Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 1, 2014

Neptune Pointe taken

Filed under: Alameda, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Two days before Thanksgiving, the City put out this press release regarding the Neptune Pointe property:

Developer Drops Plans to Build Housing at Crab Cove
After months of negotiations, developer Tim Lewis Communities (TLC) has agreed to drop any plans to build housing at Crab Cove. On November 19, 2014, TLC withdrew its development application from the City of Alameda.

At the urging of Mayor Marie Gilmore, TLC pursued a resolution with the Federal Government which resulted in TLC giving up its interest in the property. “It was a long process, but it ultimately yielded a result that was in the best interest of the residents of Alameda, said Mayor Marie Gilmore.” I appreciate the steps TLC took to resolve this issue.”

In 2012, TLC won the auction to purchase the Crab Cove property from the federal government. The East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) was a losing bidder. Several months later the City zoned the site for residential use. One month after that, the EBRPD sued the City of Alameda over the zoning decision.

Although TLC won the auction for the property, they were unprepared for the community’s opposition to their plan to build housing on the site. That opposition culminated in the City Council’s rezoning of the site to open space in July of 2014.

Crab Cove remains the property of the Federal Government, and they have sued the State of California and the EBRPD over ownership of MacKay Avenue which provides access to the site. The City Council’s decision to rezone the property to open space in July and the recent action by TLC effectively removes the City and TLC from this ongoing dispute.

Which, of course, now puts the ball in the court of the East Bay Regional Park District with regard to the suit they filed against the City of Alameda.  Hopefully they will drop it sooner, rather than later, but of course this is the agency that dragged the City of Alameda into a fight that they were waging with the federal government.

Before someone tries the attribute this to developers being frightened of a Trish Spencer administration, I’ll point out that it would take months, not weeks for the developer to extricate themselves from a contract with the federal government, particularly one that really really wanted to sell the land to the point that they would actual try to condemn the only access road into the site to take it away from its current owner, the State of California, to do so.

Even after all this, even with the developer gone, the land still belongs to the Federal Government who can still do whatever it likes with the property.  Anything.  And they don’t even have to follow City of Alameda zoning or building laws.

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49 Comments

  1. I’m glad to see that the city has zoned the property for parks and open space and that the developer has removed his interest in the property. Hopefully, we can close the door on this chapter. Now the EBRPD can work with the Federal government to acquire the property and expand the park.

    It will be interesting to see both how the federal case is settled with regard to the easements, and to see what the Federal Goverment will do with their land once their suit has been settled. Without some resolution between the EBRPD and the feds, I am concerned that this property will remain a blight for many years to come. As someone who lives close to this property — the later will be a huge disappointment.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 1, 2014 @ 6:25 am

  2. Karen , You have a good point here , what a huge waste of fund from every party , now that the EBRPD has said on the record they would turn in into a park , tet;s give them 6 months to start working and turning it into public use if not then let it become a City park without any possibility for the EBRPD to get hold of it ever , they were the one saying it should have been theirs ?????? 6 months start an finish the work .

    Comment by joel Rambaud — December 1, 2014 @ 7:59 am

  3. A park might boost the property values of the houses beyond, but I wonder if the Feds sold the whole parcel to a private individual for a single family estate if people would object. I’ve always marveled at the lack of newer “stately” homes on our shoreline and the right billionaire could do a lot to support the parks and schools in his or her new hometown. Just a thought.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 1, 2014 @ 8:35 am

  4. “Even after all this, even with the developer gone, the land still belongs to the Federal Government who can still do whatever it likes with the property. Anything. And they don’t even have to follow City of Alameda zoning or building laws.” The GSA wing of the federal government, unlike the military which by law had to ask the local community what it wanted to be done with its surplus military base, can act as its own government, totally detached from the society for whom it works. Some 30 years ago Congress took away arbitrary military base closure decisions from the Pentagon by passing the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Similar legislation is in order for the GSA. They do have rules that were supposed to favor other public agencies first before auctioning off property, but in this case the GSA found a work around.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — December 1, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  5. The battle is certainly not over for the property at Crab Cove. If the Federal government were to decide to build on or sell that property, Alameda citizens would have to star up in large numbers to fight it. The concern we should be having is if decisions are made without us knowing. I do hope the Friends of Crab Cove stand “watch” and continue to work at protecting that area. Their efforts to date are to be commended.

