BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1273
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 24, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    AB 1273 (Ting) - As Amended:  April 24, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Natural  
                        Local Government                      9-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              


           This bill authorizes the Port of San Francisco to approve a  
          mixed-use development on the San Francisco Waterfront at Pier  
          30-32, including a multipurpose event venue - a basketball arena  
          for the Golden State Warriors - if specified public access and  
          environmental conditions are met.

           FISCAL EFFECT
          Negligible costs to the State Lands Commission and the San  
          Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.


           1)Purpose.   This bill is intended to authorize a mix-use  
            development project, including a multipurpose venue on Piers  
            30-32 built on tide and submerged lands in San Francisco.   
            Among other things, the project would include a professional  
            basketball arena.   
           2)Background and Rationale.    According to the author, the Port  
            of San Francisco includes 7.5 miles of the San Francisco Bay  
            waterfront, including the Piers 30-32 site, in trust for the  
            people of the State of California.  As a local trust grantee,  
            the Port ensures that uses of trust lands are consistent with  
            commerce, navigation, and recreation, or incidental uses that  
            directly promote trust uses and public enjoyment of waterfront  
            areas, such as restaurants, hotels, and visitor-serving  


                                                                  AB 1273
                                                                  Page  2

            The Port has made several attempts over the past decade to  
            utilize public-private partnerships for preservation and  
            economic development of Piers 30-32.  In 2001, the Legislature  
            enacted AB 1389 (Shelley) to facilitate the development of a  
            cruise ship terminal and large mixed use office space at the  

            The Pier 30-32 project never was constructed due to the site's  
            poor structural condition and higher than projected  
            substructure improvement costs.  

            The cruise ship terminal project has since been relocated to  
            Pier 27.  In 2011, the America's Cup Event Authority proposed  
            to rehabilitate Piers 30-32 to host its racing teams, but  
            similarly relocated construction to other piers due to the  
            site's high substructure improvement costs.

            Piers 30-32 has a remaining useful life of less than 10 years  
            and would require either $68 million in preservation and  
            seismic upgrades to maintain public safety, or $45 million to  
            remove the decaying piers entirely.  In light of these  
            circumstances, the City and County of San Francisco has  
            determined that a recent proposal to locate a multi-purpose  
            venue at Piers 30-32 is the best option to promote public  
            enjoyment of the waterfront and provides the needed revenue to  
            preserve the site in furtherance of the public trust.  

            According to the author, the design of the proposed  
            multi-purpose venue is guided by public trust principles in  
            consultation with the State Lands Commission and the San  
            Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.  The  
            proposed multi-purpose venue would rehabilitate the pier,  
            modernize maritime facilities, and create new opportunities  
            for open space and public access to the waterfront, all while  
            generating approximately 8,000 new jobs and $500 million in  
            annual economic output for

           3)Public Trust Doctrine.   As stated above, the Public Trust  
            Doctrine in California is a common law doctrine that protects  
            the public's right to use the state's waterways for commerce,  
            navigation, fishing, boating, natural habitat protection, and  
            other water oriented activities.  This doctrine applies to  
            filled and unfilled tide and submerged lands and the beds of  
            lakes, streams, and other navigable waterways, otherwise known  
            as public trust lands.  


                                                                  AB 1273
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            This bill asserts the project is consistent with common law  
            public trust.  The Public Trust Doctrine, as interpreted by  
            the U.S. Supreme Court limits the Legislature's ability to use  
            trust lands for non-trust purposes.    However, there are  
            examples of non-trust uses on public trust lands that have  
            been deemed legitimate by the courts because they are  
            incidental and accommodate other trust uses.  Additionally,  
            the courts have recognized that the public trust doctrine is  
            flexible enough to accommodate public needs.

           4)Support.   This bill is sponsored by the City and County of  
            San Francisco and supported by numerous business, labor and  
            law enforcement agencies who argue that the construction and  
            ongoing maintenance of this new state-of-the-art facility will  
            greatly contribute to the Bay Area economy.

           5)Opposition.   This bill is opposed by environmental  
            organizations and the Cities of Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond  
            and San Leandro who argue that the bill does not protect  
            public access on Piers 30-32 and has not be vetted through a  
            public process.  
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)