§ 1101.



It is hereby found that a substantial number of the buildings in the C-3 District have a special architectural, historical, and aesthetic value. These buildings contribute substantially to San Francisco’s reputation throughout the United States as a City of outstanding beauty and physical harmony. A substantial number of these special buildings have been and continue to be unnecessarily destroyed or impaired, despite the feasibility of preserving and continuing their use, and without adequate consideration for the irreplaceable loss to the people of the City of their aesthetic, cultural, historic and economic value.


It is further found that distinct and definable subareas within the C-3 District possess concentrations of buildings that together create a unique historic, architectural, and aesthetic character which contributes to the beauty and attractiveness of the City. The quality of these geographic areas has been and continues to be degraded by the unnecessary demolition of buildings of substantial architectural and aesthetic merit, by their replacement with buildings which conflict with the character and scale of the area, and by alteration of buildings in a manner which conflicts with the character and scale of the area.


It is therefore declared that the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of buildings and definable subareas of special architectural, historical, and aesthetic interest is necessary to promote the health, safety, prosperity and welfare of the people of the City. Accordingly, the purposes of this Article are:


The protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of structures and subareas of special architectural, historical, and aesthetic character which contribute to the urban environment;


The maintenance and improvement of a healthy economy for the City by enhancing both property values and the City’s attractiveness as a place to do business;


The protection and improvement of the City’s attractiveness to tourists and other visitors, and the stimulus to business provided thereby;


The enrichment of the educational, cultural, aesthetic and spiritual life of the inhabitants of the City by fostering knowledge of the heritage of the City’s past and retaining the quality of the City’s urban environment.


It is further found that the use of Transferable Development Rights (“TDR”) as provided herein is necessary to promote the urban planning and design goals of the General Plan by:


maintaining appropriate overall development capacities in each zoning district within the C-3 area, as defined by applicable floor area, height, bulk and other parameters;


encouraging and directing development into the Special Development District in order to maintain a compact downtown financial district; and


facilitating the retention of Significant Buildings and Contributory Buildings, and the compatible replacement or alteration of Unrated buildings in Conservation Districts, as defined in this Article.



(Added by Ord. 414-85, App. 9/17/85; amended by Ord. 95-12, File No. 120301, App. 5/21/2012, Eff. 6/20/2012)

Divisions (d) and (d)(3) amended; Ord. 95-12, Eff. 6/20/2012.


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