tv [untitled] December 12, 2011 8:30am-9:00am PST
address today which i think goes hand in hand is how to improve our cu process. we believe in having strong neighborhood and put when we talk about the cartel activity, commercial corridors and whether formula retail stores come in. but one of the reasons we see pushed back for expanding the formula retail controls is that the conditional use process is exceptionally log cumbersome, painful and expensive. i hope in having the formal retail discussion, we can talk about ways to make it a better process for everyone. >> thank you. >> good afternoon.
i'm from the office of small business. my comments today are going to be around discussions, and formal recommendations the commission has had in its committee meetings. to be clear, the commission has not had a formal hearing a around this particular issue, so to provide any definitive direction or recommendations from the office or commission, that's not what my comments are about, but to provide you with information about the discussions we have had as we move forward -- we will be using these as guidelines for us. in 2009 and 2010, the small business commission did make to formal recommendations to the planning commission not to approve a pet store formula retail.
the commission did make these recommendations because the businesses came to the commission and so the commission responded to their request. in general, the commission does not take positions on a formula retail as a matter of course. in both instances, the small business commission's fault the guidelines in the planning code to make their recommendation and their recommendation was in the surrounding neighborhood was well served by the number of pet stores and there are plenty of similar retail uses within the eight block radius of the proposed site. in addition, in 2009, in a letter to the planning commission, are commission noted the city was actively recruiting this particular formula retail business into a couple of neighborhood marketplace initiative areas due
to the lack of a pet supply store. this particular formula retail entity declined the city's efforts to recruit as its choice was to be in higher income neighborhoods. this caused the commission to look at some of the criteria and are there other ways we could incentivize formula retail entities going into other areas? in addition, the commission did make some notes with those recommendations that one significantly more money said nerf -- circulates when purchases are made at locally owned stores rather than outside area at or nationally owned businesses? a bit from the san francisco
locally owned merchants -- merchants association. he will speak to dead details, but we used that study to provide some of our comments. most of our job has been distributed to that work force. what kind businesses are an integral part of our city's character and it -- homogenization impacts the character of our neighborhood. locally owned businesses are invested in our community and make strong commitments to the neighborhoods, schools, and nonprofits in the area. competition and diversity leads to more choices. for each formula retail pet store -- and this was specific to that letter to the commission -- for each formula retell the story that opens, several small independent retailers are
pressured often to the point of closing and that reduces competition. reduced environmental impact, locally owned businesses purchased products from local distributors and a large formula retailers may at distribution centers from outside the area. in july of this year, the commission made a recommendation to support supervisor mar's legislation to prohibit the stores from the ncd controls. while it is not be commission opposition to ban formula retail, the commission does believe there are times when formula retail is appropriate, but in this matter, the commission tends to defer to the supervisor when they are producing legislation that comes from their constituency.
as a result of the 2009 and 2010 discussions the commission has had, we have these items. one, there needs to be new and updated criteria from the planning department and that the planning commission can use for approval, that the current criteria that is there has lent itself to one type of formula retail which tends to be the type that goes into our neighborhood-serving businesses like a coffee shop for burger place, that type of thing. i will review what the criteria are -- what is the existing concentration of formula retail uses, the availability of other similar retail uses in the district and compatibility of the proposed formula retail use in the existing retail vacancy
rates in the district and existing mix of citywide serving retail uses in the neighborhood serving retail use within the district. you can see the criteria is very distraught-focused. -- district-focused. one position the commission worked with this this one operator was looking for retail space that specifically had parking. what this said to the commission is that the intention of this particular formula retail operator was not necessarily to drop from the customer base of our neighbor and commercial district, but it would be drawing from a large section of the city. -- not necessarily to drop from the customer base. we need to see if they are
intentionally looking for space for parking and that is a particular need, then is it a larger section of the city they will be drawing a customer base from or if it is a big box, potentially it is a full city- wide draw customers. recommendations we are moving forward with -- for larger from the retail, where we don't necessarily think it would be an absolute requirement for a formula retail that andncd impact, but for a larger -- for a larger format retell, the commission would make a recommendation that we might
want to consider proposing having an economic impact report and may be creating some threshold that would trigger that prior to the cu hearing. having regular updated economic impact reports that review current formula retail existing and its impact. this way, we are getting some economic measures and barometers of the decisions being made in terms of approving the formula retail. supervisor mar: thank you very much. we appreciate your testimony. >> i have a couple of other items. i can submit them in writing or would you prefer to hear them? supervisor mar: very briefly and we would like them submitted.
