Under proposed legislation, the Oakland A’s would receive an expedited judicial review process if a new ballpark project faces a legal challenge over environmental concerns.
The A’s are still evaluating their options for a new ballpark, with a focus on both Howard Terminal and the Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum property as potential sites. While the A’s have yet to make a final decisions about where to build a replacement for the Coliseum, proposed state legislation could help the team in the planning process.
If the bill moves forward, any lawsuit against the A’s over environmental concerns from a new ballpark project would have to be resolved within 270 days. The team would still need to complete a full environmental impact report under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The proposal is being met with skepticism in some circles, but A’s president Dave Kaval notes that similar major sport facilities projects in the state have had this treatment. More from the Sacramento Bee:
Much of the opposition to the bill centers around the expedited judicial review process. Kyle Jones, a policy advocate for Sierra Club California, said rushing the process may cause some environmental issues to get overlooked. He also called the new stadium a “politically-favored project.”
“The biggest issue that I have personally is that when a project needs to be done, there’s a knee-jerk reaction to go to CEQA relief,” Jones said.
Kaval disagrees: “We’re not asking for anything that the Warriors didn’t get in San Francisco or the Kings didn’t get in Sacramento. Nothing about our bill is any different than that. All we’re asking for is similar treatment that other communities have gotten to get their professional sports teams. Now, it’s Oakland’s chance.”
Similar legislation is being sought for the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), who are exploring the idea of constructing a new arena in Inglewood.
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