Other Required Provisions

In helping you to plan your event, the following outlines some of the typically required provisions. However, it is not a complete list, and some provisions are not always required. Only upon receipt of your application can we determine what will apply.

Police Review

Permittee must contact the Permit Officer of the Precinct Police Station for security and for final review of plans including any alcohol sales. Please note that the hiring of additional police officers for event security may be required to assist with the event.

Parking Control Officers

The services of parking control officers may be required to provide for the enforcement of parking on the periphery – in the immediate community and on adjacent streets of all events drawing 5,000 or more participants. Contact Ms. Debbie Borthne, Assistant Director of Special Events, SFMTA Parking and Traffic Enforcement:
850 Bryant Street
Room 154
San Francisco, CA  94103
Phone: 415-553-1620

Transportation Plan

For events drawing 5,000 or more attendees, a Transportation Plan must be in place that includes alternative transportation options (bus, bicycles). The Transportation Plan must be included in event publicity, encouraging the use of public transportation and provided to the Permits and Reservations office and Park Patrol with the written plan. Depending on the expected attendance, conditions might include:

  • Additional Muni buses
  • Alternative bus transportation
  • Bicycle valet parking area
  • Public notice of alternative transportation routes
  • Rerouting Muni buses

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Plan

Permittee must comply with all applicable provisions of the California and San Francisco Building Codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable disability access requirements. For events of 1,000 or more participants, ADA Forms must be completed online, signed and returned to the Permits and Reservations office to finalize the permit process. For a step by step guide on how to host an accessible event, go to How to Host an Accessible Event.

Amplified Sound

Any event involving amplified sound must also submit an Amplified Sound Application. Limitations on days and hours of amplified sound vary based on the venue.

Emergency Medical Services Plan

For events over 2,500 people, call the Department of Emergency Management/EMS Agency at 628-217-6017 or email EMSMedicalPlans@sfdph.org for the required forms to fill out an Emergency Medical Service Plan (EMS). For a direct link to the required forms and information visit the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. The Permits and Reservations office must receive a copy of the approved EMS Plan prior to the event.

Alcohol Permit

All alcohol in parks may only be sold and consumed in a fenced beer garden. The Police Captain of the applicable precinct and Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) Park Patrol, will have:

  • Final approval of all security and security plans for the event including the hiring of additional Park Patrol officers and Police Officers to monitor the beer garden at full cost recovery
  • Final approval of the establishment of the beer garden area
  • Final decision to cease all sales of alcoholic beverages, if it becomes necessary at any time during the event.

How to Obtain the Permit

You will need to contact the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for the required alcoholic beverage permit:
33 New Montgomery
Suite 1230
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415-356-6500


Alcoholic beverages may not be sold to anyone under 21 years of age. No glass containers or cans may be used for serving the beverages. Conditions for serving alcohol will be described in the alcohol permit and must be provided to the Permits and Reservations office and Park Patrol. For more information visit the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control page.

Fire Department Permit

Permittee must contact the San Francisco Fire Department Permit Bureau for the fire and tenting permit:
49 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94103
Phone: 628-652-3260

Health Permit

Please contact the San Francisco Department of Health, Special Events Program to secure the appropriate health permit:
49 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94103

Road Closures

Road Closures in Parks require special approval and will take a minimum of 4 months to process. Road closures on city streets require the approval of (Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT). For more information, visit SFMTA.

No Parking / Tow Away Signs and Enforcement

SFMTA provides temporary tow-away signs for use during special events if needed for a "No Parking" or "No Stopping" zone outside of the park. Contact the SFMTA Temporary Sign Shop and apply for temporary "No Parking / Tow Away" signs. 

Portable Toilets

Permittee will be providing portable toilets based on attendance of which certain minimum amounts must meet ADA specifications.

General requirement

  • One ADA toilet for every 10 toilets.
  • One for every 100 to 200 people.

Recycling & Composting Requirements

Chapter 19 of the Environment Code, San Francisco's Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance, requires all events to maintain appropriate, color-coded (blue for recyclables, green for compostables and black for trash), labeled containers in convenient locations, and educate vendors, volunteers, contractors, and clean-up crews how to properly separate materials.

Any event that will host more than 1000 people or vendors with significant amounts of food must:

Use of Recyclable & Compostable Food Service Ware

San Francisco’s Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance, Chapter 16 of SF Environment Code, “Prohibits the use of polystyrene foam disposable food service ware and requires the use of recyclable or compostable food service ware.” For a list of compostable and recyclable food service ware distributors please visit www.sfenvironment.org or call 415-355-3700. Expanded Polystyrene” Styrofoam” for Food Service ware is Prohibited. Only food service ware that is acceptable in San Francisco’s recycling and composting is permissible. Please refer to the foodware purchasing guide.  

