Last month, San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis waded into the debate over whether the city should beef up its policy restricting the spread of chain stores. In a new study, the OEA concludes that the city’s regulations are harming the local economy and that adding additional restrictions would only do more damage. But this sweeping conclusion, hailed by proponents of formula retail, rests on a deeply flawed analysis. The study is riddled with data problems so significant as to nullify its conclusions. Continue reading
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San Francisco now offers free Wi-Fi along Market Street. The city of approximately 825,000 joins a growing number of local municipalities that provide the service in select parts of town or in the entire city limits. The San Francisco Chronicle reports private companies donated hardware and a gigabit of bandwidth. The final cost was $500,000 to… Continue reading
On May 14th, Susan Crawford will speak at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in San Francisco. The event will be hosted by the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) of the CPUC, and the theme of the discussion will be “Digital Communications in the United States: Should Broadband Communications be a Public Utility Service?” The… Continue reading
Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian asks why publicly owned networks have worked in so many places but is not being seriously considered in San Francisco: Then sit back and ask yourself why you’re paying so much money every month for the rotten service you get from Comcast and AT&T. Ask your friends,… Continue reading
San Francisco is home to more independent businesses than other big cities, thanks in part to a 2006 law than gives neighborhoods the power to reject “formula” retail stores and restaurants. But the policy has major gaps, which have opened the way for chains to slip into the city. City leaders are now looking to beef up the law. Continue reading
While many parts of the country are overrun with chain stores, San Francisco remains a stronghold for locally owned businesses, according to a new study, which also found that those local stores generate sizable benefits for the city’s economy.
Under a city law adopted in March, chains seeking to locate in San Francisco could be required to undergo a public hearing and meet certain conditions before being granted a permit to open. Sponsored by Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, the ordinance passed on an 8-3 vote by the Board of Supervisors. Continue reading
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez has introduced legislation requiring that neighbors be notified whenever a formula retail store or restaurant seeks to open in their neighborhood. Residents would have the option of requesting a public hearing and formal review by the Planning Commission. Continue reading
Under a measure introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, the city would notify neighbors whenever a pharmacy or coffee shop wants to open nearby. Residents would have 30 days to request that the proposed store be subject to a public hearing and formal review by the Planning Commission. Such reviews are normally required only for major demolition or construction, or when there is a change of use, such as from residential to commercial. Continue reading
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown vetoed an ordinance to require greater scrutiny of big box development. The measure passed the Board of Supervisors on a 7-to-4 vote in March. Eight votes are needed to override a mayoral veto.
The citywide ordinance would have required retail development projects larger than 50,000 square feet to undergo an impact review and obtain a conditional use permit before proceeding.