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City Hall takes up Mission brewpub ban [Updated]

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Hillary Ronen wants to cap restaurants and bars at 167 in the neighborhood

Photo by Wendy Harman

Today the Land Use and Transportation Committee will consider a new law that would put the kibosh on brewpubs in the Mission and cap the number of restaurants and bars permitted in the neighborhood.

The legislation by Supervisor Hillary Ronen offers a number of changes to the Planning Code that Ronen says will help preserve the character of the neighborhood, including:

[Amending] the Planning Code to require Conditional Use authorization for Restaurants and prohibit new brewpubs within a subarea of the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use District; to establish limits on the number of eating and drinking establishments, require Conditional Use authorization for replacing Legacy Businesses and new Bars, [and] prohibit mergers of commercial space resulting in greater than 1,500 gross square feet.

But it’s the brewpub ban and dining cap that’s turning the most heads on Mission.

According to the paperwork presented to the Land Use Committee today, the proposal would put a limit of 167 restaurants and bars within the area defined as “east of the western boundary of the Mission Street Neighborhood Commercial Transit District and north of Cesar Chavez Street.”

The Planning Commission passed the proposal unanimously Thursday, telling Ronen in a Friday missive that they proposed some modifications to the new rules for zoning and space mergers but leaving the drinking and dining rules unchanged.

Ronen aide Amy Beinart called the Mission “ground zero for displacement” at the Planning Commission hearing and claimed that the new rules will help stifle the risk of trendy eateries pushing out established retail and non-profit ventures.

The ban needs to clear the Land Use Committee before potentially moving on for a vote at the full Board of Supervisors.

[Update: Ronen aide Beinart points out that the term “brewpub” has a specific legal definition in this context which applies to establishments that serve hard liquor rather than those with just beer and wine licenses, as in the usual parlance.

“The supervisor does support small breweries” in the Mission, Beinart tells Curbed SF, promising that the proposed ban won’t apply to such establishments.

Beinart also says that the 167 restaurant/bar cap leaves a margin of 23 vacancies and argues that the resulting rate of about 30 percent of Mission storefronts is typical for such a corridor.

On Monday the Land Use Committee passed the package of Planning Code changes, brewpub restrictions included, taking on some of the Planning Commission amendments to other parts of the legislation.]

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Hillary Ronen is on the Land Use Committee, but actually the committee consists of Supervisors Tang, Kim, and Safai.