Administrative Code, Chapter 90
Declaration of Policy.
Establishment of Entertainment Commission.
Powers and Duties of the Entertainment Commission.
It is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco to have a system of coordinated planning and permitting for cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events and establishments throughout the City to promote such establishments and events for the economic and cultural enrichment of San Franciscans and visitors to San Francisco, and to celebrate the diverse communities within San Francisco. To facilitate this goal it is the policy of the City to have the San Francisco Entertainment Commission: (1) assist the organizers and operators of cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events and establishments to apply for, and obtain from the commission and other City departments when the applicant satisfies the requirements therefor, all necessary permits from the City; (2) promote the responsible conduct and operation of such events and establishments; (3) promote the development of a vibrant entertainment and late-night entertainment industry within the City; (4) promote the use of City facilities for cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events that generate revenue for the City; (5) foster harm reduction policies, including but not limited to reduction of risks from substance use, hearing protection, heat exhaustion, and relevant health and safety measures; (6) develop and recommend to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors "good neighbor policies" that appropriately balance the cultural, economic, employment and other benefits of a vibrant entertainment and late-night entertainment industry with the needs of residents and businesses in the vicinity of entertainment venues; (7) mediate disputes between persons affected by cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events and establishments, and the organizers of such events and operators of such establishments; (8) assume responsibility from the Police Department for issuing entertainment-related permits; (9) plan and coordinate City services for major events or which there is no recognized or adequate organizer or promoter, such as Halloween bacchanalia in the Castro district and New Year's Eve festivities; and (10) provide information regarding venues and services appropriate for conducting events and functions ancillary to conventions held within the City, including conventions at the Moscone Convention Center. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
Except as the context may otherwise require, the terms used in this Chapter shall have the following meanings:
(a) "City" means the City and County of San Francisco.
(b) "Entertainment Commission" and "commission" mean the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, and includes where appropriate the Executive Director, Permit Administrators, Sound Technician and other staff designated by the Entertainment Commission to perform the functions of the commission specified by the Charter, this Chapter, Articles 1, 15, 15.1, and 15.2 of the San Francisco Police Code, or other law.
(c) "Entertainment-related permits" include the following:
(i) Loudspeaker permits;
(ii) Itinerant show permits;
(iii) Dance hall keepers permits;
(iv) Place of entertainment permits;
(v) After hours permits; and
(vi) Licenses for amusements.
(d) "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission.
(e) "Permit Administrators" means the Permit Administrators of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission.
(f) "Sound Technician" means the Sound Technician(s) of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
(a) Establishment of Commission. There is hereby established the San Francisco Entertainment Commission consisting of seven members.
(b) Appointment of Commissioners. Appointment of the members of the commission shall be as set forth in the City Charter:
(c) Terms of Commissioners. For purposes of staggering the terms of the commissioners, the initial appointments shall have terms as follows: three commissioners shall have initial terms of four years, two commissioners shall have initial terms of three years, and two commissioners shall have initial terms of two years. All terms of the initial appointees to the commission shall be deemed to commence upon the same date, which shall be the date upon which the last of the seven initial appointees assumes office. Thereafter, all appointments and reappointments shall be for a term of four years.
(d) Compensation; Reimbursement of Reasonable Expenses. Subject to the availability of funds, the commissioners shall (i) receive compensation of $50 per meeting and (ii) be reimbursed reasonable expenses incurred for authorized activities on behalf of the commission pursuant to written policies and procedures adopted by the commission and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
(e) Chairperson. The commission shall, annually, elect a chairperson who shall serve for a term of one year. The commission may reappoint the chairperson to serve additional terms. The chairperson may call special meetings, instruct the Executive Director to undertake all steps necessary or appropriate for the commission to issue, deny, condition, suspend, revoke and transfer entertainment-related permits in a timely manner, and to perform such other duties as may be set forth in the bylaws of the commission. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
In addition to the powers and duties set forth in Sections 4.102, 4.103 and 4.104 of the Charter, the commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) Accept review, gather information regarding, and conduct hearings upon applications for entertainment-related permits; and rule upon and issue, deny, condition, suspend, revoke or transfer entertainment-related permits in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The commission may authorize the executive director or permit administrators, or both, to rule upon applications and grant, deny, condition, transfer or modify specified types of entertainment-related permits deemed by the commission to be routine and unlikely to pose significant negative impacts on persons in the vicinity of the event or establishment for which the permit is sought; provided, that any City department with an interest in the permit or person having a right to appeal to the Board of Appeals under Section 30 of the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code may, in writing, (i) request that the permit application be heard in the first instance by the commission, or (ii) request reconsideration by the commission of the executive director's or permit administrator's decision. If the commission grants a request for reconsideration, it may hear the matter de novo, or may limit its review to the administrative record that was before the executive director or permit administrator at the time of his or her decision.
