Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2016  
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  Brickyard Cove Residents File Legal Challenge to Terminal 1 Project
August 24, 2016

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has completed its assessment of potential futures for Point Molate. You can click here to view the report, and click here to view the presentation.

Although they may deny it and cloak it in terms like “transparency” and “community involvement,” it is clear that the Richmond Progressive Alliance and their shadow organizations “Citizens for Sustainable Point Molate” and the “Point Molate Working Group” are positioning themselves to support an alternative that includes no development at all. They adamantly oppose any housing, and without some housing, the ULI concludes there will not be sufficient funding to provide infrastructure needed to develop the historic district buildings with viable uses. For more, see Save Point Molate from the RPA, July 23, 2016
Turning Point Molate into one giant park with decaying ruins of a National Register Historic District is clearly not what former Congressman Ron Dellums had in mind when he authored the DOD Authorization for Fiscal Year 1996 (Public Law 104-106), signed into law by President Clinton. The Dellums legislation permitted DOD to convey Point Molate to the City of Richmond at no cost. The conveyance was, however, not without conditions. One of the conditions required use of the parcel for “economic development.”
CONDITION OFCONVEYANCE.—The conveyance authorized under subsection (a) shall be subject to the condition that the City, directly or through an agreement with a public or private entity, use the conveyed property (or offer the conveyed property or use) for economic redevelopment to replace all or a part of the economic activity being lost at the parcel.

Opponents of housing at Point Molate most frequently cite proximity to Chevron and access. What they don’t acknowledge is that Point Molate is upwind from Chevron and separated by a 400-foot high ridge. In 114 years, there is no record of any threat or damage to Point Molate from Chevron. In fact, downwind and less protected communities, such as Point Richmond, Santa Fe, the Iron Triangle and North Richmond are more far more at risk than Point Molate and have suffered the effects of fires and explosions at Chevron many times over the years. While access to Point Molate is constrained, it is no more so than access to Treasure Island where thousands of homes are proposed, and unlike Point Richmond and Marina Bay, access is not frequently blocked by trains. Furthermore, the Bay Trail link to Point Molate is funded and approved and will be in place before any homes would be constructed. Point Molate. Like Treasure Island, Point Molate also has the capability for ferry service.

As this election season  develops, ask the RPA and their candidates about their preferred future plans and land uses for Point Molate. Don’t accept vague responses, like “let the people decide.” Ultimately, the decision will be that of the City Council, not “the people.” Make the candidates commit now. If even one RPA candidate is elected, the RPA will have a majority on the City Council and not only decide the fate of Point Molate; they will run everything in the City from their new headquarters at 2540 Macdonald, conveniently located across from Civic Center.