You said it: Time for a breather on Crab Cove suit

You said it: Time for a breather on Crab Cove suit

Frank Matarrese

It’s time to throttle back on the East Bay Regional Park District lawsuit and the city’s rhetoric in the media over the federal land near Crab Cove and get to a solution. Neither serves the public’s interest, on the Alameda side, maintaining a certified housing element and on the EBPRD side, protecting and enhancing one of its premier coastal parks, Crab Cove. EPRPD’s lack of funds to secure the land at auction and the city’s assertion that EBRPD did not attend hearings or give input to the City Council’s decision in July to rezone the property raise lots of questions. But, behind the questions, looms the long term concern over the gulf in communication between the city and the district. This is a divide that would be disastrous for future parks: the Alameda Belt Line, Estuary Park and the parks of the future at Alameda Point.

Neptune Pointe, as the former federal installation land has been dubbed, is already secured by STL Companies LLC and the stakes for undoing the deal are high given the value thanks to the new zoning. Even if EBRPD prevails in court forcing the City to re-do the process, there is no real chance that the land deal between the federal government and STL will be nullified. If the city’s defense against the suit is successful, the zoning will most assuredly remain as-is. Regardless of the outcome the taxpayer is the loser, with tax dollars spent on both sides for litigation rather than spending those dollars to maintain parks or city services.

The EBRPD needs drop the suit before more money is wasted and the city needs to step up and work with EBPRD on the design features of the development to protect Crab Cove and to provide as much public access and use of the shoreline as possible. This planning must be done together, not only for the sake of protecting Crab Cove and reducing the impact of the potential development, but to ensure the success of future parks in Alameda.

Frank Matarrese
Alameda resident

Comments

Submitted by Marty E. on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

I agree that EBRPD needs to drop their suit and save our tax dollars from being wasted on litigation.

I think their argument that they are doing this to save Crab Cove by building a parking lot on the proposed development site and turning the current parking lot (which I think fits maybe 50 cars) into more park space is weak.

They had the opportunity to participate in the federal land auction and they lost the bidding to the developer. Considering the rather unattractive buildings that are on the site today, I think adding housing that meets the city's housing plan requirements and is in a very desirable location makes sense.

I don't see why this would be disastrous to future park lands. If anything, I think this shines light on the fact that if our community wants more park land, they need to work harder to make sure the organizations responsible for parks do what is necessary to secure that land before the developers purchase it.

Just my $.02

Submitted by Bill 2-Wheel Smith on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

I agree with Frank Matarrese that "This is a divide [between the Park District and the City] that would be disastrous for future parks: the Alameda Belt Line, Estuary Park and the parks of the future at Alameda Point. "

I do not agree that Mr. Matarrese's is asking for a "breather," as stated in the title. He is asking for the Park District to capitulate. The Sierra Club backs the Park District's right to correct the flaws in the City's CEQA process that prevented a public discussion of serious environmental concerns, such as the impact of more dogs and cats from the new homes on waterfowl and other wildlife in the Crab Cove Area.

WJASmith@AOL.com