January 20, 2017

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.”

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