An Escalating Battle With Taggers, Transients, And Urban BlightFebruary 19, 2015
Engaged in a full-on battle with the taggers and transients who have claimed the shuttered McDonald’s at 600 Van Ness, an 8-foot chain-link fence is in the process of being cemented into place around the building, a fence which hasn’t been permitted nor approved.
As we first reported when the restaurant abruptly closed a few weeks ago, McDonald’s has yet to file any plans for building upon the Van Ness Corridor site which is zoned for development up to 130-feet in height.
And as such, the blight could easily mar the corner and burgeoning corridor for years to come while plans for the parcel are drawn and approvals to build are sought.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Tear it down and put in a temporary pop up park or restaurant .
I have to laugh. Didn’t I just read that “homeless” people had taken up “home” INSIDE the shuttered and boarded up former restaurant known as HOME at Market and Church streets?
I fail to see how a cyclone fence will help here. I am pretty sure this fence will not impede taggers. Note the graffiti on the 2nd story patio — taggers were able to get up there. In fact, I bet that litter and garbage will accumulate inside this fence and will contribute to “urban blight.”
Let’s revisit this issue with photos in a month or so to judge the effectiveness of the fence, shall we?
This is the kind of city that progressives strive for.
Really? Progressives strive for boarded up businesses? Dude you must live a very sad existence if this is your worldview.
No, but some of this city’s “progressive” “leaders” have a knee-jerk reaction to any development that’s not brimming with BMRs and zero parking and set-asides for hippie fingerpainting clinics. For them, boarded up and blighted buildings are preferable to more white people doing white people things.
Wait. Wouldn’t hippie fingerpainting be white people doing white people things?
By the way, hilarious comment, Sid.
“hippie fingerpainting clinics” — loved it.
Progressives certainly do in the Mission.
Have you seen the corner of Church & Market? There’s a restaurant that’s been boarded up by the Progs of DTNA since 2013. Chipotle wanted to move in, but they weren’t the “right kind” of Mexican eatery, so now it’s a boarded up building with a homeless camp in the parking lot.
Makes no sense whether a shop (who is willing and able to pony up lease costs and remodeling costs) is “ethnic enough” to lease a space in the neighborhood. At least Chipotle does not use lard in its products, unlike a lot of mom and pop tacquerias. Would I ever object to a Panda Express opening in Chinatown? Absolutely not. Why? Because many of Chinatown’s restaurants could learn a thing or two about serving consistent fresh food, proper marketing techniques, kitchen and bathroom cleanliness, being a financially successful chain, and having an attractive decor.
If I looked at the back kitchen of a restaurant in Chinatown, I’d likely never eat out every again. You can likely drop food on the floor at a Chipotle kitchen and it’d still be relatively sanitary.
There is a universal saying, “never go in the back of a sausage factory if you actually want to eat the sausage.” I used to “volunteer” at a family friend’s Chinese restaurant as a teenager. I had to close my eyes and breathe through my nose when using the bathroom. You don’t want to know where the roast duck was stored. Oddly enough, I have never gotten food poisoning to date.
I heard that “progressive” want to keep the city ugly, dirty and poor, for the purpose of votes?
Land mines = problem solved.
Homeless people need to live somewhere. This building is much better than streets. I can’t blame them for choosing the old McDonald’s as their new home.
Campos should lead an Occupy McDonald’s movement and make this the home for the good homeless folks.
Ridiculous comment. Homeless people DO need shelter and services, but they have no right to occupy private property. Don’t forget: lots of homeless prefer to live on the streets by choice. I think it’s wrong but they choose that.
Campos may think differently about private property rights, and tenant rights.
He also thinks differently about housing for the homeless… he’s got a vested stake in the homeless machinery and being able to take his skim off the top once he’s out of office. Same problem that Daly had (has).
and he should live there with them.
When are we going to get serious about the quality of life in this city and hire someone like Brill Bratton to enforce a broken windows policy? I think the anger at the progressives is that they seem to look for reasons that someone might pee in a BART entrance or tag a property. After 11 years in SF, I just want it to stop. Raise my taxes so there’s adequate care but then come down on quality of life issues like the hand of God, and I’ll be happy.
This building is owned by the giant corporate entity that is McDonald’s Corp. which has far more to worry about right now (it sells food fewer and fewer people want to buy every week it seems) than a single blighted corner of San Francisco. Therefore, to expect them to even care what happens on this corner is delusional . . . even if the city threatens to fine them amounts that are to be found between the seat cushions of the CEO’s office.
The solution here is either to allow them to rent the building to another fast food (or other) chain–something most San Franciscans including this one hate but this one finds preferable to what now is–or make them tear it down for a badly-needed Civic center parking lot. And they need to do one or the other quickly.
badly needed civic center parking lot? please. there’s an enormous garage under the “park” in front of city hall, and bart and a zillion muni lines go through the area.
Yes, badly needed. They all fill up during the week and when there are events but you probably prefer not to notice. In any case, I am proposing this ONLY as an alternative to a decrepit, tagged, blighted wreck such as what we now have, which can only get worse. I am no fan of surface parking lots but sometimes they aren’t the worst alternative. I’d rather see a new 13 story condo here but my not live to see that.
