Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Zoning change introduced to smooth path for new SF gay club

SF Supervisor Jane Kim hugs drag queen Heklina.

SF Supervisor Jane Kim hugs drag queen Heklina. Photo courtesy of  Fabian Echevarria (FBFE).

Two weeks after she faced public pressure to address a zoning impediment that a proposed gay nightclub was facing, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a regulatory fix this week to resolve the problem.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted in its June 12 Political Notebook, a group of LGBT investors is in escrow to buy the former Oasis nightclub at the corner of 11th and Folsom streets in the city’s South of Market neighborhood. One of the lead partners in the deal is drag queen Heklina, who plans to revive her weekly Trannyshack drag cabaret shows at the space, albeit under a new name.

Although the Oasis site is included in the entertainment corridor created on 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison streets, it is currently zoned to be operated solely as a bar and not as an entertainment venue. Thus, Heklina, whose given name is Stefan Grygelko, and her partners would be barred from having live performances or hiring a DJ for the space.

Upset at what they felt like was Kim’s slow response in addressing the matter, the investors went public with their grievances on social media platforms in early June. Kim, whose District 6 seat covers SOMA, told the B.A.R. at the time she was surprised by the complaints as her office had been working on the issue with neighborhood leaders and the city attorney’s office.

This week Kim made good on her promise to submit legislation to remove the zoning obstacles impacting Heklina’s plans for the Oasis venue.

“Introduced legislation this week which will permit future permanent home for Heklina & Trannyshack- currently 18 years strong! Can’t wait to see it turn legal (21!) at its new home on Folsom/11th,” wrote Kim in a post on her Facebook page this afternoon (Wednesday, June 25).

According to the legislative fix Kim has proposed, the city would delete a zoning prohibition against a non-residential use exceeding 25,000 square feet in the area where the nightclub is located. It would also authorize a nighttime entertainment use in that part of SOMA within 200 feet of any property within a Residential Enclave or Residential Enclave-Mixed District where a nighttime entertainment use existed within five years prior to an application to re-establish the use.

The Planning Commission must first vote on the proposal before it is heard by the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee. It would then be submitted to the full board for a vote.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 25, 2014 @ 3:07 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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