San Francisco supervisors implement restrictions on Tenderloin companies

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San Francisco issues curfew on some Tenderloin stores

San Francisco plans to crack down on drug activity in the Tenderloin by placing a curfew on some corner stores during the overnight hours.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave final and unanimous approval Tuesday for a pilot program that will limit the hours retail businesses can operate in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

All retail food and tobacco businesses, excluding restaurants and bars, will be banned from operating between midnight and 5 a.m. in a section of the neighborhood during the two-year pilot. The program will apply to a 20-block section between O’Farrell and McAllister streets and between Polk and Jones streets, designated as a “high-crime area.”

Effectively, the ordinance chops just two hours off the business day, since businesses are already not permitted to operate between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The program, which got initial approval from supervisors last month, comes in response to “the high rate of drug-related crime in the Tenderloin,” according to the ordinance, which leads many in the neighborhood to believe they face health and safety risks.

A petition in support of the legislation was submitted with 521 signatures of Tenderloin residents and community organizations. One of the organizations that collected signatures was the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

“There are good store owners in this neighborhood that we love and that care about the community,” said Pratibha Tekkey, the clinic’s director of community organizing. “Most of our business owners are immigrant business owners and we are proud of that. But what we did not want is people opening up shops left, right and center and feeding into this ecosystem.”

The program will be enforced by the city’s Department of Public Health, which now can levy fines up to $1,000 for violations of the program.

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