730 Stanyan Street Site

Citing nearly 1,100 service calls to the San Francisco Police Department over the past three years, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sent a pre-litigation demand letter and draft legal complaint to McDonald’s corporate headquarters seeking the CEO’s assistance in abating the “lawlessness harbored” at its Haight-Ashbury location, noting the franchisee “has defiantly refused to abate problems related to drug trafficking and other public nuisances.”

In the last six months, police have recovered more than 100 doses of LSD, over two pounds of marijuana, 88.5 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, and hashish from drug dealers on the property at 730 Stanyan Street and have responded to dozens of calls involving fights, assaults, auto burglaries and dog attacks.

If McDonald’s fails to respond within the next week, Herrera is threatening to file suit against the corporation to abate the conditions “plaguing the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood” and to pursue injunctive relief, civil penalties and attorneys’ fees under California’s Drug Abatement Act.

McDonald’s owns the prominent third-of-a-block site upon which the little 3,500-square-foot restaurant and oversized parking lot sits, a site which is zoned for development up to 50 feet in height.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by sketch

    Holy Hashburglar Batman, was that the LSD? Or do thousands of people really live in the bushes across the street?

  2. Posted by david m

    close down the macdonalds!

  3. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    One man’s crime is another man’s “neighborhood character”.

  4. Posted by EcceMorons

    Herrara – “I DEMAND that you enforce the laws that I as City Attorney will refuse to prosecute.”

    • Posted by soccermom

      This. Times one thousand.
      What baloney. As if supplying Big Macs and chocolate shakes for affordable prices were the problem.

      • Posted by Mikey

        No. This is McDonald’s problem. You are not allowed to create an open sewer and shrug off the rats that it draws and breeds.

        • Posted by soccermom

          I don’t want private corporations to be enforcing the ‘abatement of lawlessness’ in our own city limits.

          To me that sounds like some poorly-educated, physically-large, and possibly-armed private security personnel securing the parking lot and serving as bouncers for the dining room. Maybe some fire hoses. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Recipe for disaster.

          Give us safe clean streets, but don’t put it back on private businesses to do so. Businesses sell food, employ people, etc.. We pay taxes for safe policing.

        • Posted by NoeNeighbor

          @Mikey: Then how do you explain what the City has done in Golden Gate Park? Really, the City is in a better position to fix this than McDonalds.

          • Posted by Mikey

            Well, yes. GGP is the city’s problem to address. McD’s tacit nod to drug sales on their property is their problem to address and the city should make every effort to force them to do so.

            McD’s is an unnecessary drain on city services (1100 service calls over 3 years?) precisely due to the owner’s disregard to the crime that occurs on their property. Any bar or entertainment venue, etc, would find its licenses revoked with far less police involvement. The city is correct to pursue this avenue to address this problem.

            BTW, one needs only to look across the street to Whole Foods to see what a little lighting and security presence will do to abate this problem.

    • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

      It’s the District Attorney that prosecutes (or not) crimes. Not the City Attorney.

      • Posted by EcceMorons

        Whatever. I trust you get the idea….

        • Posted by Speculum

          I get the idea that you are a person who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    • Posted by Jackson

      The City simply is not doing it’s job ferreting out the endemic crime in this neighborhood. As correctly stated by EcceMorons, if the Police do an arrest the District Attorney does not prosecute due to the activist Homeless Coalition breathing down his neck.

      Trying to completely blame the property owner in San Francisco, is simply par for the course.

      “We can’t afford police protections so you must hire your own private security” or the ever-fashionable “we can’t afford to keep the streets clean” so you must band together and tax yourselves as an Improvement District.

      • Posted by Jack

        City attorney =/= district attorney. eccemorons doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I was wondering where to score some ‘shrooms, now I know.

    I can see McD simply firing back and requesting the city to clean up the area around Stanyan and Haight first. You can’t expect Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac to search every customer to see if they’re packing a few doses of acid.

