The growth of retail clinics across the country may have chain drugstore operators patting themselves on the back, but it has some residents in local communities saying “There goes the neighborhood.” One thing that concerns people in some San Francisco neighborhoods, for example, is that crafty operators are exploiting loopholes in local regulations to transition some spaces from retail to medical use. Residents are most concerned about additional traffic and unwelcome changes in the character of their neighborhoods. Local lawmakers are taking their outcries seriously enough to start issuing “conditional-use permits” for medical spaces in order to allow a higher level of scrutiny on such businesses. Operators say they’re just trying to meet consumer demand for more healthcare options.

Influx of Retail Clinics Worries San Franciscans
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