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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 448

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:23 pm    Post subject: Berkeley Marina Meetings Reply with quote

As you will note in the email copied below, I've chosen to start this new Topic. However, the "WETA Berkeley Ferry & Pier Planning Meeting" topic remains relevant, at least for historical purposes.

I hope that the October 27th meeting info links are active, but if not, just ask.

Also, I expect the email's attached photos and document will not appear. It's a real pain to manage that on this site. If you want them sent to you via separate email, just ask.

Cheers, David

xxzxxxxxxx

Dear Berkeley Marina & HLS Cove Launch Users,

First, please note that I’m starting a new iWindsurf Forum topic on this subject (will post this email there shortly - probably not with photos/docs though). My initial, related Topic/Thread was titled "WETA/Berkeley…”, which doesn’t cover all the developments potentially impacting windsurfing and other water recreational activities at Berkeley’s Marina. That topic has 27,000+ views to date, so apparently there’s interest.

Two relevant meetings occurred just this week. Also, a third Public meeting regarding the WETA Pier/Ferry proposal is now scheduled for October 27th (details noted below). All via Zoom.

The first meeting this past Wednesday (small group - invitation only) was to discuss recreational access at the His Lordships (HLS) Cove. Attendees included one foiler (winger?), Lynne Olinger (sp?), who seemed to concur with the concerns many of us raised about access to and use of that site.

The HLS restaurant at 199 Seawall Drive has been closed for several years. Zoom meeting was organized and run by the same group of City of Berkeley (CoB) staff and consultants managing the WETA/Pier/Ferry study, but without WETA staff attendance given narrow focus on HLS Cove. I’ve copied (far below) the meeting summary email I sent to the consulting/planning architect (Kent Royle - with cc’s to CoB staff). He has already responded - and appears appreciative of that input.

The second meeting Wednesday was a public Zoom of the CoB Parks & Waterfront Commission, chaired by Gordon Wozniak and including member Jim McGrath. Turns out that there is a potential HLS site lease in the works (also as noted in my email to Kent Royle). The agenda for the Commission meeting has links to the proposed lease terms (on page 5):

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Parks_Rec_Waterfront/Commissions/PWC%20Agenda%20-%2010-13-2021.pdf

Although my expectation remains that the restaurant would be prohibitively expensive to renovate, the concept of using some of the HLS parking lot for a “Food Truck & Events Site” could be quickly implemented. Apparently a similar operation at China Basin in SF has been quite a success (that site's url below). Revenue to CoB and enhanced marina utilization would be the CoB’s reason for doing this.

The third meeting, upcoming on October 27th, will again focus on the WETA Pier/Ferry study (meeting access info copied below). However, I now belatedly realize that some of the graphics and information conveyed in the second Pier/Ferry public meeting was related to that Food Truck & Events Park proposal (see screenshots below).

As in the past, I’d encourage you all to attend the 10/27 Zoom, but also to sign up for the BMASP mailing list and/or send your own emails of concern to the BMASP website where they are collected and retained. I definitely have the impression that all our input has been changing the WETA Pier/Ferry plans in a positive way.

However, constant vigilance and assertive agitation remain essential, particularly given the relative lack of familiarity with recreational uses evidenced by many of those involved with the planning, as well as the potential parking/access impact of a new Food Truck & Event Site on HLS Cove use.

Finally, the existing launch pathway at HLS has deteriorated, with several large riprap chunks right in the way (photo here from my Thursday session):

IMG_1607.JPG

Given that it’s the end of the season I’m not overly anxious to arrange a work party to deal with this, but additional caution advised. Also good to note that the large boulders in the rebuilt jetty at Pt. Isabel are not moving, even after three years.

Cheers, David

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Please especially note in Christina’s email copied here (hope the links shown are active):

a. FAQ link - important to read, as many questions raised and addressed (although a few out-dated).

b. Pier/Ferry Project Website link - VERY informative.

c. BMASP mailing list access and comment referral link (if you don’t choose to speak at the Zoom).

