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Comments Reflect Many Housing Organizations' Support for Cargill Saltworks Proposal

Though support for the project was a small minority in the comments, organizations and residents showed optimism for the project.

Of nearly 900 pages of comments submitted to the city, the large majority were in opposition or concerned about the project, but the organizations that were decidedly in favor of the project were housing organizations, youth recreation supporters and a few residents.

Excerpts from the majority of comments supporting the project: (Note: the organization and its members are not explicitly for or against the project unless explicitly printed in their comment. You can also read comments expressing opposition or concern .)

Housing Groups

The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County: “There is a huge SHORTFALL in affordable housing in the Silicon Valley, which means essential services workers like police officers, fire fighters, teachers and nurses cannot afford to live in the County where they work… The Saltworks location is an ideal site to build a large-scale, transit-oriented community that will have a meaningful impact on the affordable housing shortage in our region.”

HIP Housing, San Mateo County affordable housing non-profit: “We would be very interesting in working with the Saltworks team and the City of Redwood City to assure that regional housing needs are met and to develop multi-family units in the Saltworks project. 

Housing Advocacy Group (HAG), voluntary North Bay counties affordable housing advocacy group: “The Redwood City Saltworks site is an infill opportunity of regional significance. As such it has the potential to provide workforce housing to many who would otherwise be forced to commute to the other parts of the Bay Area including the North Bay. The lack of housing in the Redwood City area impacts the housing supply and affordability in surrounding areas and increases regional traffic and greenhouse gas emissions… The area has many other needs which have merit too. These include new schools, new sports fields (the city currently faces a critical shortage), levies and flood protection facilities needed to protect both this project and adjoining neighborhoods, wetland restoration and improved Bay access.

EAH Housing, affordable housing non-profit in California and Hawaii: “Building new housing in efficient walkable communities near the jobs is the single most important thing that can be done to improve both the Bay Area’s environment and its economy, not to mention quality of life… the Saltworks presents an opportunity to create a place where people from all walks of life can share a single community. It’s exceedingly rare in our region to find a single infill site that offers space for a full range of housing and one where there is space for the things that make housing into a community like parks, schools, retailing and transit.

California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH): “The Redwood City Industrial Saltworks site is an infill opportunity of regional significance. As such it has the potential to house many workers who would otherwise be forced to commute from the heart of the Silicon Valley to other areas within or beyond the 9 county Bay Area, increasing the burden on the availability of housing throughout the region, as well as increasing regional traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. We recognize that, in addition to new housing, the area ha smany other needs which have merit too… schools, new sports fields (the city currently faces a critical shortage) levies and flood protection facilities.

Recreational Groups

AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), supporting the project: “The opportunities are endless if more athletic fields were installed. Redwood City would be enriched through the support of an active lifestyle, and become a model city for the support of athletics.

Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee: “Thanks for the opportunity to provide suggestions for this property and the extraordinary opportunity represented here… There is an extreme shortage of indoor court sports facilities (gyms on the Peninsula and in Redwood City. How could the Saltworks plan help alleviate this reional and local problem?”

Individuals

Youth Volunteer: “I would like to see more park and recreation… I am aware of the limite space available for meetings and youth recreation. Our youth tends to use San Carlos, Belmont and San Mateo when we need space.” 

Resident: “Solving the annual East Redwood City flooding problem would have a clear public benefit. It would help hundreds if not thousands of homeowners and many businesses as well (such as Stanford University, currently suffering great hardship because of the flooding.)

Resident: “I believe the project is a great thing for the Bay Area. I think housing, parks and access to the bay will be great. The proposal also is offering to restore 400 acres at no cost to tax payers. AWESOME!”

Resident: “As an affordable housing advocate, I am eager to see this project succeed. It would be an opportunity to build the housing that is desperately needed by seniors and others in our community.”

Resident: “I am very excited about the possibility of restored wetlands (not at a cost to taxpayers), more sports fields and affordable housing. I realize that it comes at a cost i.e. more traffic and some congestion but I feel that this could be mitigated by the right transportation solutions.”

Others

Pete’s Harbor: “As a lifelong resident of Redwood City, a long time business owner and community volunteer, I want to state my 100% support for the Saltworks Long Term Project.”

League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County: Though they have taken no official position until the EIR process is completed, they note: “Greenbelt Alliance has estimated that there are 40,000 potential infill sites between South San Francisco and San Jose. Redwood City’s (General) Plan includes the use of infill sites to develop approximately 5,000 units of affordable housing, a sizeable amount to be set aside as rentals.”

Silicon Valley Leadership Group: The Leadership Group surveys its member company CEOs on an annual basis and asks the question, “what is the top impediment to doing business in Silicon Valley.” Each year, the lack of sufficient housing in the region receives the most votes. That is one of the reasons why the Leadership Group has been supportive of evaluating the development of the Saltworks.”

Correction:  "In the original article, a comment from the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club was misinterpreted.  The Sierra Club's actual comment states that restoring the salt ponds to wetlands will have potential economic benefits, not the proposed Cargill Saltworks project.  The Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club has been opposed to the Cargill/DMB project since 2008."

GD April 26, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Stacie Chan needs to take a course in basic Logic before she is allows herself to write another word for the public. If someone says "the pencil is on the desk and the desk is on the floor", it is not logical to write that "...therefore the pencil is on the floor" "We need Housing in the Bay Area" does not in any way, shape or form translate into being included in an article titled "Support for the Cargill project". If fact, many of the organizations that are mentioned in this whacky article are adamantly opposed to the proposal and say so very clearly. Some of the comments do not even make sense e.g. the Sierra Club quote is obviously about the advantages of using wetlands rather than development for flood control. But then, who ever expected anyone to be bothered by accuracy, these days. As the saying goes now, "If it's in print, it's probably wrong!"
Marlene April 27, 2011 at 03:24 AM
This article mis-represents the Sierra Club's position and therefore I am doubtful of its entire credibility. Also if the large majority were in opposition or concerned about the project - where have their comments been reported? Did I miss a sister article which quotes the concerned?
Stacie Chan (Editor) April 27, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Clarification: I did misinterpret the Sierra Club's comments submitted to the city regarding the project. When they highlighted economic benefits, I thought they were pointing to the benefits of Cargill's proposal to restore part of the Saltworks to wetlands, when, in fact, they were highlighting the benefits of restoring the entirety of the land to wetlands. The main article printed can be read here: http://patch.com/A-gQMC , and the article containing the opposing comments can be read here: http://patch.com/A-gQPR
Lou Covey, The Local Motive April 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I believe Stacie has adequately edited the article to remove the Loma Prieta Chapter's misrepresented support of the project. The rest of the supporter's comments are adequate representations. The supporters, while in the minority in comments, represent thousands of families in Redwood City and the Bay Area. Regarding the Sierra Club as a whole, however, the jury is still out. Only the Loma Prieta Chapter has decided to stand in opposition formally. The Sierra Club has actually partnered with the developer in projects and until the plan is actually brought forth and reviewed, they are withholding their opinion.

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