Under the pressure of State requirements to build 82,000 new units by 2031, San Francisco’s proposed upzoning plan poses a direct threat to the neighborhood by dramatically raising height limits from 4 stories to an imposing range of 6 to 14 stories, endangering the unique and historic character of these areas and impacting the viability of our small business corridors. The State has allowed San Francisco to recognize a portion of the City's existing pipeline of housing towards our mandate, leaving approximately 36,000 units by 2031. This should mitigate the need for such extensive and aggressive upzoning. The extent of these changes can be viewed on the Upzoning Interactive Map, exposing the widespread nature of these plans.
There are more practical and community-friendly alternatives available. These include repurposing existing buildings to increase density within existing zoning limits and converting office spaces into residential units. San Francisco has taken steps in this direction, recently rezoning 120,000 lots to support the development of 4 and 6-plexes, adding capacity to over 480,000 potential housing units (if only a small percentage are built, this alone should be sufficient to meet our mandate). Moreover, the city has streamlined its permitting process to expedite these developments and placed on the ballot a $300M Affordable Housing Bond. Furthermore, addressing the issue of nearly 40,000 vacant units in the city and finding ways to make them available is crucial. In contrast, the State Density Bonus, a state-approved approach, permits exceeding current height limits for projects that include a minimal, and often insufficient quota, of affordable housing. Learn more about the State's overreach.
Additionally, this directive lacks financial backing. The State's requirement for San Francisco to augment its housing inventory by 82,000 units by 2031 implies a potential 25% surge in the population, approximately 200,000 people. This raises critical questions about funding for the necessary infrastructure, including water, sewer, electricity, police, firefighting services, public transit, parking, educational facilities, parks, and other essential amenities.
The city already has sufficient capacity to fulfill State housing requirements without undermining the fabric of our neighborhoods. Current policies are prioritizing hypothetical future residents over the existing community. The City's approach favors upzoning that encourages the development of luxury high-rises. It neglects the interests and well-being of current residents, does not guarantee affordable housing, and disregards San Francisco's established and historic landscape.
Join Neighborhoods United SF
Together, we can advocate for housing solutions that are well-integrated and considerate of the existing urban landscape. To understand more about this critical issue and its impact on various neighborhoods throughout the city and to stay informed, visit Neighborhoods United SF.