As many of you already know, the proposal to build housing and a marina across from Bowditch Middle School (the “Marina Project”) is coming back to the Council for another public hearing on Monday, February 23, 2015 starting at 6:30. I am expecting (and hoping) to see a large turnout again.
I have received a lot of emails but at this point there are too many to respond to all of them, so if you emailed me and did not get an individual response, I apologize. What I have been saying is that it is not the City’s plan to build this housing. It is the owner of the land coming to the City Council to get some advice and feedback on whether the Council would approve a zoning change to allow the property owner to build housing. Right now it is not zoned for housing.
Last year we changed the law and began having these kinds of hearings as the very first step in the development process. The point was to allow the public and the Council to weigh in on new projects before the process went far down the road and the property owner spent a lot of money. Charter Square was one such hearing, Edgewater Shopping Center was another. A prior version of the development plan for the Marina Project was a third. The Marina Project has been changed by the property owner and so now it has come back to another hearing.
Under California law I cannot decide on a matter before the public hearing but I have told everyone, including the property owner’s representative, that I have serious concerns about moving forward on any housing development before we have had the chance to study all of the impacts and looked at ways to diversify the City’s income portfolio away from the current concentration on revenue from property tax. That has been my consistent position for some time and I see no reason it will not continue.
If you support that position, I encourage you to come to the hearing on the 23rd.