MacD is indeed in heap of corporate trouble with the CEO recently stepping down because of poor performance. A very large, prominent store in San Jose del Cabo currently sits as if untouched since the hurricane last September while all around has been or is being rebuilt.
Still t his is a situation that needs to be addressed for the long run.
Are you sure the building is owned by McDonald’s Corp and not a franchiser?
[Maybe] ownership would be willing to provide (or perhaps forcefully persuaded per the city) to place a decorative scrim around the property. A variety of graphics could be used to screen the blight- its been used in many european historic districts-city centers for ages.
FINALLY an intelligent, positive idea here instead of the usual vitriol slung back and forth….
Oh please. Spare us this ridiculous idea. So you want to use a “decorative scrim” to hide the criminal acts. What a bunch of bs.
This is anal.
Perhaps I should elaborate. Someone proposes a solution to the perceived problem and he focuses upon inconsequential acts because they are deemed “criminal.” That’s foolish.
Ah no. Graffiti and occupying property by squatting is illegal. That’s what we call criminal. This silly scrim idea is not solving the problem, it’s putting a cheesy bandaid on it.
Futurist – do you have a magical solution to the age old urban problem of squatting and graffiti? Please do tell!! I’m just amazed that with ideas like yours you aren’t on your 4th term as mayor at this point.
The decorative scrim idea sounds like a reasonable solution to this particular issue, yet you launch a verbal assault on the person who came up with it. You sir, are the one being ridiculous.
There is no “magical” solution. Just calling it “magical” is the problem: sugar-coating the problem as not being very important to the quality of life here in SF.
We need treat graffiti, vandalism and homeless encampment for what it is: criminal and illegal. We need to be tough on it. The city should hold the owner for this location responsible for IMMEDIATELY cleaning up the graffiti, adding 24 hour security around the building: or The City take over the property and demolish it.
Enough of this candy-ass coddling of this kind of utter urban trash.
It is known that if graffiti is cleaned up within 24 hours, it is less likely to be re-tagged. Those “artists” don’t want to waste their time and take on risk if they know their “canvas” is just going to get painted over. Graffiti left out for a long time is what causes blight.
From what I’ve heard, SF has a program where they take photographs of graffiti before cleaning it and then add the hours/dollars spent to a database. If the “artists” is ever arrests, charges can be pressed that include the costs for all prior “works.”
I say we ban graffiti “artists” from entering the City if they are caught. Hell, deport them if possible (not saying they are not natives, but send them to some remote city like a few towns did with homeless).
Typically idiotic “Progressive” solution.
Rather than crack down on graffiti vandals (who currently get a mere slap on the wrist in SF if they are ever caught) they would rather penalize the property owner who is clearly the victim here. Like it’s “ownership’s” fault that this town is overrun by human trash who will turn any vacant building into urban blight within hours.
I think the “scrim” is an idea worth considering only because the record of SF being able to successfully stop graffiti from happening is miserable. We probably can’t stop it . . . maybe hiding it is the best we can do. What I don’t want is that it be ignored and accepted.
YES! Someone who gets it. We need to stop treating vandalism like a petty crime that causes minor property damage, these criminals need to be hunted down like dogs and dealt with properly. Until we start incarcerating these felons with appropriate sentences, at least 5 years, they are just going to keep ruining the perfection of San Francisco.
Please name a city in a Western Country that has successfully cracked down and eliminated graffiti.
It is “ownership’s” fault that a high profile building on one of SF’s busiest streets was left abandoned and boarded up. They should own it by providing security or yes covering up the problem with something decorative. The city itself has no jurisdiction over this piece of private property other than fining them for the blight.
New York did a damn good job in the 1980s. In fact grafitti everywhere was on a big decline in from the late 1980s through the early 2000s – I remember being surprised to see so much of it when we moved back to the Bay Area a few years ago, after having lived here 1991-2003.
There was a great 99% Invisible episode about graffiti cleanup in NYC. Click on my name for the link. I haven’t listened to it in a while, but it had to do with taking any train that had been tagged out of service right away. It’s not worth tagging things if they are cleaned right away.
Nice idea but not a solution. Lipstick on a pig. Pig being the problem. Eliminate the problem.
Why didn’t they just keep it open until the site was closer to being developed?
I hope the idiot that is tagging the name Cryst all over Duboce Triangle and the Castro finds himself in the line of fire of a random drive by. He is tagging our entire neighborhood and it’s so tacky. Stupid idiot.
Onslow is absolutely correct regarding “typically idiotic progressive solution. Rather than crack down on graffiti vandals” the City simply penalizes the property owner.
I’m ready for some Sharia law against taggers, starting with a finger for each tag.
We can’t have anything nice in this town; and if you don’t own the property, your graffiti is not “art.”
Great idea. When the first two idiots get caught and punished, after they’re released they can “high four” each other.
NO homeless person is homeless by choice… you do realize America almost about just as high as Jamaica for income class inequality right?
I have a family member who chooses to be homeless over living with his family. you are way off.
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