Denied San Carlos field time, soccer club makes it a federal case

A youth soccer club has filed suit in U.S. District Court against the city of San Carlos, alleging the town violated its constitutional rights by denying it field time and the right to post signs.

Use of sports fields on the built-out eastern Peninsula is often as competitive as the teams that play on them. Ten children in the San Andreas Youth Soccer Organization, a regional group with offices in Belmont, complained in a lawsuit filed Friday that they and 60-odd other San Carlos players are being unfairly denied the opportunity to play on San Carlos fields.

The lawsuit alleges that overzealous adherence to a city policy that gives precedence to groups whose majority is composed of San Carlos residents has violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. There are 500 youths in SAYSO from throughout the Peninsula.

“I think that [the policy] was probably OK when all we had were little individual cities … but regionalization has increased,” SAYSO Executive Director Michael Lindeburg said. “All of the cities have some kind of field policy. That policy, regardless of how it is written, recognizes that if we have 100 children from San Mateo, which we do, we have to have 100 children accommodated on San Mateo fields.”

A policy that bars groups without a San Carlos majority from posting signs violates the First Amendment, the lawsuit further alleges.

San Carlos Parks and Recreation Director Barry Weiss said both charges are frivolous and without merit.

“They asked for field space several years ago, and we told them ‘no, you have to be a San Carlos-based organization.’ I consider that [granting space to nonresidents] inappropriate service to the community,” Weiss said.

He added that the city doesn’t have enough field space for its own residents.

Lindeburg said that point is irrelevant.”That’s a compelling argument on the surface. They could allocate less time per team than they do now,” he said.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Music venues around The City have largely been unable to reopen due to ongoing pandemic health orders. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to cut $2.5M in fees to help 300 nightlife venues

San Francisco will cut $2.5 million in fees for hundreds of entertainment… Continue reading

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett departs the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after Ginsburg’s death. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
GOP senators confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court in partisan vote

By Jennifer Haberkorn Los Angeles Times The Senate on Monday confirmed Judge… Continue reading

Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Bay Area artists jam-pack vivid ‘de Young Open’

Huge exhibition — with works for sale — showcases diversity, supports community

SF Board of Education vice president Gabriela Lopez and commissioner Alison Collins listen at a news conference condemning recent racist and social media attacks targeted at them and the two student representatives on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Online attacks on school board members denounced by city officials

City officials on Monday condemned the targeting of school board members, both… Continue reading

Most Read