File photo: A car turns onto Mission Street.

“Don’t let Mission Street turn into Valencia!”

Take it as a plea, a rallying cry, or a call to action — the Planning Department has been taking it, apparently, into consideration.

This week the Planning Commission gave its nod of approval (though the Board of Supervisors still needs to vote on this) for changes to what’s allowed on Mission Street — both in terms of what can be built, and how the buildings can be used.

Broad strokes: “non-retail professional services,” businesses that serve other businesses wouldn’t be allowed on the corridor at all anymore. Ditto lot mergers that would result in a parcel with more than 100 feet of street frontage.  What would be allowed: arts and catering services, as well as the many professional (lots of dentists and optometrists) and retail services already on the corridor.

Many of these changes came out of a collaborative process with neighborhood groups, who often view the high commercial rents and change in the business landscape on Valencia as a cautionary tale. The process is working toward the implementation of the Mission Action Plan 2020 to stabilize the neighborhood.

The department is still working on proposed new rules around restaurants; anti-gentrification activists often raise a concern that retail stores that serve the needs of nearby residents are being shut down and turned into restaurants that just exist to attract outsiders. The problem is, thanks to e-commerce, retail is having trouble everywhere.

Speaking of Valencia Street, a building permit application has been filed to turn 657 Valencia Street, the building just to the south of the Elbo Room (which is also slated for alteration to include condos), into a 55-foot, five-story, four-unit building with a commercial ground floor.

And lastly, something that I doubt would ever ever be allowed on Valencia Street: Target is planning on taking over the former Sports Authority building on Folsom and 13th streets (across the intersection from Rainbow Grocery), as Socketsite reports.

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  1. SF Board of Supervisors’ methodology. 1) stop reasonable housing from getting built. 2) rents rise 3) businesses get out priced 4) use taxpayer money to pay for failing businesses.

    Whose paying for these failing businesses? You and I.

    1. 40 and 30 years ago the Board of Supervisor’s put rent control policies inplace that were enforced sufficiently that San Francisco Area became the location for 3 of the 5 biggest companies in the world. Giving importance to protecting where one lives worked to make San Francisco a sought after location.

      Not enough cities followed the rent control policies that San Francisco did, so the table became even more tilted towards people moving to the better environment it created. You might consider asking other cities to follow the policies that San Francisco did 40 and 30 years ago, as the proven market solution. No need to turn San Francisco into a second rate copy cat slum