The Project Review Committee reviews projects according to the set of guidelines outlined below. Project sponsors will present on how their proposed development meets each guideline in a 20 minute presentation to our Committee. Projects with reduced car parking, high bicycle parking ratios, higher-than-required environmental standards and higher-than-required inclusionary housing receive enhanced support. Each project will receive a report card or letter with our endorsement or specific recommendations for improvement.
All SFHAC and BayHAC Business Members are welcome to attend and engage in the Committee.
Project Review Guidelines
Housing should be an appropriate use of the site given the context of the adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood, and should enhance neighborhood livability.
The project should take full advantage of the maximum unit density and/or building envelope, allowable under the zoning rules.
The need for affordable housing, including middle income (120-150 percent of AMI) housing, is a critical problem. SFHAC gives special support to projects that propose creative ways to expand or improve unit affordability beyond the legally mandated requirements.
SFHAC expects the projects it endorses to include creative strategies to reduce the need for parking, such as ample bicycle storage, provision of space for car-share vehicles on-site or nearby, unbundling parking cost from residential unit cost, and measures to incentivize transit use. Proximity to transit should result in less need for parking.
In districts with an as-of-right maximum and discretionary approval up to an absolute maximum, SFHAC will support parking exceeding the as-of-right maximum only to the extent the Code criteria for doing so are clearly met. In districts where the minimum parking requirement is one parking space per residential unit (1:1), SFHAC will not, except in extraordinary circumstances, support a project with parking in excess of that amount.
If there are structures of significant historic or cultural merit on the site, their retention and/or incorporation into the project consistent with historic preservation standards is encouraged. If such structures are to be demolished, there should be compelling reasons for doing so.
The project should promote principles of good urban design: Where appropriate, contextual design that is compatible with the adjacent streetscape and existing neighborhood character while at the same time utilizing allowable unit density: pleasant and functional private and/or common open space; pedestrian, bicycle and transit friendly site planning; and design treatments that protect and enhance the pedestrian realm, with curb cuts minimized and active ground floor uses provided.
Projects with a substantial number of multiple bedroom units should consider including features that will make the project friendly to families with children.
SFHAC is particularly supportive of projects that employ substantial and/or innovative measures that will enhance their sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.
Housing projects have an impact on their community far beyond the residents that will occupy it, and SFHAC supports projects that have a net positive impact across a broad set of stakeholders. This requires both a good faith effort to do outreach to the community and gather input on their needs and concerns, as well as coordinated effort to integrate a comprehensive set of community benefit objectives that are achievable without sacrificing SFHAC objectives.
Examples of community benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Community Benefits Districts (CBD’s), Business Improvement Districts (BID’s), Green Benefits Districts (GBD’s) etc.
- Streetscape & Public Realm Improvements
- Public Art / Interim Use / Early Activation
- Unit mixes / types that serve local needs
- Construction Benefits - Utilizes contractors paying area standards wages, participating in joint apprenticeship programs, and utilizing local trades workers.
- Small / Local Business Support
Projects for which the developer has made a good faith effort to communicate to the community and to address legitimate neighborhood concerns, without sacrificing SFHAC’s objectives, will receive more SFHAC support.
Questions and Answers
The Committee is chaired by Christopher Roach of Studio VARA. All SFHAC and BayHAC Business Members are welcome to attend and engage in Project Review meetings.
Contact SFHAC Project Manager Nico Nagle at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a presentation.
Presenting to SFHAC should be part of the community outreach process. You should be able to clearly address our guidelines and present flushed out renderings of the building design.
SFHAC will write a report card or letter explaining how the project meets our guidelines. The letter will be sent to the project sponsor to include in their communications with Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, City Council, etc. In our report card or letter, we may include suggestions on how the Committee believes a project might be improved. We ask the project team to keep us informed of the project's status and all meetings staff should attend. If requested, SFHAC staff, Board or Committee members will speak on a project’s behalf at the City’s public hearings.
The SFHAC and BayHAC are well-respected voices for sensible housing and land-use policies that bring badly-needed housing to Bay Area. Our advocacy is intended to help secure entitlements for good projects that will provide homes for people.
Primary Location: Solomon Cordwell Buenz | 255 California St, 3rd Floor
Date: Wednesday - Twice per month
Time: 8:30 - 10:00 AM
Committee Chair: Christopher Roach, Studio VARA