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(a) Purpose. There shall be a Van Ness & Market Residential Special Use District, which is comprised of the parcels zoned C-3-G in the Market Octavia Better Neighborhoods Plan area, and whose boundaries are designated on Sectional Map Nos. SU02 and SU07 of the Zoning Map of the City and County of San Francisco. This District is generally comprised of parcels focused at the intersections of Van Ness Avenue at Market Street and South Van Ness Avenue at Mission Street, along with parcels on both sides of Market and Mission Streets between 9th and Division Streets. This District is intended to be a transit-oriented, high-density neighborhood with a significant residential presence and a mix of neighborhood-serving uses. New development and major expansions must be predominantly residential. Other non-residential uses that are allowed and encouraged, include arts, institutional, and retail uses. Retail controls allow for smaller retail use sizes in order to emphasize neighborhood-serving character. These uses compliment the transit rich infrastructure in the area, which includes the Van Ness MUNI Metro Station and the intersection of several major transit corridors including Van Ness, Market Street, Mission Street and other major bus lines. This area is encouraged to transition from largely a back-office and warehouse support function to downtown into a more mixed-use residential district, and serves as a transition zone to the lower scale residential and neighborhood commercial areas to the west of the C-3. A notable amount of large citywide commercial and office activity will remain in the area, including government offices supporting the Civic Center and City Hall. This area was initially identified in the Downtown Plan of the General Plan as an area to encourage housing adjacent to the downtown. As part of the city’s Better Neighborhoods Program, this concept was fully articulated in the Market and Octavia Area Plan, and is described therein.
(b) Use Controls.
(1) Non-residential Uses. For newly-constructed buildings or additions which exceed 20 percent or more of an existing structure’s Gross Floor Area, at least three occupied square feet of Residential Use shall be provided for each occupied square foot of Non-Residential Use. In order to accommodate local government office uses near City Hall, publicly-owned or leased buildings or lots are exempted from the requirements of this subsection. Replacement of existing office uses on the same parcel and other Public Facility and Art Activities, as defined in Section 102, are exempt from the requirements of this subsection (b)(1).
(2) Residential Density. There shall be no density limit for Residential Uses by lot area, but by the applicable requirements and limitations elsewhere in this Code, including but not limited to height, bulk, setbacks, open space, and exposure, as well as by the Market & Octavia Area Plan Fundamental Principles for Design, other applicable design guidelines, applicable elements and area plans of the General Plan, and design review by the Planning Department. The limitations set forth in the Zoning Control Table for the district in which the lot is located shall not apply.
(3) Residential Affordable Housing Program. All projects in this District shall be subject to all the terms of Section 415et seq. of the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program. Notwithstanding the foregoing, projects within the Van Ness & Market Residential Special Use District shall at a minimum fulfill the requirements to the levels specified in this section. Should Section 415 require greater contributions to the affordable housing program, those requirements shall supersede this section. Proposed exceptions to these requirements due to hardships associated with construction type, specifically heights above 120 feet, are not applicable in this Special Use District because parcels are receiving an up zoning through increased density and benefits through the general transformation of the district to a transit oriented neighborhood with a mixed use character. Requirements and administration of this program shall follow the conditions outlined in Section 415et seq. of this Code unless otherwise specified in this Section.
(A) Payment of Affordable Housing Fee. Except as provided in Section 415.5(g) of this Code, all development projects subject to Section 415 et seq. in the Van Ness Market Special Use District shall be required to pay an Affordable Housing Fee under Section 415.5 equivalent to 20 percent of the number of units in the principal project.
(B) Alternatives to Payment of Affordable Housing Fee. If a project sponsor both qualifies for and chooses to meet the requirements through an Alternative to the Program, the project sponsor may choose one of the Alternatives in Section 415.5(g).
(i) On Site Housing Requirements and Benefits. For projects that qualify for and choose to fulfill the requirements of Section 415 through the provision of onsite housing, the Planning Department shall require that 12 percent of all units constructed on the project site shall be affordable to qualifying households so that a project applicant must construct .12 times the total number of units produced in the principal project. If the total number of units is not a whole number, the project applicant shall round up to the nearest whole number for any portion of .5 or above.
