After a former Facebook couple raised the ire of their future Dolores Heights neighbors by proposing to build a 5,600-square-foot, single-family home across the 323 Cumberland Street parcel (upon which a 900-square-foot cottage had stood up until a few weeks ago) and its adjacent undeveloped lot, for which the couple paid a combined $3.55 million back in 2012, a new set of plans were drawn.

Instead of a single-family home, the revised, approved and recently permitted plans will now yield a 6,800-square-foot “two-unit” building upon the successfully merged 323 Cumberland Street site, plans which were positioned as being more “compatible with the surrounding neighborhood density by proposing two (2) units on a double-wide lot.”

And as designed by John Maniscalo Architecture, the “main unit” will measure a little over 6,100 square feet, with a 680-square-foot “second unit” in the basement, adjacent to the main unit’s 1,600-square-foot garage (the square footage of which isn’t included in any of the aforementioned totals).

36 thoughts on “Approved Plans for Going Even Bigger in Dolores Heights”
  1. Where do I go to “unlike” this? 🙁

    Unfortunately, the damage (to the street) has already been done: if you look on the street view you’ll see that just to the right of the cottage on the right a similarly oversized – and remarkably ugly – manse has already staked out its claim.

      1. Thanks! (though I guess my minimal effort impressed you less than it did me) but I still say it – excuse me “they”- are oversized and remarkably ugly.

    1. So the street was damaged in the 1980s from the double house next door. It’s amazing that anyone would want to live there.

    2. Are you saying that the foundation is undermining the street somehow, like what the Salesforce tower is accused of doing to the Millenium? I really don’t think you need to be concerned about that, as it’s not a skyscraper, and I think this area is not built on landfill. I would put this in the category of things to not worry about.

      1. The contention is that excessive dewatering in connection with preparation of the adjoining Transit Center site may have contributed to the Millennium Tower problem; not that the Salesforce Tower across the street is the culprit.

        1. like the PG&E pole in front of my house is causing it to sink and list a bit to the starboard side?

      2. No I meant damage to the nature of the street as one of small scale (1-2 story) houses. I’m not questioning the engineering.

        1. How do you distinguish between “damaging the nature of the street” and “change”? I mean, the streets are themselves dynamic things that change over time, and the nature of the street, if such a thing exists, has to be a changing thing.

          1. It’s simple: if I like it, it’s “change”, if I don’t, it’s “damage”. 🙂

            But honestly, it really IS that simple, isn’t it ?? This is one of a (seemingly endless) series of articles on SS documenting SF’s transition from – for want of a better term – a (somewhat) “normal” city of mixed incomes and interests into an aggrandized version of Monaco. There are plusses to this and there are minuses (and yes, it hasn’t happened completely and probably never will…but a lot of …uhm, “damage” has been done already.)

            Sometimes the issue is one of architecture – the change in the scale and makeup of an area, or just the loss of familiar buildings – and sometimes it’s socioeconomic factors. Having looked more carefully at the whole of the street, I’ve decided that it was such a hodegpodge of shapes and designs that the (pure) architectural issues probably aren’t very important ; but the “neighborhood is changing” ones remain. I know nothing of this couple, and wish them all happiness, but like some of their soon to be – and “ired” – neighbors, I’m left wondering what the world would be like if there dream spot was on some other street.

  2. Ya wanna build, I say go for it. Good luck to these folks. Too many nimby’s in SF need to m o v e – o n.

    Great choice in selecting a thoughtful architect, we need more of this.

      1. NIMBYism and ridiculous personal opinions on style are the bane of SF’s existance. #bloodboil

  3. As much as I love victorians, they are not built anymore. There is nothing wrong with new construction and why does it matter that the house is large? If you object to construction on your block, move to a farm.

    1. The ‘tear-down’ wasn’t a Vict – more like some rambler from the 40s. And those are both not-being-built and not-being restored in any great number.

  4. I always thought m-architecture did great work, with this exception – the scale dosen’t fit the street and the design is just..bland.

  5. Was the built as two units to cover a requirement to deliver one housing unit per parcel?

  6. The quality of materials will determine how this turns out, I’m guessing they will be high quality.

  7. this will NEVER, NEVER, EVER be a two unit building. That doesn’t mean it is wrong, there is just no way ever that someone will own and pay the price for a 6,100 square foot unit and allow anyone other than one of their house guests, etc own or rent the 680 sf unit. It’s an urban guest house.

    1. It will likely be a unit for a live-in nanny or housekeeper. The main house is 6,100 (not including the large garage that adds even more square footage). It is a big, expensive house and whoever lives in it is not going to clean it themselves.

  8. You’re describing the pros and cons of capitalism. It’s like free speech– take our society as it is, or perhaps reinvent an ecomomy of your own over ~300 years.

  9. not sure what the city is doing here, they look at these 2 units different every time and it is not fair.

    Its obvious from looking at the plans which are available to see if you go to the property info map at sf planning dot org & dig into the environmental impact report that this is a one family super home which the city chooses some to approve and come to not allow. The big problem here is it is not fair & this project should be rejected in its current state or further reviewed. The other option is they should stay the hell out of the homes interior.

    this project is being overseen by whiteside management per the neighbor and the contractor is design line & from my research calling a few architects they have worked for they have been kicked off multiple jobs. From a neighbor standpoint we are looking at a family with too much money that has rigged the system and we may look at 3-4 years of construction. no wondering everyone is selling there houses up here.

  10. ^ Yeah. I will agree that it is crap that Planning is so weirdly spotty when it comes to this stuff. I thought the memo went out that the mega big house plus au-pair two unit workaround was over? That’s what the Residential Builders Assocation was given to understand.

    That the Scott Weiner monster house rule was a back channel defacto Planning Code on the south side of town? Oh, wait, but not if you have tons of money and hire the people they want you to hire? It’s all pretty much a disgrace.

    Fire everyone in Planning. Streamline Planning and Building. Eliminate historic review for non-designated, already surveyed homes. Stop the buck passing. Blow it all up, and hit reset. That’s the only way forward. Residential construction is broken.

  11. Some restraint in terms of size and a bit of effort beyond the copy/paste from Dwell would have been nice, but it’s their money.

  12. actually it’s one family, that is crazy! good job city, delete two houses create one.

    Permit Addenda Details Report
    Report Date: 10/31/2017 11:33:07 AM
    Address(es): 323 CUMBERLAND ST, 313 CUMBERLAND ST
    Cost: $1,473,360.00
    Building Use: 27 – 1 FAMILY DWELLING

    Approved 8/3/2017
    Issued 8/25/2017

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