SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A state judge sided with the Golden State Warriors in their bid to build a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, rejecting local residents’ objections about increased traffic and potential environmental harm.
Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong ruled Monday that the city’s Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure sufficiently reviewed the project’s environmental impact before approving designs in November 2015.
Wong also rejected opponents’ claims that the city’s traffic mitigation plan inadequately addressed potential conflicts with nearby UCSF Children’s Hospital and AT&T Park, which hosts the San Francisco Giants.
“The Warriors project is an important civic priority for San Francisco, and I am grateful that the court affirmed the city’s efforts to complete an exhaustive environmental review and planning process, and to successfully win widespread public support,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement.
“The fact is that this worthwhile project has been thoroughly scrutinized under the law, and it has won overwhelming support every step of the way, from all parts of San Francisco — including its neighbors. I hope that the decision becomes final soon so that the much-awaited construction of the project can begin.”
The roughly 18,000-seat stadium, concert venue and office space won unanimous approval from San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in December 2015.
San Francisco resident Jennifer Wade, the mother of a 6-year-old with a rare heart condition, petitioned along with the Mission Bay Alliance and SaveMuni to stop the project in February, claiming the arena’s location across the street from UCSF emergency facilities would interfere with parents rushing children with life-threatening illnesses to the hospital.
They also claimed that the city hadn’t properly reviewed the arena’s traffic, noise and air quality effects on its neighbors.
Wong’s ruling denied that petition.
In a statement, the Mission Bay Alliance said it was “weighing legal options and will continue to vigorously oppose the location of the proposed new Warriors arena.”
Their lawyer, Osha Meserve, said that while normally the plaintiffs would have 60 days to file an appeal, in this case, they have just five days to decide how to proceed since the Legislature has expedited the litigation following Governor Jerry Brown certifiying it as an Environmental Leadership Development Project.
“We’re very pleased by the court’s ruling,” Warriors president Rick Welts said in a statement. “We engaged in an extensive public planning process and we were approved by every board, agency and regulatory body we went before. Now our project has been upheld by the court.
“We look forward to breaking ground soon.”
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