    Comment by Bill — December 1, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  6. Denise & Richard, my point exactly – which I why urged all parties involved to negotiate a win win for everyone. It’s too late now – but my other fear is that the feds may decide to do nothing.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 1, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  7. reading the link Irene posted over the weekend it seems like it is up to GSA to successfully argue that “public benefit” (correct term?) from eminent domain, which would trump the state and city, be defined as the enrichment of federal coffers. I would hope that because the “public benefit” of the additional profit of selling to a private developer would be both abstract compared to public benefit enjoyed by expanded park use, and the fact that financial windfall to feds would be diluted in terms of any direct public benefit to individuals, that the current ruling would stand. It also occurs to me that the cost of eminent domain suit could eat into profit pretty quickly. Not like that would stop the feds. No idea how feds factor their own legal costs. It occurs to me that feds could argue the inclusion of affordable housing as part of the public benefit for their selling to a developer, to which the City would have to argue that there are other sites which supply the housing. Am I getting anything right here?

    5. my impression is that the next court ruling on definition of public benefit will decide this thing and that cannot be done in some back channel. If GSA wins right of way in court they will sell to developer and our zoning will be toast. Again, correct or no?

    Comment by MI — December 1, 2014 @ 10:47 am

  8. Even though it isn’t a huge site maybe put the VA Clinic there instead of on the base. It would be closer to current infrastructure which would make it cheaper to build. At the rate they (we) are going the rebuilding of the infrastructure on the base seems to increase every year.

    Comment by Jake — December 1, 2014 @ 11:29 am

  9. 7. If the GSA wins in court, they can again attempt to sell the parcel with the same caveats that they provided at the original auction. Those included no warranties as to future zoning – the property was for sale “as is.” So, yes, the GSA could try to find a buyer for land zoned open space that will now take a ballot measure to change. Changing the zoning to residential or commercial by ballot measure is simply never going to happen. And “selling” the parcel to another federal agency (which would not require a zoning change) would not happen because there would be no net gain for the federal treasury – they could only give it to another agency. Therefore, if the feds want any money for their parcel, they need to talk to a party that has money to offer for an open space fixer upper.

    My prediction is that the GSA drops the eminent domain action because they will have a hard time convincing even a conservative Supreme Court (where this is headed) that land seizure for value enhancement is constitutional. If they would win such an argument, then the GSA could theoretically seize the Crown Point neighborhood next door to create a value-enhancing second street entrance to a housing development at the end of McKay. It’s simply preposterous that this could be constitutional.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — December 1, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  10. Thank goodness this is getting resolved. Hopefully EBRP will soon be able to build the parking lot and dumpster storage space they and friends of crab cove have been fighting so hard to obtain.

    Comment by notadave — December 1, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  11. And Richard, to that point it might be difficult to convince a court that a parking lot on beach front property is for the public benefit. I have to admit – I still prefer beach front homes over a parking lot.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 1, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

  12. There is another lawsuit filed or being considered by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission vs the GSA. So this entire process has a long way to go.

    Comment by frank m — December 1, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

  13. 9

    The Kelo decision legalized eminent domain for the purpose of increasing tax revenue. While I agree with you philosophically, it’s not a stretch to think the feds would do what you fear.

    Comment by dave — December 1, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

  14. Reiterating a bit what Richard has said — if it’s not clear: the feds are free and clear of local zoning, but private parties are not. So the feds — GSA — in theory could build what they want on this property but obviously, holding the property was never their intention. They want to sell it to a private party, and that’s when they run into the open space zoning, which won’t permit residential development. That’s why Tim Lewis left.

    That’s also why it’s hard to fathom what they’re trying to do now — I have no clue what it means. They want to seize McKay Ave and gain control over access, but for what, if the property is zoned open space?

    As for the cost for eminent domain: it’s handled by the Dept. of Justice, and whether it involves billing or in what form I don’t know, but ultimately it costs money for the feds to sue the state. It’s truly a pig-headed process, and by the time they’re done, they will have eaten into any profits they’d get from a private sale, which by GSA standards is so little money anyway.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 1, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

  15. #11: Karen — it’s a *state beach*, serving tens of thousands of people, and very obviously a public benefit. No one is putting a random parking lot in the middle of the shoreline with a fence around it. The park district plans to use the Crab Cove site to move some of its maintenance activities farther from the shore, so it can free up shoreline sites for more recreational activities. This benefits the public in general, infinitely more than private ownership. Thank goodness we have this beach and we have EBRPD to maintain it.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 1, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  16. Darcy, I don’t have a problem with the park/beach expansion – it’s the parking lot I don’t care for.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 1, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

