A proposal that could lead to the closure of Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica got final approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today, but Mayor Ed Lee indicated he plans to veto the legislation.
The board voted 6-5 in favor of the ordinance, authored by Supervisor John Avalos, which calls on the city’s Recreation and Park Department to offer a long-term management agreement to the National Park Service that would likely involve the closure of the course.
The majority of the 417-acre Sharp Park, which is owned by the city of San Francisco, has served as an 18-hole public golf course since it opened in 1932.
But partnering with the National Park Service to include the land as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area would likely result in the course’s closure, since federal officials have said they are not interested in managing a golf course.
Avalos has said the course is a money-loser for San Francisco–it has cost the city an estimated $1.2 million over the past five years–and is the target of a lawsuit by environmental groups that claim golf-related activity is harming two imperiled species.
But Lee, who attended today’s board meeting for his monthly voter-mandated question-and-answer session with supervisors, said he would likely veto the proposal unless amendments are made to it to allow flexibility for negotiations with other jurisdictions such as San Mateo County.
Today’s 6-5 vote, which was identical to the board’s initial vote last week, came without any amendments to the proposal.
Lee also noted a recent decision by a federal judge to deny a preliminary injunction sought to stop pumping and mowing activities at the course prior to a trial set for July 2012.
The environmental groups allege that those activities cause harm to the San Francisco garter snake, an endangered species, and the California red-legged frog, a threatened species, but U.S. District Judge Susan Illston’s ruling two weeks ago cited data showing that the frog population has actually increased in the area in the past 20 years.
Lee said the judge’s ruling shows “we’re doing a good job” balancing the activity on the course with environmental concerns.
He said he would make a final decision on whether to veto the proposal after talking with Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who is also against the plan.
“That decision will be coming soon,” Lee said.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News