Though some find them sexy, vacant storefronts exist in a weird regulatory limbo whereby they aren't held to the same standards as other vacant properties. Today that could change, if the Board of Supervisors decides to take the city's existing Vacant or Abandoned Building Ordinance up a notch. As things currently stand, owners of vacant buildings are required to register their properties and pay a fee, as well as secure the grounds and provide insurance. But if the building is only vacant in the storefront and occupied above, those rules don't apply. The new rules would address the loophole to include empty storefronts, hopefully to put pressure on owners to fill the spaces ASAP. The supes also threw in an extra zinger: If the storefront is still empty 270 days after the notice of violation, the owner will be required to either rent out the space or pay a $765 fee every year. The Department of Building Inspection and the Small Business Commission are both on board with the new rules, so it looks like a go.
· Vacant or Abandoned Commercial Storefronts [SF BOS]
· Vacant or Abandoned Building Notification [DBI]