Diamond Heights was the first project of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, intended to use redevelopment powers to use land on the hills in the center of the city to be developed with, rather than against, the topography. Few existing residents needed to be relocated for the redevelopment program, which included housing for a range of incomes, churches, schools, parks, and a commercial center.
This type of redevelopment came under the California Redevelopment Law, passed in 1951, a codified version of the California Redevelopment Act which had passed in 1941.
More than half a million dollars was appropriated by the Water Department just for a water system for the redevelopment. The “Diamond Heights Redevelopment Project Area B-1” plan was debated between the Board of Supervisors and the Diamond Heights Property Owners’ Association. In 1955 alternative proposals to the Supervisors’ plan were presented in an effort to protect the property rights of existing property owners, and to give them preference to exchange their property for other sites. The motion to add these alternative plans to the legislation were rejected by the Board. The final plan was approved on October 24, 1955.