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Wednesday June 19 - CMAC After Dark


Mix it up with Political and Industry Folks:

You are invited to to join industry professionals like yourself and Supervisor David Campos to network and hear about his legislation to update the Mission Alcohol Special Use District.

June Mixer

David Campos and Scott Wiener


New rules will support neighborhood and innovative businesses, strengthen controls against problem establishments, and address loss of retail space on Valencia Street

May 14, 2013


Contact: Supervisor David Campos, (415) 554-7743, nate.allbee@sfgov.org

Supervisor Scott Wiener, (415) 554-6968, scott.wiener@sfgov.org

San Francisco, CA – At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisors David Campos and Scott Wiener will introduce legislation making targeted changes to alcohol controls in the Mission District and addressing loss of retail space on Valencia Street. The legislation will encourage businesses that contribute to the health and vitality of the community’s commercial corridors while strengthening controls on businesses that may have a negative effect. The area affected by this legislation includes major Mission District commercial corridors such as Mission Street, Valencia Street and 24th Street.

Initially established in the early 1990s to control the proliferation and clustering of problem businesses serving alcohol, the Mission Alcohol Special Use District (MSUD) has remained substantively unchanged for 17 years. In recent years community and business leaders have called for an update of the MSUD to reflect the current needs of The Mission.

“After a year of community and stakeholder meetings we have found a compromise that addresses the needs of neighbors, community groups and Mission business owners. The proposed changes update the MSUD by allowing new community based entrepreneurship while still continuing to strictly regulate alcohol use in the district,” said Supervisor Campos.

“The Mission District is a vibrant, unique neighborhood with a cultural and culinary reputation unrivaled in the City,” said Supervisor Wiener. “These updated alcohol controls strike a balance that will allow great businesses to flourish, while protecting the neighborhood from businesses that detract from our quality of life. The Mission Alcohol Special Use District, while well-intentioned, led to unintended consequences and prevented, delayed, or undermined great businesses – whether a bowling alley, art space, movie theater, or craft beer venue – in this neighborhood.”

Legislative changes include:

  • Planning Commission approval for full-service restaurants moving into retail spaces on Valencia Street.

There has been a recent increase in the number of restaurants on Valencia Street, and Valencia Street has become one of the top food destinations in San Francisco. In order to maintain the corridor’s diverse mix of retail, restaurants, and other services, proposed new full-service restaurants on Valencia between 15th and 24th Streets must now receive the permission of the Planning Commission (a “conditional use permit”) before occupying a former retail space. This new control, which is common in other commercial districts, will not apply to restaurants replacing other restaurants or restaurants replacing non-retail uses (e.g., banks). The new control embraces Valencia Street as a food mecca while acknowledging the critical importance of retail spaces to any healthy commercial area.

  • Neighborhood grocery stores allowed to sell limited amounts of beer and wine.

In keeping with the City’s current policy to discourage formula retail, the legislation removes a provision that favors large chain grocery stores over small, independent operators. Currently, only grocery stores over 5,000 square feet are allowed to sell beer, wine and spirits. The proposed controls will allow small grocery stores to sell beer and wine so that they can better serve the neighborhood and remain economically viable. Beer and wine sales would be limited to 15% of the grocery store’s floor space and would be subject to a hearing at and approval by the Planning Commission.

  • Improve the ability of current business owners to make repairs, renovations and become ADA compliant.

Under current Mission SUD alcohol rules, if a business is closed for more than 30 days it loses its liquor license. This restriction discourages business owners from updating their storefronts or making interior renovations, leading to deteriorating stores and restaurants. Under the proposed controls, business owners will be able to make physical improvements to their stores, such as increasing the size of their windows and making improvements to ensure compliance with disability laws, by allowing them to close up to 120 days for renovations without losing their authorization from the City to operate.

  • Alleviate clustering by allowing transfers of liquor licenses within the district.

Passage of the original MSUD froze all bars and liquor stores in the Mission in their 1990 locations with many such establishments being clustered together. Inappropriately located or problematic establishments can’t move to a different location without losing their licenses, making it unlikely they will be replaced by more responsible businesses. The new controls will allow for liquor licenses to be transferred to new locations within the MSUD while still prohibiting new licenses from entering the Mission.

The legislation will be heard before the Land Use and Economic Development Committee before being passed to the full Board of Supervisors.

For more information on the legislation click here:


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