§ 823.



The Western SoMa Special Use District, as shown on Section Maps 1SU, 7SU, and 8SU of the Zoning Map, is governed by Sections 803.6 and 803.7 of this Code, and Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 731-04.


Design Standards. The construction of new buildings and alteration of existing buildings in the Western SoMa Special Use District shall be consistent with the design policies and guidelines of the “WSoMa Design Standards” as adopted and periodically amended by the Planning Commission.


Controls. All provisions of the Planning Code shall apply except as otherwise provided in this Section.


Rear Yard. The requirements of Section 134 shall apply except as follows:


Front Setback Credit for Rear Yards in the RED-MX District. The required rear yard in the RED-MX District may be reduced by the distance of any provided front setback, as measured from the property line to the main building wall. The front setback shall be measured as the line of greatest depth of any portion of the front building wall that occupies at least 1/2 the width between the side lot lines of the property. However, in no case shall the rear yard be reduced to less than 15 feet.


Modification. Only corner lots are eligible for rear yard modifications from the Zoning Administrator pursuant to Sections 134(f), 134(e), and 307(h) of this Code.


Open Space. The requirements of Section 135 shall apply except as follows:


Publicly Accessible Open Space. Dwelling units within Eastern Neighborhood Mixed Use Districts shall provide 80 square feet per unit of useable open space regardless of whether the open space is privately or publicly accessible. Off-site, publicly accessible open space shall not qualify as required common open space pursuant to Section 135 of this Code.


Roof Decks. Roof decks shall not qualify as required private or common useable open space pursuant to Section 135 of this Code. For the purpose of this section, a roof deck shall be defined as a deck located on the roof of the highest story of a building, or a deck at the highest story of a building if the enclosed gross floor area of that story is less than 50 percent of the gross square footage of the footprint of the subject building.


Exposure. The dwelling unit exposure requirements of Section 140 of this Code shall apply to all bedrooms in group housing developments in newly constructed buildings, such that each bedroom faces directly on one of the open areas specified in Section 140.


Nonconforming Uses. A legal nonconforming nighttime entertainment use located in a building that is demolished may be re-established within a newly constructed replacement building on the same lot with a conditional use authorization pursuant to Section 303 of this Code, and pursuant to the following criteria:


The gross floor area of the re-established nonconforming nighttime entertainment use may be increased up to 25 percent more than the area it occupied in the building proposed for demolition;


If the nonconforming nighttime entertainment use is not re-established in the new building within three years of vacating the building proposed for demolition it shall be considered abandoned pursuant to Planning Code Section 183.


Vertical Architectural Elements. Vertical architectural elements, pursuant to Section 263.21 of this Code, shall not be permitted.


Good Neighbor Policies. Good Neighbor Policies for certain uses in the Eastern Neighborhood Mixed Use Districts, pursuant to Section 803.5(b) of this Code, shall apply throughout the Western SoMa Special Use District regardless of the underlying zoning district.


Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Units. SRO units, as defined in Section 890.88(c) of this Code, shall have a minimum size of 275 gross square feet.


Recreation Facilities. The demolition of recreation facilities, as defined in Section 890.81 of this Code, shall be governed by the following:


Demolition of an existing recreation facility shall require conditional use authorization from the Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 303 of this Code. In granting such conditional use authorization, the Planning Commission must also find the following:


The project sponsor demonstrates that the loss of the recreational facility and the associated services to the neighborhood or to the population of existing users can be met by other recreational facilities that:

a. are either existing or proposed as part of the associated project;

b. are or will be within the boundaries of the Western SoMa Special Use District; and

c. will provide similar facilities, services, and affordability as the recreational facility proposed to be removed.


Buffers from Nighttime Entertainment and Animal Services. Additional requirements applicable to nighttime entertainment uses and kennels, as defined in Section 224, are as follows:


Nighttime Entertainment. No portion of a nighttime entertainment use, as defined in Section 102.17 of this Code, shall be permitted within 200 linear feet of any property within a RED or RED-MX District.


