Toll Saga

New residents of Brickyard Cove may not be aware that in 2004, Toll Brothers Developers proposed a scheme for Terminal One.  Because of the manner in which Toll planned its project–without an iota of consultation or input from the community, and because their design was grossly out of scale with anything in the area, the community organized a consolidated resistance and ultimately filed a lawsuit to stop the project.  This section presents the chronology from January of 2005 until May of 2010, when a settlement was signed.  Each posting was made following each event to keep the community informed.

The UPDATES section, most recent at the top, and oldest at the bottom:

March 31, 2012
There has been interest of late in two Brickyard Cove sites: Terminal One and the Bottoms property, also known as Seacliff Marina.

Terminal One: The City put out a new RFP seeking developers. It was posted 3/13/12, with a response date of 4/19/12. We very much hope for a response by a high-quality developer with a plan that reflects the principles stated in the Design Principles Report. (See Exhibits and click on the Charrette Report)

Seacliff Marina: Shea Homes is in contract to secure the property, and is conducting information-gathering meetings with the community to ascertain what various groups think should be built there.

February 7, 2011

Recently the City of Richmond has prepared a new RFP for development of the Terminal One site. The RFP might seem to be somewhat premature in offering the property developers, given the moribund nature of housing demand in California. Nonetheless, what concerned us was how the RFP presented the expectations for the site. We are happy to report that the RFP reiterated the density that had been agreed upon previously, that of 258 units. And very clearly stated were the expectation for a shoreline road, massing to the back of the property, the eventual closing of Brickyard Road to thru traffic, and the design elements from the Pt. Richmond Shores Design Principles report. We wish the City luck, and hope that a high quality developer will see the wisdom of staying within the guidelines that we fought for for so long.

May 6, 2010

CCCPR has signed a Settlement Agreement with the City of Richmond and Toll Brothers that brings to an end the long saga concerning the Terminal One site and the proposed Pt. Richmond Shores project…for now anyway. CCCPR has withdrawn its 2007 lawsuit in exchange for terms noted below in bullet points.

It has been many months since we have communicated with you, and inevitably people will have moved away, or focused on new issues. Nevertheless, we wanted to bring closure to this narrative for those of you who have driven past the Terminal One site and wondered whatever happened to our community’s epic tale, and have maintained an interest in the development of the Brickyard Cove community.

The Toll project was approved by the City Council in May, 2007, in a form that was much improved from the original. The project then became a casualty of the 2008 housing collapse, following which it was evidently deemed by Toll to no longer be viable in the post-crash market. Toll sued the City in August, 2008, attempting to free itself of development obligations. Toll claimed that the City had not performed to its contract, and asked for reimbursement of all deposits, and reimbursement of all architectural, engineering and development fees. The City countersued. Thus began a long negotiation between the City and Toll, which reached critical mass in 2010. CCCPR also entered negotiations with the City to bring its own lawsuit to a conclusion.

The 2010 Settlement Agreement contains the following stipulations:

■ It preserves the major elements of the design that was developed with the community in three charrettes, and articulated in the MIG Design Principles Report of April, 2007, and provides enforcement mechanisms as well.

■ For any future development, including for the PG&E site and the Seacliff Marina site, it requires the City to include a copy of the Design Principles Report in any RFP for new development in Brickyard Cove.

■ It requires the City to try to buy the BNSF land or obtain easements;

■ A Memorandum of the Settlement Agreement has been recorded in Contra Costa County against the property so that any future developer will be on notice of the Design Principles Report and that a lawsuit was brought by the community to protect those principles.

■ It reimburses CCCPR for a portion of our extensive legal expenses, including the costs of Settlement itself.
When we entered into this controversy, we set forth the principles that remain on our website–essentially that the community should be instrumental in shaping any large development intended to be planted in our midst. We feel that the Design Principles represent the best framework for future developers to reference when the market recovers and interest arises again in the site.

Thanks for your interest and participation and solid support over these past years. You are encouraged to download the Design Principles Report from our website so that you will have a written document that summarizes the principles that the Community has fought for.

Go to the “Exhibits” section on the site, or cut and paste the following address into your browser. http://www.cccpointrichmond.com/exhibits.html

Community Block Party, October 7, 2007

On a beautiful October Sunday, the entire community shared in coming together at a Block Party on Sanderling Island. The homeowners of that area generously offered to expand their annual party to include all of Brickyard Cove, including Brickyard Landing (300 units) and Seacliff Estates (149 homes). The hosts provided wine, burgers, tables, and music in the form of a steel drum band. Attendees at the pot-luck brought appetizers, salads, side dishes and desserts for all to share. It was a blast.

It was delightful to meet neighbors, and make new friends. The event had a wonderful feeling. There were lots of kids, great food, a terrific steel drum band, and it was lots of fun. Communities don’t just occur. Communities are built by doing things together that cultivate our sense of social connectedness. We look forward to more such events.

