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(a) Purpose. In order to implement the goals, objectives, and policies of the Central SoMa Plan (Ordinance No. 280-18, on file with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors in File No. 180185), the Central SoMa Special Use District (SUD) is hereby established.
(b) Geography. The SUD is within the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, and its boundaries generally run from 2nd Street to the east to 6th Street to the west, and from Townsend Street to the south to an irregular border that generally follows Folsom, Howard, and Stevenson Streets to the north, as more specifically shown on Sectional Maps 1SU and 8SU of the Zoning Map.
(c) Land Use Controls.
(A) Active uses, as defined in Section 145.1, are required along any outdoor publicly-accessible open space;
(B) An office use, as defined in Section 890.70, is not an “active use” on the ground floor;
(C) POPOS, as defined in Section 138, is an “active use” on the ground floor;
(E) Active uses shall be required within the first 10 feet of building depth if any of the following conditions apply:
(i) The use is a Micro-Retail use located on a Narrow Street as defined in Section 261.1(b)(1); or
(ii) The use is along a Narrow Street provided there is a doorway provided every 25 feet along the street frontage, at minimum.
(F) Notwithstanding the PDR exemption found in Section 145.1(c)(6), PDR uses shall meet the following transparency and fenestration requirements:
(i) Building facades greater than 50 linear feet shall be required to be fenestrated with transparent windows and doorways for no less than 30% of the street frontage at the ground level and allow visibility into the building. The use of dark or mirrored glass shall not count towards the required transparent area.
(ii) Building facades up to 50 linear feet are not required to be transparent.
(2) Nighttime Entertainment. Nighttime Entertainment uses are principally permitted, regardless of the underlying zoning district, in the area bounded by 4th Street, 6th Street, Bryant Street, and Townsend Street.
(3) Hotels. Hotels in the Central SoMa SUD are not subject to the land use ratio requirements of Section 803.9(g).
(B) Micro-Retail. “Micro-Retail” shall mean a Retail Use, other than a Formula Retail Use, measuring no less than 100 gross square feet and no greater than 1,000 gross square feet.
(i) Applicability. Micro-Retail controls shall apply to new non-residential development projects on lots of 20,000 square feet or more.
a. Amount. Applicable development projects are required to have at least one Micro-Retail unit for every 20,000 square feet of lot area, rounded to the nearest unit.
b. Location and Design. All Micro-Retail units shall be on the ground floor, independently and directly accessed from a public right-of-way or publicly-accessible open space, and designed to be accessed and operated independently from other spaces or uses on the subject property.
c. Type. Formula Retail uses, as defined in Section 303.1, are not permitted as Micro-Retail.
(5) PDR and Community Building Space Requirements.
(A) For purposes of this subsection, “Community Building Space” shall mean space provided for a Social Service, Institutional Community, Community Facility, or Public Facility Use or for a Legacy Business.
(B) In addition to the requirements of Section 202.8, any newly constructed project that contains at least 50,000 gross square feet of office and any addition that increases the original building’s gross floor area by at least twenty percent and results in at least 50,000 gross square feet of net office in the building shall provide one of the following:
(i) An amount of space for PDR Uses or Community Building Space, or a combination thereof, that is the greater of the following:
a. the square footage of PDR space required by the controls of Section 202.8, or
b. on-site dedication of space for PDR Uses or Community Building Space, or a combination thereof, that is equivalent to 40 percent of the lot area, in which case for purposes of this Section 249.78(b)(5), the following areas are exempted from the calculation of the lot area: land dedicated to a building whose housing units consist entirely of Affordable Housing Units as defined in Section 401; publicly accessible open space and mid-block alleys that are fully open to the sky except for obstructions permitted pursuant to Section 136 or under a cantilevered portion of the building for up to 10% of space pursuant to Section 138(d)(2); any portion of the lot or lots containing a building dedicated primarily to residential use; and ground floor space dedicated to a Child Care Facility. For purposes of this subsection, “on-site” means anywhere on the subject project lot or lots.
