City Council Adopts Crab Cove Initiative,
Housing Developer Walks Away,
Feds Continue Eminent Domain Court Action and Court Rules Partially in their Favor.
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 one 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. A problem occurred in July 2012 when the Alameda City Council rezoned the property from administrative/office to multifamily residential. After citizens gathered enough signatures to place rezoning the property as open space on the ballot, the city council adopted it. The Park District has since settled its lawsuit against the City of Alameda and the housing developer defaulted on its contract to purchase the property. Despite the fact that the housing developer decided not to purchase the property, the GSA is continuing its eminent domain action. We will monitor the lawsuits and keep you informed.
Enviro groups ask US AG to oppose land grab
“We object to the DOJ’s use of eminent domain against state property. Many of our organizations have together fought and defeated proposals to develop, encroach upon, or misuse state park property in California, based on the strong belief that designation of parkland, once granted, reflects the best and highest use of those lands and should be upheld in perpetuity.” Letter, 4/17/14
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
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