Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Design

While the Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park continues to gather signatures to support their proposed ballot measure which would require athletic fields in Golden Gate Park west of Crossover Drive to be maintained as natural grass and without lighting, a measure which is designed to block the approved renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields, Mayor Ed Lee has introduced a competing ballot measure which would allow the renovations to proceed.

Even if the Coalition’s measure makes the ballot and is approved, as long as the mayor’s “Increased Usage of Children’s Playgrounds, Walking Trails and Athletic Fields Act” garners more votes, and who wouldn’t vote for the children, the conversion of the Beach Chalet’s four grass fields to synthetic turf and lighting for evening use would be allowed to proceed.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by seriously

    Why is EVERYTHING in this city put to a VOTE?! Can we vote to have less votes for every menial thing that planning should be taking care of?

    • Posted by Eric Pedersen

      Although I normally agree with the frustration about ballot initiatives as a potential end-run on accountability, this counter-initiative is in part a response to citizens noticing some policy conflicts from this administration against previous established city policy regarding park use (Golden Gate Park Master Plan (1998). Environmental concerns are just a part of this issue. When we vote, that vote should hold and act as the precedent, not be overturned by fiat.

  2. Posted by Scoop B Sails

    This city has got to get a grip on this type of systemic abuse. This thing has been vetted, and challenged, for years and years. Sickening.

  3. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    Can we require a proposal to have significant interest or impact to large portion of the citizen to qualify putting on ballot? People are abusing the system with their petty issue.

  4. Posted by Fishchum

    Wasn’t this decided and put to bed? I thought this was a done deal. The abuse here of our political system is off the charts in this town.

  5. Posted by BobN

    I’m circulating a petition on a referendum for lunch. Polling indicates a slight margin of support for burger over grilled cheese. Still awaiting endorsements from the usual suspects, though, so it’s all quite up in the air.

  6. Posted by Rob

    Serious question: Is there any kind of logical argument against turfing/lighting the fields? Or is this just people pushing their weight around to keep things “as they always have been”? The signs I see seem to tote the message, “keep your toxic plastic out of our parks”, but that obviously holds no weight.

  7. Posted by Anon

    I read that the biggest reason for opposition was the night sky light pollution. Some outer residents like the darker night sky visible from Ocean Beach.

    • Posted by norcal

      I didn’t know that the lights would be on 24/7.

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      Views are not protected. Next!

  8. Posted by TJ

    In that case, when are they going to propose a ballot measure to ban the fog?

  9. Posted by Anon

    My mistake, I went on their website….the chief objection is the toxic chemicals in the plastic. The night sky issue is barely mentioned.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Holy moly, if toxic chemicals are the real concern then there are a hundred other sources entering the city every day that are a bigger problem than a few synthetic playing fields.

      Silly appeals like this keep on coming because the appellants don’t risk getting any skin in the game. The process should be changed to increase accountability. Raising fees is one technique, but that is somewhat regressive. Perhaps the city should track each individual signing an appeal. You only get to appeal one or two issues per decade. That would at least suppress serial agitators and force them to pick their battles wisely.

  10. Posted by Jackson

    I predict this new referendum against the soccer field improvements will be defeated overwhelmingly by city voters.

    We San Franciscans must provide safe and year-round athletic fields for the benefit our kids. The Kimball Playground at Steiner and Geary is used from early morning until late at night. When walking by, I get a sense of pride knowing my tax dollars are providing such.

    I hope to read more exposes on the curmudgeons behind the referendum.

    • Posted by jlasf

      Unfortunately, election results can be influenced by who has the larger wallet. If someone or some group has the deep pockets to finance a well-orchestrated and promoted opposition, who knows what the outcome might be. Elections are now determined by dollars, not sense.

  11. Posted by anon2

    I’m curious, where are all the car haters? This new plan calls for a LOT of additional paved automobile parking and access roads. I thought we were trying to reduce car access inside Golden Gate Park?

    • Posted by anon2

      I’ve grown somewhat fond of ‘anon2’, I hear that anon3, anon4 and anon5 are available.
      In this case, inventory might be close to infinite, so no need to double up.

    • Posted by R+ (formerly known as R, until some johnny-come-lately stole it)

      If by yelling “a LOT” you mean adding an additional 35% to the existing parking lot, then yes.

