Oakland A Metropolis Council and Metropolis Council are nonetheless far aside on the Howard Terminal Stadium deal – CBS San Francisco
OAKLAND (BCN) – Oakland city councilors and the city’s Major League Baseball team appear to be far apart on the terms of a new stadium in the city, based on comments made at a council study meeting Wednesday.
For the Oakland A’s, it’s Howard Terminal or Bust, repeated Dave Kaval, president of the A’s, at the virtual meeting that started at 10 a.m.
Kaval said the deal with the city must be a derivative of what the team released to the public in April, and not an “organ transplant” from it.
“We can tweak it at the edges,” said Kaval of this proposal.
At the study session, council members asked questions and provided feedback on a report from city officials on the Howard Terminal Ballpark proposal.
City council members were joined by a number of staff, Kaval, and Port of Oakland officials.
City officials asked for feedback on several items that are part of the proposal, including a non-relocation agreement, affordable housing and infrastructure funding.
Some council members opposed A’s proposal to limit the non-relocation agreement to 20 years. Instead, they preferred an agreement with a term of at least 45 years.
“Twenty years seems like very little,” said Councilor Dan Kalb, who chaired the meeting.
Kaval said 20 years was appropriate given the nature of the privately funded proposal.
The A’s also want Oakland to waive the requirement that 15 percent of the housing being built in the ballpark should be affordable housing. Some council members resisted the idea.
During the public statement, some citizens demanded that 35 percent of housing should be affordable housing.
Councilor Carroll Fife, who represents areas like West Oakland that are likely to be badly affected by the ballpark, said past developments in Oakland have been “very racist”.
The development was very traumatic for some population groups, she said.
Vice Mayor and Councilor Rebecca Kaplan said in the past Black Oaklanders have been driven out of West Oakland by highway construction and other projects.
Council members expressed concern about the impact of the new stadium on traffic, parking, and related air pollution concerns in places like Chinatown.
The A’s also filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Schnitzer Steel Industries, which is adjacent to the land where the ballpark is planned, over air pollution concerns, Kaval said.
Council members expressed their support for a district to fund local infrastructure.
The district would provide money in the form of additional tax revenue to pay for the infrastructure and affordable housing needed to support the baseball project.
The council members generally opposed an on-site and off-site dual district proposed by the A, as it was not expected that the off-site district would be advantageous enough.
The city councils will meet on July 20th to vote on the A’s proposal.
Kaval said overall the A’s want to see if the city council has the same vision as the team.
The July 20th vote is non-binding, but Kalb said that usually few things change after such a vote.
The city council will then have to vote on the project’s environmental impact report, which is expected to be voted on in November.
The city has received over 400 public comments on the EIR and is in the process of responding to the comments.
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