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Original post made
on Jun 2, 2009
Cargill will bring green to San Mateo County
Nancy Arbuckle's letter "Cargill has massive plans for Redwood City baylands" continues the diatribe against what I see as sustainable development of the Cargill property.
I take weekly walks, and have taken thousands of photos, along the beautiful Bayside trail around Pacific Shores. Cargill's proposal is synergistic with the surroundings and is a clearly sustainable use of the property.
Water is not an issue. There is copious amounts of recycled water available to the north and south of the project. Enough, in fact, to turn the old Marsh Road dumpsite into a year-round Emerald Isle with an environmentally friendly golf course. And, some of the economic "green" that would produce wouldn't hurt our local economy.
Ms. Arbuckle suggests that we "steward the land." How about stewarding the vast amounts of open space owned by the public? Surely, stewards of that land could bring in some "green" to help sustain them.
Where were these environmentalists when the Interstate 280 compromise added a half mile to the commute each way to placate the "horsey" people? Have you noticed that the added exhaust fumes from that half mile have fertilized an invasive species to the detriment of the checkerspot butterfly habitat?
And, what about the San Francisco Water Department Grant of Scenic and Recreation Easement (Jan. 15, 1969), part of the compromise, which included five golf courses in the I-280 corridor.
Perhaps the Tiger Woods Foundation could collaborate with the Committee for Green Foothills to bring back some of that green stuff (both kinds) to San Mateo County.
While I do not know if these facts are in order, I feel the details are also inconsequential to the reality of what is at hand. At some point an example and line needs to be set for what is considered to be a reasonable end for development on a mass of land. Redwood Shores, Foster City, golf courses, these things have already taken a great deal of the marshes away. They give a man-made perimeter of which many no doubt consider a lovely walk, but to what end are we willing to be of such greed? The Pacific Shores office park is unfortunate enough in that it is done, and no one could reverse that. Here is a chance to stop another project that once complete will too be irreversible. There are huge financial incentives here for Cargill and DMB alike, and also career incentives for officials who are supporters, wishing to add to their legacy. They use economic growth as their motive, selling to people that it will give more homes, help shorten commutes (if you happen to work in RWC) even when they themselves are often quite well off, and would feel no personal effect either way. A responsible person would ask themselves to what end are we to 'grow' this city? Would the salt flats be the end? Could those in control be satisfied having only redevelopment at hand, or are we to in time pave over the open space as well?
Jack Hickey posts more boilerplate support for Cargill -- Compare the above to Web Link.
Cargill is turfing very strongly to win support for their proposal. Don't think for a second that it's for anyone's benefit but their own. Why should it be? They have no civic duty.
They also have no civic responsibility. They exist to make money off of you, by taking YOUR tidal marsh and turning it into THEIR development-- and making you pay them to do it.
It's worth a staggering amount of money, and they'll do anything to get it.
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