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DTNA Land Use Committee

DTNA Land Use Committee is a forum to review and debate building developments and transportation updates that impact our neighborhood's built environment. We discuss topics surrounding housing, city planning & zoning, public-transportation improvements, historic preservation, and neighborhood greening. The Committee takes evidence-based positions on many project proposals in our neighborhood and makes recommendations to the DTNA Board.

The Committee meets on the the third Wednesday of every month, 7:00pm to 8:00pm in the Gazebo, Plaza Level, Davies Campus, Sutter Health CPMC. Please enter and leave on the Plaza Level and not through the hospital. 

Everyone is welcome to join and participate. For additional information, contact Dennis Richards, Land Use Chair. 

Land Use Blog

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  • 6 Mar 2022 9:24 AM | Kevin Riley

    See attached research report from UC Berkeley students on the Duboce Triangle traffic calming. There were there project teams, each with their own hypothesis, who studies different areas of our neighborhood. The report presents their data and proposes ways to make Duboce Triangle more pedestrian friendly.    


  • 5 Dec 2021 6:07 PM | Kevin Riley

    Our last Land Use meeting of the year, we will have two presentation topics: 

    • The development team for 67-69 Belcher St will be presenting their scheme 
    • Three teams of the UC Berkeley students will present their "Slow Triangle" research. 

    The presentations will take up most of the meeting but there will be some time at the end for discussion topics. See you tomorrow at 7pm (zoom link below)! 

    ____________________________________________________________________________211206 - December Land Use Agenda.pdf

    Topic: [DTNA] Monthly Land Use Meeting

    Time: Dec 6, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting:


    Meeting ID: 936 9983 4155

    Passcode: dtna

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    +16699006833,,93699834155# US (San Jose)

    +13462487799,,93699834155# US (Houston)

  • 5 Dec 2021 4:11 PM | Kevin Riley

    2021 was, as we all know, an unconventional year. The Land Use committee continues to adapt to these unique times - hosting monthly committee meetings, reviewing developments that impact the Triangle, and empowering neighbors to advocate for the positive changes they would like to see. 

    It has been a slow year for new construction and housing development in the neighborhood. We are still in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, but it has become even harder to build. COVID-19 has slowed things down, there are labor shortages, market volatility, and increased construction costs. Several multi-family housing projects in Duboce Triangle have had little to no progress over the past year. Proposed projects such as 2135 & 2140 Market Street have not been submitted for Entitlements because developers struggle to make them financially feasible. Previously Entitled projects, such as 1965 Market, sit dormant - supposedly awaiting additional funding or a new developer. Housing slated to start construction, such as 55 Belcher St, remains unbuilt. It is sad to see such stagnation in a neighborhood like Duboce Triangle that is within walking/transit distance to so many jobs and businesses. 

    There is some hope that 2022 will be a more active year for new housing. Increased Federal and State funding for affordable housing makes it a little easier for non-profit developers to pencil-out projects. New State laws, SB09 and SB10, will make it easier to add units to properties with only one unit and build small-scale apartment buildings. The Planning Department is currently reviewing both these provisions to determine precisely how they will impact San Francisco. The Land Use committee hopes these new laws and additional funding will result in more affordable homes in Duboce Triangle.   

    While building development has been slow, the Land Use Committee has focused on public space and transportation. There has been discussion about how our streets are used and the balance between pedestrian and vehicular priorities. DTNA has issued letters of support for the Noe Slow Street and 14th Street Traffic Calming - both will strengthen pedestrian safety in our neighborhood. 

    The Land Use Committee has also issued letters of support for two murals - one at MaiTri (facing Duboce Ave) and the other at Flore Store (facing the Noe-Beaver Mini Park). Both will bring color to our streets, making a walk through our neighborhood even more enjoyable. 

    Following DTNA’s efforts to improve our built environment, advocate for investment in public transportation, and increase accessibility, the Board issued a letter of support for the new and improved Harvey Milk Plaza at Castro MUNI station. We will continue to work with the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza as their design is finalized to ensure the new Plaza will be an accessible and enjoyable space for our community. 

