Restrictions sought to prevent opening of discount outlets

Discount “dollar stores” popping up throughout The City have rankled one supervisor who says they need to be stopped.

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval requested on Tuesday that the city attorney draft legislation that would require dollar stores to undergo a cumbersome process to obtain a city permit to open up for business.

Similar to what voters approved last year for chain stores, all so-called dollar stores would need to obtain a conditional use permit to open. These permits require a hearing before the Planning Commission, public notification and allow someone to appeal the permit to the Board of Supervisors, which can vote it up or down.

Sandoval said the dollar stores are increasingly prevalent in many districts and that in just a half-mile stretch along Mission Street in the Excelsior he counted eight, which he said is “creating a blight.”

Critics of such restrictions say that it could result in empty store fronts for extended periods of time, but Sandoval dismissed the suggestion.

“I think the San Francisco retail industry in the neighborhoods is doing quite well. The problem is a lack of balance in the types of stores you have,” he said.

Sandoval said dollars stores can pay a little bit more rent than other local stores, which has allowed them to move into these spaces.

Sandoval said the dollar stores generally sell “cheap plastic wares” and do not offer “any quality shopping experience.”

He said that he expects the legislation will be ready for introduction by the end of January. It would require approval by the Board of Supervisors.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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