GGAS Disappointed by Beach Chalet Decision
Golden Gate Audubon Society is deeply disappointed in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ decision to proceed with artificial turf and powerful night lighting in western Golden Gate Park.
The City’s own General Plan calls for the western part of the Golden Gate Park, including the Beach Chalet soccer field area, to retain a natural, less-developed character. We are disappointed that the Supervisors rejected a win-win alternative that would have met the needs of both soccer players and nature lovers – by improving the natural grass fields at Beach Chalet, while installing artificial turf and expanding night lighting at the nearby West Sunset playground, which is already more developed for active recreation.
“San Franciscans shouldn’t have to choose between nature and active recreation when there are ways to easily accommodate both needs,” said Mike Lynes, Conservation Director for Golden Gate Audubon Society. “We owe future generations something better than taking the natural jewel that is western Golden Gate Park and paving it into a suburban-style soccer complex.”
On July 10th, the Supervisors voted 10-1 — with Supervisor Christina Olague dissenting — to deny the appeal to the project’s Environmental Impact Report that had been filed by GGAS and Golden Gate Park neighbors.
“I think it goes against the character of Golden Gate Park to introduce something like AstroTurf,” Olague said. “I just don’t believe the environmental impact report was an adequate analysis.”
GGAS appreciated the questions raised by some Supervisors about the impact of night lighting at Beach Chalet on migratory birds. It hopes to work with the city to minimize impacts of this project, including the lighting, on bird populations.
GGAS also plans to appeal this decision to the California Coastal Commission, which has authority to review development projects like Beach Chalet that will impact the coast.