|City Council Says Yes to Bay Trail, No to
March 25, 2007
The following is from TRAC (Trails for Richmond Action Committee):
Mayor McLaughlin and Supportive City Councilors,
Thanks very much for all that have done to support completion of the San Francisco Bay Trail in Richmond as described in the email below. The connection with Point Molate is the only gap in Richmond's 41 miles of Bay Trail where the land owner, i.e . Chevron, has refused to help.
Bruce Beyaert, TRAC Chair
The Richmond City Council came down strongly for the San Francisco Bay Trail last night (March 20) by voting 8/0/1 to ask the State Lands Commission (SLC) to require Chevron to provide land and pay part of the cost for the planned Bay Trail to Point Molate before granting a new 30-year lease of State sub tidal lands for continued operation of Long Wharf.
The resolution introduced by Councilman Butt with Mayor McLaughlin and Councilman Rogers & Thurmond as cosponsors was moved and seconded by Councilors Bates and Viramontes. No one seconded Councilman Marquez's substitute motion to hold the item over for 60 days and meet with Chevron. This motion would have left the City with no position or legal standing when the State Lands Commission votes to approve a new 30-year lease for Long Wharf. The main motion then carried with 8 ayes and Marquez abstaining.
Profound thanks to all of you who weighed in with support. More than 50 emails were sent to City Councilors. The Bay Trail Heroes were ten supporters who spoke to the City Council and were there for the 12:30 AM vote! Special kudos to ABAG's Bay Trail Project Manager Laura Thompson and Richmond residents former Mayor Rosemary Corbin, former City Council candidates Corky Booze' and Jim Jenkins, Bill Pinkerton of East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Zelda Holland, David Dolberg and TRAC Vice Chair Nancy Strauch.
This City Council resolution means that the City of Richmond now will join in the effort to persuade the SLC to require the requested Bay Trail mitigation. TRAC will keep you informed about key developments and let you know when this is scheduled for a vote by the SLC. Please see http://www.pointrichmond.com/baytrail/pointsanpablo.htm if you would like more background.
Posted in the West County Times on Thu, Mar. 22, 2007
The Richmond City Council will ask the state to require the Chevron refinery to allow a bicycle path on its property as part of a land lease.
The path would close a gap of the 500-mile Bay Trail project, which when complete will circle the San Francisco and San Pablo bays, linking nine counties and 47 cities.
After hearing from several Bay Trail advocates, including former Richmond Mayor Rosemary Corbin, the council approved a resolution Tuesday night asking the California Lands Commission to make the trail part of the Long Wharf subtidal 30-year land lease to Chevron.
"The Richmond City Council has always supported this section of the trail," said Bruce Beyaert, chairman of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee. "Tonight they sent a strong message to the Lands Commission and to Chevron that the city of Richmond wants them to close this gap."
The proposed section of trail would run along the south side of Interstate 580 and link Richmond with the mostly undeveloped shoreline of Point Molate and the San Pablo Peninsula.
The Lands Commission determined in an environmental impact report on the lease that it does not have the authority to require Chevron to allow a section of the Bay Trail on refinery property. However, that finding is being challenged by attorneys representing the Bay Trail Project, Beyaert said.
The Lands Commission is expected to approve the final environmental impact report in the summer, and shortly afterward renew a 30-year lease for the property.
Chevron has refused to allow the path, claiming that it would make refinery operations in that area unsecure. Refinery spokeswoman Camille Priselac said Chevron prefers an option on the north side of the freeway that would be on property managed by Caltrans.
"We continue to advocate for the option on the north side of Interstate 580 due to safety and security reasons," Priselac said.
A 2001 engineering study examined five potential Bay Trail routes to link Richmond with the San Pablo Peninsula. The study determined the best route is along the south side of Interstate 580 on Chevron property. The trail would pass over several large pipes that carry millions of gallons of oil products to and from tankers moored at Long Wharf.
The estimated cost to construct the trail at the time of the study was $5.7 million.
Reach John Geluardi at 510-262-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.