Late Tuesday night, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted 10-0 to uphold the Environmental Impact Report for the 34th Annual America's Cup. This vote showed that across City Hall’s political spectrum - which ranges from slightly left of center to extremely left of center - hosting the 2013 event remains a key objective. It was a long hearing in which the Board took public comment from objecting groups, along with testimony from staff and event organizers.
The biggest lightning rod from opponents Tuesday was the proposed giant floating television screen intended to be moored in the middle of the Aquatic Park during racing, who are concerned about safety, inconvenience, and environmental contamination from disturbed sediment. Representatives of the organizers agreed to eliminate the floating screen and to explore shore-based options instead. Other objections covered in testimony and response by both sides focused on whether funding for mitigations would be available, while the appellants also worked to raise doubts on procedural issues. Staff responded that the issue of assuring funding for mitigations is properly a subject for agreements to be created in the upcoming approvals process, and that the procedural issues cited were less uncertain than alleged.
Now that it has been affirmed, the Environmental Impact Report serves under State Law as the legal basis for the City and related agencies to push forward on finalizing the discretionary permits and approvals that are needed for San Francisco to host the America's Cup. The SF Port Commission approved the start of some pre-construction activities last month, the day after the report was certified. So let the construction begin..........
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