So big-ish news, Ron Cowan has now decided that he wants to separate his application to build new Harbor Bay Club from any other development he may propose for the old Harbor Bay Club space. Meaning that he wants the City to okay the new Harbor Bay Club and forget he ever said anything about building anything at the old Harbor Bay Club space. Here’s the open letter.
Of course the Harbor Bay Club neighbors are having none of that. Since Ron Cowan is pretty much synonymous with everything that is horrible about developers in general, they are urging the City to reject that idea because they fear some ulterior motive in this new approach that Ron Cowan is taking. As in: Ron Cowan will build his new Harbor Bay Club which will then kill the old Harbor Bay Club because people like bright and shiny new things and then it will become blighted and the Ron Cowan will swoop in, point to its blighted state and say “see! we have to build something else now! mwhahahahahah!”
I won’t disagree that that probably is the plan of Ron Cowan, but at this point, I don’t think the City can push back and say, “Nope. You have to submit what you are doing for both sites.” I’m pretty sure that’s not how these things work.
At this point, the City will have to consider the proposed project on its merits regardless of whether Ron Cowan has or will or will never submit a plan for the old HBC site. I mean, he could just rename the plan to Ron Cowan’s Recreation Center and it won’t technically be the “Harbor Bay Club” new or replacement and how could opponent tie that project to the existing Harbor Bay Club.
What would be a better effort for the Harbor Bay Neighbors is to see if they can scrape up enough money to buy the old Harbor Bay Club themselves to keep it an operating facility — that’s if Ron Cowan will even sell it — or see if they can convince the City to take over the club as a public park and recreation center. Of course, still with the condition that Ron Cowan will sell it to the City.
There’s nothing really wrong with Ron Cowan’s plans for the new Harbor Bay Club and I’m sure that it will be a draw to the business employees there and if the Google ferry continues out of the Harbor Bay stop, I’m guessing that Ron Cowan wants to be able to lure those folks into the new club. I don’t think there is much that the Harbor Bay Neighbors can do to stop the current path that Ron Cowan is taking, they should still remain vigilant to make sure that the old HBC club doesn’t becomes blighted. I’m not sure how they can make sure it gets done, but if there is a neighborhood with plenty of funds and active community members it’s Bay Farm.