§ 210.3.


Downtown San Francisco, a center for City, regional, national and international commerce, is composed of four separate districts, as follows:

C-3-O District: Downtown Office. This district, playing a leading national role in finance, corporate headquarters and service industries, and serving as an employment center for the region, consists primarily of high-quality office development. The intensity of building development is the greatest in the City, resulting in a notable skyline symbolizing the area’s strength and vitality. The district is served by City and regional transit reaching its central portions and by automobile parking at peripheral locations. Intensity and compactness permit face-to-face business contacts to be made conveniently by travel on foot. Office development is supported by some related retail and service uses within the area, with inappropriate uses excluded in order to conserve the supply of land in the core and its expansion areas for further development of major office buildings.

C-3-O(SD) District: Downtown Office Special Development. This area south of Market Street and east of 3rd Street comprises the southern side of the core central business district, and is similar to and generally indistinguishable from the C-3-O District in terms of uses and character. The area is centered on the Transbay Transit Center. This district permits densities that exceed those in the C-3-O district and contains the tallest height limits in the City, reflecting its unparalleled public transportation access and geographically central position in the downtown.

C-3-R District: Downtown Retail. This district is a regional center for comparison shopper retailing and direct consumer services. It covers a compact area with a distinctive urban character, consists of uses with cumulative customer attraction and compatibility, and is easily traversed by foot. Like the adjacent Downtown Office District, this district is well-served by City and regional transit, with automobile parking best located at its periphery. Within the district, continuity of retail and consumer service uses is emphasized, with encouragement of pedestrian interest and amenities and minimization of conflicts between shoppers and motor vehicles. A further merging of this district with adjacent, related districts is anticipated, partially through development of buildings which combine retailing with other functions.

C-3-G District: Downtown General Commercial. This district covers the western portions of downtown and is composed of a variety of uses: Retail, offices, hotels, entertainment, clubs and institutions, and high-density residential. Many of these uses have a Citywide or regional function, although the intensity of development is lower here than in the downtown core area. As in the case of other downtown districts, no off-street parking is required for individual commercial buildings. In the vicinity of Market Street, the configuration of this district reflects easy accessibility by rapid transit.

C-3-S District: Downtown Support. This district encompasses Yerba Buena Gardens, which includes San Francisco’s Convention Center, hotels, museums and cultural facilities, housing, retail, and offices arranged around public gardens and plazas. The district continues to accommodate important supporting functions such as wholesaling, printing, building services, and secondary office space. It also contains unique housing resources. The district is within walking distance of rapid transit on Market Street, and is served by transit lines on Third, Fourth, Mission and Folsom streets.



(Amended by Ord. 414-85, App. 9/17/85; Ord. 63-11, File No. 101053, App. 4/7/2011, Eff. 5/7/2011; Ord. 182-12 , File No. 120665, App. 8/8/2012, Eff. 9/7/2012)

C-3-G, C-3-S Districts amended; Ord. 63-11, Eff. 5/7/2011. C-3-O(SD) District added; Ord. 182-12 , Eff. 9/7/2012.


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