Mayor Schaaf Major Step Toward A’s Ballpark: AB734 CEQA – Oakland Sports And Mixed-Use Project

Oakland and its Mayor Libby Schaaf took a major step toward construction of a new ballpark. A new baseball stadium for the Oakland A’s with the passage of AB 734 (Bonta) today in the California State Senate Environmental Committee.

The legislation, if passed by the full legislature (and that’s a certainty) will streamline the environmental review process for and exempt the payment of propety taxes to the California School System, thus paving the way for the use of tax increment financing for a new baseball stadium at the Oakland Coliseum Complex, or at Howard Terminal.

From the legislation bill text:

This bill would require a public agency, in conducting an environmental review for the Oakland Sports and Mixed-Use Project, as defined, located in the City of Oakland that is certified by the Governor as meeting certain requirements, to comply with specified procedures. The bill would require the public agency to concurrently prepare the record of proceedings and to certify the record of proceeding for the project, as provided. Because a public agency would be required to comply with those new procedures, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the Judicial Council, by July 1, 2019, to adopt a rule of court establishing procedures that require actions or proceedings seeking judicial review of the certification or adoption of the environmental review document for the project pursuant to CEQA or the granting of project approvals, including any appeals therefrom, to be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings with the court. The bill would prohibit a court form staying or enjoining the construction or operation of the Oakland Sports and Mixed-Use Project, except as provided.

This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Oakland Sports and Mixed-Use Project.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

On Twitter, Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval announced the news: “Big thanks to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and California Assemblyman Rob Bonta for their support in getting #AB734 through the State Environmental Committee. And for East Bay Senators Nancy Skinner, and Bob Wieckowski for the yes votes.”

Assemblyman Bonta sais “The hearing went into extra innings but we won moving forward (with) #AB734 to keep the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, and create good jobs with a new privately financed and environmentally superior ballpark! Thanks Senator Nancy Skinner, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and A’s President Dave Kaval!

And Senator Skinner added this tweet:

Mayor Schaaf added “Happy to hit cleanup in your lineup. Today’s unanimous vote on #AB734 was a team win for all East Bay residents. I remain focused on keeping the Athletics in Oakland and in a way that’s responsible to our taxpayers and enhances neighborhood vitality.”

Stay tuned.

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