Articles 10 and 11

The Latest

On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, the Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to pass comprehensive amendments to Articles 10 and 11. The legislation was introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener and co-sponsored by Supervisor Christina Olague. The vote included a series of new amendments that address concerns raised by Heritage and the preservation community:

–Supervisor Wiener introduced an amendment to explicitly state in Section 1004.1 that members of the public can request the HPC to nominate individual landmarks and historic districts. The amendment passed unanimously.

–Supervisor Wiener introduced an amendment to narrow the scope of the proposed affordable housing exemption in Section 1006.6(h) to projects where at least 80 percent of units are subsidized. Supervisor Avalos offered a further amendment to define qualifying rental units as up to 100 percent area median income (AMI) and ownership units as up to 120 percent AMI, respectively. Supervisor Avalos’ amendment narrowly passed 6 to 5.

–Supervisor Campos introduced an amendment to eliminate the mandatory written vote requirement for proposed historic districts and conservation districts, substituting the more flexible language recommended by the HPC. This amendment also narrowly passed on a 6-to-5 vote.

Supervisors Mar and Avalos introduced additional amendments that did not pass. Thanks to everyone who contacted the Board of Supervisors in the days leading up to the final vote. Your voice made a difference!

Chart summarizing Articles 10 & 11 revisions


San Francisco City Hall. Photo by Wally Gobetz.

With the passage of Proposition J in November 2008, San Franciscans expressed their desire to elevate the role of historic preservation in the city’s planning processes. Approved by 57 percent of voters, the measure called for a comprehensive overhaul of the City’s preservation program guided by best practices from other large cities across the country. Among other key changes, Proposition J replaced the city’s former nine-member Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board with a seven-member Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), conferring additional authority on the HPC to make recommendations directly to the Board of Supervisors on the designation of landmark buildings and historic districts.

The task of fully implementing the voters’ intent proved elusive and often contentious, with initial legislative proposals to update the City’s framework of preservation protections in Articles 10 and 11 of the City Planning Code erupting in controversy. In July 2010, the Planning Department introduced a package of “clean-up” revisions to bring Articles 10 and 11 mostly into conformance with Proposition J.  As the new HPC grappled with these changes, it soon became clear that the proposed “clean-up” fixes could not be enacted without implicating much broader substantive issues and creating internal inconsistencies within the City codes.

Since July 2010, Heritage has been a regular presence at over 25 HPC, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisor hearings providing testimony and written comments on the proposed changes, offering examples of best practices from other cities, and seeking to build consensus among stakeholders within the preservation, business, and development communities and Planning Department staff.

On September 7, 2011, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the first in a series of five memos floating ideas for additional amendments to Articles 10 and 11. Heritage’s detailed comment letters in response to Supervisor Wiener’s proposed amendments are provided below.

From September 2011 to February 2012, both the HPC and Planning Commission held separate public hearings to consider Supervisor Wiener’s amendments. On February 2, 2012, the Planning Commission unanimously adopted a compromise resolution for Articles 10 and 11 that echoed the HPC version approved the day before. Although many of Supervisor Wiener’s proposals remained, the most controversial amendments were either modified or sent back to the drawing board.

On March 27, 2012, Supervisor Wiener introduced legislation to comprehensively update and amend Articles 10 and 11 based on the version approved by the Planning Commission.

On May 8, 2012, the BOS voted 8-3 to pass comprehensive amendments to Articles 10 and 11. The vote included a series of new amendments that address concerns raised by Heritage and the preservation community.

To help navigate this complex legislation, Heritage developed a chart summarizing the evolution of Supervisor Wiener’s original proposed revisions to Articles 10 and 11 and the final version approved on May 8, 2012.

Past Letters

Joint Heritage, CPF, & NTHP comments to BOS (5-7-12)
Heritage comments to Land Use Committee (4-30-12)
Heritage comments to Planning Commission (2-2-12)
Heritage comments to HPC (12-8-11)
Heritage comments to HPC (11-2-11)
Heritage comments to HPC (10-19-11)
Heritage comments to HPC (10-5-11)


To submit comments on this preservation project, complete our online comment form.