Stricter Rules Squeezing Events From Golden Gate Park
By JESSICA GREENE
Jan 5, 2010
It's getting tougher to throw a party in Golden Gate Park.
With Richmond and Sunset District residents continually complaining
about noise from the area, the parks department is enacting stricter
rules on enforcing permits for events.
Organizers will have to submit requests by November of the year prior
and must perform a significant amount of outreach.
Events will also have to be scheduled at least three weeks away from
any other major event in the same area of the park.
But the new rules are also causing a bit of noise.
Our friends at the Examiner tell us Jimmy's Old Car Picnic, which
raises thousands of dollars for disabled kids, won't be happening
this year for the first time in more than 20 years. The problem with
their event isn't the cars on the grass or motors revving. Instead,
it's just timing. The car show falls just a week after Hardly
Strictly Bluegrass, so their permit was denied.
The car show's organizer, Jimmy O'Keffe, told the Examiner that he
suspects the Parks and Recreation Department just wanted to fill the
calendar with events that generate more money for the department.
Other events axed because of the new rules are the Summer of Love
Global Garden concert in April, a Memorial Day Half Marathon, a Love
is Power 12k run and an Alcatraz triathlon.
A concert is known to be noisy, but we're still trying to figure out
what kind of ruckus a bunch of runners can cause. Again they prove,
timing is everything.
Permit crackdown bumps events from Golden Gate
By: Kamala Kelkar
Examiner staff writer
January 5, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO For the first time in 22 years, Jimmy's Old Car
Picnic in Golden Gate Park will not be able to raise thousands of
dollars for developmentally disabled kids because its park permit has
Richmond and Sunset district residents have habitually complained
about events in the park including sound, overcrowding and poor
outreach, among other concerns so the Recreation and Park
Department has been enforcing stricter guidelines for its permits.
Organizers will have to submit their requests by November of the year
prior, have it scheduled at least three weeks away from any other
major event in the same area, perform a significant amount of
outreach and maintain a balance throughout the park.
But the stricter rules squeeze out events such as the car show in
Speedway Meadow that has been benefiting disabled children for more
than two decades because it is a week after Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
and apparently is not park-friendly.
"It's just a matter of scheduling to minimize the impact and make
sure we're doing business with the best [organizations] in the
industries," Rec and Park spokeswoman Lisa Seitz Gruwell said. "It's
not the fault of the people involved. There just shouldn't be that
many cars on the grass."
However, Jimmy O'Keefe, organizer of the car show, said he was a
gardener in Golden Gate Park for 35 years and he knows the impact his
event has on the park's grass.
"You think I don't know how to take care of lawn? They don't have a
leg to stand on," O'Keefe said. "For 21 years, you bring a hamburger,
you bring your '44 coupe and now these people have wrecked it."
He said he believes Rec and Park is hoping for an event that will
feed the department more money. It was unclear whether he paid a
picnic fee or a special event fee, the difference being thousands of dollars.
Rec and Park spokesman Elton Pon said there have not been
replacements and the department is weighing several factors that
include impact, access and generating revenue.
Permits were also denied for a Summer of Love Global Garden concert
in Speadway Meadow for April 18, a Memorial Day Half Marathon on May
30, a Love is Power 12-kilometer run on Aug. 22 and an Alcatraz
triathlon on Aug. 29.
Supervisor Eric Mar recently scheduled a joint meeting with party
organizers, Rec and Park and community members to help create more
oversight because he received numerous complaints from people in his district.
Park and play
Daily commercial permit fees for Golden Gate Park:
Lindley Meadow $10,000
Speedway Meadow $18,000
Marx Meadow $2,500
Sharon Meadow $12,000
Polo Field $50,000
Music Concourse $2,500
Note: Nonprofits pay half of commercial fees
Fees for picnics at locations other than Pioneer Log Cabin, Pine Lake
and Stern Grove:
Source: Recreation and Park Department