Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to ensure that all large projects proposed in the Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts are reviewed by the Planning Commission, in an effort to achieve the objectives and policies of the General Plan, the applicable Design Guidelines, and the purposes of this Code.
Applicability. This Section applies to all projects in the Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use, except projects in the Western SoMa Special Use District, subject to Section 823(c)(12), that meet at least one of the following criteria:
The project includes the construction of a new building greater than 75 feet in height (excluding any exceptions permitted per Section 260(b)), or includes a vertical addition to an existing building with a height of 75 feet or less resulting in a total building height greater than 75 feet; or
The project involves a net addition or new construction of more than 25,000 gross square feet.
Planning Commission Design Review. As set forth in Subsection (e), below, the Planning Commission shall review and evaluate all physical aspects of a proposed project at a public hearing. At such hearing, the Director of Planning shall present any recommended project modifications or conditions to the Planning Commission, including those which may be in response to any unique or unusual locational, environmental, topographical or other relevant factors. The Commission may subsequently require these or other modifications or conditions, or disapprove a project, in order to achieve the objectives and policies of the General Plan or the purposes of this Code. This review shall address physical design issues including but not limited to the following:
Overall building massing and scale;
Architectural treatments, facade design and building materials;
The design of lower floors, including building setback areas, commercial space, townhouses, entries, utilities, and the design and siting of rear yards, parking and loading access;
The provision of required open space, both on- and off-site. In the case of off-site publicly accessible open space, the design, location, access, size, and equivalence in quality with that otherwise required on-site;
The provision of mid-block alleys and pathways on frontages between 200 and 300 linear feet per the criteria of Section 270, and the design of mid-block alleys and pathways as required by and pursuant to the criteria set forth in Section 270.2;
Streetscape and other public improvements, including tree planting, street furniture, and lighting;
Circulation, including streets, alleys and mid-block pedestrian pathways;
Other changes necessary to bring a project into conformance with any relevant design guidelines. Area Plan or Element of the General Plan.
Exceptions. As a component of the review process under this Section 329, projects may seek specific exceptions to the provisions of this Code as provided for below:
Exceeding the principally permitted accessory residential parking ratio described in Section 151.1 and pursuant to the criteria therein;
Exception from residential usable open space requirements. In circumstances where such exception is granted, a fee shall be required pursuant to the standards in Sections 135(j), pursuant to the criteria of Section 305(c).
Modification of the horizontal massing breaks required by Section 270.1 in light of any equivalent reduction of horizontal scale, equivalent volume of reduction, and unique and superior architectural design, pursuant to the criteria of Section 270.1(d).
Exception from satisfaction of loading requirements per Section 152.1 pursuant to the criteria contained therein.
Exception to height limits for vertical non-habitable architectural elements described in Section 263.21 and pursuant to the criteria therein;
Provision of the required minimum dwelling unit mix, as set forth in Section 207.6, pursuant to the criteria of Section 305(c);
Exception for rear yards, pursuant to the requirements of Section 134(f);
The number of Designated Office Stories for projects which are subject to vertical office controls pursuant to 219.1 or 803.9(h) and contain more than one building on the project site, so long as
an increase in the number of Designated Office Stories would result in a total square footage of office space no greater than that which would otherwise be permitted by the project.
office uses are consolidated within a lesser number of buildings than would otherwise be the case, and
the resulting location and mix of uses increases the project’s consistency with nearby land uses;
Relief from dwelling unit exposure requirements for buildings which are designated landmark buildings or contributory buildings within designated historic districts under Article 10 of this Code, and/or buildings recorded with the State Historic Preservation Office as eligible for the California Register, when the following criteria are met:
literal enforcement of Section 140 would result in the material impairment of the historic resource; and
the project complies with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, (36 C.F.R. § 67.7 (2001 )) and/or Section 1006 and any related Article 10 appendices of this Code.
Modification of the accessory use provisions of Section 803.3(b)(1)(c) for dwelling units. Dwelling units modified under this Subsection shall continue to be considered dwelling units for the purposes of this Code and shall be subject to all such applicable controls and fees. Additionally, any building which receives a modification pursuant to this Subsection shall (i) have appropriately designed street frontages to accommodate both residential and modified accessory uses and (ii) obtain comment on the proposed modification from other relevant agencies prior to the Planning Commission hearing, including the Fire Department and Department of Building Inspection. Modifications are subject to the following:
A modification may only be granted for the ground floor portion of dwelling units that front on a street with a width equal to or greater than 40 feet.
The accessory use may only include those uses permitted as of right at the subject property. However, uses permitted in any unit obtaining an accessory use modification may be further limited by the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission may grant exceptions to the size of the accessory use, type and number of employees, and signage restrictions of the applicable accessory use controls.
Where not specified elsewhere in this Subsection (d), modification of other Code requirements which could otherwise be modified as a Planned Unit Development (as set forth in Section 304), irrespective of the zoning district in which the property is located.
Hearing and Decision.
Hearing. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing for all projects that are subject to this Section.
Notice of Hearing. Notice of such hearing shall be provided pursuant to the same requirements for Conditional Use requests, as set forth in Section 306.3 and 306.8.
Director’s Recommendations on Modifications and Exceptions. At the hearing, the Planning Director shall review for the Commission key issues related to the project based on the review of the project pursuant to Subsection (c) and recommend to the Commission modifications, if any, to the project and conditions for approval as necessary. The Director shall also make recommendations to the Commission on any proposed exceptions pursuant to Subsection (d).
Decision and Imposition of Conditions. The Commission, after public hearing and, after making appropriate findings, may approve, disapprove or approve subject to conditions, the project and any associated requests for exception. As part of its review and decision, the Planning Commission may impose additional conditions, requirements, modifications, and limitations on a proposed project in order to achieve the objectives, policies, and intent of the General Plan or of this Code.
Appeal. The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the Board of Appeals by any person aggrieved within 15 days after the date of the decision by filing a written notice of appeal with that body, setting forth wherein it is alleged that there was an error in the interpretation of the provisions of this Code or abuse of discretion on the part of the Planning Commission.
Discretionary Review. No requests for discretionary review shall be accepted by the Planning Department or heard by the Planning Commission for projects subject to this Section.
Change of Conditions. Once a project is approved, authorization of a change in any condition previously imposed by the Planning Commission shall require approval by the Planning Commission subject to the procedures set forth in this Section.
(Added by Ord. 298-08, File No. 081153, App. 12/19/2008; amended by Ord. 196-11 , File No. 110786, App. 10/4/2011, Eff. 11/3/2011; Ord. 42-13 , File No. 130002, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013)
Division (b) amended; new divisions (d)(9) and (d)(10) added and former division (d)(9) redesignated as new division (d)(11); Ord. 196-11 , Eff. 11/3/2011. Division (b) amended; Ord. 42-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013.