Car-Share Requirements and Guidelines

On November 2, 2010 the Board of Supervisors adopted Planning Code changes as initiated by the Planning Commission to would update zoning controls relating to car-sharing. At that hearing, the Supervisors embraced the legislative amendments to the Planning Code, under Board File No. 100829 "Planning Code – Car-Share Controls." The Mayor signed the new legislative changes on November 18th, 2010 and the legislation came into effect on December, 28, 2010.

New Planning Code Change Summary: Car-Share Controls

Code Change: 151.1, 163, 166
Case Number: Board File No. 10-0829
Initiated By: Planning Commission, June 10, 2010
Effective Date: December 18, 2010

The Way It Was:
The Planning Code required that a certain specified number of parking spaces be made available to certified car share organizations when parking is provided for residential uses in all districts and for nonresidential uses in certain districts.

The Way It Is Now:
Car-sharing requirements are applicable to both residential and non-residential uses in all zoning districts.

Car-share spaces are generally permitted in the same way that residential parking is permitted. Voluntary conversion of any residential or commercial space to a car-share space is allowed.

The Planning Commission can require developers or project owners to pay the annual membership costs to certified car-share organizations for residents of new development projects. The Planning Commission is authorized to impose this condition when approving projects that include parking above the number of spaces principally permitted and only when the Commission makes certain findings regarding the project's impact on transportation.

Link to signed legislation:

Board File No. Ordinance No. Subject
100829 0286-10 Planning Code - Car-Share Controls

General Information

Car-share spaces may only satisfy the requirements of Section 166 if they are made available and at no cost to certified car-share organizations. A "certified car-share organization" is any public or private entity that provides a membership-based car-share service to the public and manages, maintains and insures motor vehicles for shared use by individual and group members.

Car-Share Organization Certification Process

Submittals for certification must include the following:

  1. Letter to the Zoning Administrator clearly stating the request for certification and information about the organization, and findings of the certification study.

  2. A written report called a "Car-share Certification Study". The study must be prepared by an independent third party academic institution or transportation consulting firm that clearly demonstrates, based on a statistically significant analysis of quantitative data, that the car-share organization has achieved certain environmental performance goals in any market where they have operated for at least two years. The organization must be able to demonstrate two or more of the following goals:

    (i) lower household automobile ownership among members than the market area's general population;

    (ii) lower annual vehicle miles traveled per member household than the market area's general population;

    (iii) lower annual vehicle emissions per member household than the market area's general population; and

    (iv) higher rates of transit usage, walking, bicycling and other non-automobile modes of transportation usage for commute trips among members than the market area's general population.

  3. Fee payment. A check should be submitted, made payable to "San Francisco Planning Department." Notation line should indicate: "ZA Car-share Certification – XXXXX" with the name of the company.
    NOTE: Fees are adjusted annually. Please confirm the current fee schedule before submitting payment.

The certification submittal will be considered through the Zoning Administrator Determination process. Once issued, the Zoning Administrator determination of certification will be available for public review and may be appealed within 15 days to the Board of Appeals.

Examples of dedicated car share parking spaces

Car Share Space Inventory

Updated September 27, 2013 - download Excel list