When clothing retailer Jack Spade tried to open a store in San Francisco’s Mission District last year, many local merchants and residents revolted. The company eventually dropped its plan to open in the neighborhood, but the battle rekindled a perennial debate over how the city should define and regulate chain stores. On July 17, the city’s Planning Commission is set to consider new rules for chains, which supporters say will reduce red tape and stimulate the economy. Opponents contend it will weaken existing restrictions, threatening neighborhood character.
John Rahaim, director of the San Francisco Planning Department
Eric Mar, San Francisco supervisor representing District 1
Dee Dee Workman, director of public policy with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Kathleen Dooley, commissioner with the San Francisco Small Business Commission and president of the North Beach Business Association