Atherton council unanimously opposes Cargill development of salt lands


After debating at length how strong a statement to send to the town's neighbors to the north, the Atherton City Council unanimously voted to oppose Cargill's plan to intensively develop its salt lands with residential and commercial buildings, and to support restoration of the 1,436-acre property on the Bay in Redwood City.

The council passed a resolution expressing its position at its April 21 meeting after hearing from dozens of residents from Atherton and nearby communities, who were divided as to whether the town should refrain from commenting on the controversial project until an environmental impact study is completed.

Cargill and developer DMB want to build a community of up to 12,000 homes, commercial space, playing fields and several hundred acres of restored wetlands on the property, located in the northeastern portion of Redwood City, immediately south of Seaport Boulevard and east of U.S.101, according to the Redwood City Planning Department's Web site.

Atherton joins Menlo Park and Belmont in strongly opposing the project. In April, Woodside took a milder approach, passing a resolution to convey the Town Council's "serious concerns" about the project and indicating the town's "intention to closely monitor the pending environmental review."

Although Atherton council members were concerned that too strong a statement could backfire, closing the door on the town in terms of influencing the Redwood City Council as it proceeds in the approval process, they ultimately took a firm stand. The approved resolution supports "the full restoration of the Cargill salt ponds and inclusion of the salt ponds in the Don Edwards National Wildlife refuge."

The council also voted to send a cover letter with the resolution, telling the Redwood City Council that, realizing the environmental review process will go forward, Atherton officials want to be a part of the decision-making process.

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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:15 am

This is an urban infill project near jobs and transportation. It is not the type of sprawl we have seen over the years with commuters coming to their jobs on the peninsula from places like Tracy. That makes the Cargill Project very “green”.

The cities in our area have a tremendous jobs/housing imbalance (more jobs than housing). This project could solve much of that problem. We also need the playing fields.

Considering that the current ‘wetlands’ are really dead salt ponds, the benefits of this project are obvious except to those that already have their comfortable homes near their jobs and don’t want others in the neighborhood.

At a time when thousands of people are *still* commuting into local jobs from as far away as Stockton, spewing who knows how much car exhaust and wasting precious natural resources (most notably Time, the most precious and finite resource any of us have) the myopia of a good many “environmentalists” is stupefying.

To say nothing of how many critters were displaced by development out in the remote San Joaquin Valley, rather than here in an already urbanized area.

In short, fill in the swamps, let another Foster City bloom, and give your children (and by extension your granchildren) a chance to live near you, rather than many miles away.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

The developers just want to make money building this this thing the first time and then once again after it melts into the Bay after the next earthquake. Also I bet that the accessors office probably wants more taxable land. Fill in the only large estuary in the western continent??-- It's IDIOTIC.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm

"This is an urban infill project near jobs and transportation."

There is nothing about Cargil's 12,000 homes and 24,000 cars that is an urban infill project.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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