Governor Brown signs streamlining bills for Sacramento, SF arena projects

You can’t say Jerry Brown doesn’t like sports now, folks. No sir.

The Governor signed two bills to help with environmental review for separate arena projects championed by the Kings and Warriors. SB 743 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento), for the Kings, made incremental changes to how traffic and parking studies will be done, but fell short of the sort of sweeping CEQA changes desired by Republicans and the Governor. Much of the streamlining in SB 743 benefits the Kings arena specifically by creating a time limit for lawsuits and allowing for eminent domain proceedings while the project goes through the EIR process.

AB 1273 (Ting, D-San Francisco) sought to bypass the State Lands Commission so that approval of the project rested with the City/County of San Francisco. That provision was stricken, neutering the bill rather severely. However, the EIR process now inserts SF and the BCDC to manage the process, allowing them to head off any red flag issues that the SLC could use to deny approval of the project. One key win for the Warriors was the granting of a development permit at Piers 30/32 to the BCDC, which should help advance to process of determining the proper (read: low) amount of parking to be built in concurrence with the arena.

The W’s arena should also benefit from some of the new provisions in SB 743. Piers 30/32 most certainly qualifies most certainly qualifies as an urban infill project, considering its near-transit location and dilapidated state.

Now that the legislative endaround has been successfully executed for both arenas, it’s only a matter of time to get their EIRs completed and approved. Sure, all sorts of challenges will occur in the meantime, but these actions are big if they’re to have any hope of being open by 2016 (Sacramento), or more likely, 2017 (SF). It’s just too bad that the legislature couldn’t properly fix CEQA for everyone.

34 thoughts on “Governor Brown signs streamlining bills for Sacramento, SF arena projects

  1. Long way to go, but it does not look like the Warriors will be coming back on hands knees, darn and that was such a good plan. well Oakland two more teams to go, whats the plan for them?

  2. RM,
    Would these bills also apply to future sports venues in California? In particular, the Kings bill. If somehow Diridon fell through or MLB forced the A’s to remain in their territory, could the EIR be streamlined for a new SJ or Fremont site?

  3. Lakeshore/Neil, believe it or not, I think Selig was speaking the truth, about knowing the fate of the A’s before he leaves office. Does this mean Selig is a Commissioner on top of everything? No he makes Hamlet look like a decisive leader. But the answer is pretty obvious: Oakland cannot afford to build multiple Stadiums (particularly with the path out of town easing for the Warriors), so it is either the Raiders or the A’s. Everything depends on the Raiders and maybe the San Jose Lawsuit. If the Raiders decide to stay on the Coliseum site, rebuild and temporarily move to Santa Rosa, then the A’s are homeless, and will move after this year. If the Raiders move to LA (or a different site in Oakland), then they can remain at the Coliseum, until San Jose (hopefully)or another Location is made available. Now, since the NFL needs to establish a New 2014 Schedule after the Season, and since it is possible that Santa Rosa MAY be needed for TWO teams, they need to know in advance where the Raiders will be playing next Season to avoid conflicting dates with the 49ers. I think the answer will be known sometime between the week after Thanksgiving, and the week before Christmas.

  4. DB, Even if a new Raiders stadium deal at the Coliseum site could be worked out, it would take at least a minimum of two years from now to get stadium construction started. As a result, the A’s could still remain at the Coliseum for at least two or three more seasons before they would have to find a temporary place to play their home games.

  5. what’s so bad about a multi-use stadium? two buildings for the price of one!

  6. That’s like asking what’s so bad about a horse-and-buggy after Henry Ford started selling lots of cars. Multi-use stadium proposal = DOA in NFL and MLB

  7. Great piece. Last year, at the hearing in which he denied a preliminary injunction that would’ve stopped initial work on the high-speed rail project, a Sacramento judge, while on the bench and on the record (and with tv cameras aimed at his face), said “CEQA was not designed to govern projects like this.” I think a lot of people with power in Sacramento share his view, and I think we’ll see more and more exceptions carved out for big projects. Bags of money will get it done. And in the long run, CEQA’s probably doomed.

  8. @David Brown
    I agree with pretty much everything you have said. The one place we may differ (I know a lot of people here fill differently), is I don’t necessarily think, that if the A’s don’t play at the coliseum, that equates to a green light for San Jose. If the Raiders do build on the current footprint of the coliseum that does not mean the Giants TR rights will simply disappear, the Giants will make the same case that they always have, the A’s have not looked hard enough in their current territory; I know a lot of people fill that’s a bogus augment, and it probable is, but that won’t stop the Giants from making it., this is ware Buds blue ribbon committee, can come in hand for the A’s to get to San Jose, since they supposedly have been looking for a solution in the A’s current territory (I know they have looked at SJ as well). The general thinking seems to be if the A’s can’t play at the Coliseum, then MLB will obviously give them SJ, I don’t think that’s anymore obvious, then a lot of pro/only Oakland folks, think San José’s lawsuit against MLB makes it clear that San Jose is getting despite and this is there hail Mary. There are way too many factors, some we know about, most we don’t.
    Grate point, that’s something I think a lot of people are overlooking.

