The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order (pdf) denying cross motions for summary judgment in a case brought by plaintiffs suing the City and County of San Francisco over the management of Sharp Park Golf Course, which San Francisco owns but which is located in the City of Pacifica in San Mateo County, California. At issue in the case is whether San Francisco’s management of the golf course violates the take prohibition of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Previously, we posted a blog describing plaintiffs’ unsuccessful attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction in the case, here.
In the decision, the court denied motions by the defendant City and intervenors to dismiss the case on the grounds that plaintiffs lack standing. At the same time, the court refused to rule on motions by both sides on the issue of whether the City is liable for violating the take prohibition in section 9 of the ESA. The court noted that the Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service are currently consulting under section 7(a)(2) of the ESA regarding operations at Sharp Park, including water pumping operations. The court held that the case is appropriate for a stay pending the outcome of that consultation. One reporter noted, "[t]he golf course has [ ] been a hot topic in San Francisco politics." (San Francisco Examiner, April 26, 2011, by Will Reisman.)