The Auckland again prevailed in court in the team’s quest to New Howard Terminal Stadiumas such Alameda County Supreme Court Justice Brad Seligman rejects legal objections to Environmental Impact Report (EIR) approved by the city.
A’s reigned in temporary ruleissued August 30, and with today’s resolution, Seligman rejected three challenges from the coalition of maritime interests, Union Pacific and the Capitol Corridor Joint Authority. The Auckland City Council approved the 3,500-page report in February by a 6-2 voteA key vote in allowing the $1 billion matches to proceed with the planning process. The three legal challenges argued that the city of Oakland did not follow state guidelines to identify and mitigate all potential negative impacts of the $12 billion Howard Terminal development, one of the largest non-transit developments in state history. Groups that have filed lawsuits have consistently opposed the project, arguing that a waterfront change is unsuitable for a shipping port and that the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is more suitable for a new football stadium. The three lawsuits were later combined into a single proceeding.
A . has suggested Waterfront development in downtown Howard Terminal It features $12 billion in private investment, including $1 billion for a new 35,000-person football stadium to replace the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the team’s home. The project will also include 3,000 residential units, as well as 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-room hotel, 18 acres of parkland, and an estimated $450 million in community benefits. It will represent a massive transformation of Auckland’s waterfront, transforming an industrial site into a mixed-use development.
In his ruling, Seligman rejected the argument that the Colosseum was more suitable for hosting a new football stadium, stating that it was located in an industrial area, rather than a scenic location on the downtown waterfront. He also rejected arguments that the Environmental Impact Rate (EIR) is insufficient, and decided that it needed not to be perfect, but merely to draw reasonable conclusions and be sufficient in a good faith effort to address major environmental issues.
At least one of the three groups challenging approval of the EIR, the East Oakland Stadium Alliance, is considering an appeal, according to a statement from Mike Jacob, vice president and general counsel for the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, on behalf of the alliance:
“The Court agreed that the Howard Terminal EIR is insufficient and should not be adopted without further analysis. Accordingly, we look forward to the next steps needed to correct the error in the rate of interest. Unfortunately, since the EIR in our view has not properly addressed many Significant and mitigating impacts from Project A – including dangerous railroad crossings, polluted soil, traffic problems, port congestion, and air quality – We will evaluate our options in relation to the Appeal We will also continue to press for our concerns about this short-sighted project regardless of the outcome This case, as the negative impacts of the project harm the thousands of Aucklanders who live in neighborhoods close to the proposed development or those who have jobs. It depends on the ability of the Port of Auckland to grow and prosper.”
The decision was welcomed by Auckland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who is a consistent supporter of the project:
The judge’s final ruling is a victory for the climate and for the people of Auckland. Today’s order proves that the waterfront project, which will bring 18 acres of new public parks to our beautiful beaches for all residents to enjoy, https://t.co/TFF3Zi9kPI
– LibbySchaaf September 8, 2022
Next up: other government approvals from the likes of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, a binding commitment from Alameda County, and final approval of a lease and agreement on community benefits, including affordable housing, that are associated with the project. This latest move would be a major challenge for both sides: The first team has fought the city’s proposals for community benefits and affordable housing, but in today’s political climate, it may not be possible to win that battle for athletics.
Submit courtesy Oakland A’s.
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