    • Posted by Totally Fake Name

      You’re supposed to buy your weed over on Hippie Hill, back back before dispensaries made that unnecessary, I’ve occasionally run into people on the Haight side of the park who wanted to do the transaction in McD’s, using the purchase of a hamburger as cover for why we were handing change and paper bags back and forth.

  6. Posted by medalist

    meanwhile, many corners in the TL and Mission are serving crack 24/7. Drive through as well!

    • Posted by BobN

      The solution, apparently, is to identify the closest non-artisanal, non-organic, non-ethnic food purveyor and slap down the disgusting enabler…

  7. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Man… Razing that lot and building a mixed use in place would undoubtedly change everything—for the better.

    • Posted by Mark

      Wishful thinking. Prime property on a major commercial strip across from one of the largest urban parks in the country houses a fast food restaurant with suburban parking. The Whole Foods building across the street (when WF was initially interested in the location) was supposed to have been razed and replaced with a mixed use building…once again too many complaints about the size coupled with the general whiny angst of neighborhood residents resulted in what you see today.

      [Editor’s Note: The 690 Stanyan Project Scoop: Scaled Back To An Interior Gutting.]

      • Posted by Moto mayhem

        How about fencing in the hippie hill area with druggies and treat them as tourist attraction like the Buffaloes?

      • Posted by Absolut

        Seems like it was more likely the general crummy economic conditions, rather than whiny neighbors (which I’m sure there was as well) that shelved that project.

  8. Posted by medalist

    there’s an article from 2012 in the NY Times that has McDonalds complaining about the inadequate City response and resources in dealing with the crime in the area.

  9. Posted by sethgreen

    good move. next charge the bars in the castro for the rampant meth scene there.

    • Posted by Moto mayhem

      Also charge bars for serving more than 2 drinks per person. Public intoxication is illegal and those people are let out into the public. How about enforcing open container and open drug use (including marijuana) laws? Why should Mickie Ds enforce what the city refuses too? I hope they write a nice open letter to city saying so. The city is the bad player here

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Be for real Moto, we know you’re smarter than that. A two drink limit would just encourage bar hopping.

  10. Posted by Mark

    It’s always entertaining watching the addicts/homeless go about their lives in the alternate universe at the bus shelter on that corner. It’s also a convenient drop off place for the fare evaders and their pitbulls who got on the bus through the back door back on Lincoln/19th Ave.

    • Posted by ess

      I cut through the McD parking lot when I go to Amoeba. It was a gauntlet for years, then mellow at that spot for quite awhile, maybe in the afterglow of the park camping crackdown some years back, but lately it’s been gnarly again around the parking lot entrance.

  11. Posted by redseca2

    Something about McD, and I must add 7-11, attracts the most peculiar demographic.

    But what do i know? While I have lived in the Upper Haight since 1979, I have somehow never had the opportunity to dine at our McD.

    • Posted by Moto mayhem

      The park and lack of enforcement is the attraction

    • Posted by francis

      In the absence of the real thing, fast food places have become de facto homeless shelters / senior centers / daycares / insert community facility here.

  12. Posted by Pablo

    Hilarious, City Attorney Dennis Herrera look out of his Civic Center office windows lately?
    Is he going to sue Ed Lee to clean that area up?

    It is City Attorney Dennis Herrera job to deal with this issue – and he chooses to sue the victim of his and City police incompetence…

    • Posted by BobN

      Not Ed Lee, the Carl’s Junior. It’s obviously them.

  13. Posted by EcceMorons

    I trust that Herrara will follow this up with similar letters to Glide Memorial, St. Anthony’s, et. al., for likewise “harboring lawlessness” and “refusing to abate public nuisances” near their property.

  14. Posted by marco

    Herrera should file a similar lawsuit against the city and the SF Board of Supervisors for the same issue!

