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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  March 8, 2019 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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>> good afternoon and welcome to the regular hearing for thursday, march 7, 2019. and i will remind members of the public that the commission does not tolerate any outbursts of any kind. please, silence your mobile devices that may sound off during these proceedings and when speaking before the commission, do state your name for the record. i would like to take roll. president melgar? and commissioner hillis. commissioner johnson. commissioner moore. we do expect commissioner richards to arrive shortly. on the agenda is items for continuous, case 2018-... 447 broadway. conditional use authorization is proposed for a continuous to april 11, 2019. and item 2, case 2018-000543c, continual use authorization is proposed for continuous to april 25, 2019. and item 3, case number
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2018-37006, grant avenue, continual use for continuians. and i am pleased to announce that this case on franklin street, the discretionary review is withdrawn. i have no other items and no speaker cards. >> okay, do we have any public comment on the items proposed for continuance? okay. public comment is now closed. commissioner moore. >> motion to continue all items as noted. >> second. >> thank you, commissioners on. that motion then to continue items as proposed, commissioner hillis? and commissioner johnson, commissioner moore and commissioner richards. commissioner koppell and commission president melgar. that passes unanimously 6-0. and under your consent calendar,
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all matters on the consent calendar are considered routine by the planning commission and may be acted upon by a single roll call of the commission and there's no separate discussion of these items unless the public or staff have requests. in which event the matter is removed from the consent calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing. item 4, 23327 to 3380 19th street. conditional use authorization. and cases... and 939 ellis street. and conditional used authorization and variance. and items 6, case number... 430 broadway continual use authorization. and case number 7... 920 northpoint street. conditional use authorization. i have no speaker cards. >> is there any public comment on the items on the consent
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calendar? okay. public comment is now closed. commissioner richards? >> move to approve. >> items under your consent calendar, commissioner hillis. commissioner johnson. commissioner moore. commissioner richards. commissioner koppel, and commissioner president melgar. so moved, that motion passes unanimously, 6-0. and the administrator could act on 5b. >> closed public hearing for grant or variance. >> commissioners that place this under item 8, the consider of adoption draft minutes for february 21, 2018. >> does anyone have public comment on the draft minutes? okay, public comment is closed. >> move to approve minutes.
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>> second. >> on that motion to adopt the minutes for february 21, 2019, that should be 2019, commissioner hillis. commissioner johnson. commissioner moore. commissioner richards. commissione koppel. and commissioner president melgar. passes 6-0. comments and questions. >> commissioner moore. >> this is due to the late-night news yesterday. i heard the unfortunate story that the golden gate fortune cookie company on ross street is most likely going to be forced to be closed. and its rent was raised from $1,600 a month to $6,000 a month. and i'm asking the commissioner and i'm asking anybody who is listening to what i say for the city to please find ways to support the continuance of small
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businesses, particularly when it cuts so close to the core which is an institution of chinatown and an international destination because there's no place other than this one. i strongly urge everybody who is listening to discuss ideas of how we have small business. >> thank you. commissioner richards. >> interesting enough, on tuesday above the whole headline in "the chronicle," blitz of this. and many bills to upset local governments. i guess that one of the things that i want to say is if the state wants to come in and have its own planning code at least be organized about it. some of the bills contradict each other and i know this will override it. it's a disaster, a mess. maybe we can have mr. starr go there and reorganize the state planning code like he did in articles 2 and 7 here. there's going to be a lot coming here. interesting enough, there's an impact analysis on sb-50 and i encourage you to all to look at that. and they have visuals on, hey,
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here's what is there now and what will be here under the new proposed law in the vanilla form, it doesn't include a density bonus. the other interesting thing about it is that it talks about the -- the impact and the upzoning on the number of additional people for the city. the vanilla version would triple alo palto's occupation. and we talk about being progressive as a state and we say progressive land-use policies, upzone, upzone, upzone. when it comes to the protect piece for tenants i give us an "f" on the progressive scale. and the reason is that we have costa hawkins and, you know, now that prop c is there, all of the legislators can hide behind any type of reform. but i ask you to look north to state of organize that had passed a rent control bill last week. if california wants to be progressive, and the legislators have to have the balls to
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actually do something about the displacement via those laws. and one last thing, just before i got here, somebody sent me this. "the new york times" -- thousand ofs of new millionaires are about to eat san francisco alive, is the headline. and it talks about single family homes will probably -- there will be 10,000 new millionaires in san francisco all wanting to be buying and living here. the forecast of single family homes at $5 million and above for a single family home. so read the article, it's really interesting. i don't like what i hear, but it's coming. all of the new i.p.o.s are here in the city and not down on the peninsula. >> and i just wanted to take a moment to recognize our own kate connor, the principal planner for complex projects at the planning department for receiving an award from spur last night for good government. so, thank you, kate, for everything that you do for our
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city. i just wanted to recognize her achievement. thanks. >> thank you. seeing north further we move on to department matters, item 10, director announcements. >> thank you. the only announcement is what president melgar said. kate was honored last night along with five other city employees for good government award and it was a lovely event downstairs in the north lake court. and we were very proud of her for all of the work that she's done. she has become, as i said in my comments last night, she's our go-to person with all things related to house. and particularly her ability to cut through the pur bureaucracyd make sure that the projects move forward. so we appreciate kate's work and we congratulate her on the award. thank you. >> clerk: review of past events of the board of supervisors and board of appeals and the historic preservation commission. >> good afternoon, aaron starr with legislative affairs. the committee heard the rezoning and the general plan amendment for 175 golden gate avenue.