(ii) Compliance Through Off-Site Housing Development. For projects that qualify for and choose to fulfill the requirements of Section 415 through the provision of off-site housing, the Planning Department shall require that 20 percent of all units constructed on the project site shall be affordable to qualifying households so that a project applicant must construct .20 times the total number of units produced in the principal project. If the total number of units is not a whole number, the project applicant shall round up to the nearest whole number for any portion of .5 or above.
(4) Open Space Provider. The off-site open space permitted by this Section may be provided individually by the project sponsor or jointly by the project sponsor and other project sponsors, provided that each square foot of jointly developed open space may count toward only one sponsor's requirement. With the approval of the Planning Commission, a public or private agency may develop and maintain the open space, provided that (A) the project sponsor or sponsors pay for the cost of development of the number of square feet the project sponsor is required to provide, (B) provision satisfactory to the Commission is made for the continued maintenance of the open space for the actual lifetime of the building giving rise to the open space requirement, and (C) the Commission finds that there is reasonable assurance that the open space to be developed by such agency will be developed and open for use by the time the building, the open space requirement of which is being met by the payment, is ready for occupancy.
(B) Publicly-Accessible Open Space Standards.
(i) Open Space Types. Open space must be of one or more of the following types:
a. An unenclosed park or garden at street grade or following the natural topography, including improvements to hillsides or other unimproved public areas according to the Market & Octavia Area Plan;
b. An unenclosed plaza at street grade, with seating areas and landscaping and no more than 10 percent of the floor area devoted to food or beverage service;
c. An unenclosed pedestrian pathway that meets the minimum standards described in Section 827(g)(3)(A)-(E) of this Code;
d. A terrace or roof garden with landscaping;
e. Streetscape improvements with landscaping and pedestrian amenities that result in additional space beyond the pre-existing sidewalk width and conform to the Market & Octavia Area Plan, such as sidewalk widening or building setbacks; and
f. Streetscape improvements with landscaping and pedestrian amenities on alleyways from building face to building face, beyond basic street tree planting or street lighting as otherwise required by this Code, in accordance with the Market & Octavia Area Plan.
(ii) Open space must meet the following standards:
a. Be in such locations and provide such ingress and egress as will make the area convenient, safe, secure and easily accessible to the general public;
b. Be appropriately landscaped;
c. Be protected from uncomfortable winds;
d. Incorporate ample seating and, if appropriate, access to limited amounts of food and beverage service, which will enhance public use of the area;
e. Be well signed and accessible to the public during daylight hours;
f. Be well lighted if the area is of the type requiring artificial illumination;
g. Be designed to enhance user safety and security;
h. Be of sufficient size to be attractive and practical for its intended use; and
(i)1 Have access to drinking water and toilets if feasible.
(C) Maintenance. Open spaces shall be maintained at no public expense, except as might be provided for by any community facilities district that may be formed. The owner of the property on which the open space is located shall maintain it by keeping the area clean and free of litter and keeping in a healthy state any plant material that is provided. Conditions intended to assure continued maintenance of the open space for the actual lifetime of the building giving rise to the open space requirement may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of Section 309.1 of this Code.
(D) Informational Plaque. Prior to issuance of a permit of occupancy, a plaque of no less than 24 inches by 36 inches in size shall be placed in a publicly conspicuous location outside the building at street level, or at the site of any publicly-accessible open space, identifying said open space feature and its location, stating the right of the public to use the space and the hours of use, describing its principal required features (e.g., number of seats, availability of food service) and stating the name and address of the owner or owner's agent responsible for maintenance.
(E) Hold Harmless Requirement. The Zoning Administrator shall have authority to require a property owner to hold harmless the City and County of San Francisco, its officers, agents and employees, from any damage or injury caused by the design, construction or maintenance of open space, and to require the owner or owners or subsequent owner or owners of the property to be solely liable for any damage or loss occasioned by any act or neglect in respect to the design, construction or maintenance of the open space.
(5) Lot Coverage. The rear yard requirements of Section 134 of this Code shall not apply. Lot coverage is limited to 80 percent at all levels containing a dwelling unit or group housing bedroom. The unbuilt portion of the lot shall be open to the sky except for those obstructions permitted in yards per Section 136(c) of this Code. Exceptions to the 20 percent open area may be granted pursuant to the procedures of Section 309.
(6) Floor Area Ratio.
