April 12, 2013
America's Cup Waterfront Concert Series Permit Suspended
Ten days ago San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission approved the plans to hold 30 ticketed concerts at the upsized America’s Cup pavilion on Piers 27/29 which is two-thirds built, granting Live Nation a conditional Place of Entertainment Permit for the series.
While the first concert by Imagine Dragons is scheduled for May 31, the Entertainment Commission's approval has been appealed by the "Recreation and Open Space for the Waterfront" neighborhood association and Live Nation's permit has been suspended.
The Board of Appeals hearing is scheduled for May 8. The basis for the appellant's appeal:
1. Pursuant to Police Code § 1060.5, the Entertainment Commission was not authorized to issue the permit because, pursuant to Police Code § 1060.5:
a. The premises or proposed operation of the Business does not comply with the health, zoning, fire and safety requirements of the laws of the State of California or ordinances of the City and County of San Francisco applicable to the Business;
b. Notwithstanding the mitigation provided under the Security Plan submitted by the applicant, the building, structure, equipment or location of the proposed Business cannot adequately accommodate the type and volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic anticipated;
c. The premises or the proposed operation of the Business lacks adequate safeguards to prevent emissions of noise, glare, dust and odor that would substantially interfere with the public health, safety and welfare or the peaceful enjoyment of neighboring property;
d. The permit applicant has not provided a Security Plan that adequately addresses the safety of persons and property and provides for the orderly dispersal of individuals and traffic.
2. Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Entertainment Commission was not authorized to issue the permit because:
a. The City has not yet certified a supplemental Environmental Impact Report to assess new and more severe significant impacts caused y changes to the Project;
b. The Noise Control Plan adopted as a required mitigation measure under CEQA is vague and unenforceable.
We've been told that additional legal action is being considered by the group should the approval fail to be overturned by San Francisco's Board of Appeals.
First Published: April 12, 2013 4:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Oh dear, not another CEQA abuse. Hopefully this can be resolved quickly enough to avoid interfering with the AC plans. I'm not a big fan of the AC but I really don't think that last minute obstruction is productive at all.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 12, 2013 4:35 PM
These wealthy NIMBYs need to just move to the suburbs already, and stop holding the city back. The embarcadero is a busy thoroughfare, that particular area is a stone's throw from downtown, and SF is a big city. A CITY. It's not a quaint little village where traffic and occasional noise are unheard-of abominations.
People have way to much power to stop things in SF, and it seems that more often than not, the reasons behind NIMBYism here are dumb selfish ones and/or completely overblown/false ones: lost views, apocalyptic traffic, far less parking, evil "walls" that will destroy the city and devour the universe, evil developers who want to enslave us all, a new building that doesn't match the proper "SF Character" (whatever the hell that is), etc, etc. AKA, hysterical whining about typical city stuff with a generous helping of BS piled on top.
Lame. CEQA really needs to be fixed in SF. Ok, rant over.
Posted by: cbf at April 12, 2013 4:42 PM
I agree with MoD! And who is this neighborhood group that I (and probably everyone else) have never heard of???
Posted by: sfjohn at April 12, 2013 4:44 PM
You have to give the neighborhood groups north of the Bay Bridge credit for keeping development and entertainment events under control.
Posted by: db at April 12, 2013 5:42 PM
"You have to give the neighborhood groups north of the Bay Bridge credit for keeping development and entertainment events under control." -db
If by "under control" you mean, "stagnant/dead/non-existent, to the detriment of the city as a whole", then I agree.
Posted by: cbf at April 12, 2013 6:13 PM
San Francisco, where fun comes to DIE!! But first age, whither, and complain to anyone who will listen.
Posted by: sf at April 12, 2013 6:14 PM
Keep in mind darlings that "north of the Bay Bridge" includes a few million square feet of new office space and over 3,000 homes in the near future with building heights up to 1,000 feet for commercial and 700 feet for residential/office.
I'm very tired of reading the word "NIMBY" as a slur when anyone who takes a breath is a "NIMBY" by fact that humans do what it takes to survive... unless you're just pathetic and allow others to take your lunch money.
Are you folks calling people "NIMBYs" just pathetic or hypocrites?
Posted by: jamie at April 12, 2013 6:32 PM
@Jamie– please. this is all about your power base. You're an Aaron Peskin wannabe, using/abusing the system for political clout.
Posted by: Rocco at April 12, 2013 6:45 PM
"San Francisco" where drunk fools from the valley (who call it "Frisco" come to attend LiveNation events better suited to the Oakland Coliseum. Who is LiveNation feeding the money to? Certainly not regular people who live in SF.
