(+) Lou Blazej - Representing Urban Outfitters and Property Owner
- Urban Outfitters (the Store) sells men's and women's apparels as well as furniture.
- The Store chose the Haight street area for the college-oriented residents.
- The Store will be smaller than the average stores.
- The Store will add vitality, jobs, economic boost, retail continuity will continue, etc.
(-) Amy Laitinen - Supervisor Gonzalez's Office
- This project is neither necessary nor compatible with the neighborhood.
- There are many people here who are opposed to the project.
- Some of the conclusions that were reached by the Planning Department are confusing to her. For example, there are stores in the Haight Street area that sell the type of clothes that Urban Outfitters sells.
- She urges the Commission to deny this Conditional Use.
(+) Ernestine Weiss
- Small businesses are the best generators of jobs.
- The reason Urban Outfitters needs the large space is because they carry furniture.
- The project should be approved.
(+) Jim Siegel
- Urban Outfitters will impact many stores on Haight Street.
- The project will also set a president in the area.
- Haight Street does not have that much foot traffic any more.
- Big stores are taking competition away. Many smaller stores have already closed down.
(+) Brigitte Cooperman - Urban Outfitters
- The majority of the customers of our stores range from 18 to 30 years old.
- This store will not hurt competition. It will actually help.
- They have display artists at our stores and encourage the art of self-expression.
(-) Tim Sams
- He lives on Haight Street.
- He opposes the project.
(+) Phil Otto - Project Architect
- He started working for Urban Outfitters when they opened their store in Berkeley.
- He displayed a rendering of the façade of the project.
- Urban Outfitters has always supported artists and expressionists.
(-) Phil Sams
- He is opposed to this project.
- He works on Haight Street and feels that he will loose his job if this project is approved.
- He is a father of one and really needs to keep his job.
- He would like to have the character of the neighborhood preserved.
(+) Mitch Murphy - Urban Outfitters
- He is the District Manager of Urban Outfitters in the Northwest.
- The speakers who are in support of this project have not been paid to come to these hearing.
- Many of the managers have been with the store for many years and have moved up from Sales Associate positions.
- Their focus is to take advantage of the local talent and promote them.
- Our store does not function like other chain stores.
(-) Barbara Saunders
- She has lived in the Haight for about 15 years.
- There have seen a lot of companies close down.
(+) Tanya Schneider - Urban Outfitters
- She is the Manager of the Urban Outfitters in Santa Cruz. She started out as a Sales Associate.
- Our store is not like any other store she has ever worked for. She enjoys working for a company that has the same artistic ideals as she.
- They sometimes have in-store performances by local artists and DJs.
- By opening the store on Haight Street, it will improve the area.
(-) Joey Cain
- He is not in support of the project.
- Urban Outfitters is a million dollar chain company.
- There is no way small businesses can compete with the power of a million dollar corporation.
- He is part owner of a bookstore on Haight Street.
- There is overwhelming opposition for this project.
- This project is completely redundant.
- If the project is approved, the neighbors will hold a protest outside the store.
(+) Benjamin Gaffney - Urban Outfitters
- He is a manager of an Urban Outfitters.
- When the store opened in Santa Cruz, he was concerned that he would loose his job
- He read [to the commission] a letter from the downtown association of Santa Cruz who is in support of the project.
(-) Pablo Heising - Haight/Ashbury Merchants
- He is a resident of Haight Street and a board member of the association.
- The issue to him is the size of the operation. He is not in support of any retail business that uses a very large space.
- He urges the Commission to not allow this project.
(+) Erica Westor - Urban Outfitters
- She is a manager of an Urban Outfitters store.
- Today is her day off so she is here on her own time.
- She supports this project.
(-) Eric Bruan
- Even if good people own the store, the money still goes to the main office in Philadelphia.
- Business money should stay in San Francisco.
(+) Nicholas Galli - Urban Outfitters
- There are many benefits that this store will bring to the area.
- For instance, he is allowed to show off his talent as an artist.
