Cloud clears in Transbay Transit Center shadow spat

Getty Images File PhotoUnion Square is one of the nine open spaces that will be affected by shadows from planned new buildings in the Transit Center District.

Getty Images File PhotoUnion Square is one of the nine open spaces that will be affected by shadows from planned new buildings in the Transit Center District.

Buildings planned in the area around the future Transbay Transit Center in South of Market will be able to cast shadows that will sweep across several open spaces.

If a development would cast a shadow over parks or open space in The City, it has to receive approval from the Planning and Recreation and Park commissions under a voter-approved proposition from the 1980s and subsequent planning codes.

At and around the transit center, some of the tallest buildings in San Francisco are proposed to be built in the next two decades. The first major building could be the Transit Center Tower, a 1,070-foot skyscraper at First and Mission streets whose shadows could reach parks as far away as Union Square and Chinatown.

At a joint meeting of the Rec and Park and Planning commissions on Thursday, officials approved slight increases in the allowable shadows at nine parks that would be affected by the development. The approval was for the entire Transit Center District, a development area that stretches from Steuart Street near the waterfront to Third Street and from Market Street east to Folsom Street.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who’s long advocated for the transit center, told the commissions the slight shadow increase at the parks was worth the trade-off for the development, which will help provide The City with money to build Caltrain and high-speed rail extensions to the transit center.

Others said the development would fund low-income housing and other open spaces — more public benefits that would outweigh the shadows, they said.

Opponents of the approval mostly said they supported the development, but disagreed with approval of the shadow increases for all buildings in the development area at one time.

“This is a critical step in the development of the Transbay project,” Transbay Joint Powers Authority spokesman Adam Alberti said of the approval.

The buildings in the development will still go to the Planning Commission for approval, which could include further discussion about shadows.

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPlanning DepartmentPoliticsSan Francisco Recreation and Park Department

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Blue California often is the target of criticism by conservative media, but now is receiving critical attention from liberal writers. Pictured: The State Capitol. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Why is California now being criticized from the left?

California being what it is – a very large state with a… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read