§ 135.

USABLE OPEN SPACE FOR DWELLING UNITS AND GROUP HOUSING, R, NC, MIXED USE, C, AND M DISTRICTS

Except as provided in Sections 134.1, 172 and 188 of this Code, usable open space shall be provided for each dwelling and each group housing structure in R, NC, C, Mixed Use, and M Districts according to the standards set forth in this Section unless otherwise specified in specific district controls elsewhere in this Code.

a.

Character of Space Provided. Usable open space shall be composed of an outdoor area or areas designed for outdoor living, recreation or landscaping, including such areas on the ground and on decks, balconies, porches and roofs, which are safe and suitably surfaced and screened, and which conform to the other requirements of this Section. Such area or areas shall be on the same lot as the dwelling units (or bedrooms in group housing) they serve, and shall be designed and oriented in a manner that will make the best practical use of available sun and other climatic advantages. “Private usable open space” shall mean an area or areas private to and designed for use by only one dwelling unit (or bedroom in group housing). “Common usable open space” shall mean an area or areas designed for use jointly by two or more dwelling units (or bedrooms in group housing). “Privately-owned public open space,” only allowed in DTR and Eastern Neighborhood Mixed Use under this Section, shall mean an area of areas designed for use of the general public while owned and maintained by private owners as described in Section 138.

b.

Access. Usable open space shall be as close as is practical to the dwelling unit (or bedroom in group housing) for which it is required, and shall be accessible from such dwelling unit or bedroom as follows:

1.

Private usable open space shall be directly and immediately accessible from such dwelling unit or bedroom; and shall be either on the same floor level as such dwelling unit or bedroom, with no more than one story above or below such floor level with convenient private access.

2.

Common usable open space shall be easily and independently accessible from such dwelling unit or bedroom, or from another common area of the building or lot.

c.

Permitted Obstructions. In the calculation of either private or common usable open space, those obstructions listed in Sections 136 and 136.1 of this Code for usable open space shall be permitted.

d.

Amount Required. Usable open space shall be provided for each building in the amounts specified herein and in Tables 135A and B for the district in which the building is located.

In Neighborhood Commercial Districts, the amount of usable open space to be provided shall be the amount required in the nearest Residential District, but the minimum amount of open space required shall be in no case greater than the amount set forth in Table 135A for the district in which the building is located. The distance to each Residential District shall be measured from the midpoint of the front lot line or from a point directly across the street there from, whichever requires less open space.

1.

For dwellings other than those specified in Paragraphs (d)(2) through (d)(5) below, the minimum amount of usable open space to be provided for use by each dwelling unit shall be as specified in the second column of Table 135A if such usable open space is all private. Where common usable open space is used to satisfy all or part of the requirement for a dwelling unit, such common usable open space shall be provided in an amount equal to 1.33 square feet for each one square foot of private usable open space specified in the second column of Table 135A. In such cases, the balance of the required usable open space may be provided as private usable open space, with full credit for each square foot of private usable open space so provided.

2.

For group housing structures, SRO units, and dwelling units that measure less than 350 square feet plus a bathroom, the minimum amount of usable open space provided for use by each bedroom or SRO unit shall be 1/3 the amount required for a dwelling unit as specified in Paragraphs (d)(1) above and (d)(4) and (d)(5), below. For purposes of these calculations, the number of bedrooms on a lot shall in no case be considered to be less than one bedroom for each two beds. Where the actual number of beds exceeds an average of two beds for each bedroom, each two beds shall be considered equivalent to one bedroom.

3.

For dwellings specifically designed for and occupied by senior citizens, as defined and regulated by Section 209.1(m) of this Code, the minimum amount of usable open space to be provided for use by each dwelling unit shall be ½ the amount required for each dwelling unit as specified in Paragraph (d)(1) above.

4.

DTR Districts. For all residential uses, 75 square feet of open space is required per dwelling unit. All residential open space must meet the provisions described in this Section unless otherwise established in this subsection or in Section 825 or a Section governing an individual DTR District. Open space requirements may be met with the following types of open space: “private usable open space” as defined in Section 135(a) of this Code, “common usable open space” as defined in Section 135(a) of this Code, and “publicly accessible open space” as defined in subsection (h) below. At least 40 percent of the residential open space is required to be common to all residential units. Common usable open space is not required to be publicly-accessible. Publicly-accessible open space, including off-site open space permitted by subsection (i) below and by Section 827(a)(9), meeting the standards of subsection (h) may be considered as common usable open space. For residential units with direct access from the street, building setback areas that meet the standards of Section 145.1 and the Ground Floor Residential Design Guidelines may be counted toward the open space requirement as private non-common open space.

