Skip to main content

tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  October 19, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

10:00 pm
couple of times and also brokers and owners. just really quick as outlined in my letter, you know, retail is changing. it's not dead as the reporters always want to ask me right around the holiday season. it is not dead, it is changing, it is dynamic, but stores are needing less space. we are becoming -- like, retail is becoming more like showrooms, for he people to come in -- people to come in, touch and feel the products, but shop on-line. we need essentially less space. it is also very -- very challenging for people -- people don't want to go up stairs. they don't want to go up on the second and third floors, right? they want it to be quick and easy. larger spaces are hard to secure. we are facing a lot of theft in union square. i was at a police meeting yesterday. there were 43 robberies in the central retail district in september. a third of those were in union
10:01 pm
square. they're breaking into our store, bigger spaces are harder to secure, especially in those upper spaces. you've got to have a security guard at the front door locking people out. open to the public, it's really an irony, but we are locking our front doors, locking the up stairs, i'm coming to a close, but really quick, we generally support what has been put forward by pes companionship's office and planning, but we want third floor, treat that like floors four and six. allow the office space to have, allow the conditional use for the larger than 5,000 square feet. give us the flexibility. retail is not going up that high, and it will not overly change the character and dynamic as much as possible. we want the neighborhood to be a vibrant as possible, but we do want to fill our spaces.
10:02 pm
>> thank you, miss flood. >> thank you. >> thank you, chair and commissioners. my name is william hutland, and i -- rutland, and i represent macy's. if the purpose of this permanent controls is to help preserve the retail flavor of union square, there is nobody that cares more about that than us. that is our livelihood. we very much want to maintain retail, and we very much want to ensure that anything we do in our buildings supports retail, but we found that it's difficult. things have changed to get retail to go all the way up to the third floor. brick and mortar is changing.
10:03 pm
i don't understand why it would be unreasonable to allow a little flexibility. it's not like you can just put anything on the third floor. going through a conditional use permit process, everybody gets to weigh in. you get to determine exactly what you're going to approve in that space under any circumstance. but what we most do not want is vacancies, and we, through experience, find that it's sometimes very difficult to put retail on that floor, but we do want people, we do want vibrancy, we do want that type of support. so we do primarily support the position of the permanent things with just that little bit of flexibility. thank you for your time. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. you can leave it right there. >> going to have to bring this way down now.
10:04 pm
okay. good afternoon. my name is vickie brodsky. and i'm with collier's international. we are in favor of the union square bid's recommendation. by forcing retailers to take the third floor, we are impairing the ability of ground floor space to even be leased because retailers don't want to merchandise office third level. the customer can comfortably transition from the ground floor to the lower, lower to second, but after that, they give up. the spaces that have been sitting vacant in the district longer are buildings that have second and third floors attached to them. also, one of our property managers in the district shared with me recently that her retail tenants on the upper levels are suffering. due to the increase in burglaries and havevagrants in
10:05 pm
district, many businesses have key cards to reduce who can come in and out. this has had a negative impact especially on retails on upper levels -- sales especially, especially those that depend on foot traffic. therefore these tenants are leaving the district because they are no longer profitable or sustainable to have their businesses on upper levels in the district. i also want to point out one things in regards to lisa pagan's slides. while her presentation showed a have vacancy spaces of 3.6%, but her -- we report a vacancy rate of just over 9%. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon.
