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Cowan Throws a Curve

Last week, the planning board a public scoping meeting for a controversial plan to relocate the Harbor Bay Club.

Last week, the planning board held a public scoping meeting for a controversial plan to relocate the Harbor Bay Club.

An attorney for developer Ron Cowan has thrown a curve ball into the discussion regarding the developer’s controversial proposal to relocate the Harbor Bay Club to make way for 80 new homes on a cul-de-sac on Bay Farm Island.

In an October 14th letter commenting on an initial study of the proposal that was formally presented to the planning board last Monday, attorney Daniel Reidy suggested that the City of Alameda consider an alternative scenario that would see a “hotel/conference center with a restaurant and bar and related supportive facilities” which could be built on the current site [of the Harbor Bay Club] under existing zoning regulations, instead of 80 new houses.

Bay Farm Island resident Tim Coffey, a spokesperson for Harbor by Neighbors, a group said to number some 800 people opposed to the idea of relocating the health club, said the hotel and conference center alternative was a shot across the bow.

“What Cowan’s saying,” Coffey told Action Alameda News, “is that if you don’t like the idea of 80 homes, you’re going to like the hotel and conference center even less, so you better get behind the idea of 80 homes.”

The public scoping meeting now complete, the City of Alameda will move on to preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), as required under the California Environmental Quality Act, to identify significant environmental impacts of the development, such as greenhouse gas emissions, traffic and noise pollution, and propose ways to mitigate those impacts.

It’s not clear if the hotel/conference center idea will figure in the published DEIR.

The document should be completed within three to six months, and would then be circulated for a 45-day public comment period.

Those comments would drive revisions to Draft EIR to produce a Final EIR on the project.

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