5.

Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts. The minimum amount of usable open space to be provided for use by each dwelling unit shall be as specified in Table 135B. For group housing structures and SRO units, the minimum amount of usable open space provided for use by each bedroom shall be 1/3 the amount required for a dwelling unit as specified in Table 135B. Usable open space requirements in these areas may be fulfilled by providing privately-owned public open space as specified in Table 135B.

6.

Efficiency Dwelling Units With Reduced Square Footage. Common usable open space shall be the preferred method of meeting the open space requirement for Efficiency Dwelling Units with reduced square footage, as defined in Section 318 of this Code. Private open space shall not be credited toward satisfaction of the open space requirement for such units unless the Zoning Administrator determines that the provision of common open space is infeasible or undesirable, in whole or in part, due to

A.

site constraints,

B.

the special needs of anticipated residents, or

C.

conflicts with other applicable policies and regulations, including but not limited to standards for the treatment of historic properties, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Building Code.



TABLE 135AMINIMUM USABLE OPEN SPACE FOR DWELLING UNITS AND GROUP HOUSING OUTSIDE THE EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS MIXED USE DISTRICT
District Square Feet Of Usable Open Space Required For Each Dwelling Unit If All Private Ratio of Common Usable Open Space That May Be Substituted for Private
RH-1(D), RH-1

300

1.33

RH-1(S) 300 for first unit; 100 for minor second unit

1.33

RH-2

125

1.33

RH-3

100

1.33

RM-1, RC-1, RTO, RTO-M

100

1.33

RM-2, RC-2, SPD

80

1.33

RM-3, RC-3, RED

60

1.33

RM-4, RC-4, RSD

36

1.33

C-3, C-M, SLR, SLI, SSO, M-1, M-2

36

1.33

C-1, C-2 Same as for the R District establishing the dwelling unit density ratio for the C-1 or C-2 District property
NC-1, NC-2, NCT-1, NCT-2, NC-S, Inner Sunset, Sacramento Street, West Portal Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Glen Park

100

1.33

NC-3, Castro Street, Inner Clement Street, Outer Clement Street, Upper Fillmore Street, Haight Street, Union Street, Valencia Street, 24th Street-Mission, 24th Street-Noe Valley, NCT-3, SoMa, Mission Street, Folsom Street, RCD

80

1.33

Broadway, Hayes-Gough, Upper Market Street, North Beach, Polk Street

60

1.33

Chinatown Community Business, Chinatown Residential Neighborhood Commercial,Chinatown Visitor Retail

48

1.00

DTR This table not applicable. 75 square feet per dwelling. See Sec. 135(d)(4).

TABLE 135BMINIMUM USABLE OPEN SPACE FOR DWELLING UNITS AND GROUP HOUSING IN THE EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS MIXED USE DISTRICTS
Square feet of usable open space per dwelling unit, if not publicly accessible Square feet of usable open space per dwelling unit, if publicly accessible Percent of open space that may be provided off site
80 square feet

54 square feet

50%

e.

Slope. The slope of any area credited as either private or common usable open space shall not exceed five percent.

f.

Private Usable Open Space: Additional Standards.

1.

Minimum Dimensions and Minimum Area. Any space credited as private usable open space shall have a minimum horizontal dimension of six feet and a minimum area of 36 square feet if located on a deck, balcony, porch or roof, and shall have a minimum horizontal dimension of 10 feet and a minimum area of 100 square feet if located on open ground, a terrace or the surface of an inner or outer court.

2.

Exposure. In order to be credited as private usable open space, an area must be kept open in the following manner:

A.

For decks, balconies, porches and roofs, at least 30 percent of the perimeter must be unobstructed except for necessary railings.

B.

In addition, the area credited on a deck, balcony, porch or roof must either face a street, face or be within a rear yard, or face or be within some other space which at the level of the private usable open space meets the minimum dimension and area requirements for common usable open space as specified in Paragraph 135(g)(1) below.

