San Francisco’s commercial parking lots and garages will need security upgrades after regulations were approved.

Parking lot operators applying for permits must now submit security plans to be approved by The City’s chief of police. And those within 1,000 feet of entertainment establishments must have a security guard or attendant on-site until 3 a.m., according to the new legislation. 

The legislation builds on recent efforts to improve safety associated with San Francisco’s vibrant nightlife. A number of high-profile violent incidents associated with nightclubs and other entertainment venues prompted city officials to scrutinize the industry in 2010. They came up with controls such as increased security measures for nightclubs, increased oversight by a more empowered Entertainment Commission, and an online registry of event promoters. City officials say nightlife violence is down since that time.

Supervisor Jane Kim said parking lot security is “a major public safety issue” for the neighborhoods she represents in the Tenderloin and the South of Market area.

“As we have worked very closely with our venue owners on making their security plans stronger, we’ve been finding that a lot of the public safety issues migrate to our parking lots, which often don’t have any staffing after midnight,” Kim said.

The legislation rewards those parking lots or garages with no history of public safety problems within a two-year period by allowing the police chief to waive the requirements. Lot operators who fail to comply with the regulations may have their permits revoked and could be subject to civil action by The City