Legislature passes bill to help Oakland A’s speed construction of Howard Terminal station

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Conceptual rendering of the Howard Terminal site (Manica Architecture)

California’s state legislature has approved a bill to help streamline construction of an Oakland Athletics ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal site.

AB734 requires that any complaints about the project at that site be resolved within 270 days.

However, the team hasn’t decided yet whether whether it will build there or at its current  Coliseum site.

The team said there was less urgency for the Coliseum site to receive judicial streamlining because the land has already undergone an extensive environmental review process and is therefore less susceptible to legal challenges, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The legislation calls for the stadium and adjacent buildings at the Howard site to adhere to a host of environmental standards, such as maintaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and boosting the number of fans who travel to games by public transit.

The Senate approved the bill 33-0, while the Assembly passed it 60-2

A’s president Dave Kaval was quoted as saying that  the legislation “ensures we can stay on track” to complete ballpark construction by 2023.

“This is the key piece,” he said. “It’s really critical for having a project that meets its dates and opens on time.”

The team is studying the Howard Terminal site and its current Coliseum home as potential places to build a new ballpark. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said negotiations are ongoing with the A’s regarding deals for both sites.

Team executives, with city, county and port employees, are reviewing financial terms, transportation plans, community benefits agreements and projects to build affordable housing next to the future stadium, among other issues.

The Coliseum land is jointly owned and overseen by Oakland and Alameda County. The Port of Oakland oversees  Howard Terminal.

“Both sites are still in play from my perspective,” Schaaf said. “We want to keep our options open for the A’s.”

A Howard Terminal ballpark would still have to go through the full environmental impact review under the California Environmental Quality Act. However, complaints from the review that might otherwise stall the project will now have to be adjudicated within 270 days.

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