City residents are drawn to the Lower Haight to party at numerous bars and clubs, but a supervisor feels the neighborhood is experiencing a bad hangover in terms of violence, noise, litter and safety.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi proposed Tuesday a three-year moratorium on new bars and restaurants that serve alcohol as well new liquor stores within the five-block commercial zone of Haight Street from Scott to Webster streets. The area includes popular night spots such as Nickie’s, the Toronado and Molotov’s.
“I want to see some serious management of property theft and related crimes in the area,” Mirkarimi said. “It’s just a matter of time until we have more homicides.”
Mirkarimi’s district saw some of the highest levels of violence during last year’s spike in The City’s murder rate, which hit 96.
Most of the violence was centered on the Western Addition, butmerchants in the Lower Haight said fear of violence has scared away customers. Mirkarimi said someone was shot at Fillmore and Fell streets over the weekend.
“The problem we are having is that it’s not busy because people don’t feel safe here,” said Hussem Daweh, who works at Ali Baba’s Cave in the Lower Haight.
“People are going to Valencia Street and Broadway instead of the Lower Haight to eat and drink,” he said.
The legislation does not stop current bars, restaurants and liquor stores from selling liquor.
The legislation, which will go before the Board of Supervisors next month, is just the latest attempt at regulating liquor in the area. There is also an alcohol-restricted-use district in the Upper Haight Street area as well.
The move comes after Mirkarimi proposed a zoning change for the Upper Haight earlier this year that allowed the Red Vic movie theater to begin serving alcohol.
He also proposed a zoning change for the 600 block of Haight Street earlier this year that would have allowed the Vapor Room, a medical marijuana club, to remain open. The proposal angered some local residents, who felt that there were already too many pot clubs in the area. Mirkarimi later dropped the proposal.