State calls Metropolitan Transportation Commission relocation illegal

Relocating the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s headquarters faces a serious roadblock after the state’s legislative counsel deemed the plan illegal.

The MTC, which oversees long-term transit planning in the Bay Area, approved a measure last year to use $179 million in bridge toll funds to purchase a former post office building at 390 Main St. in San Francisco.

The proposal angered many East Bay lawmakers and residents, who were upset that transportation funds would be used to move the agency from Oakland to San Francisco.

In a letter to state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who had requested an audit of the plan, the Legislative Counsel Bureau said the MTC’s relocation would “exceed the statutory authority” of the agency. The bureau advises state lawmakers on legal decisions.

DeSaulnier, who has opposed the move, said the agency should immediately halt its plans.

Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the MTC, said the agency is currently reviewing the bureau’s letter. Its attorneys are still trying to determine how the opinion would affect the plan, he said.

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