Lawn reservation system suspended at Dolores Park after public outcry

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The lawn reservation system at Dolores Park has been suspended after public outcry, according to San Francisco Recreation and Park officials.

The reservation system, which allows large groups to reserve lawn space, existed prior to the park’s recent $20.5 million renovation but was only reinstated as a pilot program earlier this month, Rec and Park officials said on Tuesday. The same system is used at other parks throughout the city.

However, news reports on the system at the highly popular Dolores Park triggered objections from residents and officials including Supervisor Jane Kim.

Kim said she would put forward a resolution urging the end of the pilot program.

“Our city shouldn’t be for sale — and it shouldn’t be for rent either,” Kim said in a statement. “I’m very concerned that not only does this limit access to a popular park; we could well be on a slippery slope where
the very wealthy are the only ones who can fully enjoy public spaces in San Francisco.”

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the district that includes Dolores Park, said he spoke with Rec and Park officials after learning of the pilot program and worked with them to suspend the lawn reservation program.

The department will continue to issue permits for picnic tables.

“To be clear: reserving picnic tables and lawn areas is common practice throughout San Francisco’s park system and has been for decades,” Wiener said, noting that the lawn reservation system at Dolores Park is also not new.

Despite that, however, Wiener said he shared concerns about reserving lawn areas in the park, “given that green space is extremely limited on weekends due to large crowds.”

According to Rec and Park officials, groups of 25 or fewer can picnic at Dolores Park and other city parks without a permit or advanced reservation, while groups larger than 25 can reserve a space for $33. The
permits help avoid user conflicts and ensure post-event cleanup, city officials said.

Rec and Park officials spent $750,000 last year cleaning up trash left by visitors to Dolores Park.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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