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Anti-Chain Store Legislation

All across the world, chain stores are homogenizing communities one by one. Neighborhoods and cities have been left powerless as constantly expanding large corporations transform once unique retail avenues into cardboard cut-out strip malls that mock any sense of place or individuality. In the process, diversity and local businesses are driven out.

But here in San Francisco, we have given our neighborhoods the power to halt this advancing encroachment of corporate blandness.

On March 30, 2004, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring chain stores to notify well in advance, any neighborhood in which they are planning to expand.

Just two years later, in a November 2006 ballot measure, voters made the law even stronger by requiring that all chain store applications must now go before the San Francisco Planning Commission for public review.

These victories allow neighborhoods to much more easily reject unwanted chain stores. And since 2006, more and more protections have been built upon these foundational laws, to protect San Francisco neighborhoods from chains.

Our City played a key role in advancing this legislation. Our outreach team informed thousands of residents about the proposed laws. And we launched a targeted letter writing campaign to District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who in the end was a crucial vote in favor of the 2004 measure.