    Overall, 2021 has been filled with great discussion, debate, and action for the Land Use Committee. We have learned a lot and have tried to make our neighborhood a more enjoyable, accessible, and sustainable place to live and work. To do this, the committee needs neighbors to participate and share their opinion! If you would like to attend a meeting or share your thoughts on land use & transportation, please email landuse@dtna.org 

  • 3 Dec 2021 3:25 PM | Robert Bush (Administrator)

    December 2, 2021, the Planning approved the 240-250 Church Street Porject with 24 units, including three affordable units and space for Thorough Bread and Pastry at 248 Church Street.

    See BAR article.

  • 1 Dec 2021 2:33 PM | Robert Bush (Administrator)

    By Hans Galland

    DTNA has the privilege of working with UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design on exploring the nuances of our vision for a Slow Triangle. Part of this work was inspired by a conversation with Hugo Errazuriz, who researched the Duboce Triangle himself in 2002 while a student at Cal. We had a conversation with Hugo about this work then, and here’s what we learned.

    DTNA: Hello Hugo. Tell us a bit about yourself.

    Hugo: Well, I came to San Francisco in 2000 and after working for a couple of years as an architect, I went to UC Berkeley to get my masters degree in urban design. I went on to work in Asia for more than a decade in the development of complex urban projects, regions and even new cities, mostly in China. In 2019, I moved back to San Francisco and now live on Beaver Street. I work as an urban design principal at the San Francisco office of AECOM, a global engineering and design firm.

    DTNA: What was your first impression of the Duboce Triangle?

    Hugo: I had walked through the Duboce Triangle many times and found it a beautiful place, but I don’t remember knowing it as its own neighborhood. It was not until I was studying the urban grid of San Francisco at Berkeley that I started to pay attention to it, mostly because of its very unique location where multiple urban grids and communities intersect.

    DTNA: We heard you did a project on the Duboce Triangle when you were at Berkeley in 2002. What was it about? 

    Hugo: As part of our Urban Design Research Methods class, we studied the relationship between street design and resident satisfaction. We had selected the Duboce Triangle for the research. During that time, we literally went door-to-door to conduct questionnaire surveys and resident interviews. We wanted to see whether a street that was designed to accommodate more pedestrian activity contributed to a higher resident satisfaction and created a deeper sense of community. 

    DTNA: What were the key things you learnt at that time?

    Hugo: We found evidence that streets planned for people rather than cars (wider sidewalks, seating areas, green bulbouts) contributed to a greater sense of satisfaction. 

    We learned, however, that other factors were also important. For instance, the cul-de-sac conditions, as you find them on Pierce Street or Carmelita Street, were critical for satisfaction and community. These streets did not have bulbouts or seating areas like Noe or Sanchez, yet they scored really high with residents: the fact they did not have vehicular through-traffic created much bigger resident satisfaction and a deeper sense of community. These streets benefitted from pedestrians through traffic. So, unlike traditional dead-end streets that tend to be empty and may feel unsafe, the cul-de-sacs north of Duboce Park had pedestrians, who activated them and made them feel safe. We also witnessed a stronger sense of community in that neighbors on those cul-de-sacs knew their neighbors by name much more commonly than in other streets in the Duboce Triangle. Put differently, even though people on Noe Street were very happy, they didn't necessarily know the names of their neighbors. In sum, the absence of vehicular through-traffic combined with the presence of pedestrian through traffic created a stronger sense of community

    DTNA: Any parting thoughts you would like to pass on to neighbors in the Duboce Triangle and DTNA while working on the Vision for a Slow Triangle?

    Hugo: The Duboce Triangle is so interesting because it has a small scale and thus potential for a strong sense of community. Yet, one should not forget that it plays an important role in the larger city because of its central location, connecting many different neighborhoods. Therefore, any decisions you make within the Triangle affect a much larger area outside the Triangle. 

