Alioto-Pier targets stretch of Van Ness in legislation 

Mayor Gavin Newsom isn’t the only one attempting to crack down on the nightlife violence in San Francisco. Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier is pushing legislation that would make it much harder for clubs and entertainment venues, including restaurants with DJs, to open up along Van Ness Avenue between Golden Gate and Broadway, a stretch known for drug deals and shootings.

Under the legislation, entertainment venues would have to get a conditional use permit – the strictest planning review – before it could open its doors in the neighborhood.

The legislation only covers the Van Ness area, which has been one of the few neighborhoods exempt from these stringent permitting codes for entertainment because it’s not been deemed a commercial district, said Bill Barnes, legislative aide for Alioto-Pier.

The legislation is in response to two separate shootings that occurred along Van Ness Avenue. In November 2009, a man opened fire outside the Regency Ballroom, injuring a dozen people. The second shooting happened in July outside of Heights Lounge on Van Ness, where two people were injured.

The legislation was –- coincidentally -- rolled out two days after a German tourist, 50-year-old Mechthild Schröer, 50, of Minden, Germany, was shot to death near her Union Square hotel where she was staying with her husband for an anniversary trip. The suspect, Phillip Stewart, was booked on murder charges, according to San Francisco police. Stewart is the only one of five suspects in custody who has been charged.


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