Deal reached on America’s Cup megayacht marina

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A proposed megayacht marina will no longer block some of San Francisco's most treasured views of the bay, thanks to a compromise between the city and the America's Cup.

Under the new plan, organizers will give up their long-term development rights for piers 14 to 22 1/2 in exchange for the rights to develop Pier 54 in Mission Bay. At issue was the section of waterfront by Rincon Park, which provides one of the few open-water views of the bay along the Embarcadero, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

But as city and Cup officials celebrated and key construction permits for the races sailed through the Port Commission, opponents were seeking to delay the world's premier regatta.

Four environmental and neighborhood groups are appealing the event's final environmental impact report. The document, which by state law must be completed before construction begins, earned the Planning Commission's unanimous approval Thursday.

The analysis fails to fully outline solutions to traffic jams, damage to plant life and other environmental problems, argue the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, San Francisco Tomorrow, the Golden Gate Audubon Society and Waterfront Watch.

The appeal is not necessarily a major setback to the regatta, which is scheduled to begin in eight months. It “was always built into the project schedule,” Brad Benson, special projects manager for the port, told the newspaper.

The next step comes in January, when the Board of Supervisors will consider the appeal. If the supervisors decide to let the project proceed, opponents could sue.

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