>> there would be notifications but it -- but to the potential businesses not just in the district ensure radius that may be impacted by the business, a citywide block book notification like our office and other stakeholders and taking a look at community benefits, i know we often talked about impact fees and perhaps this committee benefits could be used toward doing economic assistance and development with businesses in the neighborhood commercial corridor or funds going to such programs for neighborhood economic development organizations to assist businesses that may be impacted by the business coming in and to help them deal with the transition. supervisor mar: thank you for the work on the shop small and
small business saturday. i was going to say that anne- marie rogers from the planning department is here and she's going to present and she will be followed by the small business commission. we will be opening up for public comment and a few of our key experts that will be speaking are the owner of a hardware store and another sector impacted by large from the retail in many different areas of our city. then one of the leaders of a new coalition of small businesses and the owner of a pet supply store and followed by another outside expert at labor policy expert from uc-berkeley. thank you for being with us. >> good afternoon. i know it has been a long hearing so i will keep my items focused. there were four items i wanted to cover and feel free to interrupt me. very briefly, i will go over the
history. i heard a little bit about the controls so i will gloss over the high points of that and i will go over a summary of recent applications for formula retail we've reviewed at the planning department and commission and i will conclude with some of our current issues related to land use in formula retail. i just handed to the clerk report we gave to the planning commission earlier this summer and i put copies for members of the public here. most of the information is contained in that report. briefly, looking back at history, formula retail was first legislated in 2004 with an ordinance that established for retail and brad pitt in one district while making it conditional use in another. -- since 2004, the code has been
amended numerous times with regards to formula retail. in 2007, the voters passed proposition g which required any neighborhood commercial district to have a conditional use authorization formula for formula retail and further defined the formula retail use. that's a little bit about the legislative history. the definition for what is a formula retail is any type of retail or sales activity which has 11 are more along with that shop being applied for locations in the united states. in addition, they have to have to of the following features -- either a standardized path of merchandise, standard de corps or color scheme, standard facade, or trademark and service mark.
that is the current definition of formula retail and it applies to a number of types of retail controls and this was also approved by the voters in 2007. i could list those specifically. the listed in your report on page 2 if you are interested. i did hear regina go over the conditional use criteria of the planning commission uses to make a determination as to whether or not formula retail would be necessary or desirable for any particular location, so i won't go over those characteristics again. instead, i would like to show you an overview as to where formula retail is currently permitted, not permitted, and conditionally permitted. that's going to be really hard to read. there are two places formula
retail is prohibited. that would be north beach and hayes valley. there are a couple of areas where they are prohibited and one of those would be restaurants in the upper fillmore and the other would be for a pet food supplies store and formula retail restaurants. >> can we get a copy of that? it is a fascinating map and i would like to study more closely. >> yes. it complies with everything on page 2 where list of the districts. i was trying to get a sense of how much of the city was regulated by formula retail. we have places where certain of them are prohibited and everyplace else is marked by a blue with a conditional use authorization is required. mainly it is the commercial district of the city. but for downtown, is intensive commercial districts.
the shopping center where formula retail is permitted use. that is an overview of where the district bar. they're listed on page 2 of the report. one thing i did want to update from the report, i will hand out copies is the status of applications our department reviews. the report you have was of this summer and we have had a few more applications. since the voters passed proposition gee, this is a chart showing conditional use authorizations and the outcome of those applications with our department. this shows permits that were approved. about 65 percent sign were approved. these are the ones we are currently reviewing.
these are similar because they may be related results. this one in red is the disapproved one. they were either disapproved by the planning commission or on appeal by the board of supervisors. if we are reviewing the application that looks like it is not consistent, necessary or desirable with the neighborhood, we will encourage the sponsor to not proceed with their application. when you see the applications that are withdrawn, they may be once headed toward disapproval and we advise them of that and we -- and they withdrew their permit application. it is a lot of maps. >> if you want to look at that geographically, and that's what i just handed out to the supervisors, this is a map of
the active, approved, withdrawn or disapproved throughout the city. i don't know if they can zoom in at all, but i was going to show you -- the green ones are showing you -- that is going to the mission -- that's very good. don't worry. that's an example. members of the public can get a copy afterwards. this is showing areas in the mission. looks consistent with what i showed up with about 75% approved. the northeast part of the city, district 3, -- supervisor cohen: there is nothing in district 10, nothing approved or disapproved or withdrawn. >> we need to do better
recruitment of you what formula retail in your district. >> there is for real retail there. >> prior to 2007, when proposition g was passed, it only required neighborhood approval. i have a more full list of -- that includes some included with neighborhood notification. they were either permitted prior to that or there is a mistake in the map or they were permitted prior to when the conditional use authorization was required in 2007. those could be permitted and approved from 2006, but it would be quite a while for it to be just not showing up. i could look into it if you like me to research it. >> that is not in a neighborhood