- The project will actually help other businesses.
(-) Teresa Welborn - HANC
- The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Commercial District is not in support of this project.
- The project will cause much traffic problems.
- The delivery trucks for the furniture will cause traffic problems as well.
- She urged the Commission not to approve this project since it does not fil the neighborhood by size.
(-) Zachary Eaton - Urban Outfitters
- He is the Manager of Urban Outfitters in San Francisco.
- He sees the store as a destination store.
- If there was an Urban Outfitters in any neighborhood, he would travel to that neighborhood to go to the store. While there he would be able to spend money at other businesses.
(-) Greg Gaar - HANC
- He has lived in the Haight area for about 15 years.
- The sign of this project was not posted properly.
- The area needs neighborhood-serving businesses.
- This project does not fit any of the requirements.
(+) Jody Necastro - Urban Outfitters
- If businesses are leaving the Haight area maybe its because the neighborhood is causing a hazardous situation.
- She read an excerpt from the Customer Service manual that employees of the store receive.
- The owners of the store do not believe in the theory of "stack it high and sell it cheap" like Costco.
(-) Karen Masonheimer
- She appreciates the fact that people want to make the neighborhood better.
- There are several wonderful unique stores in the Haight.
- If there is already a store in San Francisco then that should be fine and there is no need to open another store.
- The residents of the area still want to keep and promote "mom and pop" businesses.
- Most of the tourists come to the Haight Street area because of the small stores.
(+) Bruce Lyall - Recycled Records
- He has a business on Haight Street and is in support of the project.
- Constantly meddling with the retail spaces on Haight Street has caused a problem.
(-) Calvin Welch - HANC
- Size does matter. Haight Street does have controls, etc.
- Haight Street has controls that state neighborhood serving retail uses are for the residential population. That is why there is no off street parking.
- This area is not a regional shopping center.
- The attempt to bring a large volume chain store causes problems and violates the code.
- This use is incompatible.
(+) Matthew Brennan
- There are many so called chain stores that currently exist on Haight Street and this has not diminished the charm of the area.
- There are stores that have multiple locations in the same area throughout the Bay Area.
- Urban Outfitters only has two stores in San Francisco.
- This store will bring more consumers to Haight Street.
(-) Mehran Esmaili
- He has been a property owner and retailer on Haight Street for over 20 years.
- There are 54 merchants who signed a petition against Urban Outfitters.
- He has eight additional sheets of signatures from people who could not be at the hearing today but who are against the project.
- Seventy-five percent of the merchants on Haight oppose this project.
(+) Mark Brennan
- Urban Outfitters is not an evil empire, it does not sell drugs, push prostitution or advocate the further decline of Haight Street.
- What are people afraid of?
- There are stores on Haight that extend beyond 25,000 square feet.
- There have been signatures from people who do not live in the area. It is not reasonable to have foreigners decide what to have or not to have in the Haight.
(-) Flip Sarrow - Haight/Ashbury Merchants Association
- He is President of the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association.
- He commends the Commission for not approving a Starbucks coffee shop on Judah Street last week. This shows that the Commission places an importance on neighborhood character.
- This store will be twice as large as any other retail store on Haight Street.
- There are about 75 percent of the businesses in the area not in support of the project.
- If the project was kept at the smaller square footage, people would not be here.
(-) Freyozon Sarreshtehdary - Coffee Cantata
- He owns a coffee shop on Haight Street.
- Many of the people that come to his shop are in support of the project.
- The store will have 25 to 30 employees who live locally.
- His business booms whenever a new business opens.
(-) Don Eli Fontaine
- He is a member of a metaphysical church.
- He thanked the Commission for denying the application of a Starbucks on Judah Street last week.
- He is not in support of this project.
(+) Andrew Smith
- The parking analysis has been done on this area.
- The merchants seem to be looking for the protection of the Commission and this is not the job of a land use Commission.
- Many people have created a dangerous environment for themselves.
