General Plan

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Helping Local Residents and Businesses

The South San Francisco General Plan exemplifies the role comprehensive planning can play in a built-out city. The General Plan boasts the Economic Development element that goes beyond the boilerplate of business retention. The City's Economic Development element actually lays out a strategy that promotes transit village development, calls for employee amenity centers in the East of 101 area, coordination with the biotechnology and hotel industries, downtown revitalization, and improved child care and housing opportunities for all income groups.


Several innovative strategies were used, including:

  • Neighborhood-Oriented Development - Land uses are designated to ensure balanced neighborhood development with a mix of uses and provision of parks, stores, and offices in neighborhoods that presently lack them. The Plan also includes detailed policies for each of the City's neighborhoods.
  • Economic Development and Diversification - Articulates the City's leadership role; The Plan also designates a new work / live district adjacent to downtown.
    Increased Connectivity and Accessibility - Freeways and major arterials sever the City into four major fragments. Roadway improvements and new streets, such as those along abandoned railroad rights of way are included to link different neighborhoods.
  • Redevelopment of Older Industrial Areas - The needs of business centers, which include smaller blocks, more thorough street connections, ancillary facilities such as restaurants, easier connections to transit, sidewalks, and bike-ways, and higher landscape standards, are much different from those of warehousing and industrial areas. The General Plan outlines a cohesive strategy that protects selected industrial areas and policies to guide transformation of others.
  • Land Use / Transportation Correlation and Promotion of Transit - Land uses, mixes, and development intensities in the General Plan have been designed to capitalize on major regional transit improvements underway and to promote alternative forms of transit. High-intensity, mixed-use districts are proposed near BART stations and incentives are offered specific transit-oriented amenities.
  • Reinforcement of Downtown as the City's Center - The General Plan seeks to reinforce the downtown identity and role as the physical and symbolic center of the City. Plan strategies include increased residential development to increase the downtown's population base, better connections with surrounding neighborhoods, and ensure that commercial uses outside downtown do not compete with downtown.
  • Enhancement of Community Character - The General Plan includes specific urban design policies that are included for areas such as Lindenville and US 101 that are undergoing change. In addition, strategies are offered for providing a cohesive image and identity for key corridors, such as El Camino Real.
  • Coordinated Shoreline Development and Increased Accessibility - The General Plan seeks to increase shoreline accessibility through a multi-pronged strategy that includes physical improvements and location of activities, such as new parks, Town Center, and a public marketplace near the water.
  • Performance-Based Standards for Services to Ensure Sustainability - The Plan includes standards for capital facilities and public services, such as streets.

Contact Us

Planning Division

315 Maple Ave.
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Ph: (650) 877-8535
Fx: (650) 829-6639

Department Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Counter Closed Tuesdays,
10:00 am - 12:00 noon