Contrary to representation made by the Point Molate Alliance, the current Point Molate Development Plan is, in fact, consistent with the Richmond General Plan 2030. The General Plan 2030 was approved by the City Council on April 25, 2012, with Councilmembers Beckles, Butt, Ritterman, Vice Mayor Rogers, and Mayor McLaughlin voting yes, and Councilmembers Bates and Boozé voting no.
The following references to Point Molate are in the General Plan 2030:
- The former Point Molate Navy Fuel Depot area is designated as a combination of Business/Light Industrial, Medium-Density Residential, Low-Density Residential, Open Space and Parks and Recreation to reflect the conceptual land uses in the adopted 1997 Point Molate Reuse Plan (3.39)
- Desired Urban Form. In the former Point Molate Navy Fuel Depot area, improvements to public areas should be guided, for the most part, by the 1997 Point Molate Reuse Plan, except any references encouraging the demolition of Building 6. In general, improvements to public areas should connect the varied open and built spaces through a new network of intimate curvilinear streets and pedestrian and bicycle paths. Where possible, these new connections should build upon existing underutilized paths to minimize impacts on the natural environment. Connections should emphasize pedestrian and bicycle access along shared roadways and trails. Natural sanctuaries including the many groves of trees should remain undisturbed and become part of a larger open space preserve. Public gathering spaces should be provided at major destinations such as vista points and trailheads to further accentuate the unique natural environment. New landscaping should integrate the existing native planting palette with the peninsula’s unique character. In the former Point Molate Navy Fuel Depot area, adaptive reuse of historic buildings and new development should seek to reinforce the original rural village character of the area. New buildings should keep a small-scale to reinforce the sense of a hillside town. In general, variety of building uses are encouraged in the private areas including entertainment, lodging and waterfront commercial. All development should respect the natural topographic context. New buildings should blend into the natural and cultural landscape. Sustainable design practices and elements should be an intrinsic part of new buildings. (3.39)
- LU4.E Point Molate Redevelopment Plan. Continue to pursue redevelopment of the ex-Point Molate Fuel Station, the ex-Red Rock Marina, Terminal #4, and improve conditions at the San Pablo Yacht Harbor. Identify and incorporate opportunities for public open space and recreational facilities. Integrate previous planning efforts including the Point Molate Reuse Plan and San Pablo Peninsula Open Space Study. See also: ED9.A (3.68)
- Point Molate Reuse Plan. The Point Molate Reuse Plan is a conceptual land use plan adopted in 1997 to guide long-term civilian reuse of the Point Molate Navy Fuel Depot + in Richmond. The Plan is intended to expand Richmond’s economic base, regional presence and recreation opportunities through the creation of a new mixed-use neighborhood. The Plan’s overall concept involves retaining and reusing many of the site’s historic buildings and constructing new buildings and open space areas. (3.81)
- Policy LU5.2 A Mixed-Use Waterfront. Continue to create a dynamic mixed-use waterfront that includes amenities and attractions for residents and visitors. There are a number of different uses, features and assets along Richmond’s shoreline that can be enhanced to create a series of distinct places along the waterfront. The San Pablo Peninsula is characterized by large natural open spaces, shoreline parks and beaches, sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay Area and historic structures. The City will support development on the Peninsula as a regional recreation destination that is well connected to rest of the City and accessible to the greater community. Disturbed sites such as the Winehaven complex at Point Molate and the Terminal 4 site at Point San Pablo will be remediated and redeveloped into mixed-use activity centers to serve a broad range of visitors and provide long-term revenue to the City. The Richmond Port (public and private) is recognized as a productive and important component of the community’s economy and identity. Many of the adjacent industries embrace high standards and provide high-wage, local jobs. Creative transitions should be developed between port related activities and potential mixed-used neighborhoods along the waterfront to provide strong connections, design cohesion and effective buffers where necessary. (3.70)
- Point Molate Reuse Plan. The Point Molate Reuse Plan is a conceptual land use plan adopted in 1997 to guide long-term civilian reuse of the Point Molate Navy Fuel Depot site in Richmond. The Plan is intended to expand Richmond’s economic base, regional presence and recreation opportunities through the creation of a new mixed-use neighborhood. The Plan’s overall concept involves retaining and reusing many of the site’s historic buildings and constructing new buildings and open space areas. (3.81)
The current plan approved with conditions by the Historic Preservation Commission, the Design Review Board and the Planning Commission, is based on the 1997 Reuse Plan as a ”mixed-use neighborhood” that includes housing, as envisioned by the General Plan 2030.
Figure 1 - Land Use Map from the General Plan 2030 includes residential and business/light industrial uses.
The inclusion of Housing at Point Molate is a particularly contentious issue raised by the Point Molate Alliance, which argues that housing should be built in downtown Richmond instead of Point Molate.
One of the City’s four Housing Goals, as listed in the Housing Element of the General Plan, is “ Goal H-1:A Balanced Supply of Housing. Promote a balanced supply of housing types, densities, and prices to meet the needs of all income groups.”
The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is a state mandate that all California cities, towns and counties must plan for the housing needs of our residents—regardless of income. This state mandate is called the Housing Element and Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA. As part of RHNA, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, or HCD, determines the total number of new homes the Bay Area needs to build—and how affordable those homes need to be—in order to meet the housing needs of people at all income levels. (Page 95)
ABAG, working with the Housing Methodology Committee, then distributes a share of the region’s housing need to each city, town and county in the region. Each local government must then update the Housing Element of its general plan to show the locations where housing can be built and the policies and strategies necessary to meet the community’s housing needs.
Richmond’s RHNA allocation shown below shows that Richmond is short 1,482 units, 755 of which are “above moderate,” which means they are market rate. These units have to be built somewhere in Richmond, and there is nothing wrong with them being placed at Point Molate. The first phase of Point Molate will also include 10% affordable housing.
RHNA also shows that Richmond is short 727 affordable units, but we are catching up. The Terraces at Nevin Avenue are almost complete and will provide 289 affordable units downtown, reducing the RHNA deficit by 40%. The 140-unit Nevin Plaza will be rehabilitated and another 70 units added, taking another 10% bite out of the deficit. The Hacienda is also on track for rehabilitation, adding 101 units. Nystrom Village will be mostly removed and replaced by hundreds of new affordable units. Hundreds of units, including affordable units, are in the pipeline for the area near the BART station.
Figure 2 - Richmond RHNA Housing Shortfalls
Because of our inclusionary zoning, market rate housing mut either include affordable units or contribute to an in-lieu fund to help subsidize affordable housing. With the end of Redevelopment in California, the largest local source of affordable housing subsidies are in-lieu funds generated by market rate housing. Market rate housing at Point Molate will help build hundreds of units of affordable housing elsewhere in Richmond.