Last night, Alameda City Council voted 5 to 0 to reject a controversial land swap deal that would have seen developer Ron Cowan build 130 new homes built on a portion of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex.
Mary Theresa Anderson, President of Protect Our Alameda Parks, told Action Alameda News, “I am very pleased with the unanimous vote of the Council to reject the land swap and to negotiate with sports management companies to operate the entire golf course and to invest substantial amounts of money in its improvement.
“Residents of both Alameda and Bay Farm Island can breathe a big sigh of relief that our parkland has been saved and we will not have to contend with all the negative consequences of 130 new houses.
“The Council, however, did not acknowledge that the Charter prevents them from both selling and swapping land, so we are vulnerable to future proposals to “swap” parkland. For that reason, we must continue our efforts to put the Initiative on the ballot in November to strengthen the Charter and protect our parks.”
On the same day of the council vote, Alameda residents received a mailer urging residents to call or e-mail city council members to encourage them to consider a proposal from the Alameda Youth Sports Foundation that would have seen the swap go through, and sports fields built on the North Loop Road parcel that Mr. Cowan wanted to provide in exchange for the golf complex land.
The mailer provided an artist’s rendering of a layout of the sports fields, which was to include an all-weather, lighted football field, and spoke of a potential west-end sports complex as well. The Foundation was hoping to use money from the exchange deal as a seed fund for a new complex at Alameda Point.
Asked about the vote, Pat Bail, a member of the Foundation, said, “At least we drew attention that we need fields and the city has no money or seemly the will to have done something about it. But I am saddened by the negative comments from people I have known for years. I heard a quote on the radio that applies, ‘In a civilized society, one should be able to have a difference of opinion without it turning vicious.’ ”