Following the denial of a recycling center’s attempt to stop its eviction from Golden Gate Park, park officials have granted the center one final month in its current location near Kezar Stadium.
On May 17, a Superior Court judge declined to rule on the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council’s assertion that the Recreation and Park Department is unlawfully evicting its recycling operation from its longtime home.
In December, the Recreation and Park Commission voted unanimously to evict the center and replace it with a community garden and pedestrian plaza. The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center has been a neighborhood fixture for 36 years, but it also attracts homeless people to the park, which officials say breeds crime.
The department originally gave the center until March 4 to vacate the premises, but HANC lawyer Robert De Vries argued in court that the nonprofit’s lease gave it until the end of June to leave.
On Friday, Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg wrote HANC a letter saying, "To avoid dispute, we are superseding the earlier notice with this one." Ginsburg sent the letter with a second eviction notice effective at month’s end.
But though De Vries considered the delay a small victory, HANC Executive Director Ed Dunn said the center still needs more time to move.
Dunn said he can move his operations out of the park, but needs more time to negotiate ways to help surrounding retailers fulfill a state recycling law. The California Bottle Bill requires large supermarkets to provide on-site or nearby reimbursement of recyclable bottles. HANC’s recycling center fulfills the requirement for nearby Safeway, Andronicos, Whole Foods and other grocers.
Dunn said he is still deciding whether to install redemption machines at a nearby site or manage machines at the various stores. The City has offered Dunn a lease to rent space at Pier 96 in the Bayview district.
"It’s still all being fleshed out," he said. "We need more time."
But a Rec and Park spokeswoman said the agency has planned to repurpose the site for some time, adding that the center had opportunities to negotiate a long-term lease.
"The community is anxious to have the community garden up and running," agency spokeswoman Sarah Ballard wrote in an email. "There has been a decadelong conversation about returning the site to a park use. The recycling center’s lease expired in 2001 and it has been on notice to leave since December of 2010."
State law requires that all major grocers either provide on-site bottle recycling or that someone offer such services within a half-mile.
Major stores affected: