Duboce Park Landmark District
Current Project Background
San Francisco will soon obtain its 12th landmark district. The Duboce Park Historic District was identified and documented as eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 and was added to the Planning Department’s Landmark Designation Work Program in 2011. Boasting one of the most intact collections of “Painted Ladies” in the city (81 of the district’s 90 buildings are “contributing” historic resources), the four blocks that comprise Duboce Park are undeniably special and worthy of protection. Over the past two years, the Planning Department and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener have lead an unprecedented community outreach effort to educate residents and property owners about what the designation would mean for their neighborhood and to rally support for the district.
The exemplary public process has yielded review standards that allow unparalleled flexibility for owners looking to expand or renovate their historic homes. Based on input from residents and Supervisor Wiener, the Planning Department made over two dozen changes in order to streamline approval and exempt entire classes of projects from historic review altogether – only major additions necessitate review by the Historic Preservation Commission. Landmark designation of Duboce Park will, in some cases, result in less expensive fees and a quicker review time.
Additionally, in response to complaints about seemingly illusory preservation incentives, Supervisor Wiener worked with Heritage and the Planning Department to craft legislation to ease access to property tax benefits under the City’s Mills Act program for historic homeowners in Duboce Park and throughout the city. Owners of contributing buildings within the proposed district qualify for a property tax reduction – often 50 percent or more – to offset the costs of maintaining and improving their historic home.
Heritage testified at public hearings in support of the proposed Duboce Park Historic District, including the December 12, 2012 Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and May 13, 2013 Land Use and Economic Development Committee (LUC) of the Board of Supervisors. On June 4, 2013 the full Board of Supervisors voted to approve the proposed Duboce Park Landmark District and now the proposed legislation will be forwarded to Mayor Ed Lee for his final signature. For more information and regular updates, visit the Planning Department’s webpage.