(ii) Establishment off-site, through new construction, addition, or change of use, of a minimum of 150 percent of gross square feet of the on-site PDR requirement for PDR Uses or for Community Building Space. Such off-site space shall be located within the area bounded by Market Street, Second Street, King Street, Division Street, and South Van Ness Avenue; or
(iii) Preservation of existing PDR uses off-site, at a minimum of 200 percent of the on-site requirement, for the life of the project that is subject to the requirements of this subsection (6). This off-site PDR shall be located on one or more lots in the area bounded by Market Street, Second Street, King Street, Division Street, and South Van Ness Avenue. The PDR space preserved off-site shall not include any space already required to be preserved pursuant to this Section or Section 202.8.
(C) The PDR and Community Building Space requirements of this subsection may be reduced by 25 percent for any project subject to any contract or agreement meeting the requirements of California Civil Code Section 1954.28(d), including but not limited to a development agreement approved by the City under California Government Code Section 65864 et seq. if, pursuant to the terms of such agreement, the required replacement space is rented, leased, or sold at 50 percent below market rate for PDR space for the life of the project. Such restrictions on the rent, lease, or sale price shall be recorded on the subject property as a Notice of Special Restrictions.
(i) Documentation demonstrating that the applicant has provided written notification to all existing PDR tenants that the applicant intends to develop the property pursuant to this Section 249.78.
(ii) Documentation demonstrating that the applicant has provided all existing PDR tenants with information regarding the Central SoMa PDR Relocation Fund described in the Central SoMa Implementation Program Document, and PDR Sector Assistance for Displaced Businesses available from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) or its successor agency.
(F) For the Key Site described in Section 329(e)(2)(E) at the northeast corner of the intersection of 5th Street and Brannan Street, consisting of Block 3777, Lots 045, 050, 051, and 052, the PDR and Community Building Space Requirement pursuant to this subsection (5) shall be reduced by up to 15,000 gross square feet sitewide by the amount of ground floor space designated for any of the following uses: (i) Grocery, General, (ii) Pharmacy, (iii) Personal Services, not to exceed 2,500 gross square feet, and (iv) Retail Sales and Services limited to: Self-service laundromats and dry cleaning; Household goods and service (including paint, fixtures, hardware, and building materials); Pet supply stores and pet grooming services; Florists, plant and gardening stores; Home furnishings, furniture, and appliances; Books and magazines, stationery, greeting cards, toys and gifts, office supplies, copying service, music, and sporting goods; Art, fabric, and craft supplies; Bicycle sales and repair; and Stores primarily selling used or secondhand goods.
(6) Use on Large Development Sites.
(A) Applicability. South of Harrison Street on sites larger than 40,000 square feet that entail new construction or an addition of 100,000 square feet or more.
(B) Requirement. At least two-thirds of the Gross Floor Area of all building area below 160 feet in height shall be non-residential.
(7) Single Room Occupancy. Single Room Occupancy units that are Dwelling Units are Not Permitted in the Central SoMa SUD except in buildings that consist of 100% affordable units. For the purposes of this subsection (7), “affordable units” shall mean units rented, leased or sold at rates or prices affordable to a household whose income is no greater than 80% of the median income for households in San Francisco (“Lower Income Households”), as determined by Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations Sections 6928 and 6932 and implemented by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
(8) Group Housing. Group Housing uses are Not Permitted in the Central SoMa SUD except Group Housing uses that are also defined as Student Housing, Senior Housing, or Residential Care Facility, are designated for persons with disabilities, are designated for Transition Age Youth as defined by the Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development, or are contained in buildings that consist of 100% affordable units. For the purposes of this subsection (8), “affordable units” shall mean units rented, leased or sold at rates or prices affordable to a household whose income is no greater than 80% of the median income for households in San Francisco (“Lower Income Households”), as determined by Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations Sections 6928 and 6932 and implemented by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
(d) Urban Design and Density Controls.
(1) Prevailing Building Height and Density. In order to ensure adequate provision of infrastructure and services in an area transitioning from industrial uses to more intensive residential and commercial uses through adoption of the Central SoMa Plan, Prevailing Building Height and Density Limits are herein established.
(A) Applicability. The controls of this subsection (d)(1) shall apply to any project that is subject to Section 434(b).
