Bulk of Hunters Point development plan upheld by judge 

A plan to build more than 10,000 new homes in southeastern San Francisco is set to move forward — albeit in a somewhat delayed fashion — after a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled Monday on a lawsuit arguing homebuilder Lennar Corp. failed to identify potential health impacts at the Hunters Point Shipyard site.

In a 37-page ruling, Judge Ernest Goldsmith sided with Lennar on upholding the adequacy of its environmental impact report in all but one regard — the early transfer of land from the U.S. Navy to the company for cleanup.

The shuttered naval base is listed as a highly toxic Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the activist groups POWER and Greenaction laid out their case based on the report’s failure to address the health risks.

Goldsmith ruled that the report includes measures to address the health risks as they become known, and that the federal remediation process must determine the site’s level of safety before the parcels are officially transferred to the company, which had planned to move or cap off the contamination on behalf of the Navy.

Both sides of the debate are claiming victory. Lennar noted in a statement that the project can move forward because the bulk of its report was upheld, despite contentions over the health risks and other issues like earthquake liquefaction. The activist groups are hailing the decision because the report will be modified to address the Navy’s role in the cleanup.

The lawsuit was the last of three holding up the second phase of the project. Initial construction on the first phase of the project is set to take place this month.


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Dan Schreiber

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