GFA.
  • In granting Conditional Use Authorization, the Planning Commission must consider the following new criteria:
    • The proposed project in context with its neighborhood
    • Whether rental units are removed
    • Whether the number of dwelling units are increased
    • The size of a dwelling unit compared with the largest dwelling unit in a building
    • The property’s historic preservation status


  • The new Legislation does not apply to expansions that result in less than a 15% increase in GFA.
  • The Legislation would apply to development applications submitted on or after January 1, 2022, and does not affect expansions where building permits were issued before January 1, 2022

As noted above, the Legislation was unanimously recommended to the full board on February 14, 2022. Notably, during the hearing, Supervisor Mandelman discussed the potential for expansion of the Central Neighborhoods SUD in the future. Public comment was generally supportive of the Legislation, and the Planning Commission waived its option to hear the Legislation again. The Legislation will next be heard at a Board of Supervisors Full Board meeting, but no date has been set yet.


Authored by Reuben, Junius & Rose, LLP Attorney Kaitlin Sheber.

The issues discussed in this update are not intended to be legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established with the recipient.  Readers should consult with legal counsel before relying on any of the information contained herein.  Reuben, Junius & Rose, LLP is a full service real estate law firm.  We specialize in land use, development and entitlement law.  We also provide a wide range of transactional services, including leasing, acquisitions and sales, formation of limited liability companies and other entities, lending/workout assistance, subdivision and condominium work.