With San Francisco Supervisors Avalos, Breed, Campos, Kim and Mar voting against, but Supervisors Chiu, Cohen, Farrell, Tang, Wiener and Yee supporting, the ordinance generally closing City Parks in San Francisco from midnight to 5:00 a.m. is a second procedural vote away from being passed into law.
Once again, while the law will apply to areas such as Golden Gate Park, Union Square and the Panhandle, roadways and paved paths would remain open for the purposes of traversing any park or plaza, but no stopping or stepping on the grass.
While violators of the new ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined, “a person found sleeping in [a] park outside of the park’s open hours could be cited for violating the Park Code prohibition on sleeping in the park but could not be cited under this ordinance for being present in the park while sleeping.”
And with respect to the budget and priorities for enforcement:

The Board recognizes that effective enforcement of hours of operation in City parks may require additional City resources. Towards that end, the Board urges the Recreation and Park Department to increase the number of Park Patrol scheduled to patrol parks between midnight and 5 a.m. and to request funding for additional Park Patrol to enforce this ordinance.

The Board also urges the Recreation and Park Department to prioritize enforcement of park hours in smaller neighborhood parks and playgrounds where the effects of vandalism and loitering are particularly disruptive to the neighboring community.

The new ordinance will most likely become effective in about a month.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Who votes for these people? For fog’s sake, this is absolutely moronic.

  2. Posted by BTinSF

    How about sleepwalking then?

  3. Posted by Pfffttt

    “a person found sleeping in [a] park outside of the park’s open hours could be cited for violating the Park Code prohibition on sleeping in the park but could not be cited under this ordinance for being present in the park while sleeping.”
    Surprise, surprise, more stupid rules/laws imposed by the infamous stupidvisors with nothing better to do.

  4. Posted by Nelson

    So those with the best fake snore will be the new kings of the park!

  5. Posted by gribble

    People sleeping will be cited for sleeping, which is already in the books.
    This is to counter the arguments that this is targeting homeless sleeping in the parks.
    No big deal, they can be cited for sleeping in the park, which is already illegal.

  6. Posted by soccermom

    “Officer, I was just resting my eyes.”
    “Officer, you can’t cite me for being extremely drowsy. It’s not the same.”
    “It’s not my fault, I was just reading a parking/bike debate on my favorite sitez.”
    “Officer, it can’t be after dark, my reading light is still on.”
    “Don’t you see, that’s just it, man! I am not PRESENT in the park. I keep studying and reaching for ways in which to be PRESENT bro, but I am just mentally ELSEWHERE! So how can I be sleeping while PRESENT when I am ELSEWHERE?…
    Yeah, so…
    You gotta light bro?”

  7. Posted by anon

    gribble is right. This is a big nothing. It was already illegal to sleep/camp in the parks. We can debate whether that pre-existing law was enforced, but this new law adds nothing to that one, so no need to cite illegal sleepers under the new law. The new law is a much needed tool to cite late-night, destructive park partiers/druggies.
    On a side note, during fits of insomnia, I occasionally start my runs through GG park before 5:00 a.m. – guess this will be an incentive not to stop . . .

  8. Posted by BayGuy

    Does this mean that if you are sleeping in the park, and an officer follows the law, if he or she awakens you, then while awake you will be arrested? He or she will be bound by the previous law to awaken you since, as it has been mentioned, it is already against the law to sleep in the park.
    Oh… I get it! You will then be arrested for sleeping in the park and being awake in the park. Oh goodie… a double offense and more money for the city. Just saying…

  9. Posted by Greystonesfo

    These supervisors are so stupid. So now we run the homeless out of the parks so that they can sleep and defecate on our front porch. The only tickets given out will be to the tax paying citizens and the tourist. Thanks again spurs, in particular Scott Wiener..

  10. Posted by Brian

    The absolutely most waste of time law past yet!! Are these supervisors morons? Unless asleep?! How on earth are you gonna prove whether or not someone was asleep? Their word against the cops…LAME LAME LAME!

  11. Posted by BobN

    I guess I won’t have to stop to pick up my dog’s poop, especially if she poops where I’d have to step on the grass.
    Oh, wait! Duh. I wasn’t being logical. I’ll just take my sleeping bag and, if she poops, settle down for the night and pick up the poop after 5:00.

  12. Posted by sf

    A lot of you fail at reading comprehension.. this doesn’t make it OK to sleep in the parks. That is already illegal.

  13. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Does this mean I can place a homeless person under citizens arrest if I see one in the park at night? Obviously I would be passing through on a paved path without stopping. If the answer is yes, this could get interesting.

  14. Posted by BobN

    That is already illegal.
    And unenforced, at least as far as I can see in my local park.

  15. Posted by jeremy

    If a cop walks up to me and cites me for walking on the grass after midnight, can I place him under Citizen’s Arrest for walking up to me?

  16. Posted by CVLaw

    Probably required to pass 9th Cir. muster.

  17. Posted by Kathleen

    Time for a midnight Wiener Roast! Sincerely –
    The (now sleepwalking) Insomniac Dogwalkers of San Francisco Association -A 50(c) charity.

  18. Posted by kbbl

    It’s an attempt to camp down on the vandalism of the parks the city continues to spend money fixing up. Homelessness issues are always contentious in SF; Supervisors should get a thumbs up for stepping around it to try solving a more pressing problem.
    The only real question is why something like this didn’t go in before those spendy renovations did.

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