San Francisco Board of Supervisors Must Approve Changes to Planning Code for a Better Future

San Francisco is a city known for its beauty, diversity, and economic opportunities. However, it also faces significant challenges in terms of housing affordability and availability. To address these pressing issues, the San Francisco Planning Commission has approved changes to the Planning Code, offering a promising solution. Now, it is crucial for the Board of Supervisors to follow suit and pass Ordinance 230446. The proposed changes, including increased density and faster permitting times, will not only benefit luxury property owners but also lower-income residents, middle-income homeowners, and landlords.

Streamlined Permitting Process

One of the key advantages of the proposed changes is the potential to streamline the permitting process. Currently, obtaining approvals for housing additions can take up to two years, causing unnecessary delays and frustration for property owners. By allowing additions to be approved at the counter, the new ordinance would significantly reduce the waiting time. This improvement would benefit everyone, from homeowners seeking to expand their living space to developers looking to add units to their properties. A more efficient permitting process will enable San Francisco to meet its housing element goals more effectively.

Increased Density for a Balanced Housing Market

The proposed changes would allow for increased density throughout the city. Minimum lot widths would be reduced to 20 feet, and minimum lot areas would be lowered to 1,200 square feet for all districts. These adjustments would enable developers to build more units per lot, addressing the housing shortage that has plagued San Francisco for years.

Contrary to the misconception that these changes would solely benefit luxury property owners, they would have a broader positive impact. Allowing developers to build more units per lot not only creates housing options for middle-income homeowners and landlords but also provides opportunities for lower-income residents to access more affordable housing. By diversifying the housing stock, the changes would help alleviate the housing crisis and make San Francisco a more inclusive and equitable city.

Improved Flexibility for Historic Resources

The proposed ordinance also recognizes the importance of preserving historic resources while addressing housing needs. Under certain conditions, historic resources would receive a density exception for 4-6 units. This approach strikes a balance between safeguarding the city’s heritage and providing additional housing options. Furthermore, historic resources may be eligible for permit fee waivers, encouraging property owners to invest in preservation efforts while still contributing to the overall housing supply.

Economic Benefits and Lower Housing Costs

Creating a more favorable environment for housing development through increased density will have positive economic impacts. According to the basic principles of supply and demand, an increase in housing supply should help alleviate skyrocketing housing prices. By allowing developers to build more units, the changes will contribute to a more balanced market, promoting greater affordability and reducing the financial burden on residents.


Approving the changes to the Planning Code proposed by Ordinance 230446 is crucial for the future of San Francisco. It presents a unique opportunity to address the city’s housing crisis, improve the permitting process, and create a more inclusive and equitable housing market. While some may argue that the changes primarily benefit luxury property owners, the truth is that they offer solutions for residents across different income brackets. By increasing density, allowing for historic resource exceptions, and streamlining the permitting process, the Board of Supervisors can pave the way for a brighter future for all San Francisco residents. Let us remember that every vote counts, and by approving this ordinance, we can bring about positive change that will benefit the entire city.

You can find contact information for your supervisor here.  Contact them today and let them know you support the changes and why they should approve the new ordinance.

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