Berkeley Partners for Parks Response to 10/12/99 Council Information Memo
from the City Manager regarding the Sata Fe Right of Way
1. The City Manager writes that there are 14 blocks in three non-contiguous sections of the Santa Fe Right of Way (SFRW). He breaks down the non-contiguous sections as follows.
Lincoln to Addison: (7 blocks) - Lincoln is where the SFRW merges with Cedar/Rose Park and the Ohlone Greenway. Addison bumps into Strawberry Creek Park which extends to Bancroft Way. So while there are only seven blocks to develop, we actually have a potential continuous greenway from Bancroft Way to the El Cerrito/Richmond border. Eventually Point Richmond will be the northern part of the Ohlone Greenway as it is extended.
Block [Blake] to Ward: (5 blocks)
Oregon to Sacramento: (2 blocks) - The City Manager counts these as two non-contiguous sections. However, from Ward to Oregon of the SFRW includes a public street, Sojourner Truth Court, and a fenced grassy area. As far as public use is concerned, this is a contiguous section.
2. The City Manager and staff are proposing changing the language of the General Plan and the South Berkeley Plan to say that the SFRW can be sold appropriate where open space, community gardening and housing development aren't appropriate or feasible. This wording authorizes after the fact the sale of the SFRW from Channing to Dwight Way, a large piece of land which could be used for open space, community gardening, public housing, or other use for the public good. Berkeley Partners for Parks calls for an immediate cessation of any sell-off of the SFRW and a public planning process to determine the best uses for the SFRW.
3. The City Manager and staff do not refer to any other SFRW parcels that are being offered for sale. The for-sale process should be fully documented to the public.
In conclusion, the SFRW has tremendous open-space and public greenway potential. We call on the City Council to initiate a public planning process for the SFRW and to halt all sales of SFRW land.