Housing OK’d to Replace Lawton St. Gas Station

By Thomas K. Pendergast


A Union-76 gas station at the corner of 42nd Avenue and Lawton Street will be

demolished and replaced by a mixed-use, four-story building with 15 residential units

and ground-floor retail space.


3601 Lawton_02.jpg copy

This is an artist’s rendition of the proposed housing and commercial space development planned for the commercial lot currently occupied by a gas station on Lawton Street in the
Outer Sunset District. Lawton Street is in the foreground.


On Dec. 21, the SF Planning Commission unanimously approved a Conditional Use

Authorization for the project, as proposed by San Francisco Kodorski Design Inc., a San

Francisco company.


The 40-foot-tall building will contain a total of 40,000 square feet, of which 4,500 square

feet on the ground floor will be reserved for retail space fronting Lawton Street. It will

also include 6,990 square feet of “private” open space located on the building’s roof and

rear yard areas, divided into private gardens for each unit and a 10,000-square-foot,

basement-level garage with 24 vehicle and 24 bicycle parking spaces. An additional

dozen bicycle parking spaces will be built at street level.


San Francisco Planning Department staff reported to the commission that they had

received two letters, a phone call and an e-mail in opposition to the project, and two

e-mails and a letter in support.


The proposed building will replace a 1,463-square-foot commercial building housing a

convenience store and a vehicle repair garage named JT’s Auto Repair, a canopy and four

fuel pumps that were constructed in 1966, according to SF Planning Department



The residential units will be a combination of a two-bedroom unit and 14 three-bedroom

units. Three of the units will be offered at “below market rate” (BMR) to meet on-site

affordable housing requirements.


“The project is providing 20 percent of the units as on-site inclusionary housing,” said

Jeffrey Horn of the planning department’s staff. “When a project provides 20

percent or more of the dwelling units as on-site affordable units, the on-site affordable

units shall not count towards the calculation of dwelling unit density. Per the NC-1

district controls, the project site has a maximum density of 13 units, and would be

required to provide 12 percent onsite inclusionary, a total of two units. But, through the

density bonus the project is proposing 15 units, three of which are affordable. This ratio

meets the 20 percent affordability requirement, and the market-rate total of 12 units

conforms to the dwelling unit density allowed within the NC-1 district,” Horn said.


Construction at the Lawton Street site will require excavation of soil to a maximum

depth of 10 feet below the ground surface, facilitating the removal of 4,400 cubic yards of

soil. Construction is expected to last between 18 and 24 months.


Horn said the staff recommended approval with conditions.


“The project will replace an underutilized site (and) the project would remove a

non-conforming and incompatible land use and replace them with residential and

commercial uses that are more appropriate and compatible with the existing residential

and small-scale commercial character of the neighborhood,” Horn said.


Corey Smith, a member of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, said the

organization also supports the project.


“It is what we dream of,” Smith said. “It is taking a gas station, there’s another one a

couple of blocks away, and turning it into housing with BMRs on site. That is a win-win

all the way around. It’s going to be beneficial for local businesses. There’s a little

commercial corridor right next to the building with customers for those businesses.”

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