Alcohol may be banned in some park areas

Boozing would be banned in children’s play areas, restrooms, buildings and swimming pools in city parks — even when a permit to sell and drink alcohol at a party in the park has been granted — under new rules due to be considered today.

“Let’s say you and I are having a glass of wine,” explained Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Dennis, “and we think it’s fun and cute to go swing on the swing. No.”

Dennis said the law, if passed by the Board of Supervisors, would add to a smoking ban in children’s play areas. “It’s not appropriate for you to be smoking or drinking around kids,” she said.

The Recreation and Park Department can sell permits to serve alcohol in playgrounds, though Dennis said the department would not sell such a permit. The new rule would strip it of that right.

Police would likely issue citations to anyone caught breaking the rule, according to Dennis, with tougher penalties possible forrepeat offenders.

The proposed ban makes sense, said Dee Dee Workman, executive director of San Francisco Beautiful, a nonprofit group that works to maintain and enhance The City’s parks and open spaces.

“I think it’s absolutely appropriate that alcohol is not allowed in playground areas,” Workman said. “There’s no conceivable reason that I can think of that would make that OK.”

The new rule was proposed by Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. She said she came up with the idea for the new rule after alcohol was banned at South Park because of problems caused by drinkers.

“I don’t want to worry people and make them think they cannot have wine with their picnics,” Alioto-Pier said Wednesday. “They just cannot be drinking within the perimeters of an actual jungle gym.

“It’s not a good idea to have your nanny watching your child and drinking scotch, or for a parent to be consuming alcohol while pushing their child on a swing.”

More than 50 parks would be affected, including parts of Golden Gate Park.

jupton@examiner.com

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