  17. Here’s a diagram of the park district’s extensive plans for the site and its surroundings — it’s part of a larger plan, involving a new visitor center, new picnic sites and trails. So it’s much more than a parking lot.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 1, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

  18. For anyone who may be interested, here’s Bob Sullwold’s analysis regarding eminent domain and the Takings Clause, from last April:

    https://alamedamgr.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/merry-go-round-to-feds-drop-dead/

    “Unfortunately for the feds, the Takings Clause forbids the government from taking property “for the purpose of conferring a private benefit on a particular private party.” So the DOJ would have to convince a judge that, notwithstanding the beneficial impact on Tim Lewis, taking over McKay Avenue really is intended to serve a legitimate public purpose. We agree with the Deputy Attorney General that this is, to say the least, a stretch.

    The taking of McKay Avenue can be justified only if the sale of Neptune Pointe to Tim Lewis itself is necessary. But is it? The DOJ argues that selling the property would enable the feds to recover the cost of consolidating the USDA’s operations in the northern portion of federal land. But that doesn’t require a sale to Tim Lewis.

    According to the DOJ, the USDA has spent $1.5 million “to upgrade and expand its facilities.” As it happens, $1.5 million reportedly is the amount the EBRPD offered to pay to acquire Neptune Pointe. If the “public purpose” truly is cost recovery, accepting the Park District’s offer would have permitted the GSA to accomplish it – without condemning McKay Avenue.

    Sure, Tim Lewis has agreed to pay more for Neptune Pointe than the Park District offered. But it is hard to see how profit maximization can be considered a legitimate “public purpose” sufficient to justify a taking. The GSA’s concern for the federal fisc is indeed admirable. But if the feds can get away with seizing one piece of property on the grounds that it would allow them to obtain the “highest monetary return” from selling another parcel, no one’s land is safe.”

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 1, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

  19. Darcy, most of the improvements (pathways and picnic areas) proposed above are within the current EBRP boundaries, and thus not contingent on getting the land. The improvements for the GSA land are 50+ parking spaces, continued use of one of the existing buildings, a service yard(that is fancyspeak for a place to park your dumpsters and debris) and a “drought tolerant meadow” (again, fancyspeak for dead grass for dogs to pee on). Hopefully each member of Friends of Crab Cove can get a parking space or trash can named after them in recognition of their efforts.

    Comment by notadave — December 1, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  20. Dave – the purpose was to move other uses to the Crab Cove site, in order to free up space for recreational uses closer to the water. So all these projects are related. EBRPD had this on their list for Measure WW bond projects in 2008 — they’ve been planning this for some time, as part of a park expansion. A relocated maintenance yard would enable them to do more elsewhere at Crown Beach, that’s the point. An expanded parking lot would make the visitors’ center more accessible to school buses and school kids, which would seem to make sense. I guess I’m wondering — is a large state beach supposed to function with no parking or maintenance yard? They already have these things, they’re just proposing to relocate them for better land use overall.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 1, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

  21. Where is the maintenance yard now? And will parking be removed from elsewhere (perhaps near Westline)? Looking at the whole Crab Cove park, is the development neutral in terms of space for parking and maintenance, with an increase is parkland equivalent to the size for the GSA parcel?

    Comment by BC — December 1, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

  22. 19. You say that most of the improvements are within the current EBRPD boundaries. Not really. Look at the map that Darcy posted. The dashed red line indicates the current GSA parcel. People can see for themselves. And, EBRPD wouldn’t be able to make the changes on their existing land if they were not able to move the service yard onto the property now owned by the GSA. Furthermore, it is not true that all of the new parking spaces are going onto the GSA parcel. Part of the new parking is achieved by converting the end of McKay Avenue to a parking lot. McKay Avenue belongs to the California Department of Parks and Recreation – they have every right to do whatever they please with the part of the street in front of the GSA surplus property as long as the GSA is unsuccessful with eminent domain. Lastly, that brown building called the Glory of the Seas is currently used for vehicles, tools, and park staff use. Under the proposed park expansion, it will be converted to public use.

