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Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan

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Central Waterfront
project area
central waterfront draft plans
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concept plan
previous workshops
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industrial land use report


Project Area

The general boundary of the Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan is from Mariposa Street south to Islais Creek and from the I-280 east to the Bay.

Central Waterfront Draft Plans

Released December 2007
PART 1: Area Plan
PDF - 9.1 MB
PART 2: Appendix
PDF - 4.9 MB

On the evening of January 22, 2003, the Planning Department was pleased to release the public review draft of the Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan at a reception at the California College of Arts and Crafts. About 50 people attended the event, which was structured as an informal open house, to distribute copies of the plan-a product of two years' work and discussions. A brief presentation outlining the contents of the plan and the process for public comment was followed by lively discussion around a series of graphic boards featuring highlights of the plan proposals.

Download the Public Review Draft
I. Introduction
- pdf | 944 KB
II. Background
- pdf | 2.1 MB

Upcoming Central Waterfront Events
Please stay tuned

Central Waterfront Concept Plan
Over the past year, residents, businesses, neighborhood groups, local agencies and non-profits, the Planning Department staff and a team of consultants have collaboratively grappled with difficult issues regarding the development of the Central Waterfront. We've worked together to imagine a better neighborhood, discussed the issues facing the city and neighborhood, listened as people shared their ideas and concerns, and sought experts to help us find good solutions. These explorations have addressed critical issues concerning the future of industry in the area, the role of this neighborhood in the City's context, how the area's land use patterns can build off of transportation infrastructure to support local residents and businesses, and how to create a physical place capable of being both an enriching pedestrian-friendly neighborhood and a thriving place of business.

The images and descriptions in this plan represent a series of concepts that were presented for review by community members at a series of workshops in September. We are currently refining these proposals based on comments from community members. Presented here are the essential components of a Concept Plan that synthesizes the results of these explorations: land use program, urban design framework and transportation.

Most cities have only a limited amount of space in which to accommodate growth and change, a condition that nearly inevitably leads to competition among land uses. This is especially true in a geographically constrained and largely built-out city such as San Francisco. In particular, San Francisco's industrial areas have recently seen tremendous pressure from the super-charged housing and office markets generated by the high-tech boom - and the Central Waterfront is no exception. In fact, other pressures are being brought to bear on the Central Waterfront, including development of Mission Bay immediately to the north, and the construction of Muni's 3rd Street Light Rail extension.

This crescendo of pressures has led to a watershed moment in the evolution of the Central Waterfront. The debate surrounding the area's future revolves around whether to allow construction of significant amounts of new housing, protect and foster existing industries, or both. The future of the area is very much an open question. This Central Waterfront Better Neighborhoods 2002 process is exploring these questions and evaluating several alternative land use futures for the area.


A neighborhood's feel and memorable quality comes not just from its individual buildings or the types of land uses assembled, but from the physical tissues which tie it all together -- the public realm of streets and open spaces -- and the overall arrangement of building types which frame these spaces. The urban design framework addresses elements of a place which help determine how well people can orient and navigate to and within the area, access area amenities, identify with the neighborhood, and feel uplifted by their surroundings. The urban design framework for the Central Waterfront builds on and enhances the area's existing character and identifiable features, as well as fills in the gaps needed to weave these together, such as by encouraging a better pedestrian environment.

The gritty, industrial character of the Central Waterfront extends to the transportation system serving it. While some decent transit services operate in the area, the area's transportation network as a whole does not well accommodate all of the components of a balanced transportation system. Transit stops, including the Caltrain station, provide an uninviting waiting environment. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities are notably absent, making a journey by foot or pedal through the area a rough experience. Parking management and restrictions are nonexistent, leaving some areas overburdened and some underutilized for parking. To sustain vitality and growth in any sector - retail, residential, commercial, industrial, -- these shortcomings must be addressed.

Previous Workshops
Neighborhood Workshop #5:
Refining Land Use and Urban Design
September 28, 2002
Workshop #5 Comments
Neighborhood Workshop #4:
Reviewing Initial Concepts
September 25, 2001
Workshop #4 Comments
Neighborhood Workshop #3:
Opportunities and Possibilities
February 1, 2001
Workshop #3 Comments
Neighborhood Workshop #2:
Imagining a Better Neighborhood: What We Heard and Learned
August 24, 2000
Workshop #2 Comments
Neighborhood Workshop #1:
Imagining a Better Neighborhood: What Makes a Great Neighborhood
May 3, 2000.
Workshop #1 Comments
Neighborhood Walking Tour:
June 8, 2000
Walking Tour Comments
.Bus Tour of Other Neighborhoods:
June 3, 2000.
Bus Tour Comments

Community Feedback (click here to view comments)

Industrial Land Use Report (download the report)

Ken Rich - 415.558.6345
Last updated: 6/28/2013 9:51:34 AM