Outdoor Fitness Permits FAQs


1. What is the difference between small and large group fitness?

  • Small Group Fitness: three or fewer participants and an instructor
  • Large Group Fitness: four or more participants (max 25) plus instructor

2. Can I apply for both the small group license and a large group permit?

3. What is the fee for a small group license?

  • For any fitness operator who is part of a closed studio, the fee is reduced from $250 per year to $25 per year for as long as gyms and studios remain closed. If we are still adversely affected in a year, we can look at keeping the reduction available. For other instructors, the fee is $250 per year.
  • Operators can pick up to 4 parks to use with one license
    1. Small parks may be limited in terms of number of license offered

4. What certifications are required for a small group license?

  • Any one of the following
    1. Proof of professional insurance as it requires certifications
    2. Over 2 years of experience
    3. Training Certification in an accredited program

5. What equipment can I bring to the workout and setup

  • Equipment set up depends on the surface that you are using
    1. Lawns – limited to mats and bands. Must be low impact
    2. Hardscape – more flexible to allow weights and other equipment

6. What is the fee for a large group permit?

  • Applicants with studios: Since you are still paying rent, you will be eligible to get a 90% reduction in fees. Each class slot will be 2 hours and will cost $2.50 per class.
  • Applicants without studios: Cost will remain $15 per hour.

7. What locations are reserveable under a large group permit?

  • The list includes:
    1. Basketball courts/blacktops – Unlimited since courts are closed by the health order.
    2. Plazas – Limited due to need to balance other users.
    3. Grass lawns – Limited due to low impact activities (yoga) and number of days/times per week to avoid excessive wear.
    4. Athletic fields – Available before 10 a.m. on weekdays to avoid conflict with other users.
    5. Note tennis courts are not available -they are one of the few recreational activities available for adults due to Covid restrictions and they are heavily booked
  • See Exhibit A for a list of likely locations

8. What is a slot?

  • A slot consists of a recurring class at a specific location, day of the week, and time.
  • Each slot will be for 2 hours.
  • An example of a slot would be Panhandle Basketball Court, Mon from 7 am to 9 am.

9. Are these classes still only for adults or can we now do youth outdoor classes through this new system?

  • Adults 18+ only. This is a health department directive.
  • The health department has issued a separate more limited directive for younger children covering out of school time. We are offering a separate program for those activities. For more details, click here: https://sfrecpark.org/387/Permits-Reservations

10. What if my class is rained out?

  • Given that the cost will only be $2.50 per slot per day, there will be no refunds.

11. Can 6 a.m. be an option as a starting time?

  • For neighbors, 6 a.m. can often be a problem unless it is a really quiet group like yoga or in a very isolated location. We will also have prohibitions on amplified sound similar to existing permits. If you want a 6 a.m. start time, you can put a note in your online application and we will review.

12. Can I play music to motivate my students and make it fun?

  • Parks are surrounded by neighbors and used by others who enjoy quiet. We will allow small speakers as long as no complaints are received but if we receive complaints, you will no longer be able to use it.

Exhibit A – Preliminary List of Sites for Permits and Licenses as of 8/24/20 SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Park Name

Large Group

Small Group License Ok

Alamo Square

No Area

yes

Alice Chalmers Playground

Basketball Court

no

Alice Marble Courts 

Basketball Court

yes

Alta Plaza

Half Court

yes

Aptos Playground

Outfield Only

yes

Argonne Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Balboa Park

Basketball Court

yes

Bernal Heights Rec Center 

Basketball Court

yes

Buchanan Street Mall

Basketball Court

yes

Buena Vista Park

No Area

yes

Cabrillo Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Cayuga Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Civic Center Plaza

