Small pet shop owners in San Francisco's Noe Valley resurrect the word 'NIMBY'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Only in Noe Valley will you find a dog greeting you at the entrance of a clothing store. This San Francisco neighborhood is known for being child and dog friendly.

It's also one of those places that embraces small businesses. Ariel Medina says she'll only buy at The Animal Company on Castro Street. "This neighborhood all has local businesses and everyone in the neighborhood supports this local pet shop," explained Medina.

So when it was known that a Southern California pet food and grooming chain Healthy Spot wanted to move into the old Radio Shack location, other pet store owners protested. The company has 13 stores in the Los Angeles area.

"They have really deep pockets in terms of investors so they don't have to make the profits that we have to every month just to survive, said Sage Cotton, co-owner of the VIP Scrub Club, a small pet and grooming store.

Healthy Spot is requesting a conditional use permit from the San Francisco Planning Commission.

In order to obtain this kind of permit, Healthy Spot would need to prove two things - one that there was a need and two that there was a desire for another pet store.

Those like Sage Cotton say the need is not there. She says there are enough pet stores and groomers in the community.

But the company in Culver City disputes that, saying, "Healthy Spot focuses on natural and organic pet products and specialty grooming services. These brands and services are largely unavailable right now in Noe Valley."

But not everyone is opposed to Healthy Spot finding a place in Noe Valley.

"Just the fact that someone is successful enough to have multiple locations isn't enough to disqualify someone from entering the neighborhood, expressed Daniel Roddick, a long-time Noe Valley resident.

Only a few chain stores have been allowed here because the community wanted them there. On June 21 the Planning Commission will hear whether or not Healthy Spot is considered a "desired" business in this neighborhood.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.