C.

Areas within inner and outer courts, as defined by this Code, must either conform to the standards of Subparagraph (f)(2)(B) above or be so arranged that the height of the walls and projections above the court on at least three sides (or 75 percent of the perimeter, whichever is greater) is such that no point on any such wall or projection is higher than one foot for each foot that such point is horizontally distant from the opposite side of the clear space in the court, regardless of the permitted obstruction referred to in Subsection 135(c) above.

3.

Fire Escapes as Usable Open Space. Normal fire escape grating shall not be considered suitable surfacing for usable open space. The steps of a fire escape stairway or ladder, and any space less than six feet deep between such steps and a wall of the building, shall not be credited as usable open space. But the mere potential use of a balcony area for an emergency fire exit by occupants of other dwelling units (or bedrooms in group housing) shall not prevent it from being credited as usable open space on grounds of lack of privacy or usability.

4.

Use of Solariums. In C-3 Districts, the area of a totally or partially enclosed solarium shall be credited as private usable open space if (i) such area is open to the outdoors through openings or clear glazing on not less than 50 percent of its perimeter and (ii) not less than 30 percent of its overhead area and 25 percent of its perimeter are open or can be opened to the air.

g.

Common Usable Open Space: Additional Standards.

1.

Minimum Dimensions and Minimum Area. Any space credited as common usable open space shall be at least 15 feet in every horizontal dimension and shall have a minimum area of 300 square feet.

2.

Use of Inner Courts. The area of an inner court, as defined by this Code, may be credited as common usable open space, if the enclosed space is not less than 20 feet in every horizontal dimension and 400 square feet in area; and if (regardless of the permitted obstructions referred to in Subsection 135(c) above) the height of the walls and projections above the court on at least three sides (or 75 percent of the perimeter, whichever is greater) is such that no point on any such wall or projection is higher than one foot for each foot that such point is horizontally distant from the opposite side of the clear space in the court.

3.

Use of Solariums. The area of a totally or partially enclosed solarium may be credited as common usable open space if the space is not less than 15 feet in every horizontal dimension and 300 square feet in area; and if such area is exposed to the sun through openings or clear glazing on not less than 30 percent of its perimeter and 30 percent of its overhead area.

h.

Publicly-Accessible Usable Open Space Standards. In DTR Districts and the Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts, some or all of the usable open space requirements may be fulfilled by providing privately-owned public open space. Any space credited as publicly-accessible usable open space, where permitted or required by this Code, shall meet the following standards:

1.

Types of Open Space. Open space shall be of one or more of the following types:

A.

An unenclosed park or garden at street grade or following the natural topography, including improvements to hillsides or other unimproved public areas;

B.

An unenclosed plaza at street grade, with seating areas and landscaping and no more than 10 percent of the total floor area devoted to facilities for food or beverage service, exclusive of seating areas as regulated in Section 138(d)(5);

C.

An unenclosed pedestrian pathway which complies with the standards of Section 270.2 and which is consistent with applicable design guidelines.

D.

Streetscape improvements with landscaping and pedestrian amenities that result in additional pedestrian space beyond the pre-existing sidewalk width and conform to the Better Streets Plan and any other applicable neighborhood streetscape plans per Section 138.1 or other related policies such as those associated with sidewalk widenings or building setbacks, other than those intended by design for the use of individual ground floor residential units; and

2.

Standards of Open Space. Open space shall meet the standards described in Section 138(d)(1) through (11) of this Code.

3.

Maintenance. Maintenance requirements for open space in these areas are subject to Section 138(h) of this Code.

4.

Informational Plaque. Signage requirements for open space in these areas are subject to Section 138(i) of this Code.

5.

Open Space Provider. Requirements regarding how to provide and maintain open space are subject to Section 138(f) of this Code.

6.

Approval of Open Space Type and Features. Approval of open space in these areas is subject to requirements of Section 138(d) of this Code.

i.

Off-Site Provision of Required Usable Open Space.

1.

Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts. In the Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts, the provision of off-site publicly accessible open space may be credited toward the residential usable open space requirement, subject to Section 329 for projects to which that Section applies and Section 307(h) for other projects. Any such space shall meet the publicly accessible open space standards set forth in Section 135(h) and be provided within 800 feet of the project. No more than 50 percent of a project’s required usable open space shall be off-site. The publicly accessible off-site usable open space shall be constructed, completed, and ready for use no later than the project itself, and shall receive its Certificate of Final Completion from the Department of Building Inspection prior to the issuance of any Certificate of Final Completion or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the project itself.

