UPDATE - November 21, 2013
BOMA San Francisco Members:
The San Francisco Planning Department will commence an economic impact study of proposed changes to formula retail use in San Francisco in the near term. More details from the San Francisco Business Times, here.
In an effort to "protect San Francisco's vibrant small business sector and create a supportive environment for new small business innovations," Section 703.3 of the San Francisco Planning Code mandates specific controls on formula retail uses.
Formula retail uses are commonly referred to as chain stores. Under Section 703.3 of the San Francisco Planning Code they are defined as “a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales establishments located in the United States, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standardized decor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark.” In other words, retail stores with multiple locations and a recognizable appearance.
The San Francisco Planning Commission held a hearing on formula retail recently. You can review the materials that were before the commission here. In response, the Commission passed a resolution authorizing a study of the issue and seeking public comment on the scope of that study.
Due to the multiple proposals pending to amend the City’s formula retail controls, the City seeks to secure a consultant and complete the study by this fall so that the pending proposals to change formula retail can be informed by data and public comment. The Department will schedule a hearing on the draft study prior to completion of the study. After completion of the study, the Department will use the study to make policy recommendations to the Planning Commission. Ultimately and with benefit of public comment, the Commission will make policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.