Monday, June 29, 2009

Stand by your plan

by Stephen Knight, Political Director

As our readers know, Cargill and DMB recently submitted an application to Redwood City, proposing to build up to 12,000 housing units on retired salt ponds that should be restored to natural wetlands. Before reviewing Cargill's development proposal, the Redwood City Council is working to finalize a new general plan.

In January, the City Council made a public commitment that there were to be no changes made on Cargill's Redwood City salt ponds in the updated plan.

In fact, Redwood City's current general plan map clearly places the entire salt pond property under the category of "Open Space." And the current general plan, in place since 1990, says this about the salt ponds: "Due to the sensitive nature of these open space areas, it should be assumed that they will remain as open space forever."

But a recently released general plan map would remove the words “Open Space” from hundreds of acres of the Cargill salt ponds. See the map here. City staff told the Planning Commission that the so-called "Urban Reserve" on a section of the Cargill property "really wasn't an open space designation." A proposed new "Open Spaces" map graphically illustrates the result – nearly half of the Cargill salt ponds would be taken out of open space.

Redwood City must honor its commitment to "take the Cargill site out of the General Plan Process." The city should renew its vision of saving the salt ponds "as open space forever," just like they are in the current general plan.

We have been told that the City is working to resolve this issue and intends to stand by their word by continuing to describe the "urban reserve" as open space on the land-use map. Exactly what they will do with other existing Cargill-related language from the current general plan – that it should "remain as open space forever" – remains unclear.

Save The Bay is committed to urging the City to renew their vision of saving the salt ponds as open space, which will benefit both people and wildlife.

Learn more at

1 comment:

king56 said...

Considering what they are planning in Redwood City, I found the attached article on Cargill quite interesting. Talk the talk but not walk the walk?