Visitors face new fee to see SF Botanical Garden 

For tourists, enjoyment of San Francisco’s beloved Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park will come at a cost.

As the Recreation and Park Department struggles financially, it’s banking on a nonresident fee for entry to the Botanical Garden to help out with its bottom line. The cost to enter the garden would remain free for residents, but nonresidents would be charged. Adults would pay $7, youth and seniors $5, and $2 for children ages 5 to 11.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee approved the fee Wednesday after adding the provision that it would expire at the end of next fiscal year, on June 30, 2011. The change was made amid concerns that the department was overestimating how much revenue the fee would generate. The department projects $250,000 during the fiscal year.

The full board is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to approve the fee. The committee also approved and sent to the full board a $2 fee hike for nonresidents to use the elevator at Coit Tower. Those fees are currently $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and youths. The increase is projected to generate $200,000 annually.

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