San Francisco Bay Chapter Sierra Club

San Francisco Open Space

Beach Chalet soccer fields

On Jan. 29 the Sierra Club appealed a trial-court ruling against us in our lawsuit challenging the Beach Chalet soccer-complex proposal in San Francisco. On May 9, 2013, the California Coastal Commission rejected our appeal of this proposal to pave seven grassy acres at the western end of Golden Gate Park, in the Coastal Zone, with artificial turf, gravel, and ground-up tires. This means that our lawsuit is the only remaining barrier to this terrible project.

Beach Chalet soccer fields as they are now. The Commission's public hearing will be the last chance for public opposition to stop the

Beach Chalet project

San Francisco proposes to construct a seven-acre artificial-turf soccer field, cut down over 55 trees, expand its parking lot by 33%, erect seating for over 1,000 visitors, pave over more grass by adding almost an acre of concrete sidewalks, install 10 60-foot-tall light standards with 150,000 watts of sports lights and 60 more lights for the parking lot and sidewalks, and bring increasingly larger crowds into what is now bucolic parkland and habitat for over 70 species of birds. The devastating impacts would include elimination of grassy and forest habitat; increased car traffic, noise, and night-lighting; and destruction of the park's renowned natural setting.

The lawsuit charges the City of San Francisco with failing to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The complaint alleges that the city:

  • is potentially putting children at risk when they play on the suspect artificial turf;
  • abdicates significant control over the quality and safety of artificial turf to a private association;
  • failed to even consider a feasible alternative site outside of Golden Gate Park and a design using a safe, non-toxic artificial turf.

For more details, see: