§ 608.10.


There shall be a special sign district known as the Upper Market Special Sign District in the vicinity of Market Street from the Central Skyway overpass to Diamond Street as designated on Sectional Map SSD of the Zoning Map of the City and County of San Francisco. The original copy of said Sectional Map with this Special Sign District indicated thereon is on file with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors under File No. 324-76-2. With respect to said Special Sign District, the following regulations shall apply:


Purposes and Findings. In addition to the purposes stated in Sections 101 and 601 of this Code, the following purposes apply to the Upper Market Special Sign District. These purposes constitute findings that form a basis for these regulations and provide guidance for their application.


In November 1962, the electorate of San Francisco voted approval of an investment in a City and regional rapid transit system that will run beneath Market Street, including a city subway along Upper Market. In June 1968, the electorate approved a bonded indebtedness of $24,500,000, including payment for reconstruction and improvement of Market Street from the Central Skyway overpass to the vicinity of Castro Street. The street is being rebuilt at public expense, with special paving, furnishings and landscaping. When rebuilt, this portion of Market Street will have heavy concentrations of pedestrians, and will increase in importance as a transit and shopping corridor. It is a purpose of the Upper Market Special Sign District to further this public endeavor.


As the street is rebuilt, the area is attracting and will continue to attract investments, development and design efforts in reliance upon the promise of a street of high quality. Both existing and new enterprises will be strengthened by the high standards of their environment and by the joint efforts of owners and business people.


The character of signs along the street and of other features projecting from buildings is especially significant to street appearance and to the general quality and economic stability of the area. Opportunities exist to relate these signs and projections more effectively to the street design and to the design of buildings, and it is a purpose of these regulations to set a framework that will contribute toward those ends.


The standards established by these regulations are reasonable standards related to the unique nature of the Upper Market area and to its present and future needs. Where removal or alteration of existing signs is required, the periods for removal or alteration allow adequate time for amortization of the signs, consistent with other improvements along the street. The removal or alteration will help to promote equality among establishments, adding greater significance to the improvement efforts.


The standards established by these regulations are deemed to be minimum requirements, forming a basic framework for development and remodeling. They are not intended in any way to preclude further design refinement or review by individuals or duly constituted organizations which might consider more restrictive requirements as to any aspects limited herein, or as to additional aspects such as materials, color, graphics, types of representation, relationship of signs to one another and to architectural features, or the general quality of design. It is anticipated that private efforts along such lines will and should be made for the further improvement of the Upper Market area.


General Advertising Signs. Except as specified in Subsection 608.10(f) below:


No general advertising sign shall be permitted at any location within said Special Sign District; and


No general advertising sign shall be located within 200 feet of said Special Sign District, if any portion of a face of such sign would be visible from any point on a street, alley or plaza within the Special Sign District.


Roof Signs. Notwithstanding the exceptions stated in Subsection 607(b) of this Code, no roof sign shall be permitted within said Special Sign District.


Projection of Signs and Other Features. Within said Special Sign District:


No projection shall exceed a horizontal distance of six feet beyond any street property line. This limitation shall apply to signs and to all other features including but not limited to marquees, awnings and canopies, with the sole exception of flagpoles for flags of any nation or political subdivision.


Projecting signs for each establishment shall be limited to one sign on each street frontage occupied by the establishment, in addition to any signs that are placed flat upon or otherwise integrated in the design of marquees and awnings.


Height and Extension Above Roofline. Within said Special Sign District, all of the following limitations shall apply:


Notwithstanding the exceptions stated in Subsection 607(g) of this Code, no sign attached to a building shall extend or be located above the roofline of the building to which it is attached.


A projecting sign attached to a building with lettering or other inscription arranged in a vertical manner shall have a maximum height of 50 feet or the roofline of the building to which it is attached, whichever is the lesser.


Except as provided in Paragraph 608.10(e)(5) below, all other signs attached to a building shall be located no higher than the windowsill level of the lowest story (if any) that has a window or windows on the building facade on which the signs are placed, exclusive of the ground story and mezzanine, provided that no such sign shall in any case exceed a height of 50 feet or the roofline of the building to which it is attached, whichever is the lesser.


In addition, except as provided in Paragraph 608.10(e)(5) below, uniformity of height shall be maintained in both the upper and lower edges of signs placed flat upon or essentially parallel to each facade of a single building.


As to the requirements of Paragraphs 608.10(e)(3) and (4) above, deviation from the requirements may be permitted to the extent an alternative placement of signs is made necessary by the location of arches, entrances and other architectural features, as determined by the Zoning Administrator, or for the purpose of installing special lighting effects and temporary holiday decorations.


The maximum height for freestanding signs shall be 24 feet.


Public Areas. No sign or other structure or feature shall be placed upon any public street, alley or public plaza, or in any portion of a transit system, except such signs, structures and features as are specifically approved by the appropriate public authorities under applicable laws and regulations not inconsistent with this Code and under such conditions as may be imposed by such authorities.


(Added by Ord. 64-77, App. 2/18/77)


  • Plain Text
  • JSON