Labor unions have joined the or have expressed concern over the proposed Cargill development project. Members said that housing and other development in the area could threaten the current operations in the port.
The Sailors Union of the Pacific and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 6 join the Teamsters Joint Council No. 7, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, and the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1493, in opposition to the proposed 1,436-acre development.
“Protecting our vital ports, by following common-sense zoning and land-use policies that keep housing away from heavy industry is a critical concern of our members,” said Sailors Union of the Pacific President Gunnar Lundeberg. “We owe it to ourselves to protect our Port and this great waterway, for the benefit of our economy and future generations.”
These unions all together represent approximately 80,000 Northern California workers.
Rome Aloise, President of the Teamsters Joint Council No. 7, wrote to the San Mateo Central Labor Council, “Our concerns are not just about putting 12,000 homes and multiple elementary schools right next to our industrial work sites, but about clogging the key roadways we use to move materials.”
However, the San Mateo Central Labor Council has not taken an official position on the matter, according to Political Director Julie Lind. She said that the council supports the drafting of an environmental impact report.
The Seaport Industrial Association, representing several individual companies, wrote in a letter, “The project described in the [Notice of Preparation (NOP)] shows a surprising disregard for sound land use planning recommended by local and state agencies by locating sensitive residential uses in close proximity to existing heavy industrial operations at the Port and along Blomquist Street.”
The city finished its first Notice of Preparation on March 31. A second Notice of Preparation depends on how quickly and how substantially the applicant revises the project description, according to city Senior Planner Blake Lyon..
In a letter to the city written in March, the Port of Redwood City wrote, “The Saltworks project as currently designed is clearly incompatible with adjacent Port industrial uses. A considerable portion of the housing and office space development proposed by the Saltworks project is located within 300 feet from Port operations, without an adequate buffer.”
Applicant DMB Associates spokesperson Jay Reed said the developer is currently working with city planners to make refinements to its application.
The American Federation of Teachers, Local 1493, representing faculty in the San Mateo County Community College District, was another labor union that officially opposed the project.
Member Matt Leddy said that a developer should not be building on potentially restorable wetlands, but rather focus on other infill projects in Redwood City.
“We’re not going against what the [San Mateo Central] Labor Council officially said, but we are expressing our concerns over the project,” Leddy said.
Regarding the potential impact on current school faculty and education resources in Redwood City, Leddy deferred this comment to the . In a written comment made during the NOP period, the district wrote, “The District anticipates that this project, if it moves forward, could have significant impact to Sequoia High School in terms of increase student enrollment.” The District asked that potential impacts to the high school be examined “to determine if its existing facilities and services will be adequate to support the additional student population at .”