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SF parks department approves tourist fee

February 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
San Francisco parks officials have approved a plan that would charge out-of-towners to visit the city's botanical gardens and Coit Tower and put more concession stands in city parks. The Recreation and Park Commission unanimously approved the proposal Thursday, saying it was needed to plug a $12 million gap in the parks department's budget. The proposal also calls for an ice rink in Civic Center Plaza, metered parking in Golden Gate Park and the sale or leasing of surplus public property.

It still requires the approval of the Board of Supervisors. The plan to sell or lease vacant lots would also need voter approval.

Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the parks department, said the department needs to find ways to raise revenue instead of continuing to just make cuts.