Friday, February 24, 2017

Pt. Richmond parking issues discussed

   POINT RICHMOND - Parking in the downtown Point Richmond business district - as well as residential neighborhoods impacted by parking issues - were the focus of a presentation made Wednesday night to the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council by city staff member, Denee Evans.
     Evans, a former code enforcement officer now working with the City of Richmond Transportation & Parking Services, outlined changes - and opportunities - for improving parking, made possible by changes in laws approved in January.
     She said that those changes will be reflected on the Richmond city website in the very near future.
     "We are about to upload a lot of information that people should find very useful," Evans said.
     The West Contra Costa County Transit Advisory Committee met today to look at various transportation issues related to population growth and impacts on traffic and area residents.
     As an example of population and traffic growth,  Evans referenced an PRNC earlier presentation made by New West Development Corporation of Las Vegas. The company just unveiled a proposed Point Richmond development - a 270-unit housing project on six acres with access on Seacliff Drive.
     The daily vehicle trips generated by that development - if approved - would be added to the vehicle traffic expected from the approximately 330 units of the approved Terminal One project and the 60 units from an approved (and under construction) shoreline condo project by Shea Homes.
     All three would utilize Seacliff Drive, Brickyard Way and Dornan Drive.
     The New West developers promised the PRNC that a full traffic study to see what the impacts of the project could be will be part of their planning studies and/or the environmental impact review.
     A story and illustrations about the Las Vegas-based firm's project can be found here: Bottoms Quarry.
     Evans also outlined a new neighborhood parking permit program that can be initiated by the city council, transit staff or residents who believe they is a parking problem in a particular neighborhood or street. This program could include finding ways to improve parking in the Point Richmond business district.
     Details about how that program could work in the business district and/or neighborhoods are going to be reflected in the new website information, she said.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

PRNC calls for special meeting to discuss the proposed Bottoms Quarry project

   POINT RICHMOND - The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wednesday night voted to hold a special meeting specifically to discuss the proposed Bottoms Quarry project, a 270-unit development on six acres off Seacliff Drive.
     The vote for a special meeting came after a presentation by representatives of the developer, New West Development Corporation of Las Vegas which owns 18.4 acres of property.
     The new Richmond to San Francisco ferry "changed the dynamic" in favor of developing housing on the site, Todd Floyd, one of the developers told the PRNC.
     That new ferry service is slated to begin in early 2018.
   Numerous residents voiced concerns about increased traffic on Seacliff from the development.
    The entrance and exit to the project would be onto the increasingly busy roadway.
Proposed Bottoms Quarry project
    "This presents a big problem for the community," resident Jeff Vines said.
     The developers promised that a study of traffic impacts would be part of the planning process.
     One structure is planned to be five stories tall with interior courtyard parking on each level. Because the entire project backs up to a tall hillside, no views would be blocked, Floyd said.
     Housing unit prices are expected to range from the mid-$400,000s to mid $600,000s.

    Floyd and fellow New West representative Terry Manley stressed that the project is still in the preliminary design stage, will require a full environmental impact report and approval by various City of Richmond officials including the city planning commission and the city council.
     It will also need a general plan amendment and a rezoning, according to the Richmond Planning Department.
     The property is currently zoned for parks and recreation use.
     The PRNC's special meeting to discuss the project has not been scheduled.

Story by Michael J. Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Land use, parking on tonight for PRNC

   POINT RICHMOND - The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council tonight will consider a proposed housing development and a plan for parking in the Point.
     The PRNC meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center on Washington Street adjacent to the public library.
     The Bottoms Quarry Development, proposed for construction off Seacliff Drive, will be considered after an 8 p.m. presentation about the Plunge West Collaborative Projects.
     Here is a link to the development company website with details about the Bottoms Quarry proposal: BOTTOMS QUARRY
     At about 8:30 p.m., the PRNC will hear a presentation about a proposed neighborhood parking permit program.
     The presentation will be given by Denee Evans from the City of Richmond.

The two images below are from the Bottoms Quarry Development website

Sunday, February 19, 2017

PRNC to consider land use and parking

   POINT RICHMOND - The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council will take up several land use issues Wednesday night - and a parking permit program - when the council meets, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
      First will be The Plunge West Collaborative Project, presented by Maryn Hurlbut and Andrew Butt. The Plunge West project was discussed at the last PRNC meeting. Here is a link to the PDF presented at the January PRNC meeting: PLUNGE.
Artist's concept - Quarry Development
     The second land use item will be a report/presentation on the proposed housing project for the Bottoms Quarry Development proposed by New West Communities.
     A link to the company's website with details about what it seeks to do can be found by clicking the following link: Bottoms Quarry project.
     The third land use item the PRNC will consider is a home renovation at 719 Golden Gate.
     Other items on the PRNC agenda include:
     RICHMOND PROMISE - Executive director Jessie Stewart is scheduled for a 15-minute agenda item, beginning at 8:09 p.m.
     The East Bay Times published a feature story about Richmond Promise in its Friday edition that can be read here: Richmond Promise.
     PARKING - Denee Evans of the City of Richmond Transportation and Parking Services will be outlining a Point Richmond Neighborhood Parking Permit program.
Evans is scheduled to begin that presentation at 8:29 p.m.

