Aerial view of UCSF Parnassus campus
Photo: UCSF / Hawkeye
Inner Sunset

UCSF Parnassus Campus Plan Memorandum of Understanding

The University of California San Francisco has developed the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (“CPHP”) to replace and substantially expand medical, research, and academic facilities and housing on the campus, which is the original and largest of UCSF's campuses. To ensure that this expansion aligns with City’s priorities for housing, transportation and other topics, and sufficiently addresses the needs created by the proposed growth, UCSF and the City of San Francisco are developing a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). This document will describe the specific investments and commitments agreed to by UCSF and the City in relation to this expansion. Public input on this MOU is important. See Timeline for more information about how to get involved.

As a State institution, UCSF is not subject to San Francisco’s local land use regulations and permitting jurisdiction. The UC Regents are the body that approves plans and projects at UCSF and certifies environmental review documents pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Some infrastructure projects, such as changes to public streets, and other improvements are subject to the City’s jurisdiction.

In 1976, when UCSF produced a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) for their campuses, the specific plans for the Parnassus Heights campus were described in a Regents-adopted resolution (“1976 Resolution”). In this document, UCSF commitments included:

  • A “space ceiling” of 3.55 million gross square feet (gsf) (later amended in the 2014 LRDP to exclude all residential space on campus).
  • A permanent campus boundary, with no further expansion of UCSF within the area bounded by Golden Gate Park/Oak Street, Ninth Avenue, Clarendon Avenue, and Clayton Street.
  • A permanent Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve (that at the time was set at 58 acres and has since been increased to 61).

These commitments in the 1976 Resolution were in response to community and city concern and are still in place today.

In 1987, the City of San Francisco and UCSF signed their first MOU, in which both bodies agree to ongoing cooperation. The 1987 MOU is available under the Supporting Information tab.

The Comprehensive Plan for Parnassus Heights proposes a phased redevelopment of the campus: new state-of-the-art medical buildings, teaching and learning facilities, public open space, and housing for students and staff. These proposals would require the Regents to amend the “space ceiling”, among other things.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 5 - 7pm is the first community meeting regarding the MOU. City staff will provide an overview of the project and ask for community feedback about MOU priorities. To attend this virtual meeting on Zoom, please register here.
  • Tuesday, November 17 (tentative) is the second community meeting. We will provide a summary of community input and the recommended MOU priorities.  
  • January 20-21 (tentative) the UC Regents will consider an amendment to UCSF’s Long Range Development Plan to incorporate the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan’s proposals; the MOU will be included as a supporting document.

You can find more information about the Comprehensive Plan for Parnassus here:

The Plan document is available here:

The comment period of the Draft EIR closed September 11. You can read the City's comment letter here.

An informational presentation was provided to the Planning Commission on June 4, 2020. The materials are available here: 

In 1987 the City and UCSF signed an MOU covering how the two entities collaborate and work together on issues related to UC facilities and operations in San Francisco.

For additional information on the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of San Francisco and UCSF regarding the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan, please contact us at

Sheila Nickolopoulos
Project Manager/Senior Planner, Citywide Division

Joshua Switzky
Land Use & Community Planning Program Manager, Citywide Division