Supervisor John Avalos wants better vetting of events that take up San Francisco park space

Large-scale events proposed for San Francisco’s public parks could receive more public scrutiny under a proposal introduced Tuesday by Supervisor John Avalos.

Avalos wants the Recreation and Park Commission to hold special informational hearings for any event that would occupy 25 percent of a park and run for more than 48 hours.

In October, Avalos created a stir when he criticized the Dew Tour — a skateboarding, bicycle and freestyle motocross event — for shutting down Civic Center Plaza for weeks. He questioned whether it was the best use of public park space.

“It is my hope that this ordinance would help the Rec and Park Department’s outreach effort around these large-scale events, increase transparency and promote public trust in the department’s work,” Avalos said Tuesday.

Hearings would specifically look at what public benefits an event would offer, the anticipated impact on park usage and what the promoter should pay in fees.  

Special events are a moneymaker for the Recreation and Park Department. According to the Dew Tour permit, the department earned $273,504 from that event.

Last fiscal year, Rec and Park generated $1.9 million from special event permit fees, not including the $1.25 million it received in fees from the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. That three-day event would not be impacted since it takes up less than 25 percent of Golden Gate Park.

The Board of Supervisors would need to approve the legislation for it to become law.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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