2.

DTR Districts. In DTR Districts the provision of off-site publicly accessible open space may be counted toward the requirements of residential open space per the procedures of Section 309.1 provided it is within the individual DTR district of the project or within 500 feet of any boundary of the individual DTR district of the project, and meets the standards of subsection (h).

A.

At least 36 square feet per residential unit of required open space must be provided on-site. Pursuant to the procedures of Section 309.1, the Planning Commission may reduce the minimum on-site provision of required residential open space to not less than 18 square feet per unit in order to both create additional publicly-accessible open space serving the district and to foster superior architectural design on constrained sites.

B.

Open Space Provider. The open space required by this Section may be provided individually by the project sponsor or jointly by the project sponsor and other project sponsors, provided that each square foot of jointly developed open space may count toward only one sponsor’s requirement. With the approval of the Planning Commission, a public or private agency may develop and maintain the open space, provided that (i) the project sponsor or sponsors pay for the cost of development of the number of square feet the project sponsor is required to provide, (ii) provision satisfactory to the Commission is made for the continued maintenance of the open space for the actual lifetime of the building giving rise to the open space requirement, and (iii) the Commission finds that there is reasonable assurance that the open space to be developed by such agency will be developed and open for use by the time the building, the open space requirement of which is being met by the payment, is ready for occupancy.

3.

Ocean Avenue NCT. In the Ocean Avenue NCT District, the provision of off-site publicly accessible open space may be credited toward the residential usable open space requirement subject to the procedures of Section 303. Any such open space shall meet the publicly accessible open space standards set forth in Section 135(h) and be provided within 800 feet of the project. No more than 50 percent of a project’s usable open space requirement may be satisfied off-site. The publicly accessible off-site usable open space shall be constructed, completed, and ready for use no later than the project itself, and shall receive its certificate of final completion from the Department of Building Inspection prior to the issuance of any certificate of final completion or temporary certificate of occupancy for the project itself.

AMENDMENT HISTORY

History

(Amended by Ord. 414-85, App. 9/17/85; Ord. 532-85, App. 12/4/85; Ord. 69-87, App. 3/13/87; Ord. 131-87, App. 4/24/87; Ord. 445-87, App. 11/12/87; Ord. 412-88, App. 9/10/88; Ord. 115-90, App. 4/6/90; Ord. 368-94, App. 11/4/94; Ord. 262-00, File No. 001426, App. 11/17/2000; Ord. 217-05, File No. 050865, App. 8/19/2005; Ord. 72-08, File No. 071157, App. 4/3/2008; Ord. 298-08, File No. 081153, App. 12/19/2008; Ord. 61-09, File No. 090181, App. 4/17/2009; renumbered by Ord. 108-10, File No. 091275, App. 5/25/2010; Ord. 310-10, File No. 101194, App. 12/16/2010; Ord. 196-11 , File No. 110786, App. 10/4/2011, Eff. 11/3/2011; Ord. 35-12 , File No. 111305, App. 2/21/2012, Eff. 3/22/2012; Ord. 188-12 , File No. 111374, App. 9/11/2012, Eff. 10/11/2012; Ord. 228-12 , File No. 120220, App. 11/14/2012, Eff. 12/14/2012; Ord. 242-12 , File No. 120996, App. 12/7/2012, Eff. 1/6/2013; Ord. 42-13 , File No. 130002, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013)

Division (d) amended; Ord. 196-11 , Eff. 11/3/2011. "Glen Park" district added to Table 135A; Ord. 35-12 , Eff. 3/22/2012. Division (d)(2) amended; Ord. 188-12 , Eff. 10/11/2012. Divisions (a), (d)(5), (h), and (h)(1) through (5) amended; former divisions (h)(2)(A) through (I) deleted; division (h)(6) added; Ord. 228-12 , Eff. 12/14/2012. Division (d)(3) amended; division (d)(6) added; Ord. 242-12 , Eff. 1/6/2013. "Folsom Street, RCD" added to Table 135A; Ord. 42-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013.

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