Today, a U.S. district judge issued a stay in all proceedings brought by environmental activists seeking to close the course.
The stay order will hold the proceedings until the Fish and Wildlife Service considers the City's Biological Assessment. Late last year the Court denied a preliminary injunction that would have shut down 10 of the Course's 18 holes.
Championing the rights of area golfers, the 4,500-member San Francisco Public Golf Alliance has joined the city and county, Mayor Ed Lee, and Parks & Rec Director Phil Ginsburg as defendants. A coalition of environmental groups – including the Sierra Club – is seeking to shut the 80-year-old public golf course, using the Endangered Species Act, in the name of protecting an indigenous frog and snake that use the course as habitat.
SFPGA believes that shutting Sharp Park would be a crushing loss to public golf in the region. The course, designed by legendary architect Alister MacKenzie, serves a tremendously diverse constituency of golfers – from students to senior citizens – for whom many other area courses are too difficult, busy, or expensive.
SFPGA is represented by law firm Morrison & Foerster.
Chris Carr, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Environment and Energy practice group and co-chair of its Cleantech group, said: “This is good news for supporters of public golf courses in the Bay Area. It’s also good news for responsible supporters of the Endangered Species Act, rightly concerned that the Sharp Park case will head any parade of ESA abuse horribles. Because of the city’s responsible stewardship of Sharp Park, golf fans everywhere, including the many thousands who will be attending the U.S. Open Golf Championship in June here in San Francisco, have reason to be optimistic that extremists will not succeed in shutting down one of golf’s great historic courses.”
The order can be seen in this link: http://rippmedia.com/Sharpe%20Park%20order%204%2026%202012.pdf