sf-americas-cup.jpgThe San Francisco Port Commission today unanimously approved two competing proposals for construction in separate areas of the city if San Francisco is chosen as the site of the 2013 America’s Cup sailing race, a port spokeswoman said.

The proposals will now go to the Board of Supervisors, which will likely choose one in the coming weeks, spokeswoman Renee Martin said.

The approval of the competing resolutions, which outline construction in the northern and southeastern parts of the San Francisco shoreline, allows the Board of Supervisors to decide which option is best for the city, Martin said.

San Francisco hopes to host the internationally known regatta, which Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team won earlier this year on behalf of the city’s Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Today’s commission hearing attracted enough of a crowd to require an overflow room to be set up, with nearly 50 people speaking during the public comment period, Martin said.

She said the majority of the comments were in favor of the proposals, although some expressed concern about the possible displacement of business tenants due to construction proposed in the plan for the southeastern waterfront.

“That would call for the use of Pier 50, and we have maritime and several tenants there, including the port’s maintenance facility,” she said.

Martin said the proposal for the construction on the northern waterfront received more support from public commenters because it would be “less disruptive” to businesses already located there.

The commission approved both proposals by 3-0 votes. They will next go to the Board of Supervisors’ budget and finance committee on Dec. 8. If approved by the committee, the full board will likely choose between the two proposals during its next meeting, Martin said.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement today that he was glad the port commission approved the plans for the race, which he said could bring up to $1.4 billion to the local economy.

“The Port Commission today reaffirmed that San Francisco is the best place on earth to defend the America’s Cup,” Newsom said.

“The public and community enthusiasm for hosting the America’s Cup has been tremendous, demonstrated at the Port Commission today by the broad support for the bid from local residents, merchants, union representatives and maritime enthusiasts,” he said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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