From: "Quesada, Christina" <CQuesada@cityofberkeley.info>
Subject: Berkeley Municipal Pier and WETA Ferry Facility Planning Study
Date: October 15, 2021 at 4:03:06 PM PDT
Cc: "Ferris, Scott" <SFerris@cityofberkeley.info>, "Endress, Alexandra" <AEndress@cityofberkeley.info>, "Lam, Nelson" <NeLam@cityofberkeley.info>, "Miller, Roger" <RMiller@cityofberkeley.info>

Hello Berkeley Pier-Ferry Project Stakeholders,

We look forward to seeing you at our third public workshop on the Berkeley Municipal Pier and WETA Ferry Facility Planning Studyon Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 6:30 P.M via zoom. At the workshop, we will share the latest concept for the project based on all the community feedback we have received over the past year. Please share this meeting announcement with everyone in your community. For background on the project, please read the Frequently Asked Questions (Pier-Ferry Project FAQs) on the City’s Project website

Meeting Details – Zoom Link and Dial In:
Berkeley Municipal Pier & WETA Ferry Facility Planning Study Community Workshop #3
Date: October 27, 2021
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/82683370448 (Copy and Paste to internet browser)
Phone: +16699006833,,82683370448#
Mail your comments, questions, and mailing list requests to: BMASP@cityofberkeley.info
Flyer: Pier-Ferry Workshop #3 flyer

xxxxxxxxxx

“Food Truck & Event Site" Proposal:

These next two screenshots from the Pier/Ferry Workshop #2 on 8/10/21 show potential parking areas and impact from siting of a “Food Truck Park & Event Site” in the southern portion of the HLS lot. Now I understand the genesis of this.

The second screenshot appears to show Seawall Dr. reconfigured to have parking only on east curb side.

Depending on user restrictions and enforcement, all this could prove quite problematic for recreational use of HLS Cove.

Although both slides show the “surprise” wind-surfer/kayak launch dock in the HLS Cove, my expectation is that near-unanimous concerns raised during the 10/13 Zoom will ensure this proposal is deleted (including from the CoB staffer who is serious kayaker). Still not sure how it even got proposed. Trying hard to head off future “mistakes from good intentions” via all this input.

Also important to again note that this sort of event pop-up site use could be installed almost immediately. There could well be pressure to do so in terms of potential revenue generation for CoB.

The “Spark Social” url here is for the SF China Basin site, similar to approach that is being considered as part of the CoB/IPG 199 Seawall Drive lease negotiation.

http://sparksocialsf.com/

Screen Shot 2021-10-16 at 11.32.59 AM.png

xxxxxxxxx

Screen Shot 2021-10-16 at 11.33.51 AM.png

xxxxxxxx

Here is my “summary” email for the first, invitational Zoom meeting (hope its size doesn’t preclude transmission/receipt). Note the underlined caution regarding access designs to be avoided.

It is far easier to get a project done right initially than to try and correct planning/construction mistakes in retrospect (as at Albany Beach).


From: David Fielder <davidfielder@comcast.net>
Subject: His Lordships Cove Access Meeting - Followup
Date: October 15, 2021 at 3:27:19 PM PDT
To: Kent Royle <kent@wonglogan.com>
Cc: "Ferris, Scott" <SFerris@cityofberkeley.info>, Nelson Lam <NeLam@cityofberkeley.info>, Alexandra Endress <AEndress@CityofBerkeley.info>, Roger Miller <RMiller@cityofberkeley.info>, Craig Lewis <Craig.Lewis@ghd.com>, Peter Bluhon <peter@bluhon.com>, David Fielder <davidfielder@comcast.net>

Kent,

Wednesday’s Zoom meeting (by invitation only) regarding His Lordships (HLS) Cove recreational access issues was both informative and positive from my perspective.

My impression was that you are the architect involved with related planning for that area (Wong/Logan), in conjunction with the WETA Pier/Ferry study? In any case, thank you for your appreciation of the concerns and complexities surrounding recreational water access at the HLS Cove.

