FAQ

GENERAL FAQ
  • WILL YOUR PROPOSED PROJECT REQUIRE ANY ZONING CHANGES?
    Yes. Pursuant to the PPA/EEA application submittal, the project proposes zoning modifications to allow for mixed-use in this predominantly residential project, including:
    1. Ground floor retail and a five-foot height increase above the 40’ height limit along California Street;
    2. One and two floors of additional residential height above the existing building’s height at the center of the site to create more open space on the southern and western portions of the site and;
    3. Public parking spaces that exceed the maximum allowable parking spaces for each of the residential, retail, and commercial uses. These parking requests are subject to City approval.
  • HOW TALL ARE THE BUILDINGS?

    With the exception of the buildings along California Street, all new construction around the project perimeter will be 40 feet tall. On California Street, the proposed height of the new buildings is proposed at 45 feet to allow for viable and gracious ground floor retail.

    On the renovation of Existing Building in the center of the site, we are proposing to add one and two set-back stories, respectively, above the existing elevation of the mechanical floors on Center A and Center B. This equates to 80’ and 92’ as compared to the existing 68.5’ height. It should be noted that the ground where these buildings are being measured is approximately 34’ below the upper grade of the site so these heights would be 46’ and 58’ as measured from the site’s Euclid/Masonic corner (for reference).

    All building heights are measured per Section 260 of the Planning Code.

  • WILL THESE HOMES BE FOR SALE OR FOR RENT?

    The entire project is planned to be condominium mapped as for-sale. However, the final decision about how much, if any, will be for sale will be based upon a number of factors including market conditions, financial feasibility, and affordable housing.

  • WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE PROJECT WILL BE DEDICATED TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING?

    We are working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Planning Department, the Board of Supervisors and the community to best understand the area needs and desires with respect to our affordability requirement. The City has a number of options to satisfy the affordable housing requirement including on-site, off-site, in-lieu fees, and land dedication. There are also varied levels of affordability that can be incorporated including low and middle income and seniors. We anticipate presenting a proposal later in our entitlement process after we have gathered feedback and the project description and unit mix is established. The project team intends to meet or exceed the City requirement of 18% affordability.

  • WHO ARE THE POTENTIAL RETAILERS? ARE THEY “BIG-BOX?”

    We do not have any specific retailers for the project. When the time is right to commence seeking tenants, we will work with the neighborhood and the local merchants to determine the ideal uses for the neighborhood. Our goal will be to attract a mix of local serving retail to complement the retail uses that are already available in the neighborhood. All of our planned spaces are envisioned to be compatible with small businesses and could easily average approximately 2,000 square feet, similar to the Laurel Village shopping center. Our largest space is approximately 6,600 square feet and is further divisible. By comparison, Bryans is approximately 8,000 square feet and Cal-Mart is approximately 11,000 square feet. No big-box retailers would fit in this small scale retail space nor would we lease to any big boxes.

  • WILL THERE BE ON-SITE PARKING? HOW MANY BELOW GRADE PARKING SPACES WILL THERE BE?

    Yes. We have requested 823 parking spots. We have requested the City maximum allowable under the zoning, plus an additional 60 parking spaces that would be available for paid public parking. These parking requests are subject to City approval.

  • WILL THERE BE ONE GARAGE ENTRANCE FOR THE ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT SITE, OR WILL THERE BE MULTIPLE? WHERE WILL THE ENTRYWAY(S) BE? HOW WILL THIS IMPACT STREET TRAFFIC?

    We are proposing the following vehicular entryways into the site (Walnut at California, Presidio between Pine and California, and Masonic between Presidio and Euclid. We are also proposing one new curb cut along Laurel to accommodate 1:1 parking behind the duplex townhomes. By providing multiple driveway entries that are interconnected, the impact on traffic and site circulation will be balanced and distributed around the site.

  • WHAT IS RESOLUTION 4109?

    In 1953, the Planning Commission adopted Resolution 4109 in connection with the re-development of the Property from a public high school (planned to be Lowell HS) to office use for Fireman’s Fund insurance. As part of the commercial rezoning, the Resolution imposed certain conditions, including limitations on the density of residential development along a portion of the western and southern perimeter of the Property.

    Since the adoption of the Resolution, the property’s zoning has changed twice back to a residential use. Because the Project is asking for a change in use (from non-conforming office to primarily residential including a mix of uses such as ground floor retail on California Street), the overall zoning and use for the Property and the conditions set forth in the Resolution will be addressed during the City’s planning process and will be part of the Board of Supervisor’s approvals for the project.

  • HOW ARE YOU HANDLING NOISE AND SPECIFICALLY WHERE WILL THE RESIDENTIAL MOVE-IN AND RETAIL DELIVERY LOADING DOCKS BE LOCATED? WHERE WILL GARAGE/RECYCLING PICKUP BE LOCATED?

    Our current plans place all the residential move-in underground, and we have provided retail loading and delivery space underground as well. Similarly, waste and recycling are planned to be accommodated in the underground garages.

