Vacant or Abandoned Commercial Storefronts Ordinance

On December 12, 2018, Supervisor Fewer introduced an ordinance amending the Building Code to require:

  • vacant or abandoned commercial storefront owners to pay annual registration fees at the time of registration;
  • require annual inspections of registered vacant or abandoned storefronts;
  • update the penalty for violations of the requirement to register vacant or abandoned commercial storefronts;
  • affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The intent is to help the City get a more accurate number for vacant storefronts as the current regulation doesn’t provide a complete picture of what many of the City’s residents and business owners see in our neighborhoods. We believe more accurate data and strict requirements for registering will help better manage the challenges business face when trying to rent commercial spaces. While rising rents can be attributed to many reasons, one is clearly the ability to enter in rental agreements with building owners not ‘actively’ seeking tenants. We know a simple sign in the window currently allows building owners to bypass the $700 fine imposed by the City. This does not create enough of an incentive to fill their vacant spaces.

We have come out in support of the ordinance and sent a letter to the Land Use and Transportation, see here.

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