Nearly 30 people attended Monday night’s San Leandro City Council workshop, which detailed the final elements in a plan to bring a convention hotel, office complex, housing developments and recreational facilities to the San Leandro Marina.
After the Citizen Advisory Committee gave its recommendation urging the council to support the latest plan, called "Discussion Plan 8," the public had an opportunity to weigh in on the project.
Comments ranged from calling the plan “an environmental nightmare” to “the best plan for San Leandro.” Some attendees asked that San Leandro citizens be allowed to vote on the plan, while others wanted the council to pick a path and move more quickly.
Alfred Frates called his time as a Citizen Advisory Committee member “quite an experience” and urged council members to make a decision and move forward.
“I don’t want to be here 10 years from now still talking about it,” he said.
The committee recommended that the city continue to maintain the boat harbor for as long as feasible and move to an aquatic park alternative if addition revenue was unavailable.
The work session focused on one aspect of a larger plan to develop 40 acres out of the 1,800 acres the city owns along San Francisco Bay. The proposal is to turn the current marina into a marshland at a cost of $11 million, eliminating 465 boat berths in the process.
The city is working with a private developer, Cal Coast Companies, to create a mixed-use development including:
- a 225 room hotel and conference center;
- about 250,000 square feet of office space;
- about 170 housing units of various types;
- restaurants, some retail, a library and pedestrian amenities.
Cal Coast president Ed Miller said at this stage he is more encouraged than ever that San Leandro could bring in a large Silicon Valley-type firm with this development plan.
“[Discussion Plan 8 is the] best it’s been,” Miller said.
After living in San Leandro from 60 years, resident Howard Kerr said, he was happy to see an overall project plan instead of partial plans.
“Something is on its way and I hope the council will follow through,” Kerr said.
Each council member thanked the 35-member committee for the time put into the project, commenting on more than 50 public meetings the committee members and some city staff members have attended.
Because the meeting was a workshop, no formal decisions were made Monday night.
Mayor Stephen Cassidy asked for a future comparison of how much green space the area has now and how much there will be under the plan. Cassidy said that while the area is currently a public space, in the future it would not be, because some areas will require individuals to be employees or paid guests.
Assuming the plan moves forward, Cal Coast would look for City Council approval, pursue an environmental review and vet the project with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
More details are available on the city's Shoreline Marina Area Development web page.
Patch Local Editor contributed to this report.