Save Kimber Park prevails again

18 Jul

Save Kimber Park won yesterday at the city council meeting. The Protect Fremont Open Space initiative was approved 3-2 by the city council without requiring a vote of the people.
The ballot had been certified by Alameda County and was scheduled to be on the November election. City Council chose to adopt the initiative as written despite concerns that it would require unanimous support from all five council members in the future for any change to a parcel currently zoned as private open space.
As with any initiative, there are unintended consequences. Many properties such as cemeteries, historic sites, pge & utiliy sites, etc. were included in the initiative. As a result, zoning will be have to be changed for the affected parcels requiring city staff time and expense.
Councilmembers Bill Harrison and Sue Chan voiced concerns about adopting the initiative as written. They wanted the citizens to vote on the initiative to decide for themselves.
What do you think?

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6 Responses to “Save Kimber Park prevails again”

  1. bbox231 July 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    So I think I conclude that either Chan and Harrisson have admitted by their vote that they are out of touch with the desires of their constituency on this matter OR their vote was simply a desire to not appear to be in conflict with developers OR both. . . . . take your pick.

    Nice coverage (again) by Darren

    http://www.marinij.com/ci_21102831/fremont-council-adopts-open-space-measure-instead-sending

    • Bill July 21, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      I have read and signed the initiative for open space. The initiative process is a way of the voters of Fremont to do the job out local politicians failed to do.
      If you check the campaign contributions of the past for Chan and Harrison you will find that Developers have made large contributions. They avoid any limitations on the amount by having all there employees, friends and relatives making contributions.
      Councilman Harrison, Chan voted against Open Space period! There excuse was to let the voters, vote on it.
      The election would have cost a lot of money and it would have passed overwhelmingly, so please Harrison, Chan do not hide behind that excuse. It is alright to be for Developers.
      It is acceptable for Politicians to tell the TRUTH.

      • Bill_Fremont July 22, 2012 at 9:57 am #

        Bill, you sound like you are carrying the water for Anu. Anu has taken money from developers in every election despite her pledge to not to do so. She is being backed by the largest developers in town, John Dutra and the Dutra family – enough said! As a person in Anu’s camp, you already should know this.

  2. Lex4747 July 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I have received campaign literature via email and regular mail asserting that Sue Chan is “the voice of the people”. She had not responded to two letters that I wrote to her about the importance of preserving open space in Fremont. Her record this past year of recusing herself from voting on Save Kimber Park related issues and her comments and vote opposing the adoption of the Initiative to Preserve Fremont Open Space supported by 10,000 signers show that she does speak for the majority of Fremont citizens.

  3. bbox231 October 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Revised Kimber Park Open Space proposal moves to Planning Commission

    Letter to the Editor: Revised Kimber Park Open Space proposal moves to Planning Commission

    Staff Report to Planning Commission:

    In December 2011, the City Council adopted a comprehensive General Plan Update and established the Kimber Study Area on the subject property for a period of one year to allow the property owner time to process a development application. Initially, a Preliminary Planned District (PPD) application was submitted to allow development of 18 residential units and a Draft EIR was prepared for the proposed project.

    However, during the 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR, the applicant submitted a revised project for a new private swim and tennis club. Staff has reviewed the revised project for general acceptability of the land uses and their interrelationship, prepared a Final EIR that includes analysis of an alternative consistent with the revised project, and recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the PPD to the City Council, including the establishment of PPD Regulations and Design Guidelines for the future facility.

    Save Kimber Park response:

    The owner submitted, at the 11th hour, a new plan that if passed would create a NEW PLANNED DISTRICT along with 42,000 sq. feet of building space, nine (9) hotel rooms, one (1) business center, two (2) conference centers, a 100 person members-only restaurant, removal of seven (7) of the existing 13 tennis courts, 107 or more parking spaces and the creation of two (2) new pools. Although some elements of the plan seem reasonable, the idea of a facility of this magnitude, intensity and with all the uses they are looking for in the middle of a quiet, open-space oriented neighborhood is not acceptable. It seems that if they can’t have the residential use they want then they will instead try to get as much recreation/lodging/business/commercial use as possible squeezed onto the property and expand their allowable permitted uses into different commercial areas.

    Last Thursday [October 11, 2012] city staff held a “study session” with Planning Commissioners and about 10 SKP supporters attended. Very little new information was shared at the study session and some of our questions were evaded and we were told it would be “in the staff report the next day.” On Friday [October 12, 2012], at 5 p.m., the city staff released their report for the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, October 18th. A copy of this Staff report is available online at: http://www.fremont.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18767. Please take a few minutes to carefully read this 18 page report in detail.

    Shockingly City Staff is recommending approval of this “Preliminary Planned District” as is with no changes. This would change the zoning to a new Planned District with its own set of special rules and create a new general plan designation for the area as well. City Staff states that if approved the tennis/swim club section on the western portion of the property would be designated “General Open Space” and the eastern “undeveloped” portion would be designated “Private Open Space”. If the area where the club resides is designated “General Open Space” then it will NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE INITIATIVE. Only areas designated as “PRIVATE OPEN SPACE” are subject to the initiative.

    So… How do we best proceed to ensure this parcel does not become a “Clubsport” commercial facility in the middle of our quiet neighborhood and receives permanent protection so future generations don’t have to fight this same battle?

    The Planning Commission meets this Thursday (10/18) at 7 p.m. and could recommend to City Council that the parcel should be changed. This is a very important meeting… although City Council has the last say, the opinion of city staff and planning commission are big factors. The meeting will be held in City Council Chambers at 3300 Capitol Avenue.

    • Bill_Fremont October 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      The developer has made a lot of concessions to make this project have zero housing. There has got to be a way to make some part of the site viable for the future. At this time, the site looks like a dump.

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