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these ordinances rezone the subject property 2c3g and make changes to map one of the downtown plan so that the perspective can take advantage of the t.d.r. program. you heard this on april 27th of last year and you voted to recommend approval. at the hearing only the project sponsor representatives spoke during public comment and no significant questions were asked by the committee members. it was forwarded with a positive recommendation in the committee report. at the full board this week, the landmark for 460argello both passed second read, as did rezoning for 170 valencia street and the changes to our m.c.d. program and the planning code. the board also heard the appeal for pierce street that includes a horizontal and a vertical addition to a two story addition. you heard this last year and voted to take and modify the
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project. while not stated in the appeal letter, the appellant disagreed that the existing building was not an historic resource under ceqa. and then the board denied the appeal and upheld the exemption determination. and the board then voted on the rezoning and general plan amendment for 175 golden gate avenue. and the reappointments of richard johns, kate black and andrew wolf to the historic preservation commission all passed as well. that concludes my report. thanks. >> the board of appeals met last night but not did take any final actions on the items mentioned. >> tim frey, here to share a few items from yesterday's commission hearing. first of all, the historic preservation commission provided review and comment on the accessory dwelling unit planning business and tax regulation code amendments that i believe that are on your calendar today.
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the commission has a number of questions related to how the performance criteria that are proposed by staff for historic buildings would be implemented and they are -- they have continued that item after providing some general direction and support for the program. they did continue the item to have further conversation about how the department would review ministerial grants for landmark properties at its next hearing. the commission also unanimously approved a certificate of appropriateness for the site on the northeast waterfront landmark district. this is also a port property. the project has been in the department for a number of years and apparently after some negotiations with the tenant and the port was finally ready for its hearing before the h.p.c., and the a.r.c. reviewed the project twice and they were happy to see that all recommendations from the architectural review committee were incorporated into the final
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project. there were a couple members from the community that voiced opposition to or concern to the project, mainly related to parking, which i'm sure that you will hear when you take up the conditional use authorization for that item. and then, finally, the historic preservation commission had a certificate of appropriateness for 906 broadway, our lady of guadalupe in the north beach neighborhood. the interior is at the board of supervisors and this certificate of appropriateness is to create a connecting stair behind the altar to allow for the new use which, again, will be granted hopefully through conditional use authorization by this commission at a future date. so that concludes my presentation unless you have any questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> clerk: seeing nothing further, commissioners, we can move on to general public comment at this time. members of the public may address the commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter
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jurisdiction of the commission. except agenda items with respect to agenda items it is afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. each member of the public may address the commission up to three minutes. when the number of speakers exceed the 15-minute limit, the public comment may be moved to the end of the agenda. i do have one speaker card. >> we have one card from george estudish. >> good afternoon. i wanted to give there to commissioner johnson because she wasn't here last week when i gave this thing out about occupancy. so if that's okay. excuse me. what i want to talk about today is an email that i sent to mr. bentlof and mr. sauder and director rahm. i wasn't here for the february 14th hearing, i missed that, on the -- on the modification issue. and i thanks, you know, i guess that you'll go to the postcards, even though people were upset about it. but i do think that one thing that needs to be mentioned is
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that when you are doing a major excavation that needs to be on the postcard. because neighbors need to know that there's going to be an excavation. here's why -- if they need to work out a private agreement ahead of time to not sell the project, and there's a lot of projects, where they have done deep excavations and they've had to stop because they've damaged -- either damaged the property next door or could have damaged the property next door. so i think that if people know upfront that there would be a major excavation as defined in the email -- and here's copies for you all -- i think it should be. and just to give you an idea of what a major excavation is -- may i have the overhead please -- that's a major excavation. that's not as bad as some that i have seen in noi valley. the other thing, as the department becomes more paperless and you are not going to have full-sized plans, it
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will be electronic, it would be helpful if you got one of those big screens that you can get at best buy for $200 and put it in the public area so the members of the public, besides a 11-by-17 copy, they can come down and see the plans full-sized like they can currently. and you sometimes don't them on the 11-by-17. especially if you don't know how to read plans. and the other thing is the new p.i.m. i'm getting used to it. but not everything is there and if you're going to go paperless and people aren't going to be able to look at files on it, the planning department, like they are now certain things need to be there. one of them is the full h.r.e. report that shows the ownership/occupancy and the tenant occupancy. and i think that is important for that, and you think about
