San Francisco Supervisors Uphold Mayor's Veto of Close-Sharp-Park Ordinance
SAN FRANCISCO – Anti-golf activists failed again Tuesday to close the historic, city-owned Sharp Park Golf Course.
The Board of Supervisors needed 8 votes to override San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s December 19, 2011 Veto of an Ordinance to transfer management Sharp Park to the National Park Service—which has a no-golf policy. That Ordinance had passed the Board December 13 on a narrow 6-5 vote.
On Tuesday, the Ordinance’s Author, Supervisor John Avalos, moved to override the Veto, but he could muster only 6 votes -– falling two shy of the 8 votes needed for the override. So Mayor Lee’s Veto stands.
Voting Tuesday to save the golf course (and against the override) were Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu, Malia Cohen, Scott Wiener, and Scott Farrell. Voting to override the veto (and close the golf course) were Supervisors Avalos, Eric Campos, Eric Mar, Jane Kim, Board President David Chiu, and newly-appointed Supervisor Christina Olague.
The 80-year-old golf landmark, built by the legendary golf architect Alister MacKenzie, and opened in 1932 in the San Francisco beach-side suburb of Pacifica, continues to be in jeopardy. A trial is scheduled for July, 2012 in Federal District Court in San Francisco, on a close-the-golf-course lawsuit brought by environmental activists. Federal Judge Susan Illston in November, 2011 already rejected the environmentalists’ motion to enjoin golf operations on 10 holes, for allegedly killing endangered frogs and snakes. In denying the motion, Judge Illston found, among other things, that there were more frogs at the property in 2011 than at any time in the past 20 years.
“The anti-golf activists just keep losing,” commented San Francisco Public Golf Alliance co-founder Richard Harris, whose pro-bono grassroots group has galvanized public support for the historic golf course. “And they should keep losing. This is historic property, designed by the world’s greatest golf architect, for the benefit of the public. And 80 years later, it is still affordable, and being enjoyed by people of all colors, genders, ages, persuasions, and social classes. This is the kind of historic property and public legacy that San Franciscans have always fought to preserve.”