Candlestick Point state park reconfigured with Leno bill

The state can now sell 23 acres of land that is mostly used for parking lots in southeastern San Francisco to benefit a city housing development.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation this week allowing the transaction.

SB 792, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, allows the state to reconfigure the boundaries of the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area so that Lennar Corp. can move ahead with a long-awaited housing and commercial development in the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Candlestick Point.

The project includes 10,500 homes, more than 32 percent of which will be offered at below market rate prices. The project is estimated to create some 30,000 jobs over the course of the 15-year development, Mayor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

In exchange for the land, tens of millions of dollars will go toward maintenance of the remaining state parkland, including new bike paths, hiking trails and habitat protection, among other improvements.

Newsom called that a great bargain for an “underutilized” park that “faced closure and a lack of funding in recent years.”

“This is a positive milestone on the road to … delivering on long-delayed promises to the people living in my district,” Supervisor Sophie Maxwell said in a release.

Leno somewhat appeased SB 792 opponents by amending the size of the probable land sale to 23 acres from 43 acres.

Still, not everyone is singing the bill’s praises.

“We don’t think it’s a good idea to be selling parks,” said Saul Boom, executive director of Arc Ecology. “They’re going to make [the state park] smaller to serve a larger population.”

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