The Planning Commission is voting today to allow for an unlimited number of restaurants, both full- and self-service, to establish themselves in the Castro district so long as they file the proper conditional use permits, as Grub Street discovers. Since 1987, new bars and restaurants have been verboten in the Castro because they were seen as “volatile uses,” and as Planning discusses in their report, the intent was to “slowly decrease the number of these uses over time.”
This of course has resulted in a pretty “stagnant” restaurant scene, and the Castro is well known as a neighborhood without many good food options — that is, before Frances arrived and heavens wept with joy.
The idea, assuming the Commission votes along with Planning’s recommendation, is to allow an unlimited amount of new, non-fast-food establishments, reviewing each on a case-by-case basis, and only to deny an application once “the number of restaurants exceeds the needs of the community,” whatever that means.
Planning Code Text Change (.pdf) [SF Planning Commission]