Restrictions on Food Vendors

Food & beverage vendors may no longer provide the following single-use plastic accessories: Plastic beverage plugs; Plastic cocktail sticks; Plastic stirrers; Plastic toothpicks. Acceptable straws include: Single-use paper or other natural fiber straws or reusable straws, such as glass, silicon, or metal. Single-use plastic straws may be available upon request for people with disabilities or medical needs.  Businesses should wait for a person to request a plastic straw before providing one. Compliant beverage accessories can only be made available upon request or at a self-service station. This includes straws, cups lids, cup sleeves, stirrers, spill plugs, napkins, condiment packs and utensils. All food vendors must use only BPI Certified Compostable products (plastic recyclable containers are still permissible). http://products.bpiworld.org/ 

Reusable Cup Requirement for Events on City Property and City Streets 

Event producers (with more than 100 attendees and prepared beverages) are required to seek to have 10% of attendees use reusable cups. Event promoters can meet this requirement by one of the following:

  • Promote or incentivize attendees to bring their own reusable beverage cup
  • Lend out reusable cups to event attendees using a deposit system
  • Provide or sell reusable beverage cups to event attendees

Oil & Food Leftovers

All leftovers (oil, food, etc.) must be hauled away. No leftovers are to be poured down gutters or storm drains. Steamed water and/or ice are not to be poured on the lawn or in the bushes.

Evaluation & Compliance

Events will be monitored for compliance with aforementioned recycling requirements. If permittee is found to have violated these requirements, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) will consider these grounds for withholding of performance bond and increasing performance bond the following year.

Compliance with Minimum Wage Laws

Permittee is required to ensure that all workers in connection with  their event (either directly or through a contractor or subcontractor) who perform services within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Francisco are paid at least  the San Francisco Minimum Wage. For more details, please visit the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement website.

Prevailing Wages

Pursuant to Administrative Code Chapter 21C, unless excepted, Contracts, Leases, Franchises, Permits and Agreements issued or granted by the City for the use of City property shall require payment of not less than the Prevailing Rate of Wages to any Individual engaged in theatrical or technical services related to

  • Broadcast Services (21C.9)
  • Exhibit, Display, or Trade Show Work at a Special Event (21C.8)
  • Loading or unloading materials, goods, or products into or from a Commercial Vehicle on City property (21C.10)
  • The presentation of a Show (21C.4)
  • Security Guard Services (21C.11)

Permittee agrees to comply with and be fully bound by, and to require its Subcontractors to comply with and be fully bound by, the provisions of Chapter 21C, including, without limitation, the payment of any penalties for noncompliance and other remedies available to the City. The provisions of Chapter 21C are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this agreement. Permittee shall cooperate fully with the Labor Standards Enforcement Officer and any other City official or employee, or any of their respective agents, in the administration and enforcement of the requirements of Chapter 21C, including, without limitation, any investigation of noncompliance by Permittee or its Subcontractors. Permittee agrees that the City may inspect and/or audit any workplace or job site involved in or related to the performance of this agreement, including, without limitation, interviewing Permittee’s and any Subcontractor’s employees and having immediate access to employee time sheets, payroll records, and paychecks for inspection. Permittee acknowledges that the City’s Board of Supervisors may amend such Prevailing Rate of Wages and agrees that Permittee and any Subcontractors shall be bound by and shall fully comply with any such amendments by the Board of Supervisors.

Insurance Requirement

Events will be required to obtain a $2 Million Certificate of Insurance naming as additionally insured, the City and County of San Francisco and the Recreation & Park Department and its agents, employees and commissioners, in single limits applying to physical injury, property damage, and personal injury. The certificate of insurance must state that the City and County of San Francisco is additionally insured.


Smoking is prohibited on any unenclosed area of property in the city and county of San Francisco that is open to the public and under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Commission or any other property used for recreational purposes (Article 191: Prohibiting smoking in City Park and Recreational Areas).

Bottle & Package-Free Water Ordinance

You must comply with the San Francisco Bottle and Package - Free Water Ordinance. Among other things, it provides that for any event in or on park property involving 100 or more persons, no person may sell or distribute bottled or packaged water in:

  • Any container intended primarily for single use and having a capacity of one liter or less
  • Bag
  • Can
  • Glass bottle
  • Rigid Plastic Bottle
  • Sealed box

On-Site Portable Water Connections

If there is access to reliable on-site potable water connections adequate for the event. The foregoing restriction does not apply to the participants at an athletic event such as a walk, run, or biking or sporting event, but it does apply to the spectators. It is possible to apply for an exemption. See Chapter 24 of the San Francisco Environment Code to ensure that you are in compliance. More information on the ordinance is available at San Francisco Water Power and Sewer.