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the carl jenson property. he wasn't listed on that occupancy front and that was important that the neighbors pursued. i think that you need to know if there are occupants, just like the staff need to know. and also the sign-in sheep from the preap should be on the p.i.m. because those are controversial items that come up at the planning commission and people need to see that there was a pre-ap meeting and the only way to see that is if there's a sign-in sheet and a comment sheet from the pre-ap meeting so those are my suggestions, thank you very much. have a good day. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> cory smith on behalf of the housing coalition. a couple items to echo a lot of commissioner richards comments, there's so much happening at the state and it's moving a million miles an hour. and i know that you know this but to make sure that everyone is on the same page it's so early, and we have a number of placeholders that haven't even
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had language fully flushed out or introduced to the general public yet. we haven't had a committee hearing up in sacramento at this point yet. so because a lot of different ideas have been introduced, what we hope, obviously is that a lot of these bills come together and form into something that really does build a nice cohesive coalition so you can get housing policy at the state level. so we're trying to follow that as much as everything else is and talking aringly, certainly, with the san francisco delegates and delegates from the east bay as well. just trying to figure out how we can piece all of these things together. and what's really interesting is that there does seem to be a lot of momentum on the protection, production, and preservation concept that really seems to have a lot of big buy-in. when we talk to our folks up in sacramento who are generally themed more to the supply side folks and may want to add a lot of new housing. there's also interest in making sure that the protection things are getting carried through for
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a variety of reasons. which include that's how good coalitions is built together when you have a lot of different stakeholder coming together as one to try to get good policy moving forward. and the other item in the interest of especially the protection stuff, you know, san franciscoians do talk about how evictions are a big deal in the city and they are. and we should protect people in. a scale of a national issue though, san francisco and many cities in the state of california are on the lowest in the entire country of eviction rates. i was looking at a harvard report and it's really the southern part of the country that a significantly higher eviction rates occur. so while we're not perfect in san francisco, we're not perfect in the state of california, i would say that we are better in terms of protection than a lot of other places. we should continue to strive to get better. but i do think that we should recognize that we do do a pretty good job here on average of
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trying to make sure that we can protect residents in their homes. it's crucial, we should absolutely continue to do that. thank you. >> thank you, mr. smith. any other public comment? okay. -- ma'am, did you have public comment? so with that public comment is now closed. >> very good, commissioners. this will place it on your regular calendar and through the chair we'll take item 15 out of order for 2019, 000048pca for the small business permit streamlining health code and planning code amendments. >> good afternoon, aubrey breakest, planning staff. supervisor brown is here to speak on her item as well as ben van horton who will give you a presentation from oewd. >> she's here. we'll give supervisor brown a couple extra minutes and go to mr. van horton's presentation.
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. ben van horton from workforce development and hoping that supervisor brown will be here any second. she's in committee right now. but i'm excited to present our small business streamlining legislation. and this is a piece of legislation that is a part of the city-wide storefront vacancy strategy that the mayor and supervisor brown announced in december. the background, a bit of background for this legislation, last year our office worked with
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the stakeholders on a state of the retail sector study that was published last february, looking at the opportunities, costs, challenges, facing retail, restaurant, personal service businesses in san francisco. a lot of key findings in that study relevant to and informing this work. retailers are experimenting with new strategies and they're looking to offer food and beverage as part of their retail operations and host events. and retailers find it challenges to navigate land-use and permitting requirements which add significant costs and time and limit flexibility. and also that there's a role for night life businesses to play as part of the corridor, drawing customers to the corridor and helping them to support other retail businesses. the recommendations i'm going to present were informed by our experiences in small business assistance, so really for most or all of these it was the
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experience of at least one business that had challenges navigating through the process and it took extra time and extra money for that business to open. or in a number of cases businesses couldn't open and folk his to walk away from vacant storefronts they had hoped to get started in. we developed and refined these recommendations in consultation with the state permitting departments, so there are codes and planning code and police code that were developed in consultation with health, planning and entertainment commission staff as well. so high level, our goals here are to help businesses to save time and money in the permitting process in order to fill vacancies and to position them for success once they actually get open. and we want to strengthen the existing businesses and helping them to adapt and to expand their offerings so they can be responsive to consumer demands. there are four big thematic buckets for this legislation. i'm going to focus on the planning code related pieces.