(A) The maximum FAR allowed, except as allowed in this Section, shall be that described in Section 123(c), provided that it shall not be greater than 9:1. The definition of Gross Floor Area shall be that in Section 102 as of the date of approval of this Section 249.33, and shall include all Residential uses. The provisions of Section 124(g) of this Code shall not apply in this special use district.
(B) Floor Area Bonus Permitted for Public Improvements or In-lieu Contributions to the Van Ness and Market Neighborhood Infrastructure Fund and In lieu Contributions to the Citywide Affordable Housing Fund.
(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 127 and 128 of this Code projects in this Special Use District are not eligible to acquire Transferable Development Rights from a Transfer Lot or Lots pursuant to the provisions of Sections 127 and 128 for that increment of FAR above the base FAR limit in Section 124 up to the maximum FAR described in Section 123(c). Instead, a project may pay to the City's Citywide Affordable Housing Fund thirty dollars ($30) per additional gross square foot for that increment of FAR above the base FAR limit in Section 124 up to the maximum FAR described in Section 123(c). Any monies deposited into the Citywide Affordable Housing Fund shall be administered as provided for in Section 415et seq.
(7) Retail Use Size. Retail Uses shall be principally permitted up to 5,999 gross square feet and conditionally permitted if 6,000 gross square feet and above.
(9) Micro-Retail. “Micro-Retail” shall mean a Retail Use, other than a Formula Retail Use, measuring no less than 100 gross square feet, no greater than 1,000 gross square feet and a 10 foot minimum depth from the front façade.
(A) Applicability. Micro-Retail controls shall apply to projects with new construction or alterations to greater than 50% of an existing building if located on a lot of at least 20,000 square feet.
(i) Amount. Applicable development projects shall have at least one Micro-Retail unit for every 20,000 gross square feet of lot area, rounded to the nearest unit.
(ii) Location and Design. All Micro-Retail units shall be on the ground floor, independently and directly accessed from a public right-of-way or a publicly-accessible open space, and designed to be accessed and operated independently from other spaces or uses on the subject property. For projects adjacent to Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Open Spaces, free standing kiosks are allowed to meet this requirement through Planning Commission approval through a 309 exception.
(iii) Exemption. Any projects providing ground floor uses that are larger than 1,000 gross square feet and defined as Arts Activities, Child Care Facility, Community Facility, Instructional Service, Public Facility, School or Social Service are exempt from the Micro-Retail requirement.
(iv) Exceptions. Exceptions to the micro-retail requirement may be granted pursuant to the procedures of Section 309.
(10) Accessory Parking. For projects that provide 25% or more on-site affordable housing units as defined in Section 415, accessory non-residential parking may be used jointly as accessory residential parking for residential uses within the same project, so long as the following criteria is met:
(A) the total number of independently accessible parking stalls (whether residential or non-residential) provided in such project shall not exceed the sum of the maximum amount of accessory residential and accessory non-residential parking spaces permitted by the Planning Code, and;
(B) the total number of parking spaces used as residential accessory parking shall not exceed 0.4 spaces per each Dwelling Unit.
(11) Cannabis-Related Land Uses. All cannabis-related uses, which includes Cannabis Retail (Retail Sales and Service Category), Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Industrial Agriculture, Agriculture and Beverage Processing 2, Light Manufacturing, Laboratory, Wholesale, or Parcel Delivery Service, as defined in Section 102 shall follow the land use controls of the NCT-3 Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial Transit District, Section 752 of this Code.
(12) Living Roofs and Living Walls.
(B) Applicability. The requirements of this subsection (b)(12) shall apply to any building and development project that meet all of the following criteria:
(i) The development project lot size is 5,000 square feet or larger;
(iii) The building height is 120 feet or less.
(i) Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 149, at least thirty percent of the roof area shall be covered by one or more Living Roofs.
(ii) The Living Roof shall be considered in determining compliance with the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
(iii) The Planning Department, after consulting with the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of the Environment, shall adopt rules and regulations to implement this subsection (b)(12) and shall coordinate with those departments to ensure compliance with the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
(iv) Projects that consist of multiple buildings may choose to locate the Living Roofs required in subsection (b)(12)(B)(i) on any rooftops within the subject project site, including on buildings that are not subject to these requirements, provided that the project as a whole provides the square footage of Living Roofs required by subsection (b)(12)(B)(i).
(v) Project sponsors are encouraged to incorporate vertical living walls on building facades, composed of climate-appropriate, native, and non-invasive plantings.