Posted by: sf_guv at April 12, 2013 7:16 PM
Live music on the SF waterfront sounds great to me; its not like its going to be drunk 20-somethings watching metal bands and tearing the place up. I bike by that area every day, it doesn't look to me like an intimate concert series there is really going to cause any significant issues..... I think the opponents should expend their energies elsewhere. BTW, this is not a permanent venue, its temporary.
Posted by: brianSF at April 12, 2013 8:14 PM
A series of free live concerts on the waterfront sounds great to me as well. Another giveaway to a for profit entity because the America's Cup Organizing Committee and Mayor Lee have failed to do their jobs? Not so great.
Posted by: CH at April 12, 2013 9:37 PM
This is insane! Live Nation already granted numerous concessions to the neighborhood groups, including cutting the number of planned concerts in half, and promising to end the concerts earlier than planned to prevent late-night disturbances. Apparently it is not enough to get everything you want.
Posted by: Adam at April 12, 2013 11:22 PM
Not sure how "humans do what it takes to survive" is relevant to opposing a temporary music amphitheater. Is someone's survival at stake? Or is Jamie being overdramatic?
Posted by: James at April 13, 2013 1:06 PM
Jamie and all the other puppets of the Peskin regime should just pack up and go some place else. It will be no loss to the city. There are plenty of people who will fill their vacancies and allow this city to be a better place than the puppets of the Peskin regime are willing to let it be.
[Editor’s Note: Feel free to disagree, debate, or rip apart another's position, but simply telling people to pack up and leave is neither productive nor appropriate.]
Posted by: apropos at April 13, 2013 1:32 PM
I could care less about the NIMBY's and NOOBEES and HIPPIES I just want to see Imagine Dragons!
Posted by: inclinejj at April 13, 2013 4:06 PM
Agreed @cbf! Perfect exemplar of SF's super-wealthy elites who want to use their money and position to prevent the waterfront from being enjoyed by a larger swath of the public; infrastructure of community empowerment misused IMHO.
Posted by: j_blu at April 13, 2013 4:16 PM
Aging rich boomers complaining about Billionaire boomer hosting has-been boomer Sting for a concert. Wow, I am so glad I moved to the Peninsula to avoid all this aging SF silliness.
It's fine time for the SF boomers to finally grow up. Or at least not forget all the ruckus they caused back in '67 when it was apparently "OK" to play loud music wherever they felt like it.
Posted by: Boom goes the dynamite! at April 13, 2013 10:38 PM
We're glad you moved to The Peninsula too.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 14, 2013 11:36 AM
It will certainly be interesting to see how this turns out. If even a few of the complaints are legitimate it's hard to see legally how the concerts can take place. But more than ever The City has been whoring itself out for anyone with an open wallet.
Posted by: anan at April 14, 2013 3:20 PM
"But more than ever The City has been whoring itself out for anyone with an open wallet." -anan
So getting new/nice things for the city's residents and visitors to enjoy equals "whoring"? You can't be serious. I guess SF should have stayed a tiny frontier village with 500 residents! Just think of all the terrible "whoring" the city has done since then!
Posted by: cbf at April 14, 2013 4:13 PM
For those of you who are not familiar with Pier 27, it is located in a residential neighborhood at the North Waterfront in San Francisco.
This neighborhood includes over 600 condominiums (1,000+ residents) within 2 blocks of Pier 27 and over 900 residents on the east and north side of side of Telegraph Hill.
The residents have enjoyed a peaceful neighborhood, some for 80+ years, with the majority since 1980. During those years the most noise was from the 4th of July fireworks and the October visit for 3 days of the Blue Angels.
Sometimes the seals barking at Pier 39 or a departing cruise ship with a toot!! And an occasional fog horn.
So upon learning that the Americas Cup Event Authority had worked out a deal with the Port of SF to build a new cruise ship terminal at Pier 27, replacing the Pier 35 as the Port of Call for worldwide ocean travelers, the neighborhood was exited. Not only would we get a modern terminal, but the finish line for the 34th Americas Cup was across the street from most of the residents.
The AC Event Authority in its City approved plans called for the races to be in the afternoon from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM in July, ending mid September. The AC Event Authority and the City had worked hard to plan for the visitor's and locals to see the races, providing transportation, security, sanitation, etc.
The yachts did not even have motors, very quiet!!
