At last night’s City Council meeting, the City Council continued a pattern of giving away public land for private use, approving the encroachment at 8 Western Drive, where the property owner enclosed a substantial portion of Western Drive with a fence to create a private parking place and expand their front yard. See Another Giveaway of Public Property for Personal Use Set for Hearing March 7, March 3, 2023.
Much of Point Richmond was developed in the early 20th Century without the benefit of sufficiently wide streets and sidewalks. Instead of looking at how a sidewalk could be provided on at least one side of these narrow streets for pedestrian convenience and safety, the City Council is focused on transitioning the unpaved portion of the right of way to private property owners who fence it off for private use. This is the second such transaction approved by the City Council in the past month. The City Council approved it on a 4-2 vote with Councilmembers Jimenez and Bana voting No, and Martinez absent.
Council members raised some strange justifications with Doria Robinson, for example, explaining that all driveways are encroachments, so what’s the problem? Unlike the 8 Western Drive, driveways do not affect the public’s access to the right-of-way or the use of sidewalks.