DZLU MEETING DATE: October 19, 2021 (via Zoom)
With this report, the DZLU committee is pleased to introduce its new logo. This
wonderful sketch by Eleanor Burke comes from the cover of her book, “A
Walker’s Sketchbook of San Francisco,” from 2016. The juxtaposition of the
historic residences of the Vallejo Crest National Historic District (on the ramp
at Vallejo and Jones) with the Joseph Eichler designed Summit tower from
1965 (at 999 Green Street) represents visually the range of DZLU’s design,
zoning and land use oversight activities – from historic preservation to new
construction within the Russian Hill neighborhood. A similar image also
appears in Eleanor’s book, “Russian Hill: A Trek Through the Neighborhood.”
Eleanor’s husband, Bernie Burke, is a past president of Russian Hill Neighbors.
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. HOUSING—SF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS
Sup. Mandelman’s proposals on 4-plexes on RH lots zoned for singlefamily use and on “monster” homes has been scheduled for more
discussion and potential action at the Planning Commission on 11/18.
b. HOUSING—STATE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS
Planning staff presented an information item on SB 9&10 to the
Planning Commission on 10/21. These bills have been signed by Gov.
Newsom and take effect 1/1/22. Staff outlined key provisions, along
the lines described in earlier DZLU reports. Most of the presentation
covered SB9, as SB10, which gives cities the option to rezone a parcel
to allow for up to 10 units without CEQA review, could apply to San
Francisco only if the Board of Supervisors were to vote to adopt it.
Two pathways are allowed by SB9, applicable to lots currently zoned
for single-family use (RH-1): (1) a lot split in which each lot can include
a duplex, resulting in a four-plex or (2) a duplex on the lot without a lot
Several eligibility constraints apply:
– The lot must have been owner-occupied for 3 years prior to duplex
– The current home cannot be rent-controlled or have undergone an
Ellis Act eviction.
– The house is not a historic resource.
– For a lot split, the development must be owner-occupied for 3
years after the lot split.
– In a lot split, the minimum size of the combined lots must be 2400 sf.
– The same sponsor cannot develop adjacent lots.
Approvals of eligible proposals would be ministerial and exempt from
CEQA review. Demolition would not require conditional use approval.
Projects are exempt from 311 notification requirements. Only objective
zoning and design standards would apply. The City’s Residential
Design Guidelines, for example, which are largely discretionary, could
not be applied. Existing height provisions as well as the typical rear
yard requirement of 30% of the lot depth would still be preserved as
objective zoning provisions.
An update to the Planning Commission is anticipated in January that
would propose additional objective design standards for these
projects, explore opportunities for owners of low-moderate incomes,
and review the results of a financial analysis comparing the desirability
of a single-family residence with a duplex.
As mentioned in previous DZLU reports on this, the impact on Russian
Hill and on other neighborhoods that are already at a high density is
anticipated to be modest as there are few RH-1 parcels zoned only for
single-family use in these neighborhoods.