  15. Posted by Shmendrick

    I remember the anger and gnashing of teeth when they opened back in the 70’s. It was clean and new and shiny. The neighborhood soon took care of that. Maybe the nimby’s were right in this case.

  16. Posted by MCSolar

    This is a TOTAL Joke! I’ve lived and own a place 2 blocks away for the past 12 years. That McDonald’s needs to be SHUT down! Then someone needs to get the idiots in the Haight-Ashbury “improvement” association to get their heads out of you know where and let this neighborhood evolve and allow it to grow into a liveable street. Instead they continue the Psychedelic version of Haight street that they think they remember, but it’s now a dysfunctional and completely disgusting street and neighborhood. Really, we need another f’ing tattoo or 2nd hand store? Seriously HAIA!

    We, the people, need CHANGE! And we need Haight street to remain true to its roots, but not be stuck by some completely moronic association that is the root cause of the problem. There’s not enough policing of the bigger issue and neighbors, visitors, establishments, and everyone suffers.

    • Posted by Christopher VerPlanck

      Please, take it easy.

    • Posted by Ivoryhouse

      Well said sir. I hope you are becoming active in the neighborhood groups to promote your view.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Haight Ashbury reminds me of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Dirty, tie-dyed, random whiffs of pot, and too many loitering street kids. Hence I try to avoid at all costs.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        All basically valid, and I’m glad I don’t live there – but it has some great places:
        Booksmith
        Haight Ashbury Music Center
        Amoeba
        Alembic
        Magnolia brewpub

        And a lot of sh***y places too. And my kids love it (for the reasons you don’t!) So I spend a few hours here and there on Haight St. I miss the I-Beam though . . . I saw a lot of really good bands there.

  17. Posted by Gracie

    Shut-Up!! You can buy drugs in the Height!!? Unless McDonalds is putting shrooms on their burgers and sprinkling LSD on the fries- I don’t see a case. Since the 60’s, this area is well known for druggies and not just in that McDonalds. This is not cool to do to the ower- if they are not involved with the shenanigans- this will only take away their livelihood $$. Lame!

  18. Posted by sf

    I’m sure the ceo of McDonald’s has nothing better to do than babysit San Franciscans.

    • Posted by Brian M

      It’s a franchise restaurant. The “CEO of McDonalds” in Oakbrook, Ill has little to do with day to day operations.

      Not that owning a McD’s franchise is not a good thing. One suburban nabob of bad food and fake shakes owns a ranch and smoozes with all the local elites.

  19. Posted by seriously

    Let me chime in- that place needs to be CLOSED and turned into condos! It should really be 8-10 stories like some of the older towers were. Park views would be incredible and it’d be across from Whole Foods and 2 blocks from the N. Why has this not already happened???

  20. Posted by Jamie

    yes, of course people making minimum wage flipping burgers should be responsible for all of the drug addled debris that floats across Stanyan from Golden Gate Park because the police have fingernail filing to do instead of respond to those pesky calls for service from citizens? Meanwhile, on the east side of town

    • Posted by ElitistPig

      I get your point, but the police cannot stop every single violent outbreak. They can’t patrol every square inch of the city at all times, and if they could people would be crying about a police state.

      • Posted by moz

        I lived in this neighborhood for seven years before moving to Mission Dolores last summer. I ran past this location three times a week. This McDonald’s is *literally* around the corner from the Park Police Station and I never ONCE saw an officer on foot patrolling this area (or the squatter’s paradise across the street by the duck pond). A small police presence could go a long way as you can see on Chestnut or Union Street.

  21. Posted by ElitistPig

    Bigger question is… did SocketSite photoshop the guy (Hamburglar?) on the corner, or did they unwittingly use a photo that already had him in it?

    • Posted by shza

      I’m glad someone else caught that too — it was my first question as well.

  22. Posted by gribble

    I’m not sure why people are reacting so negatively here about this action by Herrera. Pretty much all McDonalds needs to do is have their security guards watch the parking lot and call the police in when they see folks in the parking lot selling drugs. I’m pretty sure the issue is that McDonalds has been just ignoring the problem and isn’t the source of the police calls.

