Cathy Mulkey-Meyer, a legislative aide for District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, spoke to members of the District 11 Council at its Saturday, Dec. 9 meeting.
Cannabis Legislation Completed
The completion of legislation regulating the locations of adult-use and medical cannabis stores came as a defeat for District 11 residents who feel the area already has enough dispensaries.
Safai, who campaigned last year to restrict the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in District 11, saw legislation he passed this summer to allow only three dispensaries in the district removed in the final version of the bill.
During the debate over a new legislative framework, the cap was whittled down to only cover the Excelsior and Outer Mission corridors and then eliminated altogether as other supervisors asked for similar restrictions in their districts.
Safai cast the only vote against the final legislation, saying that the board had not spent enough time working on the details of zoning and neighborhood input controls.
Safai helped to write the equity metrics that go along with the legislation. After the existing medical cannabis dispensaries begin to sell to adults for recreational use, equity applicants from neighborhoods “severely negatively impacted by the war on drugs” and other factors will be prioritized for the first round of new dispensaries, according to Mulkey-Meyer.
The elimination of Safai’s cap on the number of cannabis dispensaries in District 11 means that a new round of dispensaries serving adult-use customers will be allowed to apply for licenses to operate in the district.
It will not be possible add the District 11 cap back into the legislation, according to Mulkey-Meyer.
On Monday, Dec. 4, BRIDGE Housing released plans to build 426 units of housing in the Excelsior on the lots where Safeway and the Valente Marini Perata and Co. funeral home currently stand.
The mixed-use development will include a new 53,000 square foot space for Safeway and a 10,000 square foot space for the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mary Harris, chair of the District 11 Council, had concerns that the development, which would include 175 affordable housing units and 251 market-rate units split into separate buildings, would stigmatize residents of the affordable housing units.
“I think it’s just better for the building and the whole community when we have multiple incomes living together, rather than here’s the poor and here’s the market rate,” Harris said. “I’m hoping that will be a consideration going on down the road.”
Troublesome Traffic Roundabouts
The Excelsior’s traffic problems went viral last week when two cell phone videos showing drivers doing donuts around neighborhood traffic circles were used in local television station segments.
The traffic circles, located at Naples and Excelsior streets and other intersections, are intended to slow traffic but can also be used by adventurous drivers.
The roundabouts eliminate parking near the intersection, but are too small to prevent drivers doing donuts around them, according to the council members.
The supervisor has been telling the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to remove the roundabouts for eight months with little effect, according to Mulkey-Meyer.
Now, their calls may be heard. An SFMTA representative told her that the traffic circle at Naples and Excelsior streets will be removed and the sidewalks repainted.
Removing the circles will require lots of coordination from city agencies and likely delays, Mulkey-Meyer noted.
For instance, the SFMTA has a year-long backlog in approving sidewalk paint changes.
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