October 19, 2011

Entertainment zoning in Western SoMa

Wednesday night’s meeting of the SoMa Leadership Council is a wake-up call for everyone who participated in the discussion of entertainment here in South of Market over the last six years. The Western SoMa Community Plan is headed to the Planning Commission and the recommendations of the Task Force are incorporated into the code language being considered.

The Task Force ultimately decided to recommend that we (1) leave entertainment as a legal, non-conforming use in the mixed-use neighborhoods north of Harrison Street, (2) change the zoning south of Harrison Street to make all forms of entertainment a fully permitted use, (3) allow the non-conforming status that every existing venue holds to remain with the property for a reasonable length of time following demolition of the building so that it could be built into new construction, and (4) create an accessory entertainment permit that would be allowed in the Folsom Street Neighborhood Commercial District. That seemed to be a reasonable compromise.

Some in the entertainment industry continue to push for more. One proposal would impose industrial zoning on the 11th Street neighborhood, changing residential zoning from as-of-right to non-conforming. Whatever your opinion, this meeting is sure to be an enlightening discussion.


  1. Announcements
  2. Introductions
  3. Benefits of entertainment in a mixed-use neighborhood
  4. Arguments in favor of stricter limits on entertainment
  5. Strategies to mitigate the impact of entertainment on the surrounding community
  6. What to do about “those complaining neighbors”
  7. Evaluating the WSoMa Task Force recommendations
  8. New business

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