Club Six not deep-sixed — yet

Both sides claimed victory in a contentious dispute between residents and a South of Market nightclub after the club’s entertainment license was suspended but the suspension stayed.

After the owner of Club Six admitted to charges that the club had exceeded The City’s noise ordinance in the past, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission on Tuesday voted to suspend the club’s license for 30 days, staying the suspension for 120 days to give the club’s owner, Angel Cruz, time to come into compliance with sound laws.

Club Six, located at 60 Sixth St., has been the focus for several years of a different kind of neighbors-versus-nightclub battle. Instead of newly minted millionaire SoMa loft owners who usually lead the battle against nightclubs, the neighbors complaining about the sound violations were primarily residents of single residence occupancy hotels, one of which sits directly atop the club.

On Tuesday, advocates with the Central City SRO Collaborative stated that 894 SRO hotel rooms occupy the block of Sixth Street between Mission and Market.

“We’re just trying to make sure the tenants can get their rest and lead a somewhat normal existence on Sixth Street, as much as that is possible,” said Luis Barahona, a program coordinator at Central City SRO Collaborative.

Supporters of Cruz and the club, who outnumbered detractors by about three-to-one in public comment at Tuesday’s meeting, described a business owner who helped turn a blighted patch of urban decay into a thriving nighttime economy.

Sixth Street residents also testified that Cruz had provided them with jobs and that the presence of security at the club had made the street safer at night. They also added that several new bars and restaurants sprang up after Cruz took over the club in 2001.

While working to soundproof the ceiling, Cruz “literally rebuilt the second story floor of the Lawrence Hotel,” his attorney, Mark Rennie, said Tuesday. Once construction is finished on the ceiling of the club and the floor of the hotel, the noise will not exceed the 88 decibels required under city code, he added.

Cruz said he wants to “get it to a level where everybody’s happy.” He said, “At the end of the day, we’re trying to work out a solution. It’s not us against the neighbors. That’s not what it’s about from my perspective.”

Under the deal brokered at Tuesday’s Entertainment Commission meeting, if Cruz violates the noise ordinance again within 120 days, he could face a 60-day suspension in addition to the 30-day suspension held in abeyance.

Nightlife in SoMa under review

As San Francisco works to open as many as 1,500 acres of industrial land to new residential and commercial development, some in city government are trying to answer thequestion of where entertainment fits into the Eastern Neighborhoods rezoning plan.

San Francisco bars and restaurants that have disc jockeys, bands or other forms of live entertainment must get a permit under city code. Many areas covered in the Eastern Neighborhoods plan, including much of the South of Market area, are zoned in a way that makes new permits unobtainable.

On Thursday, San Francisco Entertainment Commissioners Terrance Alan and Bowman Leong met with members of the civil grand jury to discuss the future of entertainment in SoMa.

Alan referred to a study he is conducting that found a preliminarily sample of 50 SoMa residents who viewed entertainment as about 75 percent desirable, with an impact level of about seven on a scale of one through 10.

amartin@examiner.com


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