10:06 pm
my name is opio dupris. i'm the vice president of sales for macy's. the biggest thing, we want retail on the third floor. if retail wants too on the third floor, that's fine. but what we do not want is vacancies. if retail is not moving to the third floor, it will leave a floor open of people that are shopping, using the restaurants, enjoying the park, so provide some flexibility, a conditional use permit to convert anything, and we will keep that third floor filled. thank you. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. my name is todd pearlman, and i am the asset manager for 77 geary street. i have an expertise in leasing and management primarily leasing
10:07 pm
for more than 20 years, i've leased every square inch of our 120,000 square feet at the corner of grant and geary with the exception of american conservatory who was there before we bought the building in 1994. we love retail. we would welcome as much retail as we could have, but as you've heard, it's very difficult to find retail to take multilevel space. we are forced to continue to work with retailers and it is very, very frustrating on everyone's part when they would miss rent or flat out couldn't make a portion of their rent. so we tried to lease to retail when they vacated. we did our very best, and we thought we got lucky with a company called britex, but to our dismay, they only used us
10:08 pm
for storage. even our flagship has come to us and said, we don't want the multifloors. we actually went so far -- when guess jeans left our building, we put in two elevators. one is inside nespresso. one, where ted baker took, i begged them just to take the lower level or second level for free. just take it. i already paid all the money for the elevator, just pay my common area retail. we desperately need flexibility on levels three and above. i would love to say level two and above, but at the very le l
10:09 pm
least, level three and above. it would make a huge difference, and i thank you for your time. >> good afternoon. my name is mark stephen. i'm the president of center city retail partners. we've been investors, managers, leasing product in union square for well over 20 years, been officed in union square for well over 20 years. we own 220 post and 146 geary. we've been actively marketing those buildings. the first building has five stories, the other one has four. we've been actively marketing those buildings for over two years, and we've had absolutely zero interest for retailers to take anything above the second floor. we had one interest of a jeweler to take up to the second floor, and he this decided they didn't want to take that much space, they just wanted to be on the ground floor. we are finding the same situations that retailers don't want additional space, so as a result, our second floor has sat
10:10 pm
vacant in our buildings for two years. also as someone who's officed in the district for two years, i can tell you that my associates, we've all gone out and shopped both the retail and restaurants and such, so i think it's a misnomer to think that if office goes in, those folks won't patronize the retail that's already there. so i also echo that you consider considering the third floor as something that would be with the fourth and the fifth floors. thank you. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. tina catalano with reuben, junius, and rose. our firm does represent many clients in union square. whether we like it or not, retail is changing. there are much better experts in this room today than me to talk about what it means to try to lease a third floor space in some of these buildings, but every building is different.
10:11 pm
the size of the floor plates, the location, the amount of street front aage you have, design. that is why i think the current controls which have been in place since 1985, when the downtown plan was adopted, have worked and continue to work. they require a c.u. for any and all office applications above the ground floor, and you get to decide on a case by case basis whether they're necessary or desirable. that allows us to consider what's happening in the retail industry and also what are the opportunities and challenges in every building. what's really important to note here that i think we all agree on the same goal, which is to protect retail in union square. empty spaces do not repair retail, but occupied upper floors do help. they bring people to the building, people to the area on a daily basis, and those upper
10:12 pm
floor tenants can become regular patrons to ground floor restaurants and retail. the concern is unless we're willing to allow some flexibility on some of these floors, we will have long-term vacancies in some of those buildings. we're asking you today is to recommend instead of not recommending retail on the third floor, allow a c.u. process. there's been a criteria that's been in the code since 1985 that talks about what you need to find when you look at office uses on the upper floors. lastly, there are a handful of pending c.u. applications for upper floor office uses. officially they've been on hold since may when the interim controls came into place, but in reality, they've been on hold for much longer than that. some of those pending politics were filed a couple of years ago. additionally, if you could,
10:13 pm
please consider a grandfathering clause for pending applications and allow them the opportunity to go through the c.u. process. we're only talking about a handful of projects and some of those have very small square footage. thank you. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. my name is laurie coleman. i'm with mattis and marquette. i've personally been with them and involved in the district since 2002. we currently managed 2 and 48 tocker ton which is the forever 21 and the barney's buildings which are fortunately anchored by flagship stores and occupied on multilevels, but should any of that scenario changed, then we will be very challenged to
10:14 pm
