Stadium Watch: Governor Brown approves EIR

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego’s stadium project moved forward Thursday with Governor Jerry Brown determining that the city’s Environmental Impact Report qualifies for an expedited review by the courts.

Mayor Faulconer said this was a big step that gives the stadium plan more certainty and momentum.

But the Chargers say this is all irrelevant.

There are more twists and turns in this stadium story that one could ever imagine, but it all comes down to one basic fact: if the city doesn’t have a plan the Chargers can endorse by year’s end, the team could be out of here.

It was great news to Mayor Faulconer that Governor Brown approved an expedited process to get any lawsuit challenging the EIR out of the way in 270 days.

The Mayor said the governor’s action provides certainty and builds on the city’s momentum to keep the Chargers in town.

"It helps move our Mission Valley plan forward, and the fact that we now have expedited review, that’s great news," he said.

While the governor’s action is welcome, Mark Fabiani – the spokesman for Dean Spanos – said it does not apply to any legal challenges not based on the EIR, including a review by the California Supreme Court.

"Whether the courts take seven weeks or seven months, it doesn’t really matter in the end. The EIR is gonna be struck down and we’re all gonna have to go back to square one, and that’s why the chargers aren’t comfortable with this quicker EIR process," Fabiani said.

This back and forth between Fabiani and the Mayor’s office has been on-going since January when the NFL began setting deadlines for the city to have an actionable plan that the Chargers support by the end of the year.

"It is not an exaggeration to say the city is no closer to such a plan today than it was in January when it appointed the task force, it hasn’t moved the ball at all," he said.

The mayor keeps saying the city has done everything the NFL has asked them to do.

"We’ve hit every deadline, overcome every obstacle to the EIR to now the governor’s signoff on AB900 in fact the NFL’s gonna be in town next week. We’re meeting with them directly, and once again San Diego continues to hit the mark," Mayor Faulconer said.

Fabiani’s points out the city has missed two deadlines for an election and its EIR process has not come in on time.

"It’s more happy talk from someone whose trying to provide himself with political cover so the people don’t blame him if the chargers leave town," Fabiani said.

The legislature’s joint budge committee has 30 days to sign off on the governor’s action. If that time passes without legislature action, the governor’s ruling stands.

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