Pet Food Express is a great company that showers an inordinate amount of money and resources upon rescue animals and animal welfare organizations -- and Lombard Street is a disaster that could use the foot traffic.
Pet Food Express is a chain that could put small pet shops under, and was in 2009 denied permission by the Planning Commission to move into the very same Lombard Street digs it now hopes to occupy -- and has allowed to go to seed in the years since.
And there you have it -- more than 100 public speakers at Thursday night's Planning Commission meeting spent a great deal of time making those points in various manners and at various decibel levels during a lengthy hearing. (After more than two hours of public speaking on this issue Planning Commission President Rodney Fong asked "are there any more speakers?" In the silence that followed, one of his colleagues could be heard to whisper, "Quick! Close it!").
In the end, the commission opted to spurn Pet Food Express for the second time in four years, by 6-1 vote. This is a a major step -- but not yet the concluding one -- in an exceedingly nasty neighborhood development battle covered in this week's SF Weekly.
See Also: Pet Food Express Tries to Be the Most Adorable Franchise in Town
In a column examining process rather than outcomes, your humble narrator examined Pet Food Express' rollout of its second attempt to move onto Lombard Street in four years:
being smacked in the nose by the city in 2009, Pet Food Express heads
into Thursday's hearing with a pack of influential supporters. The head
of the city's Department of Animal Care and Control has been an emphatic
advocate of Pet Food Express to her fellow members of the city family.
The community newspaper that has formed an advertising "partnership"
with Pet Food Express has provided it with fervently positive coverage.
And the newly formed neighborhood merchants association aggressively
pushing Pet Food Express' cause has ties to a paid lobbyist for the