While the growth of University of California San Francisco’s Parnassus Heights Campus was capped back in 1976, plans to add another 1.38 million square feet of clinical, research and administrative space, including the development of a new 16-story hospital on the eastern edge of the existing campus core, have been drawn.

And while UCSF’s plans for expanding the Parnassus Heights Campus had included the development of 750 new units of housing for students and staff as well, split between the Aldea Housing area near the top of Mount Sutro and along a restored 4th Avenue at the western side of the campus between Parnassus and Kirkham, the housing component of the proposed expansion has been increased to 1,263 units, half of which would be completed by the time the new hospital opens per a newly drafted Memorandum of Understanding with the City and the other half by 2050.

And with the goal of breaking ground next year and having the new hospital online by 2030, which is the year by which the existing Moffitt Hospital needs to be seismically retrofitted or decommissioned for inpatient care, UCSF will be seeking approval from the UC Regents to amend the existing space ceiling for the Parnassus Heights campus, an amendment which does not require Planning’s approval, and proceed as proposed on January 20-21.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by BigShane

    The NIMBYs are going to have a field day with this one.

    • Posted by Karl

      Accordingly, it is fortunate that, as a state-level institution, UCSF has sovereignty, and is, thus, not subject to “local control” and the whims of the NIMBYs.

  2. Posted by gorkem

    This is how I get to decide if I like Dean Preston or not.. Any chance he doesn’t NIMBY this one?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Keep in mind that UCSF, as a state institution, is generally not subject to the jurisdiction of the City in its development activities.

      That being said, the aforementioned MOU and Community Benefits Package was drafted “in response to the urging of Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Norman Yee and Dean Preston.”

      • Posted by BTinSF

        As John Burton demonstrated with his height limit imposed on planned student housing in Mission Bay, while UC may not formally be subject to City jurisdiction, if it upsets City politicians enough that can have consequences. It was smart of the university to reach an agreement with the City on this project.

    • Posted by gumby

      Live nearby and support this 100%.

      Thank God this is beyond the reach of SF Planning. I will be shocked if Dean Preston does not pull all levers at his disposal to block, delay, and derail, performative MOU support notwithstanding.

    • Posted by Peter

      Why does Preston get a greater say on this? The bulk of the project, including the most controversial aspects (the new hospital and the new housing), are in newly-elected Myrna Melga’s district (D7), which extends up to Parnassus Ave.

      • Posted by Karl

        Preston is just engaging a bit of grandstanding.
        In politics, image is everything.

      • Posted by jimbo

        Myrna seems kind of reasonable. hopefully she, Breed, Weiner and others publicly shame him

    • Posted by jimbo

      dean preston lives to block anything of value from being created in SF. if it were up to him, he would raze the entire medical center and put in a caged safe sleeping site.

    • Posted by NFSF

      You don’t need to wait, he’s a massive NIMBY

    • Posted by gumby

      “Preston, whose district is on the border of UCSF Parnassus, in late December called for a hearing to occur before the UC Regents vote on the project’s environmental review by Jan. 21. He sought a later date for approval to allow the public to weigh in on the MOU, but that request was rebuffed.”

      So I guess you can reach a conclusion on Preston now, no? Article in name link.

  3. Posted by sf to sd

    No longer a San Franciscan but UCSF is such a treasure. Got some braces there (relatively affordably) at ortho. SF is blessed to have such a renowned research institution and in such a beautiful area.

  4. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    SFSU ignored their transit impacts and keep growing and as a state institutional masterplan ignore their housing and transit impacts. This has to change and UCSF should not be given a free reign in this vs proper and adequate impacts being reviewed and designed for.

    It’s not being a NIMBY it’s requiring good faith and integral design between agencies which currently does not exist.

    Too much $ goes downtown and zilch on transit changes west of twin peaks…

    • Posted by Anonymous

      The NIMBYs on the west side don’t just work to kill new housing construction, they also work to kill transit improvements as well, in part because they are against the extra credence said improvements would give to upzoning the west side. “You can’t build more out here because the infrastructure can’t handle it” “You can’t improve the infrastructure out here because it’ll be temporarily inconvenient and result in more development.” It’s an infinite loop of self-serving hypocrisy.

      • Posted by Duncan

        This is a perfect summary of most NIMBY logic. We have a premise (“things are great the way they are”) and they’ll pretzel themselves to make it so.

