The Howard Terminal Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is out of its cage and here at this link! The City of Oakland and The Oakland Athletics released the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Howard Terminal Ballpark (or more formally called “Oakland Waterfront Ballpark District at Howard Terminal”).
First, the Oakland A’s sent their email, which had this title: “City of Oakland’s releases Draft EIR for A’s waterfront ballpark.” And they introduced a new design for the ballpark in the process of releasing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR):
Second, the City of Oakland sent its email, which had this title: “City of Oakland Publishes Draft EIR on Waterfront Ballpark at Howard Terminal Public review and comment period open through April 12 2021.”
Third, I received an email from a group represented by Mike Jacob of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. You should remember that Mike was a guest on Zennie62 YouTube, and his talk’s here. That was right on the heels of our hosting Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval for a livestream talk, here. Both are below for those who are video-oriented:
You should also know this project comes with a giant financial component that has the potential subsidy generation of north of $1.4 billion. That is not known, or if it is, many just don’t believe it because they don’t know the tax increment financing math behind it. (I do and am an expert at such calculations.) And here I’m being brutally honest for a reason. The legislation that produced this money source is something The City of Oakland has not talked about publicly, and should. City of Oakland staff did not want me to bring up the matter in a Chinatown community meeting in 2019, and hosted by District 2 Councilmember Nikki Fortunado Bas, who I interviewed here:
I’m not at all trying to derail the project; I believe if you know the complete details around it, you will understand how important it is to Oakland’s economic future. For example, did you know the TIF revenue from the Ballpark District can be used anywhere in Oakland? Also, why didn’t we do this for the Oakland Raiders?
So, let’s see what the Oakland A’s wrote, first, with the City of Oakland’s version below, and also at a separate linked post here at OaklandNewsNow.com (After all of these years, you’d think someone would make a video of this, huh?):
The City of Oakland’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which the city released today, offers an incredibly thorough analysis showing the path forward for the Oakland A’s privately financed project at Howard Terminal that will be important to the environmental, transportation, and housing future of Oakland. The Draft EIR illustrates how current and future Port activity and a new neighborhood can not only coexist but also thrive.
“The release of the Draft EIR is another important step forward in the process of building a new privately financed ballpark at Oakland’s Howard Terminal,” said Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval.
The analysis shows, along with the plans the A’s have unveiled, how a once-in-a-generation project like this can contribute to the health and vitality of Oakland, including improved infrastructure and transportation solutions, measures to improve air quality, and supplying additional housing.
The DEIR outlines the following key areas:
Opening the Waterfront to the Community
Creates public waterfront access and more than 18 acres of new waterfront parks and open space areas
Improves Oakland’s resilience against sea-level rise
Transforms an underutilized industrial site into a sustainable community at no expense to taxpayers
Forward-looking Transportation Plan
A transit-first approach, the plan reduces car trips by 20 percent, expands public transportation options, and invests in bike safety and infrastructure, and pedestrian walkways and bridges
Separates ballpark and development transportation from Port of Oakland traffic to safeguard the Port and provide greater efficiency for trucks to access the Port
Caring for the Environment for Generations
Achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and numerous other long-term health benefits for residents
Invests in electric vehicle chargers, solar options, public transportation
Creating Homes for Oaklanders
Proposes 3,000 homes, including affordable housing, in an area that the City of Oakland designated as a “Priority Development Area” by the Plan Bay Area 2040 vision for long-term growth
“The Athletics are the last professional sports team in Oakland,” said Kaval. “We employ thousands of Oakland and Alameda County residents, and local businesses, the City, and County derive significant economic benefits and revenue from our games. While the release of the draft environmental report is a great milestone, it is imperative that the City Council take a vote on the project this year. We look to the City for their support and partnership to keep the A’s in Oakland for generations to come.”
For more information on the A’s new ballpark plans, visit WeAreRooted.com.
Here’s the City of Oakland’s version of the Howard Terminal DEIR Release:
Oakland, CA – Today the City of Oakland published the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Oakland Ballpark Waterfront District Project (the proposed Howard Terminal ballpark development) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
The Howard Terminal mixed-use project may include: a ballpark with a capacity of up to 35,000 individuals, up to 3,000 residential dwelling units, up 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, up to 270,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel with up to 400 rooms, a performance venue with a capacity of up to 3,500 individuals, and parks.
