Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Support New Restaurant Rules in Noe Valley

From Carol Yenne - owner of Small Frys. Email Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org (again!) on this one...


Dear Friends, next Monday is the day for the Land Use hearing on allowing
restaurants in Noe Valley with conditional use.
April 19th at 1:00 at the Board's Land Use Committee.


Twenty years+ ago the 24th Street neighborhood opted for a NO on any new
food places in Noe Valley, This was in response to the fear of fast food
chain restaurants in the neighborhood, i.e. McDonalds which had just opened
up in the Haight etc. This outright ban affects only 24th street. It was
not imposed on Church or Valencia or other adjacent streets which helps
explain why the restaurants have opened up in these locations rather than on
24th Street. These neighborhoods have conditional use restrictions on
restaurants opening except those chain restrictions imposed city wide.

The unintended consequences of this outright ban is that it has made every
restaurant permit in the street a "commodity" that only chains can afford to
purchase and because there is no CONDITIONAL USE permit when a restaurant
turns over there is no control by the neighborhood as to types of
restaurants that come in or equipment used to alleviate smell/noise which is
the objection of some neighbors.

Ten years ago a members survey done by Friends of Noe Valley indicated that
a majority of members of Friends now wanted more restaurant options. Four
years ago Friends of Noe Valley and Merchants and other groups joined
together to support the opening of the window to allow for 3 new restaurants
without conditional use. Because of the cost of space, availibility of
suitable space and arcane & clumsy system used by the city we got
1(Contigo). This opening for three new restaurants is going to expire next
year with the net result of one.

City planning has suggested we change the zoning to allow for new
restaurants/food options WITH CONDITIONAL USE for each one. This compromise
would set up a system where any new restaurant that replaced an existing
restaurant or comes in would have to come to the neighborhood groups first
to get permission/work with neighbors on noise/smell concerns or risk being
opposed at city hall. We could say yes to mom/pop restaurant i.e. Contigo
and no to Applebee's, we could demand the high level of noise/smell
abatement etc.

We have even gotten the support of many established food operators like Noe
Valley Bakery & Noe Valley Deli as well as businesses like Tuggies Hardware
who understand that restaurants bring more foot traffic into the
neighborhood which helps all businesses and especially supports the small
mom/pop shops that sell flower, hardware, gifts, clothing etc that so many
people fear loosing from Noe Valley.

Last fall the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals association voted to
work to request this change in zoning. City Planning took up the issue for
our neighborhood as well as others and approved our request unanimously.
Then a community meeting was recently held by Supervisor Dufty at St.
Philips Church with a 2 -3 to one majority vote in favor of this change to
our zoning.

However, there are a number of residents in the neighborhood who will fight
any new food option for a variety of reasons not really understanding that
this conditional use actually gives the neighborhood more power over food
operators. They plan to be at this hearing to try and stop this from going
forward. Therefore I ask for support in attending the hearing and/or
letters of support to Bevan Dufty & Boe Hayward at the address above.
Details on the hearing are below.

Thank You.

Carol Yenne

Dear All,
We will hear the Noe Valley restaurant item on April 19th at 1:00 at the
Board's Land Use Committee.

The Committee allows for public comment on each item, so people will be able
to speak in favor or in opposition to our proposal for new restaurants via a
Conditional Use along 24th Street .

Please let me know if you have any questions about the item and please let
me know if you will be able to attend.


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