Many thanks to Mark Howe and his fellow Homeowners Association Board for their hard work.

And a huge thank you also goes to Bob McNeil who has been our staunch and generous supporter since inception, and whose belief in maintaining the integrity of our community has been an inspiration.

Fund-raising:

In July, CCCPR launched a fund-raising effort aimed at reducing the legal obligations incurred in the effort to shape the Pt. Richmond Shores project. An informational package that recounted our goals, actions, and achievements regarding Pt. Richmond Shores was either mailed or hand delivered to each of the approximately 540 dwellings in Brickyard Cove. A contribution of $200 was suggested.

Results:

To date, CCCPR has received donations totaling $42,530 from 113 contributors. Contributions ranged from $25 to $10,000, with most contributors giving the suggested $200.

CCCPR sincerely thanks all who contributed. Ours is a unique community, and we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful spot on the planet. We must unite as a community to preserve its special quality, as we did with the Pt. Richmond Shores project, and may again be called to do in the future.

Updated as of June 24, 2007

In a milestone vote this past Tuesday evening (June 19th), the Richmond City Council unanimously approved Pt. Richmond Shores—a much changed project with the following key elements:

  • Project Density:  258 units (reduced from 324).
  • Massing:  Buildings are tallest (5 stories) in the back/hillside and step down to 2 stories southward toward the shoreline.
  • Building offsets:  On the eastern and the western non-podium buildings, the vertical building planes are offset to break up long walls.
  • Buildings are pushed back as far as possible to the northern property line, though not over Brickyard Cove Road.
  • Brickyard Cove Road:  The current road will be used primarily for access to podium parking, thus relieving the shoreline loop road of many turning cars.  The Bay Trail ‘commute route’ will run north of the Road, assuming that easements can be obtained.  The road will be landscaped to look like a neighborhood street.
  • The Shoreline loop road, with its dramatic views of the Bay, will be the major entrance to the Community.  The Bay Trail will run along the park-like apron between road and shoreline.
  • Toll must provide the link from the recently-completed Brickyard Landing Bay Trail to the Pt. Richmond Shores segment.
  • Charrette principles:  The project largely follows the principles developed with Community input in the charrette.  Thanks to the charrette, it is significantly different than Toll’s earlier proposals.
  • Conditions:  Nearly 100 conditions accompany the Tentative Vesting Map and Design Review approval.

This is a major victory for the Community, which has worked very hard to shape this important development.  It has been a long, and an expensive, battle.  We thank all of you who signed the petition, attended meetings, sent emails, participated in the charrette, and gave support to CCCPR’s work on behalf of the community.

March 27, 2007

Three Charrette Workshops have been completed, with the following positive results:

  •  The Community finally had an opportunity to express its opinions on what it would like for the Terminal One site, and have those ideas acknowledged in a public forum.
  • Toll responded at the 3rd charrette by presenting a new schematic for its building design.
  • Project density has been reduced to 258 units from 325 units.
  • The buildings are less massive, and more articulated.
  • Building heights are 5 stories in the back, and step down to 2 stories in the front, near the shoreline, instead of a massive 5-story block.Complications and opportunities in the continuing saga:

Toll continues to resist pushing back the buildings toward the hills, or abandoning Brickyard Cove Road to traffic. They are trying to get the building design approved by the City Council without making any other changes to circulation or push-back.   Toll will bring it before the Council on May 1st.

The property north of the Terminal One fence along Brickyard Cove Road that everyone, including BNSF & the City & Toll, thought belonged to BNSF, actually was sold to the East Bay Regional Park District in 1992.  This startling fact that came to light recently after we had made an offer to buy the property from BNSF.  BNSF uncovered a hitherto unknown deed.  It appears that East Bay Regional Park is the owner of the property.

We immediately began communication with the Park District to identify any interest on their part in accommodating the Push-Back.

The Park District has expressed enthusiastic interest.  They feel the push-back would enhance the shoreline experience for the public by widening the park-like apron along the water.  And they are exploring available land for possible trade that would provide more advantages for Park District use than would the ownership of the land under Brickyard Cove Road.

We hope that on May 1st the City Council will do the right thing for our community, and support what we have worked so hard to achieve.

 

Updated as of March 1, 2007

Charrette #3, February 24th
The third charrette provided quite a bit of interest to those in attendance. In response to the ideas generated in the first two workshops, the Toll team presented a new design schematic that responds to the community’s call for building shapes that echo the contours of the hills, stepping down significantly toward the water. Their scheme presents 5 stories in the back, and steps down to 2 and 3 stories in the south, toward the Bay. It was greeted favorably.

The circulation issues, and willingness to include the BNSF land to the north in the site are still unresolved, and require more work. But the buildings are beginning to reflect the sort of massing and shapes that have been sought all along.

