Citing “undue haste” on the City of Santa Clara’s part in its pursuit of the 49ers stadium deal, Great America park operator Cedar Fair filed suit today in an attempt to kill any deal between the team and the city. The Merc’s Howard Mintz has the scoop:
In a lawsuit filed late Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Great America’s owners, argues that the May agreement between the city and 49ers should not have been consummated before the completion and approval of an environmental impact report. The city council is poised to vote tonight on the report, a thick document that outlines the potential impact of a 49ers stadium on area traffic, parking, noise, air quality and other factors.
The question is, “Why now?” Cedar Fair has had months to decide whether or not to sue, so filing this seemingly injunctive suit at the 11th hour is a bit late (my lack of legal expertise here is clearly on display). Unless a judge steps in and orders the City Council to delay the vote, the Council could simply move forward.
I wasn’t planning to check in on the council session, thinking that the EIR certification was a mere formality, but I think I’ll take a peek. It could get interesting. Santa Clara’s Council Chambers tends to get full quickly, so I think I’ll be taking the session in remotely.
Update 11:41 PM – Council has voted 5-2 to certify the EIR. Next up is the date for the vote (either April 13 or June 8), which they are discussing now.
Update 12:30 AM –
Decision on the ballot measure pushed back to next Tuesday. Vote scheduled for June 8, the date of the 2010 primary.
Update 12:45 PM – I must’ve been away from the desk when 49ers veep Lisa Lang and former City Council member Pat Kolstad, representing lobbying group Santa Clarans for Economic Progress, spoke in favor of a separate, binding ballot measure that would do a legal endaround the CEQA process. Kolstad and two other previous Council members, Aldyth Parle and Don Callejon, promised to submit the new, 49ers-funded initiative today. This is bad mojo, folks. The last thing the City and voters need is dueling ballot measures, which will probably be confusingly written and difficult to distinguish from one another. I don’t envy Santa Clara residents at this point. Caveat emptor.
CF would like to reduce their annual rent payment of $5M to try to stave off going out of biz—seriously–has anyone been to this park in awhile–it is horribly maintained with many of the “premier” rides not working on a consistent basis–throw in rude workers and the gang banger element—we bought season passes last year–used them once–which was more than enough–my bad on that decision.
Figure Jennifer S. knows what she is talking about—as she is pretty much the iron maiden in the city of SC–she says it has no impact which i suspect will be the case–