SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s only outdoor shooting range is holding out hope that negotiations can prevents its 78-year run at Lake Merced from coming to an end this summer.

The city has been trying to force out the Pacific Rod and Gun Club, which has enjoyed very cheap rent, less than $5,000, under a lease that dates back to the 1930s.

“All the sudden they want $50,000. Well, that’s outrageous,” said spokesman Fred Tautenhahn, adding that he recognizes the city has a legitimate concern about modernizing the agreement.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Besides collecting a market rate rent on the lakeside property, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission also wants to update the gun club’s insurance requirements and include anti-discrimination language consistent with city policy today.

“They have had a fairly comfortable existence out there with not a lot of conditions on it. And so the idea of placing conditions on now has required some discussions with them,” PUC spokesman Steve Ritchie said.

Tautenhahn said his only disagreement is with the tactics. The SFPUC has given the gun club until Aug. 15 to vacate the premises.

The push to update the lease began after the SFPUC learned it would cost $10 million for an environmental clean up at the site, remediation required in part because of lead bullets used at the gun club until the mid-1990s.

And the city maintains the gun club does not share enough of the revenue it collects from ancillary activities unrelated to shooting or fishing, such as the $50,000 in parking fees it collected during the US Open Golf Tournament.

Tautenhahn insists its revenue sharing has always been 50-50, and questioned why the city would suddenly try to force a longtime tenant off of “a very pristine location.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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