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The Rincon Hill Downtown Residential Mixed Use District (RH-DTR), the boundaries of which are shown in Section Map No. 1 of the Zoning Map, is established for the purposes set forth below.
The RH-DTR District is adjacent to the southern edge of the downtown, generally bounded by Folsom Street, the Bay Bridge, the Embarcadero, and Essex Street. High-density residential uses and supporting commercial and institutional uses are allowed and encouraged within the limits set by height, bulk, and tower spacing controls. Folsom Street is intended to develop as the neighborhood commercial heart of the Rincon Hill and Transbay neighborhoods, and pedestrian-oriented uses are required on the ground floor. Individual townhouse dwelling units with ground floor entries directly to the street are required on streets that will become primarily residential, including First, Fremont, Beale, Main, and Spear Streets.
While lot coverage is limited for all levels with residential uses that do not face onto streets or alleys, traditional rear yard open spaces are not required except in the limited instances where there is an existing pattern of them, such as smaller lots on the Guy Place block. Specific height, bulk, and setback controls establish appropriate heights for both towers and mid-rise podium development and ensure adequate spacing between towers in order to establish a neighborhood scale and ensure light and air to streets and open spaces. Setbacks are required where necessary to provide transition space for ground floor residential uses and to ensure sunlight access to streets and open spaces. Off-street parking must be located below grade.
Given the need for services and open space resulting from new development, projects will provide or contribute funding for the creation of public open space and community facilities as described in the Rincon Hill Area Plan of the General Plan. The Rincon Hill Streetscape Plan, part of the Area Plan, proposes to enhance and redesign most streets in the district to create substantial new open space amenities, improve pedestrian conditions, and improve the flow of local traffic and transit. Detailed standards for the provision of open spaces, mid-block pathways, and residential entries are provided to ensure that new buildings contribute to creating a public realm of the highest quality in Rincon Hill. Accessory Dwelling Units are permitted within the district pursuant to subsection 207(c)(4) of this Code.
Rincon Hill Downtown Residential Mixed Use District Zoning Controls
Building and Siting Standards
Height and Bulk
Rear Yard/Site Coverage
Ground Floor Residential Design Guidelines
Building setback of 3 to 10 ft. for all buildings except towers on Spear, Main, Beale, Fremont, and First Streets. § 827(a)(2) and (6).
Upper-story setback of 10 ft. required above a height of 65 feet on both sides of Spear, Main, Beale, Fremont, and First Streets. § 827(a)(5).
Sun access plane setback of 50 degrees for all buildings 85' and lower on the south side of east-west mid-block
Parking and Loading Access: Prohibition
Prohibited on Folsom Street from Essex Street to The Embarcadero. § 827 (a)(8) and 155(r)
Parking and Loading Access: Siting and Dimensions
No parking permitted aboveground, except on sloping sites. Parking access limited to two openings, max. 11' wide each, loading access limited to one 15' opening.
§ 825(b)(7) and 827(a)(8).
Non-Residential Standards and Uses
Required Residential to Non-Residential Use Ratio
Non-residential uses limited to occupiable sf per 6 occupiable sf devoted to residential uses.
§§ 890.130, 145.14
P for non-residential uses up to 25,000 sq. ft., C above. No individual ground floor tenant may occupy more than 75' of frontage for a depth of 25' from Folsom Street.
1 sq. ft. of publicly-accessible open space for every 50 sq. ft. of non-residential use over 10,000 sq. ft.
Off-Street Parking [Office uses]
None Required. Parking that is accessory to office space limited to 7% of GFA.
[Non-Residential, other than office uses]
None Required. Parking limited as described in Section 151.1.
Off-Street Freight Loading
None Required. Loading maximums described in Section 152.2.
All Non-Residential Uses Permitted, except as described below.
P if recessed 3 ft. C otherwise.
Hospital or Medical Center
Other Institutions, except Residential Care Facility
Residential Care Facility
Automobile Parking Lot, Community Commercial
C, per the criteria of Section 303
Automotive Gas Station
Automotive Service Station
Automotive Sale or Rental
Hours of Operation
C. 2 a.m. - 6 a.m.
Tobacco Paraphernalia Establishments
Child Care Facility
Residential Standards and Uses
Residential Density, Dwelling Units
Residential Density, Group Housing
Residential Density, Homeless Shelters
Density limits per Section 208(a)
Usable Open Space
[Per Residential Unit]
Accessory Off-Street Parking, Residential
Fringe Financial Service
Large-Scale Urban Agriculture
Wireless Telecommunications Services Facility
C; P if the facility is a Micro WTS Facility
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR
RINCON HILL DOWNTOWN RESIDENTIAL MIXED USE
RINCON HILL DOWNTOWN RESIDENTIAL MIXED USE
Controls: Massage shall generally be subject to Conditional Use authorization. Certain exceptions to the Conditional Use requirement for massage are described in Section 303(n). When considering an application for a conditional use permit pursuant to this subsection, the Planning Commission shall consider, in addition to the criteria listed in Section 303(c), the criteria described in Section 303(n) and 890.60(b).
