(BCN) — A committee to protect San Francisco Bay recommended Wednesday that the Port of Oakland keep Charles P. Howard Terminal for maritime use rather than allowing the Oakland A’s to build a new ballpark there.
The Seaport Planning Advisory Committee voted 5-4-1 to recommend to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission that Howard Terminal be maintained for Port use.
The commission is expected to vote June 2 on the same question, a vote that is necessary by law and could derail the plan to keep the A’s in Oakland.
Coast operations at the Benicia Port Terminal Company, David Lewis, executive director for Save the Bay, and Capt. Lynn Korwatch, executive director for the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region, a nonprofit that collects and disseminates shipping information, among other work.
Those besides Brandes in favor of allowing the A’s to use Howard Terminal were Alan Wolken, director of the Port of Richmond, Kara Vuicich with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association for Bay Area Governments, and Diane Oshima with the Port of San Francisco, who felt the committee needed more information to make a recommendation.
Abstaining was Jean Finney with Caltrans.
“That was a very disappointing setback today,” Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said in an interview.
Reports completed over two years show that Howard Terminal is not needed for maritime use, Kaval said.
“It’s a serious setback,” he said, noting that the A’s still have an at bat before the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
But often the commission will simply take the committee’s recommendation, Kaval said.
The A’s are also making progress toward moving the team to the Las Vegas area, if an Oakland stadium doesn’t get approved or doesn’t get approved quickly enough. Kaval said the A’s will probably have a final site in the Las Vegas area chosen soon.
But the A’s have not given up on Oakland, he said.
Justin Berton, spokesman for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who recently was confident an A’s ballpark was going to be built at Howard Terminal, said the “advisory committee delivered important feedback” Wednesday.
Berton added, “We believe the Port of Oakland and its leadership knows its capacity best, and we agree with their detailed analysis that shows they can continue to thrive and grow port activities well into the future, as well as support a transformational, world-class development that will open 18 acres of public parks along the waterfront and create more affordable housing and thousands of great union jobs for the region.”
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