Coastal Smart Growth Home: Getting Started: Adopt building codes


Codes that address building heights can help connect people visually to the waterfront by maximizing a view of the water and encouraging pedestrians to access it.

How to Get Started

Port of San Francisco Waterfront Design and Access (see "City Pattern" chapter)

The Port of San Francisco and the San Francisco Planning Department published a guide to waterfront design and access that encourages development to "respect City form by stepping new buildings down toward The Embarcadero or other waterfront roadways" (see "City Pattern" chapter). It also references height limits that apply in different parts of the area surrounding the waterfront.

New York City Planning Tools: Waterfront Zoning

This webpage from New York City's Department of City Planning gives an overview of the city's waterfront zoning approach, including information on building heights to preserve waterfront openness and view corridors. There is a link to zoning regulations for the waterfront area.

Conservation of Capacity for Water-Dependent Use in Code of Massachusetts Regulations

Massachusetts limits the height of non-water-dependent buildings to 55 feet within 100 feet of the high water mark and, at greater distances, to 55 feet plus one-half foot for every additional foot of separation from the high water mark (Code of Massachusetts 310 9.51(3)(e)).

Code of the City of Rochester, New York

The City of Rochester, New York, outlines provisions for its riverfront zoning district in Article IX, Section 120-67, of the city code. These provisions encourage preservation of the existing character and views of the riverfront, in part by creating two tiers of setbacks from the river that define allowable building heights.