Rendering of the Hub
Downtown/Civic Center

Market Octavia Plan Amendment (Formerly The Hub)

The Market Octavia Plan Amendment seeks to examine potential opportunities to better ensure the area’s growth supports the City’s goals for housing, transportation, and the public realm through zoning and policy refinements. 

Public Workshop Notice - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 (RSVP)
This workshop will build on previous workshops and provide a general project update as well as the City’s latest recommendations for all topic areas: land use, urban form, public realm and public benefits. More details here.

Background

In the early 2000s, the Hub neighborhood near the intersections of Market Street with Valencia, Haight and Gough streets, historically known as “The Hub,” was included within the boundaries of the 2008 Market and Octavia Area Plan. The Plan includes numerous policies that support a vision for the Hub as a “vibrant new mixed-use neighborhood,” and it also created the Van Ness and Market Downtown Residential Special Use District (SUD). This SUD encourages the development of a transit-oriented, high-density, mixed-use residential neighborhood around the intersections of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street and Van Ness, and buildings ranging from 250 to 400 feet and reduced parking. Following the Plan's adoption in 2008, most of the housing imagined in the Hub was stalled due to the recession. Now, the area is receiving concentrated attention from the development community. 

Major  infrastructure improvements, such as Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit, were identified in the Market and Octavia Area Plan and have since moved through conceptual design. The sudden convergence of both infrastructure improvements and private development activity requires careful coordination and could afford great opportunity to achieve Plan objectives in a more holistic and effective fashion. In light of these recent changes, Planning is proposing to study this portion of the Market and Octavia Plan, and consider plan amendments. The proposed Market Octavia Plan Amendment seeks to benefit from current opportunities and analyze the potential for zoning and policy refinements that will better ensure that the area's growth supports the City's goals for housing, transportation, and the public realm.

Project Goals

This project will evaluate opportunities to enhance implementation of the policy goals of the Market & Octavia Area Plan around affordable housing, coordinated transportation planning and placemaking. Project goals include:

INCREASE HOUSING AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING NEAR TRANSIT

Recent City policy, including the voter-approved Proposition K and former Mayor Edwin Lee’s Executive Directive 13-01, have called on all City departments to aggressively pursue new opportunities to increase the housing stock, especially permanently affordable units. There are a number of ongoing initiatives to implement this, including  2017’s amendments to the City’s Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program, increasing local dollars via a new affordable housing bond for affordable housing, and increasing development potential to subsidize affordable housing.

Photo of Housing Options
DEVELOP AND COORDINATE DESIGNS FOR THE PUBLIC REALM

This is an opportunity to re-envision the public realm - streets, alleys and new open spaces. The Market & Octavia Area Plan includes conceptual designs for improvements to streets, parks, and other public open spaces in the area. Since these concepts were first created in the early 2000s, best practices and City policies for the public realm design have advanced. The City now has a more developed vision for components such as bike facilities, pedestrian safety enhancements, shared streets, living alleys, and temporary interventions such as parklets and plazas. Creating better public spaces will reinforce the area’s identity as both as a gateway to other neighborhoods as well as a distinct neighborhood of its own. 

Photo of Public Realm Options

 

CREATE A ROBUST PUBLIC BENEFITS PACKAGE AND PRIORITIZE PROJECTS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

The project will conduct economic feasibility analysis and develop recommendations for how additional development may contribute to the area in the following ways: help create new and additional affordable housing, contribute to transit improvements, provide new open space opportunities and/or enhance existing open spaces, improve streets and alleys, and others as identified through the planning process. 

man seated on bench in tree lined alley

Key Deliverables

AMEND THE MARKET & OCTAVIA AREA PLAN

Update Objectives 7.1 and 7.2 and associated policies in the Market & Octavia Area Plan, the zoning map to reflect land use changes, and the height map to reflect additional height on select parcels. 

UPDATE THE MARKET & OCTAVIA IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

As part of the Market & Octavia Area Plan, a list of projects and associated costs were developed. Many of these projects have been funded and implemented. This is an opportunity to add additional projects in the Hub area that can be funded and built over time. 

