SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The city of San Francisco is cracking down on merchants who don’t keep the area in front of their businesses clean.

That includes fines of up to $500 if they don’t scrape chewing gum off the sidewalks.

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KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

Heather Raich owns Charanga, a restaurant on Mission Street. She said she received a notice on her window last week that she had seven days to clean her sidewalks.

“I was told I was going to get a $500 fine and I don’t need that, not in this economy,” said Raich.

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Raich said she doesn’t understand why merchants are being targeted. But Christine Halvey with the Department of Public Works said it’s all part of a campaign to beautify busy neighborhoods.

“As part of that program, there is an inspection part where, after three years, we have started to enforce some of the sidewalk cleanliness issues and that’s what people are seeing today,” said Halvey.

Charanga was closed on Monday, but Raich was there in front of her restaurant, WD-40 and scraper in hand and not pleased.

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