(D) Waiver. If the project sponsor demonstrates to the Zoning Administrator’s satisfaction that it is physically infeasible to meet the Living Roof requirements that apply to the project, the Zoning Administrator may, in their sole discretion and pursuant to the procedures set forth in Planning Code Section 307(h), reduce the requirement stated in subsection (b)(12)(B)(i) to what is required under Section 149.
(13) Option for In-Kind Provision of Transportation Sustainability Fee. Notwithstanding the requirements of Planning Code section 411Aet seq., Development projects in this District may propose to provide transportation improvements to the City directly. In such a case, the City, at its sole discretion, may enter into an In-Kind Improvements Agreement with the sponsor of such project and issue a fee waiver for the TSF from the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors (the “MTA” and the “MTA Board,” respectively), subject to the following rules and requirements:
(A) Approval criteria. The City shall not enter into an In-Kind Improvements Agreement unless the proposed in-kind improvements meet an identified community need and where they substitute for improvements that could be provided by the TSF Expenditure Program (as described in Section 411A.6). No physical improvement or provision of space otherwise required by the Planning Code or any other City Code shall be eligible for consideration as part of this In-Kind Improvements Agreement.
(B) Valuation. The Director of Transportation, in consultation with the Director of Planning, shall determine the appropriate value of the proposed in-kind improvements. For the purposes of calculating the total value, the development project shall provide the Planning Department and MTA with a cost estimate for the proposed in-kind improvement(s) from two independent sources or, if relevant, real estate appraisers. If the City has completed a detailed site-specific cost estimate for a planned improvement this may serve as one of the cost estimates, provided it is indexed to current cost of construction.
(C) Content of the In-Kind Improvements Agreement. The In-Kind Improvements Agreement shall include at least the following items:
(i) A description of the type and timeline of the proposed in-kind improvements;
(ii) The appropriate value of the proposed in-kind improvement, as determined in subsection (2) above; and
(iii) The legal remedies in the case of failure by the development project to provide the in-kind improvements according to the specified timeline and terms in the agreement. Such remedies shall include the method by which the City will calculate accrued interest.
(D) Approval Process. The MTA Board, with the advice of the Director of Planning and the Director of Transportation, must approve the material terms of an In-Kind Agreement. Prior to the parties executing the Agreement, the City Attorney must approve the agreement as to form and to substance. The Director of Transportation is authorized to execute the Agreement on behalf of the City. If the MTA Board approves the In-Kind Agreement, it shall waive the amount of the TSF by the value of the proposed In-Kind Improvements Agreement, as determined by the Director of Transportation and the Director of Planning. No credit shall be made for land value unless ownership of the land is transferred to the City or a permanent public easement is granted, the acceptance of which is at the sole discretion of the City. The maximum value of the In-Kind Improvements Agreement shall not exceed the required TSF.
(E) Administrative Costs. Development projects that pursue an In-Kind Improvements Agreement will be billed time and materials for any administrative costs that the Planning Department or any other City entity incurs in negotiating, drafting, and monitoring compliance with the In-Kind Improvements Agreement.
(14) Option for Provision of Affordable Housing Fees. Development projects in this District may pay the affordable housing fees required under sections 416 and 424 by choosing any of the alternatives set forth in Section 415.5(g), upon approval by the Planning Director and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development of the methodology to calculate the equivalency of the fees required under sections 416 and 424 to the alternatives set forth in Section 415.5(g). The Planning Department, in consultation with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, is authorized to prepare rules or regulations to establish this methodology, and to bring those rules or regulations to the Planning Commission for inclusion in the Procedures Manual, as set forth in Section 415. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to change any obligations established by contract with the City.
(15) Option for Income Levels of Affordable Units. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 415.6(h), a project may use California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC) tax-exempt bond financing and 4% tax credits under the Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) to help fund its obligations under Section 415.1et seq. as long as the project provides 20% of the units as affordable to households at 50% of Area Median Income for on-site housing, or 10% of the units as affordable to households at 50% of Area Median Income and 30% of the units as affordable to households at 60% of Area Median Income for on-site housing. The income table to be used for such projects when the units are priced at 50% or 60% of Area Median Income is the income table used by MOHCD for the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program, not that used by TCAC or CDLAC. Except as provided in this subsection (b)(15), all units provided under this Section must meet all of the requirements of Section 415.1et seq. and the Procedures Manual for on-site housing, except that the requirement to provide moderate- and middle-income units under in Section 415.6(a) may be replaced with low income affordable units that satisfy TCAC requirements for 4% tax credits. If the number of affordable units required by Section 415.6 exceeds the number of affordable units required to use 4% tax credits, the project shall comply with higher requirement under Section 415.6 and the additional Inclusionary obligation above the tax credit units may be met by providing on-site affordable units equally distributed between moderate- and middle-income households as defined in Section 415.6.
