Ask an Expert (Sven Lavine), Inner Parkside Weather and height restrictions

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”
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As answered by Sven Lavine, of Sven Lavine Architecture

Hi,

I won’t get into the weather, but regarding the expansion, technically, you probably would have a 40 foot height limit in Inner Parkside. But what would actually be allowed by planning would depend on the predominant character of the neighborhood. If there are other adjacent houses which are taller than your potential home, you stand a better chance. If not, you may be able to build something that is set back from the front of the house in a way that the perceived mass is reduced. As is always the case in San Francisco, neighborhood opposition can stop the project, so get your neighbors and architect involved in the beginning.

Good Luck,
Sven Lavine, AIA

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