Letters to the Editor
At the July 24 Alameda City Council meeting, Mayor Trish Spencer initiated changes for the staff to revise the “restrictive and unfriendly barriers in the current Alameda Cannabis ordinance.” This ordinance has only been in effect for nine months and has now already gone to staff for revisions.
There are two proposed revisions which concern our youth.
- n Maintain the buffer zone of 1,000 feet from public and private K-12 schools and reduce the buffer zone to 600 feet for all other sensitive uses for dispensaries and cultivation uses. What is meant by “sensitive” uses?
- n Amend ordinance language to clarify that certain uses do not qualify as a “school,” including providing a definition for tutoring centers.
These two proposals vitally concern Alameda’ children, especially our youngest and most vulnerable. There is no mention of child care, daycare or preschool centers. Our parks and recreational areas are not noted in these proposed changes, raising the question of whether or not they will all still maintain the buffer zone of 1,000 feet.
Hopefully during the upcoming Mayoral and Council elections, responsible voters will choose to protect our children, and will remember this anti-kid measure when they place their vote on who will be the leaders of Alameda.
The federal land on McKay Avenue, adjacent to Crown Memorial State Beach, isn’t an appropriate location for the proposed Wellness Center. The land should be rezoned to open space, consistent with Measure WW, as passed in 2008.
I reviewed the draft mitigated negative declaration prepared by the city and am concerned that the identified impacts are understated and primarily located within the project site. Negative impacts on the park and neighborhood are glossed over.
Here is an example of an erroneous conclusion:
Hazards and Hazardous Materials — pg. 43, Section h). “Exposure to wildland fires: The project is located in a fully built-out urbanized area, with no wildlands anywhere near the project area. There is no potential for the proposed project to result in the exposure of people or structures to wildland fires.”
The conclusion is terrifyingly incorrect. The project site is surrounded by trees. Crab Cove is filled with trees, including a contiguous line of trees starting immediately across from the proposed project site and continuing to the baseball field. The tree line is immediately adjacent to buildings, as are the trees lining McKay.
Crab Cove has posted “no barbecues or fires allowed due to extreme fire danger” signs all over the park. The fire danger in California is at a historic high. One spark from the construction project could start a devastating fire in the park.
The Wellness Center project should not be approved until all negative impacts on the surrounding areas are fully identified and considered.
What a celebration for all Alamedans, as tours of the new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park us what civic vision and determination can add to a city. The timing of this unveiling is excellent, as we Alamedans have recently learned there are several parcels of publicly owned land along the Fernside Boulevard and Eastshore Drive waterfront which most of us were unaware of.
Now that we know of them, it’s time for the city to reclaim all of this public land and make it available to the public.
Let’s continue the legacy of Jean Sweeney by returning access to our glorious natural surroundings back to the public!