Board of Supervisors pass law
to boost Parisien style cafe culture
in San Francisco
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
September 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Board of Supervisors
passed a law today that one member said would allow more city
streets to resemble New York or Paris by allowing greater use
of tables and chairs on sidewalks outside eating and drinking
"My constituents have been asking me for a long time if
we could do this," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said. "Besides
making streets look more inviting, they can also be a deterrent"
to illegal activity, he said.
San Francisco already has about 380 establishments that maintain
tables and chairs on public sidewalks, or have the option to apply
for a permit allowing them.
Today's action opens the door for 159 more existing establishments
to apply for such permits, provided there is enough sidewalk space
to guarantee pedestrian traffic flow and disabled access, among
Special zoning overlays in the 1980s that established commercial-residential
districts, such as in North Beach and the Castro, made special
dispensation in planning codes to allow sidewalk tables and chairs
in those areas, but at the same time prohibited them elsewhere
in the city.
The planning code standardization applies only to "nonconforming
uses" - which Mirkarimi described as "mixed-use"
properties that blend commercial establishments with residential
space in the same building. And the change is restricted to tables
and chairs only.
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