    • Posted by Scoop B Sails

      no, it doesn’t. it calls for paving what is currently a poorly maintained dirt/gravel parking lot.

  12. Posted by Chazza Gilbert

    Yeah, I’m not against the astro turf. But I’m really against adding more parking. It’s supposed to be a park, not a parking lot. Is parking even an issue here? There’s lots of roadside parking and the OB parking lots are close by and rarely full.

    • Posted by Scoop B Sails

      you’re speaking out of turn, really as the plan largely makes existing parking more efficient.

  13. Posted by Futurist

    The “everything to a public vote” is just getting worse. And it will continue.
    There seems to be no stopping it.
    This is San Francisco at its worse.

  14. Posted by Spencer

    I would like to put a ballot forward that would triple the number of signatories required to get a new measure on a ballot. It’s way too easy

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      What is stopping you?

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Cost, and time, most likely. Though the existing threshold is low and easily achieved by someone who can bankroll a few people to stand in front of Safeways, the fact is that does take time to gather signatures.

        The current number is just under 20,0000. Even if you, say, stood outside Hardly Strictly (i.e., where there’s a few hundred thousand people), and if each person just took 20 seconds to sign (a very unrealistic number), it’d take 111 person-hours (or 14 people working an 8-hour shift) to get the necessary signatures.

        So even though the threshold seems (and is) low, it’s nevertheless not one that a “mom and pop” can pursue on their own. It has to be bankrolled and supported by someone with time and money.

  15. Posted by tj

    What Mayor Lee and the SF supervisors should do is to initiate a review the zoning of the areas surrounding the west end of GGP, in the interest of “promoting affordable housing,” of course.

  16. Posted by anon

    I find it interesting that usually adding parking is a No No with commenters here, and to remove mature trees and lanscaping to increase parking at an iconic park is not desired by some. I am also surprised so many feel plastic is better than actual grass. If there is a maintenance problem, privatize the upkeep and use already donated funds to take better care of the existing facility.
    No more parking in this area please.

    • Posted by tahoejoe

      Natural grass cannot support the existing demand for fields even with a comprehensive maintenance program. These fields are subject to gopher holes and other destructive pests and the climate is not conducive to grass. As they currently exist they are closed to use during most of the winter and only open to limited use during other seasons. Artificial turf would allow year round use of the fields.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      It is worth noting Santa Cruz installed synthetic soccer fields several years ago when creating a new city park. Yes, that Santa Cruz: home to some of this nation’s foremost scholars on sustainability.

  17. Posted by Scoop B Sails

    have you ever seen the grounds in question up close? it doesn’t seem like you know what you’re talking about.

  18. Posted by Jackson

    Does anyone else find the new Socketsite format confusing in trying to follow the gist of conversation in a thread?

    Example: Scoop B Sails comment from 3 hours ago is now placed under “tahoejoe 2 hours ago” and “The Milkshake of Despair 1 hour ago” and I do not see lines connecting the relationship of the comments either. It isn’t clear to whom Scoob B Sails is directing his comments.

    I have noticed the threading of comments problem since when the Editor “improved” the site by re-listing article’s links along the side and across the top in addition to the main story article.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      I think it works fine if people hit “reply”, then the comments are nested. (But comments that reply seriatim to person “X” may be interrupted by replies to the replies.) IMHO, it’s people just hitting “comment” or hitting “reply” in the wrong tier that’s causing the (very slight) confusion.

      As far as I’m concerned, even slightly akimbo nesting is better than no nesting at all, which is what happened before – the old system was a stream-of-consciousness free-for-all.

  19. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Where a comment is inserted depends on how you respond. If you click the “reply” link for a comment in the middle of the stream then your reply will end up in the middle within the indented thread. On the other hand if you enter your comment in the box a the bottom of the page without hitting “reply” then your comment ends up at the end of the comment and thus begins a new thread of commenting.

    The “old” SS format only supported the latter method. Indented threads is a new feature.

  20. Posted by Jackson

    OK, thanks I understand. So to whom was Scoop B Sails 4 hours ago comment directed? It appears I am not the only one finding the new threading procedure “feature” difficult. 🙂

  21. Posted by Scoop B Sails

    I meant to hit the reply button to anon’s comment about parking being a “No No” and plastic grass

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