Oakland City Council votes to certify EIR for A's Howard Terminal ballpark

A vote for final passage is scheduled for March 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland A's are another step closer to a new ballpark in their namesake city thanks to councilmembers who voted late Thursday night to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report for the park.

Councilmembers voted 6-2 to pave the way for a binding financial agreement between the city and the A's. That may happen this summer. Councilmembers Noel Gallo and Carroll Fife opposed the certification. The project is located in Fife's district, District 3.

RELATED: City of Oakland releases Howard Terminal environmental impact report on A's waterfront ballpark

Fife asked the A's to have a conversation with the people who live and have lived in areas such as West Oakland, which will be impacted by the project because many people have concerns. Gallo maintained that the Coliseum location is the best place for the A's.

"Everything's in place. You don't have to worry about the environmental issues, you don't have to worry about the high tides. You got the BART, the AC transits, the airport, the freeway. Everything is sitting there," Gallo said.

Gallo says he wants the team to stay in the East Bay city but has concerns over the proposal's impact on jobs and port operations.

"I was elected to represent the people of Oakland and not an institution or not a private business," he said.

About 400 people commented over a period of about five hours before the vote. Tradespeople like plumbers and ironworkers favored the project because it will mean jobs.



"Don't delay, vote today" was their refrain during the public comment period.

"Tonight's vote by the City Council was a historic moment for Oakland's future," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. "The companion resolution by Councilmembers Bas, Kaplan, and Kalb ensures that all Oaklanders will benefit from the proposed waterfront ballpark district, and that a world-class development with 18 acres of new public parks, 3,000 units of housing - including new affordable housing - will get built with the most sustainable and highest environmental standards on our waterfront."

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Schaaf said Thursday night's action was "more than just a milestone".

"It's a giant leap forward in our shared mission to create a regional destination that gives back our waterfront to the public, connects a new vibrant neighborhood to our downtown, and provides tens of thousands good union jobs for our residents - and it does it all while keeping our beloved A's rooted in Oakland," Schaaf added.

The vote is also being welcomed by the A's who say they're spending big money trying to get the project over the finish line no later than the summer.

VIDEO: A's president details what's next after critical Howard Terminal vote
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Oakland A's president Dave Kaval sat down with ABC7's Casey Pratt after the critical Howard Terminal vote Thursday night.



"We're spending $2 million a month on consultants, our real estate staff. You know, the EIR itself was probably a $35 million document," said A's President, Dave Kaval.

Thursday night's vote is first of two the City Council will take to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report. A vote for final passage is scheduled for March 1.

Bay City News Service contributed to this story.

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