leasing the upper floors to anything other -- so we're here today because we want to support the flexibility to be considered for a c.u.p. on a case by case basis. i think that the -- we very much support what the bid is doing, and i also have been involved in 222 sutter back in 2004. i was the project manager who actually developed loehmann's who developed the building from a single. we all know that it's been closed and leased for an amount of time. i think they're also having challenge with that second and upper floor. i would like to see flexibility on the second floor, but i right now at a minimum, we'd like to see flexibility on the third floor, so thank you for your time. >> president hillis: all right. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon,
10:15 pm
commissioners. tom tunney, reuben, junius, and rose. just a couple of quick points. i think a common theme you've heard from the speakers to this point actually identifies the description of this matter is a bit of a misnomer. this -- we're not proposing nor is anybody looking to get approval for retail conversions. what's happening in this district is that the property owners are left with vacant spaces. they're trying to make use of vacant space, so it's not a retail conversion, in fact, a means of activating the district. when you last met to discuss these issues, you asked for additional study and information about what was happening on the second and third floors, and we very much support the research that was done by the b.i.d. and oewd, and i'd like to highlight a couple of the details of that
10:16 pm
research. ms. brodsky pointed out at the take out the westfield center, the vacancies are 9% in the center, and they're trending up. that wasn't spoken to in the staff report, and we've learned more. the b.i.d. identified in its submittal, if you get outside the center of the district, the vacancy rates with even higher. on sutter street, they're 13%. the previous speaker mentioned 222 sutter. that previous building has been vacant for over two years. i think by now, everybody can agree that retail is changing, the industry is changing, their space needs are changing. and in that environment, we'd submit what -- as a policy matter, what policy makers should be imposing is
10:17 pm
flexibility in considering how this may change or activating the district. the legislation propose goes in the opposite direction. it's more restrictive, and for that, we oppose it. we support the b.i.d.'s recommendation. thank you. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is chris kitchen, and i'm with westfield. we are the owners of westfield san francisco shopping center. we own, develop, and lease the property. we have retail across ten floors from the subbasement champ space to the eighth floor nordstrom spa. we employ thousands of people and generate about .5 billion in sales. we've seen firsthand the changes in the retail industry, and like so many others have been
10:18 pm
adapting as best we can. in fact, we do have an application in with the department subject to the proposed legislation. i'm here to speak in favor of the proposal. and i want to thank the efforts of supervisor peskin and his staff for working on the interim controls as well as addressing the issue with the ground floor lobby. we want to create a balance and protect a balance between the needs of property owners and retailers, and we want to propose the c-3-r district as a high quality destination for retail, so i'd just like to thank the -- the oewd and lisa pagan for working with us. i want to state that we do support the proposed fee. obviously, we would be contributing to it, but we see a real need to work and explore avenues for exploring options on lower powell. we hope this revenue possession of dangerous drugs not to be introduced into interstate will
10:19 pm
support it and make the difference in some of these challenged location. thank you for your time, and i look forward to returning when my application is up for consideration. >> president hillis: thank you. miss hester. >> sue hester, tenant of the flood building since 1980 in the c-3-r. and also go back to going through the entire downtown plan in a couple years in the 80's. there was a right discussion then about how c-3-r and c-3-o had impacts on the neighborhoods to the north and west, chinatown and the tenderloin, and not so
10:20 pm
much concern to the south because there was industrial areas central of market street. so the planning commission was paying attention to containing the areas, containing the office areas to not impinge on chinatown, on that bored, and not impinge on that border. i support the proposals in front of you from supervisor peskin. i'm cynical to look around me and saying maybe people want to be part of striking it rich by office development space, and i'm a sinnic who really believes that because i see it. right now, the rich held district has a trench that's
10:21 pm
going through it that's about to be completed when we hopefully get the subway. central retail will be in the soma district, but it should be ready in a couple years to be open. and because i've been a tenant in the flood building for a long time, i've seen the attitude on the street has change. people walk around, looking at their phone, and people need to be attracted by businesses on the ground floor. people are doing a good job. some exceptions are innes street. but this legislation seems to
10:22 pm
strike a balance, and i think it's gotten a long way to do it. i'm a cynic who believes that people who have rentals that are quasi legal or not legal are not going to -- not going to want the planning commission to see them, so i would urge you to go adopt this legislation. thank you. >> president hillis: thank you. next speaker, please. no? any additional public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll close public comment. commissioner fong? >> okay. well, it seems maybe in a scale of city, a minor thing. this is an important piece to san francisco, and i'll start off by the union square in the central business district to me,
10:23 pm
and i think in the history of san francisco has been about street vibrancy, and whether that's shopping there as shopping, a tourist, taking someone up stairs, taking someone to the tailor or somewhere in the area is what's brought the street life. you go there tonight, and you see some pop up performance at union square, a musical performance, and so i think that's important. i think also -- these are just kind of random thoughts, that union square, we've actually made it suitable for office largely because of transit. with market street right there, central subway kind of putting through perpendicular, it's a perfect place to put some office. i think we have to be careful when we say office, that can be a very different type of use than a floor full of cubicles
