Growing by the Bay

Category: development

Presidio Trust changing the nature of the Presidio

build your own presidio theme park

The oversight agency for the Presidio proposes to construct not just the massive Fisher Art Museum but a 125-room hotel and new movie theaters as well, right in the middle of the park. Traffic would be directed to a hundred-space underground parking garage beneath the museum.

According to the Chronicle, The report acknowledges that the preferred scenario would create some parking and traffic problems and would significantly change the area, which is currently a historic landmark district.”

This whole business has been an inside job, of the kind the city specializes in, like the fake merger a decade or so ago between the Chronicle and the Examiner. That was supposed to give us an expanded morning paper and keep competition alive with an afternoon one (it actually gave a few months of an extra page of comics, followed by years of staff layoffs from the consistently diminishing Chronicle and the shredding of the Examiner leading to its transformation into a giveaway).

Fisher had this deal lined up from the beginning, and there was no way his buddies on the trust were going to cross him. That’s just the way things go in the city by the bay.

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Testing the limits

alameda manzanita

Bravo to Contra Costa supervisors who unanimously voted down an attempt to expand the East Bay urban limit line — a line overwhelmingly approved by area voters less than a year ago.

The proposal would have created a 75-home development in El Sobrante. El Sobrante (home to an endangered species of manzanita) is already suffering from severe traffic congestion and a scandalous shortage of services. The last thing it needs is more housing, the purpose of which would simply be to line some developer’s pocket. I wonder why such a propect has traditionally appealed to City of Richmond politicians. That is just so baffling. What could the explanation possibly be?

Ominously, according to the Contra Costa Times, “Architect Paul Wang said he will continue to meet with El Sobrante residents in an attempt to fix any flaws they see with the Golden Oaks proposal.” Wait, I see a flaw! This guy enjoys a sweet view from his bucolic home office in the Berkeley Hills. Meanwhile, on the other side of that hill — just far enough away that it doesn’t pollute his tranquil existence — construction crews would be cutting down “golden oaks” and putting up houses where they’re not wanted
and don’t belong.

Hey, City of Richmond and Contra Costa County (El Sobrante spans the two jurisdictions), did you ever think of creating a downtown park or two for this community that is home to many young families? And what about that pedestrian mall along San Pablo Dam Road that we’re not hearing much about anymore?

Shown: Endangered alameda manzanita (and friends). 

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