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but i'm happy to talk about any of the health code or police code stuff as well. first, -- first sort of big bucket area, enable existing retail businesses to diversify their offerings and to attract models to vacant store fronts. one piece is aligning the local health code with the state health code to better enable the local businesses to offer to-go food offerings. so if they want to have to-go coffee or pastries, we want to make sure they're as able to do that as possible to get people in the door and also to -- to supplement their revenues. and the second piece is a police code piece around entertainment and having live events as part of a retail business that are currently under the police code and entertainment for a limited permit that offers limited entertainment up to 10:00 p.m.. and there's a food or beverage service requirement and we want to open that up to other businesses that aren't food or
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beverage serving businesses as well. and second bucket is on increasing opportunities for businesses to fill vacant storefronts and enhance vibrancy. and the first item here is on outdoor activity area uses. so presently in the neighborhood commercial corridors and an outdoor area is committed at the front and a conditional use at the back or on the roof across the board. this is really challenging for business owners who want to expand their offerings into a back patio space. you know, it can take a significant amount of time to get on the calendar. these are not eligible for the expedited processing. so it's been a real challenge for businesses. and, therefore, the proposal is to -- for businesses that would operate in a back patio or on a roof between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., and that would be possible with a neighborhood --
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subject to neighborhood notification. and that would give neighborhood stakeholders and neighbors the opportunity to weigh in through the neighborhood notification process. there's a possibility of discretionary review. that is one of a number of tools in the toolkit that the neighbors could weigh in upon with a liquor license and if they want to do -- if they want to go on about the sound, they could weigh in on that. so there's a number of avenues for community engagement in outdoor activity areas. and the second bucket here is around increasing opportunities for businesses in n.c.1 parcels and in the limited commercial uses and the nonconforming uses and the corner commercial uses as well. so presently there's a quarter mile radius approach to n.c.-1 that you look at every neighborhood commercial use or restricted sub-use district in a quarter mile of the property and you find the most restrictive
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elements and those apply to an n.c.-1 parcel or a limited commercial use or limited corner commercial. that can have and it does have unintended consequences. there was a business owner that wanted to open up a bottle shop and winetasting space in noi valley that couldn't because of restrictions. there's business owners looking to change their offerings to get a beer and wine permit for a restaurant use in coal valley and they can't because of pastry restrictions. the quarter mile approach is extremely challenging, especially in areas where there's multiple different quarter mile radiuses and multiple different commercial districts all stacked on top of each other. and it can be really be challenging and really limit the opportunities for folks to -- to do business in those spaces. i have a couple -- i know that this is one that people have had some -- or it's challenging to visualize so i have slides. this is -- and thank you to audrey for creating all of these
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maps on such a short notice. but this is the existing buffers, city-wide, for the n.c.d. buffers around -- around the n.c.d.s. a lot of the city is covered by these buffers. and in a number -- in a number of areas it's multiple buffers stacked on top of each other that is a real challenge. and on top of that the restricted use buffers that is in some cases four or five different zoning districts that one has to juggle in order to figure out if something is permissible in an n.c.-1 parcel. here is in terms of the hate in the coal valley example, this sent highlighted but there's kind of a purple shaded piece to the south of the street that is looped in there which is n.c.-1 and so, again, bound by
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restrictions that are for different commercial strip and that were designed for a different commercial strip. and then i have a couple other slides for north beach... and the mission, and i'd be happy to jump back in if there's any questions. this idea of reducing the buffers is also in line with the report which said, you know, that there are -- these parcels are subject to a much greater level of scrutiny than is perhaps appropriate so that -- and they recommended a suitable relaxation of this quarter mile concept to be examined. next step on the recommendations under the same umbrella idea of increasing opportunities, first, we're proposing to align the local and state health code requirements around open air spaces and enclosures. i won't dwell on that unless
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there's a question. and then also looking to fold amusement game and arcade uses into general entertainment. this is something that has been discussed in the past by planning staff and, you know, the brief backstory is that arcade uses -- were a product. i think that it's fair to say of a time in the 1980s where there was a lot of concern around the impact of arcade arcn our young people. but today these restrictions are playing out as preventing family oriented arcade business owners from opening up in a neighborhood. this happened, a business owner said that i wanted to open a business and it's an arcade. no which had which alcohol, jusa family-friendly place. and i too, we were both appalled by the limited number of options for folks. not to say this is permitted everywhere, it's just in line with general entertainment so pool halls and bowling alleys,
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these are similar type of uses to be treated similarly. and a couple elements around live music venues. first, is reducing -- eliminating, actually, the inspections for the establishment of new entertainment uses. so if an entertainment business has a health permit a fire permit, they don't need to get reinspected immediately by the health or fire department to get an entertainment permit. and the land-use planning code oriented piece is the second one about entertainment venues that also operate as restaurants. so a brief kind of back story there is that in order for an entertainment venue to admit patrons of all ages it has to have a restaurant-style liquor license. that's a state rule. so, therefore, it has to operate as a restaurant use. and the challenge is that some of the local provisions of a bona fide eating place don't really align with how entertainment performance spaces operate. there's a requirement of five days a week of operation and there's a requirement of 51% of grocery receipts from food which