The residents were preparing for another "Blue Angel" type of event, where, if you lived in the North Waterfront, you did not plan to drive for 3 days as gridlock was the normal traffic pattern.
The AC Event Authority actually was planning on providing a 4,000 seat pavilion with a large television screen for the public to watch the races for free, so the locals could see the entire race and the fininsh line at the end of Pier 27.
So, one might guess that the residents were concerned when, without any public notice (see SF Chronicle Matier & Ross article of Feb 24th) it was announced that the 4,000 seat pavilion had been increased to 9,000 to 10,000, with Live Nation to host 40 evening concerts, beginning at 6:00 pm and ending at 11:30 pm.
Immediately, Live Nation began promoting their events and selling tickets. Residents questioned how were 9,000 concert goers going to park in the neighborhood when virtually all the parking is taken ( the new Exploratorium at Pier 15-17 has the use of the only public parking lot at Green & The Embarcadero with 220 spaces to provide for their expected 3,000 a day new visitors). Perhaps they would ride a bike or take a taxi??
Well, that was one of the concerns.
But most of the neighbors were concerned about the other components of contemporary entertainment that is the mainstream of Live Nation.
Now, you might say that living across the street from AT&T Park when the Stones come to play, is something you have to put up with. One difference, there were no residents, except some house boats when AT& T was built, so if you moved into 88 King St or another condo you should expect the sights and sounds of a "City".
The difference is that the North Waterfront and Telegraph Hill are more sedate.
Not now and the locals are not pleased. Enter the locals that like Levi Plaza Park, the Bay Club roof deck, the interior of the various restaurants and bars, the quite cottages and homes on the Filbert, Alta and Greenwich Steps, the nighttime views from Francisco and Chestnut Streets, Montgomery and Union Streets and numerous charming hideouts on Telegraph Hill, the residents at Parc Telegraph, Telegraph Landing and 101 Lombard, all a block or two away.
They all are asking to their SF friends, what would you do if Live Nation built a 9,000 seat outdoor pavilion across the street from your house/apartment and "Turned it Up" for 40 or even 30 concerts.
Sure, get some tickets and sit in the front row with your choice of beverage or a different kind of toot. That might be ok for a few nights, but the peaceful enjoyment of your home just disappeared.
And who benefits from the concerts? Could it be the AC Event Authority and/or Live Nation? As some yacht racing fans had hoped for, after a day of watching the AC 72's fly on the Bay, let’s see a show. As of 4/15/13 only 4 of the proposed 40 concert dates are on a day that is scheduled to have a boat race.
It does not appear that this new use of the waterfront has much to do with supporting the Americas Cup except for the $$$ income.
For that, the neighbors across the street are not convinced this concert series should happen. Or as some of the Socketsite readers have stated NOT IN MY BACK YARD!!!!
Posted by: Frederick at April 15, 2013 1:12 AM
It is not a residential neighborhood, nor is it "across the street" from where many people's reside. Not at all. How utterly silly. It is on a waterfront and across an intersection from an office park. Full stop.
Posted by: Anon at April 15, 2013 3:45 AM
While I do want to respect Frederick's comments and concerns. I don't think anyone would want an open air concert venue going up next to their apartment.
However, you live in a dense, ever changing, urban environment. This is inherently what city life is about.
Run down communities get gentrified forcing out long term lower income residents.
Hip, rowdy areas age and bars and music venues close (the latest example being the fate of the Independent if new housing goes up next door).
Finally, cities often try (with mixed success) to rebuild/replace by staging big events, where empty degrading piers need to be rebuilt and put to new use.
This is what it means to live in a city, your view is not protected, your quiet neighborhood may not stay quiet, your low income rent controlled building may get bought out and converted to luxury condos, your favorite neighborhood dive bar closes and a sushi bar goes in, and that empty pier no one is using finally get's put to use.
Posted by: badlydrawnbear at April 15, 2013 8:09 AM
I can relate to Frederick's concern about a concert venue being plopped down into a quiet neighborhood. Several years ago my sedate neighborhood began a weekly free summer concert series at a venue about two blocks from my home. Due to the orientation of the stage I can hear the shows load and clear from my back deck.
Initially it was a little annoying because the bands that were booked were not at all interesting to me (c'mon, book King Missile or John S. Hall at least :-). But once I saw how many people came to the shows I figured that their enjoyment outweighed my consternation.
Now I've gotten used to the concert noise. It has a beginning and an end. And it is no-where near as obtrusive as the power tool noise sporadically emanating from the workshops of my tinkering neighbors.
