Warriors Arena Opponents File Lawsuit Alleging Environmental Review Violations

Opponents of a proposed Golden State Warriors arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood expanded their legal campaign against the project today, filing a lawsuit alleging San Francisco officials violated state environmental review laws when they approved it.

The lawsuit was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court by the Mission Bay Alliance, a group opposing the 18,000-seat arena’s location at 16th and Third Streets, directly across the street from the University of California at San Francisco’s campus.

The alliance, which describes itself as a group of UCSF stakeholders, donors, faculty and physicians, has argued that the project will create major traffic delays around the hospital.

The group argues that the city failed to properly consider alternative locations for the arena and environmental impacts on traffic, air quality and noise.

In particular, the group alleges that game-day traffic could hinder ambulances and block access to life-saving care.

The alliance accuses city officials of rushing the project, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors in December, and relying on environmental documents dating back to the 1998 Mission Bay Redevelopment Plan, instead of conducting a thorough review.

Today’s lawsuit follows another filed last month in Alameda County Superior Court alleging that UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood failed to negotiate in the university’s best interests and took a bad deal under pressure from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Warriors officials.

That lawsuit alleges that Hawgood did not have proper authority to negotiate an agreement with the Warriors.

Hawgood and officials with the Warriors announced a memorandum of understanding on the project on Oct. 6, just days before Warriors officials finalized the purchase of the land for the arena from Salesforce.

In the memorandum, Warriors officials agreed to create a special transportation improvement fund for the neighborhood, and agreed to place some limits on special events and remain in communication with hospital officials regarding traffic.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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