Chain. Retail. Go! Nothing (or very little) riles up San Franciscans like a good throw down over a Starbucks. Or a Walgreens. Or in today's case, a brand paint store— one that has already been in San Francisco for 65 years, mind you— that would relocate to Cesar Chavez Street in order to replace an otherwise deserted Hollywood Video storefront; the plan was initially denied by the city's Planning department and scheduled to be heard once more (and likely, overturned) today. San Francisco has held a proudly hostile stance against formula retail chains for some time: in 2003, the board of supes mandated that coffee houses and pharmacies post notices of their intent to open, thus making it easier for nabes to launch oppositional measures. Proposition G, passed in 2006, obliges the Planning Commission to hold public hearings on given retail applications before deciding whether they are appropriate for the area based on the nabes' needs, architectural compatibility, and whatever other rigmarole suits their fancy.
Long opposed formula retail in the Mission, Supe Tom Ammiano has upped the ante on the anti-chain debate by launching a proposition that calls for an all-out ban on such stores all throughout the Mission; his newest legislation was inspired by what he sees as a trend toward "homogenization" (Ammiano cites the high number of Walgreens in the Mission as a damning example). His proposal comes up for review in June. Until then, well ... yeah. Nothing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained for the Mission.
· S.F. grows ever more hostile to chain stores [SF Gate]
[Graphic courtesy the San Francisco Chronicle]