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Neighbors hope to quash plans to open Chase bank branch on Valencia St.

Mission Local
 — May 3 2012 - 4:45pm

Chase Bank’s plans to open a branch on Valencia Street this fall will face an appeal by neighbors who are organizing to derail the project.

Chase might be one of the last banks to benefit from what District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar calls a loophole in the planning code, which allows banks to open without neighbors’ input. Last month, the San Francisco Planning Commission voted 6-1 in support of an amendment that would close that loophole.

The amendment would require banks to apply for a conditional use permit when opening a branch in the city. At present, banks can open without the permits required of other chain and corporate businesses, like American Apparel or Starbucks.

“The legislation intends to give neighborhoods a greater say in the way that commercial corridors are developed and adds protection to small businesses,” said Mar, the amendment’s chief sponsor.

The Uptown Almanac first wrote about the branch opening last month.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the amendment in the coming months, but it will not affect the opening of the branch on Valencia Street because Chase has already obtained a building permit — one of the last steps needed before construction can begin — said Chase spokeswoman Eileen Leveckis.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.