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News Release: 2011-09-29

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Legislation by Chiu, Wiener, and Herrera takes on security issues at parking garages and lots 

Proposed amendment to SF Police Code seeks to improve the safety of patrons of San Francisco's vibrant entertainment industry and the surrounding neighborhoods 

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 29, 2011)— Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced a major legislative step to curb late night public nuisance and criminal activities in parking garages and lots, in particular at those garages and lots near entertainment establishments. The proposed ordinance seeks to amend sections of the San Francisco Police Code regarding commercial parking permits and empower the City Attorney's Office to pursue civil action against those who violate those sections.

“Making parking lots near nightclubs more secure will make it safer for people to patronize our vital entertainment industry,” said Supervisor David Chiu. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with Supervisor Wiener, City Attorney Herrera and the industry to put forward this much-needed legislation.”

The legislation, entitled “Security Plans for Commercial Parking Garages and Lots,” will be introduced at next Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting. The proposed ordinance will require that all commercial parking garages and lots submit a security plan when applying for their annual permit, and will place minimum security requirements on owners of commercial parking lots and garages within 1,000 feet of an entertainment establishment to protect the health and welfare of patrons, passersby, and the general public.

The security plan must address issues such as identifying and enhancing lighting at the parking lot or garage, including in stairwells and at entrances, to ensure visibility for drivers and pedestrians. For parking lots and garages that are within 1,000 feet of an entertainment establishment, the ordinance would require an on-site security person or attendant during the hours of operation until 3:00 a.m. The ordinance also empowers the City Attorney’s Office to pursue a civil action against parking lot and garage owners who fail to comply with the Police Code provisions regarding commercial parking permits.

Earlier this year, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and Supervisor David Chiu each held several roundtable discussions with business owners, club operators, and promoters of San Francisco’s entertainment industry to discuss ways to promote the City’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment industry while addressing the businesses’ concerns of public nuisance and patrons' safety.

“Today's proposed ordinance is one of the tools to protect the safety of all patrons of San Francisco’s entertainment venues, the vast majority of law-abiding entertainment businesses that comprise one of San Francisco’s most vibrant economic sectors, and their neighbors,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “I want to commend Supervisor David Chiu and Supervisor Scott Wiener for working closely with our office and most importantly, the responsible nightlife entertainment venue owners, operators, and promoters whom we have met and who brought the issue to our attention.”

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Last updated: 9/29/2011 5:23:25 PM