AMEND THE PLANNING CODE

Amend the Planning Code to reflect the land use and policy recommendations identified through the planning process, such as land use and parking. 

This project timeline may change. Please continue to check back here for updates.

A. Project Start-up, Existing Conditions Analysis JAN. 2016 - MAR. 2016
B. Develop land use, urban form, and public realm design options APRIL 2016 - JUNE 2016
C. Refine land use, urban form, and public realm design options; develop public benefits package JULY 2016 - JULY 2019
D. Environmental Review OCT 2017 - MARCH 2020
E. Plan Adoption and Approvals WINTER 2020
Prioritizing Projects Citywide On April 4th, The Hub was one of seven priority projects featured in Planning's Citywide division Pecha Kucha at SPUR Urban Center. The Pecha Kucha is a presentation style popular in the design, architecture, photography, and art fields, in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each.  View the presentation here.
Environmental Review The Hub's environmental review phase began in October 2017. Conducted by our Environmental Planning Division, the environmental review will analyze potential impacts of the project on the environmental. This review will evaluate the programmatic changes proposed for the Hub Plan area, such as zoning, heights, streets, and alleys, in addition to project-level review of two individual projects in the Hub Plan area, 30 Van Ness Avenue and 98 Franklin Street.

A Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an initial study for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released on May 23, 2018, and a public scoping meeting to receive verbal comments regarding the scope of the EIR was held on June 12, 2018. Find the NOP here.

The Draft EIR is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019, and the final EIR is expected to be before the Planning Commission in winter 2020. Adoption hearings would then follow.
Urban Form and Housing Urban form is collectively known as physical patterns, characteristics, layouts, and structures that make up an urban area. Planning's urban form recommendations for The Hub have been informed by three principles from the Urban Design Element: Harmoniously fit the Hub neighborhood within the City as a whole; highlight the Hub as a center of activity and transit; and taper heights in the Hub to meet smaller-scaled adjacent neighborhoods.

One of The Hub's goals is to increase the amount of market rate and affordable housing. To achieve this, Planning has taken a comprehensive assessment of the area to see where there might be opportunities to raise building heights and allow for more much needed housing while balancing these three principles.

Planning has made some revisions to the urban form recommendations since the last workshop that will be reflected in the Draft EIR. The changes include additional height at 1 Oak (from 400' to 450') and 10 South Van Ness (from 500' to 590'). View an updated height map here.
Land Use The Planning Department is analyzing the potential for zoning and policy refinements to better ensure that the area's growth supports the City's goals for housing, transportation, the public realm, and the arts. We are proposing to modify the zoning within the Hub boundary and create one zoning district with consistent land use controls across the area. View the latest land use proposal here. Note, the proposal has not changed since the last workshop in March 2017.
Public Realm The Planning Department has been working with Public Works and SFMTA to further refine the streets designs in the Public Realm Plan. We have also been coordinating with private sponsors that have projects adjacent to these streets to ensure that all designs are integrated into their project.

In March 2018, an in-kind application was submitted for a new plaza located at 12th Street and Otis. The plaza is proposed to be built in coordination with a proposed residential project at 30 Otis, fronted by ground floor retail and a new school for City Ballet. The design is currently being reviewed by City agencies, and the Market Octavia Citizen Advisory Committee will be asked to make a recommendation before the in-kind fee waiver goes before the Planning Commission for their approval.

The Hub covers the eastern-most portions of the Market and Octavia Area Plan. 

The Hub Project Map. Click here to download a PDF version of this map.
Click here to download this map

Questions, comments, and suggestions on this planning effort should be directed to:

Lily Langlois
Project Manager
San Francisco Planning Department
(415) 575-9083
lily.langlois@sfgov.org

Maia Small
Urban Design
San Francisco Planning Department
(415) 575-9160
maia.small@sfgov.org

Ben Caldwell
Public Realm
San Francisco Planning Department
(415) 575-6616
ben.caldwell@sfgov.org