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS
Boundaries: Within the boundaries of the Rincon Hill Downtown Residential Mixed Use District.
Controls: An "Accessory Dwelling Unit," as defined in Section 102 and meeting the requirements of Section 207(c)(4) is permitted to be constructed within an existing building in areas that allow residential use or within an existing and authorized auxiliary structure on the same lot.
(a) Building Standards.
(1) Development Concept. The development concept is for podium development up to 85 feet in height, with slender residential towers spaced to provide ample light and air to the district. New development will contribute to the creation of a substantial amount of public open space, as well as provide private common areas, courtyards, and balconies. Streets will be improved to provide widened sidewalks with substantial public open space. Ground floor uses will be pedestrian-oriented in character, consisting primarily of retail on Folsom Street, and individual townhouse-style residential units on First, Fremont, Beale, Main, and Spear Streets, as well as on alleys and mid-block pathways. Parking will be located below grade, and building utilities (loading bays, service doors, garage doors) will be located in sidewalk vaults or on secondary frontages.
(2) Street-Facing Use Requirements. Pedestrian-oriented retail, residential, institutional uses, and community services are required ground floor uses on all street facing frontages, except for the minimum frontage required for fire doors, parking and loading access, and other utilities.
(A) Required Ground Floor Retail Spaces. For frontages facing Folsom Street, ground floor space suitable for retail use is required for no less than 75 percent of all frontages, as specified in Section 145.4.
(B) Required Individual Ground Floor Residential Units. For building frontages facing Fremont, First, Main, Beale and Spear Streets more than 60 feet from an intersection with Folsom, Harrison, or Bryant Streets, and for building frontages facing Guy Place and Lansing Street, individual ground floor residential units with direct pedestrian access to the sidewalk are required at intervals of no greater than 25 feet, except where residential lobbies, parking and loading access, utilities, and open space are necessary and provided pursuant to the allowances of Section 827 and other sections of this Code. Individual ground floor residential units are also encouraged along Harrison Street, Bryant Street, and alleys and mid-block pedestrian paths where appropriate.
Figure 827(B): Frontages Where Ground Floor Retail Uses Are Required.
Figure 827(C): Frontages Where Ground Floor Residential Uses/Entries Are Required.
(3) Required Streetwall. Building area below 85 feet in height is required to be built to 100 percent of all property lines facing public rights-of-way, except where setbacks are required by this Section and except where publicly accessible open space is provided according to the provisions of this Section. Recesses, insets and breaks between buildings are permitted to provide vertical articulation to the facade, provided the overall integrity of the streetwall is maintained.
(4) Lot Coverage. Lots fronting only on the north side of Guy Place are permitted up to 80 percent lot coverage.
(5) Upper Story Setback. To ensure adequate sunlight to streets, alleys, and pedestrian pathways, upper story setbacks are required as follows:
(A) All buildings are required to set back at least 10 feet above a height of 65 feet along Spear, Main, Beale, Fremont and First Streets. This requirement shall not apply to street frontage occupied by a building taller than 85 feet. This upper story setback requirement shall also not apply to the first 60 linear feet of frontage from corners at Folsom, Harrison, and Bryant Streets.
(B) Buildings greater than 60 linear feet from a major street along Guy Place, Lansing Street, and any proposed or existing private or public mid-block pedestrian pathways, are required to be set back at least 10 feet above 45 feet in height from said right-of-way.
(C) In order to increase sun access to mid-block pathways and uses along such pathways, all building frontage on the southeast side of mid-block pathways not occupied by a building taller than 85 feet must set back upper stories by 10 feet above a building height of 45 feet. For projects on the south side of a mid-block pedestrian pathway taller than 65 feet, an additional upper story setback of 10 feet is required above a building height of 65 feet.
(i) Modifications. For any lot on the north side of a required mid-block pedestrian pathway, a modification from the required upper story setback of 10 feet above a height of 45 feet may be granted according to the provisions of Section 309.1, provided that, in total, the building is set back by a volume equal to what would be required by meeting the standard in (C) above, and the modification would substantially improve the accessibility, design and character of the mid-block pedestrian pathway.
