I left a couple of comments on the article to disabuse readers of some of the patent nonsense in the comment thread.
Rec and Park misses species study deadline
SF Chronicle - Corey Paul
"The Recreation and Park Department missed its July 31 deadline to finish a study on how Sharp Park Golf Course should protect two endangered species that live there. In a letter sent to Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who has supported restoration of the park, the department said it needs more time for three reasons: to explore financing for the restoration, to clarify the longterm impacts of sea rise on the park and to "develop a set of options for partnership opportunities with (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) and City of Pacifica." Rec and Park officials could not say what those opportunities were or provide a timeline for completion of the study. Sharp Park is home to the threatened red-legged frog and endangered San Francisco garter snake, and the city is legally liable for any harm to the animals. The study is reviewing three options for the park: keeping it as an 18-hole course while restoring some areas for the animals; cutting the course to nine holes; or closing Sharp Park to create a natural preserve."
In other news, the mayor of the city of Pacifica (which has the most to lose by the SF Supes actions) offered her personal perspective on the battle so far, as presented to local residents in the clubhouse of the golf course. She is fighting the good fight.
As a San Francisco resident, I was amused by her reaction to her treatment at the hands of our Board of Supervisors. Don't feel bad Julie. That is exactly how they treat their constituents here in the City also.
A few days later the Pacifica City Planning Commission met to consider a resolution to seek landmark status for the historically significant Alister MacKenzie course. The commission decided to keep their powder dry, until it is determined what our Supes are going to do. From the Mercury News:
"The historic designation, if ultimately approved by City Council, would give the Planning Commission jurisdiction over the golf course and the ability to vote on any changes, irrespective of simple repairs, proposed to it during a public hearing. It would not preclude any investigation about habitat. Nevertheless, the owner of the golf course, the city and county of San Francisco, has indicated it is not subject to Pacifica's land-use designation, said Michael Crabtree, director of planning.
Proponents of the historic designation spoke about how the golf course meets many of the criteria set up to determine whether or not asite is such a landmark. Those criteria include that it reflects a significant element of the city's cultural, economic, political, aesthetic, engineering, architectural, geographical and social history. Other criteria call for the embodiment of architectural characteristics that are rare or the use of indigenous materials. The golf course was created by Alister MacKenzie, who went on to create many notable golf courses throughout the world."This meets many of the criteria for historical designation," Crabtree said. "This is a very important part of the city's social and cultural fabric. This is why we recommend moving it forward."
Bo Links, speaking on behalf of the city at Crabtree's request, said the Sharp Park Golf Course was the work of a master architect."It has historical significance. He built bunkers that look like clouds. The vast majority of his courses are private courses. This is the only public golf course built by the sea. He built a cultural landscape. Thirteen out of the 18 fairways are still in play. The course is crying out for restoration. This course is home to the most diverse group of golfers there is. The architect created something so unique that no one thought was possible. If you had that much of a studio where Monet worked, you wouldn't destroy it," he said."
The Center for Biological Diversity out of Tucson funded the website and spearheaded the effort to destroy the course. They have a reputation for intimidating municipalities with legal machinations in the service of their often extreme eco-agenda. If it comes to it, the Historical Landmark designation will give Pacifica a fighting chance in court against these eco-bullies.
A new post on the topic with more videos, news, and your loyal blogger's latest effort to acquaint our San Francisco Supervisors with the concept of "common sense" can be found here.