Almanac

Viewpoint - March 17, 2010

Letter: Woodside should speak up on Cargill project

The Woodside Town Council should speak up against Cargill's plan to build housing and office buildings on its salt ponds in Redwood City. We should indeed concern ourselves about what is happening in our neighboring city when the quality of our collective environment is at stake.

San Francisco Bay is our area's best asset. A healthy bay pays dividends to every single resident of the area. It is an economic asset, a visual asset, a health asset and a physical asset that we all have a responsibility to protect.

When it comes to Cargill/DMB's scheme to convert open-space salt ponds to a high-density city, the size of an entire Foster City, it would be taking away open space that we collectively all have a right to.

We here in Woodside do our part in maintaining a rustic rural atmosphere for our neighboring towns to enjoy. Bicyclists and horse riders from all over the peninsula are more familiar with our many scenic lanes and trails than I, a resident, will ever be.

Our bay was saved once, in the 1950s, by just three East Bay women who were watching the bay disappear before their eyes. They spoke up to stop the city of Berkeley's plan to double in size by filling in the shallow bay off its shore.

Now we see Redwood City moving towards growing by 33 percent again doing the same. (Redwood City's current population. is 79,000; Cargill's proposal has 12,000 homes for approximately. 30,000 residents.)

We all have an obligation to express concern now, before so much money and so many well-meaning careers are invested that it becomes harder and harder to stop this development in our bay.

Redwood City has an award-winning plan to develop its downtown as a vibrant, healthy, mixed-use community right along the transportation corridor, where development belongs. Instead, Cargill is developing in the bay, on the wrong side of the Bayshore Freeway, which causes only problems — destruction of desperately needed wetland restoration to resuscitate our ailing bay, traffic nightmares on the wrong side of gridlocked 101, flooding of homes below sea level, and most of all, permanent loss of increasingly critically needed open space as our peninsula population grows.

Gita Dev

Mountain Home Road, Woodside

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