DG Area

yes

Collis P. Huntington Park 

No Area

yes

Corona Heights 

No Area

yes

Crocker Amazon Playground

Basketball Court- Locked (need to daisy chain)

yes

Dolores Park

Basketball Court

no

Dolores Park

Multiuse Court

no

Douglass Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Duboce Park 

Basketball Court - Locked (need to daisy chain)

yes

Embarcadero Plaza

Hardscape

yes

Excelsior Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Franklin Square 

Pitch before 10 am weekdays

no

Fulton Playground

Basketball Court

no

Garfield Square

Lawn

yes

George Christopher Playground 

No Area

yes

GGP

All Areas

yes

GGP

10th Ave Bridge

n/a

GGP

9th Ave Bridge

n/a

GGP

Big Rec Grass Are

n/a

GGP

Kezar Triangle

n/a

GGP

Little Rec, Robin Williams Area

n/a

GGP

Robin Williams Meadow

n/a

Beach Chalet

Half Pitch weekdays before 10 am

no

GGP 

George Washington Grove

n/a

GGP 

Stanyan Eastern Edge

n/a

GGP - Panhandle Basketball Courts

Basketball Court

yes

GGP - Panhandle Fitness Court

Fitness Blacktop

yes

Gilman Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Glen Park

No Area

yes

Grattan Playground

Basketball Court- Locked?

no

Hamilton Rec Center

Lawn only

yes

Hayes Valley Playground

Basketball Court Before 8 am only weekend any time, wknd any time

no

Helen Wills Playground

Basketball Court weekdays before 9 am and after 5 pm, wknd any time

yes

Hilltop Park 

No Area

yes

Holly Park

Basketball Court 

yes

In Chan Kaajal Park 

Performance Area before 10

yes

India Basin Shoreline Park

Basketball Court

yes

J. P. Murphy Playground

Basketball Court- Locked?

no

Jackson Playground

Basketball Court

yes

James Rolph Jr. Playground 

Basketball Court

yes

Jefferson Square 

No Area

yes

Joe DiMaggio North Beach Playground

Blacktop

yes

John McLaren Park

Basketball Court

yes

Jose Coronado Playground

Basketball Court- Locked?/Blacktop

yes

Junipero Serra Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Kezar Stadium

Upper Track

yes

Kezar Stadium

Area on West Side

no

Lafayette Park

Gathering Meadow East Side of Park

yes

Lake Merced Park

Parking Lot

yes

Larsen Park

Basketball Court

yes

Larsen Park

Grass Area

yes

Laurel Hill Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Little Hollywood Park

Basketball Court

yes

Louis Sutter Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Marina Green

Marina Triangle Area 1

yes

Marina Green

Marina Triangle Area 2

yes

Marina Green

Little Marina

yes

McCoppin Square 

Basketball Court- Locked?

yes

McCoppin Square 

Lawn

yes

McKinley Square 

Lawn

yes

Michelangelo Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Midtown Terrace Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Minnie & Lovie Ward Rec Center

Basketball Court

yes

Miraloma Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Mission Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Mission Playground

Pitch after renovation before 10 weekdays

yes

Moscone Rec Center

Basketball Court/Field before 10 weekdays

yes

Mountain Lake Park

Basketball Court/Lawn

yes

Noe Valley Courts

Basketball Court

yes

Noe Valley Town Square 

Plaza Area  - limited

no

Parkside Square 

Basketball Court

yes

Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley

No Area

yes

Peixotto Playground 

No Area

yes

Pine Lake Park 

Lawn

yes

Portsmouth Square 

Plaza Area

yes

Potrero del Sol Park 

Stage Area Mon- Fri

yes

Potrero Hill Rec Center

Basketball Court

yes

Precita Park 

Lawn only

yes

Presidio Wall Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Presidio Wall Playground

Grass Area

yes

Raymond Kimbell Playground

Pitch before 10 am weekdays

yes

Richmond Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Rochambeau Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Rolph Nicol Playground

Lawn

yes

Rossi Playground

Grass Area

yes

Rossi Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Stern Grove

East Meadow

yes

South Park 

No Area

yes

South Sunset Playground

Basketball Court - Locked

yes

St. Mary's Square 

Plaza Area  - limited

yes

States Street Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Sue Bierman Park

Lawn only

yes

Sunnyside Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Sunset Playground

Basketball Court before 9 am and after 5 pm

yes

Twin Peaks

trails and roadway

yes

Upper Noe Rec Center

Basketball Court before 9 am and after 5 pm

yes

Victoria Manalo Draves Park

Basketball Court before 9 am and after 5 pm

yes

Visitacion Valley Greenway 

No Area

yes

Visitacion Valley Playground

No Area

yes

Walter Haas Playground

Basketball Court

yes

Washington Square 

Lawn only

no

West Portal Playground

No Area

yes

West Sunset Playground

Basketball Court- Locked?/ Plaza area

yes

Youngblood Coleman Playground

Basketball Court - Locked

yes