(16) Option for Dedication of Land.
(A) Development projects in this District may opt to fulfill the Inclusionary Housing requirement of Section 415 through the Land Dedication alternative contained in Section 419.6. The Land Dedication alternative is available for development projects within the District under the same terms and conditions as provided for in Section 419.5(a)(2), except that in lieu of the Land Dedication Alternative requirements of Table 419.5, projects may satisfy the requirements of Section 415.5 by dedicating land for affordable housing if the dedicated land could accommodate a total amount of units that is equal to or greater than 35% of the units that are being provided on the principal development project site, as determined by the Planning Department. Any dedicated land shall be at least partly located within 1 mile of the boundaries of either the Market and Octavia Plan Area or the Upper Market NCT District.
(B) Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 419.5(a)(2)(H), development projects dedicating land shall obtain the required letter from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development verifying acceptance of the dedicated land within 180 days of the effective date of this Special Use District or prior to Planning Commission or Planning Department approval of the development project, whichever occurs first. No property may be used for this land dedication option unless the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development issues an acceptance letter within this 180-day timeline.
(C) Development projects that elect to dedicate land pursuant to this section may be eligible for a waiver against all or a portion of their affordable housing fees under Sections 416 and 424 if the Planning Director determines that the land acquisition costs for the dedicated land exceed the development project’s obligations under the fee option of Section 415. The Planning Director, in consultation with the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and the Director of Property, shall calculate the waiver amount based on actual commercially reasonable costs to acquire the dedicated land. If the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development requests that the land dedication occur before the First Construction Document for the development project, the waiver amount shall be increased by the reasonable value of the City’s early use of the dedicated land.
(17) Required Minimum Dwelling Unit Mix. Development projects in this District shall comply with Section 207.6.
(19) Projects with on-site affordable housing units provided pursuant to a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the City and County of San Francisco that are in excess of the amount required by Planning Code Section 415 may deviate from the building floor distribution requirements of Section 415.6(f)(1) by up to 15%.
(Added by Ord. 72-08, File No. 071157, App. 4/3/2008; amended by Ord. 108-10, File No. 091275, App. 5/25/2010; Ord. 312-10, File No. 100046, App. 12/23/2010; Ord. 56-13 , File No. 130062, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013; Ord. 62-13 , File No. 121162, App. 4/10/2013, Eff. 5/10/2013; Ord. 22-15, File No. 141253, App. 2/20/2015, Eff. 3/22/2015; Ord. 63-20, File No. 200077, App. 4/24/2020, Eff. 5/25/2020; Ord. 126-20, File No. 200559, App. 7/31/2020, Eff. 8/31/2020)
Divisions (b)(3), (b)(6)(B)(i), and (b)(6)(B)(ii) amended; Ord. 56-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013. Divisions (b)(3)(B)(i) and (b)(6)(B)(ii) amended; Ord. 62-13 , Eff. 5/10/2013. Divisions (a), (b)(2), (b)(4), and (b)(6)(A) amended; Ord. 22-15, Eff. 3/22/2015. Divisions (b)(1)-(3) amended; divisions (b)(4)(C)-(C)(vi) and (b)(4)(D)-(D)(ix) redesignated as (b)(4)(B)(i)-(i)f. and (b)(4)(B)(ii)-(ii)i.; divisions (b)(4)(E)-(G) redesignated as (b)(4)(C)-(E); current divisions (b)(4)(B)(i), (b)(4)(B)(ii), (b)(4)(E), (b)(5), and (b)(6)(B)(i) amended; Ord. 63-20, Eff. 5/25/2020. Section header and divisions (a), (b)(1), (b)(3), and (b)(5) amended; divisions (b)(7)-(19), (c), and (d) added; Ord. 126-20, Eff. 8/31/2020.