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VIDEO: Mayor Coralin Feierbach Opposes Saltworks Proposal

Mayor Coralin Feierbach says the traffic and environmental impacts will outweigh the benefits of the Cargill Saltworks proposal in Redwood City.

For more information about the Cargill Saltworks proposal, click here.

For information about those who oppose the proposal, click here.

Johnny March 07, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Coralin should not be mayor of Belmont, what about increased revenue for local businesses? What about tax revenue for the county? Throwing around words like disastrous to the environment are just scare tactics on her part. She should champion business opportunities for local businesses not shut the door.
Mary Morrissey Parden March 07, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Coralin -- As I was at the Belmont City Council Meeting where this matter was discussed (and I addressed the council to "not take a position"), there was NOT consensus by your Council on this matter. I also feel it appropriate to weigh in on your video. It could not be more apropos where you chose to stand, as the backdrop behind you wasn't wetlands, uplands or anything close to what the "edge of the bay" should look like to be purposely-enviromentally-sensitive! I don't consider this area to currently be an enviromental wonder. What the Cargill project proposes includes restoration of enviromentally sensitive habitat as well as creating a neighborhood which supports a work-live community. After reviewing the project I believes it achieves a balance of being enviromental sensitive in a sustainable manner including integrating commercial, retail and residential alongside extensive park planning. All of this is on top of the restoration of habitat! If Belmont's concern is traffic on Ralston Avenue, please focus on that issue instead of this one. To be clear, I own property in both Belmont and Redwood Shores as well as having a business in Belmont and this project does not cause me alarm; instead it makes me grateful that Redwood City values habitat restoration as much as it does creating sustainable neighborhoods. -- Mary
Terri Cook March 07, 2011 at 07:50 PM
To clarify, on March 23, 2010, the Belmont City Council adopted Resolution 10217 Opposing the Redwood City Cargill Project on a vote of 3-2 (Council Members Lieberman and Braunstein opposed). Mayor Feierbach approved this message of clarification to Patch readers.
Mary Morrissey Parden March 07, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Thanks Terri for the clarification, as it validates my recollection there wasn't unanimity or group solidarity from the Council. I hope at some point the Belmont Council will be able to review the Cargill plans, as 50% of the project is dedicated to open space, which includes public access, 200 acres of park, 50+ acre ballpark, and over ten miles of trails. I do understand the historic position that Belmont has taken about traffic on Ralston Avenue; but it seems a red herring since this has been a problem in Belmont for years. Here is a link to review: http://www.rcsaltworks.com/
Robert Weissburg March 07, 2011 at 11:30 PM
I've never been more proud to be a Belmont Citizen then to see my mayor speaking out on this unbelievably bad, purely greed based proposal. The narrow traffic bandwidth of the Belmont San Carlos area can not support such an addition of traffic and the bay needs more wetlands, not less.
Michael Lizano March 08, 2011 at 12:15 AM
If the concern is about traffic on Ralston Avenue, then one compromise would be to require the developer to fund an additional overpass over 101 closer to the site of the homes. That would alleviate at least some of the potential congestion on Ralston. Also, as an aside, it has never been clear to me why one cannot drive directly from Redwood Shores to Foster City.
Laura Dudnick (Editor) March 08, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Please note the resolution passed by the Belmont City Council 3-2 that officially opposes the Cargill proposal has now been attached. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Laura
Dave Warden March 08, 2011 at 04:58 AM
Hey Mary, who took you out to lunch from Cargill/DMB to sway your opinion? :c)
Dave Warden March 08, 2011 at 05:03 AM
Yes, and that makes it OFFICIAL opposition. Belmont says NO!
Donald Kolko March 08, 2011 at 06:44 AM
I have lived in Belmont for over 20 years. I will vote out anyone on the counci that does NOT oppose building this attrocity. Please post their names. I will activly persue this. That land is only a few inches above sea water. We do not need more cheap housing (by cheap I mean built barely to code). Cargil does not live in the Bay Area.
Mary Morrissey Parden March 08, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Dave -- No lunch for me, but here is what I have found through research about this project that merits consideration: 1) The site itself is not "the bay" and has existed for over 100 years as private property. 2) The interior portion of this property is an industrial salt harvesting site, and because of it's levels of brine, pickle and bittern makes its conversion to wetlands impossible and a violation of Federal and State law. In other words, it could only be left an active salt site, a devoid area or be developed. 3) There are 40,000 unfunded acres of publicly owned bayside property which cannot secure funding for restoration. This project will restore at no public cost over 400 acres. 4) Green house emissions are an enviromental problem that are helped when sustainable live-work, transit oriented communities are formed. Housing has been an historic problem in the region and one of the reasons that we have so many commuters. I see this as a sustainable solution. 5) This is not currently open space, it is an active industrial salt harvesting site with every right to continue operation. I think the proposal makes much better use on this property. Harvest salt somehere else, and provide schools, recreation, housing, commercial and retail (yes, a small city). (continuing in another comment as I am approaching my word-limit)
