Nov 11 2007

Albany City Council Waterfront Planning

Published by at 9:38 am under Waterfront Planning

City Council accepted a consultants’ recommendation to focus their waterfront planning on “civic engagement and education”. The council voted 4-1 to accept the first phase of option number 3, the “grounded visioning program for the waterfront” is estimated to cost $500,000 and take about 18 months.

This scenario develops a program not a plan. We call it a grounded vision because the future of the waterfront is envisioned by being grounded in resource analysis and administrative realities. This is a civic engagement and educational process resulting in a vision of Albany’s future waterfront. It will be based on an intensive public participation process. Education will be the keystone to
support a creative process. Tours would be offered to successful and relevant waterfronts on the Bay. The community would be exposed to successful waterfronts elsewhere through presentations and discussions. This would be a wonderful opportunity to involve school children in deciding what they want on their waterfront. An excellent example of this process is the “Vision of
Downtown San Rafael” done in 1993 by a team of consultants. The outcome would be a vision of the waterfront with specific goals and objectives for future land use changes. Natural and cultural resources as well as public services would need to be examined in the public arena. For example, site analysis would be done to examine the quality of the soils, restoration of the beach and creeks, scenic resources including shadow studies for pubic lands, linkages to the inland area as well as a conceptual economic and health assessment of the vision. Land uses, not a specific site plan, would be determined and generically
evaluated. Natural areas for restoration would also be evaluated as well as the road capacity and any potential improved access to and along the waterfront. Legal opinion would be sought to determine if an EIR or Measure “C” vote would be necessary under this scenario. The landowner’s involvement would not be necessary other than to allow access to its property for environmental
assessment. However, if Magna chose to participate, a more detailed set of alternative land use patterns could be developed. One proposal could be the landowner’s preferred option.

(Consultant Don Neuwirth’s full report submitted to the city- PDF)

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