ALERT from DHIC Planning & Land Use: SB 827 WILL UPZONE THE CITY

Come to the Town Hall meeting on Saturday, February 3 at the Taraval Police Station to Voice Your Concerns

State Senator Scott Wiener (D).

Senate Bill 827, sponsored by our State Senator Scott Wiener, will effectively upzone much of the City. It will also effectively eliminate the protections of the Dolores Heights Special Use District (SUD) for our neighborhood. It would raise the Residential Housing district height limits to 55 feet or even 85 feet for a street that’s more than 45 feet wide – like Church and Dolores Streets. Over time, Dolores Heights and most of San Francisco would see huge residences towering over adjacent homes and sidewalks. And the bill has no provisions to mitigate its impact on our already overburdened infrastructure and transportation systems or on our affordable housing crisis. It will increase the number of market-rate housing units (for which builders are already hitting the City’s targets) while reducing the relative supply of affordable housing.

How can this happen? SB 827 allows the State to override local zoning and density limits if a property falls within 1/4 mile of a bus line with service intervals of no more than 15 minutes during peak commute hours or 1/2 mile of a Major Transit Stop, which includes intersections where bus lines cross. Because bus and streetcar lines on Church, Castro, 18th and 24th Streets meet these criteria, all of Dolores Heights would lose all zoning protections, all density protections, all community review protections (no DRs), and our current height limits below 55 or even 85 feet. This impact goes across the whole City!

This planning concept of locating taller and larger buildings along transit corridors or hubs works for less densely populated suburbs with fewer transit lines. But this one-size-fits-all bill gives developers free rein to build big across much of San Francisco. More importantly, it guts all zoning and density and community review provisions within these Transit Corridors. And Senator Wiener’s bill makes no provisions for expanding transit services, city infrastructure, or affordable housing. So in return for densifying our neighborhoods, our teachers, nurses, service workers or any other middle to low income San Franciscans receive no additional affordable housing. We’re not alone. This LA Times editorialhighlights similar concerns for Los Angeles. And the Sierra Club opposes SB 827.

Please educate yourself by reading the exact text of the law linked above, and come to Senator Wiener’s Town Hall on Saturday, February 3, from noon – 2pm at Taraval Police Station, 2345 24th Street (call 415-557-1300 to RSVP).

Email or call (415) 557-1300 Senator Weiner to express your opposition to SB 827 as currently proposed.

Purple areas correspond to transit-rich zones under Wieners bill. (CourtesyMetropolitan Transportation Commission.)

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