The project at 22 Franklin St. will go before the Planning Commission Thursday, March 31. (Rendering courtesy Planning Department)

Another car-free residential building signals shift away from parking

San Francisco’s development boom is no secret, but a new trend also appears to be taking shape amid the soaring level of construction: homes without parking.

At least a half-dozen residential projects without parking spaces have come online in the past five years following the recession, and an 8-story, 35-unit building at 22 Franklin St. that will go before the Planning Commission for approval today could add to that list.

The project includes 14 two-bedroom units, 14 one-bedroom units and seven studios, as well as 1,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 35 bicycle parking spaces.

Notably absent from the proposal, however, is any off-street vehicle parking.

“You can’t really build a garage onto Franklin Street. It’s part altruistic, but part practical,” said Jason Henderson of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, which supports the project. The site currently is occupied by a vacant auto body shop.

Henderson noted that developers are increasingly opting to eliminate parking from residential projects, particularly those in high-transit areas. The 22 Franklin St. project is less than a block from busy Market Street, and steps from multiple Muni lines.

Last month, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a 7-story, 62-unit residential building with bicycle but no vehicle parking spaces at 2100 Market St. Commissioners simultaneously praised the lack of parking because the site is so close to public transportation.

Other projects planned near the intersection of Market, Valencia, Haight and Gough streets — known as the hub — may include parking, however. That area was envisioned as a dense, mixed-use neighborhood in The City’s 2008 Market & Octavia Plan, and now city planners are asking for the public’s input to increase access to transit, housing and open space.

The first workshop to enhance the area is scheduled for April 13.

Henderson said there is an effort underway to eliminate parking for all the proposed projects in the hub.

“That’s the big win, if we can rezone the hub to zero parking,” Henderson said, adding that eliminating parking from developments ultimately reduces the housing costs.

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