Law360 Quotes Allison Smith on Environmental Challenges to Keeping Chargers in San Diego

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Attorney Allison Smith was quoted in Law360 in an article titled “San Diego Faces Enviro Hurdles In Bid To Keep Chargers.” The article discusses negotiations, which centers on a proposal to build a $1.1 billion new stadium,  between the City of San Diego and the San Diego Chargers of the NFL to try to convince the team to remain in the city.

Negotiations have currently stalled over the proposed timeline for the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) required by the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. The Chargers maintain there is no way to prepare the EIR in time to put a ballot measure for the stadium up for a vote by the end of the year. The mayor of San Diego said that the city has put forth a plan where the city would “work around the clock to produce” the EIR in time for the measure to be on the ballot.

Smith said that even if the city is able to have a draft EIR done by October, it will still be subject to a 45-day period for comments, to which the city must respond. Even then, the city may violate CEQA’s requirement that the  EIR be completed before the city takes any discretionary land-use action on a specific project or site, because the City Council has only until Sept. 18 to approve ballot measures for a citywide election to be held by Dec. 15.

“If what the city does in an action in September is specific enough to say, 'We’ve made up our mind that we would like a stadium to be in X location,’ and it is specific about the stadium, then that is where they can get into trouble with CEQA and timing,” Smith said.

Read “San Diego Faces Enviro Hurdles In Bid To Keep Chargers,” published June 22, 2015. (Subscription required.)

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