Fear of Major Brands in the Mission: Case # 87,679,001
On November 5th 2009, the owner of a 76 station at Mission and 30th submitted an application for renovations to the San Francisco Planning Department. In his letter, Somil Gandhi and his representatives stated their intent to re-brand the gas station's food mart as a 7-Eleven.
On May 20th 2010, the San Francisco Planning Department found the renovations to be “necessary and/or desirable”, granted Somil conditional use authorization to move forward with his plans, and scheduled a hearing in a week's time to finalize their approval.
On May 27th 2010, the NIMBYs flipped their shit.
With locally crafted pitchforks and biodegradable torches in hand, a group of “neighborhood activists” descended on the hearing. While the overtones of an intrinsic hatred for corporate branding were present, the NIMBY mob must have realized that this sort of knee-jerk reaction wouldn't make for a solid argument when trying to sway city planners. So instead they argued that 7-Eleven is a crime magnet and would “threaten local business” by fucking with their coffee sales. Whether or not you're delusional enough to believe that local cafe goers would switch from Philz to gas station coffee in droves, it's a moot point because the 76's food mart is already selling equally shitty coffee.
The great '7-Eleven Coffee threat' aside, let's make something very clear; this gas station is a local business and would remain a local business. Somil Gandhi is not selling his food mart to an evil corporation so that they can rape the fertile land that is Mission and 30th. The business will remain owned and operated by him and his family. All that changes is the signage and a slight expansion of the building's 'office area' to comply with corporate regulations. By doing so, Somil's suffering business will save money by being granted access to 7-Eleven's consolidated distribution network; allowing him to purchase goods at lower costs from a single retailer instead of several dozen.
Now it's true that gas stations do get robbed, but 3400 Mission has already been a gas station for some time. The only way that adding a 7-Eleven sign to an existing gas station could be perceived as painting a bulls-eye on the area, would be the fact that 7-Elevens typically sell alcohol and alcohol promotes crime. But there's one little catch, and the NIMBYs seem to have missed this in the project proposal (WHICH IS PUBLIC AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE, EVEN TO HALF WIT BLOGGERS LIKE MYSELF); this 7-Eleven will not sell alcohol. I REPEAT: THE PROPOSED 7-ELEVEN WILL NOT SELL ALCOHOL. This fact is clearly stated twice in the application (pages 11 and 39).
Thursday, July 1st, the Planning Department will reconvene in the case of 'Somil Gandhi and his family's financial well being VS. Yuppie sensibilities and cultural elitism'. Be sure to pour out a Gameday beer in honor of Somil Jr's non-existant college fund; because I'm sure he wanted to work at a failing gas station for the rest of his life anyway (so long as it wasn't a 'yucky 7-Eleven', how uncouth!)
Mission NIMBYs: enjoy your dilapidated 76 food-mart and future vacant lot.