Housing and Development

The San Francisco Bay Chapter is committed to supporting housing development policies that are sustainable, affordable, equitable, environmentally healthy, and which reduce sprawl. While the chapter follows the policy guidelines of the Sierra Club and Sierra Club California, below are a subset of these guidelines that are particularly relevant to the unique needs of the Bay Area. 

To have healthy and sustainable communities in the Bay Area, housing developers and local government authorities should address these issues before, during, and after development: 

Environmentally and economically sustainable housing 

  • The Bay Chapter supports affordable housing that protects existing neighborhoods and new residents from unreasonable economic and physical disruption. This includes supporting the adoption of inclusionary zoning policies, the rehabilitation of substandard housing and community facilities, and otherwise incentivizing housing production for households having very low, low and moderate incomes. 
  • We support "Complete Communities" where neighborhoods have easy access to recreation, schools, transit, and necessary services such as shops.
  • We appreciate incentives for reducing solid waste and promoting recycling that will help the environment, as well as provisions for alternative energy supplies, green building materials, and energy efficiency measures. 

Infill residential development and the conservation of open space 

  • Our Chapter supports infill development to help preserve open spaces including farm land. We also support the preservation of urban open spaces, including parks, playgrounds, backyard habitats, and waterfronts. We oppose suburban sprawl. 
  • We support preserving hills, coastlines, and other natural areas and agricultural lands, and respecting and protecting urban growth boundaries to protect open spaces and natural areas. 


  • Our Chapter supports compact and efficient urban areas that encourage walking, biking, and transit use. We support the intent of California Senate Bill 375, the California Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, which is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the driving of cars and light trucks by reducing vehicle miles traveled. 
  • An important part of sustainable urban transportation is equitable access to inexpensive, frequent, and prompt public transportation to reduce car travel. 

Implementation plans and associated regulations 

  • We support the use of Environmental Impact Statements to understand the potential environmental impacts of a given development, as well as local land-use guidelines such as height and bulk limits, and transit impact fees.

This is a subset of Sierra Club and Sierra Club California policy guidelines on the Urban Environment and Urban Growth. For more details, see the associated documents linked above.