Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Showdown over Sharp Park heats up

The fight over Sharp Park continued Tuesday with the Board of Supervisors voting 6-5 to transfer management of golf course to the National Park Service.

Officials from San Mateo County have been working with the city to transfer management to them, instead of having the Pacifica Coast property put under federal control.

Environmental groups have been fighting for years to close the course and return it to natural parkland, with an eye toward making it part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The property is a habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog and the endangered San Francisco garter snake.

The legislation doesn’t mandate that the 18-hole golf course be shuttered, but that would be one option to be studied, said Supervisor John Avalos, the chief sponsor. Opponents said that would be the expected outcome.

Lee had sought an amendment allowing San Francisco to negotiate and execute a management and habitat-improvement agreement with San Mateo County and not be locked into an agreement with the federal government.

But by the time the board voted, he couldn’t muster majority support.

Voting with Avalos were Supervisors David Campos, David Chiu,  Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Ross Mirkarimi. Opposed were Supervisors Carmen Chu, Malia Cohen, Sean Elsbernd, Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener.

But the 6-5 vote would not be enough to override a veto by Mayor Ed Lee, who has indicated he does not support the legislation. However, he was not ready to pull the veto trigger until he had a chance to talk to U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, who represents the area, and San Francisco parks chief Phil Ginsburg. Both have opposed the idea.


Posted by Steve Sinai

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