    “a ‘drought tolerant meadow’ (again, fancyspeak for dead grass for dogs to pee on).” That pretty much sums up in both tone and style the attitude of the anti park district crowd.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — December 1, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

  23. Oy Vey! Parking lot = more traffic. There goes the neighborhood.

    Comment by BarbaraK — December 1, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

  24. 23. very funny. I bike and walk to the beach from Oak and Otis, but down at the parking lot nearest the wind sailing rental there are lots of folks from Oakland who drive there. Along with traffic, we don’t want to encourage more of “them” either, right? Seriously, I would never even try to park at the small lot at Mckay just to be nearest to visitor center, though we did park there a lot for kids birthday parties which had reserved the tables around that large field. The “beach front property” in TLC plan was hardly Sea Drift at Stinson Beach. I think that McKay would create a shitty bottle neck to access to the homes, plus TLC’s actual plan sucked.

    Comment by MI — December 1, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

  25. How do you know the people in the parking lot are from Oakland?

    Comment by dave — December 1, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  26. OMG! Tens of thousands? Really? Tens? How can this be? Seems to me from comments here that the same people who are in favor of absolutely no more traffic, not one more car!, (so no more houses) are in favor of more parking for more ie., tens of thousands, people driving through the beleaguered tube to blanket Alameda to get to Crab Cove and the beach. Bring on the cars right through Webster and Park districts. It’s okay if it’s to go to the Park, (by definition, all that is green and good). But build 800 housing units at Alameda Point where traffic will not even be a bump in the graph of those many thousands? No, no! Tisk, tisk! Houses are, by definition, a blight.

    The logic escapes me.

    You know, I just met a P.B.K. who assured me that development meant more people crowding, more traffic grid-locking, ugly housing, etc., only stuff to do with buildings could be called development. Putting in parks and beaches is not development, it’s just managing open space. Beautiful and pure, it just needs a little tweeting here and there. I hope he doesn’t decide to run for council.

    Comment by Li_ — December 1, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

  27. Tweaking! I wrote tweaking, really.

    Comment by Li_ — December 1, 2014 @ 11:03 pm

  28. dave, of course I don’t know where people are from, but there are usually large congregations of Hispanics playing soccer on Sundays and I think it is highly likely they aren’t all from Alameda. On Halloween along Oak street we get mobbed by Hispanic moms and dads bringing kids for safe trick or treat. Never poled any of them , just assumed they are from Fruitvale. Do you ask to challenge my premise or because you are concerned about lareg influx of people from off island?

    Comment by MI — December 2, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  29. Neither, just asking how you know where complete strangers hail from.

    Comment by dave — December 2, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  30. As Will Rogers said, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

    Comment by stop digging — December 2, 2014 @ 11:46 am

  31. not sure what 30 refers to, but the wind surf rental alone would be one easy way to verify who is from where, as if wind and kite surfers ONLY come from Alameda. Then there are picnic table reservations. I did a quick check of park sites but didn’t get any obvious sources for census of usage. On hot days when the beach across from mall are in heavy use it is also fairly safe assumption many folks are streaming here from Oakland and I can verify that because I’ve talked to them, as well as people I know who come from places like Laurel district.

    Comment by MI — December 2, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  32. The additional parking would be for people who live here who don’t want to (or can’t) walk all the way from the ample parking at the Crown Beach entrance to the Crab Cove Visitor center. I doubt if more parking would increase visitorship from off the island. It’s just addressing a problem that already exists.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 2, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  33. 30. is probably referring to the subtext of racism that still exists in Alameda, even among those who consider themselves progressive and liberals. “Those people” coming to Alameda from Oakland to visit our city of historic houses, parks and beaches (and dare I say, In-and-Out Burger) may bring that criminal element.

    Comment by BarbaraK — December 2, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  34. #33. I remember when the opposition to the theater/parking lot project was at full cry and very, very worried that the Cineplex would bring gangs and shootings from Oakland (code black folks and Hispanics) and every shooting around the Jack London Cinema was greeted with a “see, it will be like that!”? Hmmmm. Never has happened, and the Cineplex is used by people from all over the area. There are many who are still worried that “those people from Oakland” will come over here and ruin “our Island way of life.” Code. Code. Code.

    Comment by Kate Quick — December 2, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  35. Re. 33 and 34. I assume you’re referring to the Alameda Citizens Taskforce.

    Comment by BC — December 2, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

  36. #22 Sorry Richard, what I meant to say was that most of the parkland improvements are in property already controlled by EBRP. The rest is parking lots and garbage cans.

