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.