commercial district. they are in an industrial district, they are not subject to formula retail controls. it would have to be in one of those areas where we do regulated as formula retail, otherwise it is under whatever requirements we have for that type of retail category. supervisor wiener: in that castro, the planning commission did it reject one for walgreen's and an additional space on 18th street and chase at 18th and castro was rejected because banks are included. >> there are some cats with this matter. this shows walgreen's that was a an expansion, so we have one
criteria that was disapproved earlier and they came back with a subsequent application that was approved. there are a lot of cats with that. another is the way we do data is -- i did not go back and personally review the applications, so this is subject to planners properly categorizing that this fell under the formula retail controls section. if they categorize that when they did that and take, that is what is showing up here. there may be some that have not been recorded >> thank you for the hard work on these maps. >> i should have given it up front. supervisor mar: even the map with the different types of small businesses with computer electronics, hardware to
clothing to pet food or pet supply stores -- the map is a very useful. >> maybe i will show that one to the public. i did provide information to the supervisors said they could look at the overall types of applications we have before us. >> within these categories, the supervisors have idea of how many restaurants verses computer and electronics stores. this is somewhat arbitrary. i made at the groupings and so i put cell phone stores under electronics and computers. it is an estimate and i put the business as same thing. that is our current assessment. 75% or so far proved of all the
applications filed. the rest either withdrawn or disapproved or still pending hearing at the planning commission. so there are some issues that have been coming up and that's why we had a hearing this summer at the planning commission. there are some hot topics around the formula retail issues. in particular, there have been requests that the law should be amended so banks would be included in the definition of formal retail. this has been a request by certain members of the planning commission as well as members of the board of supervisors. as regina explained, both members of the planning commission and small-business commission have been studying this issue and will be collaborating on it in the future. on the topic of why banks are or are not included in for retail, i can go into that in more detail.
i would suggest this is something ripe for revisiting this is there is a much discontent with the way it is being implemented. the laws governing formula retail have been consistently applied by our department for the last seven years. this is the way we have been doing it since the beginning. during that time, history in this report, the law has changed, so it is possible to update the law through a consider process of public hearings, even though was established by voters initiative, those parts established by initiatives cannot be changed, the law cannot be weakened, but it can be strengthened. that is the power of the legislative body in san francisco. that concludes my report. supervisor mar: thank you very much. we're waiting for jennifer from the office of economic and work-
force development. i would like to call up kathleen who has been a long time small- business leader and a member of the small business commission in the city, that we will open this up for public comment. >> good afternoon, supervisors. as regina's said, are commission has only taken some ltd. notes on formula retail, but i wanted to come and share my experiences as i have worked for quite a long time, working with pat store owners and attending a lot of planning commission meetings and say what i think are the issues we need to be thinking about now. one of the issues i would like to speak to is how there is such a big change with big boxes coming in. it is not like in the old days were a walgreen's would come in and they would be selling a limited amount of things. now we see big box stores and
the all sorts of areas that are carrying a huge number of different products impacting major swath of small businesses. that is somewhere i think we need to start looking at those stores all little differently since they carry everything from sandwiches to barbeques to pharmacy -- their impact is quite great of these neighborhoods they're proposing to come in. it's no longer simply a few items they carry. we to look that much more closely. the other thing we noticed when i was working with the pet people was the new tendency to try to open a smaller formula retail clone of the big box that will finish in to a smaller ncd but will still be coming in with
the same but equal playing field of having availability to large warehouses, to heavy-duty discounts of buying, so even though they're coming in at a smaller square footage, they are still coming in as a clone of a big box. that is of concern. when i worked with the pat stores, it was interesting to me the current parameters the planning commission was using to describe -- to decide whether or not a business would have impact was much broader when i spoke to the many pet stores. formula retail even a mile or two away as shown themselves to have a large financial impact, much larger than the eight blocs. we need to look at these big boxes as potential category killers and i think we all want
to preserve our small business they breads, each with their own individual personalities. i think there are places for formula retail and neighborhoods that would welcome them and it would be a great asset to their neighborhoods, but we are looking more and more at formula retail trying to push the way into these small neighborhood areas and that's not something that has proven to be very positive. supervisor mar: thank you. let's open this up for public comment. i wanted to fight -- to invite a number of experts i mentioned earlier. thank you for being with us. the time limit is two minutes. >> thank you for inviting me. i am asked to come and speak about big box experience as opposed to small formula -- i
have been in the big box fight in san francisco or the attempt to keep big box out of san francisco for 20 plus years, starting in 1984 with the first big box attempting to get into san francisco. it has never been about us verses some deep snow or whatever, although it has a huge impact of my business. the concern is the efficacy of our neighborhood shopping district. when he led wanted to the city, it's difficult to prevent more from wanting to come in. it's like flies i stale piece of meat. they'll come together. if there are too many, you see a shift away from the shopping in the neighborhoods that takes money out of the local economy. it hurts our local businesses for sure.