Categories: City Planning

Mission Bay Alliance ponders next steps in opposing Warriors arena project

Opponents to the proposed Golden State Warriors arena project in Mission Bay are weighing their options after a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled Monday against their move to block the project.

The ruling by Judge Garrett Wong rejected lawsuits filed in December and January by the Mission Bay Alliance challenging The City’s environmental review and approval process for the event center and mixed-use development at 16th and Third streets.

“The Alliance appreciates Judge Wong’s effort to decide this case on the extremely fast litigation timeline imposed on this case by the Legislature. The Alliance must now decide how to proceed within five days rather than the 60 days normally provided for filing an appeal,” attorney Osha Meserve said in a prepared statement Monday.

In particular, the group argued that the 11-acre project would create major traffic and emergency access issues for the nearby UCSF Medical Center, especially on game days. The lawsuit was joined by the group Save Muni and Jennifer Wade, the mother of a UCSF patient concerned about emergency access for her son.

“SaveMuni believes the arena environmental impact report is deeply flawed. The huge development, with its planned 225 events a year, would compound The City’s traffic congestion and Muni problems, and probably delay the all-important, voter-approved extension of Caltrain into downtown San Francisco for decades — all for a private, for-profit project,” transportation engineer and SaveMuni co-founder Gerald Cauthen said in a statement.

The Board of Supervisors in December unanimously approved the project, which will include an 18,000-seat event center and 600,000 square feet of office space, in December. The project was also certified as an Environmental Leadership Project by Gov. Jerry Brown, indicating it met economic stimulus and environmental building standards.

“The fact is that this worthwhile project has been thoroughly scrutinized under the law, and it has won overwhelming support every step of the way, from all parts of San Francisco, including its neighbors,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.

Litigation by the Mission Bay Alliance prompted the Warriors to announce earlier this year that the planned opening date of the arena was being delayed from 2018 to 2019.

The alliance also filed a lawsuit in December in Alameda County Superior Court alleging that UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood did not have the legal authority to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Warriors agreeing to traffic mitigations for the project. That lawsuit is still being litigated.

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