10:24 pm
and people going away. i do think we need some controls, and i'm not opposed to a fee, but i do think the second floors should be allowed to have office. i like -- often, you know, we have things where there's proposed change here, but this is one area where i think the planning commission does work. we've said this before, but every single building in san francisco is very different. some have one entrances, some have two. some have bowling alleys, and some are deep, and some are narrow. i would support keeping office on the second floor with a c.u. process here. i think that's kind of -- i want to hear what everyone else -- sorry, sorry --
10:25 pm
>> vice president melgar: clarify second or third fluor. >> third floor. i'll just also share in my professional life, part of it is leasing space in a very awkward, large building at fisherman's wharf. it's difficult. it's just really hard. you look 18 million people at fisherman's wharf, big bucks, they're going to pay it. that's not the case. larger entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, that's not true. it's difficult to rent those higher and deep floor plates like we have in san francisco. >> president hillis: thanks. commissioner melgar? >> vice president melgar: so i put my way through college at san francisco state by working at i. magnin on union square. if you'll remember, i. magnin had seven floors and now macy's
10:26 pm
is there. i worked mostly on the third floor, and that was couture, and i'd sell one dress for the month, and that was rent. and nordstrom came in and up ended the process. the process was very genteel, the ladies would come in, and you'd wheel out the rack. i think of union square as such an important place in our city. it's where, you know, frank has a sign, you know, talking about aliens, taking over the government and all sorts of things happen. it's our, you know, central square, and i want to preserve that. and you know, i think that we're talking about a balance of, you know, keeping up with the
10:27 pm
changes and also preserving what we want and know and love. and how important this place is. and so i actually am leaning on the side of providing flexibility, and i say this because we haven't just heard this call from the owners, we've also heard it from the retailers. i think that having a third use -- third floor uses that are more flexible will help foot traffic and help uses on the third and second floors that i think are in peril now. so i would like to hear what my fellow commissioners want to say, but i just think that's the way i'm leaning. i want more flexibility on the third floor, and because i think that is going to preserve what we love. and things are changing really fast, you know, and i don't want to wake up five years from now thinking oh, we could have done
10:28 pm
something when things are too far down. and i do support the fee. i think it's smart, and i don't think that's going to undo anything. thank you. >> president hillis: commissioner koppel? >> commissioner koppel: i'm downtown frequently for work, and believe it or not, i always take the long way home and walk-through union square just to kind of incident being with the people, check out the open space and look at the nice hotels. we definitely do want retail to succeed. it's not just amazon and a couple companies only that are changing the landscape of how things are done. now adays, i don't know if you've seen the commercial for m. tailor, you can just take a picture of yourself and literally clothes are mailed to you that fit perfectly. i don't know. i haven't tried it out, so i can't vouch for them, but i'm more along the lines of favoring
10:29 pm
flexibility on the third floor. not to take away anything from the retailers, but i'd like to see more work down in the basement levels. i recently took a work trip to philadelphia and walked around as much as i could and just saw how creatively they make the sidewal sidewalks interact with the first, second, and basement floor with entrances designs -- you know, creative designs around corner, and it actually is
10:30 pm
10:31 pm
>> i can't, on behalf of the supervisor commit to that. i think it would be helpful for this commission to discuss, if he were to do this for office space conversion on the third floor, what would be the basis for granting that authorization? what would we want to see? >> what are some of the things -- you clearly have thought about this. at least an notion. are there things -- >> certainly, the dream list of criteria which is a very high bar is what we set forth in the interim zoning control. these controls -- but with a much longer list of criteria and findings including approval that it has been openly marketed as retail space for 18 months or more. a proof up is some burden of proof that retailers say is absolutely nonviable in the space and making that burden a little bit higher.
10:32 pm
making it higher. i think the two applications are precipitated this legislation in the interim zone controls were the result of this commission looking at the applications and thinking, we don't know what to do. >> some of those were second floor also. >> true. >> can i ask, where you done? sorry. >> a couple of more thoughts before i forget. >> walking around downtown i was visually looking at the buildings from across the street and down the block and from what i saw, a lot of the buildings, the exterior of the buildings, they are historic and they are well-crafted in the first place. they architecturally look like they are showcasing off only the first two floors of a majority of these buildings speak. even visually for someone walking down the street, you will be invited into those first two floors and there is usually, whether it is a trim that separates those two floors from the floors above, which actually jives with my talking points in the first place.
