Alliance Appeals Golden State Warriors’ Arena WinJuly 26, 2016
The Mission Bay Alliance has appealed the Superior Court judge’s ruling in favor of the Golden State Warriors in the battle over building an 18,000-seat arena and event center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay.
The judgment last week by Judge Garrett Wong had affirmed the City’s contested environmental review and approval process for the proposed arena and office development.
But the appeals court judges will conduct their own “de novo” review of the arguments and case.
Once again, the Warriors have been pushing forward with a project schedule that calls for breaking ground for “Chase Center” in the first quarter of 2017 and being substantially finished with the development by mid-2019.
And if the team doesn’t break ground by the middle of 2017, the $1 billion arena won’t be ready in time for the tip off of the 2019-2020 NBA season, which is already a year later than originally planned.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
No surprise. But with most of their legal and PR team abandoning them, they are reaching for straws. The appeal needs to be adjudicated by December. These Billionaires are persistent but in the end it will be built.
Why will the appellate court conduct a “de novo” review of the decision at trial level instead of one for reversible error? Is that a provision of CEQA?
Note that the court of appeal will not conduct a “de novo” review of the trial court’s factual findings, only of the legal issues. That said, I don’t see that there were really any significant factual findings (e.g. choosing which of two conflicting witness’s testimonies to believe) to be reviewed here.
This appeal is an extreme long shot. The trial court’s review of the city’s acceptance of the environmental impact report was “abuse of discretion,” which is very deferential in favor of the city, and the city’s judgment will only be overturned if there was “no reasonable basis” for its decision. It is not enough to show that a different decision would have been “better” – that different decision must be the only reasonable one. Judge Wong’s ruling was thorough and well-reasoned. And the court of appeal review of the law, “while “de novo,” will ultimately be guided by the same strong presumption in favor of the city’s discretion.
My 2 cents (worth about that much as I’m no CEQA expert) is the Mission Bay Alliance is throwing good money after bad on this one. This appeal will be accelerated under state law, and a final decision should come in a few months.
If this appeal fails, what’s their next step? Is this the end of the line?
I’m uncertain whether this CEQA appeal receives full review with a written opinion or requires a grant of certiorari which could be summarily denied.
In any event, a request for review by the Calif. Supreme Court could be filed which would effectively represent the end of the adjudication which apparently must be complete within applicable deadline pursuant to the Governor’s special legislation.
Maybe these persistent obstructionists can be honored with commemorative plaques at the arena when it’s built. Say, inside the urinals.
ROTFLMAO 🙂 Great idea!
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
Their appeal should be thrown out of court and they should be fined as vexatious litigants.
Motion denied! Pay Appellants’ costs.
Delay in this case is the best move for the Mission Bay Alliance – I’m betting they the appeal up to the Supreme Court. CEQA provides for the reopening of the process if there are “substantial changes to the circumstances under which the project is being undertaken.” (i.e. requiring an SEIR). The City / Mayor Ed Lee – is busy [suggesting] substantial changes to the circumstances with the I-280 demolition / Caltrain realignment project.
The CA Supreme Court has not been consistent on what standard of review should be applied in this situation – so if the Alliance can cause enough delay – and the City keeps proposing radical changes that affect the project – the lawyers might be able to file a new entirely separate suit…
UPDATE: Warriors Win Legal Battle Over Mission Bay Arena
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