City Attorney Herrera praises project as ‘an important civic priority’ that has been thoroughly scrutinized and overwhelmingly supported
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Garrett L. Wong heard arguments on Friday, June 17, on the merits of consolidated lawsuits by activists seeking to derail the Golden State Warriors event center and mixed-use development project in the City’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
Judge Wong said he expects to issue his ruling by July 18.
The widely-supported project has won virtually unanimous support from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and an array of city commissions charged with planning, transportation, entertainment, public utilities and public works responsibilities. The Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure gave its own unanimous backing following an exhaustive environmental review process, and Governor Jerry Brown has certified the development as an Environmental Leadership Project—one of only six projects statewide to meet or exceed rigorous economic stimulus and environmental building standards.
“The Warriors project is an important civic priority for San Francisco, and I intend to defend it aggressively from attacks that seek to derail it,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has said. “The fact is that this worthwhile project has been thoroughly scrutinized under the law, and it has won overwhelming support at every step in the process—including from its neighbors.”
Herrera is defending San Francisco in civil litigation that seeks to invalidate a series of approvals and permits authorizing the Golden State Warriors event center and mixed-use development project. The project’s centerpiece, an 18,500-seat home arena for the Warriors basketball team during the NBA season, would offer a year-round venue in San Francisco for a variety of uses that include concerts, family shows, sporting and cultural events, conferences and conventions.
Governor Jerry Brown certified the Warriors development as an Environmental Leadership Project last year, which was one of only six projects to meet or exceed the rigorous economic stimulus and environmental building standards required for the designation under state law. The multi-purpose event center and mixed-use development will include office, retail, open space and structured parking on an approximately 11-acre site within the Mission Bay South Redevelopment Plan Area. Following extensive environmental review as required under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, key approvals for the Warriors project included the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure, or CCII, which unanimously certified the supplemental environmental impact report on Nov. 3, 2015; and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which affirmed CCII’s certification by a 10-0 vote on Dec. 8, 2015.
Other elements of the project that faced similarly close scrutiny and went on to win overwhelming approval include: the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board, which granted its approval related to transportation funding on Nov. 3, 2015; CCII, which approved the design for development amendments for the project and major phase, including basic concept and schematic design, on Nov. 3, 2015; the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure’s executive director who approved the secondary use findings on Nov. 3, 2015; the San Francisco Planning Commission, whose approval related to design review of the project’s office buildings on Nov. 5, 2015; the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee, which recommended approval of transportation funding on Nov. 9, 2015; the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which granted vacation of easements on Nov. 10, 2015; the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, which granted an entertainment permit on Nov. 10, 2015; San Francisco Public Works, which approved the tentative subdivision map on Nov. 12, 2015; the Board of Supervisors upheld its tentative subdivision map and rejected an appeal on Dec. 8, 2015; the San Francisco Board of Appeals, which denied appeals and granted a place of entertainment permit on Dec. 9, 2015, and affirmed the Planning Commission’s design approval on February 24, 2016; and the Board of Supervisors, which gave final approval to transportation related funding, vacation of easements, and delegation of public infrastructure acceptance on Dec. 15.
According to the OCII’s Dec. 9, 2015 notice of determination, the 135-foot tall event center building would be programmed with a capacity of 18,064 seats for basketball games, but could be reconfigured for concerts for a maximum capacity of about 18,500, or a cut-down theater configuration to create a smaller venue space. Two office and retail buildings would each be 11 stories (160 feet tall at building rooftop); each office and retail building would consist of a podium ground level plus 5 podium levels (90 feet tall), with a 5-story (70-foot tall) tower above. Additional retail uses would include a 2-story, 38-foot high “gatehouse” building located along Third Street, and a 3-story, 41-foot high “food hall” at the corner of Terry A. Francois Boulevard and South Street. The total building area would be 1,955,000 gross square feet. Approximately 3.2 acres of open space would be designed within the site. The project would implement a number of off-site roadway network and curb improvements; transit network improvements; and pedestrian and bicycle network improvements.
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