America's Cup opponents hit setback

Getty Images file photo

City bureaucracy thwarted America’s Cup opponents who tried to delay the event’s progress Friday.

On Friday, four community and environmental groups attempted to file an appeal of the Planning Commission’s certification of the 2013 regatta’s environmental impact review.

The groups had hoped to stop the event’s permitting process before the Port Commission meeting Friday, the first round of permit approvals for the event.

An appeal would halt all procedural action on the project until the Board of Supervisors took action on it, but the appeal filed Friday lacked an important element — official documentation of the decision in question. The Planning Commission had only voted the night before.

Board clerk Angela Calvillo said once her office receives the Planning Commission’s certification, signed by the planning secretary, the appeal can go on the books. In an email to Port officials, Calvillo said she expected to receive certified documents from the Planning Department on Monday.

In the meantime, the Port Commission on Friday approved the event’s environmental review, contracts for the cruise ship terminal planned for Pier 27 and a relocation plan for pier tenants whose properties will be part of the development.

The four groups behind the appeal — San Francisco Tomorrow, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Waterfront Watch and Telegraph Hill Dwellers — say the action is necessary to show The City they mean business when it comes to protecting the community and environment, according to Jennifer Clary, president of San Francisco Tomorrow.

“We think we need to take this opportunity to let The City know we’re serious,” she said. “We’ve been trying to prevent this for 10 months, going to meetings and just haven’t received satisfactory commitment to adequately implement or fund the mitigation actions needed to protect the community and the environment.”

Despite opposition from the groups, dozens of community members cheered after the Port Commission’s unanimous approvals.

“For more than two decades, we have been trying to find the mechanism and the money to construct a new cruise terminal that is befitting of The City’s prominence as a world class destination,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a released statement.

sgantz@sfexaminer.com

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