January 2024


Stop Excessive and Unnecessary

Height Increases!

CHA is sounding the alarm about the adverse effects of State zoning mandates on our neighborhood. These rules have effectively silenced local voices, paving the way for luxury condo developments while neglecting affordable housing needs. These mandates have led to unjustified and extreme height increases in many parts of the city, significantly affecting Cow Hollow, Marina, and Pacific Heights (refer to the attached map). CHA has communicated our proposed amendments to the Planning Department in a formal letter. If these plans concern you, here's how to get involved and make a difference.

#1 Attend Planning Commission Hearing 2/1


Planning Commission Hearing on Thurs, 2/1 at noon at City Hall

Planning is presenting their final proposal to the Commission.

Speak out at the hearing against the Mayor and Planning's height increases.

Your voice is crucial in this matter.

#2 Email City Hall Today

In response to these significant changes, Neighborhoods United SF, a citywide alliance of resident and business groups, is challenging the upzoning plans and promoting strategies that address our affordable housing shortage. Join others and email City Hall today (takes 5 minutes)!

Other Ways to Make A Difference

"UCLA Professor Michael Storper cautions that the idea that blanket upzoning will cause affordability to trickle down is a flawed premise that will lead to bad urbanism that we will live to regret. Read More

Gentrification Risks

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.

Viable Alternatives

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.

Unfunded Mandate

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.

Priorities Misaligned

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.

Send Email to Our Electeds
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CHA Board of Directors

Anne Bertrand, Lori Brooke, 

Jan Diamond, Don Emmons, Rich Goss,

Barbara Heffernan, Noel Kivlin, Claire Mills, Veronica Taisch

CHA Advisory Board

David Bancroft, Cynthia Gissler, Don Kielsehorst, Elaine Larkin,

George Merijohn, Brooke Sampson, Geoff Wood


[email protected]

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