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 (13)

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.

I’m confused. How exactly did the bar moratorium prevent non-fancy bars from opening? We’re seeing the same thing throughout the city, yet the moratorium you mention only affects the Mission. So where’s the connection?

It’s true that the ban on new bars applies equally to fancy and non-fancy bars. But given current commercial rents in the neighborhood, it’s unlikely that many new non-fancy bars (or new non-fancy restaurants) will be able to open with or without the moratorium. Basically, the way I see it, the moratorium on new bars encourages the conversion of non-fancy bars into fancy bars, and high rents make the conversion of fancy bars into non-fancy bars really unlikely, so the overall trend is toward the disappearance of non-fancy bars. The other point, of course, is that you can build a fancy bar in a few months with enough $, but a great dive bar must be gradually developed over decades of not cleaning the graffiti off the bathroom walls…

I don’t think the basic concern is gentrification, it’s about keeping Valencia interesting for shoppers by having a lot of different kinds of shops. In other words, a fancy furniture store, clothing store, and restaurant would be better than 3 fancy restaurants side by side.

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.

(That said, of course, it is pathetic that Campos doesn’t know more about what is going on. I just don’t think, if he were informed, he should be giving the answers you seem to expect.)

Right, they are trying to erect barriers to entry. It is anti consumer.

When is this joker leaving office?

We just re-elected Supervisor Campos, so, happily, we’ve got a few more years.

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

No, you don’t. This joker is going to spend the next year running for Assembly where he’ll be up against some of his colleagues. If he wins, he gives Ed Lee another appointment to the board. Either way you’ll have the same shifty politics and the doublespeak of Campos who knows how to make liberals clap like trained seals when he talks the talk , but never accomplishes much because he such a jerk-ass.

Pff. Stuff and nonsense.

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

Post New Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.