SF voters teeter over Warriors arena

While the Golden State Warriors continue to eviscerate┬átheir opponents on the court, a new poll commissioned by opponents of the Warriors’ proposed stadium in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood shows increasing public opposition to the plan.

The new poll released Tuesday, commissioned by the Mission Bay Coalition and conducted by EDC Research, found that fewer than half of the 540 registered voters polled supported development of the proposed arena and commercial buildings at Third and 16th streets.

At 49 percent voter support, the Warriors’ proposed arena has seen a 12 percent decline in support since a Warriors-commissioned poll, conducted by David Binder Research and released in July, showed about 61 percent support for the development.

Alex Evans, president of EMC Research, said today that when voters were told about potential regional impacts, such as traffic gridlock, parking shortages and clogged emergency access to the adjacent UCSF Medical Center, support for the proposed 18,500 seat Warriors arena and mixed-use development plummeted and 59 percent of voters polled expressed opposition to the project.

The release of the new poll comes one day prior to a public hearing and vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on whether to appeal the project’s Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report Certification, which was adopted by the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure in November.

The Mission Bay Alliance, a coalition of UCSF stakeholders and San Franciscan voters concerned with the potential negative impacts of the arena, is appealing the project’s 5,000-page Final Environmental Impact Report, which was released on Oct. 23 and certified 10 days later by the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure.

The Final Environmental Impact Report, which included an abundance of comments from the public, various agencies and the Mission Bay Alliance, also includes a $60 million plan to improve transportation in the area and mitigate the impact the arena would have on traffic.

The final report includes roughly $20 million more toward transportation improvements than the draft report and includes creation of a Mission Bay Transportation Fund comprised of project-generated revenues to pay for city services and capital improvements needed to accommodate the arena.

Osha Meserve, an attorney with the Mission Bay Alliance, said today that she’s concerned the public hasn’t had a chance to look carefully at the proposal, noting that there were only 10 days between the public release of the Final Environmental Impact Report and certification of it by the commission.

Meserve said the proposed site of the arena, a former industrial area, contains contaminated soil, and that the Final Environmental Impact Report doesn’t disclose the project’s projected emissions or mitigation plans.

Meserve said the developers need to be held to high standards to ensure the health of the community:

“This doesn’t meet legal muster.”

If the Board rejects the appeal Tuesday, the Mission Bay Alliance plans to move forward with litigation on the grounds that it violates the Clean Water Act.