9/27 Community Meeting Regarding Food Vendors in the Park

Note: We love Blue Bottle Coffee and La Cocina! This is not about them specifically, but rather RPD’s lack of outreach.

As a result of discussion at the community meeting on Monday regarding food vendors in the park and the complete lack of outreach to park patrons from RPD, I and some other community members went before the Rec and Park Commission to ask for a hold on all food vendor permits for Dolores Park until the community has a chance to weigh in. I found out last night, that our request was approved. Here is some background info.

Our position is not: No food carts in Dolores Park. Our position is: The community-at-large has a right to have a say in what happens in their park and should be involved in the decision making process regarding significant changes.  What solution this results in is TBD.

For those that think this is a complete waste of time, I ask, “Would you be happy if RPD went ahead with the park renovation without consulting you?” This is no different. The potential impact for Dolores Park is big. For example, do you really want the cops called on the Tamale Lady? As the guidelines for vendors are written now – this should happen.

I have been in contact with La Cocina staff regarding all of this. I have promised to be forthright and to do everything I can to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. I have made the same commitment to RPD. My next call is to Blue Bottle.

We have organized a community meeting with RPD to discuss this in greater detail. It will be held on 9/27 at 7:00 at Dolores Park Church. EVERYONE is invited to attend. I hope this later meeting time will make it easier for people to attend.

15 comments
B34NS
B34NS

I think it's kind of a cheap shot to local business, comparing blue bottle to american apparel is unrealistic. look how many peets and starbucks coffees there are in sf neighborhoods, (not so much the mission granted, but they exist). Its silly to even call it a detriment to "18th street merchants" if by this group you mean the liquor stores, the one restaurant, and ice creamery, i think there's been a total bore of the food scene and would welcome some new and innovative things.

A better way to look at it is giving a temporary lease of up to 6 months at a time for a vendor, and allow the market and OTHER residents of the city determine the value. This also gives opportunity for more change, allowing new food vendors to have a chance to prove their worth to the community.

Let's not be obtuse.

Ex-hipster
Ex-hipster

Not everyone is a fan of coffee or Blue Bottle, or an opinionated or "rude" commentary as seen on this blog. Dolores Park is full of children and families too. If the park does get commercialized has anyone thought of utilizing it with Smoothies, lemonade, camps for kids, art programs instead of coffee. My neighborhood is saturated with coffee places. I would rather make the park more kid and family friendly if vendors come in rather than more "coffee friendly." I will be showing up at the meeting and I do think that it is important to have a voice. The younger generation seem to be the majority on this board and very entitled when it is matters that only concern them. This is a long term commitment that directly affect those us that live by the park. For over a year my weekly chores have been dealing with cleaning urine up in our stairwell with playing children around (It's unsanitary and disusting), cleaning up gobs of trash every weekend, no parking whatsoever, helping cover graffiti, influx of rodents, and dealing with obnoxious very loud park attendees late at night. Shouldn't this be addressed before making decisions that only Park and Rec's cottage industry. Also, how much of the money goes directly back into the neighborhood?

Shaggymanatee
Shaggymanatee

I support your efforts Crystal. As a mission restaurant owner, resident, and taco bike rider, everyone who is following city food and sellers codes should be aloud to sell there products in the very FREE Dolores park. I believe permits given to "selected" business takes away from our small casual park, and allows people from outside the mission (ex. blue bottle) the opportunity to compete with businesses who have been around for years and has served and given back the community where it conducts business. I am all about food carts, all about working with the city to figure out what is fair for everyone, but letting the city “take care” of this permit situation sounds like a bad idea. The city does have many resources, but they do not understand the individuals needs in Dolores Park.

MORE Toilets, new playground, proper drainage, updated trash collecting systems (I vote for solar powered recycling compacting containers), secure and visible dog area, all these things are more important for the long-term use of the park. The city’s policy on food vending will be an ongoing struggle, and will change frequently. So lets put a hold on the permits for food, and concentrate on the parks overall design, purpose and longevity. When the city itself has proper and effective policy for the many unpermitted food venders that currently exist, then the people who use Dolores Park can decide what they want. As of now, the city is far behind, and seems to be a few years away from places like Austin and Portland whose street food scene is a beautiful thing.

Take it slow.

mm
mm

@Pissed off- I didn't see any of the residents who definitely want the "carts" in the park representing themselves at the hearing? And to be honest, its not about having or not having the carts in the park- its about having the required legal dialogue with the community. The park is already over saturated and operating with 3 toilets, and a urinal, additional port-o-potties are there until November. The additional waste and consumerism is not going to help.
@ Hipster- show up and speak your mind. Its not about agreeing but exercising your right to freedom of speech.

Pissed Off Neighbor
Pissed Off Neighbor

Wow, what a horrible waste of time, holding back something that Mission residents definitely want. Weak.

A hipster
A hipster

"Consulting" with y'all costs the city extraordinary amount of time and money. Let me make a prediction: the meeting will happen, the community members attending the meeting will not be representative of the broader community, the community members attending the meeting will not even agree amongst themselves, and we'll be right back in the same place, with a hazily defined community consensus pushed by fifty backseat drivers. Let the city drive, folks. You're killing us out here.