Here is the letter to the Mayor and City Council, from Norman La Force of the Sierra Club East Bay Public Lands Committee and Legal Committee.

The Berkeley Waterfront Commission is conspicuously absent from the cc: list. One Councilmember was kind enough to fax over a copy.

Sierra Club

San Francisco Bay Chapter

Hon. Mayor Shirley Dean and Members
of the Berkeley City Council
2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA

May 1, 2001

Dear Mayor Dean City Councilmembers:

This letter is in regard to the remaining privately held lands on the waterfront that are governed by Meaure Q. In the late 1990's T'he State and East Bay Regional Park District purchases most of Sante Fe's aka Catellus' property on the waterfront that was subject to Measure Q. A small portion of the most northerly portion of the Berkeley lands in the area known as the North Basin Strip were not purchased. Catellus sold that small area to the current owner of Golden Gate Fields race track.

Measure Q provided for a maximum of 565,000 square feet of development on all of Santa Fe's waterfront holdings in Berkeley. When the State and Park District bought most of that property, they bought the property based on the value of the property with those development rights. Hence, the State bought a sizable proportion of that 565,000 square feet of development rights. It is estimated that the State and Park District purchased around 80% of Santa Fe's waterfront property subject to Measure Q. That means that they bought 80% of the development rights or around 452,000 square feet of the development rights, leaving the remaining property with a value based on the remaining 110,000 square feet of development nghts. These numbers are perforce approximate and would need to be more closely calculated for a more precise number. For purposes of this letter, I will use the figure 110,000 square feet.

It is has come to the Sierra Club's attention that there are statements emanating from the city staff that the current property owner holds rights to 561,000 square feet of development on the remaining portion of the North Basin Strip that was not sold to the public. This would be a legally untenable position and a subversion of voter approved Measure Q, which was dubbed, as you are well aware, "The Sierra Club Plan" for the Berkeley waterfront. Therefore the Club requests that the City clarify its position on what rights to development the current property owner has over that small portion of the former Santa Fe lands that were not put into public ownership.

It goes without saying that if the City's position is that the current owner holds rights to 565,000 square feat of development, the Club wiIl need to evaluate what steps it will need to take to ensure that the voter's will is not subverted and the millions of taxpayers dollars that were spent to purchase Santa Fe's extensive waterfront holdings were not a gift of public funds. Please be aware that the staff of the East Bay Regional Park District have confirmed for the Club that the State and Park District's appraisal for the Santa Fe lands included the proportionate share of those development rights in determining the value of the lands they purchased.

If the City is taking the position that 565,000 square feet of development can be put onto the small Portion that was not publicly bought, the Club requests that the City state in writing the legal and economic basis for that position.

Sincerely yours,

Norman La Force
Chair, East Bay Public Lands Committee &
Chair, Chapter Legal Committee

State Parks
East Bay Regional Park District
Golden Gate Audubon Society
Save San Francisco Bay Association
Citizens for the Eastshore State Park

My comments, May 15 2001

My comments, after examining full text of Masure Q, May 19 2001