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In The News

Vote to oppose Cargill project slated

BY MIKE ROSENBERG

The Daily New, 3/23/10

Declaring that the “era of filling in San Francisco Bay is over,” Belmont officials expect to approve a resolution today formally opposing the Cargill development plan in Redwood City. The Belmont City Council would join its counterparts in Menlo Park in condemning plans that call for up to 12,000 homes and 1 million square feet of office space on the 1,436acre property owned by Cargill. The Saltworks development would be home to an estimated 25,000 people just southeast of Belmont, which has a population of 26,000.

The Belmont resolution opposes the Cargill plans and supports the full restoration of the salt ponds and its inclusion in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Most of the resolution is taken word for word from a regional letter that 92 current and former Bay Area officials signed last month blasting the project. Those officials include Belmont Mayor Christine Wozniak and Vice Mayor Coralin Feierbach, who brought the idea of opposing the project to the council in January.

“Nothing so breathtaking in size or misguided in scope has been proposed in half a century,” the resolution states. “The Bay belongs to all of us, and we all must protect it.”

Belmont leaders argue the project could harm the Peninsula’s air quality, water availability, sewage, quality of life and traffic. They cite Belmont’s already jam packed intersection at Ralston Avenue and El Camino Real, which they fear would become even more congested because of the salt flats development.

The DMB Redwood City Saltworks developers say half the project will be devoted to open space, and that it will provide critical Peninsula housing while creating Bay access and preserving tidal marshes. A company spokesman did not return calls for comment Monday.

Although the council is expected to approve the resolution smoothly, one council member, Warren Lieberman, said Monday he was not sure whether he will support it. Lieberman has not been as steadfast as some of his colleagues in opposing the Saltworks plans, but he acknowledged it is a matter of great concern to him.

The measure would be a symbolic gesture, as the Redwood City City Council will decide the project’s fate after the completion of environmental reports. The council in Menlo Park, at the southern border of the project, voted 4-1 last month to oppose the plan.

 

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