Note: Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations on March 2, 2011 filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco
a lawsuit for declaratory relief and injunctive relief to close golf operations at Sharp Park Golf Course. A copy of the complaint is linked, above.
Following is the statement of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance,
which has been a leading voice in the defense of Sharp Park Golf Course
since the environmental controversy over golf course operations there surfaced in 2009.
We think the lawsuit is premature, not well-founded, and will ultimately be unsuccessful.
The lawsuit makes the same claims that Center for Biological Diversity and its allies have
been making for the past two and a half years in their unsuccessful efforts to close Sharp Park Golf Course.
We think that the plaintiffs' claims are narrow and unreasonable, and
do not recognize the legitimate interests of golfers, historic preservationists,
local businesses, and governmental entities in San Francisco, Pacifica, and
that want to keep Sharp Park Golf Course open.
San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department has adopted and is following
an Environmental Compliance Plan at .
San Francisco retained the preeminent consulting biologists to develop a plan to protect
the frog and snake at Sharp Park. In December, 2009, the Department adopted a plan to improve natural habitat,
while keeping the golf course open. That plan is undergoing environmental review as we speak,
but the issues are complex, and environmental review takes time. The final Environmental Impact Report
is not expected to be complete before late 2011.
The frogs and snakes are not the only interest at Sharp Park.
There are homeowners endangered by flooding.
The golf course is an 80-year-old business that is a favorite
meeting place for the Pacifica community, and employs 3 dozen people.
The golf course is historically and architecturally significant,
being one of the very few public courses in the world built by ,
history's best-known, and many would say greatest golf architect.
Sharp Park Golf Course is supported by resolutions from the San Mateo County
Board of Supervisors, Pacifica City Council, Pacifica Chamber of Commerce,
Northern California Golf Association and World Golf Foundation.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation of Washington DC
has designated Sharp Park as a threatened national cultural landscape treasure.
The Golf Course is supported by Laborer's Local 261, whose members are the gardeners there.
Sharp Park Golf Course is the single most affordable public 18-hole golf course in the Bay Area.
It is one of only two public 18-hole golf courses in San Mateo County
with prime weekend greens fees under $80.
The course has a devoted, racially and culturally diverse
clientele of men, women, senior, and junior golfers.So it is not only a beautiful, historically and artistically significant golf course --
it is a critical recreational asset for Bay Area working-class people.
For that reason, Sharp Park Golf Course has received unanimous supporting resolutions from the San Mateo County
Board of Supervisors and the Pacifica City Council. The San Francisco Rec & Park Department and its
citizens' advisory committee, the Budget and Finance Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,
have all within the past 18 months conducted public hearings and rejected the Center for Biological Diversity's efforts
to close the course. In October, 2010 and January, 2011, the San Francisco Public Utilities and Recreation and Park Commissions
rejected CBD's effort to block a recycled water irrigation project for Sharp Park Golf Course.
That $8 Million recycled water project is going forward, and groundbreaking was held just this month.
San Francisco Public Golf Alliance believes that reasonably-priced public golf together with improved habitat for
the frogs and snakes is the best plan for Sharp Park. And we think that the court will ultimately
reach the same conclusion that all these other public bodies have reached -- that the golfers, the frog and snake
can continue to coexist at Sharp Park, as they have for 80 years.
San Francisco Public Golf Alliance