Ask an Expert, Height limits in Outer Sunset/Parkside (Alexander Clark)

“hello,

I recently bought a house in the outer sunset district (48th and Ortega ) of San Francisco. I am trying to figure out exactly what are the building/remodeling restrictions for my zone. Specifically I am interested in finding out about height restrictions, such as building a third story for an ocean view or adding a roof deck. Is there a height limit? Is there a story limit? etc. I believe my unit to be zoned rh-1 and I also believe the house to be in a coastal zone, this probably has some bearing on the answer. Please let me know what you think or where to go for this kind of info. Thank you.”-rob

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As answered by Alexander Clark, sfnewsletter

Rob,

I would advise going down to the Planning Department, stating your situation, and discussing with someone behind the counter. If you go down to the Planning Dept. you’ll get a lot further than going through on-line.

Planning Dept. Website. There is almost too much information there, so I’m sticking with my suggestion of going down to the counter.

Planning Dept is located at 1660 Mission, Suite 500. Main # is 558-6378, Zoning is 5th floor, 558-6350, Planning is 558-6377. You might try emailing david.lindsay@sfgov.org, or calling him at the main number. He was involved in a deal I did a while back and memory tells me he is a decision maker down there.

I would also consult with an architect, and/or contractor as they are usually the ones that push your permits through and know about local ordinances as regards to design and planning. I can recommend a couple if need be.

If you build up and may block someone else’s view, you could run into opposition. If not, I’ll be calling for the surf report.

Please let me know if this information is helpful, if not, we’ll get you more.

thanks,
alex

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