Upgrade could make park reservations pricier

In January, it should be easier to rent parks or soccer fields in The City, but it may come at the expense of the users.

The Recreation and Park Department has been overhauling its half-handwritten, half-computerized reservations and permits system to put it all online. The shuffle, however, has made it apparent fees need to be more organized, Rec and Park spokeswoman Lisa Seitz Gruwell said.

Right now, renters either call the rental and permits office or walk in to the facility in the middle of Golden Gate Park, and only in some cases — like for Dolores Park and Kezar Stadium — they can fill out a lengthy application for review online. But the goal is to get it all online.

And the reorganization, however, will lead to some fees being increased.

Tonight, the head of the reservations and permits department, Dana Ketcham, will present to the Recreation and Park Commission a thorough evaluation of how the facilities are rented and how the system can be improved. 

Ketcham’s presentation proposes, for example, that indoor facility rates increase by $5 an hour under a new structure that categorizes clubhouses by three classes, and would range from $20 an hour to $70, Seitz Gruwell said.

The current system has a hodgepodge of fees, and the new system would rate the facilities by three categories — with the nicest costing more to rent.

“It is fairly inconsistent and unclear. And by really defining these different classes of facilities, it could make it more clear” Seitz Gruwell said.

She said the reorganization is more of a housekeeping technique instead of a revenue source.

“It’ll definitely make the permits and reservations department run more smoothly. It’s not going to be a huge cost-saver. It’s just that too many people had their fingers in [the system],” she said.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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