The AC is just two seasons right? After that things return to normal.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 15, 2013 9:16 AM
Jamie Whitaker is an example of the new NIMBY in SF.
Someone who moves into a brand new highrise neighborhood and immediately starts working to prevent others from having the same opportunity.
He is also very active in the super NIMBY PAC save the sf waterfront.
Posted by: Bob at April 15, 2013 9:21 AM
"It is not a residential neighborhood, nor is it "across the street" from where many people's reside."
anon 3:45, With all due respect you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.
I used to live right across the street from Pier 27 (Sansome and Chestnut). There are many hundreds of condos and apartments right there. Look on Google Maps satellite view.
Posted by: anon at April 15, 2013 9:23 AM
"Several years ago my sedate neighborhood began a weekly free summer concert series at a venue about two blocks from my home...I figured that their enjoyment outweighed my consternation."
Would you feel the same way if it wasn't a free concert series for the public but instead a for profit venture? Or if there were at least two concerts a week and at night not during the day?
This isn't about a free concert series for the public.
Posted by: CH at April 15, 2013 9:36 AM
".... Absolutely no idea what you're talking about"
Actually, I do. And I invite anyone to Google map Pier 27 in order to see what's "across the street." Because it is green space backed by office buildings, health clubs, a brokerage, and other office buildings.
Posted by: Anon at April 15, 2013 9:42 AM
"Would you feel the same way if it wasn't a free concert series for the public but instead a for profit venture?"
So long as the concert goers were enjoying the event I think I'd feel the same.
"Or if there were at least two concerts a week and at night not during the day?"
There's actually an intermittent outdoor for-profit night venue that has cropped up too (though at at a different location). So far I haven't found very annoying either. It does make me laugh though how bad their performers are. I think that they may be operating without permits so it will be interesting to see what happens there.
Of course this is just one person's opinion. Other neighbors might not be so easy going though I've never heard them complain.
"This isn't about a free concert series for the public."
True though ticket fees make no difference on noise. It looks like there might be more money spent in the courtroom than on the stage here. What a shame. Unless you're a litigator.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 15, 2013 9:56 AM
Tell my three-year-old son that this isn’t a residential neighborhood. Tell the other parents who have children this isn’t a residential neighborhood.
Posted by: Concerned Parent at April 15, 2013 10:19 AM
Piers are commercial / industrial structures. They will get used for such purposes. If the one nearest you was quiet for many years, be thankful you had it for that long... but the piers were there long before any of the current nearby residents, and in fact the vast majority of buildings. You should have expected them to be put to a productive use sooner or later.
Sorry, you get no sympathy.
Posted by: lyqwyd at April 15, 2013 10:37 AM
"Tell my three-year-old son that this isn’t a residential neighborhood. Tell the other parents who have children this isn’t a residential neighborhood."
Oh no, think of the children! A few concerts at a temporary venue is going to stunt little Timmy's development!!!!
These are the kinds of arguments NIMBYs use... hilarious.
While there may be residences there, it is also full of offices, adjacent to a main thoroughfare, and just north of downtown, and just south of the pier 39 tourist land.
And as lyqwyd said, piers are commercial/industrial structures in the first place. No sympathy indeed. If you live in a busy part of a big city, you should expect to share that space with others, and to have to endure some noise and other things you may consider an inconvenience. If you can't handle that, maybe you should live somewhere more low-key, instead of trying to force a busy area to be low-key just for you.
Posted by: cbf at April 15, 2013 11:01 AM
I am in the neighborhood right now. It is scarcely residential. What a joke.
Posted by: Anon at April 15, 2013 12:04 PM
People who live in SF and expect peace and quiet 100% of the time are insane. It's a CITY. A few concerts aren't going to ruin your life. Get over it or move to the suburbs.
Posted by: Michael at April 15, 2013 12:05 PM
Posted by: lyqwyd at April 15, 2013 10:37 AM
Posted by: cbf at April 15, 2013 11:01 AM
Now we have the real Socketsite NIMBY posters that feel that the Port of San Francisco:
(1) was built before people actually resided there. Please check your history books, as Telegraph Hill was used as a home to many of the first SF residents, before any piers were built circa 1848 and on.
(2) the Port was given the Waterfront Piers and adjacent parking and loading lots form the State of California, in the Burton Act of 1962 for $1 dollar.
