Our Mission

The mission of the San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, is to shape the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.

In order to execute its mission, the San Francisco Planning Department is made up of the following divisions:

Rich Hillis, Planning Director

Planning Director Rich HillisRich Hillis is the Planning Director for the City and County of San Francisco. Mr. Hillis is responsible for overseeing long range city planning, development review, and environmental review for most physical development in San Francisco. He served on the San Francisco Planning Commission for eight years before becoming Director of the Planning Department.

Prior to joining San Francisco Planning , Mr. Hillis served as the Executive Director for the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture where he led its reinvigoration, investing over $60 million into the historic campus and providing a stable and vibrant home to dozens of arts organizations and events. Before joining the Fort Mason Center, Mr. Hillis served as Deputy Director of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, where he managed all aspects of the redevelopment of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island into a new 8,000-unit, mixed-use neighborhood, led efforts on priority Port development projects, and oversaw efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for development along Octavia Boulevard. Previously, he was the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Director of Partnerships and Property, managing RPD’s assets and concessions.  

Mr. Hillis has an Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s from the State University of New York at Albany .