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for a ticketed venue doesn't make sense. and i know that there's been some community questions and concerns around this proposal. we are still going to talk about it or continue to talk about it with the board of supervisors but understand if more needs to be done to drill down on the specific used case that we're trying to support, again, to support the growth and the -- sustain the existing music in the performance venues that we have which are under vulnerable sector of business. and doing clarification work around provisions around liquor license -- there are a few liquor license types that are not mentioned in the planning code right now or only mentioned as a bar when they could operate as a restaurant that has historically thrown business owners and staff into a little
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bit of confusion about -- so a brewery can operate a bar or it can operate a restaurant with the same license type but the 23 is only mentioned as a bar. that's a head scratcher. businesses have had to get a letter of determination adding time and money to the process and we want to tighten that step. and type two, wine-maker license, similar sort of concept there is. and, finally, tweaking the accessories provision to clarify that it is permitted except in the districts where it says that it's not. we had submitted a short memo of a few other anticipated amendments that i think that are largely clean-up -- clean-up -- there's more copies over there as well. but briefly to -- to touch on each of those. we did not due to oversight
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amend the section on limited corner commercial uses but we want to bring it in alignment with 300 feet from the nearest n.c.d. and outdoor activity areas and neighborhood notification, we're still talking with districts 411, where neighborhood or outdoor activity areas are is not noted, and between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., do they want to have notification for outdoor entertainment areas? that's something that we're still talking about with them. and finally a couple tweaks to a couple of zoning districts. in d5, related to amusement game arcades and general entertainment but i won't belabor that. and i think that concludes my presentation. >> thank you very much, and i see that supervisor brown is here. thank you. and thank you, commissioners.
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i'm happy to be here. you know, when i first came into office the first thing i did is i went and walked all of my commercial corridors. and the one thing that i have heard over and over again from merchants that are struggling is that we have too many regulations, too many codes. that, you know, that between trying to open up a business and the costs of real estate, i mean, how many of them -- and a lot of them have to rent a space and it takes them a year or a year and a half to even get open. and a lot of them don't even survive. and one of the things that they had said was, you know, the city makes it really hard for businesses to survive. one of the things that they talked about is the -- the regulations were like on hait street as ben had talked about. hait street has restrictions, but the way that it works is coal valley is affected by it.
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and so someone can't get a beer license because of those restrictions. and coal valley has its own merchant thriving corridor. one of the things that i felt really important for me, and i think a lot of constituents and people in the city, is merchant corridors -- we use them, they're an extension of our homes. i mean, in this city, i don't say to my friends come to my little house and we're going to all hang out. i say i'll meet you at the bar, i'll meet you at a restaurant and we're all hanging out. and we -- that's how we -- that's how we live in this city is that we use the merchant corridors as an extension of our homes. and i feel that it's really important for us to start really looking at how can we save our merchant corridors. this is one of them. i have a merchant in hayes valley that built a really beautiful patio in the back. spent all of this money.
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and then the neighbors doesn't want them to use it. and so they weren't using it past 9:00. it closed at 9:00. there was no music back there, nothing. but they didn't use it because they said i don't want to have neighbors complain. i'm afraid that they'll go and mess when we come up for our lick oliquor license. these are things that, you know, we need to start thinking about how we can support merchants. so taking these kind of restrictive codes away is really important. another example that i think that was used was free gold watch. that was the arcade on height street and that had to be a carve out for them. if you have been to free gold watch arcade, it is -- mostly it's kids. it's a place for kids and people can bring their kids. they can hang out. adults with play the old 1980s games, pacman, and the kids can play the new ones. and it is like such -- it's a
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great place. but that had a carve out. and we shouldn't have to do that. that was a big lift for that merchant to come to the district supervisor and say, can you help me. and so i just feel that it's so important that we start looking at how do we keep our merchant corridors thriving and we live in a city -- this is the reason that we live here is because we have all of these amazing merchants. so i just really thank all of you for thinking about supporting this, and i am -- i'm definitely a big supporter. so, thank you. and one other thing -- as we're going on -- all of us, including supervisor peskin and supervisor fewer and myself, have put forward all kinds of legislation so that we can fill the vacancies in our merchant corridors, some with sticks and some with carrots. and one of the things is that i
