A recent ruling on a proposed arena for the Golden State Warriors has been appealed by the Mission Bay Alliance, which is seeking to block the project.
Recently, a court challenge over the development of the Chase Center was ruled in favor of the Warriors and San Francisco’s Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure. The case in question concerned the environmental review of the project that was conducted by the City of San Francisco, which the Mission Bay Alliance said was inadequate.
The basis for appeal by the Mission Bay Alliance is that the standards used in the process are out of date, and not meant for a project of this kind. Mission Bay Alliance outlined its contention in a recent statement:
“The deeply flawed arena EIR failed to assess and mitigate the project’s significant traffic, public transit and other adverse environmental impacts,” said Gerald Cauthen, transportation engineer and co-founder of SaveMuni, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization established to improve public transit in San Francisco. “This huge development, planning 225 major events a year, would compound San Francisco’s traffic congestion and Muni problems and threatens to delay the all-important Caltrain extension for years, if not for decades.”
The appeal also challenges the fact that in its haste to approve the project, the city’s environmental review inexplicably omitted any study of a number of critical environmental impacts, over the public’s objections—including land use, biological resources, geology and hazardous materials impacts, instead relying on outdated analyses in environmental documents prepared in 1998. At that time, neither an 18,000-seat arena, nor anything like it, was contemplated.
“By relying on environmental review documents from 18 years ago, the city failed to analyze critical environmental issues that will impact city residents and visitors in the years to come if the arena is built,” [attorney Osha] Meserve said. “The EIR did not analyze the undisputed profound land use changes that will result in Mission Bay if this project is built. The public and even city decision-makers thus had no way of knowing the arena’s true impacts—violating core environmental review requirements.”
The disputes in this case are fairly well documented. As the Warriors try to build a new arena in Mission Bay, the Alliance contends that the development of the project would negatively affect the nearby University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center by creating traffic jams that hamper access to the center.
Along with the dispute concerning San Francisco’s environmental review, the Mission Bay Alliance is contesting an agreement between UCSF and the Warriors. Filed in Alameda County, that case contends that UCSF improperly reached a deal with the Warriors to use $10 million in Mission Bay Transportation Improvement funds on the project.
The Warriors say that they have consistently followed the proper public steps. More from SFGate.com:
P.J. Johnston, spokesman for the Warriors, said “whoever is funding the opposition must have money to burn, because they continue to lose badly.”
“The Warriors engaged in an extensive public planning process over several years. Our plan has been upheld by every regulatory agency and received unanimous approval at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Now our plan has been upheld by the Superior Court,” Johnston said.
The Chase Center is slated to open for the 2019-2020 season, though that is pending the timing and outcome of the rulings in these cases.
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