March 16, 2015 Housing Action Coalition

Sup. London Breed’s Night Club Legislation Begins Hearings

While we suspect most readers have views on the best local night spots and what clubs they visit for a night on the town, entertainment venues might seem an odd topic to discuss on a housing blog. D5 Supervisor, and current Board President London Breed, put this topic on the housing radar with her recently released draft legislation that bridges these two worlds. “Noise Regulations Relating to Residential Uses Near Places of Entertainment” going to the Planning Commission Thursday, March 19th, tries to address the conflicts that sometimes arise when new residential development is built near an existing “place of entertainment” (POE). This new legislation recognizes that POEs not only contribute enormously to SF’s character, they’re also a powerful economic benefit. Breed recognizes in this legislation our dire shortage of new housing.

This legislation defines POEs, how the noise or music is measured; what should be done if new development is proposed within 300 feet of a POE; and requirements of basic sound insulation. It requires project sponsors to not only go to the Planning Commission but required the project to make a presentation to the Entertainment Commission (which might be a first), though it states clearly that the Entertainment Commission “has no approval authority over development permits.” Finally, it establishes a process whereby new residents are made aware of an existing POE before their occupancy by means of a notice of special restriction. The intent of this ordinance is to prevent conflicts before the residents claim that no one warned them about noise levels in their homes.

Sup. Breed’s legislation appears to be a sensible proposal that helps support the City’s POEs, while establishing mechanisms for them to work with project sponsors on new residential development. Hopefully it’ll reduce the number of late-night phone calls about deafening drum solos or the impossibility of living near music venues. Kudos to Sup. Breed for taking on this issue and stay tuned as it begins its public hearings.  

Read the Draft Legislation 

Read the Planning Department’s Report

Housing Action Coalition

The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions.

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