Corner Retail and Secure Bicycle Parking Legislation Approved

Two ordinances, Sponsored by Supervisor David Chiu with Livable City, became law on September 1. One ordinance exempts secure bicycle parking in buildings from Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) limits. Currently automobile parking is exempt, and this change will provide parity for bicycle parking, creating an incentive for both voluntarily providing secure bicycle parking, and for providing more than the minimum required. Secure bicycle parking will be required in more types of development projects. More secure bicycle parking at both workplaces and homes expands sustainable transportation options, and helps the city achieve its goal of 20% of trips by bicycle by 2020. The ordinance also makes it easier to convert automotive service stations on important pedestrian and transit corridors to other uses. The other ordinance permits small, neighborhood-serving historic retail spaces in residential districts to be reactivated. Current law recognizes that neighborhood-serving retail spaces provide convenient walking access for nearby residents, eyes on the street, and affordable space for small businesses. These retail uses to continue indefinitely in residential districts, but once a retail space becomes inactive for three years, it cannot be reopened. Many of these spaces are ill-suited to housing, and can become dead spaces that detract from neighborhood vitality and walkabilty. This ordinance permits these spaces to be reactivated with a conditional use authorization, so they can once more serve neighborhood needs. These changes were endorsed by the Planning Commission, Small Business Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and San Francisco Architectural Heritage.