(B) Controls. Notwithstanding the height limit indicated on the Zoning Map and the Floor Area Ratio controls of subsection (3) below, the following Height and Floor Area Ratio controls shall apply:
(i) For all projects on lots where the Zoning Map indicates a height limit of 85 feet or greater, the height of the project shall be limited to 85 feet in height and the project lot or lots shall be limited to a maximum Floor Area Ratio of 4.0:1.
(ii) For projects on lots where the Zoning Map indicates a height limit of less than 85 feet, the project lot or lots shall be limited to a maximum Floor Area Ratio of 3.0:1.
(C) Height and Density Bonus for Participation in CFD. A project may exceed the Prevailing Building Height and Density Limits of subsection (B) up to the maximum height and density otherwise permitted in this Code and the Zoning Map in cases where the project sponsor elects to develop a project subject to Section 434.
(2) Design of Buildings. New construction shall comply with the “Citywide Urban Design Guidelines” as adopted and periodically amended by the Planning Commission.
(3) Floor Area Ratio. There shall be no maximum Floor Area Ratio limit for lots within the CMUO, MUR, MUG, and WMUO Districts in this SUD.
(4) Living and Solar Roofs and Living Walls.
(B) Applicability. Any development that meets all of the following criteria:
(i) The development lot is 5,000 square feet or larger; and
(iii) The building height is 160 feet or less.
(i) Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 149, at least fifty percent of the roof area shall be covered by one or more Living Roofs.
(ii) Residential projects subject to this subsection (d)(4) shall comply with Green Building Code Section 4.201.2, which sets forth requirements for solar photovoltaic systems and/or solar thermal systems.
(iii) Non-residential projects shall comply with Green Building Code Section .1.2, which sets forth requirements for solar photovoltaic systems and/or solar thermal systems.
(iv) The Living Roof shall be considered in determining compliance with the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
(v) 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 (d)(4) and shall coordinate with those departments to ensure compliance with the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
(vi) Projects that consist of multiple buildings may choose to locate the required elements in this subsection (d)(4)(i)-(v) on any rooftops within the subject project, including on buildings that are not subject to these requirements, provided the equivalent amount of square footage is provided elsewhere on the project site.
(vii) In addition, project sponsors are encouraged to incorporate vertical living walls on building facades, composed of climate-appropriate, native/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 as written for the project in question, the Zoning Administrator may, in his or her sole discretion and pursuant to the procedures set forth in Planning Code Section 307(h), reduce the requirements stated in subsection (C) from fifty percent to thirty-three percent.
(5) Renewable Electricity.
(A) Definitions. For the purpose of this subsection, “greenhouse-gas free” shall mean energy resources qualifying as renewable pursuant to California Public Resources Code Chapter 8.6, Section 25741(a) and from hydroelectric facilities of 30 megawatts or greater.
(B) Applicability. This subsection shall apply to any newly constructed commercial or residential building or major renovation to an existing building, as defined by San Francisco Green Building Code Section 202.
(i) All projects shall commit, as a condition of approval, to fulfilling all on-site electricity demands through any combination of on-site generation of 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity and purchase of electricity from 100% greenhouse gas-free sources for a period of not less than 25 years from issuance of the first construction document.
(ii) The Planning Department, after consulting with the Public Utilities Commission, Department of Building Inspection, and the Department of the Environment, shall adopt rules and regulations to implement this subsection.
(6) Lot Coverage and Exposure.
(A) Lot Coverage. For residential uses, the rear yard requirements of Section 134 of this Code shall not apply. Lot coverage is limited to 80 percent at all levels containing residential uses, except that on levels that include only lobbies and circulation areas and on levels in which all residential uses, including circulation areas, are within 40 horizontal feet from a property line fronting a street or alley, up to 100 percent lot coverage may occur. The unbuilt portion of the lot shall be open to the sky except for those obstructions permitted in yards pursuant to subsections (1) through (23) of Section 136(c) of this Code. Where there is a pattern of mid-block open space for adjacent buildings, the unbuilt area of the new project shall be designed to adjoin that mid-block open space.
