DZLU MEETING DATE: November 19, 2019
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
a. 1600 JACKSON/MOLLIE STONE’S
Nick Foster, assigned Planner, acknowledged receipt of RHN’s recent support letter. Subsequent to our meeting, a permit application for tenant improvements for the store was submitted on 11/21/2019. In addition, in the December edition of the Marina Times and in his December constituent newsletter, Supervisor Peskin noted “My office has been working closely with local family-owned business Mollie Stone’s to finally activate the long-vacant former Lombardi’s Sports site in Upper Polk, and construction will start soon.”
b. 2424 POLK (AT UNION) (POTENTIAL CANNABIS RETAIL)
No permit or conditional use applications have yet been submitted at this location. A DZLU representative attended a pre-application meeting on 11/6/2019 for another proposed similar use by a different sponsor at 1735 Polk (at Washington) outside RHN’s boundaries in order to preview potential areas of interest or concern that might arise at Upper Polk. A key focus was reviewing the sponsor’s track record in the industry and in similar installations. All new outlets must follow the City’s Cannabis Office’s guidelines outlined in its “Good Neighbor
Policy” to obtain and maintain their licenses. The policy covers security, ventilation, prohibition of on-site consumption among other subjects. There were inquiries regarding the sponsor’s enforcement plans, and plans for hours of operation, signage and pedestrian and vehicular access. Willingness to work with the community to address concerns would be critical, as well as ongoing outreach to neighborhood and merchant associations, the local Community Benefits District, individual merchants, residents and home-owners associations.
c. PHILZ COFFEE
Soft opening occurred 11/19/2019.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. LOMBARD STREET TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
Governor Newsom’s veto of the “reserve toll system” pilot program (which would have allowed for a collection of a toll to secure a timed-access for a vehicle to drive down the crooked part of Lombard Street on a trial basis) provides an opportunity to develop alternate proposals to deal with the negative impacts associated with this very popular tourist attraction.
RHN has drafted letters to several elected officials including Mayor Breed, Supervisor Stefani, Assemblymember Ting and Governor Newsom requesting working together to craft solutions. A meeting was held on 11/19/2019 with Supervisor Stefani. Her staff intends to meet with the Governor to explore whether any element of a reservation system might be feasible. The supervisor’s office will also explore legislation that establishes a holistic approach to solving this issue by coordinating pertinent city departments including SFMTA, OEWD, SFPD and establishing an effective funding mechanism.
b. 5G REGULATIONS
The organization San Franciscans for Local Control, not Telecom is advocating that the Board of Supervisors revise Ordinance 190-19 to reflect potential health and aesthetic concerns of 5G antenna installations. A hearing on this issue is scheduled at the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee meeting on
12/16/2019 at 1:30 pm at City Hall, Room 250. All those interested or concerned are encouraged to follow this and attend.
c. SFCUU MONTHLY MEETING UPDATE, TELAMON ENGINEERING
The committee is awaiting the report from Telamon anticipated by end of year. Efforts are ongoing to encourage City officials to fund the critical full Master Plan for undergrounding utilities.
d. POSSIBLE COMMERCIAL VACANCY TAX
The Board of Supervisors approved placing a measure on the March 2020 ballot that proposes a tax of $1,000 per linear foot of street frontage if a commercial vacancy remains vacant for more than 6 months in a given tax year in most neighborhood commercial districts. The average storefront is estimated to be about 25 feet long. In 2021 the tax begins at a rate of $250 per foot, increasing to $500 in 2022 before reaching $1,000 in 2023 and subsequent years. A one-tear exemption applies if a permit for remodeling has been issued, or a 6-month exemption following application for a conditional use permit. Some have expressed caution or concern about the measure, urging longer exemption periods or an approach that provides incentives rather than penalties. Some also argue that the proportion of “bad-actors” intentionally keeping properties vacant is small, and that many property owners have genuine difficulty filling spaces in spite of earnest efforts.