Animal Services. No portion of an animal service use, as defined in Section 224 of this Code, and that operates as a 24-hour facility, shall be permitted within 200 linear feet of an existing building containing a legal residential use, as defined in Section 890.88, within an RED or RED-MX District.


Formula Retail Uses. In addition to existing findings required in Planning Code Section 803.6 for formula retail uses requiring conditional use authorization in the Western SoMa Special Use District, the Planning Commission shall consider the following criteria.


Size. The new formula retail use shall be similar in size to other nearby retail uses. For the purposes of this subsection, “nearby” shall mean all other retail uses on the subject and opposite block face.


Clustering. The new formula retail use shall have sufficient separation from other formula retail uses in the area and would thereby avoid clustering. For purposes of this subsection, “sufficient separation” shall mean no more than two formula retail uses on the proposed block face and two formula retail uses on the opposite block face.


Design. The new formula retail use should:


not be located in a stand-alone building, have a drive-thru window, or have multiple curb cuts;


be integrated with non-formula uses within the same building or development;


have its primary retail frontage, and provide pedestrian access, from a public sidewalk and not from a parking lot;


provide publicly accessible open space whenever possible.


Other. The new formula retail use should participate in formalized local resident job hiring programs.


Major Developments Requesting Height Bonuses.


Applicability. The controls of this Subsection shall apply to any project that meets all of the following thresholds:


The project site is greater than .5 acre;


The project is located within a split height district;


The project proposes a building with a height above its permitted base height;


The project is not located in the SALI District.


Controls. The project shall require conditional use authorization from the Planning Commission pursuant to Section 303 of this Code, and shall not require a Large Project Authorization if otherwise required under Section 329, and shall be subject to the following criteria:


As a component of such conditional use authorization, the project may seek specific exceptions to the provisions of this Code as provided under Section 329;


The space-efficient parking criteria of Section 151.1(g)(1)(B)(i) shall only apply to parking on the ground floor and above, and shall not apply to parking located below grade in basement levels;


Horizontal mass reductions controls, pursuant to Section 270.1 of this Code, shall not apply;


The project shall demonstrate that it minimizes the impacts of proposed non-residential uses on any adjacent properties in the RED and RED-MX Districts. Specifically, the following potential conflicts shall be addressed:

a. Social Interaction. Given the diversity of uses and users in Western SoMa, large developments should appropriately buffer conflicting uses, such as housing and late night uses, and commercial uses and playgrounds.

b. Hours of Operation. Hours of operation for commercial uses within the project shall consider their proximity and potential impacts to residential uses within the project and near the development site.

c. Site Access. Avoid loading and vehicular entries near pedestrian entries, open space, and high traffic areas, and locations that would disturb other users on the site.

d. Environmental Conflicts. Commercial uses that create noise, fumes, and light shall be designed to minimize any impacts on sensitive users of the site. Buildings shall be designed to minimize the impact of wind and shadows on open spaces on the development site and adjacent properties.

e. Architectural Design. Locate fenestration, decks, doors, and open spaces to minimize potential on-site conflicts between uses and users (e.g. residential and commercial uses).


Projects on development sites of 3 acres or greater are permitted to contain up to 24,999 gross square feet of office use, and up to 24,999 gross square feet of retail use, regardless of the controls of the underlying zoning district.


Projects on development sites greater than .5 acre, but less than 3 acres, shall be subject to the Tier B affordable housing requirements of Section 419.3(b)(2) of this Code.



(Added by Ord. 206-06, File No. 060483, App. 7/25/2006; amended by Ord. 35-08, File No. 080156, App. 3/17/2008; Ord. 42-13 , File No. 130002, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013; Ord. 56-13 , File No. 130062, App. 3/28/2013, Eff. 4/27/2013)

Section header and division (a) amended; former divisions (b) and (c) deleted and new divisions (b) and (c) added; Ord. 42-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013. Division (a) amended; Ord. 56-13 , Eff. 4/27/2013.


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