    You’re not serious, right?
    Good one.
    Right on it. It’s all about the money ant a d***, thing funny.

  9. i agree. If the A’s are suddenly locked out of the Coliseum, the Giants are not going to do them any favors by letting them go to San Jose or play at ATT until a new ballpark is built.

  10. @llpec–why so long to start construction on a “remodel” of the Coli–no EIR required–its a matter of identifying money and moving forward—Mark Davis won’t sign a new lease until a deal is made–don’t think he would agree to a 2 year delay–

  11. @GoA’s I not sure, but it would take some time to start getting the money togather (new taxs, depoits from housing units, nameing rights, ect.), I dont know if it would take two years, but it can take some time after all, for all the talk they both do (Oakland and the Raiders) they have really just started.

  12. Lakeshore/Neil, There is no way the Coliseum Commission is giving the A’s a long term lease (I think two years is generous), if the Raiders agree to stay at the Coliseum site. In addition, I have never claimed that the A’s will be playing at AT&T, in fact, in the past I have claimed the opposite. Why? Because there is NOTHING (except seeing a version of the 70’s A’s appear in San Francisco), the Giants would prefer, than to see the A’s leave the Bay Area forever, and be able to capture the casual A’s fan, to add to their fan base (obviously the Hard Core will NEVER root for SF). This is where the Lawsuit comes into play. If SJ would win, the A’s could find a spot (Berkeley, Stanford, somewhere in the Bay Area, past whatever time frame they have(if any) at the Coliseum, until the Stadium is ready. But, if they lose, or the case is dismissed, then the A’s may have to decide that leaving Town is their only option. No matter what, I think the answer comes this year.

  13. @GoA’s, If it were that easy, both the A’s and Raiders would be in their respective new stadiums by now.

  14. @llpec–of course money is at the core and its not that easy which is why Davis wants to see a committment from Oakland now before agreeing to any long term lease–and the committment cant be we will try–it has to be specifics as to who pays, how much and when–and he’s not about to sit around and wait while oakland continues to play delay games like they have with the A’s–once again–the Raiders and A’s need new stadiums isn’t a new issue and that Oakland is challenged to provide any public dollars to those stadiums isn’t a new issue–what is new is that Davis is forcing Oakland to bring a real deal to the table–and given the lease expires in another few months–its sooner rather than later

  15. I’m generally in favor of a streamlined process and removing government involvement as mush as practical. So in that regard I am glad to see two large projects being put on a slightly more reasonable path to fruition. However, what turns my stomach is the way government works. Hey, Project A and Project B are in Representative S and T districts, hey! we can make a deal to sidestep our own rules (just make sure when my bill comes up, you give me full support – whether it is a good bill or not). But for Representative Y and Z projects? Oh your projects must remain within the rules of full governance!

  16. >>Would these bills also apply to future sports venues in California?<<
    My guess is not likely. Those against a stadium in SJ = a sizable contingent of SF and Oakland Representatives. All of a sudden streamlining a project like this will simply not be good for the citizens of California.

  17. @David Brown I see what your saying and can see it going that way, I know you fill (I think you stated this befor),the Giants will never share (and no one can make them), A&TT, you could be correct, I think there may be an oppertunity there for the Giants, because if they agree, they can do it under the turms (agreement with MLBA’s) that the A’s build in AlamedaCC, I agree with you that the Giants #1 goal is to get the A’s out of the Bay Area, but where do they go? (no current market would do), I know the Giants dont care where the A’s go, but MLB does, and there just is not anywhere to go right now (perhaps 10-15 years), so the Giants are told by MLB “Hay they (A’s) are not leaving the Bay Area” (goal#1 for the Giants), We (MLB), are going to give them (A’s) SJ (goal#2 for the Giants keep A’s out of SJ), unless you (Giants) share your park at a nice price (if you cant get goal#1, and you want to keep goal#2), you fall back to goal #3 (keep the A’s in Oakland), so they never get goal#2. Stranger things have happend, I could see the Giants doing that even in the case of the A’s moving to SJ, but who the hell knows, right.

  18. @TW You are so correct!!!

  19. @TW, Excellent observations on calling attention to the double standard of California’s elected officials based on their own provincial attitudes. The Giants have taken full advantage of this fact for their own benefit by pitting the older established cities of San Francisco and Oakland against the relatively newcomer San Jose. In addition, the Giants and the San Francisco establishment have also used Oakland’s lower self image for their own advantage. Case example, using the Oakland only crowd as an ally against the A’s moving to San Jose. The double standard glaringly shows its ugly head when there is little or no objection to the Warriors moving to San Francisco, or the 49ers moving to the Santa Clara/San Jose area. The recent voting in the California state legislature with the Governor’s backing is just more of the same.

