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America's Cup: New Perils, Tricky Shoals, Plus a Few Dreaded NIMBYs

[Click to enlarge. Original image via AECOM]

With their early-Friday morning appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the race's EIR, foes of the America's Cup had hoped to stop it dead in the water- for at least a few weeks. Filing the appeal should have stopped all procedural action from going forward, but the appeal documents lacked a certified copy of the Commission's vote, a technicality giving the Ports Commission an opportunity to approve the EIR later that day. An EIR that- for better or worse- bundles Ports' long-desired cruise ship terminal with the race infrastructure. Certification is expected sometime today, but it's unclear if the race's opponents have to go back to square one. Maybe just Pier One?
As for the appellants, the Telegraph Hill Neighbors worry about intrusive traffic and crowds- they're the only neighborhood in San Francisco with a view, apparently- but more serious concerns involve invasive seaweed and habitat protection. With sites from Aquatic Park to Crissy Field and the Presidio, It's possible the GGNRA and the National Park Service may continue to put the screws to the race on shorefront they control, and not just Alcatraz. Plus while there's no shortage of America's Cup fans who can get the White House on the phone, after Congressional approval for the event (foreign ships!) was linked to natural gas frakking in Pennsylvania, the actual environmental cost of the race is yet to be determined.

Working around the waterfront, members of the Dolphin Club announced plans to interfere with the floating Jumbotron on the waters of Aquatic Park, and a last-minute deal/switcheroo between the Mayor and the America's Cup Organizing Committee sent some development rights further south. The Rincon Park open water (think Cupid's Span) will not be developed into marinas, and the ACOC will take piers 52/54 in Mission Bay instead. Which totally makes more sense, right?
· America's Cup Opponents Hit Setback [SF Examiner]
· NPS: America's Cup Gets a Trim, Will Not Occupy Alcatraz [Curbed SF]
· A-Cup: Smooth Sailing, Calm Waters [Curbed SF]
· Swimmers to Protest America's Cup by Occupying the Bay [Bay Citizen]
· America's Cup Mega Yacht Marina Plan Scuttled [SF Gate]