Oakland A's Meet Opposition Over Plans For New Waterfront Ballpark
Plans for a new Oakland A's ballpark at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland have run into opposition that could throw up roadblocks for the project.
Last week, a coalition that includes Save The Bay sent a letter to the state legislature listing concerns from environmental, business and labor organizations about the stadium project.
In the letter, Save The Bay Executive Director David Lewis said East Bay lawmakers are considering introducing a bill that could fast-track the project through regulatory exemptions. That would lessen the project’s accountability to environmental laws designed to protect public health, public lands and vulnerable wildlife.
The coalition said it is opposed to any measures that would reduce San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission oversight for the project, remove State Lands Commission-enacted public trust protections, undercut hazardous materials restrictions or seek a way around California Environmental Quality Act obligations for the project.
The A's said they had no plans to ask state lawmakers to fast-track the process, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Save The Bay is not the only one arguing against the plans for the stadium.
The bar pilots association said the lights from the stadium will be blinding for those navigating container ships to the port, and those ships could hit kayakers going after stray balls, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents some of the port's tenants, said the hotel and housing included in the plan would increase traffic and compete with trucks around the port.
Oakland has suffered the loss of sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, who are slated to be in their new Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-2020 season, and the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas and still haven't settled on where they will play next season before that move.
The A's had considered several options for a new stadium, but had come forth with this proposal, which matched the idea previously pitched by the city. The team proposed not only plans for the waterfront stadium, but also plans to redevelop the Oakland Coliseum site with a central park, amphitheater and housing.