Safety and Resilience Element
A part of the General Plan Updates
The Planning Commission updated the Safety & Resilience Element (formerly the Community Safety Element) to strengthen its support of racial and social equity, environmental justice, climate mitigation, and climate adaptation. As the climate crisis worsens and disasters strike, disproportionate burdens are suffered by increasing numbers of vulnerable people.
The Safety & Resilience Element Update provides a comprehensive set of policies for minimizing San Francisco’s contribution to the climate crisis and ensuring local resilience to multiple hazards. It helps protect the people and assets of San Francisco, especially areas and communities that face higher vulnerability to disasters. Communities of color and other vulnerable neighborhoods are often hurt first and worst in any disaster, and struggle more to recover.
The Element was last updated in October 2012 with enhanced policies for disaster preparedness and longer-term resilience. It is particularly focused on seismic issues and contains four goals: mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery and reconstruction.
Since then, there has been progress in the policies, approaches, and tools for ensuring community safety from natural, climate-induced, and human-made hazards.
This 2022 update made amendments to comply with California State Senate Bill 379 (Jackson, 2016) ensuring consistency between the Safety and Resilience Element and the City’s local hazard mitigation plan (2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan). It also complies with Senate Bill 1000 (Leyva, 2016) directives around environmental justice and is closely coordinated with the City’s Climate Action Plan.
The update includes two additional goals on equitable community safety and climate resilience. In order to achieve these goals, policies were developed for racial and social equity, environmental justice, and resilience to multiple hazards that also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. These issues were also integrated throughout the existing four goals as the existing content was refined for gaps and clarity.
|Engagement||Workshop: Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan||Workshop: Climate Action Plan||General Plan Virtual Events||Briefings with Community-Based Organizations||Final Review|
|Milestones||Policy Framework||Policy Language|
This work is supported by ClimateSF, a comprehensive, multi-agency effort to guide San Francisco’s climate resilience. ClimateSF champions a unified City vision on climate resilience and streamlines City responses, to promote an equitable, safe, and healthy city for generations to come.
|February 18, 2021||SF Department of the Environment – Climate Action Plan Workshop
Topic: Climate and Resilience
|March 16, 2021||General Plan Virtual Events – Safety and Resilience Element Workshop
Guest Speaker: Adrienne Bechelli, Department of Emergency Management
|March 25, 2021||General Plan Virtual Events – Safety and Resilience Element Workshop
Guest Speaker: Brian Strong, Office of Resilience and Capital Planning
|June 30, 2021||Briefing: Resilient District 7|
|July 27, 2021||Briefing: San Francisco Village|
|September 1, 2021||Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advisory Committee (Bayview CAC)|
|September 14, 2021||Briefing: Oceanview, Merced Heights, and Ingleside (OMI) Collaborative|
|September 15, 2021||Briefing: Bayview Environmental Justice Task Force|
|September 16, 2021||Briefing: Visitacion Valley Community Unity|
|September 27, 2021||Briefing: Resilient District 10|
|October 27, 2021||Listening Session: Neighborhood Empowerment Network, HUB Leadership|
|November 15, 2021||Briefing: Market/Octavia Community Advisory Committee (MO CAC)|
|November 16, 2021||Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates|
|November 23, 2021||Briefing: Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC)|
|December 21, 2021||Briefing: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)|
|February 15, 2022||Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC)|
|May 6-20, 2022||Survey: Community Review of the Safety & Resilience Element: Spring 2022 Draft|
Final Adopted Materials
The 2022 Safety & Resilience Element was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 13, 2022. On December 22, 2022, Mayor London Breed signed the Ordinance into law (Board File No. 221065, Ordinance No. 260-22).
Approval by the Planning Commission
Approved at the hearing on September 29, 2022. After Planning Commission approval, the draft amendments are forwarded the proposal to the Board of Supervisors for consideration of adoption.
