This Week In San Francisco Land Use – August 19, 2009

New Dwelling Unit Demolition Legislation Would Require One-for-One Replacement

Yesterday, Supervisor Mirkarimi introduced a bill at the Board of Supervisors that would limit the Planning Commission’s discretion in approving dwelling unit demolitions. The bill would prohibit the Planning Commission from approving a project calling for the demolition of structurally-sound dwelling units unless they are replaced on a one-for-one basis with new dwelling units of similar affordability. The replacement units could be provided on- or off-site. The bill would also require the Planning Commission to find its approval consistent with at least a majority of the existing dwelling unit demolition criteria listed in the Planning Code.

The bill would not affect dwelling unit mergers or conversions, meaning the Planning Commission would still have the discretion to approve of such a project without requiring a one-for-one replacement of dwelling units.

We’ll keep you posted on the bill’s progress through the legislative process.


Planning Department Issues Annual Land Use Index

Are you ever in need of an area land use map and don’t know where to find it? Well, the Planning Department is attempting to make life a little easier for you by issuing its annual land use index. The index compiles the city’s multitude of land use maps and organizes them by category: Housing, Commerce and Industry, Recreation and Open Space, Public Facilities, flood maps and population density.

You can find the land use index here: It’s a large file, so give it some time to download.


Market Street Automobile Restrictions Gain Momentum

Reclaiming urban streets from automobiles has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially in light of the pedestrian-ization of Broadway in New York City. Not to be outdone, a San Francisco County Transportation Agency report was released in July that includes a proposal to begin implementing changes that would reduce automobile traffic on Market Street within months.

Transportation Options for a Better Market Street analyzes existing conditions on Market Street and proposes several staged recommendations for reducing automobile traffic. The report concludes that in most locations on Market Street, cars are not the primary mode of transportation, accounting for only 13%-21% of person-trips. However, the report continues, private automobiles cause significant delays, especially by blocking buses from reaching boarding islands or in the right lane when attempting to take a right turn.

The nearest-term recommendation in the report is to make right turns mandatory for eastbound automobiles at Eighth Street. This would create a traffic-restricted corridor in the eastbound lanes east of Eighth Street that could be studied to determine the effectiveness of traffic reductions on Market Street. The report states this could be implemented in the next 3-6 months. Future steps include restricting left turns onto Market Street from Hyde Street (effectively ending eastbound automobile traffic between Seventh and Eighth Streets) in the next 9-18 months and considering more global changes to Market Street traffic to coincide with a major repaving effort to begin in 2013.

You can find the report here:


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