Coastal Smart Growth Home: Getting Started: Tiered Development


Tiered development is development where the height of buildings increases as one moves away from the coast or waterfront. This optimizes panoramic water views for more buildings.

How to Get Started

Port of San Francisco Waterfront Design & 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 discussion of City Pattern). It also references height limits that apply in different parts of the area surrounding the waterfront.

Conservation of Capacity for Water-Dependent Use (Section 9.51(3)(e) in Code of Massachusetts Regulations)

At 310 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 9.51(3)(e), 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 the City of Rochester, NY, Article IX, Section 120-67

The City of Rochester, New York, outlines provisions for its riverfront zoning district at Article IX, Section 120-67 of the City Code. These provisions encourage preservation of the existing character and views of the riverfront, including by creating two development tiers: buildings up to three stories high must be set back at least 30 feet from the river, whereas buildings between four and six stories high must be set back at least 60 feet from the river.