      • Posted by Aaron Goodman

        So when multiple projects are under construction 🚧 and the transit is not improved prior and all the contractors deliveries and vehicles compound due to increased auto use and lacking transit upgrades you will begin to see that the path forward is blocked and nobody moves? Why not push the horse in front of the cart not behind it? We see how little transit has changed on the westside network while money keeps flowing to big dig projects downtown how about a little transit investment equity and see an F-line trolley on the westside ???

        • Posted by Tony

          We’ve heard that song and dance for years. The rest of us support BOTH transit and housing because we need to get this stuff done. NIMBYs just give endless complaints and literally never propose solutions because they don’t actually want the improvements.

  5. Posted by WawaAtWarge

    For projects like this, how does the City determine whether our sewer system can handle this many more hookups?

    • Posted by L'Urbanista_SF

      The SFPUC is part of the plan check / permit process.

      • Posted by WawaAtWarge

        And? How does the SFPUC determine whether our sewer system can handle this many more hookups?

        • Posted by Alai

          If it can’t, I suppose they’d have to do some upgrades, and presumably that would be built into the project.

          • Posted by DavidSF

            Don’t they manage the sewer system?

        • Posted by L'Urbanista_SF

          Through engineering. How is this even a question?

  6. Posted by YIMBY 5000

    An email from Parnassus Neighborhood Coalition:

    “In just 2 weeks, UCSF is seeking approval for their massive expansion project at the Parnassus Campus. 

    The size is shocking — over 2 million additional square feet — a 42% increase. As former Mayor Art Agnos has said, “That’s like jamming a SalesForce Tower and TransAmerica Pyramid combined into a small residential neighborhood that’s already overloaded.”

    Here’s what their plan includes:
    • A massive 2 million square foot expansion
    • Only 1,263 homes for 8,000 new employees
    • Overloaded transit lines
    • 300-ft tower, highest on SF’s westside
    • Negative impacts on parks, schools and neighborhoods
    • Reduced open space
    • No exploration of alternative sites”

    • Posted by jimbo

      anyone against this plan is just selfish. this is literally the 5th best medical center in the US and the entire biotech industry was founded here. we should be bending over backwards to help them. instead they are bending over backwards to satisfy nimby

  7. Posted by Alai

    “Reduced open space” — I suppose they’re referring to the loss of the parking lot?

  8. Posted by Scott F

    The part of this that makes me the happiest is that the massive parking structure right at the N-Judah’s Arguello stop will go. Petty? Maybe, but seeing that always felt like a giant “Screw you for riding transit.” UCSF is doing the right thing by shifting to a less car-centric campus design.

    • Posted by Freeloader

      That parking lot is almost always at full capacity (and at $28/day, expensive).

      When taking someone or meeting someone at the ER, you don’t always want to take public transit, particularly if they are infectious. Our first two kids were born at Parnassus (3rd at Mission Bay), and I don’t know how advised it is to take a two day old baby home on the N-line (and then transfer to the 24).

      My wife used to work at UCSF and would almost always take public transport (and oftentimes go home and get the car to pick up the kids) but she did work with people who paid ~$500/mo for parking there. While I’m very excited about this development, seems like it’s not unreasonable to expect parking at a hospital.

      • Posted by Scott F

        It’s a mindset issue. Plenty of people don’t have cars and safely get themselves to the doctor on transit. We know how to wear masks here now like they do in Asian cities, and we have not seen a correlation between transit usage and coronavirus spread (southern California is the nation’s pandemic hotspot right now).

        Also, there’s carrot, not just stick. The reduced parking comes with new transit investments according to UCSF’s site, including better lighting, better stops, and 3-car trains on the N. Maybe your wife’s coworkers will give transit a shot, realize it’s not so bad, and put that $500 a month to better use.

        I’m just saying I like the direction. That, and as a transit rider, seeing a gigantic parking garage next to the stop feels disrespectful, like you’re a sucker for not using it.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Have you ever taken your two day old baby home from the hospital on transit?

          • Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

            We did. People who habitually use cars just incapable of imagining life among the rest of us.

            Also UCSF throws you out when your baby is 1 day old.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Did Scott?

          • Posted by Miraloma Man

            Yes.

  9. Posted by AY

    Anti-development flyers featuring the Art Agnos quote are being hand delivered, door-to-door.

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