Shadows Could Doom Transbay Tower Construction

Shadows cast by the Transbay Tower would put parks in the dark -- and that's illegal.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tall buildings cast long shadows.

    Skyscrapers cast shadows -- and that could cost the Transbay Tower.

    The San Francisco Planning Commission is concerned that the shadow cast by the proposed landmark building in South of Market may violate a 1984 law that prohibits development projects from putting parks in the dark, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The city's 1984 Proposition K bans construction on buildings 40 feet tall or higher that cast shadows on city parks and playgrounds -- unless, that is, city commissions deem the shadow's effect "insignificant," according to the newspaper.

    As planned, the Transbay Tower would put busy Portsmouth Square in Chinatown in the dark for an hour durng the wintertime, the newspaper reported. And that's significant, city planners said.

    Planners were asked to relax the sunshine-related rules, the newspaper reported. But that may be a stretch.

    Two commissioners said that the darkness is significant, the newspaper reported.

    Could the shadows doom the entire project? The commission will decide at an Oct. 18 meeting.