Overall, my sense is that with proper site evaluation and sensitivity to the various user constituencies, developing even an ADA-compliant access at the Cove is both doable and relatively inexpensive. However, as at Pt. Isabel Shoreline Park (PI - read more below), it may prove most efficient to have two access ramps, one ADA-sloped (5%) and one for most recreational users (20%).

As I mentioned during the Zoom meeting, I have logged many hours evaluating HLS Cove access (including WS launching), relying particularly on my experience with the EBRPD's Pt. Isabel Launch project, completed January, 2019. One important component of that PI effort was educating park staff and their engineering consultant, Kyle MacDonald (coastal engineer - Foth Engineering), regarding the nuances of wind-powered recreational gear usage, as well as access designs to be avoided (several PI project-related photos below).

At the conclusion of the PI project, I invited the owner of Sandstone Environmental Engineering, Martin Castillo (an experienced City of Berkeley contractor), over to HLS Cove to evaluate how an ADA access ramp might be constructed. We walked the site and he was confident as to construction feasibility. He also gave me a “back of envelope” estimate of less than $150K for an 8-foot wide asphalt pathway (asphalt for cost & modification flexibility) with a 5% grade, starting roughly from the shoreline fire hydrant on Seawall Drive (photo below), located to the NW of the restaurant.

However, several important issues remain regarding design of such an access pathway/ramp, including:

1. How to construct the final water approach if the ramp terminates at high tide line (tide level varies by up to 6 Ft there). I believe that the elevation drop from street level to high tide is roughly 6 feet (eyeball estimate). This is critical consideration given the hazard of green slime buildup (more photos).

2. Adjacent shoulder treatment along the pathway - a concern for gear handling while transiting.

3. Wind/wave action within the Cove during southerly winter storms, and their effect on pathway design and survivability (photo). [Note: another reason to keep any WETA ferry dock to the north of the recreational pier]

4. Strong desire to avoid use of pathway steps and railings (photo).

5. Possibility of having two ramps for “separating user groups” while still conforming to all code requirements - as at the PI project.

6. Although I would assume no jetty rebuilding, still the relocation/securing of some of the attendant riprap would be strongly desired for navigational safety (several photos).

7. Development of professionally accurate site design drawings, at least for discussion and financial support-seeking purposes.

I was further encouraged by Scott’s comments that the proposed IPG lease for 199 Seawall Drive (aka HLS), and attendant property use/restoration will not threaten recreational use of the Cove and user access/parking needs.

I’d be pleased to walk the area with you at your convenience, as I did with Scott, Nelson, and Jim McGrath last year. Ideally before the next Public meeting on this issue. Since I’m retired, my schedule is quite flexible.

Sincerely, David

P.S. I’ve also included url links to the SF Bay Water Trail Design Guidleines I referenced, along with the Water Trail's Boardsailing Plan. I worked with Ben Botkin to ensure the water access concerns discussed above were addressed in both documents.

P.P.S. I’ve also attached below the somewhat relevant 2004 Bay Trail Extension design document - with the important caveat that its HLS Cove launch access approach is not desireable. However, having access to it might facilitate addressing item #7 above? Hope its size doesn’t prohibit transmittal/receipt of this email (so rsvp appreciated!).

xxxxxxxxxx

1. http://sfbaywatertrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Final_reduced_BayAreaWT_DesignGuidelines_Jan2019.pdf

2. http://sfbaywatertrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/DRAFT_BayAreaBoardsailingPlan_Sept2019.pdf

xxxxxxxxxxx






xxxxxxxxxxxx

Potential launch access pathway to HLS Cove (stakes are for 8 ft wide path).
Note that a 20% grade ramp could begin roughly at these foreground stakes.

HLS-Staked-Upper-9501.jpeg

Potential initial start point for ADA-grade pathway (5%) - near the fire hydrant.
Note multiple site users including picnickers, runners, and a windsurf foil board.

#9-HLS-Rig Areas+FireHydrant copy.jpeg

Cove high tide markers (taken at low tide):

HLS-Staked-LowTide/face North9449.jpeg

Riprap/beach transition - a challenge remaining to be addressed.

