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Parks District Outlines its Vision for McKay Avenue Federal Property

The East Bay Regional Parks District has outlined a conceptual plan for expanding the park at Crab Cove.

The East Bay Regional Parks District has outlined a conceptual plan for expanding the park at Crab Cove.

The East Bay Regional Parks District has outlined its vision for federally-owned property adjacent to Crab Cove, land that City of Alameda has targeted new housing for.

In a comment letter to the City of Alameda Planning Department, regarding the Neptune Beach Project, Mike Anderson, Assistant General Manager for Planning, Stewardship and Development for the parks district writes, “for more than 50 years the Park District has operated Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach for the State of California. The Park District also operates Alameda Beach for the City of Alameda.”

The City of Alameda wants to hand over 3.89 acres of federally owned land on McKay Avenue, next to Crab Cove at the state park, to a developer to build two and three-story homes. The Parks District has long coveted the property for an park expansion, and sued the City of Alameda last year over the property.

In his letter, Mr. Anderson asserts that the City of Alameda, contrary to the City’s own ordinances, never gave notice to the Parks District of hearings to rezone the property to support Tim Lewis Communities’ development plan.

Further, he wrote, “the current plan for development of 48 residences on less than 3.9 acres is inconsistent with the vision of the Park District and the members of the Alameda community for this property will have significant adverse impacts on the State Park…the proposed housing project will benefit few and impact many, while the expansion of Alameda’s crown jewel would benefit the entire community.”

The letter also reiterates claims made by the parks district in court filings that the City did not properly follow California environmental laws before rezoning the property.

The park expansion plan proposed by the parks district would see the Crab Cove visitor center move into the Glory of the Seas building, and the existing visitor center building converted into a concession building. Overall, the plan would add two acres of public open space to the park, and unify it across the foot of McKay avenue.

The parks district is encouraging the City of Alameda to look to Alameda Point or any number of possible infill properties throughout Alameda to support the housing plan.

The City of Alameda will collect public input on the project to ultimately produce a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the proposal.

Glory of the Seas building at Crab Cove, Alameda.(Action Alameda News)

Glory of the Seas building at Crab Cove, Alameda.(Action Alameda News)

7 comments to Parks District Outlines its Vision for McKay Avenue Federal Property

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