The petition for the proposed Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act which would prohibit increasing the existing building height limits for any parcel along 7-1/2 miles of San Francisco’s waterfront unless explicitly approved by the City’s voters is in the process of being circulated.
The sponsors of the measure to limit building heights have until February 3, 2014 to gather and submit 9,702 valid signatures in order to qualify the measure for the June ballot.
The official summary and background for the measure and what it would prevent/require:
The City and Country of San Francisco, through its Port Commission, owns and controls about 7-1/2 miles of the San Francisco waterfront along the San Francisco Bay. That property includes piers, land near the piers, and land on the west side of The Embarcadero roadway. The City holds most of its waterfront in public trust for the benefit of the State’s people, and this public trust restricts the allowable uses of that property. In 1990 the City’s voters adopted Proposition H, which required the City to prepare a comprehensive waterfront land use plan with maximum feasible public input. Consistent with Proposition H and the public trust requirements, the Port Commission adopted a comprehensive land use plan that governs acceptable waterfront uses. The City’s zoning laws regulate development of buildings and other structures on that property, including the maximum allowed height. Generally, changes in the height limit require approval of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
This measure would prevent any City agency or office from permitting development on the waterfront to exceed the height limit in effect as of January 1, 2014, unless the City’s voters approve the height limit increase. The measure defines “waterfront” as public trust property that the State transferred to the City to be placed under the control of the San Francisco Port Commission, as well as any other property that the Port owns or controls as of January 1, 2014 or later acquires. This measure also would require that the ballot question on a measure to increase height limits on any part of the waterfront specify both the existing and proposed height limits.
If the measure is passed, not only would the proposed 125-foot-tall arena for the Warriors upon San Francisco’s Pier 30-32 need to be approved by voters, but also the development of the Giants’ proposed Mission Rock neighborhood along with a number of other waterfront developments in the works.