Youth and Family Special Use District
With San Francisco having the smallest population of children of any American city, there has been much research, discussions and policy recommendations about how to retain and attract children, youth and their families, including grandparents and seniors, to our City. There is broad consensus about dealing with the main issues of concern for San Francisco families, namely: affordable housing, the high cost of living, quality of public schools, parks and recreational opportunities and connections to family-friendly services and information.
Following years of participatory community planning and successful organizing and advocacy efforts led by SOMCAN in coalition with other organizations, on January 19, 2009 the City and County of San Francisco adopted the SOMA Youth and Family Special Use District (SUD). The Youth and Family SUD was adopted as part of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, which changed the zoning for the entire eastern side of San Francisco, including the South of Market, Mission and Potrero Hill Districts.
The SOMA Youth and Family SUD is referenced by the Planning Commission when considering approvals for developments in the SUD, which includes an area just past 4th Street to past 7th Street, past Natoma to Harrison. The SUD establishes a vision for how the 12 block area should grow over the next 15-30 years.
The goals of the SUD includes:
the provision of affordable housing;
protecting and enhancing the health and environment of youth and families by encouraging uses that support their livelihoods, such as employment, workforce development, small businesses, open spaces, community-based organizations, schools, public transit, and pedestrian safety.
SOMCAN and its partners are working to strengthen the legislation language and expand the boundaries of the SOMA Youth and Family SUD.
Central SOMA Plan
In April of 2013, the Planning Department published the Draft Central Corridor Plan. This Plan attempts to accomplish the following five goals for the central part of SOMA:
Support transit-oriented growth, particularly workplace growth, in the Central Corridor Area.
Shape the area’s urban form recognizing both city and neighborhood contexts.
Maintain the area’s vibrant economic and physical diversity.
Support growth with improved streets, additional open space, and other elements of "complete communities".
Create a model of sustainable growth.
However, without culturally-competent outreach, discussion and input from the low-income, immigrant, and people-of-color SOMA residents, this plan will not have a positive impact to the most vulnerable populations and longtime residents.
SOMCAN and its partners are working with the City Planning Department to strengthen the area plan to address the needs of our members, and the most vulnerable populations in SOMA.