(B) Exposure. Notwithstanding the residential unit exposure requirements of Section 140(a)(2), if a residential unit in the Central SoMa SUD does not face either a public street or a public alley pursuant to Section 140(a)(1), the unit shall face an open area that measures no less than 20 feet in all horizontal directions on the subject lot. Such open area need not be increased in its horizontal dimensions for the floors above.
(7) Lot Merger Restrictions.
(A) Applicability. Lots that meet both of the following criteria shall be subject to the lot merger restrictions of this Section:
(i) Lots containing one or more buildings with California Historic Resources Status Code 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6L, as identified in a survey adopted by the Historic Preservation Commission; and
(ii) Lots with any single street frontage under 200 feet in length.
(B) Control. Any lot to which this subsection is applicable shall not merge with an adjacent lot in such a way that any existing street frontage of under 200 feet is increased to 200 feet in length or longer.
(i) The street frontages of lots abutting the north side of Perry Street and the street frontages along Harrison Street on Block 3763 in lots 099 and 100 are exempt from this control.
(ii) On blocks of less than 200 feet in length between streets or alleys, an applicable lot may merge with an adjacent non-applicable lot if the non-applicable lot is a corner lot.
(8) Open Space. A project whose housing units consist entirely of Affordable Housing Units, as defined in Section 401, shall provide at least 36 square feet of usable Open Space, as set forth in Section 135, per unit unless the project is located directly adjacent to a publicly-owned park in which case such project shall not be required to provide usable Open Space.
(A) Applicability. This subsection shall apply to new buildings above 85 feet in Height and additions to existing buildings that result in a building above 85 feet in Height.
“Comfort Level” means ground-level equivalent wind speeds of 11 miles per hour in areas of substantial pedestrian use and seven miles per hour in public seating areas between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. when occurring for more than 15 percent of the time year round.
“Equivalent Wind Speed” means an hourly mean wind speed adjusted to incorporate the effects of gustiness or turbulence on pedestrians.
“Nine-Hour Hazard Criterion” means a ground-level equivalent wind speed of 26 miles per hour for more than nine hours per year per test location.
“One-Hour Hazard Criterion” means a ground-level equivalent wind speed of 26 miles per hour for more than one hour per year per test location.
“Substantial Increase” means an increase in wind speeds of more than six miles per hour for more than 15 percent of the time year round.
(C) Controls for Wind Comfort.
(i) Projects may not result in wind speeds that exceed the Comfort Level at any location.
(ii) Projects may not cause a Substantial Increase in wind speed at any location where the existing or resulting wind speed exceeds the Comfort Level.
(iii) Pursuant to Section 329, the Planning Commission may grant an exception to the standards of subsections (i) and (ii) above as applied to a project if it finds that the project meets the following criteria:
(aa) It has undertaken all feasible measures to reduce wind speeds through such means as building sculpting and appurtenances, permanent wind baffling measures, and landscaping; and
(bb) Reducing wind speeds further would substantially detract from the building design or unduly restrict the square footage of the project.
(D) Controls for Hazardous Winds.
(i) Projects shall not result in net new locations with an exceedance of the One-Hour Hazard Criterion, except as allowed by the Planning Commission based on criteria described in subsection (ii) below.
(ii) Pursuant to Section 329, the Planning Commission may grant an exception to the standard of subsection (i) above as applied to a proposed project if it finds that the proposed project meets all of the following criteria:
(aa) The project with wind reduction measures does not result in net new locations with an exceedance of the Nine-Hour Hazard Criterion;
(bb) The project has undertaken all feasible measures to reduce hazardous wind speeds, such as building sculpting and appurtenances, permanent wind baffling measures, and landscaping; and
(cc) Meeting the requirements of subsection (i) would detract from the building design or unduly restrict the square footage of the project.
(iii) No exception shall be granted and no building or addition shall be permitted for any project that causes net new locations with an exceedance in the Nine-Hour Hazard Criterion.
(E) Guidelines. Procedures and methodologies for implementing this subsection shall be issued by the Department.
