November 8, 2011

Giving Berth(s) In Four Of San Francisco's Open Water Basins

As represented in the America’s Cup venue renderings we published last week, "assorted private vessels" would be allowed to temporarily berth in the Open Water Basin between piers 23 and 27 (click image to enlarge) during America’s Cup events in San Francisco.

With respect to the revised plan for the Rincon Point Open Water Basin, the original plan for which raised a bit of ire back in August, the proposed berthing for "mega-yachts" has been reduced "from the entire basin to an area that begins at the northern boundary of Rincon Park to Pier 14, leaving the area in front of the park unobstructed by vessels."

And with respect to the Brannan Street Wharf Open Water Basin, 1,600 lineal feet of floating docks will be installed for private yachts and support vessels while anchored moorings would be installed within the open water basin for the AC72 catamarans.

Private yachts would also be allowed to be temporarily "berthed perpendicular to Pier 9 and will fill the basin from Pier 9 to the Waterfront Restaurant."

While all the berths as proposed are temporary, the dredging of the Rincon Point Open Water Basin and the Brannan Street Wharf Open Water Basin does trigger "the rights to negotiate" long-term development rights for recreational marinas in the two basins per the Host and Venue Agreement for the 34th America’s Cup.

Preliminarily approved by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) last week, the basin plan is slated to be finalized in January.

Rendering Scoop: San Francisco's Major America’s Cup Venues [SocketSite]
A Temporary Site That Could Become A Permanent Fixture [SocketSite]
Proposed San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan Amendments [bcdc]
San Francisco’s Last Minute Giveaways To Get The America’s Cup [SocketSite]

First Published: November 8, 2011 3:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

So it looks as if the development rights in the Rincon Point basin have just shifted northwest towards Pier 14. That's a better solution though it still seems like a giveaway of public space to private interests.

Is that the rationale here? SF is giving away public assets to a private entity with the expectation that the event will bring lasting prestige to the city? San Jose tried that with the Grand Prix a few years ago. The race organization walked away with millions in subsidies (both real cash and intangibles) though I don't think that San Jose gained much. Even though the last race was just a few years ago does anyone think better of San Jose being the home of the Grand Prix? Does anyone even know?

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 8, 2011 4:20 PM

Um, no, I don't think the development rights have moved at all. They just shifted the during-event moorings.

I'm rather puzzled by the argument that America's Cup will bring needed prestige and attention to the city. This isn't Cleveland (or San Jose)--we're doing just fine already attention-wise.

Posted by: Delancey at November 8, 2011 4:47 PM

What does "the right to negotiate" mean?

Posted by: Dan at November 8, 2011 7:24 PM

Going to be a fantastic event! All the wonderful yachts to look at in the bay, just so cool. Can't wait for the racing to start!

Posted by: MarinaBoy at November 8, 2011 11:00 PM

That would be the worst of both worlds then if the spectator boats couldn't benefit from the ideal viewing berths yet long after the AC we're blighted by this new marina. Dan asks the key question. Does the right to negotiate carry the expectation that the city must play along?

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 8, 2011 11:09 PM

MoD -- these are not spectator locations, save for the existing view and watching two sailboats per day enter and leave the course. The racing will take place in the roughly triangular area defined by the golden gate, angel island, and fishermans wharf.

But I agree, the bay bridge is a major, major tourist attraction in its own right, and walling off that very photogenic view with a dozen set-for-lifer motor yachts would rather overemphasize the "rich man's toy" aspect of the america's cup.

I'm wondering if a FOIA request is needed to get the actual language of what the city agreed to the evening of December 31.

Posted by: Delancey at November 9, 2011 12:39 AM

Yah, this will be great. The 1% steals prime land(fill) from the 99% public and in return we get to watch them sail around in circles on SF bay.

What's not to like?

Posted by: Jus7tme at November 9, 2011 1:07 AM

There's nothing I would love more than watching 75-y-old greasy buffoons in their Speedos trying to impress their 3rd trophy wife by BBQ-ing in plain view of the plebe. Oh yes, I know: watching our timeless public waters and protected public land.

Posted by: lol at November 9, 2011 8:25 AM

I can't believe the classist attitude here. Get over it, folks. Its a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that will be over in a few months from when it begins. Then you can have back your precious view, that you no doubt by this point rush by without even noticing. Besides, its not a big stretch from being a RE fetishist to a big boat fetishist. This group is more likely to be down there gawking at the big yachts than at the view if the boats are banned.

Posted by: roger rainey at November 9, 2011 11:12 AM

^^^ I have spent enough time at saint Tropez and Portofino. I don't need to see these hairy types in SF, thank you.

I can't believe the classist attitude here

Heck yeah this is about class. First they create a bubble where they deregulate and privatize the profits, then they socialize the losses and last they whine about government excessive debt and bring them to the verge of insolvency. Now the plebe is stuck with the debt while they see their cash hungry cities giving up on the common good.

If you're in the 1% top crust then I respect your reaction. If you're not you're just what is called a "useful idiot" with his eyes sparkling with admiration over richer people's money that used to be yours not so long ago.

Posted by: lol at November 9, 2011 11:29 AM

Having spent time in Monaco, Marbella, etc. I would much rather see yachts on the water than what we have in the neighborhood now at pier 30-32: blight, crime, homelessness, sideshows, etc.

Posted by: anon at November 9, 2011 12:38 PM

^^^ from rag to riches. Lol!

Isn't there a middle ground between blight/crime and billionaire yachts? Like housing, businesses, schools, culture?

I forgot. They are benefiting only the 90% tranche of lower/upper/middle class that pays for everything in this town but gets less and less back.

Posted by: lol at November 9, 2011 1:18 PM

"Its a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle"

Last I checked this wasn't the first, nor the last, America's Cup...

Posted by: sfrenegade at November 9, 2011 3:39 PM

roger rainey - If this open water marina were temporary then I wouldn't be concerned. But the development rights extend beyond the duration of the AC events (and how far into the future ?). SF receives another piece of blight for not much in return.

I don't understand why some consider a marina to pretty. Maybe it is just me but a marina is about as attractive as a wet parking lot. (And I'm very open minded towards seeing beauty in man-made constructions.)

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 9, 2011 5:32 PM

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