cityhall3.jpgSharp Park, a San Francisco-owned golf course located in Pacifica, would be repurposed as a new open space area managed by the National Park Service under a plan proposed by Supervisor John Avalos at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The proposal is an attempt to protect two endangered species that inhabit the area–the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake–and provide more recreation options at the park, which would become part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Avalos said.

“This has been a longstanding issue at the park,” he said. “We can find a form of recreation there that can be broader than the current golf needs that are probably impeding on the ability of the endangered species to continue at the park.”

Maintaining the 18-hole public golf course has led to cost overruns of nearly $1.2 million in the last six years, according to Avalos, who said the money would be better spent on neighborhood parks and clubhouses threatened by budget cuts.

“The work to create national parks in San Francisco … has always been met with a great deal of resistance and controversy, but I do believe it’s the right direction for the city,” he said.

Avalos said the legislation he is proposing does not call for the immediate conversion of the golf course, but rather “a roadmap to make sure we can make conversion a reality.”

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd appeared to oppose the idea in comments he made shortly afterward at the meeting.

Elsbernd brought up the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s policy of allowing off-leash dogs at most of its parks, although the National Park Service is currently considering a proposal to drastically reduce the off-leash dog sites.

“I look forward to Sharp Park and discussing the potential transfer … and whether or not we’ll defer to their thoughts on off-leash dogs or impose our own thoughts,” he said. “Off-leash dogs might be a little more of a danger to the endangered species than a golf ball.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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