What’s Next for Oakland A’s Ballpark Proposal?

OAKLAND — The A’s proposal to build a 35,000-seat baseball stadium and real estate development along the city’s waterfront hit a hurdle this week after the city’s planning commission approved the report. environmental impact, voting to recommend to the city that, in the opinion of the commission, the document complies with state law. But other milestones are to come that will determine if and when the project will be built.

So what’s next for the proposed project?

The municipal council will have to certify the environmental impact report itself. Certification is a requirement under California’s Environmental Quality Act, which governs how municipalities handle traffic, pollution and air quality, noise, and safety impacts from developments. like this one. While no date has yet been set for a vote on it, city and A officials said the city council could vote on certifying the EIR as early as next month.

Also next month, the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission will hold a public hearing on amending the Bay Plan, which guides development in the region around San Francisco Bay. The site where the A’s propose to build the ballpark and development is Howard Terminal, which has been Port of Oakland property used for truck storage and other port operations. BCDC will eventually need to approve a change to the designation of the Howard Terminal as a “Port Priority Use Area” if the proposed project is to proceed. Later this year, the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission and the Port of Oakland will review final plans for the stadium project to ensure it is compatible with port operations and issue planning permission for the site.

City Council will be responsible for approving changes to the zoning and general plan of the area to make way for the 3,000 housing units, 1.5 million square feet of office space and 270,000 square feet of retail space, as well as hotel rooms and parks the A’s want to build at Howard Terminal. He will also have to approve the project’s financial terms that will govern what the A’s are responsible for paying and what the city — or state and federal funds — will cover.

The A’s have promised to cover construction costs for the ballpark and other structures, but the team and the city are still working on an agreement to fund the project’s infrastructure, affordable housing and community benefits.

Team president Dave Kaval said Thursday that representatives from the A’s and the city are meeting several times a week to negotiate terms, and he expects the board to vote on it within four days. to the next six months.

City leaders had wanted the A’s to designate at least 15% of the 3,000 proposed homes as affordable and spend at least $50 million to build affordable homes elsewhere in Oakland. There’s also the question of who will fund $400 million to improve roads and sidewalks, sewers, water and power lines, and build pedestrian bridges to get people to and from. the baseball stadium.

Kaval said Thursday that City and the A’s are still back and forth on those issues, but would not elaborate on the specific terms the team currently wants. The team had proposed last year that the city create special tax districts that would cover the costs of infrastructure and affordable housing using tax money generated solely by the project. While city leaders favor creating a tax district just for housing and commercial properties that will be built on the Howard Terminal, where they can guarantee the tax increase will come solely from the development, they don’t want to expand the tax district to the surrounding area which is already full of businesses and homes.

Instead, city officials are exploring how to fill funding gaps using state or federal infrastructure funds. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors had tentatively signaled its intention to join the city in forming the Special Funding District, which would help pay for the improvements, but its support was lukewarm and nonbinding. County supervisors said they would do their own financial analysis before getting started.

Kaval said Thursday he expects the county’s decision to affect how the development deal plays out. Supervisors have yet to schedule a public meeting on the matter.

As with the other stages of the process, the project will also require authorization from the state’s Toxic Substances Control Department for its Environmental Remediation Plan, as well as approval from the state Land Commission.

It’s hard to say when the shovels might hit the ground, though a rough draft at the Howard Terminal is fully approved. The A’s lease at their current home, the Oakland Coliseum, is effective in 2024.

But the A’s future in Oakland is far from over. The team has threatened over the past year to decamp to Las Vegas if the Howard Terminal project isn’t approved or even if the city takes too long to get it done.

Kaval said Thursday the team is in negotiations with a few landowners in and around Las Vegas for potential ballpark sites.

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