Care2 Success! SF Bay Salt Lands Development Plan Dries Up (For Now)
DMB Associates and Cargill have been trying to demolish the San Francisco Bay’s natural wetlands to build a whole new city. They want to create a large commercial and residential development on bay fill, instead of allowing it to revert to wetlands. At the heart of the matter is a 1,436-acre site of salt ponds which preservationists want restored to tidal wetlands and that the developer sees as the future site of Peninsula housing.
Due to these kinds of developments, more than 90% of the Bay’s original tidal wetlands are gone. Wetlands prevent erosion, control flooding, ward off drought, and reduce greenhouse gases. Almost half of all threatened and endangered species in the US spend at least part of their lives in the wetlands.
But the controversial plan to build up to 12,000 homes on Bayfront salt ponds appears to be dead in the water — at least for the foreseeable future — after the developer announced its formal withdrawal in response to a recommendation the Redwood City Council deny the application.
Thanks to all the Care2 activists who signed our petition, and all the many supporters who have written letters, attended Council meetings, and done so much over the past several years to spread the word about Cargill’s irresponsible plans.
Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the Redwood City Council will consider a recommendation to terminate Cargill/DMB’s massive bay fill development, which has been languishing for over a year. Rather than wait until Monday night for the Council to officially deny their proposal, Cargill/DMB said they will withdraw it.
Two councilmembers are recommending the council at its Monday night meeting scrap the Saltworks “50-50 plan” because the application has sat for three years without an actual project description and the environmental review process has stalled.
“We believe it is important to make our intentions clear and to respect the City Council’s need for formal resolution on the 50/50 balanced plan,” said John Bruno, senior vice president and general manager for DMB Redwood City Saltworks, in a prepared statement.
Even The Occupy Movement Weighed In With A Protest
The last three years, and many years even before the application’s submission, have been filled with dueling ballot measures over the development, surveys, petitions, and ire by some that the developer funds the environmental review process. Even the Occupy movement weighed in with a protest.
This is a good day for the power of the grassroots movement. Any day the voice of reason and concern about the environment can prevail over the need to make money is a good day.
Kudos to the Care2 activists and others who stopped Cargill/DMB in their tracks.
Photo Credit: K Schneider