San Francisco could finally get some clarity on the future of the Castro Theater this week as the long-delayed landmark vote across the Board of Supes comes up Tuesday/6.
The measure before the Board, approved by the Land Use and Transportation Committee, includes wording that would protect the existing theater-style seating and raked floor. That would run counter to the plans of promoter Another Planet Entertainment, who want to convert the theater into a nightclub with live music and a dance floor. APE’s plans include removing the existing seats and installing detachable seats on platforms that would allow for some film screenings.
The future of theater still lies in the balance
Sup. Rafael Mandelman has proposed amending the landmark bill to remove specific protections for the existing configuration. So the first and most important vote will be on his amendment.
The last time this was mentioned was three weeks ago, Sup. Catherine Stefani was gone and Mandelman told me neither side had six votes. That potentially makes the Second District Boss the swing vote on an issue of tremendous importance to the Castro neighborhood and the LGBTQ community.
To add one more element, the Castro Conservancy has confirmed to me that they have selected one or more donors who would fund the first two years of operation and renovation and have a plan for the complete overhaul that would cost $15-20 million. could cost dollars.
Should APE withdraw, the monument protection authority states that they would be willing to take over the lease and keep the facility as a cinema.
The session begins at 2 p.m. and this is the second item on the agenda (although the Commanders-in-Chief sometimes defer the more contentious items to later in the session).
The full board will also consider a plan to stop accepting new applications for cannabis retail outletsessentially freezing the number of stores and delivery services at the level of existing stores and those in the current application pipeline.
It’s partly because some neighborhoods feel overwhelmed by the number of pot shops, though most areas have found the outlets to be more than just good neighbors; With the necessary security at street level, they actually make residents and other traders feel safer.
According to the sponsors, the more pressing reason is: The market is becoming quite swamped, and with all applicants seeking permits, existing businesses will struggle to survive on the traffic they receive – and equity applicants will lose out.
There are currently 33 permanent recreational cannabis businesses in the city, 31 of which are physical stores and the other two are delivery services. There are 15 temporary licenses for delivery services and 32 medicinal cannabis dispensaries, many of which have applied for licenses to sell recreational cannabis.
Approximately 100 verified equity applicants have pending approval and an additional 71 from applicants not applying for equity participation. From the invoice:
Based on data from the Office of the Controller on earnings trends at retail cannabis companies, it seems doubtful that the San Francisco market will be able to support additional retail cannabis companies in larger numbers than those already in the bidding pipeline. Additionally, new applicants for a retail cannabis business permit will slow the pace of the permit process for previous applicants due to limited city resources required to process pending applications. Many equity program applicants are eligible for a reduction or waiver of approval fees, leaving the burden of processing additional applications largely borne by scarce General Fund revenues.
The problem of participation applicants is great: the city has a special process for people struggling with the aftermath of the failed war on drugs, but so far the number of participation providers has been quite limited.
The Cannabis Oversight Committee recommends that Supervisors turn this into a two-year moratorium on new outlets and encourage more capital applicants:
Although the Committee recommends such a moratorium (the motion passed with a four-vote in favor: Jamalian, Flynn, Stout, Richard; two against: Parks & Cry), we would like to inform your offices that there are large comments in the community Concerns have been expressed that the process in Permits and Licensing is still unfair and that removing the ability to submit applications does not help create a more level playing field for people harmed by the “war on drugs”. Community members shared that those harmed by the “war on drugs” are trying to catch up in acquiring the knowledge and skills to start businesses in a highly regulated cannabis industry.
The city’s Cannabis Bureau recommends that the legislation expire after two to three years and that the city “allow all verified equity applicants and those wishing to be verified an additional period of six months from the effective date to register a cannabis -Submit business application for retail activities.” .”
Everyone in City Hall is talking about the concept of converting empty office buildings into living space. but developers are generally dubious. It is an expensive process as the plumbing and electrical work in office buildings is very different from that in residential buildings (many offices have a bathroom for an entire floor, which could become ten apartments, each with their own plumbing with water and drains would need). ). In addition, offices have large interior spaces with no windows or access to natural light, which is required for homes.
My suggestion of converting these buildings into artist lofts (and letting the artists do much of the work in exchange for equity) doesn’t seem to get much traction.
But now the mayor’s office wants to create all sorts of incentives to get property developers to think about converting the home. The latest: Exempt office-to-residential conversions from all city fees except for the affordable housing requirement.
Among other things, this would remove the requirement for developers to contribute to a public school fund.
Tuition is there for a reason: People who move into San Francisco housing units often have or will have children, some of whom will attend public schools, so building housing has an impact on school capacity. That doesn’t change just because the residential building used to be an office building.
The current fee is approximately $3.75 per square foot. So if you convert a 400,000-square-foot office building into housing, schools should get about $1.5 million.
Except when this passes, that goes away.
Legislation is presented to the Land Use and Transportation Committee Monday/6th at 1:30 p.m.