(3) The neighborhood got a ballot measure approved by SF voters in 1991, to force the Port to create the Waterfront Land Use Plan. Said plan took until 1997, before the Neighborhood and the Port agreed as to how the Port and its parking lots were to be used. That agreement required the Port to revisit that plan every 5 years, with the neighborhoods interest to be considered.
(4) the Port failed to update the 1997 plan until the President of the Board of Supervisors; David Chiu required them to do so in 2011.
(5) the neighborhood fought vigorously (thank you Aaron Peskin and The Telegraph Hill Dwellers) and succeeded in stopping a proposed shopping mall on Piers 27, 29 & 31, that then Mayor Willie had encouraged the Port to accept.
(6) the neighborhood fought vigorously (thank you Waterfront Action Group BCNA, Friends of Golden Gateway FOGG and again Aaron Peskin and The Telegraph Hill Dwellers) the change in zoning from a 40 foot height limit to an 84 foot height limit on a parking lot at Broadway and The Embarcadero. Mr. Peskin, as President of the Board of Supervisors to zone that site to 40 feet to complement the existing buildings on the waterfront.
(7) the neighborhood is fighting vigorously to keep the only recreation site on the waterfront, the Golden Gateway Swim & Tennis Club (GGS&T) as a recreation facility for anyone to use. The Port has the responsibility for a parking lot next to the GGS&T, that is part of the proposed 8 Washington St condo project. The neighborhood has been joined by 19 San Francisco neighborhood groups, the Sierra Club and 31,000 San Francisco voters to place a ballot measure on November's ballot that will allow all San Franciscans to decide how the Port's property will be used.
So, the neighborhood is still interested in how the Port continues to represent the citizens and business in San Francisco.
Posted by: Frederick at April 15, 2013 12:05 PM
Frederick: When did you move in the neighborhood? Oh, and could you list all the development projects that you and the other neighborhood groups like THD were supportive of?
Posted by: R at April 15, 2013 12:17 PM
Posted by: asiagoSF at April 15, 2013 12:26 PM
@fred - I said:
before any of the current nearby residents ... the vast majority of buildings
As you say, the piers were built in the mid 1800s... I don't think anybody living today was born before the piers... and I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of buildings in the area were built after the mid-1800s... You yourself state that the majority of residential buildings were built in the 80s or later.
You've made a couple long winded posts describing yourself and your compatriots as NIMBYs, I'm not clear on how you come to the conclusion that your opponents are the real NIMBYs.
Posted by: lyqwyd at April 15, 2013 12:28 PM
We're glad the 49ers moved down the Peninsula too.
Posted by: Boom goes the dynamite! at April 15, 2013 1:38 PM
The concert series is for ONE summer only! It will bring in much needed money to the city! I think people forget that they live in San Francisco and things are chnaging everyday. People need to lighten up and relize life could be so much worse! Enjoy and listen to the free music if you live in the area!
Posted by: MarinaBoy at April 15, 2013 3:16 PM
Fred, the residents of Telegraph Hill in 1931 fought against the costruction of Coit Tower, so don't be so self-congratulatory about opposing everything. This is temporary, even if you hate it, it will be gone soon. Why bother? Your dreamy seaside village never existed. San Francisco was a hectic wildcat port from the days when Telegraph Hill was a ballast quarry.
Posted by: James at April 15, 2013 11:37 PM
Frederick actually makes a pretty good case. I am mostly in disagreement with the NIMBYs, but in this case we are not talking about a permanent improvement to the neighborhood, but a temporary nuisance. Do the AC organizers really need the money?
But then he went on a long rant about how great the anti-everything THD is and lost me entirely. If THD is against it, then I am for it.
I am honestly torn.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 16, 2013 12:21 AM
Do the AC organizers really need the money?
What does it have to do with granting or not a permit?
I think we need to make this about the merits of this event: will it inflict actual damage to the neighbors or will it be just a temporary annoyance? Are all the rules respected, and will the City benefit from it?
Agreed about THD. Our own little Napoleon is still in exile on his island but guiding his minions. The question is whether this is Elba or St Helena...
Posted by: lol at April 16, 2013 9:05 AM
I really don't understand the complainers who are obstructing these concerts and other projects you would expect to find in a city. And when Frederick writes that he and his neighborhood association are doing it for SF and its residents, does he even consider that there are a lot of folks in the city that disagree with him? You live in one of the most touristed areas of the city but you want to be treated like a bedroom community. Move to Noe Valley if you want quiet. Your actions and opinions surely don't represent the rest of the city.
Posted by: SCInNoeValley at April 16, 2013 4:33 PM