Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The 49ers' Parking Spaces and Evicting the Youth Soccer Park, Part Two

Dear Santa Clarans,

From the Council/Staff/Advisory Committee Meeting of Thursday, September 12th, we first learned of the depths of the San Francisco 49ers' parking-space fiasco, thanks to a Santa Clara resident who attended.  The "Feasibility Study of Facility Alternatives" for the City of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park told us all that we needed to know:

The 49ers can't get enough parking spaces to accommodate the jammed traffic their games will cause - and by golly, someone's going to pay for that.

Namely, all of us, eh?

The 49ers and their stadium boosters were desperate to portray themselves as "partners" to our city - and they were quite happy to use the glow of a nearby youth athletic facility to help them in selling Measure Jed to Santa Clarans.   But once the stadium was a lock based on those false claims of "synergy,"  what happened to the Youth Soccer Park was of no concern to those folks.

Essentially, "synergy" went out the window two years ago.  The 49ers' attitude now is that the Youth Soccer Park has served its purpose.   It must go.

If the 49ers' boosters want to make that claim, fine.   But the expenses of moving the soccer park will range from $8,000,000 to $12,000,000.

What are we going to use for money?

Well, a misleading Facebook post by former Councilman Kevin Moore invites us to fall for the following line:  That the 49ers themselves might just pay for the damage they're causing - out of the goodness of their hearts!  Unfortunately, that latter part is completely untrue.

In fact, when I researched this last week, it turned out that the first part of Mr. Moore's claim is actually partly true and more so than he knows:   The San Francisco 49ers are actually liable for precisely this relocation expense.

The proof of that lies in the Rezoning and Tentative Subdivision Map requests from the 49ers themselves which were authorized by Council vote on November 9th, 2010.   Specifically, see RESOLUTION NO. 10-7785, the fourth item:

  • On page 5-of-39, Part G tells us that we'll have:  "...use that will be substantially equivalent to ones previously acquired for the public in that the public will continue to have access to the Youth Soccer Park Facility,... "                                           [Emphasis is mine.]
  • But on page 16-of-39, we then read in Item E1:  "If relocation of an existing public facility...becomes necessary due to a conflict with the applicant's new improvements, then the cost of said relocation shall be borne by the applicant...."    [Emphasis is mine.]

In other words, the 49ers have already agreed to cover the expense of evicting and relocating city property they think is just too close to their stadium.

If this is still true (I invite City Staff to supply corrections), then it's time for our Santa Clara City Council to step up and insist:   The San Francisco 49ers are to either honor Item E1 above or they are to leave the City of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park alone.

The 49ers are making the former Redevelopment Agency pay off like a slot machine.  They'll collect $16,200,000 in property tax money from our Successor Agency's Oversight Board in 2014 alone**.   The team can afford to do what they've promised.

And not out of the goodness of their hearts.

Thanks for your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
Santa Clara Plays Fair.org

**Click here .  Then open "Resolution 2013-07."   The rakeoff to the 49ers, January and July of 2014, is shown in the rightmost column of the table on page 27-of-31.

Then, check out how much we'll end up paying the team after that...BB

Monday, September 23, 2013

The 49ers' Parking Spaces and Evicting the Youth Soccer Park, Part One

Dear Santa Clarans,

When the 49ers' Stadium Boosters on our City Council voted to allow a 14.5-acre stadium on a 17-acre parcel, what on earth did they expect would happen?

The San Francisco 49ers can't seem to stiff-arm enough businesses in the Great America corridor into the "parking district" needed to accommodate more than 20,000 autos.   No surprise there;  without being privy to any of the discussions, we can just guess what the lot owners' lawyers are asking the 49ers:

"You're mixing drunken fans and flammables on our private property.  Who's liable when a deadly assault or a fire or explosion occurs?   The 49ers assume all liability, right?  Or, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority has us covered, right?"

Well - probably not, and probably not.  Or, the lot owners could be holding out for a much bigger slice of the parking-stall fee payments than the 49ers' are willing to part with.  Guess.

Back in 2011, in any event, we residents were informed in our own Council Chambers - by the 49ers themselves - that we were not even entitled to know how many parking spaces they had secured by the first round of their letters-of-intent.

Only in the last couple of weeks have we learned that the 49ers are short by 5,000 parking spaces.

What?  In a Council Meeting of several years ago, former Councilman Kevin Moore, indignant that anyone would challenge his 49er-booster claims of 'more-than-enough' private parking stalls, stalked off the dais and returned to chambers some moments later with his famous two-by-three-foot storyboard showing "tens of thousands" of parking spaces surrounding the stadium site.

No problem, he and the four other 49ers' boosters on our Council assured us.

Well, yeah - there is a problem:   Please note that the Stadium Authority, identically our City Council, approved the Non-Relocation Agreement of March 15, 2012.   On page 12/23, note that the San Francisco 49ers have the power to break this agreement if 20% of the parking spaces are unavailable to them.

While it's unlikely that the 49ers would do that at this stage, it's the deal-making by our own City Council=Stadium Authority that actually gives the team a perverse incentive to tank the NRA above if they ever decided to use the parking issue (or mustard stains on more than a fifth of the stadium's seats) as an excuse.   But that isn't even the most deplorable part of this fiasco.

We've now learned that the 49ers are demanding that the City of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park be evicted so that the 49ers can pave it over for the parking stalls they're unable to squeeze out of the business owners on Great America Parkway.

A note to the suits in the 49ers' front office:    The best you can do is maybe 1,300 spaces by forcing out this vital City of Santa Clara youth resource.

It should not even come to that.   This has an easy solution:

First, to former Councilman Kevin Moore:

  • Please dig out that old 2-by-3 piece of foamcore with your much-vaunted "tens of thousands" of parking spaces.
  • Give it to the 49ers.
Problem solved.

Second, to the Santa Clara City Council=Stadium Authority: 

The City Of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park does more for the young people of our community than the San Francisco 49ers ever will.   The YSP should not be made to pay a thing for the poor planning which caused the stadium parking fiasco - no matter how many hot dogs you tell us we're going to sell.

Thanks for all of your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,

Tomorrow:  What will we use for money?