In The News
Comments Reflect Many Housing Organizations' Support for Cargill Saltworks Proposal
Though support for the project was a small minority in the comments, organizations and residents showed optimism for the project.
By Stacie Chan, Redwood City Patch, 4/25/11
Of nearly 900 pages of comments submitted to the city, the large majority were in opposition or concerned about the project, but the organizations that were decidedly in favor of the project were housing organizations, youth recreation supporters and a few residents.
Excerpts from the majority of comments supporting the project: (Note: the organization and its members are not explicitly for or against the project unless explicitly printed in their comment. You can also read comments expressing opposition or concern here.)
The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County: “There is a huge SHORTFALL in affordable housing in the Silicon Valley, which means essential services workers like police officers, fire fighters, teachers and nurses cannot afford to live in the County where they work… The Saltworks location is an ideal site to build a large-scale, transit-oriented community that will have a meaningful impact on the affordable housing shortage in our region.”
HIP Housing, San Mateo County affordable housing non-profit: “We would be very interesting in working with the Saltworks team and the City of Redwood City to assure that regional housing needs are met and to develop multi-family units in the Saltworks project.
Housing Advocacy Group (HAG), voluntary North Bay counties affordable housing advocacy group: “The Redwood City Saltworks site is an infill opportunity of regional significance. As such it has the potential to provide workforce housing to many who would otherwise be forced to commute to the other parts of the Bay Area including the North Bay. The lack of housing in the Redwood City area impacts the housing supply and affordability in surrounding areas and increases regional traffic and greenhouse gas emissions… The area has many other needs which have merit too. These include new schools, new sports fields (the city currently faces a critical shortage), levies and flood protection facilities needed to protect both this project and adjoining neighborhoods, wetland restoration and improved Bay access.
EAH Housing, affordable housing non-profit in California and Hawaii: “Building new housing in efficient walkable communities near the jobs is the single most important thing that can be done to improve both the Bay Area’s environment and its economy, not to mention quality of life… the Saltworks presents an opportunity to create a place where people from all walks of life can share a single community. It’s exceedingly rare in our region to find a single infill site that offers space for a full range of housing and one where there is space for the things that make housing into a community like parks, schools, retailing and transit.
California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH): “The Redwood City Industrial Saltworks site is an infill opportunity of regional significance. As such it has the potential to house many workers who would otherwise be forced to commute from the heart of the Silicon Valley to other areas within or beyond the 9 county Bay Area, increasing the burden on the availability of housing throughout the region, as well as increasing regional traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. We recognize that, in addition to new housing, the area ha smany other needs which have merit too… schools, new sports fields (the city currently faces a critical shortage) levies and flood protection facilities.
AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), supporting the project: “The opportunities are endless if more athletic fields were installed. Redwood City would be enriched through the support of an active lifestyle, and become a model city for the support of athletics.
Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee: “Thanks for the opportunity to provide suggestions for this property and the extraordinary opportunity represented here… There is an extreme shortage of indoor court sports facilities (gyms on the Peninsula and in Redwood City. How could the Saltworks plan help alleviate this reional and local problem?”
Youth Volunteer: “I would like to see more park and recreation… I am aware of the limite space available for meetings and youth recreation. Our youth tends to use San Carlos, Belmont and San Mateo when we need space.”
Resident: “Solving the annual East Redwood City flooding problem would have a clear public benefit. It would help hundreds if not thousands of homeowners and many businesses as well (such as Stanford University, currently suffering great hardship because of the flooding.)
Resident: “I believe the project is a great thing for the Bay Area. I think housing, parks and access to the bay will be great. The proposal also is offering to restore 400 acres at no cost to tax payers. AWESOME!”
Resident: “As an affordable housing advocate, I am eager to see this project succeed. It would be an opportunity to build the housing that is desperately needed by seniors and others in our community.”
Resident: “I am very excited about the possibility of restored wetlands (not at a cost to taxpayers), more sports fields and affordable housing. I realize that it comes at a cost i.e. more traffic and some congestion but I feel that this could be mitigated by the right transportation solutions.”
Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter: Economic benefits- “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that existing wetlands, compared to engineered flood control systems, produce $4,650 per acre in flood control and dredging cost savings. Wetlands purify water so well that they are often used for tertiary treatment by municipal sewage plants. The reductions in capital investment and operations and maintenance costs can amount to over $10,000 per acre annually.”
Pete’s Harbor: “As a lifelong resident of Redwood City, a long time business owner and community volunteer, I want to state my 100% support for the Saltworks Long Term Project.”
League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County: Though they have taken no official position until the EIR process is completed, they note: “Greenbelt Alliance has estimated that there are 40,000 potential infill sites between South San Francisco and San Jose. Redwood City’s (General) Plan includes the use of infill sites to develop approximately 5,000 units of affordable housing, a sizeable amount to be set aside as rentals.”
Silicon Valley Leadership Group: The Leadership Group surveys its member company CEOs on an annual basis and asks the question, “what is the top impediment to doing business in Silicon Valley.” Each year, the lack of sufficient housing in the region receives the most votes. That is one of the reasons why the Leadership Group has been supportive of evaluating the development of the Saltworks.”