In 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) mobilized a task force of affordable housing advocates, private developers, local government officials, and other Bay Area leaders and experts to form CASA, or the Committee to House the Bay Area. CASA set out to identify a comprehensive policy response to the region’s housing crisis.
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In February, the San Francisco Planning Department issued the first quarterly performance report for implementation of its Process Improvements Plan, a program intended to overhaul the project review process.  The Plan first took effect in June 2018 in response to an Executive Directive from the Mayor’s Office to reduce approval timelines and remove administrative barriers to housing production.  According to the Department’s quarterly progress report, the Department met its deadline for two-thirds of Preliminary Project Applications (PPAs) and 79% of Project Applications, with approximately 48% of projects receiving a Plan Check Letter within 90 days.
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The state of California is keeping a watchful eye on the potential land use, environmental, and social consequences of automated vehicle deployment. On November 16, 2018, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research announced the release of “Automated Vehicle Principles for Healthy and Sustainable Communities.” This document involved staff collaboration among state agencies, including the Office of Planning and Research, the Air Resources Board, and Caltrans.
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SF Planning Dept. – Central SoMa boundary map

[Originally posted on March 23, 2018, updated on April 11, 2018]

Following more than six years of planning and public outreach, the City initiated the formal approval process for the Central SoMa Plan (Plan) at the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission on February 27 and March 1, respectively. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and Planning Commission held informational hearings on the Plan on March 21 and March 22, respectively. The HPC also considered initiation of the formal landmark designation process for certain buildings and districts identified during the Plan process. The Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the EIR and approvals on May 10, with the Board considering the legislation thereafter.


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TDM Overall ProcessOn February 7th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the implementing ordinance for San Francisco’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. Pending the Mayor’s approval, the TDM Program will take effect in March. What does this mean for project sponsors?

Developers must now incorporate TDM features into their projects, chosen from a menu of options in the City’s adopted TDM Program Standards. As the number of on-site parking spaces proposed for a project increases, developers must include more TDM features  such as bicycle parking and amenities, car-share parking, and vanpool programs.


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Map of Central SoMaThe Planning Department released the Central SoMa Plan on August 11, 2016, updating the framework for developing the 230-acre neighborhood.  The Plan focuses on increasing density in a transit-rich area while emphasizing economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

The full Plan is available here.

Many aspects of the Plan involve the most-debated and legislated issues in San Francisco development today, including affordable housing requirements, PDR space, and new office development – leaving the Plan subject to further evolution following this fall’s election.


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