(11) Dwelling Unit Exposure. The requirements of Section 140 shall apply, except that the required windows (as defined by Section 504 of the San Francisco Housing Code) of at least one room that meets the 120-square-foot minimum superficial floor area requirement of Section 503 of the Housing Code shall face on an open area as follows:
(A) For units constructed above 85 feet in height, the required windows shall face directly on an open area that is no less than 15 feet by 15 feet;
(B) 10% of units constructed at or below 85 feet may face directly onto an open area that is no less than 15 feet by 15 feet; and
(C) Where required windows are built on an open area, pursuant to 140(a)(2), the requirements to increase the horizontal dimension at each subsequent floor do not apply.
(e) Community Development Controls.
(1) Affordable Housing Funds. Affordable Housing Fees for projects within the Central SoMa Special Use District shall be subject to Section 415.5(f)(1)(D).
(2) Land Dedication.
(3) TDR Requirements for Large Development Sites. The transfer and use of TDR by Large Development Sites in the Central SoMa SUD is subject to the controls of Section 128.1.
(i) A project subject to this subsection (3) will be considered a “Development Lot,” pursuant to Section 128.1;
(4) Onsite Childcare Facilities. Prior to issuance of a building or site permit for a development project subject to the requirements of Section 414.4, the sponsor of an Office or Hotel project on a Key Site, as defined in Section 329(e), shall elect its choice of the options described in subsection (A), (B) and (E) of Section 414.4(c)(1) to fulfill any requirements imposed pursuant to Section 414.4 as a condition of approval. The Planning Commission shall review the project for compliance with Section 414.4. In addition, the following process shall apply:
(i) The space is being provided to the proposed child-care provider at a below-market rate rent and/or at a significantly reduced cost.
(ii) The proposed child-care provider provides services consistent with the goals and expenditures of the Child Care Capital Fund in Section 414.14, which may include activities including, but not limited to, providing care affordable to households of low and moderate income, or providing care that fulfills unmet needs for child care by age group and/or neighborhood, as determined through a needs assessment conducted by the Director of the Office of Early Care & Education, or its successor.
(B) If the Commission determines that none of the options described in subsection (A), (B), and (E) of Section 414.4(c)(1) is feasible, the sponsor may elect any of the other options in subsection 414.4(c)(1). Feasibility may be determined by, among other things, the sufficiency of the existing supply of child care facilities in the Central SoMa SUD, the inability to provide suitable space that would meet childcare licensing requirements, a determination by the Commission that the site is not a suitable location for child care provision, and financial feasibility.
(f) Effect of Litigation. In the event that any person or entity files a lawsuit in any court challenging any new development requirement imposed as part of the Central SoMa Plan that generates revenue to fund the Central SoMa Public Benefits Program, then upon the service of such lawsuit upon the City and County of San Francisco, the City will not approve any application or grant any entitlement for development of any non-residential use in the Central SoMa SUD that could not be approved but for the adoption of this ordinance and that has not yet received a first construction document, unless and until 12 months have passed or legislation is enacted to address the challenged development requirement, whichever is sooner. Unless and until 12 months have passed or legislation is enacted to address the challenged development requirement, whichever is sooner, the City shall deny any complete permit application on or before the date the Permit Streamlining Act requires approval or disapproval of the project, based on the uncertainty of the validity of the challenged development requirement.
(g) Non-Severability. If any new development requirement imposed as part of the Central SoMa Plan that generates revenue to fund the Public Benefits Program contained in the Central SoMa Implementation Program; or any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word thereof; becomes unenforceable as a result of a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the City will not approve any application or grant any entitlement for any non-residential development in the Central SoMa SUD that has not yet received a first construction document.
Division (e)(2)(B) amended; Ord. 251-19, Eff. 12/16/2019. Divisions (d)(1)(B), (d)(1)(B)(ii), and (d)(2) amended; Ord. 63-20, Eff. 5/25/2020. Divisions (c)(5)(B), (d)(5)(C)(i), (d)(10), (e)(1), and (e)(3) amended; division (d)(6) amended and redesignated as (d)(6)-(d)(6)(A); divisions (c)(5)(F) and (d)(6)(B) added; divisions (e)(3)(A)-(e)(3)(B)(ii) deleted; Ord. 47-21, Eff. 5/17/2021.