Mary Morrissey Parden March 08, 2011 at 12:20 PM
6) The Bayfront Canal has caused flooding on the west side of Highway 101 for years. This project will allow for much needed improvements to the infrastucture and dedicating land (while restoring it) to allow for discharge of water that the Bayfront Canal cannot handle. Again, restoring wetlands will help this significant and historical problem. 7) Previous projects that Redwood City considered included high rise buildings. This project does not. What I had said at the Belmont City Council meeting, still has merit. Please investigate the project thoroughly before saying what we have now is better! The reason that it is called the 50/50 plan is that 50% of the space is going towards rehabilitation of property that can actually be restored as well as active parks. I also don't take it lightly when I state that many Belmont residents consider Ralston Avenue a traffic nightmare. There are solutions that can be looked at for this, and to make a future project the reason that traffic now is at the measurable level of service seems questionable to me. Please respect my opinion as my own: no lunch, just research! I respect the Bay Area region as much as anyone else does and I like solutions for active remediaion and restoration. This is private property, not owned by a conservancy group unable to fund restoration of habitat. My opinion: it is currently an active and obnoxious industrial site. -- Mary
Maria March 08, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Mary, Looks like you do understand English... So please read this: NO MORE CONSTRUCTION!!!! Belmont resident, Maria
Michael Lizano March 08, 2011 at 06:23 PM
These personal attacks on Ms. Parden lower the tone of this debate and, frankly, make us Belmont residents look bad. Just because she has a different opinion does not mean that she has been bribed. Nor does it mean that she needs to be shouted at, which is what the all caps statement above suggests.
Maria March 08, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Belmont residents don't look bad for protecting the wildlife, the environment and the well being of "all" residents in this town, that would include other animals other than us the primates. I think the money hungry corporate officials look bad for disregarding the resident's wishes and opinions. So yes Michael and Mary, we don't want you here!
Mary Morrissey Parden March 08, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Everyone -- I have known Coralin and Dave for 20+ years and responded directly to them as we mutually respect each other -- although we don't agree on this particular matter, there are plenty of areas we do agree upon -- from my point of view I have always respected an intelligent exchange of opinion and I can count on that from both Coralin and Dave -- the Belmont Patch has been an excellent forum (as the City Council only allows 3 minutes for public address) for me to articulate my point of view -- and one thing is certain, I know that both Coralin and Dave respect me enough to read and understand it is only a personal perspective -- BRAVO to Belmont Patch for allowing the expression of ideas in a forum that is open to all -- there is no harm intended in any of my comments -- just my opinions -- Mary ;)
Michael Lizano March 08, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Maria, I have lived in Belmont for over 30 years. I attended Belmont schools and also pay my property tax just like everyone else in Belmont. If you read my earlier comment, you would see that I am trying to find a compromise here. I care about the environment as well, but we need to find realistic solutions to very complicated problems. Hurtful statements about not wanting people in the community who happen to hold different opinions don't really advance the ball.
Gladwyn d'Souza March 09, 2011 at 06:51 AM
The option is not this bad development or no development. The Redwood City new general plan and Downtown Specific Plan provide for exactly the future proponents describes: a mix of new housing for workers, retail for a vital economy and resources to improve our schools and parks. All on the transit, sewer, and water corridors already in place to minimize impacts and costs on surrounding entities like Belmont. These plans are the map to less traffic, better air quality, and a sustainable city for present and future generations. We do not need to sacrifice the restoration potential of the salt ponds to achieve this future. In fact, 1400 acres of wetlands at the bay edge is a smart choice to protect Redwood City's downtown against future sea level rise, with the added bonus of a healthy bay for all.
Gladwyn d'Souza March 09, 2011 at 07:03 AM
Great video Coralin. At 37 seconds you can see a large flock of birds that call the place home. There are many creatures that call this place home and you can see them out there. Take a trip with the Audubon Society. The natural actions of the tide will restore the area. The sea as people in Pacifica are finding out is a much more agressive restorer of habitat than man. Left to its own devices it crafts the wonders of our watery planet.
Dave Warden March 09, 2011 at 07:20 AM
Hi Michael, If I may ask... do you work for a law firm? Does that firm have any dealings with Cargill, either directly or indirectly?

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