Monthly Archives: October 2011

Local land use law firm reviews the Western SoMa Plan

Reuben & Junius, the local land use powerhouse, released this analysis of the Planning Code amendments for the Western SoMa area plan:

West SOMA Planning Code Amendments Released

At long last, the proposed Planning Code amendments for the Western SoMa area plan were released earlier this month.  Planning Code amendments are where the policies of the plan get translated in to cold, hard zoning rules that apply to properties within the plan area.

The rezoning map remains the same as previous versions.  New commercial districts will run along 9th and 10th Streets from just below Mission Street to Harrison Street.  A new neighborhood commercial district will run along Folsom Street, the new “main street” of Western SoMa, from 7th Street to 10th Street.  Remaining properties north of Harrison Street in the Western SoMa area will be rezoned to residential and mixed use districts.  Most of the area below Harrison Street will be rezoned to SALI – an extremely restrictive zoning district similar to the PDR districts of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan.  The north side of Townsend Street from 4th to 7th Streets will be rezoned to an office mixed-use district. Continue reading

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Revisiting entertainment: new nightclubs, okay … new housing, not?

At this afternoon’s Planning Commission presentation of the Western SoMa Community Plan, it was suggested during public comment that the light  industrial zoning south of Harrison Street be extended into the 11th Street area because, under that new zoning category, entertainment would become a permitted use. The Task Force liberalized the zoning because new housing in the SALI (Service, Arts and Light Industrial) district would not be allowed.

That would be an interesting switcheroo. Housing, currently as-of-right, would suddenly find itself a non-permitted use and entertainment, grandfathered in as a legal, nonconforming use, would become a fully permitted use. The Planning Commissioners, often sympathetic to fun sounding notions — particularly if they are not personally impacted — might very well consider making the swap. Continue reading

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