  20. Lakeshore/Neil, here is the problem with what you mentioned. 1: You stated that unlike the Giants, MLB cares where the A’s go. If MLB really cared about the A’s they would not have spent five years looking for some kind of solution, knowing the situation was not good in the Coliseum (unlike how they helped to make sure (with assistance from the A’s), that baseball remained in SF). 2: If the Raiders make a deal with Oakland for the Coliseum site, there is still the problem of where do the A’s play? Beyond that, it fair to say that unless the Raiders go to LA, LONG TERM that place will NOT be in Oakland, because the City cannot afford Stadiums for both teams. Now there is one thing that can possibly change that equation which is a 2013 Championship in Oakland. The thought of a World Champion playing in such a dump and maybe being homeless after the Season could embarrass Selig, Gov. Brown, and the Legislature, into pressuring the Giants into letting them play at AT&T until moving to San Jose. That kind of pressure and lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ might be the best possible scenario for the A’s (and WORST for the Giants).

  21. Also the fact that Selig looks the other way at a re-occuring pattern of tragic violence that occurs when the Giants play the Dodgers – this is really becoming a problem (also violence against A’s fans at phone booth park) and Selig is apparently also blowing off this issue also.

    Despite, all the bad raps associated with Oakland and the Raiders, or even the A’s – no fatalities have ever taken place at the Coliseum. The NFL took strong action, suspending all games between the Raiders and Niners until futher notice. Selig obviously wouldn’t have the balls to do that. It would be a good move if the A’s cancelled all future games with the giants until the giants clean up their act with all the violence. It’s very bizarre how Selig continully gives the giants organization’s continued meddling with the A’s a free pass – now the giants fan violence also – a very deplorable situation created by Selig and the giants mgt.

  22. @David Brown MLB may not care much more about the A’s, then the Giants do, it could not be much more, because they are in the situation there in, but it only needs to be enough to act at the lowest point. Oakland may not need as much money as is thought, when its all said and done, there have been strager bed-fellows then the ones in this soap-opra. Anyway all we have is the tealeaves, I am sure there will be some (I told you so), people when this is all over, but in the end (Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, or out of California), none of us no much, and that is one of the reall shames in all of this.

  23. IIpec Your so correct, The Warriors do really well over the years (fan support), in Oakland, the team will not take the host citys name (Oakland), team tells host city five years ahead of time (2012), dont bother we are going to San Francisco (2017), Oh and if we have to payoff, whats left of our lease we will do that, so we can get away from you (well they played in SF when they got to the Bay Area back in 62) Wow! “its ok as long the A’s dont move to SJ” The 49ers move to the South Bay, SF’s mayor even helps toward the end (well they are keeping SF in the name),Wow! “its ok as long as the A’s dont move to SJ” The Raiders have left once, and have said they will do it again, and we are talking LA here (out of the Bay Area). not SJ (35 miles) within the Bay Area (well they are Oaklands orignal team) Wow! “thats ok as long as the A’s dont move to SJ” Is it just me?, I dont recall the SF Giants fans being this upset, when they were going to move to SJ in the early 90’s (and at the time they were going to re-name themselvs the SJ Giants) Wow! “its ok as long as the A’s dont move to SJ” The San Jose Sharks played the first few seasons in SF at the CP ” Wow! its ok as long as the A’s dont move to SJ” Its down right crazy!, and yes I am pro-Oakland fan.

  24. @lakeshore

    Nice rant, let’s not forget that when it comes to Oakland and it’s 3 teams the A’s are the heart and soul of Oakland. That is why people are more vocal about the future of the team than the other 2. 5-10 years down the road someone should write a book on what happens to a city once all it’s professional sports teams have left.

  25. @Mike2,
    Huh?! Talk about your own opinion. Knowing a lot of folks from The O! The Raiders appear to be the true heart and soul of Da Town. Your politicians, who’ve favored them over the A’s since they came back north, apparently agree as well..

