Redwood City Councilmembers are looking for ways to involve members of the public in a discussion about the future of the Inner Harbor area of town, and will be holding a study session Monday to air ideas.
Bill Ekern, Redwood City’s Community Development Director, said the land in the area is one of the last places in the city that still needs a lot of attention.
“It’s sort of a lost piece of land over there, because it’s cut off by the freeway from downtown,” Ekern said, noting that it the area has major historical and cultural importance to the town.
“It’s a great piece of history; it’s how all the logs and commerce came in and out of the city,” he added.
The Inner Harbor area is the area east of Highway 101, between the Malibu Grand Prix Raceway and Whipple Road. It also includes Pete’s Harbor and the Bair Island Marina. The city has been talking about developing a “Precise Plan” for the past few months that will outline how future developers can use the land.
Right now, the land is used in a variety of ways. The Docktown Marina, the County Women’s Jail Facility, and the Police Department are there. The new county jail is also being built there. The plan will be similar in nature to the El Camino Real/ Downtown Specific Plan that was recently approved in Menlo Park. It will create new zoning rules that businesses must abide by when developing the land.
“The Precise Plan is intended to reflect the Council’s and the community’s goals and vision for what the Inner Harbor area will be in the years to come,” Ekern said.
“Therefore it’s important to ensure that the wide variety of residents, businesses, property owners, and others with an interest in this area are involved and engaged as the Precise Plan takes shape,” he added.
The plan is still in the exploratory phase, and no elements have been completely solidified, said Redwood City Mayor Alicia C. Aguirre.
"Tonight's discussion will be about how we move forward, who the stakeholders are, and what our vision will be," Aguirre said.
When asked what she would like to see incorporated into the plan, the mayor said, "I want to make sure that we create opportunities for the public to have access to the water in many ways." No matter what development happens, she wants Redwood City residents to have walkable trails in the area.