Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Purpose. The Board takes legislative notice of the purpose of the Rincon Hill Area Plan as articulated in the Rincon Hill Area Plan of the San Francisco General Plan. In general, the Rincon Hill Area Plan aims to transform Rincon Hill into a mixed-use downtown neighborhood with a significant housing presence, while providing the full range of services and amenities that support urban living. In addition, the Board notes the findings made in the Rincon Hill Area Plan that support the establishment of the Rincon Hill Community Improvements Fund specifically that Rincon Hill is lacking in open space facilities, pedestrian and streetscape amenities and bicycle infrastructure.
(b) Findings. The Board of Supervisors has reviewed the San Francisco Citywide Nexus Analysis prepared by AECOM dated March 2014 ("Nexus Analysis"), and the San Francisco Infrastructure Level of Service Analysis prepared by AECOM dated March 2014, both on file with the Clerk of the Board in File No. 150149 and, under Section 401A, adopts the findings and conclusions of those studies and the general and specific findings in that Section, specifically including the Recreation and Open Space Findings, Pedestrian and Streetscape Findings, and Bicycle Infrastructure Findings and incorporates those by reference herein to support the imposition of the fees under this Section.
The Board takes legislative notice of the findings supporting the fees in former Planning Code Section 418.1 (formerly Section 318.1) and the materials associated with Ordinance No. 217-05 in Board File No. 050865. To the extent that the Board previously adopted fees in this Area Plan that are not covered in the analysis of the 4 infrastructure areas analyzed in the Nexus Analysis, including but not limited to fees related to transit, the Board continues to rely on its prior analysis and the findings it made in support of those fees.
(c) SoMa Community Stabilization Fund. The development of the Rincon Hill Area Plan will also have economic impacts on the immediately surrounding area of SoMa. Specifically, the development will have impacts on affordable housing, economic and community development, and community cohesion in SoMa.
(1) Housing. The Board has adopted extensive findings documenting generally the need for housing and particularly affordable housing and the impact of market rate housing development on the need for affordable housing in Section 415.1 and incorporates those findings herein. The proposed new development in the Rincon Hill area will also lead to increased home prices and increased rental rates in the immediate Rincon Hill area and the surrounding South of Market area. This new development and corresponding increase in prices in the Rincon Hill area will cause displacement of existing residents.
New development in the Rincon Hill area will be marketed to higher income groups than other new development in San Francisco. Higher income groups have a higher demand for services than other income groups, so a higher number of workers will need to be housed in the area. Workers in the service industry generally make less than median income. The development in Rincon Hill represents the development of a disproportionate share of the available land for remaining housing development in the City.
The new development creates the need for additional affordable housing in the South of Market neighborhood and the need to provide subsidies for existing residents so that they will not be displaced and can continue living in their current neighborhood. In order to avoid displacement from the new development, residents will also need financial support to avoid eviction.
In addition, through the amendments to the Rincon Hill Area Plan and related zoning maps, the overall development capacity of the Rincon Hill area will be increased by (1) increasing permitted height and bulk, (2) eliminating residential density limits by lot area, and (3) establishing a minimum residential to commercial use ratio. Existing permitted heights range from 80 feet up to a maximum of 250 feet. The new Rincon Hill zoning would increase heights up to 400 - 550 feet in selected locations. The permitted bulk for residential towers will be increased from a maximum floor plate of 7,500 sf to a range from 7,500 - 10,000 sf. The area's existing RC-4 zoning has a maximum permitted residential density of 1 unit per 200 of lot area; this limit will be eliminated and the height and bulk envelope will control the maximum development permitted. Thus project sponsors in the area are receiving a substantial increase in density over what is currently permitted.
(2) Economic and Community Development. The new development in Rincon Hill will also change the economic landscape of the Rincon Hill area and the South of Market area. The new development in Rincon Hill will displace small businesses directly by focusing development in the neighborhood on residential development and indirectly due to higher rents and higher prices for real estate. Thus existing small businesses need financial assistance to avoid being displaced.
The new development in the Rincon Hill area will also affect the type of jobs available in the Rincon Hill and South of Market area. Current residents of SoMa are employed in the Rincon Hill and SoMa area. New development in the Rincon Hill area will concentrate on residential development, thus pushing out other uses including light industrial uses and small business. Local workers will need to be retrained to avoid job displacement from the development in the Rincon Hill area. Financial assistance will support employment development, job placement, job development, and other forms of economic capacity building for SoMa residents to ameliorate the effects of the economic displacement. The City benefits from having workers live near to their work places in reduced commute times for residents, and reduced traffic congestion and associated pollution.
(3) Community Cohesion. New development in the Rincon Hill area in such a vast quantity and of such a different character as currently exists will change the social fabric of the neighborhood. Programs to promote leadership development, community cohesion, and civic participation will also ameliorate the negative economic and social consequences of the new development in Rincon Hill on the residents and small businesses in Rincon Hill and the broader South of Market community.
(Added by Ord. 108-10, File No. 091275, App. 5/25/2010; amended by Ord. 50-15 , File No. 150149, App. 4/24/2015, Eff. 5/24/2015)
Section header amended; divisions (a) and (b) added; former divisions A. through F. deleted; former divisions G. through J. redesignated as (c) through (c)(3) and amended; Ord. 50-15 , Eff. 5/24/2015.