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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Neal Desai, National Parks Conservation Association, 510-368-0845 (cell)
NPCA Calls on Presidio Trust to Extend Comment Period, Reduce New Construction in Main Post Plan
Statement by Bay Area Program Manager Neal Desai
WASHINGTON - April 6 - "We continue to have numerous concerns regarding the Presidio Trust's new preferred vision for the Main Post-one that favors increased, new construction instead of much-needed rehabilitation of historic buildings. The Trust's vision is a substantial departure from the park's 2002 Master Plan, which values historic preservation, open space protection and building rehabilitation. Despite overwhelming public opposition to the Trust's vision, the new planning documents appear to ignore public opinion that the experiences of visitors on the Main Post should not be dominated by new buildings focused on lodging and art, but instead, bring to life the historic importance of this place, a primary reason Congress acted to protect it within the National Park System.
"We urge the Trust to reconsider the direction they are heading and adopt land uses that are in accordance with the laws and spirit of the National Park System. We continue to believe that the Trust is in violation of long-standing laws that have been established to protect the historic integrity and open space of the Presidio from inappropriate new development and construction.
"We are equally concerned by the Presidio Trust's inadequate public engagement plan, one that has yet to provide a forum for educating the public on the historic and open space impacts resulting from this project.
"We ask the Trust to reconsider their reluctance thus far to offer a public comment period extension and also to facilitate public understanding of the more than 300 pages of planning documents. The Trust's long-term relationship with the public is at stake."