The proposed Western SoMa Community Plan was approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this past December. Likely to be passed by the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee this afternoon, the plan and new neighborhood zonings could be in place and effective as early as next month.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Observer

    It’s a shame that after 8 years of work, the “citizen’s planning team” came up with a plan that only adds 209 net new units over the older 1990 zoning. It VERY much is a document that prevents change rather than accommodates it.

  2. Posted by anon99

    The final plan from 2011 had a provision to convert Folsom into a two-way. Does anyone know if that is still part of the overall plan?

  3. Posted by Sam

    @Observer
    Yes, it’s a sickness of this city.

  4. Posted by Tobias

    Very discouraging but not surprising. Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and even some Texas cities are creating far more interesting and attractive downtowns.
    As it is Mission Bay looks awful.
    Total lack of creativity and imagination IMO.
    The other sad thing is that Bay Area housing assignments require SF to add something like 24,000 units in the next decade. If density isn’t increased downtown there will be pressure, there is already, to upzone Ocean Ave., Geary Blvd, West Portal, Irving and other corridors. The nearby neighborhood don’t want that.

  5. Posted by sf

    Wow, even LA is building up!
    San Francisco is the new old LA.
    Hooray?

  6. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Is it just me or are they replacing a bunch of low-rise warehouses that once contained commercial goods with … more low-rise warehouses that will hold people instead? No density increase = even worse traffic in the future.

  7. Posted by Tobias

    I’m told that back in the Willie Brown days there was a serious proposal for the Mission Bay and this area to build highrises, office and residential, and a series of canals connecting with the Bay.
    SF being what it is said “oh no, we can’t have a “second downtown”. So this is what we end up with. Just great.

  8. Posted by Sam

    A series of canals would really be something, innovation like that isn’t likely to occur in this city anymore. That’s really more of an early 20th century spirit that’s lost now. Maybe has something to do with the median age of SF, said the snarky 27 year old

  9. Posted by guest

    this proposal is great…if an extra zero was added to height restriction

  10. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    What purpose would canals serve? If they’re solely for aesthetic reasons then there’s probably no good way to justify the expense.

  11. Posted by gribble

    @Milkshake of Despair
    The canals would serve to enable flooding and encourage more of the awesome smells that we get out of places like Mission Creek.
    Not to mention the excavation, utility interruption and incredible delays for historic research every time a bottle or skull was dug up.

  12. Posted by anon

    Canals are a really lame idea.
    But yeah, I echo everyone else in saying that this plan is disastrous. Why not just try something new and innovative and completely eliminate height limits in this one area? I’m not really aching for supertall stuff, but a neighborhood of 500 footers would be extremely pleasant.

  13. Posted by Mike

    I’m just amazed at how thoughtless so many posters are about this. I actually live in the heart of the neighborhood and gee; how about transportation for the area? How do you suppose to support the needs of a wall o 500 ft towers? With the #12 Folsom bus? It runs once every 30 minutes at best. How about folks supporting the building of a new BART line first to you know, actually move the masses of people around you propose dumping in my hood?

  14. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    No building must be closer to God than the church. Or in the case of West SoMa, Costco.

  15. Posted by OldTimer

    As Tobias mentions, the original plans did call for canals and (gasp!) car free streets designed mainly towards people,with bike lanes and dedicated tram and transit lines down the center boulevards, and heavy use of landscaping and view corridors to the Bay. The whole idea at the time was to build a virtually car free neighborhood!
    The original plan called for a central Amsterdam style density and I was excited when the whole scheme was first proposed. To get a suburban office park instead is truly sad.

  16. Posted by spencer

    it is utterly ridiculous that a single new building in this area would be shorter than 7 floors. Are we building the new burbank here or what? WHy would we build an industrial suburb in the heart of our city?
    what a waste

  17. Posted by Sam

    @Mike
    Well, considering that all transit in our city runs by market street, which is a short jaunt north, I think this is in fact the one area that screams transit friendly. Furthermore, this area could be heavily bicycle and pedestrian based, close to the mission, and close to new tech jobs.
    Ultimately I assume this plan will become irrelevant in some years when the needs of the city outweigh the needs of some older folks who enjoy their little plan. Such arrogance to limit the amount of people into this section of the city to this degree. Where is the mayor with his jobs, jobs, jobs platform? Does he realize that this is the exact area where tech workers wish to live?
    But is there anything that I can do to oppose this? Oppose it at hearings? Seems fruitless, but I would actually try to fight this if possible.

  18. Posted by Invented

    Canals would have been splendid in Mission Bay where it would seem to have context. Think many pedestrian-oriented side streets with the main boulevards being the car-centric routes as they are today. Why not learn from what works elsewhere (hello Amsterdam?). Now that’s Bay living.

  19. Posted by anon

    @Mike – it’s perfectly reasonable to put together a housing “plan” that will take decades to complete without having transit for that plan ready RIGHT THIS SECOND. What this plan does is assume that transit can’t possibly be any better, so we’re just going to not worry about improving the neighborhood.
    You’ll never get better transit in your neighborhood if the plan for it assumes suburban-level densities.

  20. Posted by fimiak

    I live right in the heart of this area, and I am happy we are getting the biggest overhaul this area of SoMa needs — the ability to create a brooklyn/hayes valley type neighborhood. Hopefully in a few years a few beautiful high rises like 50 leonard in NYC are allowed, but anything is better than what exists today.

  21. Posted by Ben

    @Mike
    This extra population would be easy to accommodate. Not enough buses on the 12 Folsom line? Buy more, and run them every five minutes. Not enough BART trains? Same deal. If there were greater demand, transit in your neighborhood would be MUCH better.

  22. Posted by anon99

    Does anyone know if it passed the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee? What are the next steps?

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