Midtown Terrace should be rezoned as RH-1 (D)

Here is how the San Francisco planning code describes RH-1 and RH-1 (D):


These districts are intended to recognize, protect, conserve and enhance areas characterized by dwellings in the form of houses, usually with one, two or three units with separate entrances, and limited scale in terms of building width and height. Such areas tend to have similarity of building styles and predominantly contain large units suitable for family occupancy, considerable open space, and limited nonresidential uses. The RH Districts are composed of five separate classes of districts, as follows:

RH-1(D) Districts: One-Family (Detached Dwellings).These districts are characterized by lots of greater width and area than in other parts of the City, and by single-family houses with side yards. The structures are relatively large, but rarely exceed 35 feet in height. Ground level open space and landscaping at the front and rear are usually abundant. Much of the development has been in sizable tracts with similarities of building style and narrow streets following the contours of hills. In some cases private covenants have controlled the nature of development and helped to maintain the street areas.

RH-1 Districts: One-Family. These districts are occupied almost entirely by single-family houses on lots 25 feet in width, without side yards. Floor sizes and building styles vary, but tend to be uniform within tracts developed in distinct time periods. Though built on separate lots, the structures have the appearance of small-scale row housing, rarely exceeding 35 feet in height. Front setbacks are common, and ground level open space is generous. In most cases the single-family character of these districts has been maintained for a considerable time.

Based on the above statutory definitions, the grid below analyzes the appropriate classification of Midtown Terrace. As is obvious, the Midtown Terrace section of San Francisco is overwhelmingly more consistent with the statutory definition of RH-1(D) than with RH-1. Failure to zone it as RH-1(D) appears to be erroneous on its face.




Midtown Terrace

Midtown Terr. best fits:


Almost entirely 25

Greater width

than other areas

Typical 33-44; almost none are as small as 25



Row houses (not detached, no side yards)

Detached / side yards

Detached / small but distinct side yards

RH 1-(D)

Building style

Uniform within tract

Similar within


Multiple styles but similar

RH 1(D)

House Size


Relatively large

Varies; typically 2 bath, 2-3

bedroom with ample downstairs

expansion room

Close call but RH-1(D) is better fit.

Open space

Ground level open

space generous

Abundant open space / landscaping

Some front and rear landscaping; large greenbelt rear yards

Differs from both, but certainly consistent with RH-1(D)

Street alignment

Not described (but presumably typical SF grid pattern)

Narrow streets following contour of hill.

Mostly narrow, winding streets following contour of hills.

RH-1 (D)


Not mentioned.

Private covenants controlling nature of development.

Private covenants controlling nature of development