    Comment by notadave — December 2, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

  37. #35 – Alameda Citizens Task Force did not exist during the theater/garage debate.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — December 2, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  38. Ah yes, you only formed when Mayor Gilmore was elected, right? Interesting that.

    Comment by BC — December 2, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

  39. The formation of the ACTF was after the theater/garage debate, but I seem to recall the players overlap quite a bit. Save Our City came more recently too. Some of the same players there as well. Not a criticism, but the formation of a particular organization is less important than the drivers of the organization to those who are trying to figure out who to align with – whether a certain group reflects their concerns and views. It’s all part of the politics of the community; who is aligned with whom; who is friends with whom, etc.

    Comment by Kate Quick — December 2, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  40. #26: Li — do you profit from development in some way — potentially profit — is that it? Otherwise, I don’t get it. I can see why people are avidly opposed to development as a matter of legitimate self interest, but why people are avidly in favor of it, I don’t understand. We’re on an island, we’re talking about sea level sites that are basically mud, some with toxic waste, why is it so self righteously necessary to build something on these sites? For the record, I would not live on any of them — I live on the historic island, I would never live on fill, and I wouldn’t reward a developer for building on it. You think our water supply will hold up, you think the tubes will?

    And are you commuting to work off the island? I am, and this morning it took me maybe fifteen minutes sitting through several changes of the light to make a left hand turn onto Park, and my route off the island is relatively easy. When I hear people blow off concerns like this, it just seems arrogant and pompous to me. I need to get to work, that’s my very legitimate concern, and I have every right to object to development — which is what, a few people profiting at the whole city’s expense.

    Lots of other people feel the same way, you may have seen that.

    Is it “smart growth”? If we had anything like real “smart” growth here, somebody would start worrying about the water supply — or have you got that nailed down already? I’ll tell you what’s going on — it’s a 50’s mindset that just won’t die. If there were no ban on fill, somebody would be busy proposing another Foster City, cuz gosh, we need housing. Then there’s the pretense that sea level rise is getting fixed — good luck.

    Looking at the cycle that the Hayward Fault is in, plus the possibility of longer term droughts and the reality of sea level rise, it is really, really *stupid and irresponsible* to continue to build here as people like you insist that we do. If it’s not stupid, Li_, then tell me how you think all these problems will be solved.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 2, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  41. @33 = ” “Those people” coming to Alameda from Oakland to visit our city of historic houses, parks and beaches (and dare I say, In-and-Out Burger) may bring that criminal element”.

    For the past several years, honkies like me and John Russo have been making regular trips to In-and-Out Burger in Oakland to eat. Are we “these people”? What kind of “criminal element” do we bring to Oakland from Alameda?

    Comment by vigi — December 3, 2014 @ 10:16 am

  42. Dang, vigi, I didn’t know you hang with the manager.

    Comment by jack — December 3, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  43. they cross like ships in the night at In-and-Out Jack, they don’t hang.

    40. Darcy, we’ve had coffee to discuss this stuff right? I take your concerns seriously. We talked about earthquake, and you may be in a minority in being concerned as well all should be. As bad as liquifaction may be on fill, I’ll bet even if more structures are totaled on fill, that there will be as many casualties or more on historic island from falling Chimneys and unretrofitted brick buildings on Park and Webster as on fill. New construction on fill will have piers to mitigate seismic issues.

    Water? Yes we are currently in the most severe drought since 1977. This is a regional issue, but should we halt all development everywhere in the region because there is not enough water for toilets? Maybe, but the newest standard for toilets is a reduction from 1.6 gallons per flush to 1.2 and I am amazed how well our new Toto performs. In the Chronicle today there are stats on the decline in conservation in the state the last month over previous months of summer, but most interesting is that waterless southern California are the worst culprits. I had just read somewhere else that in average rain EBMUD has ample water capacity for projected development in to the next decade. We may never see normal rainfall again. I wish I should accurately quote that source.

    Even though we are now strapped in for long term climate change (drought?) from existing C02, even if we stop adding any today, getting out of cars is our long term goal if we hope to “save the planet”. That can’t be done without sacrifice. I drove to the dentist this a.m. at the worst hour ( 8-8:30). Oak to Lincoln was thankfully smooth, but when I got to Park at Tilden traffic was backed up from the bridge. I’m not revealing what I did but I made it from 800 block of Oak to Ashby and College in 23 minutes. If you are approaching Park from east bound Lincoln , Buena Vista, Clement or Blanding, you should scope out other routes because the Blanding and Clement get about 1.5 left turns per light change. Any environmentalist should be able to embrace the idea that it is not a birth right to be able to drive off the isl;and in 15 minutes.

