There shall be a special sign district known as the “Market Street Special Sign District” in the vicinity of Market Street, from The Embarcadero to the Central Skyway overpass 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. 112-70.
With respect to said Special Sign District, the following regulations shall apply:
Purpose and Findings. In addition to the purposes stated in Sections 101 and 601 of this Code, the following purposes apply to the Market Street 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. In June 1968, the electorate approved a bonded indebtedness of $24,500,000, including payment for reconstruction and improvement of Market Street from The Embarcadero to the Central Skyway overpass. The street is being completely rebuilt at public expense, with special paving, furnishings, plazas and landscaping. When rebuilt, Market Street will be the transit spine of the downtown area, will have heavy concentrations of pedestrians, and will be more than ever a central domain of the people of the City and of the region. It is a purpose of the Market Street Special Sign District to further this public endeavor.
As Market 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 businessmen.
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 Market Street area and to its present and future needs. Where removal of existing signs and other features is required, the periods for removal are related to the schedule for reconstruction of Market Street, including installation of the street trees with which projecting signs and other features would conflict. The removal periods recognize the revocable nature of past permits for erection of features projecting over public streets, and 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 Market Street.
General Advertising Signs. Except as specified in Paragraph 608.8(f)(2) 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 with lettering or other inscription arranged in a vertical manner shall have a maximum height of 60 feet; except that a greater height shall be permitted, up to a maximum height of 100 feet, provided the height of the sign shall remain at least 20 feet below the roofline of the building as measured directly above the sign.
Except as provided in Paragraph 608.8(e)(5) below, all other signs 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 60 feet.
In addition, except as provided in Paragraph 608.8(e)(3) and (4) above, 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 608.8(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, or for the purpose of modifying or replacing currently existing noncomplying business wall signs as provided by Subsection 607(g).
Other Requirements. Within said Special Sign District, the following additional requirements shall apply:
Temporary Signs. With the exception of holiday decorations, no sign composed of paper or other temporary material shall be placed on the outside of any building or structure or affixed to the glass on the outside or inside of any window, unless such sign is placed in a frame or on a structure specifically designed for this purpose.
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.
Maintenance. Every sign pertaining to an active establishment shall be adequately maintained in its appearance, or else removed or obscured. When the space occupied by any establishment has been vacated, all signs pertaining to such establishment shall be removed or obscured within 60 days following the date of vacation.
(Added by Ord. 125-70, App. 1/17/70; amended by Ord. 219-94, App. 6/3/94)