Saturday, November 4, 2017

Environmental problems, design issues & parking dominate Terminal One meeting

   POINT RICHMOND - Progress on a badly needed environmental cleanup, parking along a proposed new public shoreline road and significant changes to the design of the proposed Terminal One project on Dornan Drive were the focus of a sometimes boisterous informational meeting at the Richmond Yacht Club Saturday morning.
Brian Lewis of BCARD
     About 100 people filled the dining room of the RYC to hear from Brian Lewis of the Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development (BCARD) and Jonathan Livingston, chair of the City of Richmond's Design Review Board.
     The audience was also there to ask questions - which they did for a good part of the one and a half-hour meeting.
     The architecture, construction materials and colors of the proposed 316-unit development are all up for official city consideration Wednesday evening when the Richmond Design Review Board will hold a public hearing on the shoreside project.
     The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Richmond Civic Center Plaza and is open to the public.
     But chair Livingston made it plain that issues still of concern to many people - like how many stories the buildings will be or the number of required parking places - have already been decided by the Richmond City Council when it gave its approval in July of 2016.
     That approval included dropping the proposed height on two of the buildings from five stories to four.
     The meeting began with an explanation of BCARD's continuing role in monitoring the environmental cleanup of the nearly 14-acre site.
From BCARD's presentation on environmental cleanup
     BCARD's Lewis walked the audience through a series of explanatory slides showing various testing sites on the large parcel, lists of known contaminants and other environmental issues.
     "The cleanup is critical," Lewis said.
     He added that BCARD has not been getting promised regular reports from the developer making it very difficult to assess where the project is environmentally. "It's hard to say how much of it has been cleaned up. We are not seeing the data."
     The second presentation - by Livingston of the city Design Review Board - showed the changes submitted by the developer since the project was initially approved.
     Among those were exterior changes to colors and materials. The developer also wants to substitute a cantilevered deck design for decks supported by steel uprights.
    "The committee is really interested in hearing what the public's opinions are about what the project will look like," Livingston said.
      One issue of concern was who would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a proposed city park on the site of the development - and the public pier.
      Livingston said the legal documents approved by the city appear to make the development's homeowner's association responsible for those two features.
     A number of questions were also raised about parking for individuals wanting to use the proposed public park and/or the yet-to-be reconstructed pier. A proposed new perimeter road that will run along the edge of the bay - called Shoreline Drive on drawings - shows no parking spaces.
     On site, the project is required by the city to provide 1.6 parking spaces per residential unit, with the spaces allocated for use by Terminal One residents.
     Several members of the audience voiced concern that people wanting to use the new park and renovated pier would be forced to park in a nearby existing Miller-Knox parking lot (which frequently fills to overflowing) or along adjacent streets which also fill quickly, particularly on weekends.
     The City of Richmond's report and documents about Terminal One can be accessed by clicking on this link: TERMINAL ONE
     Questions or comments about the project can also be directed to city planner Lina Velasco either by telephone at 510-620-6841 or email at: LINA VELASCO.
Saturday's meeting at the Richmond Yacht Club about the Terminal One project
Developer provided design of Terminal One project

by Michael J. Fitzgerald