  26. The Warriors were offered the same “Here’s a piece of the Coliseum parking lot, now go build your own arena” deal as the other two teams. The Warriors response has been, “We’ll be happy to build our own arena – in Frisco”

  27. @Mike2
    Sorry for the rant.
    Re: “When it comes to Oakland and its 3 teams the A’s are the heart and soul of Oakland. That is why people are more vocal”
    Perhaps you should have said the A’s (should), be the heart and soul of Oakland. If the A’s were the heart and soul of Oakland, the fans are not showing it. The Raiders had 20 straight years of sale outs (before they left for LA), and the Warriors, who have had some of the worst NBA teams over the last 38 years (championship in 75), have had a legendry fan base in supporting a (mostly) losing the team. The A’s, where are all the fans that support the heart and soul of Oakland?
    I am as Pro-Oakland as they come, but I think we have to be honest here, all of the other five Bay Area sports franchises, have either played in, or considered playing in deferent locations within the Bay Area, with not nearly the outcry, you see in the A’s situation.
    The Raiders have played in Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley (outside the Bay Area LA)
    The Warriors have played in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
    The Sharks have played in San Jose, and San Francisco.
    The 49ers have played in San Francisco, and will soon play in Santa Clara.
    The Giants have played in San Francisco, and made the attempt to play in San Jose.
    The A’s have only played in Oakland (Los Vegas because of the Raiders)
    The A’s would like the same consideration the Giants had back in the 90’s, the Pro/only-Oakland folks are going to have to be a lot more then vocal, if they want the A’s to remain in Oakland.

  28. @pjk Yeah if anything gets built in Oakland, the money has to come from someplace, and the teams are not going to pay for it all on there own

  29. @duff–are you aware that the Giants fan arrested last week was released? Apparently a lot of the blame for the brawl can be placed on the poor drunk kid wearing the dodger hat. Or are you aware that the Giants fans involved hadn’t even been at that night’s game? (The dodger fans, of course, left early and hit the bars–looking for more excitement, apparently.)

    I’ve attended hundreds of games at the E Coli, many of them Giants/A’s games. Generally, the A’s fans are gracious to those of us wearing Giants hats; the ushers and other stadium personnel are pure gold. But at least once, every Giants/A’s game at the E Coli, I’ve been threatened by an A’s fan. Usually happens at the BART station.

    I also attend a lot of dodgers/Giants games at China Basin. I have never been threatened by a dodger fan.

  30. Xoot – Four violent incidents within three years at phone booth park, two fatalities in two years. Actually a Dodger fan was found floating in China basin in 2012 – three fatalities. What irony – dainty little phone booth park is now easily the most dangerous sports venue in the U.S. The dumpy old Coliseum is suddenly becoming a much better option than the giants stadium – at least an fan can enjoy ballgame at the Coli without the fear of being attacked by a maurading giants fan.

    Also Xoot – there is a huge differnece between giving an opposing fan a the business and what giants fans are now doing – murder. This is has become a serious situation now(not funny) And it also is another example of Selig’s pro giants indecisivness. Compare what the NFL did about the Candlestick Park incident (not even a fatality) – the NFL took strong action – suspending all Raiders/Niners games until futher notice. Selig and the giants mgt., on the other hand, are choosing to sweep this problem under the rug (how typical)

  31. Returning back to the topic at hand, and answering my own question from way up top: it does appear the “Kings Bill” would streamline the EIR process (in terms of blunting frivolous lawsuits based on traffic levels and aesthetics) for projects in urban areas and near priority transit lines. So again, IF Diridon fell through or IF MLB said no to SJ, a hypothical ballpark EIR/project at (say) Airport West or Warm Springs would benefit greatly against NIMBY “concerns” about traffic or looks.
    @Xoot, I get it: Giants fans are never at fault about anything. Silly us!

  32. You guys are hysterical. That dodger fan was drunk and, in the dark, fell off the parking lot out on pier that’s now the America’s Cup NZ spot and that will be the Warriors’ home. There was no murder. The recent fight occurred at a bar, long after the game ended, and involved people who did not attend the game (and some drunken dodger fans who, unfortunately, did).

    And Tony, I gave genuine props to the A’s fans I meet in the park, during games, and to the ballpark staff, who could not be more welcoming.

    The biggest difference between China Basin and the E Coli is the typical size of the crowd. Can you factor that data into your evaluation? Or is your bias against the Giants so huge you can’t possibly be objective? Looks like the latter, to me.

  33. @Tony D. Yeah, thats a good question. I have always said. if anything gets done in Oakland the SacPols will have to play there part, but as to how that would play out if the location is in SJ or Fremont (andor MLB is not happy with the move), I think it would be a little harder, but at the end of the day, SacPols are going to say this is a major project if ( SFOak pols), or (MLB), has a problem, well thats their problem. and yes the sream line would really help, for the reasons you cited.

  34. @xoot I have never had a problem at AT&T, I guess the biger issue is that Oakland always seems to get the short end of the PR scale with SF. Oakland has a bad rep., and the bad thing is a lot of it has been well deserved, but a lot of these things happen in SF. and somehow it gets under reported in SF. Its a funny. I think SJ has sliped a little, but its safer then Oakland (3tims its size) and SF (300 mil more people?) Its also one of, if not the safest big city in America. Did I mention I grew up in, and am a Pro-Oakland guy (-:

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