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

UPDATE: Planning staff conditions could kill gay Castro museum project

Late Wednesday (June 23) GLBT Historical Society Executive Director Paul Boneberg (seen at right) told the Bay Area Reporter that the archival group’s plans to open a new Castro museum space are in jeopardy due to changes Planning Department staff are seeking in order for the project to win city approval.

As reported online earlier today, the planners have recommended the Planning Commission approve the project, which would allow Walgreens to expand its specialty pharmacy into a portion of the vacant storefront next door to it on 18th Street.

In return for the city’s sign off on the partial expansion, Walgreens would lease the remainder of the space to the historical society for five years. The LGBT nonprofit plans to relocate its exhibitions and programs to the Castro space as early as this fall.

But planners want to see Walgreens relocate its build out of patient consultation rooms from the middle to the back of the empty former Laundromat. Their concern is allowing the national chain to move forward with its plan could leave an oddly shaped store for rent in the future.

“We learned early this week that is not acceptable to Walgreens, meaning if that condition is applied they will not proceed,” said Boneberg, adding that he only learned of the planner’s request late last week. “It is also counteproductive to what the historical society wants.

“We are flabbergasted,” added Boneberg. “We think it is an error by planning department staff.”

The city has already given the historical society $100,000 toward producing the new LGBT museum exhibits. And District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty and various neighborhood groups are supporting Walgreens’ initial proposal.

Boneberg has been asking supporters to attend tomorrow’s hearing (Thursday, June 24) to object to the planning staff’s requested changes..

“We will be asking the commission to approve the permit without the redesign,” said Boneberg. “The best benefit to the city of San Francisco and the Castro district is to allow us to go in.”

The Planning Commission meets inside City Hall in Room 400. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Castro LGBT museum project is listed as the 7th item on its regular agenda for Thursday and is expected to be heard sometime after 2:15 p.m.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 23, 2010 @ 4:25 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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