Friday, December 9, 2011

Our new partner in the fight for San Francisco Bay

CGF has a new partner in the fight against the "Saltworks" project -- the proposed city-size development on Cargill's Redwood City salt ponds. A new grassroots community group, called Redwood City Neighbors United (RCNU), has been founded by a group of Redwood City residents, including Alice Kaufman, CGF's new Legislative Advocate, and Nancy Arbuckle, one of CGF's Board members. The group is dedicated to fighting the proposed Saltworks project and promoting responsible growth in Redwood City.

Why this is important

Cargill and its partner, Arizona luxury housing developer DMB Associates, want to build a massive development of 12,000 housing units and 1 million square feet of commercial/retail on the salt ponds between Woodside Road and Marsh Road in Redwood City. This would mean 30,000 more residents -- the size of the population of Foster City -- living behind a massive flood levee and adding to the already-heavy traffic on 101. No bayfill project this huge has been proposed since the 1960's. These salt ponds are former wetlands that were intended to be included in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, and they can still be restored to wetlands if Cargill is not allowed to fill and pave them for this development. An estimated 90% of the Bay's wetlands have already been diked or filled in for development, and scientists tell us that we need at least 100,000 acres of wetlands for the Bay to thrive.

What's happening

Cargill and DMB have submitted a project application for their proposed "Saltworks" project to the Redwood City City Council, and a Notice of Preparation under CEQA has been prepared. Over 900 pages of comments in response to the NOP were received, expessing the concerns of Redwood City residents, environmental groups, labor unions, the governments of nearby cities, local businesses, and other concerned parties. Most recently, in early November, DMB announced that due to the high volume of comments received, they would not be issuing a revised project description by the end of 2011 as previously promised, but instead will be delaying the process for an indefinite period of time.

What you can do

We need to keep our opposition to the Saltworks project as strong as ever, in spite of DMB's delays. Please keep in touch with both CGF and RCNU (you can visit RCNU's website at to learn the latest developments on this misguided and irresponsible project.

Thank you!

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