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Presidio Historical Ass'n v. Presidio Trust

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20025
Nos. 13-16554, (9th Cir., 01/27/2016)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a proposed management plan for the Presidio, a former military base in San Franciso that is now a National Park and a National Historic Landmark, that provides for the construction of a 70,000 square foot lodge. The Presidio is managed by the Presidio Trust, a wholly owned government corporation governed by the Presidio Trust Act (PTA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Trust envisions the lodge as opening the park to more cultural, educational, and public uses and contributing to financial sustainability, while critics allege the project contributes to commercialization of the park and undermines the Presidio's historic character. Historic preservation and environmental groups filed suit, arguing the proposed plans violate the PTA and NHPA. But the proposed construction satisfies the PTA's replacement, size, and proximity limitations. The Trust also complied with the NHPA's mandate that it undertake "to the maximum extent possible . . . such planning and actions as may be necessary to minimize harm to the landmark." Because the Trust complied with its obligations under both statutes, the court affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Trust.