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.
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
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.”