EVAN DUCHARME/SPECIAL TO THE  S.F. EXAMINERZoning changes and street reconfigurations may come soon to SoMa.

EVAN DUCHARME/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINERZoning changes and street reconfigurations may come soon to SoMa.

SF planners propose zoning changes, street reconfigurations for central SoMa

Heavy industry is no longer the lifeblood of The City’s South of Market – but the neighborhood’s zoning regulations and transportation infrastructure still seem tailored toward the days when it was.

Now planning and transit officials are moving forward with a project to help the transforming area accommodate anticipated growth in housing and jobs.

The area included in the proposed Central SoMa Plan – Market to Townsend streets and Second to Sixth streets – originally was set for rezoning along with the Mission, Potrero, Dogpatch and the Central Waterfront as part of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. At the end of 2008 with the recession, however, the SoMa section was considered too complicated and had to be dropped, officials said.

Tuesday, Planning Department officials will present the project for central SoMa released in April to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board members. Plans call for reducing industrial zones – which mostly lie south of Harrison Street – in favor of mixed-use development.

“We have a lot of zoning in SoMa that prohibits new housing and new offices, and it doesn’t make sense in a neighborhood that has some of the best transit in the Bay Area,” said Steve Wertheim, a planner with the department. “We want to allow new development to happen there.”

Along with zoning changes, the plan calls for street reconfigurations.

Harrison, Bryant, Third and Fourth streets would get widened sidewalks, reduced traffic lanes and transit lanes. Brannan Street would receive the same, but a cycling track in place of a transit lane, while Folsom Street would be re-envisioned as a civic boulevard.

“SoMa was designed back when it was an old industrial neighborhood, to get vehicles through as fast as possible,” Wertheim said. “That’s not the SoMa we have today and it’s not the SoMa we expect to have in the future, so we’ve done a lot of design work to make it comfortable for all modes of transportation.”

Such planning keeps in mind that San Francisco is expected to grow by 200,000 people and 190,000 jobs by 2040, according to the planning department. Currently, about 8,700 housing units and 50,000 jobs exist. The plan allows for an additional 2,500 to 4,600 housing units and 24,000 to 36,000 jobs by 2040.

Design and construction – not including Folsom and Howard streets – will cost an estimated $110 million. A draft environmental impact report is expected in September 2014. In the meantime, planning and transit officials will continue fine-tuning the plan with community input.Bay Area NewsSFMTASoMaSteve WertheimTransittransportation

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

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

Most Read