Golden Gate Park soccer field renovations spark hearing

Community members will soon get a chance to publicly sound off about controversial proposed soccer field renovations in Golden Gate Park.

Thursday, the Planning Commission will hold a hearing about the draft environmental review for the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields, a project that calls for floodlights, bleachers and four new synthetic-turf fields.

The Recreation and Park Department project aims to improve popular, deteriorated fields along the park’s western edge. But critics say fake grass isn’t the right approach.

“We have parks because we want to make a connection with nature,” said Katherine Howard of the preservation group Ocean Edge. “Plastic just doesn’t do it.”

Parks spokeswoman Connie Chan said the project is appropriate because it addresses drainage and maintenance issues detailed in the park’s master plan.

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