#5-HLS-lowtide-north-5739.jpeg


Potential pathway and landing demarcation at high tide (stakes):

HLS-Stakes-West#2-9506.jpeg


Pt. Isabel - original pre-project launch conditions (circa 2018):

PI-old launch.jpeg

Not exactly ADA-grade….

IMG_5406.jpeg

Demonstration of windsurf gear issues at Pt. Isabel for EBRPD staff on 9/29/15 - well before
final design stage (Jeff Rasmussen at right):

PtIsabel_Botkin_29Sept2015 (1).jpeg


New Pt. Isabel ramps' co-terminus at high tide. No slime after 3 years.

PI-HiTide+Ramps9415.jpeg


Good PI Launch Photo.jpeg



PI & Ramps/WSers.jpeg


HLS Cove approach area - efficient access to cove for gear now blocked by new gate:

HLS Circle+Sketch9918.jpeg


HLS Cove Launch/jetty at high tide:

HLS 10/20-Carol.jpeg


Launch/jetty at low tide:

#4-Chris&Sofi@HLS-4/2/20.jpeg


Launch access in southerly winter storms and high tide - problematic!

#6-Gandesbery/HLS/-1/5/19-9140.jpeg


Cal Sailing Club webcam-shot demonstrating “wind line”.
A key factor regarding the relative value of HLS Cove launch vs. SSB docks.


#3-CSC-WindLine-2020-06-06 at 3.41.17 PM.png


Another reason not to rely on SSB docks for water access - unless/until dredged at least:

#2-Docks/LowTide.jpeg


Slimed “stadium steps” at Edwards Park in Pt. Richmond:

EdwrdsLaunch#2-GreenSlime.jpeg

Slimed steps at Shimada Park in Richmond.

#11-ShimadaSteps5/18/18-5861.jpeg


Slimed ramp at Coyote Pt. in San Mateo. Note that the ramp's
waffle construction is also not desirable.

CoyoteRampSlime-7373.jpeg



Inaugural opening of the new Pt. Isabel Launch December, 2018 (one happy user):

David&Rig@PI12/27/18.jpeg


Ongoing riprap relocation efforts at HLS Cove:

Archimedes@HLS.jpeg

Riprap continues to relocate from the jetty - photo taken yesterday: 10/14/21:

IMG_1607.JPG


Earlier HLS Cove site tour (11/1/20): Ferris; McGrath; Lam; Fielder

#16-Scott/Jim/Nelson-8645.jpeg


HLS restaurant garbage bins prior to restaurant closure. Bins definitely
impacted launch access (and aesthetics).

#10-HLSGarbage-7/11/18-6100.jpeg


Active sewage spilling into Bay from main HLS sewer line (6/25/17 - note brown plume).
Another facilities-related problem with the site.

#14-HLS-Sewage6/25/173652.jpeg

SSB “ADA” dock. Clearly NOT watercraft-user friendly….

#13-CSCDock&Railings3378.jpeg

Original HLS Cove access plan from 2004 (NOT desirable):

Screen Shot 2021-10-14 at 2.29.26 PM.png


xxxxxxxxxxx
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radross



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your hard work Dave.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 17041
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested in this project, here are the standards that must be met in order for a ferry terminal in Berkeley to be built.


FEDERAL LAWS
CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 404(b)(1)

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, now codified as US Code Section 1344, set up a permit process for dredging and filling of water. It is implemented by the Corps of Engineers with oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency, and guidance is provided by a set of regulatory guidelines. The most relevant provision in those guidelines when considering a new project like a WETA terminal is Section 230.10, which provides:

(a) Except as provided under section 404(b)(2), no discharge of dredged or fill material shall be permitted if there is a practicable alternative to the proposed discharge which would have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, so long as the alternative does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences.

