No Comment Campos Tackles the Valencia Restaurant Moratorium

Photo: Maren Caruso/Modern Luxury

My absolute favorite column on Mission Local is their “Weekly 'Conversation With Campos.'”  Each and every week, the staff at Mission Local comes up with a smart series of questions about the civil and political issues that impact our neighborhood and serves them up our Bold and Visionary Leader, Supervisor David Campos.

But there's a twist! Instead of answering the questions in any meaningful way, Campos finds new and inventive ways to say “I don't know” and “maybe.” Whether it's supporting a recall Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (A: “Maybe”), why 16th and Mission is so disgusting (A: “I don't know, not enough trash cans?”), or if he supports Lyft/SideCar/Uber and other taxi apps (A: “I don't know, but there's an app for gays!”), Campos consistently illustrates how shamefully out of touch and passionately indecisive our city's progressives have become.

This week's bummer Q&A dodges the issue of putting a temporary ban on new restaurants along Valencia, an issue that has struck a real nerve with the community since the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association voted in favor of the 1-year moratorium four weeks ago:

ML: Similarly, there are concerns by merchants in the Valencia Street corridor about future incoming businesses on the street. Some are asking for a moratorium. Would you support one?

DC: [In reference to The Examiner article that ran this morning], The Examiner article raises a larger issue. And that’s what we are focusing on. We’re working with Supervisor Scott Wiener’s office because Valencia Street basically is shared by two supervisors. One [part] is District 9 and one is District 8. Whatever we do, we do it collectively, something that makes sense for both districts.

Some of things that have been raised, that we’ve been looking at including, are raised by some merchants. Some merchants in that corridor have asked for a moratorium. We are in discussion in my office and with Supervisor Wiener’s office about that, trying to figure out if that’s appropriate.

ML: Does the Merchant’s Association support a moratorium?

DC: To be honest, I don’t want to speak for them. That might be their position. Those conversations just started. There are merchants on Valencia Street that are saying we should have a restaurant moratorium.

ML: Would the moratorium apply to all business on Valencia Street? What is your opinion?

DC: [It would be for] restaurants only.

I haven’t taken a position yet. I would like to see what they have to say. I want to see where Supervisor Wiener is on this. Both are positions right now that we are open to what people have to say.

I don't want to speak for the Merchant's Association either, but they have been on the record for a month now having voted in favor of a 1-year moratorium followed by a Special Use Permitting process for future restaurants, requiring new establishments to receive community support.  But I understand why you wouldn't know that, despite it having been reported on The Huffington Post, a litany of food blogs, and even Mission Local.

Anyway, your swift and decisive action is appreciated, as always.

[Mission Local]

Comments (5)

This would be really counterproductive if the whole issue is that people are worried about excessive gentrification. If this is put into place, it wouldn’t prevent new restaurants from opening. It would only mean that new (that is, fancy) restaurants would have to take over an *existing* restaurant in order to open, and Valencia would almost certainly lose its remaining non-fancy restaurants. This is exactly what’s happened with bars in the Mission. There’s a long-standing ban on opening new bars (except those that also serve food), so less white and fancy places (Intl Club, El Mexicano, El Amigo, Belinda’s…) disappear or get hipster makeovers. Better to let the (inevitable?) fancy new restaurants open in former auto shops and vacant storefronts than force them to push older places out.

What shotwellian said. Also, since when is letting established businesses use government to prohibit new competition “progressive”? Because lets be clear, the merchant’s association isn’t doing this out of some love for the neighborhood; it is doing it because this would keep out new competitors.

When is this joker leaving office?

Campos is awesome. He has been a great Supervisor so far, and hopefully will continue to be so for the remainder of his term.

I personally LOVE fancy restaurants. I love it! I want more and more and more.

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