Jul 30, 2014

City of Alameda jeopardizes Crown Beach regional park expansion plan

City of Alameda jeopardizes Crown Beach regional park expansion plan

The East Bay Regional Park District's effort to expand Crown Beach in Alameda next to its Crab Cove Visitor Center is in jeopardy.

The adjacent surplus federal property, which voters authorized the park district to acquire in the 2008 ballot Measure WW, was recently rezoned "residential" by the City of Alameda.

Now a developer and the city are proceeding with an Environmental Impact Report, even though the access street, McKay Avenue, is owned by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  Crown Beach is operated by the park district, and both the park district and the state say their property cannot be dug up to install infrastructure for private projects.

The developer won the federal Government Services Administration (GSA) auction, after the GSA refused to entertain the customary disposal process of offering surplus land to other government agencies.

A support group has formed that is urging the city council to rezone the surplus federal property to open space so that the GSA will be forced to follow its own rules and negotiate with the park district. The GSA and the developer have not closed escrow yet. Background info and email addresses of city council members and local media are on the Friends of Crown Beach website http://friendsofcrownbeach.com/get-involved/

Recent story on Alameda Patch:  http://alameda.patch.com/groups/irene-dieters-i-on-alameda/p/breaking-news--crab-cove-park-expansion-plan-released

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