FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-05-11
Owners and operators of San Francisco parking lots and garages, take note: the approval of a recent ordinance will require security upgrades. As part of the city’s effort to reduce violence linked to the active late-night entertainment scene, the legislation places responsibility on lot operators to maintain safe premises.
It all began in 2010 when violent outbreaks marred the vibrancy of the San Francisco, California, nightlife. These incidents included a fatal shooting in Fisherman’s Wharf and the killing of a German tourist near Union Square.
Responsibility for Violent Acts
Legislation was passed placing responsibility on club owners for keeping patrons and the public safe. Though the action did lead to a decrease in violence, it did not address the problems that occurred and continue to occur in unattended parking lots near the nightclubs. That changed this year with legislation proposed by the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee.
In September 2011, Board President David Chiu and Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislations specifically to deter violent club patrons, enhance public safety and reduce the number of serious injuries in San Francisco. “When patrons pour out of clubs, they sometimes hang out in nearby parking lots,” said Chiu, “and public safety incidents have been associated with such situations.”
Requirements of Ordinance
After several months of deliberation, the supervisors met in April 2012. Unanimously, they decided to approve the ordinance. This legislation requires parking lot vendors to have a security plan, provide a security guard or attendant until 3:00 a.m. and be permitted if the lot or garage is within 1,000 feet of a nightclub.
For lots or garages with a two-year period of no public safety problems, the police chief is allowed to waive the requirements. For those who fail to comply with any of the requirements, the city may revoke their permits and bring civil action against them. Additionally, those injured in parking garages or lots may have the legal right to bring a premises liability claim against the owner and/or operator. If you have been injured in a garage or parking lot, consult with a California personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.