10:33 pm
and also, i just think the idea of storing inventory is what is going away. you walk into a certain store and you are looking at 6,000 shirts. are you going to be stocking 6,000 shirts or will you stock 60 and then have people choose what they want and then go from there? i am just seeing, as the companies are going to want to take up less square footage and pay less of a rent and just not have as much inventory so they may not need to those extra floors. >> if i could just ask you on the study, do you? i appreciate this. it was extremely helpful. for those that have -- there is definitely a drop off between buildings that have second-floor retail and and third-floor retail. that may be a combination of other uses on the third floor
10:34 pm
and may be buildings that are only two stories at that point. do you know, that is a third of the third floor that is occupied by retail. we count hotel as public serving use but that could be rooms, right? that is not necessarily the complete -- the public component of the hotel. that could be guestrooms that are on that third-floor. is that correct? >> correct. this chart talked about public serving uses of which hotel is considered one and rooms, obviously are part of that. >> that is about half -- a significant number of the third-floor public uses which you would expect in union square of the third-floor 538,000 square feet that is retail, how much of that is retail that has both the second and third floor? it's a combination -- it is a large-format retail that has all
10:35 pm
floors of verses kind of independent third-floor in the retail. do you know? >> we have information from the data. i am just turning to our analyst to see if we have it with us from the survey. >> sorry. he has to come up if he wants to talk. >> i don't know if we brought that level. >> do you know a guess of that? >> yes. when we took possession of the survey data, there were confidentiality steps that were taken so we can check back because they will have the names and we can get back to you. >> he is asking the number of two story retailers. >> how much is that third story retailer occupying like nike or macy's or someone who occupies all three floors instead of just retail on the third floor?
10:36 pm
>> right. we can provide that data. >> ok. and then may be something that the supervisors looks into. to me, i agree with the comments that were made to. i would want flexibility on the third-floor. i can't see, anecdotally, the retailers that we all know and like in a visited -- commissioner mel garg worked in retail and i too it worked in retail as well. it was -- his ears was a powerhouse in retail. even target, there is a viable and growing large-format retail use. they are not grabbing. some multi- floors, but at westfield it is one floor on the second floor. but that is in a mall type of category. if you look for book stories, where i have gone up on third-floor retailers, it was a bookstore off union square that is no longer there. it is a shoe store above a chase
10:37 pm
c.d. stores. those kind of cultural retail experiences. i just think the trend is we are not having those large-format retailers that are occupying multiple floors. so i don't know who will occupy those third floors. i think it was prior service type oriented retailers. a gym, medical office, salons, but we are seeing another district. those are what we are relying on to occupy ground floors. is happening too in the retail district. i think that is what we have now is this flexibility on the third-floor. we could keep that. i appreciate the legislation in the package before us because it clarifies things. the fees is totally appropriate. but i think given the obvious trend of what is happening on upper floors, we need to allow
10:38 pm
some flexibility on the third-floor. >> just to your point, the survey, at least our analysis of the survey looked at how many uses or retail sales and retail services are open to the public. in the proposal, as i understand it, professional services, office uses, open to the public on the second and third stories are included in the 73.8% which is a lot. >> only 33% of that is retail. >> rights. so they use proposal is for allowing office uses that are open to the public. professional services open to the public. there is flexibility to the proposal. it is not exclusively retail goods. it is office uses allowed in retail services. >> the biggest other component to that is hotel. you are not likely to see i third-floor standalone hotel.