    • Posted by medalist

      You clearly have rarely or never had to call the police to report drug crime in this City.

      • Posted by gribble

        Your assumption is incorrect.
        But what exactly about what I said do you disagree with? It seems clear the City Attorney is trying to get McDonalds to do something to report the crimes being committed on their property and assist the City by calling the police. I assume Herrera believes that McDonalds is not even doing the bare minimum one would expect of any citizen/business if it has come to this point, no?

        • Posted by R

          McDs like doesn’t bother to call because if you actually called the police to report drug dealing here, after they stopped laughing, you could then wait 6-24 hours before the police didn’t bother to show up.

        • Posted by anon

          “It seems clear the City Attorney is trying to get McDonalds to do something to report the crimes being committed on their property and assist the City by calling the police.”

          This is farcical. It seems very unlikely that MCD could call the police and have the problems solved but simply doesn’t want to. And even if this were true, what’s stopping the police from making busts on their own?

          Just look across the street to the park to see that this is a problem that landed on MCD’s lap, not a problem caused by MCD.

        • Posted by Medalist

          If you read the article from 2012 McD says they call the police 100s of times a year. In my direct experience in calling the police to report drug use and dealing and public intoxication and loitering the police rarely respond. I even had an officer tell me ticket for crack possession is only $50 and it never gets paid by the offender so we don’t usually respond to those calls as high priority.

          • Posted by BobN

            Maybe, three years after 2012, McD has given up even bothering to call, so Herrara is going to sue them to get them to start calling again. Then, no one will do anything, but the process will be “full-participation” from “invested parties”, so we can all sigh a proper collective sigh.

  23. Posted by Cody

    I was at the bus stop just steps from the entrance yesterday. The usual street people with dangerous dogs handing out. Though I have never been hassled I always am wary of the crowd. Unfortunately fast food joints attract the lowest of the low. The same scene at 7th street & Market.

  24. Posted by Brad

    Just burn it down. It would be a service to society.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Like malfunctioned oil fryer or electrical short caused by vermin.

  25. Posted by Mark F.

    Legalize drugs. Problem solved. How is the endless “war on drugs” working out?

    • Posted by Mark

      Right, because we all know that legalizing drugs will change people’s behavior and improve the situation noted in the article. I see a lot of empty liquor bottles and drunks around that area too. Apparently, alcohol is solving that problem.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      how about locking up all the offendors?

      • Posted by Brian M

        I think we should also lock up all the alcoholics. And the smokers. And the fatties (and shut down pushers like McDonalds!) and anyone who is not upper middle class! Lock up everyone! But don;t raise my taxes to pay the $50,000 per year it takes per prisoner.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          happy to pay more taxes to get drug addicts off the street

      • Posted by Fishchum

        Yeah, let’s put non-violent drug offenders (not saying that’s everyone outside McD’s) into an already over crowded prison system. Brilliant solution.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          if they agree to a mandatory 6 month rehab, then OK with that. If they don’t agree, Im OK with locking them up

          • Posted by soccermom

            @moto Did you tell us you were African American the other day? Just checking.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            yes

  26. Posted by Roberto

    McDonald’s is your kind of place
    Hashish is common place
    Doses in your face
    McDonald’s is your kind of place
    Lawsuits are common place…

  27. Posted by Rome is Burning

    Is Dennis really suggesting that law enforcement be privatized? Very un-progressive….

  28. Posted by anon

    The city loves this type of political theater that accomplishes nothing.
    That’s why you won’t see any progress in Tenderloin/Bayview type areas unless the city shows any willingness to address the root cause via some broken windows style quality of life enforcement. Publicly shaming this business or rebuilding that project/SRO makes for good headlines but doesn’t accomplish anything the city couldn’t be doing right now if it really wanted to.

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