Coastal Agency Could Sink Golden Gate Park Soccer Fields

Plan to build new well-lit fields with artificial turf could be in trouble

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, May 2, 2013  |  Updated 1:17 PM PDT
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A field replacement plan in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park has some motivated opposition who may have found a way to derail the project.

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Let the children play -- but first, the adults must have their say.

The Beach Chalet soccer fields in the western end of Golden Gate Park are low-key, grassy fields. They're also pockmarked with gopher holes and are often closed due to wet weather, which is why San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department wants to have a nonprofit called City Fields install light poles and replace the fields with artificial turf.

Not so fast, says a group of project opponents, including the Sierra Club. And the opponents to the city-approved field replacement may have found a sympathetic ear in the California Coastal Commission.

The commission is set to hear an appeal of the project on May 9 -- and if the commissioners heed a staff report, the project could be scaled down drastically, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

In response to the appeal, Coastal Commission staffers recommend that the artificial turf plans should be abandoned in favor of natural grass, and the lighting drastically reduced in impact or removed altogether, the newspaper reported.

City Fields officials and city officials will try to convince commissioners to let the project go ahead as planned and approved.

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