Letter to the Editor: Reverse course on Neptune Pointe

Letter to the Editor: Reverse course on Neptune Pointe

Letters to the Editor

This letter was originally submitted to the City Council and was forwarded to The Alamedan by one of its authors for publication.

Dear Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Members:

In view of the letter dated November 7, 2013, from the California Department of Justice, now may be the time to reconsider the proposed Tim Lewis Communities housing development at Neptune Pointe.

As stated in the second to last paragraph of the letter, “the federal excess land ought to be owned and controlled by the State of California or the East Bay Regional Park District because that indisputably would be the highest and best use of it.”

It is unfortunate that city staff failed to inform the City Council in July 2012 of the September 2008 City Council endorsement of the use of Neptune Pointe for inclusion in Crown Memorial Beach as proposed in Measure WW. The city staff also rushed the residential rezoning of Neptune Pointe through in July of 2012 by scheduling the first reading on July 3, 2012, and without full disclosure to our community that the voters’ approval of Measure WW was being defeated as to the use of Neptune Pointe for park expansion. This lack of transparency on the part of city staff has been criticized by community members, including the Sierra Club.

It has now become clear that the State of California will not grant the necessary utility easements on McKay Avenue to a private developer of Neptune Pointe. It is also a fact that the Friends of Crown Beach and the Sierra Club are working on a ballot measure to rezone Neptune Pointe “open space.” Therefore, Tim Lewis Communities will not be able to develop housing on the site and should withdraw from the project voluntarily. TLC speculated that they might be able to get the easements and the residential zoning, but we now know they will not. They knew they assumed a business risk and for that reason, as smart business people, have not yet completed the purchase of Neptune Pointe from the federal government.

You, our elected representatives must uphold the will of the voters, not defeat it, as the lack of disclosure and council action of 2012 ended up doing in this case. It is not too late to correct this mistake. Please settle the litigation with the park district without delay so that the park district can go ahead with its expansion plans for Neptune Pointe.

Sincerely,

Doug deHaan
Frank Matarrese
Karin Lucas
Former City Council members

Comments

Submitted by Carol Fairweather (not verified) on Fri, Nov 22, 2013

I strongly support the use of Neptune Pointe for park expansion, as we, the voters of Alameda, have already voted. Building a housing development on this site is not in the best interests of present or future Alamedans. Alameda is a uniquely beautiful city. Please don't pave and build over our parklands for a quick buck.