San Francisco, Calif. (Dec 19, 2011) -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today vetoed an Ordinance, narrowly passed December 13 by the Board of Supervisors, that would have expressly stigmatized golf as the antithesis of “modern recreation,” and put the city on a path to closing its popular, affordable Sharp Park Golf Course.
“With his Veto, the Mayor speaks up for working-class, public recreation, in both San Francisco and San Mateo County, and we thank him for that,” said San Francisco Public Golf Alliance spokeswoman and Sharp Park Women’s Club member Lauren Barr. “The Ordinance would have effectively deprived ethnic minorities, the middle class, seniors, and high school golfers of a treasured and affordable home. Public golf is an important part of the City’s recreational mix, and Sharp Park’s historic course makes the sport accessible to men and women across the ethnic and economic spectrums.”
The Mayor's veto will allow the Rec & Park Department's compromise Sharp Park Plan to move forward, to recover habitat for snakes and frogs, while preserving one of the few public courses in the world built by the preeminent golf architect Alister MacKenzie. The Department’s exhaustive 2009 Sharp Park Report determined that keeping the golf course is the best, quickest, and most cost-effective way to protect endangered frogs and snakes which inhabit wetlands at the golf course.
The Ordinance went against every public agency that has carefully studied the issues at Sharp Park: the San Francisco Recreation & Park Commission and its citizens' advisory committee, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and the Pacifica City Council. The San Francisco Planning Department determined that Sharp Park Golf Course is an "historical resource," protected by the California Environmental Quality Act.
The 80-year-old Sharp Park course is supported as well by the Chambers of Commerce of both San Francisco and Pacifica, the Pacifica Historical Society, by the two largest golf organizations in the country—the United States Golf Association and the Northern California Golf Association, and by local minority golf associations including African-American, Chinese, Filipino, Mexican-American, seniors, and women’s groups.
“The Supervisors’ anti-golf Ordinance is not how San Francisco should treat the recreational needs of its working-class and ethnic minority citizens, its neighbors in San Mateo County and Pacifica, or one of its great historic properties,” Public Golf Alliance spokeswoman Barr concluded. “The Mayor has broad support and gratitude throughout San Francisco and San Mateo County for this veto.”