Planning Commission Initiates Interim Controls for Mission District
Allows Projects to Move Forward with Added Scrutiny While a Series of Proposals to Resolve Growing Housing Crisis is Developed
SAN FRANCISCO – Seeking time to finalize a cohesive strategy to provide more affordable housing and economic stability, the San Francisco Planning Commission today initiated Interim Controls in the Mission District. The initiation is the Commission’s public announcement that they will consider enacting controls on or after August 6, 2015.
If adopted as drafted, the Mission Interim Controls will be in place for six months, providing the City time to complete its analysis of affordable housing needs, including potential sites for housing production and stemming the loss of income protected units, while maintaining production, distribution, and repair (PDR) capacity in PDR zoned lands. The Commission’s Interim Controls would allow projects to move forward only after undergoing a Conditional Use authorization process with heightened scrutiny as compared to current regulations.
“As proposed, the Mission Interim Controls elevate the conversation regarding the current high demand for housing in the neighborhood and its long-lasting ramifications,” said Planning Commission President Rodney Fong. “We need time to establish permanent solutions as we work to ensure San Francisco remains a city that supports small businesses, neighborhood character, families, artists and teachers. It is to everyone’s advantage: legislators, project sponsors and the community that we determine how this city will move forward together.”
As initiated, the Interim Controls would allow affordable housing and PDR uses to continue to be permitted under the existing requirements of the Planning Code. Certain other housing, large retail and office projects would require a Conditional Use authorization if they result in any of the following:
- The loss of more than one rent-controlled dwelling unit;
- The production of five or more dwelling units; or
- Demolition or conversion of certain community and arts uses.
The Controls would currently exclude projects currently in the pipeline that filed a planning application or building permit or environmental application on or prior to December 31, 2014.
The area proposed for interim controls includes the following boundaries (see map): 13th and Division Streets to Mission Street, to Cesar Chavez Street, to Potrero Avenue, and back to 13th and Division Streets—except that the Mission Street boundary would include any parcel with a property line on either side of Mission Street.
City staff has been working extensively with the community through the Mission Action Plan (MAP) 2020 and Calle 24, the stretch of 24th Street from Mission Street to Potrero Avenue recently established as a Latino Cultural District. These ongoing collaborations are expected to result in a set of proposals in the fall of 2015 that may include economic development programs, policy development and zoning changes.
“We have listened closely to the residents of the Mission,” said San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim. “Increased evictions, loss of small businesses, and a decline of low and moderate income residents and the non-profits serving those residents are diminishing the socioeconomic diversity that is the foundation of this neighborhood. We know more needs to be done, but a truly effective strategy to set permanent solutions in place will not appear overnight. These Controls provide the time we need to further explore our options with the community and establish a comprehensive plan of action so that together we can stabilize the neighborhood, preserve vital community resources, and increase the supply of affordable housing. The Department is committed to working with the community over the next six months to prepare a multifaceted plan that we can all support.”
The Planning Code allows for interim controls to be imposed by either the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors to enable study of critical land use issues. The Commission will hold an informational hearing on July 23, 2015 and may recommend to modify any conditions before considering adoption.
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