Protecting Industrial Uses in a Tech Bubble
You'll learn about:
- How the intentions of certain zoning codes and regulations cannot accurately match up to new and upcoming businesses
- Examples of hybrid businesses and how they do not neatly fit into existing land-use categories
- Why new hybrid businesses do not necessarily need to be separated from sensitive receptors or need such large buildings
- Modern tools and machinery used for design and manufacturing
In 2008, at the height of the recession, San Francisco rezoned the eastern end of the city. This added a number of areas permitting housing, office, and designated industrial areas to be protected—areas known as PDR (production, distribution, and repair) districts. PDR districts permit and preserve land for industrial and arts uses while creating buffers between traditional noisy industrial uses (like heavy machinery) and quieter businesses/residential areas.
Now, almost 10 years later, the “tech boom” has brought a significant number of start-up businesses to San Francisco seeking office space, and the city is now under extreme pressure for resources, including office space. In 2015, the city's Planning Department received more than 100 complaints regarding illegal office conversions from single-family dwellings to industrial warehouses. This avalanche of complaints has led to a number of eye-opening discoveries, including the amount of industrial spaces lost in PDR districts, the blurring of tech and manufacturing, and gaps in the permitting process. This presentation will address the following questions and topics: What if these PDR industries really don’t exist anymore? Are we protecting nostalgic memories for businesses that are no longer viable? Is PDR enforcement swimming against the tide? If these businesses change so often, how do we enforce/monitor PDRs?
, San Francisco Planning Department
, City & County of San Francisco
, San Francisco
Confirmed SpeakerLaura Lynch is a Code Enforcement Planner with the City and County of San Francisco. Laura has been with the Planning Department for four years and primarily works on the preservation of industrial businesses with the Zoning and Compliance team. Laura has also worked within the Environmental Planning Division and has assisted with a number of process improvement projects department-wide. Laura received a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning with a Minor in Sustainable Environments from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
, City of San Fransisco
, San Francisco
Confirmed SpeakerChristine Haw is the Code Enforcement Manager for the San Francisco Planning Department. Christine has been with the Planning Department for 15 years and previously worked for the SF Mayor's Office.
, San Francisco City-County
, San Francisco
Confirmed SpeakerJohn Rahaim was appointed Planning Director for the City and County of San Francisco in January 2008. In that role he is responsible for overseeing long range planning, environmental reviews, and development entitlements for most physical development in the City. Prior to his appointment in San Francisco, Mr. Rahaim was Director of Long Range Planning for the City of Seattle, and was the Founding Executive Director of CityDesign, Seattle’s office of Urban Design founded. Prior to Seattle, Mr. Rahaim was with the City of Pittsburgh, where he served as Associate Director of the Department of City Planning. Mr. Rahaim received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Rahaim’s career path in planning and urban design has been a reaction to that circumstance. Mr. Rahaim has overseen the completion of ten neighborhood plans in San Francisco, covering nearly 20% of the city's land area, and directing the city's growth for decades. The ongoing work of the department includes reviews for 8000 projects per year, of which nearly 2000 require detailed review and analysis, more than any US city.