The city and the club have been negotiating about the strip of land for more than a year and one deadline has already come and gone. They city gave the club until July 9 to sign a new lease. That date came and went without a signature and that is what triggered the eviction notice sent out last week.
The gun club says it was disappointed and surprised to receive the notice Friday afternoon. One board member said it's been working hard to come to an agreement with the city. Management of the property changed hands from the Parks and Rec Department to the Public Utilities Commission in May. The PUC says that's because it is the more appropriate agency to deal with the necessary environmental cleanup. The city wants the Rod and Gun Club do environmental cleanup that could cost more than $10 million and though the lease is for four acres, the city says the club is using 14, so the price of staying there could also go up considerably.
The club says it is trying its best as an all-volunteer non-profit to deal with the city's demands and is still hopeful it can work something out. It disputes the scope of the environmental cleanup of land contaminated with decades of lead shot and clay targets with a petroleum binder. The city is questioning if the Rod and Gun Club is the best use of prime lakefront property and it's demanding the club finally get liability and workers comp insurance.
"And I think there's also the much bigger question of the environmental damage and environmental remediation that needs to be done at that facility, and who's going to pay for it," San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd told ABC7 News. "Is it going to be the ratepayers in San Francisco? Or is it going to be the entity that caused that environmental damage?"
"We think their proposal, with the environmental issues that are out there, is exaggerated. We think that any claims that could be there, if they're there, could be mitigated at a much lesser expense," Pacific Road Gun Club board member Patrick Gilligan said.
Gilligan says the club has hired its own consultant on the environmental damage and mitigation hoping to come up with an estimate that's lower all the way around.