San Francisco mayor slices legislation to transform Sharp Park Golf Course

SF Examiner file photoSan Francisco mayor

SF Examiner file photoSan Francisco mayor

The prospect of turning the Sharp Park Golf Course into national park property is dead for now.

On Monday, Mayor Ed Lee vetoed legislation that opened the door for the links to come under the tutelage of federal managers.

The 400-acre course in Pacifica is in San Mateo County, but it’s managed by The City. A sweeping environmental effort to return the seaside course to its natural state was prompted by concerns over the dwindling populations of red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes.

The Board of Supervisors passed legislation by a 6-5 vote earlier this month that would have allowed The City’s Recreation and Park Department to open a dialogue with Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials on a long-term management strategy. It takes eight votes to overturn a veto.

Lee said after discussing the matter with Rep. Jackie Speier he’s skeptical that any federal money would be available to transform golf courses into parkland.

Lee said a new partnership with the federal agency would disturb current studies being done by the Recreation and Park Department, which is working to restore 19 acres of habitat while devising a long-term management strategy with San Mateo County officials.

“I believe in striving for an equilibrium between environmental and recreational needs,” Lee said in the veto letter to supervisors.

Supervisor John Avalos, the legislation’s sponsor, noted that the law would have allowed the national park status as only one in a slew of possibilities to fix problems at the golf course, which he said “has been a financial and environmental liability.”

Lee’s veto is his second since he took office in January and his first since being elected in November to a full four-year term.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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