Skip to code content (skip section selection)
A Special Use District entitled "Japantown Special Use District," the boundaries of which are shown on Sectional Map No. SU02 of the Zoning Map of the City and County of San Francisco is hereby established for the purposes set forth below.
(a) Purposes. In order to maintain the cultural and historic integrity and neighborhood character of Japantown, the Japantown Special Use District is established to:
(1) Preserve and develop Japantown as a viable neighborhood by revitalizing its commercial, recreational, cultural, and spiritual identity as a local, regional, statewide, national, and international resource;
(2) Enhance the distinctive image and unique character of Japantown to passing motorists, transit riders, and pedestrians through architectural design, streetscape enhancements, signage, and other elements of the built environment;
(3) Strengthen and support Japantown's identity through recognition of its planning subdistricts including the Geary Boulevard corridor; Japantown Center; Post Street commercial core; Sutter Street community/cultural core; Buchanan Mall; Fillmore Street corridor; and surrounding residential districts; and
(4) Encourage the representational expression of Japanese architectural design and aesthetic for commercial, cultural, and institutional uses.
(b) Controls. The following provisions, in addition to all other applicable provisions of the Planning Code, shall apply within such Special Use District:
(1) Conditional Use Authorization. The following activities, if not otherwise prohibited, shall require Conditional Use authorization from the Planning Commission pursuant to Section 303.
(A) Use Size. The establishment of a new use or any change in use in excess of 4,000 gross square feet.
(B) Merger. The merger of one or more existing uses into a use in excess of 2,500 gross square feet.
(2) For any use subject to conditional use authorization and for any activity that the Planning Commission considers under its discretionary review power, the Planning Commission shall make the following additional findings:
(A) The use is not incompatible with the cultural and historic integrity, neighborhood character, development pattern, and design aesthetic of the Special Use District; and
(B) The use supports one or more of the purposes for establishing the Japantown Special Use District.
(3) Notice. Any change in use or establishment of a new use in the neighborhood commercial zones within this Special Use District shall require notice pursuant to section 312 and shall include a posted notice. Posted notice shall be in locations that the Zoning Administrator designates. Said locations shall be easily visible to members of the public and shall be posted, at a minimum, on Geary Boulevard, Post Street, and Webster Street, Fillmore Street, or Laguna Street.