Figure 827(D): Required Upper Story Stepbacks
(6) Ground Floor Residential Units. Where ground floor residential units are required along Spear, Main, Beale, Fremont, and First Streets, the design standards of the Ground Floor Residential Design Guidelines apply. Ground floor residential units along Guy Place and Lansing Street, within the footprint of towers taller than 105 feet, and those that are proposed in locations where they are not required, are encouraged to meet the standards in this subsection to the greatest degree possible.
Figure 827(E): Ground Floor Commercial Frontages
(8) Off-Street Parking and Loading.
(A) Parking and Loading Access.
(i) Width of openings. The maximum permitted width of all combined parking and loading openings on Guy Place and Lansing Street for any single project is 20 feet.
(ii) Folsom Street. Access to off-street parking is not permitted on Folsom Street for lots with frontage on another street. For lots fronting solely on Folsom Street, access to parking on a Folsom Street frontage is permitted only through the processes established by Section 309.1 by demonstrating that every effort has been made to minimize negative impact on the pedestrian quality of the street. Loading may not be accessed from Folsom Street.
(9) Open Space.
(1) In addition to the standards of Section 135, open space intended to fulfill the requirements of off-site or publicly-accessible open space may include streetscape improvements with landscaping and pedestrian amenities on Guy Place and Lansing Street, beyond basic street tree planting or street lighting as otherwise required by this Code, in accordance with the Streetscape Plan of the Rincon Hill Area Plan.
(10) Streetscape Standards.
(A) Sidewalk Treatments.
(i) For all frontages abutting a public sidewalk, the project sponsor is required to install sidewalk widening, street trees, lighting, decorative paving, seating and landscaping in accordance with the Streetscape Plan of the Rincon Hill Area Plan, developed by the Planning Department and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
(ii) Prior to approval by the Board of Supervisors of a Streetscape Plan for Rincon Hill, the Planning Commission, through the procedures of Section 309.1, shall require an applicant to install sidewalk widening, street trees, lighting, decorative paving, seating, and landscaping in keeping with the intent of the Rincon Hill Area Plan of the General Plan and in accordance with subsections (iii) - (vi) below.
(iii) Sidewalk treatments shall comply with any applicable ordinances and with any applicable regulation of the Art Commission, the Department of Public Works and the Bureau of Light, Heat and Power of the Public Utility Commission regarding street lighting, sidewalk paving, and sidewalk landscaping.
(iv) The Streetscape Plan and any Commission requirement pursuant to subsection (ii) shall require the abutting property owner or owners to hold harmless the City and County of San Francisco, its officers, agents, and employees, from any damage or injury caused by reason of the design, construction or maintenance of the improvements, and shall require the owner or owners or subsequent owner or owners of the respective property to be solely liable for any damage or loss occasioned by any act.
(v) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section, an applicant shall apply for all required permits for changes to the legislated sidewalk widths and street improvements and pay all required fees.
(vi) The owner of the property is required to maintain all those improvements other than lighting.
(B) Mid-Block Pedestrian Pathways. For developments on Assessor's Blocks 3744 - 3748, the Commission may require, pursuant to Section 309.1, the applicant to provide a mid-block pedestrian pathway for the entire depth of their property where called for by the Rincon Hill Area Plan of the General Plan. This pathway shall be designed in accordance with the standards of this Section.
(i) Design. The design of the pathway shall meet the following minimum requirements:
(AA) Have a minimum width of 20 feet from building face to building face;
(BB) Have a minimum clear walking width of 10 feet free of any obstructions.
(CC) Be open to the sky and free from all encroachments for that entire width, except for those permitted in front setbacks by Section 136 of this Code;
(DD) Provide such ingress and egress as will make the area easily accessible to the general public;
(EE) Be protected from uncomfortable wind, as called for elsewhere in this Code;
(FF) Be publicly accessible, as defined elsewhere in this Section;
(GG) Be provided with special paving, furniture, landscaping, and other amenities that facilitate pedestrian use;
(HH) Be provided with ample pedestrian lighting to ensure pedestrian comfort and safety;
(II) Be free of any changes in grade or steps not required by the natural topography of the underlying hill; and
(JJ) Be fronted by active ground floor uses, such as individual townhouse residential units, to the greatest extent possible.
(ii) Prior to issuance of a permit of occupancy, informational signage directing the general public to the pathway shall be placed in a publicly conspicuous outdoor location at street level stating its location, the right of the public to use the space and the hours of use, and the name and address of the owner or owner's agent responsible for maintenance.