10:39 pm
those are generally -- i think that skews the data a bit on those uses. i think what we are seeing is those uses are occupying traditional ground-floor retail sales in other districts because it is hard. the retail landscape has changed a bit. i'm supportive of the legislation. i think that tweak to allow some flexibility on the third floor is appropriate. >> i don't want to beat this to death, but beating it to death, there are a lot of leasing decisions that are not made in san francisco. and what happens is, they powered in at someone and some cool retailer in denmark looked at the use in san francisco and said that wouldn't work. i'm sure the folks in the retail real estate brokerage industry know that exactly. those decisions are made in las vegas and made in l.a. and new york and elsewhere. part of the reason to keep as much flexibility and not box and
10:40 pm
what exactly you want to, because, who knew about the museum of ice cream two years ago? who knew about the museum of color? those are all uses that if they looked on the website, they would have been long gone and often -- off to las vegas. but they didn't. back to the point, i think we can be creative and take a chance and approve c.u. for wacky things like the museum of ice cream and see more of things like that that are creative and get people on the street. i want to point out that we talked about people at union square and the additional spend of money in time. buying lunch and going out for drinks. the work really adds up to the vibrance and economic benefits. while supervisor tang is here. i know you have been an advocate for small business in your district. i want to point out that all of us, at some point had dreams of
10:41 pm
opening our own retail store opening our own restaurant, a magic shop or a gym, indoor golf range, whatever it may be and may be we still do but the lack of confidence that people have in san francisco to start their own business, even for a small balloon or card shop is so low and so fearful that i think we need to talk about how we change that and how we incentivize and streamline and not -- and make it affordable for people to start their own shops. they don't have to -- they don't have to be retail stores but they can be services too. >> thanks. >> thank you. i wanted -- there seems to be a dichotomy of retail and office and those are the only two uses we are talking about. what we are talking about, not allowing on the second and third floor is office that is shut off to the public. that doesn't exclude architect's office that it opening to the public. it does not exclude a married of
10:42 pm
entertainment used as you can put on the second and third floor. doesn't exclude accountants. you can do jim's, you can do attorneys, you can do museums, you can do real estate offices. there's a lot of things that are in the definition that are open to the public that are not purely office that can be on the second and third floor. i wanted to make sure that we are understanding that what we are basically saying that we don't want on the second or third floor on the ordinance his office that is closed off to the public. >> and i think the comments so far, allow that, as of right, but a c.u. for traditional office on the third-floor. >> right. one of the things that we are responding to you are these companies from out of town looking at a building in the c3 are and saying, oh, i can do office in this entire building. all i need to do is get a c.u. they purchased the building, they make what i consider a bad financial decision and then they
10:43 pm
come to you and you say, well, now we need to make this decision for you after you've already bought the building. what we are trying to do is avoid that situation with this by providing uncertainty on the floor is 1-3 and letting them have it on the floors above. >> commission are more? >> thank you for explaining that that is exactly the position i would want to support and i think you are verbalizing exactly what it is we are permitting on the second and flared floor. the public component is what -- second and third floor. the public component is important to us. >> commissioner koppel? >> i would like to see those first two floors in the basement have the fixed use as opposed to the first, second and third. how should i word a motion to say that in reference to what we have in front of us?
10:44 pm
>> i think you would take -- approve -- recommend approval of the ordinance as proposed but propose a modification that would allow for a c.u. on the third floor for nonretail uses. >> ok. >> i would like to make a motion to approve the language as proposed with additional language granting the third-floor office use with the c.u. and i would also like to add to the grandfathering in for the pending cases as well. >> second. >> we have a motion and a second >> could you repeat the grandfathering section? >> including pending existing cases.
10:45 pm
>> grandfathering the pending applications. commissioners, we have a motion that has been seconded to approve this amendment with modifications including allowing a conditional use authorization for office on the third floor and grandfathering pending applications. on that motion. [roll call] >> so moved. that passes 5-1 with commissioner moore voting against. that will place us in item nine for case number 2018-zero one 858 pca. planning code amendment. >> again, good afternoon, commissioners. and from the planning department staff. before i get the presentation on this, supervisor tang is here to speak on this ordinance.
