Where Exactly is Cow Hollow?

Posted On: April 9, 2013
By: ffdadmin

Not to get too existential on everyone, but where, exactly, is Cow Hollow? This might sound like the dumbest question in the world, but even dumb questions can lead to interesting answers. The reason I bring it up is that our fair city has about as many neighborhood definitions as it does neighborhoods, and the groups defining the boundaries rarely speak to each other… Take, for example, Cow Hollow!

According to the San Francisco Association of Realtors, the Cow Hollow neighborhood is defined as:

The north side of Green street, north to Lombard (including the homes on the south side of Lombard, but not the north side). The east/west boundaries are Van Ness and Lyon. Below is a picture of the SFAR map for Cow Hollow, showing the boundaries with the Marina district to the north and Pacific Heights to the south.

SFAR Cow Hollow Map and Boundaries

SFAR Cow Hollow Map and Boundaries


The Cow Hollow Association, though, has completely different neighborhood boundaries, which are shown below:

As you can see, the Cow Hollow Association neighborhood boundaries begin further to the south than the SFAR, but do not run as far north. The Cow Hollow Association also uses Lyon as the western neighborhood boundary, but uses Pierce Street (instead of Van Ness) as the western boundary for the neighborhood.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 10.19.57 AM

Cow Hollow Neighborhood Association – Different Cow Hollow boundaries

And while all this might seem to be just some guy with too much time pointing out how two maps don’t match, the reality is that the mis-match has some implications for homeowners, buyers, and sellers.

The Cow Hollow neighborhood is subject to neighborhood design guidelines,  which means that you could buy a house that is marketed as being in Pacific Heights only to discover that the property is part of the Cow Hollow neighborhood design guidelines. What are your thoughts on neighborhood boundaries and definitions in San Francisco?