    It will therefore be important to balance the interests of Triangle residents with those of the larger community that may benefit from assets you find within or near the Duboce Triangle. You would want to be inclusive and not exclusive. Concretely, you can think of providing some areas that just cater primarily to the neighbors and others to visitors from neighboring areas.

    DTNA: Thank you Hugo. These are very valuable insights. 

    Hugo: Thank you for having me.

  • 1 Dec 2021 2:28 PM | Robert Bush (Administrator)

    By Hans Galland

    As the pandemic paused commuter traffic, San Francisco rolled out a massive experiment: Slow Streets. Noe Street was selected as one such street, running right through the Triangle. In our Jun/Jul Newsletter, DTNA Land Use Chair Kevin Riley wrote about DTNA’s exploration of a Slow Triangle A Slow Triangle is a vision...not a policy, ballot measure, or SFMTA plan. It's an idea.” 

    To research aspects of the Vision: Slow Triangle, DTNA has been working with the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. This was originally inspired by a conversation DTNA Board Member Hans Galland had with Hugo Errazuriz, resident on Beaver Street, who had conducted research on the Triangle in 2002 when he was a student at Cal (see page X). With Hugo’s help, Hans secured the support of Dr. Zachary Lamb, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, who teaches Urban Design Research Methods” and helped turn Vision: Slow Triangle into a research project for graduate students.

    The goal of this research project was threefold. Firstly, for DTNA to use a participatory approach for residents to explore the complex nuances of a Slow Triangle. Secondly, to create an objective scientific basis for future design and implementation of a Slow Triangle from one of the world’s most respected research institutions on this subject matter. Finally, it was our hope that this process could become the first chapter in a playbook that other neighborhoods in San Francisco and the world can use for community-driven assessments of Slow Neighborhoods. 

    DTNA Land Use Committee members kicked off the project on Sunday September 12, 2021 at Duboce Park touring 3 groups of 3 graduate students through the Triangle. DTNA emphasized the importance of exploring the relationship between a Slow Triangle and mobility, environmental sustainability, activation, and equity. Ultimately, the student groups decided to research the following three areas.

    Walkability & Mobility. Researching the impact of parking configurations on traffic calming and the public realm. Field work focuses on Sanchez Street and three intersections considered high traffic zones (14th/Noe, Sanchez/Duboce, 14th/Sanchez). The findings can guide the design of future parking configurations.

    Sustainability. Researching how characteristics of streetside gathering spaces (vegetation, amenity, size and dimension, location) encourage resident use and contribute to resident satisfaction. The findings can help the neighborhood activate underutilized spaces, promote resident satisfaction, and build more pleasant new community gathering spaces.

    Activation. Researching how physical characteristics and vehicular traffic influence the desire of pedestrians to use streets. Field work focuses on 14th Street. Findings can guide design of streets for a more pleasant pedestrian experience, as desired.

    Since September 12, 2021, the student groups have conducted multiple visits to the Triangle, attended DTNA Land Use and DTNA General Meetings, conducted observations, resident interviews, and archival research. You may have also met them as they participated at the Phoenix Day Street Fair to gather more comprehensive resident input. 

    We are very excited to learn about the findings the research has generated during our next General Meeting at 7 pm on Dec 13, 2021. We welcome your participation at the meeting and always appreciate your input and feedback. Please contact us at landuse@dtna.org

  • 1 Nov 2021 3:58 PM | Kevin Riley

    There has been some chatter about updates to the City's Forumla Retail restrictions. This SF Chronicle article outlines the latest example of a local business unable to open a new location because of the "11 locations" rule. Given how DTNA was instrumental in crafting Formula Retail rules, it may be time to discuss their impact at a future Land Use meeting. How can we better support local businesses? 

    Some ideas that have been mentioned include amending the "11 locations" rule to exempt Bay Area or California-only businesses. Another idea is to provide a path for Planning Commission review of Formula Retail in all areas of the city (no district can have a ban on Formula Retail). 

    Below are some links you can use to familiarize yourself with the Formula Retail rules. Is this something we want to discuss at our November or December meeting? 

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