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Dear Friends,

We have collected over 5,000 signatures on our petition for expansion of Crown Beach — enough signatures to qualify as a ballot measure for the November 2014 election.

We will end our petition drive on Earth Day, Saturday, April 26, 2014, which will be celebrated at Washington Park from 10 am to 3 pm.  Anybody who has not signed yet can do so that day at the Sierra Club booth.  All petitions should be returned to the booth no later than Earth Day.

All of us signature gatherers are grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from you and so many Alamedans.  It is a good indication that our measure will win in the November election.

Sincerely,
Friends of Crown Beach

 

 San Francisco Chronicle Opposes Federal Land Grab from State Parks

“In an audacious display of bureaucratic arrogance, the federal government is threatening to use its eminent domain powers to seize a state-owned street near Alameda’s Crown Beach to accommodate a proposed development of up to 90 homes. It gets worse. The targeted property is not exactly state surplus. It is a short stretch of McKay Avenue that provides access to the interpretive center at Crab Cove, which sits at the eastern edge of the largest stretch of public beach on the San Francisco Bay…. Members of Congress need to get off the sidelines and lean on the federal government to work out a deal with the East Bay Regional Park District, which had been hoping to acquire the 4 acres to help accommodate a park expansion.” Editorial, 3/21/14

 Sierra Club Endorses Ballot Drive to Expand Open Space at Alameda’s Crown Beach

“The people of Alameda voted for the East Bay Regional Park District to buy this property when they approved Measure WW in 2008,” said Norman La Force, Chair of the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter East Bay Public Lands Committee. “This land is important for the operation of Crown Beach Park. Unfortunately, the federal government is ignoring the 70% of voters who approved the Crown Beach open space protection by selling this parcel to a private luxury home developer.” Press Release, 2/25/14

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 For many years the East Bay Regional Park District has carefully nurtured Alameda’s Crown Memorial State Beach. It reaches from Broadway to Crown Harbor. Over 1 million visitors enjoy it annually. Youngsters learn about nature at Crab Cove, others windsurf, families picnic, many of us just walk and enjoy the Bay and wildlife.

The Park District has expressed interest in acquiring federal surplus property on McKay Avenue adjacent to Crab Cove (a block from Webster Street) ever since the federal government announced in 2006 that it no longer needed this 3.89-acre parcel. Soon thereafter voters approved funds for the acquisition when they voted for Measure WW in 2008. The site is ideal for expanding parkland and providing better access to the heavily used visitors’ center, picnic grounds, and beach.

The problem is that in July 2012 the Alameda City Council rezoned the federal surplus property from administrative/office to multifamily residential with up to 95 residential units. The Park District has since filed a lawsuit against the City of Alameda alleging that the rezoning was done in violation of environmental protection laws and in violation of Measure A of the Alameda City Charter. The Park District is asking the Alameda County Superior Court to rescind the residential zoning.

Despite many letters to council members, letters to the editor, newspaper commentaries, a recent editorial in the SF Chronicle, and the state’s opposition to the federal GSA’s threat of using eminent domain of McKay Avenue, our plea to preserve the property for public use has been soundly ignored by our City Council and City Manager.  Therefore we believe it is paramount that Alameda voters voice their wishes in next November’s election.  By placing a winning Measure on the ballot, we can guarantee that the parcel is rezoned as “open space.”

YouChoose

If you would like to support the Park District’s expansion plans at Neptune Point and give us permission to use your name on the “Friends of Crown Beach” list, please send an email to:  friendsofcrownbeach@gmail.com

Any comments you may have will also be appreciated.