Here a challenge for those interested. I’m going to present you with an undeveloped or underdeveloped lot in San Francisco. The lot may be undeveloped because it’s publicly owned, too small, irregular, and/or deemed “undevelopable” for whatever reason. The challenge will be to think about and report back on how this lot could further the discussion about tiny house in San Francisco.
The first challenge: 430 Leland Ave. The American Indian Baptist Church. A undivided 17,500 sq ft lot with just one small structure (church). Steep terrain North to South. RH-1 zoned. Assessor Block 6244 Lot 70. Located in Visitacion Valley between Leland and Raymond Ave.
Dan makes a very important point in that advocates need to fully understand what is possible under current zoning codes. If you understand the barriers you can start to make rational suggestions for code amendments. Right now it appears that a collection of small homes on an single lot would be prohibited so I wouldn't begin to entertain the idea of buying land. There needs to a blueprint (or several depending on goals) so that everyone understands the end product . Is it a village in a semi rural area or a few tiny homes on a urban lot? Temporary (mobile) versus permanent?
Searching and finding possible land won't be as difficult as changing codes and gaining political,departmental and community support.
Finding a temporary site IN San Francisco for a village of small houses isn’t impossible. Small house designs are not an unknown. However, What will stop this from happening are current Planning, Zoning, Health, and Building codes. Want to try? 1. Find at least three potential sites for a TEMPORARY demonstration project (land owner’s tentative approval for 6 months??) that can serve as a proof of concept and as a public educational tool. 2. Educate yourself on all the City codes that prohibit this concept. 3. Prepare solid arguments as to why temporary exemptions and variances should be granted. 4. Lobby the Mayor, key department heads, and the District Supervisor where the village could be located. When someone high enough up the City’s chain of command says “yes, lets do this!” then there’s hope. 5. Raise funds…make it happen. 6. Use this demonstration project as catalysis for permanent policy change.