Legislation drafted to save nightlife in San Francisco’s SOMA

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Under a disco ball, nightclub owners, DJs, bartenders and promoters held signs reading ‘Protect San Francisco Music Culture’ and ‘Don’t Stop the Music.”

 They were gathered in the Mezzanine Nightclub Thursday that’s threatened with closure.

The club’s lease expires in October.

The club’s owner says the building owner told them they were planning to increase the rent by 600 percent and were working with a commercial realtor specializing in tech office space.

But now, they are saying they plan to expand their own security company into the new music venue.

In response, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney has crafted legislation that could possibly keep the tunes pumping at Mezzanine and other places like it here in the western part of SOMA.

If passed, changing nightlife entertainment spot into something else in this part of town would demand new level of scrutiny.

A review by the planning commission would be required and their decision could be appealed to the full board of supervisors. Haney says nightlife is a big part of the culture of the neighborhood and needs to protected from the wave of tech’s deep pockets.

“You’re always going to make more money by renting your offices to a tech company then you are from an independent music venue, so for that reason, we as a community need to stand up,” Haney said.

Haney went on to say the city needs protections to make sure residents don’t wake up one day and find that San Francisco’s nightlife community is gone.

The legislation is a temporary stopgap and if passed, it would be in effect for 18 months while a longer term solution is crafted.

Haney’s legislation, which was introduced this week, is headed to the land-use committee.

It could be voted on by the full board as early as this month.

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