10:46 pm
i also have some handouts for you that contain one additional amendment that supervisor tang will also mention. >> ok. welcome, supervisor tang. >> thank you, very much. speaking of retail, speaking of vacancies and flexibility, i'm here to bring to you a piece of legislation where we are trying to create more flexibility for retail and hopefully serve as one tool to decrease the number of vacancies throughout the city when i originally started with this legislation, it was specific to district for. i will go through amendments later, but we are trying to expand it. i wish it could be citywide but there is certainly some parts of the city where flexibility is not something that i think is preferred. what we are doing here today through this legislation is we are creating a new flexible retail use under the planning code and they would be, in district four and 11, would be principally permitted and of course, when we expand to other
10:47 pm
districts, that would depend on the underlying zoning --dash underlining zoning. under the flexible retail use, there can be any combination of a following six categories within the space. they can be operated by one or more different operators. these include arts activities limited restaurants, general retail sales and services, personal service, retail professional service and trade shops. through this legislative process , and i want to thank audrey from the planning department and erin starr for helping us through this. i learned there are actually quite a number of different uses that you can operate together under the planning code. however, you would have to do it by securing may be conditional use or whatnot in order to have those two businesses located together. the idea behind this new flexible retail use is within the six categories you can
10:48 pm
interchange between those six as long as you have two at any given time without having to go back before the planning department for further approvals however, keep in mind the underlining zoning of each specific district recently, in district four and 11, we went ahead and had legislation. and thanks to your support, to principally permit many different uses and do not require neighborhood notification for principal -- principally permitted uses going from one principal uses to another. for example, with a flex youth retail in district four and 11, it would be very easy for any combination of these businesses within the six categories to interchange between each other. that is the one key difference. we are also, i guess i will go into the amendments now, we talk to districts one, five, ten, and
10:49 pm
11. they are interested in joining in on this legislation. we will add former districts to this, which is wonderful. the amendments that we are recommending by the planning department, we are agreeing with all of them. they required that the specific use within the flexible retail use must be permitted and the underlining zoning district and all the other underlining conditions for those uses indo zoning districts would apply to the specific youth being proposed even under the flexible retail use, including formula retail controls. we didn't want any of the different types of operators skirting whatever the underlying controls were through the flexible retail use. we are clarifying that all the other departments required approval that still apply. if you need any permitting from public health or from a.b.c., those all still apply. we are requiring to establish and maintain flexible use, it must operate two uses at any
10:50 pm
given time, which i explained earlier. we will allow for a grace period of 60 days to allow the businesses to search for another tenant if they want to continue with flexible use permit. we do understand it can be challenging to find tenants in this day and age. we are also amending planning code section 205 to create a new 60 day pop up temporary use permit. we want to formalize what has been going on in the city. again, i did not realize that was part of our code. that is good to include. we are including neighborhood commercial transit districts in the legislation, as well as neighborhood commercial shopping center districts and m.c. three. originally that was not part of the legislation because district four does not actually have those in our district. now that districts want to add this to their zoning, we want to want to encompass all the underlining zoning. those are the amendments that we
10:51 pm
are proposing to make at the committee meeting. i would just say, overall, the discussion prior to this was fascinating. we are in outer neighborhoods struggling to find tenants to fill vacant storefronts and i think we need a number of tools to help make traditional retail or even just retail in general more attractive for people and business owners. we see that a lot more people are looking for those experiences versus just buying teachers from a t-shirt shop. i also want to thank oewd and the small business commission in advance. they will work really hard to get the word out to as many businesses as possible so they understand there is more flexibility in retail use and arts and so forth in our city. whether that, i will turn it back to audrey from the planning department. i want to thank you and i am happy to answer questions you may have.
10:52 pm
>> thank you, very much. >> thank you to supervisor tang for speaking on all of that. as currently drafted, the ordinance would amend the planning code to create a new use allowing flexible multiuse retail and making this new flexible retail use principally permitted in neighborhood commercial districts in district four. currently the planning considers arts activities, limited restaurants, general retail sales and services, personal services, professional services and trade shops as separate uses each of the uses as defined in section one and two at the planning code. multiple uses may exist on one site however, they may be allowed as an accessory use taking up no more than the floor area or added by acquiring additional use permits on the site for every new use. multiple business owners may operate on one site without any additional planning department approvals if they are operating as the same use. under the proposed legislation,
10:53 pm
the new use called flexible retail would be added to planning code one '02 pick flexible retail would be a type of retail sales and service. this would combine the following existing uses. arts activities, restaurants, general retail sales and services, personal services, retail professional services and trade shops. flexible retail would allow these uses to operate within a single space without requiring additional change of use permits from the planning department. especially once an establishment has changed where they used to be flexible retail, they would not be acquired to obtain additional permission. a supervisor tang stated, during the past several months, the department has been working with the office to make amendments to the proposed ordinance. i will not go over them again because she cover them very well in her summary. if you have questions, i am happy to answer them. in addition to the recommendation discussed, the department additionally recommends the following which
