Coastal Commission to rule on Beach Chalet soccer project

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Opponents and commission staff say artificial turf and stadium lights don't belong in the coastal zone.

The California Coastal Commission will decide tomorrow (Thu/9) whether San Francisco and its Recreation and Parks Department violated the Coastal Act in approving a renovation of Golden Gate Park’s Beach Chalet soccer fields that uses artificial turf and stadium lights and seating. [UPDATE 3pm: The commission just approved the project. Full story coming soon.]

SF Ocean Edge, a group comprised mostly of environmentalists and neighbors of the site where the park meets the ocean, has been fighting the project since its inception. They got a big boost recently when the Coastal Commission staff recommended rejection of the project, finding that it violated requirements that coastal areas should remain in a naturalistic state and be open to the general public.

“Going into any hearing, you never know what’s going to happen, but the staff report was excellent,” group spokesperson Kathy Howard told the Guardian. “They have a lot of good idea for renovations to the area which would allow more than just organized sports teams to use the area.”

Spokespersons for the Recreation and Park Department didn’t return Guardian calls for comment. The hearing is being held in San Rafael, with this item expected to be heard starting at 9:30-10am, Howard said. Check in here later in the day for a full report.

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