Legislation meant to bring stronger public scrutiny of office-type uses taking over ground floor retail spaces in San Francisco’s gay Castro district and along Noe Valley’s commercial corridor sailed through the city’s planning commission today.
The commission voted 5-0 to recommend that the Board of Supervisors adopt the zoning change. The supervisors are expected to pass it once it is taken up at the committee level in the coming months.
Gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents both neighborhoods at City Hall, introduced the legislation in order to make permanent the interim zoning rule the city adopted along upper Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro Street requiring office-type uses, such as banks and title companies, to seek conditional use permits if leasing sidewalk-fronting storefronts.
The interim rule was put in place in the summer of 2013 in response to a slew of new mixed-use buildings opening along the busy thoroughfare that combined new housing over retail spaces. Castro residents voiced concerns that banks and real estate firms would rush in and crowd out more traditional retailers, leaving dead zones at night and on weekends when they were closed.
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