10:54 pm
is to redefine the boundaries of the legislation to state by geographical markers rather than the supervisorial districts. simply because the district boundaries do not have any land use connection and they changed and are redrawn every 12 years. we don't want a business on the border to get caught ten years from now all of a sudden having a change of what is allowed and what isn't. and the second amendment is to amend all of the n.c.d. and n.c.t. in the participating districts that have not already done so, which is district one, five, ten, and 11 to permit arts activity uses. article seven regulates all the neighborhood commercial districts and the neighborhood commercial transit districts. prior to the code reorganization that we had in 2017, article seven contains its own use definition and arts activities was not an -- defined in article seven as a use in general. when the organization happened,
10:55 pm
at the use of types that were previously undefined in article seven became automatically not permitted when everything was moved over to section 102 of the planning code. this is a procedural issue. in order for the flexible retail use to be of true value to these in the district where it will be adopted, we should probably permit arts activities uses in those. that is our recommendation, at least for the supervisorial districts that have not already done so. supervisor tang's district already permits arts activities on the first floor in her district. but district one, five, ten and 11 have not made that change as of yet. supervisor tang covered what was our third amendment which was realizing that neighborhood commercial shopping center districts and moderate scale neighborhood commercial districts are currently not included in the legislation, only because of zoning districts
10:56 pm
not existing in district four, which is what this ordinance as originally drafted for. we would recommend that those zoning districts also be included in the legislation. although the department supports the legislation with all recommended modifications, there are implementation issues that we wanted to consider. the may impact the enforcement procedures and mechanisms are not developed that will better track when he flexible retail use has been abandoned. once they have been abandoned, the legally established use reverts to the singular remaining use under the proposed ordinance with the amendment. staff may also encounter increased processing times for these permits initially as the permit comes with many individualized conditions and exceptions. over time, as more establishments convert to a flexible retail use, staff will -- staff time will lessen and change of use permits will not be required so people will not be coming in every time they need to change their use. it should be noted that the ordinance does not take into account other processes that would be required by other
10:57 pm
departments. that these businesses may encounter when speaking to operate a different combination of uses. although this ordinance opens avenues for more retail to be permitted through the planning code and through the planning department, should be noted there may still be other departments like d.b.h. and d.b.i. and the entertainment commission that have required permits to operate in certain ways that don't as of yet fully cover the kinds of activities we are envisioning. that being said, the proposed ordinance with all recommended modifications provides business owners with opportunity to share spaces with other type of businesses and switch to switch between -- between ordinances without requiring permits. as it becomes more challenging to open or remain in san francisco due to high rent and online commerce, this legislation serves as one tool to address the issue of storefront vacancies in our commercial corridors. that concludes my presentation. i am available for questions. >> thank you, very much. we will open up for public comment. if there is any. seeing none, we will close
10:58 pm
public comment. commissioners? commissioner johnson. >> i am really excited to have this legislation before us. it does a really great mix of responding to the reality of retail and recognizing we need a lot of tools and to be creative when it comes to retail uses in the district. it is great to see that other -- that other districts have jumped on this legislation. i also like the fact that it does take into account what different communities have decided that they want and that it won't restrict that. again, it gives the community more tools. so i moved to approve with modifications. >> second. >> commissioner moore? >> i would like to ask the supervisor, does the legislation -- i think it is a perfect tool to your deal with vacancies, particularly in more outlying
10:59 pm
districts which are far away from downtown and are seeking their own signature in terms of how to create a small village character where things are happening. i may have not properly listened , are you speaking about aggregating business in your legislation and how do you deal with specific uses like cannabis , for example? in district four, i know it is not permitted. >> thank you for that question. this flexible use only applies to the six categories. cannabis is a separate category requiring its own controls. our district has a lot of issues with massage establishments as a separate use category. what you see here is all that is going to be able to partner up or pair up. if other supervisorial districts , for example, have underlining zoning -- zoning that do not permit to these things, than that still applies. they will have to pick from the
11:00 pm
ones that are actually allowed in their underlining zoning. >> that you are not addressing aggregating retail establishments to make -- to take two establishments and make one out of it? that is not part of what you are suggesting. >> oh, no. it would just be in one storefront where there could be co- location of businesses. the idea you can think about his accessory use and what goes on in that kind of a situation. we are removing the square footage restriction because the accessory use will have no more than 30% of the square footage. so this one, we are letting you take over how much space you need. >> ultimately, we vote back to smaller scale if it needs to? >> you can always revert back to your one use, whatever that underlying use might be. >> it does not change. >> if there is a c.u. see you for a certain size of retail, this doesn't change th

2 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on