An Alameda group has filed a notice of intent to circulate a petition to modify Alameda’s City Charter to prevent the exchange of park land without voter approval. The move was prompted by a proposal to exchange a portion of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex with developer Ron Cowan.
In a prepared statement, the group Protect Our Alameda Parks, wrote, “When the city staff proposed selling off part of the Alameda Golf Complex in 1992, the voters responded by passing an initiative (Charter Amendment 22.12) to require all sales of park land to be approved by the voters. In a strong showing of public support, the voters passed that by 83%.
However, that Charter Amendment contained an exception that allows the Council to swap existing park land for new park land. Utilizing that loop hole, Alameda city staff is currently back with another proposal to replace the Mif Albright Golf Course with over 130 houses.
It’s time to close the loophole. All sales of public parks, even swaps, should require voter approval. We need to do this to protect our Alameda parks for the present and for the future.”
Mary Anderson, spokesperson for the group, told Action Alameda News, “We believe this initiative is the only way to protect our parks. It will not only stop the present swap proposal, but will prevent any future attempts by the city to dispose of park land without a vote of the people. We believe all Alameda parkland belongs to the people of Alameda, and only they can dispose of any of it in any way.”
The group noted that Alameda City Council can choose, by a three member majority vote, to place the initiative on the November ballot. If Council doesn’t do this, they say, they will proceed to collect the requisite number of signatures to place it on the ballot.
Councilmember Doug deHaan has placed a referral item on the February 21st City Council meeting to consider placing the initiative on the ballot.