Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

Gay entertainment commission president headed for supes’ vote

Bryant Tan

Bryant Tan

The gay president of San Francisco’s entertainment commission won approval this week from a trio of city supervisors in his bid to remain on the oversight panel.

The reappointment of Bryant Tan, 35, will now head to the full Board of Supervisors Tuesday, September 15.

“I really enjoy being on the entertainment commission,” Tan said in an interview Thursday, September 10 shortly after the supervisors’ rules committee voted to recommend him to the full board.

“We’ve made some pretty significant strides in terms of policy and also just general credibility within the entertainment industry and really helping to safeguard the industry so we can continue to have fun things going on in San Francisco,” Tan said.

Tan, an appointee of Mayor Ed Lee who joined the commission in 2012, is running unopposed. If approved Tuesday, his term would expire July 1, 2019.

A senior planner and policy analyst for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Tan “is an avid supporter of live music, theater, music festivals, street fairs, and San Francisco’s creative economy,” his biography says. “He joined the entertainment commission to promote entertainment within neighborhood and economic development in San Francisco, and to expand safe and accessible nighttime entertainment activities for youth and young adults.”

In an email to the Bay Area Reporter, Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis, a fellow entertainment commissioner, said, “Bryant is a forward-thinking leader and a true team builder on the entertainment commission. … He and I have met several times to talk about how to move various projects forward. With so much work to do, I think Bryant will do well to continue.”

Tan, who holds the urban planning seat on the commission, began serving his third one-year term as president in August. That’s when “we realized I have to be reappointed,” he said.

He said his biggest achievement involves the plan to address affordable housing, entertainment, and other issues in the South of Market neighborhood. For decades, the area has been known for attracting the leather community but in recent years, it’s seen an influx of large, pricey condominiums.

“One of the things that I’ve accomplished was providing options and eventual results for the Western SOMA plan and preserving the nightlife that exists on Eleventh Street,” he said. “Various options were thrown around, and [while] the community process showed a little less favor for maintaining the businesses and nightlife on that street, through many meetings and advocacy I was able to really help land on the right plan.”

He said in coming years, “I think that I can help steer the ship a little further toward getting entertainment more and more recognized and protected in this city.”

Tan gave some idea of his hopes for the future.

“I’ve wanted our city and our planning department to come up with an entertainment zoning plan where we look at where does entertainment currently exist, and where can it expand? The places where we’re able to have entertainment permits are really limited, and I think as our city grows, we really have to think about can we continue to have them where we’ve had them for the last 50 years?”

He added, “We do planning in this city on a very neighborhood and community level, which is great,” but with the regional and international draw San Francisco has, people need to consider “where do we put new businesses and new nightlife” where they haven’t previously existed.

One issue coming before Tan and other commissioners next week is a seven-story building with 136 residential units and almost 1,500 square feet of commercial space planned for 1532 Harrison Street. The project is directly across the street from the SF Eagle, at 398 12th Street, a popular leather bar. A space dubbed “Eagle Plaza” has been proposed for the spot between the Eagle and the mixed-use property.

Tan said he couldn’t comment on the Harrison Street proposal, but he referred to legislation introduced this year by Supervisor London Breed, the board’s president. Among other provisions, Breed’s proposal would ensure that all new residents of units near nightlife venues are told about the venues before moving in.

Breed’s legislation is meant “to try to support nightlife businesses and be sure that housing is designed in a way and future residents are notified in a way that they understand nightlife is a neighbor, and they need to be neighborly with each other.”

The Harrison development will be discussed Tuesday, September 15 at the commission’s Residential Development Review Committee, which is from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 370, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

The city’s planning commission is also set to consider the Harrison project at its meeting Thursday, September 17. That meeting, which starts at 3 p.m. will be held in Room 400, City Hall.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 11, 2015 @ 6:15 pm PST
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