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, 2020 was the first community meeting regarding the MOU. City staff provided an overview of the project and asked for community feedback about MOU priorities. Materials for this meeting are available under the "Supporting Info" tab. 
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2020 was the second community meeting. The City provided a summary of community input and the proposed MOU terms. Materials for this meeting are available under the "Supporting Info" tab.
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021 was the third community meeting. The City reviewed the terms in the draft MOU. Materials for this meeting are available under the "Supporting Info" tab.
  • Thursday, January 7, 2021 City Staff gave an informational presentation to the Planning Commission about the terms of the MOU. The presentation is available under the "Supporting Info" tab. 
  • Monday, January 11, 2021 The Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee discusses the MOU. 

Presentations and Meetings

An informational presentation about the Plan and MOU is provided to the Planning Commission on January 7, 2021. The materials are available here.

Community Meeting #3 (January 6, 2021): MOU Presentation and discussion of the proposed MOU terms

Community Meeting #2 (December 9, 2020): MOU Presentation and discussion of the proposed MOU terms:

An informational presentation about the Plan and MOU was provided at a public community meeting on September 29, 2020:

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

Additional Information

You can find more information about the Comprehensive Plan for Parnassus here: https://www.ucsf.edu/cphp

The Plan document is available here: https://ucsf.app.box.com/v/parnassusplan

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

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 CPC.ParnassusMOU@sfgov.org.

To stay informed about the MOU and other Planning Department efforts in your neighborhood or citywide, please sign up for Planning Department email notifications. 

To stay informed about the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan, its EIR, and Plan implementation, please sign up for UCSF Parnassus Heights email notifications and indicate which neighborhoods you would like updates on. 

Sheila Nickolopoulos
Project Manager/Senior Planner, Citywide Division
Sheila.Nickolopoulos@sfgov.org

Joshua Switzky
Land Use & Community Planning Program Manager, Citywide Division
Joshua.Switzky@sfgov.org