In case you missed it, BART is on strike. Sigh, so plan that into your commute day.
It’s always when I watch other Boards and Commissions that I think, man, what is the point? I mean, in theory I get why there should be a Historic Advisory Board and a Rec and Park Commission, but in action they are much less impressive. Case in point, the last Rec and Park Commission. For some unknown reason the Commission had on its agenda an item to send a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer to express their opposition to the Feds trying to eminent domain McKay Avenue. Because open space.
I guess the rationale was, hey we oversee Recreation and Park type stuff so naturally we should lend our support to one side — you know the side that is suing the City of Alameda — and say that the Feds shouldn’t attempt to take over McKay Avenue. Not only that, their timeline was completely wrong on how everything shook down. As in they were under the misunderstanding that the land was zoned residential and then sold. Not so. It was sold first, then zoned.
So fast forward through some usual suspects during open comment and the Commission then decides to not send a letter to Senator Boxer, instead they decide to send a letter to the City Council urging them to “zone it back to open space.” First of all, it wasn’t open space to begin with. It was industrial with some sort of government overlay. Of course, as I’ve mentioned time and time again, nothing precluded the East Bay Regional Park District from paying the same amount that the developer paid to get the land. While people keep saying “it’s not worth that much” clearly it was worth that much because someone paid for it.
I actually learned something new that night, apparent the GSA went back to both EBRPD and the developer and both were told their bids were too low. EBRPD declined to meet what the GSA wanted and the developer did. I’m not sure what the point of sending a letter urging the City Council to “rezone” is particularly when there is litigation over the whole issue.
Then on the flip slide while they are on one hand decrying the taking of public land to, ostensibly, benefit a private party they also wanted to take up the issue of rezoning the Harbor Bay Club site to open space to, I guess, prevent Ron Cowan from building houses there. Now you all know how I feel about this proposed swap, I think it’s pretty dumb, but it’s also not smart to try to rezone someone’s private property to prevent him from doing something that you don’t want. Because…the current zoning doesn’t allow Ron Cowan to build houses there any way, so it’s pointless.
I mean, seriously if these Board and Commissions are just going to be these little insular clubs where people bring their pet issues there for some sort of random public airing, what is the point?
Shifting gears, tomorrow is the Alameda Point Collaborative annual harvest festival, it starts at 11:00 and goes until 4:00 p.m. Looks to be a lot of fun. Pumpkin carving, food, kid carnival and it’s free! There’s also a Friends of the LIbrary book sale happening at the O’ Club as well so you can get multiple things done on the West End at one time.