Rec and Park fee fight shifts to Japanese Tea Garden 

Supervisor John Avalos came close to winning his battle to eliminate a recently imposed fee for nonresidents to visit San Francisco’s beloved Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. He lost by one vote and he had the backing of former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.

Now Avalos is focusing on the fees being charged at the Japanese Tea Garden, another beloved institution in Golden Gate Park. Avalos said he is examining whether it makes sense for Rec and Park to have a consistent fee charge policy. While the Botanical Garden charges just nonresidents, the Tea Garden charges both. Avalos said that it appears that more nonresidents are enjoying the Japanese Tea Gardens. In other words, residents don’t like being charged. He estimates the fee on residents generates about $100,000.

Avalos isn’t promising another fee battle as colorful as the Botanical Garden fee fight just yet. He said he is gathering more information and is uncertain at this point how aggressively he will push the issue.

Nevertheless, last week he introduced legislation that would eliminate the residential fee at the Japanese Tea Garden. It costs $5 for residents to enter, and $7 for nonresidents.

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