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Parks Department to Report Beltline Survey Tonight

City officials will present the result of the Beltline park survey tonight at City Hall.

City officials will present the result of the Beltline park survey tonight at City Hall.

At the Recreation and Park Commission meeting tonight, City of Alameda staff will report on the results of a community outreach effort to shape the development of a park on the former Alameda Beltline Railway property.

The property consists of 22 acres of land bounded by Constitution Way, Atlantic Avenue and Sherman Street.

Citizen advocates refer to the land as the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, named after former schoolteacher Jean Sweeney, who uncovered a decades-old contract that allowed the City of Alameda to purchase the land at a cut-rate price. The City of Alameda refers to the parcel as the Alameda Beltine property.

According to the staff report, community input was robust. There were two community meetings with over 240 people in attendance, and more than 650 response to a survey asking residents about preferred uses at the new park.

More than 54 percent of survey respondents suggested creating picnic areas, or designating the land as natural open space habitat for wildlife. More than 73 percent suggested walking and biking trails.

Exactly 29 percent of those surveyed asked for a swimming pool and related facilities.

Other off-survey suggestions included a farming collective, and urban agriculture center for goats, chickens, pigs and bees, a pond for aquatic wildlife, and a model railroad museum.

City officials are stressing that tonight’s meeting is intended to move towards confirming the conceptual uses of the property rather than develop specific details; further community input opportunities are scheduled.

The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers at Alameda City Hall.

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