July 23, 2014

Senate Committee upholds Bay protections, amends Warriors bill

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos calls this “the most beautiful spot on the waterfront”. Should this land be used for the Warriors’ sports arena or for better public access to the shoreline? Photo courtesy San Francisco Waterfront Alliance.

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos calls this “the most beautiful spot on the waterfront”. Should this land be used for the Warriors’ sports arena or for better public access to the shoreline? Photo courtesy San Francisco Waterfront Alliance.

Our voices were heard loud and clear on June 25, when the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee voted to significantly amend Assembly Bill 1273, “The Warriors Arena Bill,” and restore the authority of independent agencies over key environmental review and compliance decisions.

Following the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s (BCDC) vote last week to oppose the bill unless it is significantly altered, today’s legislative action weakened the Warriors’ effort to enact a legislative “end-run” for their proposed massive construction of the Warriors basketball and entertainment complex on Piers 30 – 32 in San Francisco. Amendments approved in committee include:

  • requiring the entire California Environmental Quality Act process to be complete before any determination of consistency with the Public Trust can be made;
  • putting BCDC and the State Lands Commission back into the Public Trust determination process;
  • making the State Lands Commission, rather than the San Francisco Port Commission, the ultimate authority over Public Trust issues.

“This is an important victory for the people of San Francisco and all those who love and want to protect the Bay”, said Gayle Cahill, president of the San Francisco Waterfront Alliance. “We are proud to stand up with well respected organizations such as Sierra Club, Save the Bay, Baykeeper and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association to oppose AB 1273.”

Other noted opposition to AB 1273 was Oakland Mayor Jean Quan who testified while representing a group of East Bay mayors.

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos also testified at the committee hearing stating, “When I tore down the old Embarcadero Freeway opening up the waterfront, I never dreamed that 23 years later I’d be back fighting to protect the waterfront and Bay from the blight of unchecked and greedy developers who want to pour tons of concrete into our Bay.”

Comments

  1. Patrick Valentino says:

    Hi, I was at the hearing and while I am a very big environmental supporter (been working on wolves for 18 years) I think your note above is entirely misleading. The Warriors sought the advice of BCDC early and the staff of both BCDC and the SLC recommended seeking legislation. Sending back to SLC for a determination on the public trust is where the Warriors started in the first place. The Warriors and City of SF have been working with BCDC staff on amending the plan and changes have been made. Stating that it was an “end around ” is very misleading.

    What we have there today is a parking lot with no abatement for run off. The proposed development with fix that rotting environmental hazard that exists there now. I am all for environmental causes but I don’t think keeping the pier as is – is good for the environment at all.

    Finally if someone doesn’t like this project for whatever reason (Don’t want an arena on the waterfront, or are worried about public transit capacity ) then they should state just that. Making this out to be an end around seems a bit dramatic and off base. Years ago Art Agnos supported a similar sized project at this site. And now he is against this one. Perhaps the debate can continue with everyone operating with the same set of facts. The note above blurs them, so I wanted to log in an objection.

    Thank you for listening
    Patrick Valentino
    South Beach Neighborhood SF

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