Tomorrow the Planning and Rec & Parks Commissions will hold a joint hearing to hammer out some details on the Transbay Transit District. Seven parks in the city (Union Square, St. Mary's Square, Portsmouth Square, Justin Herman Plaza, Maritime Plaza, Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground, and Boeddeker Park) could be potentially affected by shadows from future development in the Transit District, so the cumulative shadow limits have to be raised. A 1984 voter-approved initiative known as the "Sunlight Ordinance" protects sunlight for city-owned parks and open space unless the Planning Commission votes that the shadows are insignificant. The planning document they'll be voting from shows a whole slew of shadow mock-ups throughout the year at different times of day. By raising the shadow limits on the downtown parks, new development projects would have more wiggle room to add height and density to future towers allotted for in the transit district plan. In addition to raising the shadow limits, the commissions will also vote on whether the new Transbay Tower project (pretty much the only district high-rise in the works right now) will have a shadow impact. The hearing is slated for 10am on Thursday.
· Special Joint Hearing with Rec & Park Commission, October 11, 2012 [SF Planning]
· Past Coverage of Transbay Shadow Impacts [Curbed SF archives]
· Transbay Plan Bumps into 'Sunlight Ordinance' [SF Gate]