It would seem that an alternative located within Berkeley marina would avoid dredging a new channel in the Bay, some of the fill associated with construction of a terminal on a pier, and all of the fill associated with any required breakwaters.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION ACT

Section 4(f) of the Federal Transportation Act established a presumption that parks should not be used for transportation facilities constructed with Federal Funds. It requires:

49 U.S. Code Section 303, states:

(c)Approval of Programs and Projects.—Subject to subsections (d) and (h), the Secretary may approve a transportation program or project (other than any project for a park road or parkway under section 204 [1] of title 23) requiring the use of publicly owned land of a public park, recreation area, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge of national, State, or local significance, or land of an historic site of national, State, or local significance (as determined by the Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction over the park, area, refuge, or site) only if—
(1)
there is no prudent and feasible alternative to using that land
; and
(2)
the program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from the use.
Again, it seems that a site within the established marina would be a prudent and feasible alternative.

STATE LAWS

The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) has jurisdiction over any project that would place fill in the Bay, and has established policies that are specific to the question of whether or not a ferry can be permitted in a designated park. The Berkeley marina has been designated by BCDC as a waterfront park, and the relevant policy provides:

Ferry terminals may be allowed in waterfront park priority use areas and marinas and near fishing piers and launching lanes, provided the development and operations of the ferry facilities do not interfere with current or future park and recreational uses, and navigational safety can be assured. Terminal configuration and operation should not disrupt continuous shoreline access. Facilities provided for park and marina patrons, such as parking, should not be usurped by ferry patrons. Shared parking arrangements should be provided to minimize the amount of shoreline area needed for parking. (emphasis added)
CITY LAWS

The City of Berkeley has also established a special protection standard for its parks and open space areas, Measure L. That measure was approved as a citizen initiative on November 3, 1986, and includes the following standard:

Section 1. VOTER AUTHORIZATION PROCEDURE.
That no public parks (hereinafter defined) or public open space (hereinafter defined) owned or controlled or leased by the City of Berkeley or agency thereof, shall be used for any other purpose than public parks and open space, without The Berkeley City Council first having submitted such use to the citizens for approval by a majority of registered Berkeley voters voting at the next general election.
The definition included in the ordinance is certainly broad enough to include the marina.


Public open space shall be defined as all City of Berkeley parks, public school playgrounds, and vacant public land, whether dedicated formally to park use or being used de facto as open space with recreational use or potential use on or after January 1, 1985.
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 448

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Latest info/update:

Folks,

Several items to note, mostly having to do with the ongoing WETA Pier/Ferry planning process.

1. UCB Graduate School of Journalism has chosen the Marina for “class project”. Several of us have been interviewed at length. First result was the publication this week in Berkeleyside of article by Julietta Bisharyan. I was concerned about the usual flak/harrassment that would result, but the Comment section for that article turns out to be excellent way to convey additional information - rather than just snotty rants.

https://www.berkeleyside.org/2021/10/22/berkeley-marina-ferry-plan-raises-concern-among-recreational-users

2. I also suspect that her article has triggered additional support for our MoveOn.Org Marina petition. We were stuck at 411 sigs for weeks, but now suddenly rising again (442!). Please read it for additional background, plus sign if you haven’t already done so?

https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/tell-berkeley-officials-to-not-sell-out-the-marina

3. The third public Zoom on this project is slated for this coming Wednesday. Hope you will join and perhaps even comment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Berkeley Municipal Pier & WETA Ferry Facility Planning Study Community Workshop #3 at 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Videoconference: https://zoom.us/j/82683370448
Teleconference: 1-669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 826 8337 0448
Mail your comments, questions, and mailing list requests to: BMASP@cityofberkeley.info
AGENDA: Preferred Waterside and landside conceptual designs for Pier-Ferry Planning Study.
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedImages/Parks_Rec_Waterfront/Level_3__-General/10-27-21-PierFerry-mtg3-flyer.jpg
Berkeley Municipal Pier Website: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/parks/pier/



4. Reminder that City is hoping to lease the HLS restaurant. Prior to any real activity they plan to run a “food truck park” in the HLS parking lot. This will almost certainly have an impact on recreational use of the area, if only for parking. I’m sure it will be discussed further at Wednesday meeting.