    Sea level? I have no answers there. ABAG has recommended Cities be circumspect about developing in low lying areas. I’ve lost track of the plan at the Point, but if without redevelopment funds developers are willing to risk millions I have defer, at least until I know more. Jennifer Ott did make refernce to sea level mitigation in her presentation for parcel A before the ENA vote. I plead ignorance to details.

    Comment by MI — December 3, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  44. Hi MI –thanks for the response. Maybe you’re read Marc Reisner’s book, A Dangerous Place, about the Hayward Fault. Alameda is a fragile island in the middle of this dangerous place, that about sums it up. It’s a lovely place but it’s also at tremendous risk. People live with –and rationalize — a level of risk here that would be unthinkable anywhere else. In other places, the ground is solid, it rains on a regular basis, here we can’t be sure of that much, yet development chugs along, the hearings are held, reports are written, everything moves along like it’s just business as usual. It’s like a fancy remodel on a brick foundation.

    What if we lose our water supply in a quake? What if we lose a bridge or a tube? We’ve already got 60,000 people here, that’s not news, in a situation that’s genuinely precarious, why be so busily insistent on adding yet more people. Of course Webster and Park St are lined with brick buildings — that’s an obvious risk of damage we already have, in this historic city. New development on fill is just multiplying the risk and makes no sense. You do know that the underground utilities can be destroyed even if the buildings survive — these sites were never meant for this use.

    “Mitigating” climate change by building at sea level is a bad joke. It’s clearly just rationalizing — I would say exploiting climate change — to push for development, and insulting our intelligence in the process. If what they predict is accurate, then I have no idea how it gets “fixed” — anymore than a fault zone gets “fixed”. The smartest thing is to build well above sea level and stop rationalizing this nonsense.

    And yes, I have scoped out other routes — the “cross Park and cut back over to Clement” route, something along those lines. No more left turns.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — December 4, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

  45. Darcy, look at the last quake in Japan. When the shit hits the fan we will see what’s felt. I hope we lose far fewer people. It is assumed that all the infrastructure in the east bay will be a mess. They are still finding water leaks in Napa and the fact we are an island does really make our circumstance that much different. In the short term we will all be without water, electricity etc. What is a bridge if the bridges go out? There will be nowhere to go. I am hoping that the National Guard has some preparation for evacuation like military pontoon bridges, but my bigger fixation is fire and I still think we need salt water pumps. If you are really that concerned you can move to Oklahoma City and deal with tornadoes. I’d rather take my chances with 45 seconds of severe shaking every 140 years than constantly shifting climate threat. Sea level: maybe people are underestimating. I think they are probably using 18 rise in 50 years. Seems we should plan for 100 years.

    Comment by MI — December 5, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

  46. 50 years from now when every bit of the inner Bay Area is built out, over, and above, with no more room for growth of any kind, “smart growth” will be redefined to apply to those areas that are now the subject of derision called suburbia. And after that, we’ll resume paving over farmland. Maxing out development of every square inch of our cities in the inner Bay Area is not really as smart as it sounds if you look at the world through more than one lifetime. Maybe “smart growth” and “sustainability” need redefining today before we reach that future.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — December 5, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

  47. so we should keep building suburbs all the way to Yosemite so we can make Alameda a big park. I think that we need a really integrated long term plan and there really is no precedent in human history for that. slow food and urban gardening is healthy but can’t feed the world so we probably do need roof top gardens but also need to embrace some forms of genetically modified agriculture. Aside fro over population, the root of the problem is doing everything for a profit. Having the state run everything is just as problematic because of other issues with human nature also having to do with greed, like nepotism, laziness and corruption. Perhaps we need Vonnegut like suicide parlors so we can weed the population. We can all do a sort of cap and trade with life credits and then these tech guys who think they are entitled to live to be two hundred years old with their latest technology can buy out other people who can live like kings for forty years if they agree to off themselves. just the idle musings of a miscreant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_booth

    Comment by MI — December 6, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  48. I’ll bet you yell at small puppies too.

    Comment by jack — December 6, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  49. 45
    Mark, you neglected what is probably the most perilous ‘shit hits the fan’ scenario for, not only the Bay area but the entire country, that being EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse).

    Comment by jack — December 6, 2014 @ 7:20 pm


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