few, short votes, on May 24th, 2012, the Planning Commission and the
Recreation and Park Commission voted to approve the Beach Chalet soccer fields
project. This project will result in the destruction of the western end
of Golden Gate Park by paving over 7 acres of grassy playing field and habitat
with artificial turf and installing 150,000 watts of night lighting. This vote was arrived at despite the
Department's own acknowledgment that they had received over 1,000 emails
opposing the project.
Planning Commission approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), despite the
submission of over 300 pages of arguments and documentation that the EIR is
incomplete and inadequate. We were disappointed that the Planning
Commission did not uphold either CEQA or the California Coastal Commission
Recreation and Park Commission ignored the pleas by parents, environmentalists,
neighborhood activists, and child advocates alike for the win-win solution of
renovating the Beach Chalet with real grass and no lights, and using the rest
of the funding to fix up other fields in San Francisco. They voted to
ignore the Golden Gate Park Master Plan.
It is a
sad day for Golden Gate Park, when the departments charged with stewardship of
our parks decide to destroy our crown jewel.
Edge will be conferring with our attorney over the next few days to decide our
course of action. Meanwhile, we ask that those of you who believe that
Golden Gate Park is the wrong location for 7 acres of artificial turf and 150,000
watts of night lighting, join with us now and donate to protect Golden Gate Park!