(b) Impose reasonable conditions upon the issuance or renewal of entertainment-related permits consistent with the applicable law, regulations and the good neighbor policy or policies for the location or locations of the establishment or event for which the permit is sought.
(c) Suspend, revoke or withdraw entertainment-related permits in accordance with the law and regulations governing such permits.
(d) Coordinate with all relevant City departments for the conduct of any inspection or investigation necessary or appropriate for the full and fair consideration of applications for the issuance, renewal or transfer of entertainment-related permits, including without limitation the Police Department and the Department of Public Health.
(e) Promote the use of City facilities for cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events that generate revenue for the City, in consultation with the City departments having jurisdiction over such facilities.
(f) Develop and recommend to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors "good neighbor policies" that balance competing interests and promote the health, safety and welfare of San Franciscans and visitors to San Francisco.
(g) Mediate disputes between persons affected by cultural, entertainment and athletic events and establishments permitted by the City and the organizers of such events and operators of such establishments.
(h) Plan and coordinate the provision of City services for major events for which there is no recognized organizer, promoter or sponsor, or where identified organizers, promoters or sponsors cannot, in the opinion of the commission, provide adequate planning and coordination for the size, geographic distribution or nature of the event. For purposes of this Chapter, "major events" means an anticipated gathering of persons on or adjacent to public property or roadways that is likely to require police services, fire services, toilet facilities, traffic control, the availability of potable water or other City services to protect the health, safety and welfare of participants, neighbors or other persons likely to be affected by the event, including but not limited to spontaneous gatherings on Halloween, Pride events (including Pink Saturday), St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve.
(i) Prepare and submit to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors a report analyzing the commission's effectiveness in advancing the policies specified in Section 90.1 and the laws governing entertainment-related permits, and making recommendations related thereto. The commission shall submit the report to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors within one year of effective date of this Chapter, and not less than once every five years thereafter.
(1) With the approval of the Recreation and Parks Commission or Port Commission, as the case may be, exercise the powers and perform the duties set forth in this Section with respect to events and establishments to be held or operated upon property or within facilities under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Parks Commission or Port Commission. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
The Executive Director shall manage the day-to-day affairs of the Entertainment Commission. The Executive Director shall appoint and have supervisory authority over the permit administrators, sound technician(s), and other commission personnel. The Executive Director shall be responsible for planning and coordinating of major cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar events in the City (provided that the Police Department shall continue to be responsible for all matters concerning security and law enforcement); promoting the use of City-owned facilities for such events; promoting the location of cultural, entertainment, athletic and similar establishments within the City; promoting the responsible operation of such establishments and adherence by their operators to good neighbor policies designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents and businesses in the vicinity of such establishments, and performing such other duties as the commission may prescribe. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
Permit administrators shall be responsible for reviewing applications and advising applicants regarding the submission of all necessary information and documentation for the commission to process applications in a timely manner; verifying information contained on entertainment-related permit applications; assisting other City departments in the review of applications for permits necessary for and coordinating investigations by developing instructions, manuals and forms for entertainment-related permit applications that can be accessed on the internet; informally mediating disputes between neighbors and such establishments and events; and for such other duties as the Executive Director may prescribe. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
Sound technicians shall by responsible for conducting tests and investigations relating to noise levels and compliance with Article 29 of the San Francisco Police Code as may be necessary or appropriate for the issuance, denial, conditioning, suspension, revocation or transfer of entertainment-related permits; issuing findings, reports and recommendations thereon; and for such other duties as the Executive Director may prescribe. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
The Entertainment Commission shall issue an annual report to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor by March 1st regarding its activities for the preceding year. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)
Within one year after the operative date of this Article, and annually thereafter, the Entertainment Commission shall submit a report to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors analyzing the fee revenue generated from the issuance, renewal and processing of applications for entertainment-related permits, and proposing fees therefor that will cover the annual operating costs of the commission. Within three years of the operative date of this Article, the Board of Supervisors shall establish fees for entertainment-related permits at levels sufficient to cover the estimated annual operating costs of the commission. (Added by Ord. 164-02, File No. 020783, App. 7/26/2002)