(iii) The owner of the property on which the pathway is located shall maintain it by keeping the area clean and free of litter and keeping in a functional and healthy state any street furniture, lighting and/or plant material that is provided.
(iv) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an applicant shall obtain all required permits for changes to the legislated sidewalk and street improvements and pay all required fees.
(v) The property owner or owners must hold harmless the City and County of San Francisco, its officers, agents, and employees, from any damage or injury caused by reason of the design, construction or maintenance of the improvements, and shall require the owner or owners or subsequent owner or owners of the respective property to be solely liable for any damage or loss occasioned by any act.
(B) No less than fifty percent (50%) of the fees that are paid due to development in the Rincon Hill Area Plan under Section 415et seq. (formerly Section 315.4(e)(2) and 315.6) shall be paid into the Citywide Affordable Housing Fund, but the funds shall be separately accounted for and designated exclusively to increase the supply of affordable housing in the SOMA area.
(C) The Mayor's Office of Housing must submit a resolution to the Board of Supervisors with a plan for the use of all Affordable Housing Fee payments generated from the Rincon Hill Area Plan prior to any expenditure of the Funds.
(Added by Ord. 217-05, File No. 050865, App. 8/19/2005; amended by Ord. 269-07, File No. 070671, App. 11/26/2007; Ord. 244-08, File No. 080567, App. 10/30/2008; Ord. 298-08, File No. 081153, App. 12/19/2008; Ord. 310-10, File No. 101194, App. 12/16/2010; Ord. 312-10, File No. 100046, App. 12/23/2010; Ord. 66-11, File No. 101537, App. 4/20/2011, Eff. 5/20/2011; 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. 287-13 , File No. 130041, App. 12/26/2013, Eff. 1/25/2014; Ord. 235-14 , File No. 140844, App. 11/26/2014, Eff. 12/26/2014; Ord. 14-15 , File No. 141210, App. 2/13/2015, Eff. 3/15/2015; Ord. 20-15 , File No. 110548, App. 2/20/2015, Eff. 3/22/2015; Ord. 73-15, File No. 141303, App. 5/28/2015, Eff. 6/27/2015; Ord. 162-16 , File No. 160657, App. 8/4/2016, Eff. 9/3/2016; Ord. 166-16 , File No. 160477, App. 8/11/2016, Eff. 9/10/2016; Ord. 99-17, File No. 170206, App. 5/19/2017, Eff. 6/18/2017; Ord. 189-17, File No. 170693, App. 9/15/2017, Eff. 10/15/2017; Ord. 14-18, File No. 171097, App. 2/9/2018, Eff. 3/12/2018; Ord. 303-18, File No. 180915, App. 12/21/2018, Eff. 1/21/2019; Ord. 136-21, File No. 210674, App. 8/4/2021, Eff. 9/4/2021)
Zoning Control Table: .54 added; Ord. 66-11 , Eff. 5/20/2011. Zoning Control Table: .35 amended; Specific Provisions: 827.35 added; Ord. 56-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013. Former division (b)(1)(A) deleted; former divisions (b)(1)(B), (C), and (D) redesignated as (b)(1)(A), (B), and (C); Ord. 62-13 , Eff. 5/10/2013. Zoning Control Table: .51 and .52 amended; Ord. 287-13 , Eff. 1/25/2014. Specific Provisions: 827.35 amended; Ord. 235-14 , Eff. 12/26/2014. Zoning Control Table: .48b added; Ord. 14-15 , Eff. 3/15/2015. Zoning Control Table: .17, .18, and .19 amended; Ord. 20-15 , Eff. 3/22/2015. Zoning Control Table: .35 amended; Specific Provisions: 827.35 amended; Ord. 73-15, Eff. 6/27/2015. Introductory material amended; Zoning Control Table: .47 amended; Specific Provisions: 827.47 added; Ord. 162-16 , Eff. 9/3/2016. Zoning Control Table: .99 added; Ord. 166-16 , Eff. 9/10/2016. Zoning Control Table: .23, .24, .36, .37, and .50 amended; Ord. 99-17, Eff. 6/18/2017. Zoning Control Table: .45b added; Ord. 189-17, Eff. 10/15/2017. Division (a)(3) amended; Ord. 14-18, Eff. 3/12/2018. Zoning Control Table: .30 redesignated as .30a and amended; b2 added; Ord. 303-18 , Eff. 1/21/2019. Zoning Control Table: No. b corrected to .30b and amended; Ord. 136-21, Eff. 9/4/2021.