May 10, 2013
Play On: Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Cleared For Construction
Having survived an appeal to San Francisco's Planning Commission last year, yesterday the California Coastal Commission rejected a final appeal based on the project's potential environmental impacts and cleared the way for the four grass Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park to be converted to synthetic turf and lighted for evening use.
The city plans to break ground in 2014 with construction expected to take roughly a year.
∙ Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation Survives Challenge [SocketSite]
∙ Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Facility As Proposed [SocketSite]
First Published: May 10, 2013 8:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Honestly I am shocked that this made it. Glad, but surprised.
Posted by: wc1 at May 10, 2013 10:31 AM
Thank God - this is a great project for the people of the city. Build it quick before someone files another appeal!!!
Posted by: Helmut at May 10, 2013 11:12 AM
Sanity prevails! Unfortunately I believe that's it for the 2013 quota.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at May 10, 2013 1:50 PM
WHAT A TRAGEDY! Disgusting environmental compromise - producing plastic to save water - and surprisingly tacky and classless for a city like SF. This will be laughed about from the future.
Posted by: Bill W at May 10, 2013 2:33 PM
^no, and here's betting you never set foot on those god awful, child maiming fields either bill w
Posted by: Truth at May 10, 2013 2:48 PM
^ a grass field is child maiming? chill out you fear monger, this isn't 1984. and i have a feeling your bubble-boy children resent your overbearing nature
Posted by: Bill W at May 10, 2013 3:19 PM
@Bill W, the prior poster merely modulated the tone of his response to fit your initial comment. "WHAT A TRAGEDY!" is how you open your initial post, and you want him to "chill out"?
That being said, I think we can all agree that well-maintained grass fields in tip-top shape are the best option for sports fields where cost, usage and availability don't factor into the equation.
However, in the case of providing heavily-used, all-weather fields that provide good quality, the balance tips [heavily] in favor of synthetic turf.
As Truth mentions, all you need to do is visit many of the full pitch and half pitch fields when weekend games are taking place to appreciate how poor the playing conditions on most of these fields are.
It's no accident that Kimbell and South Sunset are the most requested fields when it comes time to obtain team permits for the given sports season.
Posted by: Le Dude at May 10, 2013 3:48 PM
Like I thought, you don't know. Sure, nice grass fields are great. But this is the western edge of Golden Gate Park abd that geass was laid on sand. Those fields were tragic. Full of holes. Yes, holes. And yes many a man, woman, and child went to te emergency room due to the sorry state I those fields. I am plenty chill dude. I am elated. You just didn't know what you were talking about and you weighed in screaming about tragedy.
Posted by: Truth at May 10, 2013 3:58 PM
Entitled Bill W should be forced to pay for all the attorneys taxpayers paid for in order to fight off these ridiculous challenges. Bill W all by himself.
Posted by: grrr at May 10, 2013 10:42 PM
Yes let's get rid of all traces of an authentic existence so that no one sues anybody, and let's have plastics degrade into our environment. Let's do so by filling the pockets of a plastics and chemical manufacturer. That really is the best solution for our children right? Again, shame on you all for being so sort sighted.
Posted by: Bill W at May 11, 2013 7:43 PM
bill w, you lost. get over it.
Posted by: fancy rental at May 12, 2013 4:57 AM
I'm surprised construction would take one year! I have seen golf courses with lakes, bridges, and difficult topography built in less than a year, but then they were using real grass. Does the installation of plastic turf require some type of unique structural padding and drainage underneath?
(Not against the plastic, just curious)
Posted by: Curious at May 12, 2013 8:27 AM
If the plastic prevents the city from using up lots of water and pesticides to maintain grass fields, then I don't see the problem, environmentally. I mean, using that logic, we shouldn't be bringing plastic reusable bags to our store. Plastic has a place in human society and environmentalism now. It is ridiculous not to acknowledge it. These fields have been here since the 30's.
And to diminish the injuries people sustain on the field is unfair. My mother-in-law stepped in a gopher hole during a softball game, snapped her Achilles tendon, could not walk for nearly a month, and has never been physically the same since. She can't hike much, has had low-level constant pain, had a brief Vicodin/Oxy weakness...let's just say, it's not been pleasant.
Everything has a cost. Everything is a tradeoff. Sports fields so our kids can play sports and not get fat and obese. Because not every kid gets off on 10-mile hikes on Mount Tam. I'm hoping they keep the bright lights down to a minimum.
Posted by: jenoflaa at May 13, 2013 9:50 AM
I live half a block from Kimbel, the resurfaced park is pretty much in constant use when before when it was a grass field it was rarely used and was in horrible shape.
Posted by: Rillion at May 13, 2013 10:22 AM
A tough environmental call but the need for persistent, low-maintenance sports areas persists in San Francisco. Having a handful of synthetic grass fields allows the city to fully book spaces and save resources for what the ample natural spaces/parks the boarder public enjoys. In the case of the Beach Chalet fields, this area is completely obscured by a setback of surrounding trees and shrubs, and it has been used primarily for sports play for a long, long time. The only change is less kids will get hurt, the fields will be open longer, and the city saves some money. Next issue please.
Posted by: joe94114 at May 13, 2013 2:46 PM
I've played soccer on probably most of the city-maintained fields in SF. The ONLY grass field in decent condition and not dangerous to people's health is Kezar Stadium. And that one is very difficult and expensive to book. The other ones are crap, and Beach Chalet is among the worst. Even an old beat-up artificial turf field like Franklin Park is better than 90% of the grass fields I've played on.
What people in armchairs think about this doesn't interest me. Ask anyone who uses these fields and they're ecstatic that this was approved.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at May 13, 2013 4:51 PM
BillW: You seem way to emotional about this ("authentic existence" etc.). These are soccer fields and the question is what is the best way to set them up. A pragmatic and reasonable decision was made. Oddly, you seem not to care at all about injuries (which actually happen), yet are terrified of plastic (which is basically harmless). Sorry, but for once the fear-mongers with their ideologically driven agenda did not win.
Posted by: NoeNeighbor at May 14, 2013 2:50 PM