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don't want to have it where we have it even harder to fill those vacant spaces. so, thank you. >> thank you very much, supervisor brown. again, the planning department staff, i'll keep this very short and i feel that supervisor brown covered many of the aspects of the ordinance that i'm happy to go over in questions. just a short description that the planning code -- the proposed ordinance would amend not only the planning code but the health and police code to have the approval of certain types of bar and retail services and limited commercial uses in h.r. and h.m., and r.t.o. districts and for outdoor activity areas. the department did receive a submission for public comment since the publishing of this packet and it's from the letter of small office supporting the proposed ordinance. you received that this morning. they recommend to approve the
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ordinance to remove hear hurdles while having controls to ensure that neighborhood compatibility. the changes that the ordinance makes alleviates the problems in the retail study and the planning department's 2009 report on neighborhood commercial districts. these proposed changes will bring more commercial activity to our districts, maintaining a favorable social and cultural climate in san francisco. and assisting in reducing storefront vacancies in the district. i'm available for questions as is mr. van horton. thank you. >> thank you very much. do we have -- public comment on this item, please. i don't have any speaker cards. come on up. anybody who is interested in speaking about this item please line up on my left. thank you. go ahead. >> good morning, my name is chevy and i'm here with the golden gate restaurant association and i'm just here to voice our excited support for the small business permit
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streamlining. i don't have to reiterate as everyone has said that operating a small business in san francisco is very tough and we find it tedious and lengthy and sometimes plain confusing. so this definitely helps us to continue to be in the city that we want to be in and the communities that we want to see thrive and keep this culture going. so we're excited to see this hopefully go through as well as many more amendments to make, owning and operating a business in san francisco to be easier. thank you. >> clerk: next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, i'm danny sauder, a resident of north beach and the president of north beach neighbors. we're a neighborhood association with 300 businesses, both businesses and residents. we're here to support this bill today. in our neighborhood we have had a front row seat to the rising vacancies in recent years. a study that we conducted last year found that the vacancy rate in our commercial district of north beach had more than doubled since 2015 and now stands at over 10%. controls have their place but
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it's clear that we have gone too far. right now the only businesses who are able to survive the process of confusing language and restrictive permits are heavily financed businesses. these are usually national chain stores that can wait things out and absorb delays. mom and pop shops, local stores, do not have this luxury. and this is a group that our city needs to do better for and we need to create more room for these shops to open up and for the merchants to have a chance. we must find a way to create a path in this city for those who have hard work and grit and not a ph.d in the planning code. today's legislation is a good first step in making that path possible. please support it. thank you. >> thank you, mr. sauder. next speaker, please. >> hello. as we know that small business is in crisis today with all of the competition from online sales and amazon and so on. and one of the toughest things for small business today is
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permitting between the preservation and all of these items out there right now, it can take months and months and months to get a permit. sometimes people just walk away and say forget it, i won't wait for this permit to get through. this is great. i really applaud supervisor brown for bringing this up. because the sooner you get a place open, the sooner you have more traffic and the sooner you have more traffic, not just for the businesses in the area benefit from, but also the community. because the community has more places to go to and it makes it a more vibrant and so i urge to please pass these amendments. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello. my name is steve wickwer and i opened up a coffeehouse in coal valley about a year and a half ago now. i had worked in san francisco as a manager for three different
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coffeehouses for the last 10 years. and my goal was to bring my passion for a high-end coffee to a neighborhood that didn't have it. and coal valley had been on my radar and it's been really been awesome so far. people have really responded to what i have brought to the hood. just as part of my extended plan i did want to transition the shop to be open later, introduce weekly entertainment events, mainly stand-up comedy which the neighborhood has a history with. and we wanted to have bier and wine which is the viable business option for expanding your business in this way and justifying having later hours and the increased cost. i have been told by the planning department in 2017 that this would be permitted -- and i'm now, obviously, learning that -- i think that i'm somewhere in the vicinity of 50 feet from
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being, you know, in the restrictions. so, you know, this really -- this really will change my -- my ability to survive in this space. as coast goes up, costs go up,e to survive on coffee sales alone. it's a shame for my business but also the community that would like to see me expand and bring cool new things into the hood. and, yeah, so it's -- it would be really too bad if i wouldn't be able to see my potential. so i do actually have one letter with a community member for your consideration here. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> hello planning commission. my name is ben lineman and i'm the president of the san francisco entertainment commission in this building. but today i am speaking as a
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civilian, and you can tell because i'm wearing my civilian hat. i'm also the small business owner of san francisco for 10 years, a number of bars and restaurants and i'm the chairman of the california music and culture association, otherwise known as cenac and a founder of a group called the san francisco bar owner alliance, which have 350 members which all own equity in bars in san francisco. in 10 years of doing business in this city i have noticed three things. the first is that it's become systematically harder for non-megacorporations and small businesses to survive. payroll costs and health care and rent are squeezing our margins to the point of breaking. and second is alongside of this we have noticed artists and musicians and dancers and people in the entertainment arts fleeing the city due to the rising costs and the diminishing opportunities for businesses to actually employ them. which is a huge issue. and the third thing that i have notice side that very, very rarely does anything come out of city hall that actually is a
