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District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen Introduces Legislation to Preserve PDR Space

September 19, 2014

By Keith Burbank : potreroview – excerpt

Earlier this summer, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced an ordinance to close a loophole that would otherwise allow production, distribution and repair (PDR) space to be converted to office use. Current zoning law allows property owners to shift a building designated for PDR use to office space if it receives historic status. The ordinance would protect PDR-1-D and PDR-1-G districts, many of which are located in the Mission, Dogpatch and Bayview-Hunters Point. A PDR-1-D district promotes design-related and other businesses with less intensive production, distribution and repair operations. PDR-1-G districts are set aside for a general class of PDR businesses, such as outpatient clinics, service stations doing minor auto repair, breweries and greenhouses, among others.  

“I believe that this legislation strikes the right balance between allowing higher revenue uses, such as office space, and supporting the maintenance of these historic buildings without displacing long-term tenants or cannibalizing an entire PDR building,” Cohen said. “Now, you’ve heard me time and time again stress the value of PDR and the value that it brings to our City because it provides essential blue-collar jobs and diversity to our City’s economy… not addressing this issue, I believe, would lead us down a path of undercutting all the work that we’ve done collectively to support a growing local manufacturing industry right here in San Francisco.” … (more)

This is a good step in the right direction as far as protecting PRDS and the industries that rely on them. Other Supervisors are attempting similar protective measures in other districts, such as Jane Kim’s moves to protect the Flower Market. City authorities have discarded the protections a historic resource designation used to offer, and most of these properties are being destroyed to make room for the ugly new stack and pack housing that lacks any character and is devoid of the old San Francisco charm.

The number of, music, live entertainment, art galleries and dance studios that have closed is staggering. Who will step forward to protect what remains? There is a long list of pending closures that will decimate the artistic community. What will be left to draw tourists to San Francisco when there is no art in North Beach, no cultural center in the Mission and no jazz clubs in the Fillmore?

The famous views were the first to go. We have already lost most of them and there is no interest in saving the ones we have left. Why will tourists come to San Francisco? To rent bikes and sip coffee in parklets on Valencia and Polk? Dine on expensive food, shop in our department stores and overpay for lodging? What can you purchase in SF’s Chinatown that you can’t get in LA or Cleveland? How many people will return to wait in long lines to walk across the Gold Gate Bridge or eat overpriced hotdogs at the Giants stadium after spending 2 hours getting to there? I’ll take Paris or Seattle. At least they still have views.

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