Cheers, David
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rigatoni



Joined: 25 Feb 1999
Posts: 495

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been casually following your posts on this issue but it has been really hard for me to understand exactly what the issue are since these posts are really really long (I have heard the same from others). I learned how to windsurf at Cal Sailing Club back in the 1990's and the institution has a really special place in my heart. Any chance you can summarize the issues in a short post? I saw that Berkeleyside article and it seems like the terminal is a fairly modest proposal. Most windsurfing occurs in the cove at and below His Lordships. Is the biggest concern parking?
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 448

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigatoni,

First, would be helpful to know your name in case we “run into each other”?

I appreciate your concern re length of these posts.

However, we have learned that the "Devil is in the Details" - while hoping that City Staff and consultants learn the same lesson one of these years.

After all, this isn’t our first “Berkeley ferry rodeo” - 12 years following the first go-around.

The only reason this is again happening is WETA’s “bribe offer” to pay for the first 600 feet of rebuilt pier.

The main issues are:

1. Restrictions on actual recreational use of the Bay: From relocated pier, attendant breakwater(s), and Homeland Security water-side restrictions.

2. Restrictions on access into the Bay: primarily due to egregious parking requirements for WETA’s commuter hub.

3. Environmental Impacts: Dredging; pollution from uncleansed diesel boats; noise - etc.

4. Economic Impacts: This is HIGHLY subsidized, small-scale commuter operation compared to BART/AC Transit. All planning reliant on WETA guesses as to future ridership. Anyone can view their actual ridership on the monthly WETA Board’s agenda/reports - go for it….

5. Regulatory Implications: Numerous permits/agencies control Marina use and development. Many of those restrictions are being discounted or ignored by staff and consultants - particularly Berkeley’s Measure L.

6. Ferry will be primarily a sight-seeing amenity - as acknowledged by Mayor Tom Bates back circa 2009.

7. Taxpayer Impact: Is this the best use of $50 Million from our pockets - better alternatives abound.

Some of these concerns would be mitigated IF WETA would simply base a smaller “water taxi” operation within the main Marina Harbor.

Hope this helps and that you join this evening's Pier/Ferry Zoom.

Sincerely, David
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=17131

Berkeley City Council will be meeting on December 7 to discuss the pier/ferry project again
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 448

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

December 7th - Omen & Ferry Tales....

Folks,

Many of you are aware that there is a City Council Workshop re the WETA Pier/Ferry plan, tomorrow/Tuesday at 6 PM.

I’ll share the Zoom url below (at end of email), but also want to update you on developments.

I’ll try to be brief (but have failed - plus many items don't attach), primarily listing url’s with relevant info should you seek to delve more deeply:

1. WETA’s Planning Process:

https://weta.sanfranciscobayferry.com/sites/weta/files/weta-public/publications/Service_Visions_Business_Plan_Phase_1_Report.pdf

I’ve been wondering why all the hype regarding how much of an impact a “high-capacity commercial ferry” from a Berkeley terminal would have on commute traffic, emergency response, etc. This document describes how “stakeholders” have been solicited and then, perhaps subconsciously (?), indoctrinated to buy in. The following hyperbolic “headline” caught my eye (screenshot from WETA document) - many others almost as egregious:

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 10.13.55 AM.png

2. MoveOn.Org Marina Petition:

Signers now over 500 and continuing to grow. If you haven’t signed, please do so. Since the Marina is considered a Regional Resource, no reason to not sign wherever your abode.

https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/tell-berkeley-officials-to-not-sell-out-the-marina

3. City Council vs. Parks & Waterfront Commission:

The Parks & Waterfront Commission, chaired by former Councilmember Gordon Wozniak with member Jim McGrath, has been vociferous in raising concerns about the Council’s precipitous approach to this project. Now we find that pier replacement is no longer a top priority. How do we know that? Read these three draft letters from Council to CA Senator Nancy Skinner and see the bait & switch that has occurred (from initial draft on 10/12 to redacted draft of 10/26 to “final draft” of 10/26):



Especially note the disingenuous reference to the Marina/Pier being a historical commuter hub. That usage ceased in 1937, over 80 years ago. Easy to surmise that this is tactic designed to minimize BCDC concerns/oversight, etc.

