Letter to Planning Commission Re: Rivian Automotive at 340 Fell

September 1, 2021

Dear San Francisco Planning Commission:

The Hayes Valley Small Business Association (HVSBA) does not support the proposal for a Rivian Automotive in Hayes Valley. A luxury car showroom, funded by Amazon, Ford Motor Company, and Blackstone does not lend itself as a neighborhood serving business.

Formula Retail legislation in Hayes Valley is at a critical juncture. Lack of monitoring and weak enforcement have created loopholes and opportunities for emerging and established chains to circumvent legislation intended to prevent predatory entities from displacing the local business community. The legislation needs to be strengthened rather than relaxed. 

Locally funded small businesses in Hayes Valley (many of which are our members) built the equity and appeal of our business community, which now has the attention of deeply pocketed interests. The interests and efforts of our local entrepreneurs are deeply intertwined with the unique character of our neighborhood. 

The encroachment of Rivian (or any emerging chain store) on our commercial landscape is a direct threat to the ability of small businesses to compete for leases, resources, and the political will of our City leadership, elected or appointed. Hayes Valley should continue to strive to be an environment that encourages and supports local entrepreneurship. 

We ask that you deny this request for a CU.