Sacramento group threatens to sue if Kings don’t build 24/7 public bathrooms

Thought the Sacramento Kings arena project was finally all over but the shouting, did you? Well, think again, people:

A coalition of labor, environmental and low-income housing advocates has a list of 25 terms they want agreed to before the city hands over a $255 million public subsidy.

Among the demands are giving hiring preference to Sacramento city residents and mitigating traffic impacts. There are also some unusual requirements, such as building public bathrooms that are open 24 hours a day, and donating $600,000 to local underserved arts groups…

The coalition says it could sue to stop the arena if their terms are not met.

This is the “community benefits agreement” model, which is swiftly turning from a promising way to demand public benefits from development projects to a way for local groups to shake down developers for a few specific goodies. No clue what grounds this coalition thinks it has for a lawsuit, since pretty much every possible lawsuit has already been filed, but at least this promises to drag out the always-hilarious Sacramento arena battle for a bit longer.

20 comments on “Sacramento group threatens to sue if Kings don’t build 24/7 public bathrooms

  1. Supporters say this type of agreement has been reached when building other projects such as the Staples Center and San Diego’s Ballpark Village.

    A public benefit agreement or one specifically with 24-7 bathrooms ? I know homeless lockers and public bathrooms downtown are all the rage right now, but can’t recall any sports facilities that were required to provide them.

  2. I can smell the toilets already. I love the smell of stale urine in the morning; it smells like victory.

    Someone had to say it.

    And on another note, the City is pressing Kaiser to build at the old arena site (184 acres).

    It turns out that the City owns 100 of those acres, and giving that land to the Kings is part of this larger deal. I wonder how much that land is worth; how did the City calculate its value when they calculated the subsidy is worth $255M.

  3. Sacramento already has a 24/7 public bathroom.

    It’s called “Downtown Plaza.”

  4. Sierra, it’s also called “Light Rail”, or “Anywhere on C Street.”

    I recently took a walk on the sidewalk south of Old Sac, and I think they must refer to that as “Reefer Walk”.

    (Get it? River Walk? Reefer Walk?)

  5. I would just dare them to sue. 24/7 bathrooms are only going to be used by junkies. If anything they’d be a public nuisance.

  6. I’m glad we’re all able to laugh at this now.

    When the City discovers that they won’t be able to pay the bond debt plus produce the $9M/year the parking operations send to the general fund right now, will they still be laughing?

    How funny is bankruptcy?

  7. Junkies, prostitutes, record company executives and politicians (probably using the facilities at the same time)… hey, they’re all people too, right?

    So now we are against public toilets because some people we don’t like might use them? Not sure I get the objection really. Would we rather have these troubled folk shooting up or relieving themselves on sidewalks and schoolyards after hours?

  8. John, I’m pretty sure all of us are laughing at this group. They have no leverage at all. The suit is a joke.

    What isn’t funny is the outcome: An arena that is practically guaranteed to lose money.

    Demanding 24/7 toilets is funny, though.

  9. I was certainly not poking fun of junkies. Maybe it’s cause I live in Canada but I have never heard of 24/7 public washrooms. However, I have seen many of fast-food employees phone the police or get into shouting matches with the person that walks in constantly sniffing and is taking quite awhile to relieve themselves in their establishment, in most cases without actually buying anything

  10. @ John – what we’re making fun of is this “coalition of labor, environmental and low-income housing advocates” who are jumping in at the last minute trying to squeeze some juice for themselves out of this project, even though they’ve had phuck-all to do with the project since its inception.

    I’m sure KJ is just shivering in the corner, wondering whether or not this bunch of muppets could actually scrape together their pennies and nickels to actually file the suit.

    Wait, isn’t $20K of Hansen’s $100K unaccounted for?

  11. Just to clear up “what grounds this coalition thinks it has for a lawsuit.” This group filed a comment on the DEIR, this gives them standing to sue on any issue raised in their comment or any other comments made on DEIR. I think people are forgetting that another lawsuit will happen when the FEIR is finally rubber-stamped. Whether the lawsuit will go anywhere is a different issue.

  12. RA and MikeM,
    Some interesting stuff going on in the “fraud” lawsuit at, case number 2013-80001489. Documents posted on March 17, 2014 indicate that the judge agrees with the petitioners claim that the City/John Danberg failed to produce the 16,000 pages of documents in the proper form, as you will recall the documents were proved as individual TIFF files, not in their native format (PDF, WRD, XLS, MSG, etc.).

    The judge did not actually rule on the issue for technical reasons (failure to “meet and confer” by the parties prior to petitioner’s filing of the motion to compel), but he indicated in his statement that he agrees with petitioner’s position.

    I’m guessing at this point the parties will “meet and confer” and the documents will be handed over in a more useable format. I wonder how long it took the city to convert all those files to TIFFs, must have been a lot of work.

  13. The fraud lawsuit is moving so slowly – hindered by the city, of course – that I fear it will become moot by the time it is actually heard.

    On another note, I would not be surprised if the final contracts with the kings and the nba include the same kinds of clauses that are causing problems in Charlotte. I can see the nba requiring city-funded improvements to keep the arena “state of the art” and “economically competitive” before paint in the Jiffy Pop Arena is dry in order for the team to stay put for the duration of the agreement.

  14. I’m sure not convinced the lawsuit would be considered moot. If they judge hearing that case determines there is enough evidence to move forward, it sure seems like he could issue an injunction that would keep the City from selling the bonds.

    You can’t simply “ignore that man behind that curtain”, as much as I’m sure KJ would love to get this thing over the rainbow.

    Don’t stop me, I’m on a roll.

  15. Given the city’s announced schedule of approving the bond sale before the end of April, the court case will have to throw some water at KJ and hop on the backs of the flying monkeys to speed the journey (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    Seriously though, it was nearly a month between the notice of deposition for Dangberg (January 28) and the actual deposition (February 24). (Kevin, I think this is how long it took to convert the documents to TIFFs.) If the city is able to push every action out so far, the bonds will be sold before this comes before the judge again.

  16. I agree, it does seem to be taking a long time to wind through court. But, I certainly think a judge would be willing to issue a TRO (stopping the bond sale) if they think the case has some merit. Also lets not forget about the inevitable CEQA lawsuit as well as the possible bond referendum.

  17. A new document posted on the fraud lawsuit. Both sides are directed to submit briefs by COB April 4 discussing the meet and confer results … pushed out another week.

  18. I was on Highway 50 last night, at 5:45 (after the commute! Yay!)… Got on at 16th Street and had to move over 3 lanes to get to I-5 South.

    If that’s “after rush hour”, I don’t want to see the actual rush hour.

    (This leads to the Boat Section, and would be the approach route for the J Street offramp that people who would come in from the east side of Sacramento would use. I’d be very surprised of some agency doesn’t have actual traffic statistics to show that rush hour does not end at 5:45, and that this stretch is one of the worst.)