Bill to limit court challenges to Kings arena passes California legislature

Did I neglect to keep you up to date on the latest bill to fast-track sports development projects in California? Well, it was introduced by state senate president Darrell Steinberg, same as the last one, and it includes lots of additional goodies for the Sacramento Kings‘ arena project:

The bill will speed the judicial process for handling any environmental lawsuits brought against the planned $448 million arena the city and the Kings plan to build in Downtown Plaza. It also limits the courts’ ability to stop construction of the project if a lawsuit is filed, and bolsters the city’s ability to use eminent domain, if needed, to purchase the Macy’s men’s store downtown to make room for the arena. Macy’s plans to consolidate its downtown retail at the women’s store a block away.

SB 743 also represents Steinberg’s latest effort in a two-year quest to overhaul the venerable but cumbersome 47-year-old California Environmental Quality Act, which has made the state a national leader in environmentally friendly growth but has been used widely by plaintiffs to stall or kill projects, sometimes for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the environment. The legislation contains statewide provisions designed to avoid delays on urban “infill” projects.

The bill has now passed both houses of the California legislature, and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. From the sound of it, Steinberg made enough last-minute tweaks to the bill to win Brown’s approval; others, including the Sierra Club, are not so happy.

7 comments on “Bill to limit court challenges to Kings arena passes California legislature

  1. In a related item, the City is now considering a plan that would allow people to use event tickets at the arena as their light-rail ticket home; so if I pay $2.50 to ride light rail there, my trip back home would be free. They anticipate up to 15% of arena patrons may use this.

    But if up to 15% of arena patrons use this, won’t this mean a 15% parking revenue shortfall?

    Actually, I think their parking revenue shortfall was going to exceed 15% anyway, but this would add another 15%. If that holds true, a 30% parking revenue shortfall would be fatal to the City’s budget.

    Why do I think there will be a 15% shortfall from projections? Because I believe at least 15% of people are cheap, and if walking an extra half mile saves them $20, people will do exactly that. It’s just human nature.

    Yeah, most people won’t want to walk that far on cold/wet nights… That’s usually about 10% of the time during basketball season, and about 5% overall.

  2. Article today states that STOP has approximately 20,000 petitions in their possession. If that’s true… I’m hopeful they can force an election. They have until December to get 22,000 valid signatures, and claim that they’re aiming for 30,000 for a buffer.

    I think they’ll get there.

  3. Actually looks like the team changed its name to match the previous NASL team. I lie the name in either case and at least they didn’t suffer the indignity of being the Kansas City Wiz.

  4. Spot on, Mike. The River Cats will also most likely run parking on Kings game nights meaning $7 to park and a short walk instead of $20.

  5. Regulations are for little people. Or perhaps these environmental regs, so critical for public health, are actually a way for pols to trade favors for those with juice, and to stop the unconnected from pursuing economic activity.

    Naaah. It’s gotta be for the public good.

  6. STOP has won control of the disputed petitions that Hansen funded.

    Legally, I couldn’t see any other outcome. I’m pretty sure that not submitting signed petitions would violate the legal rights of those who signed the petitions.

    The shocker for me: There were 18,000 petitions.

    There’s going to be a vote on this. I guess they’re just days away from 30,000 signatures.