  • WHAT IS THE CURRENT ZONING ON THE PROPERTY?

    The Property is currently zoned RM-1 (residential use) with a 40-X height/bulk designation. The RM-1 residential zoning allows one dwelling unit per 800 square feet of site area. At a land area of approximately 446,468 square feet, the RM-1 zoning allows approximately 558 dwelling units. The site is also eligible for approval as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) since the site is over 20,000 square feet. Under a PUD, the site can be developed to a density consistent with RM-2 zoning, minus one dwelling unit. The RM-2 zoning allows one dwelling unit per 600 square feet of site area and would therefore allow for approximately 744 dwelling units (745 minus 1 unit). In addition to the current RM-1 zoning, a 1953 Planning Commission resolution—known as Resolution 4109, referenced above—has application to the Property during its current non-conforming use classification.

    The base project design that was presented in the PPA/EEA application proposed 558 homes, consistent with the number of homes allowed under the RM-1 zoning. As such, the base project design does not take advantage of the increase in density allowed under a PUD designation. However, an EIR project variant was requested by the City at a density of approximately 744 units. We have developed a senior housing variant for the environmental review that removes 49,999 square feet of commercial space and replaces it with 186 senior housing units across from the 65’ tall JCC. The proposed senior housing variant is being studied at a 67’ height for environmental review purposes.

  • WILL YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE STATE’S DENSITY BONUS AND/OR SAN FRANCISCO’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONUS PROGRAM (AHBP)?

    Our site is designated as an AHBP location, but our current proposed plan does not contemplate this program’s additional density or height.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW FAQ
  • Why does the city conduct an environmental review?

    This process was established under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in 1970 in response to the growing awareness that environmental impacts must be carefully considered in order to avoid unanticipated environmental problems resulting from development or planning efforts. The review process provides the public and policy makers with an analysis of the environmental impacts of a proposed project and an opportunity to include public participation in the approval process.

    In 2016 we began the environmental review process with the City of San Francisco by submitting an Environmental Evaluation Application (EEA) to the Environmental Planning Division of the Planning Department. The environmental review process requires the publication of multiple notices, studies and reports and can take a number of years to complete. Throughout the process various documents are published and made available to the public, with multiple opportunities for members of the community to submit comments directly to the City on the proposed project.

    In September 2017, the City noticed the public that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would be prepared, and held a public scoping meeting on October 16, 2017. This provided the public with an opportunity to provide comment on the project and its potential effects on the neighborhood and assisted the City in its preparation of the Initial Study (discussed below).

  • What is an Initial Study?

    The purpose of an Initial Study is to determine whether a project may have a significant impact on the environment and to identify measures that mitigate potential project environmental impacts. Standard environmental factors that are evaluated for potential impact include topics such as greenhouse gas emissions, land use, biological resources, transportation, cultural resources, historic resources, utilities, hydrology, and noise, among others.

  • What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

    Similar to an Initial Study, an EIR studies whether a project may have a significant impact on the environment and identifies measures to improve or mitigate potential project environmental impacts. The EIR for 3333 California Street focuses on the four topics identified in the Initial Study as needing further study: Cultural Resources, Transportation, Air Quality, and Noise.

  • The Initial Study for 3333 California Street found that further study on the Project is required. What does that mean?

    Our Initial Study identified four topics that required additional study under a focused EIR: cultural resources, transportation, air quality, and noise. Further study is typical of a project of this scope and we continue to work with the City of San Francisco, architects, and expert consultants to assemble the best possible plan.

  • What are mitigation measures?

    During the CEQA process, the City identifies feasible measures that would mitigate or reduce potentially significant environmental impacts resulting from a proposed project to less-than-significant levels. These mitigation measures become part of the final environmental document and conditions of approval, and are monitored and enforced by the City after project approvals.

    Our Initial Study identified 5 mitigation measures for the project and variant: 3 related to cultural resources, 1 related to biological resources, and 1 related to geology and soils (paleontological resources). The final EIR, which is anticipated to be certified later this year, will identify additional mitigation measures.

  • What happens next in the environmental process?

    After the publication of the Initial Study, the community had 30 days to submit comments, which the City considered as it prepared the focused Draft EIR.

    Following publication late last year of the focused Draft EIR, the community had a 45-day review and comment period, which was extended to 60 days at the community’s request. There was a public hearing at the Planning Commission toward the end of the public review period.

    Now that the DEIR public review period has been completed, the City is reviewing all the comments submitted by interested parties, including the Planning Commission, and responding to them in the Final EIR (FEIR). This document will then be presented to the Planning Commission for certification at a public hearing. We will continue to update the website as these dates are determined.

  • What is the Project's environmental review schedule?

    Our Draft EIR was published in early November 2018. The Draft EIR was heard at the Planning Commission in December 2018, and a public review period of 60 days was provided.

    The City is currently working to consider and respond to the comments that they received, which will be incorporated into the Final EIR. Currently, the Final EIR is planned to be presented to the Planning Commission for certification in Q3 2019.