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positive impact on small business. over and over again we find things at city hall that make it harder, not easier, for us to conduct business. most of the time that just means higher costs and higher restrictionrestrictions and lesa competitive advantage against the large cor corporations, andt in my case but other cases online retailers that are wreaking havoc on our retail sectors. that's why i'm excited about this proposal. it's really amazing and it addresses real issues, actual concrete issues, that we in the small business community face every day and it's going to make an actual positive difference for small business in san francisco. and i can't tell you the last time that i was able to say that about a piece of legislation. it just fills me with joy. so i urge you very strongly to vote in favor of this today and to help to be part of the solution for small business in san francisco. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon,
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commissioners. my name is cory donaldson and i'm a nate i of san francisco and i'm in the process of opening up my first businesses that i own in the city. i haven't owned businesses very long but in my short time of learning it is really clear just how difficult it is to make small businesses survive, from big corporations, unlike for people like myself, people of color. i have looked at these streamlining suggestions and i truly think they will make a big impact for people like me who are trying to live our dream of owning successful small businesses in san francisco. i ask you today to please vote in favor of it. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon commissioners, peter papadopoulos and i want to start by talking about the context of some of our thoughts on this. we are hearing right now live that different neighborhoods
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have very different needs and perspectives on certain elements. and that's why we have been doing a lot of work in the neighborhoods like the mission to very intentionally rezone and reclassify all sorts of things and we feel that it's been quite effective. for example, the mission is seeing a curious combination of increasing vacancy, speculation, and sort of hyper gentrification which don't seem to go together and need to be involved in some sort of unraveling perhaps together of its lots. and other neighborhoods i wouldn't be as nearly as well versed in, right, but we're hearing some today of what the other issues are and they are seeing an awful lot of outside money come in and launch other businesses and it's not seeing homegrown mom and pops expanding or seeking to go into business and that is for a variety of reasons which i won't get into and some which intersect with this. so i want to mention four areas
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and that we are taking time to discuss these issues with mission groups and that was helpful to walk through these and to learn more about the legislation which is complex in my opinion. so there's the bona fide eating place which is systemic as some of you know in the mission where we think that there's an incredible amount of bona fide eating place, finding a way to circumvent the alcohol restrictions put in place in the mission. so we think that there's something there that needs to be done. we agree that we're entertainment spaces but we'd like to see a different mechanism worked out and we'd be happy to work on what that is. we have a lot of floating -- as we call them n.c.-1 and n.c.-2 and l.c.u.s in the mission and unlike so much of the mission that you heard over and over, there's not really any current intentionality in our opinion
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right now. what we're hearing is that other neighborhoods that are dominated by some of this zoning and they have a vested interest in making it work in a particular way and given their needs, right. and sometimes it's the main commercial corridor in. the mission it's the mom and pop storefronts and so we'd like to see that brought into its own mission use, perhaps with a clear intentionality that we all work out together. and maybe map 2020 as a place to work on that. finally, the outdoor activities -- that seems to be something that makes sense from what we're hearing from people and at the same time we do have a hesitancy to keep moving things into d.r. territory and putting the onus on the community to watch things. so we would like to keep a close eye on it as it goes forward. thank you. >> thank you, mr. papadapolous. next speaker. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i was looking at this map, initially i talked to planner --
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overhead please -- so according to the map i started looking at all of the n.c.d.s and the different changes to the buffer zones. i was trying to figure out, okay, where are the l.c.u.s near where i am. and i tried to figure out how would i determine this, the mechanics of how to figure out which use would be allowed in future. i put in a records request and i was told that the planning department couldn't fulfill the request because there are hundreds of these things in the city. and each one has a unique purpose and use and that's why i'm here and that is why i am trying to figure out what might occur on the llcus. i'll show you this other slide. so i don't know how to adjust this thing, but, anyway, right now i have an l.c.u. that is allowed for residential and office. so then i started using the charts and figuring out the mechanics of the nearest named
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n.c.d., compared to the n.c.-1 table and now the apparent uses are all of the ones that i listed in black here which are potentials. so without notifications we wouldn't know what might occur and i looked further up in the code in article 1, i found out that some of these terms are not defined so then i thought what would those uses be. and so i'm looking at it from a residential parcel perspective and not anything to do with the business side, which is fine, to make things easier. and then i looked at your other chart in the package which had the -- the restricted use districts within the existing quarter mile. that chart -- and i noticed that there's bright squares on the right in the legend but then i didn't see the other things under section 249.35 of the planning code, the restricted use. there's a whole bunch more that's not in the map.
