[Photo credit: Golden Gate Yacht Club]
We could hear the bureaucrats and nimbyisti howling at news that the city is seeking a state exemption to CEQA for San Francisco's bid for the next Americas Cup. They're afraid that their decades-long processes may be short-circuited by billionaires. The one-time exception is for Piers 30 and 32, which had already gone through an EIR for that never-happened-and-probably-won't cruise ship pier. Now, of course, they're parking lots, a completely environmentally-sound use.
Some environmental groups, while appreciative that city officials sought their input, warn that an exemption would open the floodgates for wealthy interests to circumvent state-required environmental review. "We're not going to sit by idly and let that happen," said Tina Andolina, legislative director for the Planning and Conservation League, an environmental lobbying group? "The floodgates are open? they [the legislature] made the decision to grant an exemption to the City of Industry and got nothing for it other than a bunch of other billionaires coming to the capital saying they want one, too."The two other suitors for the Cup are Valencia, Spain (where Larry Ellison won this year) and Italy, with an undisclosed location near Rome. Where you can't turn a shovelful of dirt over without hitting a temple of Venus. We'd like to remind everyone that when Ellison was rebuffed by the famously snobbish St. Francis Yacht Club in his initial bid for an America's Cup sponsor a few years ago, he merely went down the beach a few yards and bought the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
· America's Cup May Need Environmental Exception [SFGate]
· 34th America's Cup [Golden Gate Yacht Club]