“I’m excited about keeping our A’s rooted in Oakland,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “The Howard Terminal ballpark requires the highest environmental standards while giving us an opportunity to expand our entertainment district near Jack London Square, increase housing, provide good jobs, and keep our beloved waterfront working.”
The Draft EIR is a public information document that assesses the potential physical environmental impacts that could result from construction and use of the Project, recommends mitigation measures to lessen or eliminate adverse impacts, examines feasible alternatives to the Project, and is intended to inform City of Oakland decision makers, other responsible agencies, and the general public.
Members of the public will have 45 days to submit comments on the Draft EIR. Public comments will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on April 12, 2021. Comments can also be made publicly at the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board public hearing on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. and Planning Commission public hearing on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.. For information on how to submit public comments, see the Notice of Availability.
Consistent with the requirements of AB 734, there will be an informational workshop webinar to describe the Draft EIR key analysis and conclusions, and to help the public locate information within the document. The workshop will take place on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom and can be accessed at http://bit.ly/HTDEIRWorkshop.
And right on the heels of those emails, comes this one by The East Oakland Stadium Alliance, in an email to Zennie62Media, this morning, which also has its own post here at OaklandNewsNow.com:
East Oakland Stadium Alliance Statement
Regarding Release of Howard Terminal Draft EIR
The following statement on behalf of the East Oakland Stadium Alliance is attributed to Mike Jacob, Vice President and General Counsel of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, on the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by the City of Oakland regarding the Oakland A’s proposed luxury condominium, office tower, and stadium complex at Howard Terminal in the Port of Oakland:
“Our coalition of labor, community, and business groups who are significantly impacted by the Oakland A’s proposed project at Howard Terminal will be doing a thorough analysis of this draft report. We know that Oakland’s working waterfront is no place for a stadium, office, and luxury condominium complex, and this environmental review must ultimately shine a bright light on the many significant adverse impacts of building the proposed stadium complex at this location.
“We anticipate that the Howard Terminal Draft EIR will once again confirm the obvious and what everyone already knows — that the current Coliseum site remains the ideal and most logical location for a new ballpark that will make A’s fans proud to call home. This is especially true since the Coliseum site already has an approved Environmental Impact Report.
“Unfortunately, this Draft EIR is also being released under an unresolved claim that the A’s project has the authority to proceed under a now-expired fast-track process. Because there is still a lawsuit pending on this very question in state appellate court, we are very disappointed that the A’s and the City are moving forward with the release of this Draft EIR prior to the final resolution of this critical issue.
“We look forward to more fully reviewing and addressing this DEIR in the days ahead and continuing to support efforts to secure a new A’s ballpark at the Coliseum site in East Oakland.”
While the DEIR provides some important information about potential impacts, much remains unknown about this project’s full scope.
A fully-reasoned discussion about the viability of this proposal cannot be had until a comprehensive transportation plan, seaport compatibility plan, economic study, financing plan, community benefits agreement, and business plan are presented to the public.
The port is home to over 80,000 jobs, many of which would be lost forever if they are displaced by conflicting real estate demands. Any decision that reduces maritime-related jobs undermines the Port of Oakland’s success in favor of developers who do not share the same commitment to the West Oakland community.
A newly redeveloped stadium at the current Coliseum site remains the preferred option for Oakland residents and A’s fans, as it already contains the necessary legal approvals, existing infrastructure, and transit options to support a ballpark, and would serve as an economic engine for surrounding East Oakland neighborhoods.
About the East Oakland Stadium Alliance
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance is a coalition of Oakland community leaders, businesses, labor unions, and baseball fans deeply concerned about the A’s plans to leave the team’s current location in East Oakland in favor of building a new waterfront stadium at Howard Terminal. Disrupting Oakland’s active port with a stadium, luxury housing, and high-rise office towers threatens career maritime jobs and creates significant health and safety risks. For more information, go to: www.eastoaklandstadiumalliance.com.
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