Busy Valencia Street could see zoning changes and restaurant cap

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerOn the move: More than a dozen eateries have opened on one stretch of Valencia Street in less than a year

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerOn the move: More than a dozen eateries have opened on one stretch of Valencia Street in less than a year

There could soon be more room for upper-floor businesses in the Mission district’s already bustling Valencia Street, where an explosion of new restaurants and boutiques has no apparent end in sight.

Today, the San Francisco Planning Commission is expected to recommend that “personal care” businesses such as salons, tattoo parlors and martial arts studios be allowed to apply for third-floor locations in the neighborhood corridor.

Currently, those businesses may only occupy the ground floor or second floor.

Supervisor David Campos introduced the measure to accommodate a massage business that wants to expand to the third floor of its location. But bigger changes to the Valencia Street business climate might also be in store.

Campos said he has been approached by merchant groups exploring the idea of capping the amount of commerce in the area, which has seen more than a dozen new restaurants open on the blocks between 16th and 20th streets in less than a year.

“There have been discussions on whether there’s a need for a moratorium on restaurants, for instance,” Campos said. “We’re in the middle of those discussions. This level of development, there’s always that concern, it’s about the right balance — bring in business, but maintain the character of the neighborhood.”

The progressive Campos said he’s working with the moderate Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district also includes part of Valencia Street.

Talk of new controls on the area comes amid increasing commercial rents and continued evidence of the neighborhood’s transformation. The Mission, a somewhat homogenous enclave for Latino and Irish residents at different times in its history, has become popular with The City’s young legion of tech company workers over the past decade.

In one snapshot of neighborhood life, earlier this month, complaints surfaced on the Mission Mission blog about a cafe with wireless Internet access requiring a $5 minimum purchase for patrons to sit down. Workers at the business in question, 780 Café, say it has no such policy.

Meanwhile, in April, Valencia Street became the target of anti-commerce rage by a group of anarchists who smashed cars and storefront windows while chanting slogans against “yuppie scum.”

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsDavid CamposLocalSan Francisco

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