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so i basically am more concerned with the potential uses in the residential that might come out and also someone in the committee at land use -- coalition land use mention body noise. i know that the japan m.c.d., offensive the organizing committee for japan town and they had noise control for certain areas. i know that certain areas of town are like single family homes and stuff. it could be a noise control thing instead of d.r.s. thank you. >> thank you, miss hillson. any other public comment on this item? okay, public comment is now closed. commissioner koppel. >> thank you to all of the staff involved with this work today and small businesses i think are the most vulnerable and are really riding the line every day of surviving or not surviving. i'm glad to see supervisor brown
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really taking the lead on this one. my office is down between church and market in lower areas so i frequent those businesses down near my office and really do check in with the owners and see how they're doing in general just to keep them afloat. the thing they really want to see disappear is the duplications. i mean, just for a business owner to, let's say, to have to get the same inspection twice with different agencies doesn't make sense. and then this is also going to help, you know, to clean things up for those departments so they can, you know, keep their resources where they need to, instead of just extending them out needlessly. >> thank you. commissioner richards. >> so i actually thought originally that -- i looked at this in a different perspective in the r.t.o. but then i wandered down the street and there's two blood drawing labs and an architecture office and there's a corner japanese restaurant and a corner french restaurant. so i actually felt a lot more
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comfortable about it. the one portion of this that i don't feel comfortable about is the principally permitted 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. outdoor area. that's where we hear the most contention. we have had one bar in hayes valley and we had the old julie suppers club in fulsome that was a big brouhaha and we had the dentistry bar out on mission street. doing it as a d.r. or just a neighborhood notification really is -- isn't i think fair to the neighborhood. i want to believe able to have some recourse if they are actually bad actors with enforcement on r.c.u. on a c.u., and i'd like to see that stay to outdoor activity area. because w we've had a lot of fights on that. and the other stuff seems fine. >> commissioner hillis. >> i mean along those lines can i just ask about that -- the
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thinking behind that. because it is an issue that we see from time to time here. i think that one problem is that we don't know when we see -- i mean, sometimes they're on consent or we approve them. we do hear some contentious ones about the outdoor use. maybe you can elaborate on the thinking if there's any data on how many have been approved in the last decade and what the response has been. >> absolutely, yeah, i can't go back a decade but i think that -- and feel free to jump in -- but we have looked back at the past approvals, actually, after conceptualidessing 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the approvals in the last four -- three of them were 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and one was 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., which was all that the business requested because they closed -- they closed the business at 8:00 p.m. every night. so, you know, looking back into that data over the last several years made us feel more comfortable about it as well as, you know, again the knowledge
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that this is one of -- one of a number of pieces of the public. land use is a piece of the puzzle to regulating outdoor space. you know, that there's the liquor license conditioning process, there are entertainment permits for outdoor amplified sound that can be conditioned, as well as, you know, the s.d.r. and building permit appeal if it goes that route. but in terms of being able to adjust in a real-time kind of way and impose conditions in a more real-time way, there's other pathways as well. >> so how many -- do you know how many outdoor c.u.s have been before this commission in -- you know, in whatever time period that you have? >> so as a general idea, since 2011 is when we went back -- there's been, as he said i believe 4 have been in front of you -- that you have approved.
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there are currently i believe two that are in the process of a c.u. and will come before you in the next month. >> okay, all right, thanks. >> commissioner moore. >> i appreciate this, and interlacing with legislation with personal experience, that helps a lot to really put it in context. there's still a lot of loose ends which i personally cannot as well connect because it involves so many areas of expertise. i am definitely interested in seeing the arcade issue simplified. when it was brought up a few years ago, it came basically out of the 80s and back into the -- into the 21st century. at that time we made restrictions not really fully understanding it. and i'm glad that it's now to be discussed and fully brought into the discussions. very much in support of all music venues, based also on the experience that one of the --
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coal valley people described. the only question is would this be non-amplified music which would be preferred. amplified music has side effects that require a completely different set-up. and there are other questions about, for example, i personally wondered are there specific small businesses and commercial corridors that have been identified where there is an actual correlation between that night life entertainment uses and the successful small neighborhoods like neighborhood retail sales? as far as i know, many of those venues operate at different hours and i do not see the correlation. are there examples that you could mention where you see that to be an issue? >> thank you for the question. you know, i do think that
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there's more opportunity to explore the idea of nighttime retail to expand the possibilities there. we do know that a number of our corridors that do have a strong night life and entertainment component, where night life is drawing people to the neighborhood -- those people go before the concert starts and they will walk the corridor and hopefully if there's some shops open, in addition before they do their dining or their drinking -- i don't thank we have enough data on these sort of hyper localized specific concepts. but that is something that i'm interested in because it seems that having a vibrant corridor is either having a cluster of businesses or specific anchor business that draws people there and then the opportunities that are there for the rest of the businesses to take advantage as part of that. and i don't have as good a data as we ought to but it's something worth further exploration. >> san francisco has a multiuse