City Introduces Legislation to Advance Protections for Industrial Businesses in San Francisco


Legislation Allows for More Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) spaces, Removes Non-PDR Uses, Encourage Development of Ground Floor PDR Spaces

San Francisco, CA – Legislation designed to enhance zoning protections for industrials businesses in San Francisco was introduced this week by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the Planning Department. Building on Mayor Lee’s 5-Point Production, Distribution, Repair (PDR) plan, this legislation will work to preserve existing industrial space in San Francisco.

“We want San Francisco to be a place where working class families can raise their children, and for that to happen we need good-paying jobs for all people,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This legislation will ensure that San Francisco continues to attract important manufacturing and industrial businesses across a variety of sectors.”

“The Office of Economic and Workforce Development is working work to protect industrial-zoned spaces that are vital to our local economy.” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.  “We are committed to ensuring these spaces are available to industrial businesses so they have the ability to continue to start, stay, and grow here in San Francisco— preserving good middle income jobs for residents.”

The legislation introduced has three main components:

  • Eliminates the Transit-Oriented Retail Special Use District. This Special Use District (SUD), which encompassed PDR districts on 16th Street from Mission Street to Potrero Avenue, has not resulted in attracting retail to the area. Removal of this District will ensure industrial businesses occupy the PDR space in this area.
  • Removes gyms and massage facilities from areas zoned for PDR.  These types of uses are not consistent with the goals of PDR zoning. By removing these types of uses, the legislation will ensure more space is preserved for industrial businesses.
  • Corrects height limits in select Urban Mixed Use zoned parcels citywide to allow for more PDR use at the ground floor.  Industrial businesses often require higher ceiling heights in order to operate.  When height limits for the ground floor are raised to accommodate these businesses, the buildings overall height limits must be raised in a proportionate amount in order to maintain the development potential of the parcel.  This change will allow for this commensurate height revision.

“Maximizing opportunities for manufacturing and industrial jobs that provide living wages is an essential strategy in addressing our City’s affordability crisis,” said District Nine Supervisor Ronen, a co-sponsor of the legislation.

This legislation was developed with feedback from local industrial business and advocates in the Mission District neighborhood.  The legislation was crafted jointly by the Mayor’s Office, Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the Planning Department. These agencies will continue to refine land use policies to support industrial businesses and preserve good middle income job opportunities for residents and the local economy. 

“The City is committed to furthering the goals of the original Eastern Neighborhoods Plan for the preservation of land zoned for industrial uses,” said John Rahaim, Director of San Francisco Planning.  “This legislation is the first of many planned actions to support the needs of the Mission District through the Mission Action Plan 2020.”

In January, Mayor Lee and Supervisor Ronen introduced legislation aimed at preserving and enhancing the prevailing neighborhood ch  aracter of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District—located within the Mission District—through a set of comprehensive zoning regulations on new commercial uses. The legislation was heard by the Planning Commission and unanimously approved yesterday.

Industrial businesses are important to San Francisco’s economy for a number of reasons. These businesses and their workforce prepare food and make locally made products such as chocolates, clothing, 3-D printers, print books and newspapers. They produce sounds and images for movies, pick and sort mail and garbage and fix cars, among several other activities. These businesses also provide space for art performances, furniture and food wholesaling. The industrial jobs created by these companies are often well paying and do not require a four-year degree.  Land for industrial businesses is protected in San Francisco through PDR zoning, particularly in the eastern and southeast sectors of the City.

About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development's (OEWD) mission is simple – to create shared prosperity in San Francisco. OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning. For more information, go to:




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