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A Special Use District entitled the "Transit Center C-3-O(SD) Commercial Special Use District" is hereby established for a portion of the C-3-O(SD) district in the downtown area around the Transbay Transit Center within the City and County of San Francisco, the boundaries of which are designated on Sectional Map SU01 of the Zoning Map of the City and County of San Francisco. The following provisions shall apply within the Special Use District:
(a) Purpose. There are limited remaining development sites in the core of the downtown large enough to be feasibly developed with workplace-oriented uses, particularly adjacent to the region's premier concentration of regional and local public transit infrastructure, such as the Transbay Transit Center, BART, Muni Metro, and the Ferry Building. Significant areas surrounding and within walking distance of the downtown, including Rincon Hill and Zone 1 of the Transbay Redevelopment Area along Folsom Street, have been zoned and planned almost exclusively for residential neighborhoods to the exclusion of major commercial uses. Many academic studies have shown that locating jobs immediately proximate to regional transit is a greater influence on use of public transit than is proximity of housing to regional transit, and decentralization of jobs is one of the leading factors increasing auto commuting in the Bay Area. Further, very few districts outside of the C-3 district allow high-density job uses, so it is important to ensure that the few sites large enough for high-density workplace uses in the Transit Center area are preserved primarily for that purpose.
(b) Definition of Commercial Use. "Commercial Use" shall mean any use other than a Residential Use, as defined in Section 102 of this Code, permitted in the underlying zoning district.
(c) Controls. All new development on lots larger than 15,000 square feet in the Special Use District shall include not less than 2 gross square feet of principally or conditionally permitted commercial uses for every 1 gross square foot of dwellings or other housing uses.
(d) Exceptions. Exceptions to the controls in Subsection (c) may be granted by the Planning Commission according to the procedures in Section 309 only if the Commission makes one of the following affirmative findings:
(1) That the development consists of multiple buildings on a single lot or adjacent lots that are entitled as a single development project pursuant to Section 309, and that commercial uses account for greater than 50 percent of the project's aggregate total gross floor area for all buildings and where the project sponsor demonstrates that it is infeasible or impractical to construct commercial uses on the footprint of the portion of the site dedicated to dwellings and/or other housing uses due to the size and configuration of that portion of the lot; or
(2) That the footprint of the portion of the site dedicated to dwellings and/or other housing uses is less than 15,000 square feet and the lot contains existing buildings which are to be retained.