Yesterday, the San Francisco board of supervisors unanimously (and without comment) voted to approve the Housing Element plan.
Some of you may remember that we had Shelley Caltagirone from the SF Planning Department present the Housing Element at the August 2021 Land Use meeting. At that time, the plan was in its conception, more of a collection of goals than an actual plan. The plan has grown a lot since then, see the link below to the 2873-page document. There is a lot of stuff in here, new requirements from the State have required this Housing Element to be more specific and aggressive than any previous plan.
There has been a lot of dysfunction on the City's part in producing this plan. They dragged their feet, found out late last year that the deadline was 90 days sooner than they expected, rushed, and did not have the full outreach to neighborhood groups like ours that we were expecting.
I've heard from two neighbors who have been following the developments and are concerned about the zoning impact on the Triangle. If you go to page 595 you can read about the Rezoning Program. The maps on pages 601, 603, and 604 show some pretty substantial upzoning in our neighborhood. These heat maps are very unspecific/diagrammatical in nature but indicate what could be coming.
Some hopeful news is that once approved by the State, the SF Planning Department has a three-year period to evaluate specific areas/neighborhoods in the city and how they can appropriately adopt the goals of the housing element. It should be a top priority for DTNA to engage with Planning soon and create opportunities for neighbors to learn about the plan and weigh in on how they think it should be implemented in their community.
The not-so-hopeful news is that this review period is kind of uncharted waters. Speaking with Supervisor Mandleman about this, it's unclear the extent of outreach the Planning Department is required to do, how much feedback they need to incorporate, and how much (or little) they are allowed to deviate from the State-approved plan. Nevertheless, DTNA should be at the forefront and make sure voices from our neighborhood are heard.
There is a second vote next Tuesday, which is also the deadline for SF's Housing Element to be approved by the state. "Missing the deadline would risk San Francisco losing control over housing approvals within its borders and would also jeopardize funding for transportation projects and affordable housing."
I imagine this will be an active talking point for the Land Use committee and DTNA Board for the next few years.
Housing Element PDF:
Insightful Chronicle Article: