San Francisco may expand chain store ban to Polk Street neighborhood

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Amid an effort by Whole Foods to move into the Polk Street neighborhood, recently elected Supervisor Aaron Peskin has introduced legislation to ban chain stores in the area.

Introduced last week, the legislation would add the Polk Street Commercial Neighborhood District to the list of neighborhoods which ban chain stores..

The Board of Supervisors first approved a chain store ban in 2004 for Hayes Valley. That followed with bans in other areas like North Beach and Chinatown.

Where there isn’t an outright ban, chain stores — as currently is the case for Polk Street — must obtain a special conditional use permit, which can be appealed at the board as a result of the 2006 voter-approved Proposition G.

“I highly support it,” Dawn Trennert, past president of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association, said of the proposed ban. “It’s absolutely needed.”

Trennert said residents and local businesses have worked hard over the years to bolster the area and fashion a unique character.

“A lot of people are just seeing dollar signs around that,” she said of prospective chain businesses scouting the area.

While the group supports the ban, as it’s concerned about protecting the uniqueness of the corridor at-large, most immediately it wants to block Whole Foods from moving into the former Lombardi Sports building, purchased in 2014 by Village Properties, at Polk and Jackson streets.

Instead, the group argues the site should become housing with ground floor independent-operated retail… (more)

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