All right, it’s on, the defense of Prop B (2014) is on:
SAN FRANCISCO (July 15, 2014) — The California State Lands Commission today sued San Francisco to invalidate Proposition B, an initiative measure passed in the June 3 election that requires voter approval for waterfront development height increases on property owned or controlled by the Port of San Francisco. The legal challenge filed in San Francisco Superior Court contends that the California legislature specifically intended to prohibit local voters from exercising authority over bay and coastal public trust lands, strictly limiting management of state tidelands to designated trustees. In its legal action today, the State Lands Commission argues that the sole trustee responsible for sovereign tidelands in San Francisco is the city’s Port Commission. The State Lands Commission is additionally seeking a preliminary injunction to bar San Francisco from enforcing Prop B.
In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:
“For decades, land use decisions involving San Francisco’s waterfront have included voters, elected leaders and appointed members of our Planning and Port Commissions. It’s a participatory process that enacted a comprehensive Waterfront Land Use Plan in 1990, developed a showplace ballpark for the Giants, and continues to protect an urban waterfront that is the envy of cities worldwide. San Francisco’s deliberative decision-making process on waterfront land use has never been successfully challenged, and I intend to defend it aggressively. With today’s lawsuit, the State Lands Commission seems to have embraced the notion that any local initiative — and, by extension, any land use regulation approved by a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission — affecting port property is barred by state law, and therefore invalid. That view represents a radical departure in law and practice from land use decision-making in San Francisco and elsewhere. While the City must certainly honor its obligations as trustee in managing public trust property, it is a legally and practically untenable position to argue that San Francisco’s voters and elected officials have no direct say over how our city’s waterfront is developed.”