Dec 6, 1999
Sensoria, LLC
375 Eleventh Street
San Francisco CA 94103
Apellant Statement

Dear President McInereny and Commissioners,

On Nov 22, 1999, the police department conditionally granted permits to operate the DNA Lounge at 375 11th Street. (See attached.) We are appealing three stipulations on those permits, and asking for clarification on a fourth.

Please be aware that we look forward to running a very positive business, with good relations with neighbors and with neighboring businesses, while also providing good service to our clients. We have a background in computers and are looking forward to opening a high-tech environment that will appeal to many of San Francisco's residents who have a personal or professional interest in internet and computer-related technologies. Many of these folks have schedules that make it possible for and convenient for them to watch bands perform and go out dancing fairly late into the night, especially on weekends. We think that this is exactly the kind of cultural opportunity that is good and necessary for San Francisco -- a general belief we have heard echoed by both Mayoral candidates, Mayor Willie Brown and President of the Board of Supervisors Tom Ammiano. As we hope to be in SOMA for the long-term, we have a sincere desire to set some very logical ground rules in which this could happen. Unfortunately, we do not feel that the police department has been even-handed in granting our permits, and we are asking you to consider a few specific changes.

Stipulation 6: locked limiters.
We would like clarification on what exactly is meant by ``limiters.'' We believe this refers to specific pieces of technology designed to keep the levels of music acceptably low. Of course we will buy these and keep the music at an acceptable level; we just need clarification on what this means so that we know what hardware we are expected to buy.

Stipulation 13: no in-and-out privileges, and entry restrictions.
No in-and-out privileges seems incompatible with the non-smoking law. If we cannot allow people to exit the club to smoke and then re-enter, then we fear that many smokers will not attend our club at all, and will instead go to other clubs where they can go outside to smoke. This will significantly impact our ability to attract customers.

Please keep in mind that we will have licensed security guards staffing the club. They will specifically be working to prevent any illicit activity or noise, and we will work closely with the police on this. Our block is largely non-residential and a few smokers should not pose a nuisance.

In general, we believe that encouraging our club to post security guards outside will make the neighborhood as a whole safer.

As to entry restrictions, we would like to be able to admit people to our club at any time that the club is open. In addition to being good business, we believe that this will help alleviate congestion on the street at 2:00 AM. We believe that it is better for the neighborhood if people go home when they choose, rather than being forced out onto the street while they are still in a partying mood.

Stipulations 12 and 14: operating hours.
These stipulations specify the following operating hours:

  • Sun-Thu: dancing stops at 1:45 AM, patrons out by 2:00 AM.
  • Fri-Sat: no new entry after 2:00 AM, patrons out by 4:00 AM.

We find these too restrictive.

The DNA Lounge is currently operating lawfully and with very few complaints from the neighbors with permits that allow it the option of staying open until 6:00 AM every night with no restrictions on the time of new entry. Our decision to purchase this business was based on the potential we saw in the club. The ability to operate after hours is a very important part of this.

There have been very few complaints against the DNA Lounge. We feel we are being unfairly denied because of certain tensions between the police department and a few nightclubs. Please note, we have no connection whatsoever to these clubs and are actively looking to be a positive presence in this neighborhood, both for our neighbors and our patrons.

As we plan to operate a similar business to the DNA Lounge, and in the same location, we feel it is only reasonable for us to be granted permits identical to the ones that are in effect at that location today. However, we are willing to compromise to some extent on the hours of operation and entry if the police department has some specific issues that they would like addressed.

Our intentions: