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San Francisco's open waterfront is a tremendous ongoing success story. By rejecting tall buildings on piers and removing the freeway that divided San Franciscans from their Bay, San Francisco has given citizens access to and enjoyment of the water.
Now, the Golden State Warriors ownership has announced plans to move the team from the Oracle Arena in Oakland to a new arena in San Francisco Bay at Pier 30-32, south of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Pier 30-32 is not an appropriate place to build a 13-story private facility that would block views and enjoyment of the Bay. San Francisco’s remaining piers are reserved by law for maritime activity and public uses that provide a connection to the Bay.
The Warriors proposal does not comply with laws and regulations that protect this public interest, including:
- Public Trust requirements that promote public use and enjoyment of the shoreline, governed by California’s State Lands Commission [pdf].
- the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan [pdf] and the Port of San Francisco’s Waterfront Land Use Plan, longstanding consensus planning documents which govern and protect the City’s shoreline.
Because Pier 30-32 is crumbling, an arena or other massive structure would require complete reconstruction of pier deck and pilings, threatening significant environmental impacts to the Bay’s water quality, fish and wildlife. The public would benefit from open space and park uses on the pier that would require lesser repairs.
Many developers have abandoned projects on San Francisco’s historic waterfront, because they were found inconsistent with the Public Trust or BCDC requirements, and/or were otherwise infeasible, threatened the environment, or detracted from waterfront neighborhoods.
Today, the renovated Ferry Building, Brannan Street Wharf, and other parks and public facilities underscore how the city’s waterfront is being improved. Allowing a massive arena on this pier would be a step backward.
Read Save The Bay’s comments to the City of San Francisco about the project:
Save The Bay scoping comments, January 22, 2013 [pdf].
Warriors arena not right for waterfront. By Art Agnos, San Francisco Chronicle, May 20, 2013.
Warriors arena – is Embarcadero the right place? By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 2012.
Image Credit: daver6sf