Bottoms Quarry Development
Bottoms Quarry Development - closer view

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

County superior court judge rejects attempt to halt new Richmond rent control law

    RICHMOND - Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith Craddick Wednesday upheld Richmond's rent control law, approved by voters in November, the East Bay Times reports.

    The law, approved by 65 percent of voters in the general election, rolls back rents to where they were July 21, 2015.

   The request to strike down the law came from the California Apartment Association, an industry lobbying group. It had gone to court to get an injunction to halt implementation of the law.

   The association is also trying to block rent control in Alameda, San Jose, San Mateo and Santa Rosa.

   For the full East Bay Times story, click this link: RENT CONTROL UPHELD

Solar farm opens off Richmond Parkway

   RICHMOND - A new two-megawatt solar farm off Richmond Parkway was unveiled Tuesday by Marin Clean Energy, the East Bay Times reported.
     The power generated is enough for 600 homes per year.
     MCE partners with local entrepreneurs who use their properties to generate solar energy, selling it back to MCE.
     The land owners also quality for federal tax incentives.
     "There is an unprecedented opportunity to provide power generation right in the places were people use it and employ people who live there," Richmond Mayor Tom Butt says in the Times.

Here is the link to the full story in the East Bay Times: New Solar Farm

East Bay Times photo

Friday, February 10, 2017

County finds new code violations at Richmond vehicle wrecking yard

   RICHMOND - The vehicle wrecking yard that was the site of a big early morning fire Dec. 16 has more hazardous waste violations than previously thought.
    Contra Costa County officials announced Friday that Deal Auto Wrecking yard on West Gertrude Avenue has 30 days to clear up the problems, the East Bay Times reported Friday night.
    In the December fire as many as 200 vehicles burned putting up a huge plume of toxic black smoke.
    The fire prompted officials to order a 'shelter in place' for people living near the yard.
   To read the full story in the Times, follow this link: More violations at wrecking yard.

Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale to speak Feb. 24 in Richmond

Bobby Seale - East Bay Times
   RICHMOND - Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale will be speaking Friday, Feb. 24 at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way South.

     The event is "Breakfast with Bobby Seale" part of the celebration of Black History Month, the East Bay Times reported today. It is being hosted by the non-profit community group For Richmond.

     The 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. event is open to the public, but an online RSVP is required. Here is RSVP link: Breakfast with Bobby Seale.

     For the full East Bay Times story, click HERE.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Richmond police and fire units retrieve overturned car off Crest Road

   POINT RICHMOND - Police and firefighters this morning retrieved an overturned car on the hillside east of Crest Road, near Belvedere.
     The car was about 40 feet off the road and had been reported to police this morning by neighbors.
     No one was found inside the vehicle.
    Richmond Police contacted the owner of the vehicle who said he had driven off the road about 11:30 p.m. Sunday night.
    The rolled-over car's descent was stopped by shrubs growing on the hillside.
    It could have tumbled the rest of the way down the hill, police said, likely resulting in serious injuries for the driver.
    A tow truck retrieved the vehicle by about 9 a.m.
    The name of the driver was not immediately available.
 Story and photos by Laura Paull

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Downtown Richmond post office for sale

   RICHMOND - The East Bay Times reported this morning that the U.S. Postal Service plans to shut the historic downtown Richmond Post office and sell the building, constructed in 1938.
     The announcement came Wednesday and has already drawn criticism from city officials and advocates for downtown Richmond.
    The Times reported that the group Richmond Main Street has a campaign in progress called Save the Downtown Post Office.
     All postal operations currently in the building will be moved to a postal facility about a mile away.
     To read the full story in the East Bay Times, click on this link: USPS Announces plans

'Today’s Anne Frank Is a Syrian Girl'

  RICHMOND - A discussion of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's "Today's Anne Frank is a Syrian Girl" - and the continuing plight of refugees in Greece - will highlight the Sunday, Feb. 12 Morning Bagel Brunch at Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Center (Hilltop exit I-80 east).
   The speaker at the event will be Dr. Carla Cassler, associate director of Acupuncturists Without Borders.
   The bagel brunch is open to the public and runs from 10:15 a.m. until noon.
   A $5 donation is requested.
   Cassler will be talking about at her experiences in coordinating an acupuncture program for refugees from the Middle East and Africa who have fled to Greece.
   Cassler is the wife of Temple Beth Hillel's Rabbi, Dean Kertesz.