March 8, 2007 Special Meeting
Special Meeting Minutes
Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Thursday, March 8, 2007
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, Moore and Olague
COMMISSIONER ABSENT: W. Lee and Sugaya
THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY PRESIDENT ALEXANDER AT 10:15 A.M.
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.
1800 MISSION STREET - southwest corner of Mission and 14th Street - Informational hearing on the occupancy of the Mission Armory by a film production studio (d.b.a. kink.com)
- Requested respect for somebody who wants to use his own property and business within the law.
- Is in support of kink.com. It is a light industrial business in a business area.
- It would clean the area up. Their activity would be indoors and secure.
- The building has been vacant for a long time and not many people want to take this challenge.
- I know the owner and everything he has promised will happen.
- It is unlikely that children would have any exposure to the material.
- San Francisco is a tolerant community.
- Citizens are allowed and have the freedom to live their own life as long as it is legal.
- Kink.com is a local business supporting other businesses and generating money that would benefit and stay within the community.
- The area is clean. That is something that had not happened in a long time.
- It would be productive for the community to have kink.com at the Armory.
Carol Queen, Center for Sex & Culture
- The corner of 14th and Mission Street is dark and frightening for walkers.
- Kink.com would keep the area clean.
- No body would have found out what is inside the Armory if it were not a vacant, historic building.
- Not against pornography, but this would be glorifying sexual torture.
- It is not respectful to have them next door from Casa de las Madres, resource for battered women.
- He urged private and public entities to stop the use of kink.com at the Armory.
Demetri Moshoyannis, Folsom Street Events
- Invited adult entertainment and the residents of the Mission District to engage in open communication.
- Kink.com is a company extremely supportive and respectful.
Michael O'Rourke, Actor
- This company is providing potential work for actors and it is an asset for the city.
- There are other threats on the street for children [gangs and drugs]
Rich Larez, Facility Manager of the Armory
- Born and raised in the Mission. Am employed by kink.com.
- It's a big task is to beautify the building and we have done a good job.
- We share the same goals: a safe place to work and live and take care of our community.
- The building had been vacant for a long time.
- Feared the building would be thorn down.
- Thrilled to have kink.com take care of the building and keep its historical value.
- Publicist of adult entertainment.
- Adult entertainment has contributed millions of dollars toward disease research.
- The positive change is already happening, the area is clean.
- Only alternative is to keep the Armory vacant and take the risk of someone else destroying it.
- Kink.com is very discreet.
Ivan Spane, Resident of Vincentian Villa Apartments
- Questioned who is opposing to the use of the armory by kink.com.
- At a meeting of the 200-unit building across the street, only one opposed the new user.
- Suggested that efforts and energy concentrate on other big concerns of criminal activities in the neighborhood.
Lisa Mackie, Employee of kink.com
- Kink.com is very respectful to its employees.
- They take care of the models and no one is forced to do anything.
Ricardo Alva, Mission Language and Vocational School
- Firmly opposed to the use of the Armory by kink.com
- Neighborhood already deals with many problems.
Aurora Grajeda, Mission-Armory Community Collective
- Community should have input for anything happening in the Mission District.
- The process did not happened properly. No information was given to the public.
Larry DelCarlo, Mission Housing President
- There is a big need for housing in San Francisco, especially in the Mission District.
- The Mission Armory was an opportunity to have housing.
- The Planning Department did not consider our needs.
- Process was not followed. The community was not informed of the plans for the Armory.
Robert Correa, Owner of Victoria Theater
- A National landmark was sold without any community input.
- Questioned the completion of all requirements that need to be done prior to usage.
Anita Correa, Member of the Mission District Business Community
- The Planning Department did not follow its own policy.
- The community did not participate in this plan.
- Questioned whether requirements to remove toxins and the installment of a sprinkler system were followed.
- Permit was approved in less than 30-days behind closed doors.
Armando Cerda, Victory Outreach
- I'm an adjacent neighbor opposing to the new use of the Armory.
- Money is the only incentive for the owner and he has no conviction to help the community.
Roberto Hernandez, Latin Zone
- Surprised to find out in the newspaper about the sale of the Armory without notice in the neighborhood.
- Many companies tried to buy it in the past and a lot of requirements were asked for.
Luisa Ezquerro, Mission Housing and Neighborhood Health Center
- The Armory became a Federal Landmark because of the Mission District Neighborhood.
- It is a shame the no one in the neighborhood knew about the current use of the armory.
Sam Ruiz, Mission Neighborhood Center
- The process was improper in ignoring compatibility with existent businesses.