(-) Laura Adams
- She came to San Francisco because of the diversity.
- She comes from Arizona and there is an Urban Outfitters there that changed the area and she does not want this to happen to the Haight Street area.
(+) Mike Murray
- Urban Outfitters would increase foot traffic, business and a boom for consumers.
- Everyone visits Haight Street.
- The whole City goes shopping on Haight Street at least once a year.
(+) Roger Ryan - E Moving Company
- He owns a furniture store on Valencia Street.
- Every store has employees, mechanics, trucks, etc. If Urban Outfitters opened next door to his business, he would welcome them with open arms because it would benefit his business as well.
- New businesses increase foot traffic.
- Urban Outfitters will employ local people.
(-) Ginger Martin
- She belongs to various organizations in the Haight Street area.
- She believes that the Commission should uphold the square footage that is already in place.
- People on the Haight need the artists, the poets, etc.
- She feels that Haight Street needs a museum but not a clothing or shoe store.
(+) Paraic O'Donoghue
- Someone earlier was complaining about a demolition. The building that was demolished had become a place for drugs and vandalism.
- There should not be a problems with truck loading and unloading. He feels that a little consideration is good.
- Urban Outfitters will have security, which will help keep the area clean.
- Laundromats are becoming a thing of the past because many of new multi unit buildings have washing machines.
(-) Larry Roberts
- He has lived in the Haight for ten years.
- A lot of businesses have closed down in the Haight.
- The main point here is that the current zoning does not allow the square footage.
- If Urban Outfitters wants to open a store, it should open in another area.
(+) Mack Burton
- Twenty years ago he had a furniture store in the Fillmore District.
- During that time, the Haight was a booming area. That area has dwindled down ever since.
- This store will be employing about 30 people or more, and that is not including the people working part-time.
- He showed the Commission a flyer that showed the store being blown up if it is approved by the Commission.
(-) Pinky Kushner - 6th Avenue Environmentalists
- She lives in the Inner Sunset area.
- If she wanted to shop at Urban Outfitters she would get on the N Judah and travel downtown.
- Many people are concerned about the Planning Code and the enforcement of the Planning Code.
- She as well as many others are very interested in protecting neighborhood character.
- This project does not fill any neighborhood character requirements.
(-) Ted Loewenberg
- There are many businesses on Haight Street that are not "mom and pop" stores.
- There is garbage on every corner of Haight Street. This is not neighborhood character.
- The store does not sell drugs, pierce body parts, etc. Is this what people are opposed to?
(-) Jim Rhoads
- He does not think that the businesses on Haight Street are opposed to another business.
- Residents and business owners are just opposed to the size of the project and the fact that the Planning Code is not being respected.
- He hopes that the Commission will not approve this project. But if it does, it should scale it down.
(-) Martha Hoffman
- She owns property in the Haight Street area.
- She is opposed to this store coming into the area as well as the size of the project.
- She finds the building to be very unattractive and having this type of store in that location would just make it worse.
(-) Barbara Sange
- She is an artist and lives in the Haight Street area.
- The area has gone through its "highs" and "lows."
- The size of this store is what is creating all the opposition.
(+) Tom McDonough
- Urban Outfitters has a social conscience. It stimulates creativity and looks to the neighborhood to energize itself.
- Haight must look for ways to become more economically vibrant.
- The storefront is only 50 feet, and that is not overwhelming to him.
(+) Deric Casey
- He hopes that the Commission will approve this project.
- Mr. Brennan has worked hard to welcome this store.
- Competition is a good thing. Everyone should go where they want.
(+) Joe O'Donaghue
- Many people are saying that big is bad and success is bad.
- The issue that people have is that people are saying that the location is too large for the store yet Goodwill has a larger location.
- There are ridiculous concepts here based on the character of the neighborhood.
- The City and consumers need choices.
- This project should be approved.
ACTION: Project Disapproved
AYES: Hughes, Feldstein, S. Lee and W. Lee
NAYES: Antonini, Bradford Bell and Boyd