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In The News

Environmental review begins on plan to build on Cargill flats

By: SHAUN BISHOP

S.F. Examiner, 11/03/10

REDWOOD CITY — A massive, multi-year environmental study of plans to build thousands of homes on the former Cargill salt flats will help the project hold up better in case of a legal challenge down the road, according to proponents.

A top executive for the developer said a thorough environmental impact report will both show the benefits of the project and will hold up better in case of a legal challenge.

“We don’t view it as a question of time, we view it as a question of thoroughness,” said DMB Associates Senior Vice President David Smith. The company wants the EIR to “be above reproach and fully legally defensible, whether there’s litigation or not,” Smith added.

Redwood City has slated the next six to nine months for allowing residents, regulators and other interested parties to comment as the city begins the environmental review of the Redwood City Saltworks project. The initial stage of an environmental review process typically lasts only a month, but Senior Planner Blake Lyon said the city wanted to hold a series of workshops so residents fully understand the intricacies of the project.

The proposal from Cargill and developer DMB Associates calls for up to 12,000 homes, 1 million square feet of office space, 436 acres of restored wetlands and 300 acres of parks and open space on 1,436 acres near the Bay.

Redwood City has a history of litigation over Bayshore development projects. Measure Q in 2004, a ballot initiative spearheaded by local environmental groups, stalled and greatly reduced in scope the Marina Shores project, which would have added high rises and thousands of living units to the city’s waterfront.

In the first official public comment session on the environmental review last week, several dozen residents — many of whom expressed opposition to the project — mentioned sea level rise, traffic, flooding and affordable housing as some top concerns.

Opponents of the project, many of whom were part of the successful Measure Q campaign, have said the city should reject the project outright, saying the site is the wrong place for development and should be restored to wetlands. David Lewis, executive director of Save the Bay, said he thinks the elongated timeline for the EIR is evidence that “the city knows that not only are there very high obstacles, there’s also very broad opposition to doing the project at all.”

 

Chances to comment

Informational Scoping Meeting focused on Land Use & Housing (written comments only),  Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City

Informational Scoping Meeting focused on Water Supply, Wastewater, & Flooding (written comments only). Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Location: Sandpiper Community Center, 797 Redwood Shores Pkwy., Redwood City.

Residents can also submit comments via e-mail at saltworkscomments@redwoodcity.org.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

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