By Joe Vazquez

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin and other community leaders celebrated the opening of Il Cilentano Restaurant and the relocation of North Beach Gyros, both in the 500 block of Columbus Avenue.

Officials said the openings make 21 new businesses that have opened up in North Beach over the last year. Peskin’s aides say the numbers come from the North Beach Business Association as well as a community-led survey of businesses across the city. It is not clear how many businesses have shut down during that period.

“I’m delighted to see these restaurants open up on one of the city’s most beautiful corridors, and I hope the community comes out in force to support them,” said District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “It’s further proof that when good landlords like Ron Fong and new businesses come to the table, the entire neighborhood succeeds.”

Peskin noted that just a year ago he had called upon landlords to do a better job of re-opening vacant storefronts. He touted Proposition D — a tax on vacant storefronts which is on Tuesdays ballot — an effort to force landlords to open vacant buildings more quickly.

The supervisor has also introduced legislation this week that would speed up the planning process.

The legislation, called permit streamlining, would force the San Francisco planning department to approve new businesses within a certain window of time. If the planning department does not make the deadline, the small business would get its full planning application fee back. It also cuts in half the application fee for small businesses.

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