Here is the letter from Toni Loveland of the Sierra Club to the Berkeley City Council.
My response to the Sierra Club letter
Northern Alameda County Regional Group
San Francisco Bay Chapter
2530 San Pablo Ave., Suite L, Berkeley, CA 94702
March 29, 1999
Honorable Mayor and Berkeley City Council Members
1900 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
RE: Waterfront Planning
Dear Mayor and Council Members:
It has recently been brought to the Sierra Club's attention that the City of Berkeley is contemplating a number of improvements to its waterfront areas. In general the master planning effort delineated in the Marina Plan is certainly a step in the right direction towards making the waterfront a more accessible and enjoyable public space.
However, we are concerned about some of the proposals being considered. The new lodging and restaurant facility being considered for the boatyard area as well as the new lodging being considered to replace His Lordship's existing restaurant concern us. In addition, Ladbroke's "equestrian center" in the North Basin area is also problematic in regard to public access and views.
These private uses will intensify automobile presence on the waterfront, will add pollution, and will compete with the existing public recreational/outdoor activities of the Marina.
These projects do not serve the best interests of the public nor the environment. Planning priorities for this highly popular park should be given to increase open, public space and expanding habitat areas. Intense uses such as hotels and restaurants belong in more developed parts of the city which already have infrastructure and public transportation to support them. Furthermore, if the City feels that more intense use of its waterfront lands is necessary, other projects would better benefit the public. For example, the proposed ferry terminal would be a more appropriate use of such lands and would tie Berkeley's park to other regional parks (the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Treasure Island, and Angel Island).
If there is land available on the waterfront for development, shouldn't the City consider expanding the park rather than "commercial viability?" In the long run, outdoor recreational areas have a positive economic value in that they improve the quality of life, so rare in our urbane region. And once lost, open space opportunities rarely return.
Toni Loveland, Chair
Northern Alameda County Group
San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club
Berkeley Waterfront Commission; Parks & Recreation
Commission; Director & Parks and Waterfront
Department; Director and Planning Commission;
James Keene, City Manager