4. Here’s Jim’s reasoned response to that con job:

sorry, doesn't seem to transfer....

5. And if all this doesn’t concern you, here’s reference from WETA Board packet as to how they are attempting to legislatively exempt the Berkeley Marina Terminal from both CEQA and BCDC traditional oversight:

WETA/CEQA/BCDC Tactic.png

In conclusion, tomorrow’s Zoom will probably indicate if our only remaining recourse is a City-wide referendum, as required by Measure L. Meanwhile, Council will have to authorize at least $1.5 Mill in next few months to continue the study (noted in CM’s agenda letter).

However, I still hope that (newly) more informed members of Council put the brakes on this impending train wreck.

Sincerely, David

xxxxxxxxx

From Kelly’s weekly post - read the agenda letter from City Manager in particular:

Tuesday evening at 6 pm item 2 on the City Council agenda is the Pier-Ferry feasibility study. The cost of the pier-ferry project is $93 million without $32 million for two electric ferries. (the studies I have read it is less polluting per person to drive across the bridge alone than to ride an ordinary ferry) WETA Directors have been promised the Berkeley pier-ferry project will not impact the WETA budget of which only approximately 30% is covered by fares. The Dec 7 council special meeting is HYBRID – choice of attending in person, zoom or teleconference.


Tuesday, December 7, 2021
City Council Special Meeting at 6 pm,
HYBRID: In-Person, Zoom and Teleconference
In-person at 1231 Addison
Videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86272802670
Teleconference: 1-669-900-9128 or 1-877-853-5257 Meeting ID: 862 7280 2670
AGENDA: CONSENT: 1. Presentation by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, 2. Large Scale Ferry Feasibility Study – A Preferred Concept, 3. Zero Waste Fund Proposed Five Year (FY 2023-2027) Rate Schedules,
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/City_Council__Agenda_Index.aspx

xxxxxxxx
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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 336
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riptide wrote:
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=17131

Berkeley City Council will be meeting on December 7 to discuss the pier/ferry project again

My impressions after sitting through the presentation, public comments and Council members' questions and comments: I just couldn't add up why Berkeley would go through all the trouble rolling ferry service "at scale" (not scale, as presented) while at the same time selling themselves down the river by sticking a ferry terminal in the middle of a waterfront park. This did not make sense to me and, as pointed out, improvements to the area could be implemented without the ferry. So the light came on at the very end, when the mayor let the cat out of the sack: I got the impression he and a number of Council members are salivating at the idea of developing West Berkeley into another tech hub a la Oyster Point, Mission Bay. And they probably see the ferry as a step up over competing areas by being able to point at a commute that does not involve sitting on I-80 or squeezing on BART. Sorry Berkeley, you got a bunch of sleazeballs for mayor and Council. Expect heavy loads of gaslighting and bullying.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 17041
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After sitting through 3 hours of gaslighting from City staff, WETA staff, and the City Council, they endorsed an action that will commit the city to paying a portion of $6 million to begin design, environmental studies, and permitting. The City did not deal with the fundamental issue: this is a park, and Berkeley's citizens adopted an ordinance in 1986 protecting parks and insisting that they be adequately maintained. Apparently at the behest of the City Council, the staff report argued that the ferry and commuter parking will be recreation. The City and WETA propose to provide 250 parking spaces and expect 1000 unique passengers. Obviously it won't affect recreation when the 750 park elsewhere in the marina.

Not discussed at all was the level of subsidy. If I do the math correctly, the true cost of each ferry rider will be about $40 each way. For this, the rider paid $14 before the pandemic, less now, and perhaps only $5 for the Berkeley ferry. I guess the reasoning is, if you subsidize commuting by ferry enough, it can compete with BART and you can destroy the park values of the marina. For someone whose job allows him to take this ferry for his regular commute, that is a subsidy of about $6,000 per year.

Some of us will continue to oppose this over the next 3 to 7 years. If you care about preserving parks in general, and windsurfing parks in particular, I would recommend that you make a contribution to SFBA at https://www.sfba.org/.

Mac
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