New SPUR Report Recommends Restoration Planning at Sharp Park

A new report issued by SPUR (the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) makes several recommendations that support building a new national park at Sharp Park. It also provides helpful suggestions that have improved legislation pending before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“SPUR’s report makes clear that the City of San Francisco must immediately cease all activities that harm endangered species at Sharp Park, and begin a process that builds a better public park on the land,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “SPUR’s comments have also been incorporated into Supervisor Avalos’ Sharp Park Ordinance: substitute language now ensures restoration planning occurs in a collaborative and deliberative process, and we thank SPUR for helping make these processes possible.”

Among other things, SPUR’s report recommends that:

  • Over the next 1-3 years “the city should proceed as quickly as possible to implement a legally sound plan to restore and protect frog and snake populations”
  • Over the next 3-10 years “SFRPD should evaluate the feasibility of partnership with another entity to manage and/or operate the site, including the GGNRA
  • Over the next 5-50 years “SFRPD should consider a change of land use for the entire Sharp Park site. A more naturalistic setting, including an enlarged lake with an outlet to the ocean, may provide better habitat conditions and recreational opportunities, and be less expensive to manage on a day-to-day basis than a frequently flooded golf course”

SPUR also made suggestions to help improve legislation pending at the Board of Supervisors. Recognizing that changes at Sharp Park deserve to be made through a deliberative process, Supervisor John Avalos’ Sharp Park Ordinance makes clear that San Francisco must only move forward with a new management agreement at Sharp Park if the National Park Service agrees to partner with the City, and only after scrupulously complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). If either CEQA compliance or partnerships with the National Park Service are not possible, the City’s obligations under the ordinance end.

“The Avalos legislation provides the missing piece to the Sharp Park puzzle—an environmentally preferable, financially sound project the City can actually adopt,” said Plater. “As amended, the legislation will allow all risks, costs, and liabilities to be assessed in the light of day, ensuring that the best public policy outcome at Sharp Park is reached.”

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