The Waterfront Planning Process

The Port's Waterfront Plan is the product of a seven-year, citizen-led land use planning effort.

Proposition H, passed by San Francisco voters in 1990, required preparation of a land use plan for the Port's piers and properties nearest the shore. To ensure a comprehensive plan, the Port Commission extended the planning area to include all Port properties and created the Waterfront Plan Advisory Board to recommend a land use plan for Port Commission adoption. The Advisory Board included citizens; maritime, labor and neighborhood representatives; Port tenants; and architects and urban planners. In developing the Plan, the Port Commission and Advisory Board held more than 100 public meetings and participated in numerous meetings of neighborhood and community groups during which they discussed and carefully considered maritime industry needs, waterfront regulations, community concerns, surrounding land uses, and financial conditions which affect Port lands.

Throughout the public planning process, the diverse citizenry of San Francisco described the waterfront of their dreams. Some called for maritime industry and commerce. Others called for new recreation and thriving business activities, for places to eat and drink, run errands, work, rent a bike, launch a dingy, or to take refuge on a windy and foggy summer day. Still others called for quiet and restful places to enjoy the nature and beauty of the Bay. Most called for all of these places. The Plan represents the public's consensus about how to achieve these dreams and to reunite the City with its spectacular waterfront.

The Port maintains regular community contact and participation in all of its planning and development efforts through its various Advisory Groups. Comprised of residents from the waterfront community and representatives from business, maritime, design, industry, the environment, and other stakeholder groups, the Advisory Groups serve two primary functions. First, Advisory Groups are formed to help the Port draft Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for all new, major waterfront development projects. Some Advisory Groups remain active past the initial RFP stage, and meet regularly to advise Port staff on projects within their subarea of the waterfront. The Port also forms Advisory Groups to advise staff on focused issues affecting the entire waterfront, such as design review, water quality, or maritime commerce. Together, these Advisory Groups allow the Port to actively and continuously involve the entire community in waterfront planning and development projects.