- The new user would increase existent high rate of criminal activities in the neighborhood.
- Saw the article in the newspaper and contacted owner to welcome him to our community.
- He expressed support and gave positive response to unite with the community on violence prevention.
Wendy Collins, Back and Body Care
- The new user of the Armory will have a negative impact on our community.
- Requested that the letter of determination be void and require a conditional use for relocation and size limitation.
- Kink is exercising its legal right.
- The owner is doing what he promised he would do.
- I'm opposing to the new use of the Armory.
- It is not the best use of this facility.
- It could have an enormous negative impact for the neighborhood.
- It would bring business, jobs and income to the neighborhood.
- There are a lot of vacant lots to be used for affordable housing [one in the same block].
- It has been in the city for a decade and there is no police report or violations on this business.
- Kink is a good neighbor and an asset for the community.
- Kink is a threat for our community.
- Invited the Commission to visit their web site and see that [promotes] physical and emotional abuse.
- I'm in favor of the business at the Armory.
- Impressed by professionalism of kink.com.
- Requested that the commission uphold its commitment according to the Mission Statement.
- Remove this business from our neighborhood.
- The building had been vacant for over 35 years.
- This is a respected business providing financial and emotional support for artist in the city.
- San Francisco is a city of progression and open attitude.
- It would bring revenue and jobs.
Toby Levine, Mission Armory Collective
- Requested answers to a letter submitted by Mission Armory Collective
- Neighborhood was not informed. A 312 notice was not issued.
- All issues were not discussed before the letter of determination was issued.
- Mission District is in need of schools, parks and housing – not this.
- There are a lot of changes happening in the neighborhood without notifying the residents.
Rosario Anaya, President of the San Francisco Latino Coalition
- Housing was not considered for this community.
- The Planning Department should be responsible for all San Franciscans -- not only for wealthy people.
- Wealthy people are coming to the Mission District disrespecting us.
- Our community was not taken into account. This new use was made public after the fact.
Terrance Allen, San Francisco Late Night Coalition
- Kink.com has been in the city for over a decade.
- It has contributed to the community in many ways with events and fundraisers.
- There would be no negative impact for the neighborhood.
Peter Acworth, Owner
- I could not communicate with the neighborhood or anyone because I was bound to a non-disclose agreement for the purchase transaction when buying the Armory.
- The former owner wanted to sell discretely and quickly.
Liliana Rossi, Executive Director of Mission Day Care
- The main issue is lack of respect to the community in participation in this process.
- It is a fair use but very frivolous.
Richard Hunter, Business Owner in the Mission District
- There has been a total misunderstanding between people enjoying sexuality and sexual torture.
- Kink.com is about adult consensual entertainment.
- San Francisco defends civil liberties. I support the new user of the Armory.
- Keep this process from interfering. Do not allow stopping the resources.
Maxine Doogan, Erotic Service Providers Union
- Requested that the Commission not restrict this land use.
- Anything that is uncommon generates opposition.
- People should be able to live their lives and use their own property as they pleased.
Steve Power, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
- We have heard about differences of perspective and not about illegal use.
- Kink.com is not a dirty business; it would be an asset for the neighborhood.
- There are 50 letters in favor of the use of kink.com, the new user of the Armory
- It is an ethical business.
- Hopes they will integrate and respect the community as they have done in the South of Market area.
- It is an asset for neighborhoods.
- The Mission District needs affordable housing, but the Armory is not the right place for it.
- I'm in favor of any user who will help clean up the area and take care of the building.
- Pornography takes extreme profit advantage of most defenseless people and the weakness of men.
- The commission should have the courage to take jurisdiction over this land and not permit the new use.
ACTION: Public hearing held to allow public and Commission comment. No action by the Commission.
Adjournment: 12:28 P.M.
THESE MINUTES WERE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, April 12, 2007.
AYES: Alexander, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya
NOTE: Per Section 67.18 of the Administrative Code for the City and County of San Francisco, Commission minutes contain a description of the item before the Commission for discussion/consideration; a list of the public speakers with names if given, and a summary of their comments including an indication of whether they are in favor of or against the matter; and any action the Commission takes. The minutes are not the official record of a Commission hearing. The audiotape is the official record. Copies of the audiotape may be obtained by calling the Commission office at (415) 558-6415. For those with access to a computer and/or the Internet, Commission hearings are available at www.sfgov.org. Under the heading Explore, the category Government, and the City Resources section, click on SFGTV, then Video on Demand. You may select the hearing date you want and the item of your choice for a replay of the hearing.