SF commission votes for new operator at Coit Tower

(KGO)
June 21, 2012 11:26:14 PM PDT
Coit Tower has been a landmark in San Francisco's North Beach area since it was built in 1931. But some believe the city is trying to turn the Telegraph Hill beacon into a common reception hall. A vote taken Thursday could allow up to 12 parties a year to be held at the tower.

San Francisco Recreation and Parks commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to negotiate with someone new to operate Coit Tower. It will be the first change since 1992 and it comes just a couple of weeks after the city's voters approved Prop B, a measure to limit private parties inside the landmark.

But the vendor selected to potentially take over has proposed holding a special event every month, outraging backers of Prop B.

"Today Rec and Park has moved forward with a program that directly violates that by going from an occasional special event to every single month; that's going to turn it into a private party venue," one Prop B supporter said.

But the city and the potential vendor say everything is open to negotiation.

Park officials say special events generate needed money.

But there is a unique issue at Coit Tower -- the wear and tear on the landmark and the protection of the Depression-era murals. Prop B voters clearly voiced concern. But what they passed was an advisory policy, not a law.

"But I mean it's the voice of the people," the Prop B supporter said.

San Francisco's supervisors will ultimately decide how that policy will be implemented.


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