Central Freeway Parcel T Rendering

With the planning for a modern 26-unit building and beer hall to rise on the slender Central Freeway Parcel T, fronting Octavia Boulevard between Page and Rose, well underway, the development team has been quietly working with the Mayor’s Office to acquire the adjacent office building at 165 Page Street.

Central Freeway Parcel T Site

As envisioned, the Page Street building would be razed, its parcel would be incorporated into the Parcel T project, and an additional 14 units could be built. But there is a potential sticking point (or two).

While new developments on the skinny Central Freeway Parcels aren’t required to include rear yards, 165 Page Street isn’t a former Central Freeway Parcel. And while the development team was hoping that the rear yard exemption would simply extend to a combined development, San Francisco’s Zoning Administrator has squashed that notion, ruling that a rear yard setback would be required for the portion of the development on the Page Street parcel.

That being said, Section 134 of San Francisco’s Planning Code allows the Zoning Administrator to modify or waive the aforementioned rear yard requirement if the following criteria are met:

1. A comparable amount of usable open space is provided elsewhere on the lot or within the development where it is more accessible to the residents;

2. The proposed structure does not significantly impede the access of light and air and views from adjacent properties; and

3. The proposed structure will not adversely affect the interior block open space formed by the rear yards of adjacent properties.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

36 thoughts on “Angling to Expand a Hayes Valley Development by 50 Percent”
  1. I’m confused what the girl is doing on the first photo. Is she trying to take a selfie with her phone backward and poking at something on the back of the phone?? lol 😛

    1. She’s going for a high-rez selfie by using the main camera. Shutter release is the side volume buttons. Kind of funny that the developer chose to put an attractive young woman in front of their product. I thought that technique was limited to beer and auto makers.

      1. I think it’s satire: the artist realizes we’re hitting peak-bubble and wants to create a textbook exhibit that future generations will find amusing.

  2. If you live along such a busy street, you’d better have some serious air filtration, air conditioning, lots of plants and rarely open your windows. Otherwise, you’re pretty much asking for cancer at an early age thanks to all of the drivers constantly spewing countless forms of poison into your home.

    1. Can you please link to proof that people living near a busy city street compared to a not so busy city street have a greater chance of cancer?

      1. I’m not going to provide some convenient link that substitutes years of education so you can remain lazy and skeptical. Consider the hundreds of chemicals that are emmited by automotice exhaust and then consider what breathing those chemicals does to a person day after day, year after year. But, please. Educate yourself, don’t rely on strangers on the internet to compensate for your lack of curiousity.

        1. The chemicals you speak of mix with the atmosphere and distribute far and wide, tainting the air miles away from the source. Surely you’ve heard of how chlorofluorocarbons emitted from a hairspray can in Baltimore can contribute to the ozone hole over the antarctic. That’s a long way, huh?

          Gene has a reasonable challenge to your assertion. The right thing to do would be to back up your claim instead of responding with condescension. Personally I don’t doubt that auto exhaust has a negative impact on the air that we breathe.

          1. To translate that into familiar language, the high exposure zone is within about 1-2 blocks from the busy street.

      1. When you have to have your windows closed all day, you’ll want some a/c. Again, I’m not here to spoon feed you people.

    2. San Francisco Health Code Article 38 requires that MERV13 air filtration be provided in all new residential developments that are within areas, such as Octavia Blvd., that have potentially poor air quality due to their proximity to high-traffic roadways. This is basically “HEPA level” clean air.

      Accordingly, I wouldn’t be too worried about living in a new development such as that proposed for Parcel T.

      However, I wouldn’t necessarily be happy to live in existing, old buildings — without such air filtration systems — adjacent to high-traffic streets such as Octavia, Oak, Fell etc.

      Note: Perhaps if and when we eventually transition to primarily “clean / emissions-free” electric vehicles — that will also be much quieter by the way — this will not be such an issue.

      1. Depends on how the EVs are charged. They would certainly help out with emissions around Octavia, but if coal/gas power is used to charge the EVs then the air pollution impact just heads somewhere else. “Somewhere” could be a place with a lot less people but the impact remains.

        Not sure how coal emissions stack up against a gasoline-powered ICE’s emissions on a unit of energy basis. About even I guess? I’m assuming natural gas comes out ahead but I’m not sure about that.

        EVs exclusively charged with non-biomass RE would be ideal. California’s 2050 GHG goals should make that mostly the case.

  3. I thought I’ve seen everything in dumb stuff that designers drop into architectural renderings. Selfie Girl has to take the cake though.

  4. Am getting fed up with these huge monolith complexes. Yes, they pencil out for better profits but kind of wreck the SF streetscape. Fine for SOMA, which is wrecked to begin with, but this is a nice hood. People are griping about modern vs. historical styles, or articulated facades vs. flat, but It think they are missing the forest for the trees — these large blocky structures, in whatever style, are repulsive and always will be.

    1. Agree. The answer – restrict the footprint of major new projects to 75% or whatever of the site. This development is a perfect example. Trying to get rid of the rear yard requirement and cover 100% of the site in question.

    2. I’m currently in Berlin at this moment. The entire city is 6-8 stories high and while there are few buildings that take up an entire block, the fill area is nearly 100%. It’s a wonderful urban environment. What Berlin does have, that we don’t, is a large number of parks about the size of South Park – or even smaller – every few blocks. Yes, many blocks feel monolithic, but the city is very nicely broken up by these parks. It’s a more urban approach to public space and greenery than you seem to be proposing, but you might like it.

      1. Virtually all of those monolithic blocks have courtyard and gardens within the wall of apartments and offices that face the street.

      2. Well some of the public SLUG gardens and open spaces that are in that Octavia Blved, (and say, also the Farm , currently being built out for BMR’s not included in an original building, farmed out to another site(pardon the pun), thus taking over more open space with building) were ordered to close down so that more infill housing could be built. I like Berlin’s Ideas but look around you and tell me how many public greens there are in your neighborhood that are convenient, at the but end of cars turning or stopped in congestion spewing asbestos and all car exhausts and then ask yourself if you think Planning is taking green spaces in consideration near the top of their considerations.

  5. Octavia is basically a freeway off ramp – I have zero problem putting up blocky monolith structures alongside it. If people want to live there, give them ways to do so.

  6. Two cars? Where’s the rest of the clogged traffic? And what happened to ‘frontage road’? Nice to see some imaginary peds. Guess there going to hang out on the benchs installed in the median strip.

    1. Don’t know about you but I want to hunt the geese flying overhead from the rooftop “open space”. I’m sure there will be potted plants to hide behind.

  7. In case you had any doubts about the real reason they tore down the freeway ramp, and will eventually tear down the 280 as well. Condos.

  8. I cannot believe how long it’s taking to build out these residences on the east side of Octavia. Build Inc dumped parcels R and S on the Mayor’s Office of Development to be awarded to a non-profit to construct what now will be its BMR requirement for 1Oak though it does not appear one has yet been selected. Now this “wrinkle” with T.

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