|Toll Brothers Must Be Smiling
November 15, 2006
I think the best way to convey the outcome of last night’s hearing on the appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of certification of the Toll Brothers’ Point Richmond Shores EIR is to provide the email I received below from Sherrie Fultz:
Just finished watching the City Council meeting. You let them have the change in the General Plan and the zoning change!! I can’t believe it!! You approved the greatly flawed EIR!!! I can’t believe it!!
They are going to do nothing but stall and you have agreed to let them build 100 more units than the Good Citizens group originally planned for. 100 more units!! 100 more units!!!
Thank you to those who voted against the approval. The 600 of us who have banded together greatly appreciate your futile efforts. We all thought this probably would happen, but we had hopes.
But, once again, the esteemed Richmond City Council has kicked its citizens in the “backside”.
To John Marquez, who obviously had his “motion” ready before the Citizens spoke…
To Nat Bates, whose time seems to be way more valuable than any of the Citizens who spoke tonight or who have been spending great amounts of time and effort on trying to get a decent design…
To Tony Thurmond, who disappointed me because I thought maybe he was a bright spot on the Council, but now has shown his true colors…
And to the others who voted to change the General Plan, etc.
TOO BAD YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO YOUR CITIZENS. TOO BAD YOU LET TOLL BROTHERS THROW THEIR WEIGHT AROUND. TOO BAD YOU LET ALL OF US KNOW WHAT KIND
OF REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR PEOPLE YOU ACTUALLY ARE.
We’ll soon see how Toll Brothers negotiates…HaHaHa. We’ve been trying to negotiate with them for the best part of this year. Now that you practically approved their project, the Citizens
really don’t have much they can do.
So, except for those of you who actually listened,
THANKS FOR NOTHING!!
Although the outcome was disappointing, it was no surprise to me. Richmond still has a City Council majority, recently validated by the voters who keep sending them back, who believe that out of town developers know more about what is good for Richmond than its residents and who, in my opinion, ignore erroneous and improperly prepared EIRs.
They say that the City Council is a non-partisan body, and in the traditional sense, that is true. But in Richmond, we really do have two parties. We have the pro-developer party, and we have the pro-resident party. What we also have are two realities and Two Richmonds? (October 27, 2006).
In all fairness, I copy Tony Thurmund’s response to Sherrie Fultz below:
I'm sorry you see it this way. As I reflect upon the meeting the following strikes me:
1. The community now has the right to negotiate the design in a charrette as requested by community members
2. Toll committed publicly to complete the portions of the Bay Trail as requested by TRAC (pending cooperation by the property owners)
3. Toll agreed publicly to enter into an agreement that preserves the rights of the community group to challenge the project should the design charrrette negotiations not be fruitful.
Yes, you are right that Toll got something. They got their EIR certified. However they did not receive the final map, which is the City's remaining piece of leverage to insure they negotiate fairly on a compromise design. The Community also got something too (see the 3 points above). If Toll does not negotiate fairly on this I will be happy to withhold any future support for the project. However, we have a chance to move towards a win-win situation on this, which in my opinion the City should do.
I would be happy to discuss this further with you outside of e-mail if you like. Give me a call at 620-6581.