The Central SoMa Plan
The vision of the Central SoMa Plan is for the creation of a sustainable neighborhood by 2040, in that the neighborhood meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Central SoMa Plan seeks to achieve sustainability in each of its aspects – social, economic, and environmental.
The Central SoMa Plan Area consists of the rectangle bounded by Market Street, Townsend Street, 2nd Street, and 6th Street. Most of the changes discussed below are only applicable to the “Eastern Neighborhoods” portion of the Plan Area, although transportation improvements extend to the “Downtown” portion as well.
Achieving neighborhood sustainability requires keeping what is already sustainable about the neighborhood, and improving what is not.
- Diversity of residents
- Diversity of jobs
- Diversity of buildings and architecture
- Culture and nightlife
- Conditions for people walking and biking
- Lack of parks and green space
- Inefficient use of land
Utilizing the Plan’s philosophy to achieve the Plan’s vision will require implementing the following three strategies:
- Accommodate growth
- Provide public benefits
- Respect and enhance neighborhood character
Implementing the Plan’s strategy will require addressing all the facets of a sustainable neighborhood. Doing so can be accomplished by meeting all of the Plan’s eight goals to achieve the following results:
- Increase the capacity for jobs and housing
- Maintain the diversity of residents
- Facilitate an economically diversified and lively jobs center
- Provide safe and convenient transportation that prioritizes walking, bicycling, and transit
- Offer an abundance of parks and recreational opportunities
- Create an environmentally sustainable and resilient neighborhood
- Preserve and celebrate the neighborhood’s cultural heritage
- Ensure that new buildings enhance the character of the neighborhood and the city
The Plan would enable the development of up to 50,000 jobs and 7,500 housing units. Such development would result in up to $2 Billion in public benefits to serve the neighborhood, including:
- Affordable Housing: 33% of total units
- Transite: $500 Million investment
- Complete Steets: Safe and comfortable for people walking and biking
- Open Space and Recreation: Transformative improvement (parks, POPOS, Rec Center, etc.)
- Environmental Sustainability: Investment towards an Eco-District
- Production, Distribution, and Repair (including Arts): No net loss of space due to Plan
- Community Services: Space for services to support expanding population
- Historic Preservation: Funding towards Old Mint and other historic buildings
- Schools and Children: Funding to support expanding population
In August 2016 the Department anticipates releasing a revised Plan, with the Draft EIR anticipated soon thereafter.
The desire for a Central SoMa Plan (Plan) began during the Eastern Neighborhoods planning process. In 2008 the City adopted the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, including new land use controls and proposed community improvements for the eastern part of the South of Market neighborhood (SoMa), as well as the Central Waterfront, Mission, and Showplace Square/Potrero Hill neighborhoods. At that time, the City determined that the development potential of the surrounding area, coupled with the improved transit provided by the Central Subway, necessitated a separate, focused planning process that took into account the city’s growth needs and City and regional environmental goals.
Click here for more on the Project Context and Existing Conditions.
On August 11, 2016, the Planning Department published the revised draft Central SoMa Plan and Implementation Strategy (updated September 26, 2016 to include the Key Development Site Guidelines - Part IIE):
- Part I - Central SoMa Plan
- Part IIA - Central SoMa Implementation Matrix
- Part IIB - Central SoMa Public Benefits Package
- Part IIC - Central SoMa Requirements for New Development
- Part IID - Central SoMa Guide to Urban Design
- Part IIE - Central SoMa Key Development Sites Guidelines
- The Draft Plan (2013) is available for download here.
- The Policy Papers (2014-2015) are available for viewing here.
- Financial Analysis (2017) is available for download here.
The Central SoMa Plan is the result of six years of intensive public engagement, involving over a thousand people and an untold number of conversations. We appreciate all the input we received and everyone's willingness to share their concerns, insights, and dreams. The goal of this Plan is to reflect the collective wisdom of the community at this time in a way that sustains it far into the future.
Public outreach and engagement strategies undertaken for the Plan are available here.
Before the Central SoMa Plan can be adopted, it requires an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Central SoMa Draft EIR was released in December 2016. To see more information on the environmental review for the Plan, click here.
Make sure to sign up to be on our project mailing list to get updates on the Central SoMa planning process. Questions, comments, and suggestions on this planning effort should be directed to:
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103