The controversial question of a proposal to turn over a portion of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex to local developer Ron Cowan will be considered by Alameda City Council tonight.
Mr. Cowan has proposed exchanging undevelopable land his firm owns on North Loop Road for a portion of the golf complex, where he would build 130 homes.
Opponents of the proposed exchange, many of whom live on Bay Farm Island and say they will be impacted by additional automobile traffic resulting from the new homes, are expected to pack council chambers again tonight.
Further, an organization has sprung up to gather signatures for a citizen ballot initiative that would close a loophole in the city charter that allows for the exchange.
The City Council packet includes over 200 pages of external correspondence; an Action Alameda News sampling of the letters showed that the vast majority of the letter writers have urged council to reject the swap.
One exception is a February 23rd letter from the Alameda Youth Sports Foundation, a charitable organization put together in part to act as a body to develop and manage the new sports fields on the North Loop Road property that Ron Cowan suggested to make up for the loss of golf complex land.
Its authors write, “There aren’t enough words to express how desperately the North Loop Plan is needed. Our leagues and programs are currently at or beyond maximum capacity primarily due to a lack of fields and facilities.”
The letter is signed by Pat Bail, Babe Ruth Commissioner, Ron Matthews, President, Alameda Wolverines, Steve Adams, Alameda Soccer Coach, Matt McFall, Alameda Lacrosse Coach, Junior Tautalatsi, General Manager, Alameda Wolverines and Randy Marmor, President, Alameda Youth Basketball.
The group wants $5 million out the swap deal to develop playing fields on the 12 acre North Loop Road parcel, potentially including a full-sized, lighted, all-weather football field, the first of its kind for Alameda. If that were to happen, they want to look forward to developing a 40 acre to 55 acre sports complex at Alameda Point in the future.
As an alternative to the swap, council will consider an option that would give direction to the city manager to negotiate with Greenway Golf and KemperSports for long-term management and improvement of the golf complex.