California State University East Bay

Development proposal stirs up frustration

January 22, 2015

Residents of San Leandro packed a city council Planning Commission meeting and spoke out Thursday on the proposed San Leandro Shoreline Project.

If the project is approved, many existing businesses would be torn down to revamp the area with new establishments. The meeting consisted of a public hearing to provide the Planning Commission feedback on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.

If the development project is approved it will include a 150 square feet office campus, a 200 room hotel and conference center.

There will also be 354 housing units, 3 new restaurants, parking structures, and a branch library with a community meeting space. Upgrades of existing park facilities and other recreational areas are proposed.

The Planning Commission meeting agenda flyer states, “The 75-acre project site. 52-acre site land area and 23-acre water area, which encompasses the San Leandro Marina and surrounding properties is located on Monarch Bay Drive, between Marina Boulevard and Assessor’s Drive.”

In the projects summary report, the project “includes the removal of El Torito, Mulford branch library, and the San Leandro Yacht Club buildings. [Five] of the tees/holes on the Marina Golf Course would be reconfigured.”

“For the community, this is ridiculous especially with sea levels rising. They want to put another hotel, more traffic, more pollution, and for greed.  It’s not the benefit for the people, it’s for the outsiders,” stated Wafaa Aborashed a community helper.

The meeting was goaled on focusing the Draft EIR. The proposed project development has increased huge concerns from many residents and the Commission.
The research and discussion for this project began in 2005, a timeline in their informational report as, “Laying the Groundwork.” Comment Period on the Draft EIR closes on Feb. 6, 2015.

Commissioner Scott Rennie stated at the meeting, “I’m not happy about the plan. I’m looking at the loss of public amenities.”

Many topics were discussed in the Jan. 15 EIR meeting, in which issues pertained to aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, population, housing, noise, transportation, and traffic.

Information provided in the planning services staff report included, “A Notice of Availability/Notice of Release of a Draft EIR was mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the project area, distributed to State and local agencies and posted on the City’s web site.”

Debbie Martin, resident of San Leandro for 25 years was displeased with the information presented at the hearing.

“I’m totally against the development, it’s rather ridiculous. I think the marina should be left as the marina and they should spend a little money and dreg it, like they should have long ago so it wouldn’t cost so much now,” Martin said.

Residents argue this is tampering with the natural aura of the Marina, and worry that their beautiful view of the Bay Area will be ruined. Residents complain traffic flow would be gridlock. Traffic and noise is a problem for people living near the Marina.

The Oakland International Airport air traffic presents high-intensity noise. The impact of the project during construction will increase noise levels and greenhouse gas emissions will be significant.

“I’ve seen nothing but the area get impacted with too much overdevelopment,” said Terry Roloff.

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