- Exhibit A: Adoption Draft of 2022 Safety & Resilience Element
- Exhibit B: Addendum to Negative Declaration
- Exhibit C: Outreach & Engagement Summary
- Exhibit D: Draft Ordinance
- Exhibit E: Draft Resolution
Agency Letters of Support
Initiation by the Planning Commission
Initiated at the Planning Commission on July 21, 2022. An “initiation” hearing is a public announcement of the Planning Commission’s intention to consider adoption.
- Exhibit A: Initiation Draft of the 2022 Safety & Resilience Element (Proposed for Adoption)
- Exhibit B: Draft Initiation Resolution
- Exhibit C: Draft Ordinance for Proposed General Plan Amendment
- Exhibit D: Environmental Review
An informational hearing is an overview presentation of the work to date, including the relationship to issues of primary concern to the respective body.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the San Francisco General Plan?
The General Plan provides a comprehensive set of objectives and policies that influence how we live, work, and move about, as well as the quality and character of the City. The General Plan reflects community values and priorities through its public adoption process, ensuring both private development and public action conform to this vision. The General Plan helps shape our daily lives, respond to today’s big challenges, and lead us to a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy future that enables all San Franciscans to thrive.
What is the Safety and Resilience Element?
The Safety and Resilience Element is a comprehensive set of policies to minimize San Francisco’s contribution to the climate crisis and ensure local resilience to multiple hazards. It helps to protect the people and assets of San Francisco, especially areas and communities that face higher vulnerability to disasters.
What does the Safety and Resilience Element do – and not do?
The Safety and Resilience Element influences how the City prepares, responds to, and recovers from all hazards. It also influences how the people and assets of San Francisco become more resilient. As a policy document, the Safety and Resilience Element guides city decisions and actions, such as funding programs and regulating development.
There are three key implementing documents that work in partnership with the Safety and Resilience Element, each with their own specific set of strategies:
- The 2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan, led by the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, is a climate adaptation plan that responds to all hazards.
- The 2021 Climate Action Plan, led by SF Environment, is a climate mitigation plan that reduces the City’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- The 2017 Emergency Response Plan, led by the Department of Emergency Management, is an all-hazards response and restoration plan for the coordination, roles, and responsibilities of responding agencies during a major emergency or disaster.
- A fourth implementing plan, a Recovery Plan, is identified but does not yet exist. This plan would be produced to advance recovery after future disasters.
What’s different about the Safety & Resilience Element?
The Safety Element was last updated in 2012 to strengthen policies for disaster preparedness and long-term resilience, particularly seismic issues. The element contained four goals: mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery and reconstruction.
Over the past ten years, there have been advancements in the field across natural, climate-induced, and human-made hazards and approaches to safety and resilience. The experience of disaster is becoming more frequent and intense. Communities of color and other vulnerable neighborhoods are often hurt first and worst in any disaster, and struggle more to recover. The major events of the past few years—pandemic, social unrest, and wildfire season—have provided additional spotlight to current gaps in the Safety Element.
Why is the Safety and Resilience Element Update required?
The 2022 update complies with:
- California State Senate Bill 379 (Jackson, 2016) ensuring consistency between the Safety Element and the City’s local hazard mitigation plan (2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan);
- California State Senate Bill 1000 (Leyva, 2016) directives around environmental justice in the General Plan;
- Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission Resolutions to incorporate racial and social equity into the General Plan; and,
- And to be closely coordinated with the City’s Climate Action Plan.
How will the Safety and Resilience Element Update respond to COVID-19?
The Safety and Resilience Element includes policies for how the city prepares for, responds to, and mitigates all hazards, including the pandemic. We worked closely with the City’s COVID Command Center, Department of Public Health, and Department of Emergency Management to develop policies that integrate lessons learned from the pandemic.
How can I get more information on hazards that impact me and my community?
The 2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan created a StoryMap to highlight the hazards threatening San Francisco’s communities and how hazards relate to the climate crisis. Explore the StoryMap.
Other City climate resilience resources.