OAKLAND, Calif. - 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.
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.
About 400 people commented over a period of about five hours before the vote. Tradespeople like plumbers and iron workers 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."
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.
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.