June 25, 2012

A $225,000 America's Cup Settlement That's For The Birds

Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors are scheduled authorize the payment of $225,000 to settle the lawsuit filed by "Waterfront Watch" over development activity related to the America’s Cup and on which former San Francisco Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin was a petitioner.

In addition to $150,000 for a bird study, the settlement includes $75,000 for attorneys' fees. And from point number four of the settlement agreement:

The Port shall retain that portion of Pier 29, considered by Petitioners to preserve the historic fabric of Pier 29 as set forth in the detail drawings attached to this Agreement as Exhibit 2. The Port shall retain the services of a qualified historic preservation architect to prepare the final architectural design for the east and south ends of Pier 29 as proposed for the long-term use of Pier 29 following the conclusion of the America’s Cup Event, which shall be provided to the Petitioners and Administrative Appellants and submitted to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to review and comment on its compatibility with the architectural and visual characteristics that define the Embarcadero National Register Historic District and consistency with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

Of course, satisfying point number four might now be a bit problematic and costly.


As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Piers 30-32 Dropped From AC34 Development Plan, Lawsuit Filed [SocketSite]
Waterfront Watch Settlement Ordinance [sfbos.org]
Pier Pressure And The Price San Francisco Taxpayers Might Pay [SocketSite]
Pier 29 On Fire: Teams Racing To Save The America's Cup Site [SocketSite]

First Published: June 25, 2012 2:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers


Posted by: unwarrantedinlaw at June 25, 2012 2:44 PM

I think technically it's extortion, not blackmail.

Posted by: R at June 25, 2012 2:55 PM

You gotta love the game. Sue, get your legal fees paid, and have the victim of your suit pay for a study you can use next time! Maybe the answer is to make it easier to put these projects on a city-wide ballot. Many of these projects don't rise to the typical voter's radar, and the settlement agreements are rarely even reported. They become political (and ultimately real) currency for the inside players.

Posted by: Rome is Burning at June 25, 2012 3:31 PM

From the settlement memo (.pdf link above), pg. 4 of 12 (or pg. 09 of the file):

6. Jumbotron. The City shall provide in the Lease Disposition Agreement with the 34th America's Cup Event Authority that the Event Authority shall not pursue approvals for or installation of a floating "jumbotron" video screen in the waters of Aquatic Park Lagoon.

I don't know why the Waterfront Watch folks got upset about a large video screen being brought in for an event which takes place offshore. Is that considered tacky or something?

How are folks watching the race in person from the shore supposed to see the action? Does anyone know if they have/had a jumbotron for Maverick's or similar events?

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at June 25, 2012 5:30 PM

This is nothing but unbridled corruption right in front of our eyes. I'm going to email the Chron editors. This needs to be investigated.

Posted by: sf at June 25, 2012 5:38 PM

Brahma, all concerned have their preferred vendor of truck-based jumbotrons that can be rented. As Roseanne Barr once said, "the purpose of business is to keep your friends working."

Posted by: EH at June 25, 2012 6:19 PM

It's just a damn boat race.

Posted by: futurist at June 25, 2012 6:33 PM

Waterfront Watch-Us-Steal-City-Money-And-Get-Away-With-It.

Posted by: jlasf at June 26, 2012 11:19 AM

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