S.F. BOARD WATCH: Jack Spade Inspires Higher Threshold for Chain Store Ban

The restrictions on formula retail that apply to sections of San Francisco could soon be modified to expand the definition of what constitutes a chain store.

When the Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc., a New York fashion company with more than 5,000 employees, announced its intent to open a Jack Spade store at the former location of Adobe Books at 3166 16th St., some residents were outraged. Although the property is within the city’s ban on formula retail, the number of Jack Spade locations came just under the requirements to qualify as a chain.

While the company that owns the retailer has dozens of Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand Jeans outlets all over the country, the Jack Spade brand has only 10 locations. Only stores with 11 or more U.S. locations are considered formula retail under the law.

Supervisor Eric Mar proposed an ordinance to expand the definition to include businesses with 11 or more stores worldwide. The expanded definition would also include businesses owned by companies that would qualify as formula retail, such as Jack Spade.

The Planning Commission has not yet considered Mar’s legislation, and the Board of Supervisors Tuesday planned to consider granting the commission a 60-day extension to prevent Mar’s proposal from expiring. Either way, officials with Jack Spade have decided not to pursue opening a shop in the Mission.

CITY FIGHTS FEDS OVER DOGS

The Board of Supervisors is poised to return fire in the ongoing battle with the National Parks Service over proposed restrictions that would prohibit off-leash dogs throughout most of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The city and many of its estimated 110,000 dog-owning residents have been fighting the plans to curb off-leash access at the park region, which includes Crissy Field, Fort Funston, Ocean Beach and other open space areas, for more than two years.

Last month, the Parks Service released a revised plan under which dogs would be permitted. But the changes were minor, supervisors Scott Weiner and Katy Tang said. The new plan would still make much of the area off limits for residents to play with their dogs off leash. Weiner, Tang and their colleague London Breed have sponsored a resolution in response.

The Board of Supervisors planned to vote Tuesday to adopt the resolution calling for “greater access to recreational opportunities such as dog walking.” It takes aim at agency’s plan to turn much of the area into “nature zones” described as creating “a sense of remoteness and self-reliance,” and without amenities.

The resolution declares that “A ‘backcountry type of visitor experience’ is not appropriate as the dominant use for a national recreation area located in a highly urban area such as the GGNRA.”

PROPOSAL TO CLOSE PARKS AT DUSK

The Board of Supervisors will also consider legislation by Supervisor Weiner to close all city parks between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Anyone caught loitering in a city park during those hours could be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor.

Opponents to the proposed legislation compared it to the city’s “sit-lie” law banning sitting or lying on sidewalks most of the day, and say that it will be used to criminalize the homeless. But supporters say the law is needed to stomp out the rampant vandalism that happens late at night.