Eastern Neighborhoods, San Francisco, Zoning

Eight Years, Four Neighborhoods

Eastern Neighborhoods
Courtesy of SF Planning Dept.

I have mentioned the ongoing rezoning plan of San Francisco’s Eastern Neighborhoods a number of times here before, although somewhat tangentially. Eastern Neighborhoods amends the General Plan to include four new neighborhood plans that refresh outdated zoning in the Mission District, East South of Market, Showplace Square/Potrero Hill, and the Central Waterfront. The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan is chock-full of discussion over exactions, affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and industrial land use. Some heights are increased while others are decreased, but at the end of the day, the plan strikes a precarious balance between increasing housing supply and creating dense, urban mixed use neighborhoods, while minimizing displacement and preserving space to support production, distribution, and repair (PDR) jobs. My intention, for literally months now, was to do more indepth posting on Eastern Neighborhoods, but the upshot is that I delayed posting too long, for at yesterday’s December 9 meeting, the Board of Supervisors — after a last-ditch squabble, and with a couple issues pending further discussion — gave the Eastern Neighborhoods its final 10-0 blessing. So how is it that the Supes managed to finally pass this thing before we got around to giving it the air time it deserves? I can only say, somewhat sheepishly, that while time available for blogging is in short supply, the topics to blog about are not; I do hope to get into more details about the implications of the plan later, post-hiatus, probably in smaller chunks or in the context of specific projects. The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan has formally been the subject of planning and community discussion for eight years, culminating in months worth of hearings at the Planning Commission and at the Board of Supervisors. While it may not be perfect — and no plan will ever satisfy everyone, no matter how thorough a review process it gets — we can, at least, finally say that it is done. With four neighborhood plans in place, previously stalled projects may finally come to fruition; and we can redirect our attention towards the transformation of the Plan area over the next couple of decades, to ensure that the zoning controls translate into neighborhoods that are at once dense and livable.



3 thoughts on “Eight Years, Four Neighborhoods

  1. Keep posting. I recently discovered your site and love it.

    Posted by missiondweller | 10 December 2008, 1:00 pm
  2. Now we can look forward to the comprehensive re-zoning of the Western Neighborhoods for TOD and increased density.

    What? Why are you looking at me like that?

    Seriously though, Folks that already call these neighborhoods home took some serious sacrifices in exchange for some decent and many nominal concessions from the erector set. That said almost everyone is behind at this stage.

    I think you can still write valuable blog posts dealing with its implementation. I think it’s very likely the requirements this plan places on developers will be watered down further than that already have. Plus, the revenue projected to come from the development is already acknowledged to be less than what the improved civic infrastructure will cost the city. Somebody needs to figure out how to make that difference and it’d be great to hear about it when it happens.

    Maybe also a post about how TEP cuts service in all of these neighborhoods while the EN plan projects significant increases in population density.

    I agree with missiondweller:keep posting! :-)

    Posted by Josh | 10 December 2008, 1:33 pm
  3. Western Neighborhoods? Now that’s just crazy talk! Too bad we really do have to do it…

    For sure, there is still plenty of EN-related things to talk about, transit issues being one of them, though my guess is that EN implementation will far outlive this site. ;-) Mostly, I was just surprised how quickly time flew by this year, but that’s how things go.

    Posted by Eric | 10 December 2008, 1:59 pm

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