Announcing Charrette # 3.
The 3rd and final charrette will occur Saturday, February 24th, 2007, in the City Council Chambers, 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond. The date was changed several times, but the 24th is the final date. A review of previous suggestions from the community for design goals, along with visual representations of building massing and circulation concepts will be discussed as the charrette process seeks to define workable guidelines for the developer.

January 15, 2007. Several events have transpired in the past few weeks.

  • Legal Action.  On Thursday, January 11, 2007, CCCPR filed a lawsuit against the City of Richmond and Toll Brothers regarding Pt. Richmond Shores.A 30-day statute of limitations deadline expired the next day, January 12, 2007, and any challenge to the Environmental Impact Report had to be filed before that deadline.  Thus, the filing was necessary to go on record within the statutory time period.   We filed the suit only to preserve our rights and CCCPR will offer a “standstill agreement” to the City and Toll, holding in abeyance any litigation activity, pending the outcome of the charrette, which we strongly support.
  • Charrette.  The first charrette was held on December 16, 2006.
    A workshop facilitated by Daniel Iacofano of MIG, inc. provided a forum for ideas that came from the community.  Click here for a workshop summary.
    The second charrette is scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the City Council chambers, and is open to any interested participant.
  • BNSF Land.  CCCPR has made an offer to buy the BNSF land underlying Brickyard Cove Road north of the Terminal One site.   Once the offer is accepted, we will have a right of entry, and will be able to test for any toxics on the land.  The goal is to determine if toxics are present, and if so, to understand the degree of contamination.  If contamination is minimal, then our contract to purchase the land could be assigned to the City or Toll for them to accomplish the purchase, and if the City and Toll agree that this step is in the best interest of finding a solution, the land would be added to the project site.We have long argued that moving buildings back against the hills would bring a project into conformance with Brickyard Landing’s excellent placement against the hills, would reduce view obstructions, and would allow a wider apron along the shoreline for a median-divided road and enhanced public access.

Charrette #1, December 14, 2006

The first of three scheduled charrettes was held at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers, with Daniel Iacofano of the design/planning firm MIG (www.migcom.com) acting as a moderator and facilitator. His role was to elicit from those in attendance, all of the issues, ideas, and perspectives that people felt needed to be considered in the re-thinking of the Pt. Richmond Shores design.

As each person voiced his or her idea, Mr. Iacofano’s colleagues extracted the core of the idea, and wrote it on a large blank paper folio mounted on the front wall. As design elements were discussed–for example, the stepping down of a building–one of the associates drew the idea to create a visual reference. All in all, one felt that all ideas were able to be expressed, and we felt we were actually listened to. That alone was a first in this long process.

This is the event that should have taken place 3-4 years ago, before Toll ever started formulating its own design, absent any input from the community.

The pivotal issue, from the Community’s standpoint, continues to be the willingness of the City and Toll to include in the site footprint the BNSF land which underlies Brickyard Cove Road. If this land is added to the site footprint, then the buildings could be “nestled” against the hillside, a wider public shoreline area created, and the waterfront road of adequate size could become the entrance to our community. If not, then we are still faced with a project that would sit out on the site as something dropped ON the site, rather than a building that is OF the site and consistent with the neighborhood context.

Here are the facts about the BNSF land:

  • BNSF has given us an offer to sell the land to us, Toll, or the City, for approximately $550,000.
  • Testing for toxics must occur very soon in order to determine whether any chemicals exist there that would render the land infeasible to build on. Our discussions with informed experts lead us to believe that the property is not seriously contaminated, and could easily be remediated without reopening another lengthy RWQCB process. But, the road must be tested and inclusion of the BNSF land in the Point Richmond Shores project must not be dismissed by assumptions about hazardous contamination.

Between now and the next charrette, Mr. Iacofano will collaborate with his in-house colleagues, Toll, the City, CCCPR and the community, as he attempts to use the ideas collected in the charrette to inform a more satisfactory design. We very much hope that the BNSF property purchase is understood to be the critical point of departure in the development of an acceptable plan.

  • Future Charrette dates:
    Charrette #2 January 27, 2007: 9 a.m. to Noon (Saturday);
    Charrette # 3 Febriaru 24. 2007, 9 a.m. to Noon (Saturday)

December 12, 2006: Charrettes are scheduled

The first of three charrette sessions has been scheduled by the City, and was confirmed at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, 12/12. Here are the particulars:

  • Thursday, December 14, 2006, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  
  • City Council Chambers, 1401 Marina Way South  
  • Facilitator is Dan Iacofano  of MIG, who will bring an architect with waterfront experience to assist in the work.

We weren’t sure if it would happen due to questions by Toll concerning certain aspects of the charrette. In addition there are still some unresolved legal issues. Nonetheless, the charrette will occur.

Anyone who wishes to have input is are welcome to attend.

City Council Action, November 14, 2006

City Council, hearing Toll’s appeal of the Planning Commission finding that the EIR should not be certified as an adequate planning document, voted 5-3 to take the following actions:

  • Voted to certify the Final EIR for Pt. Richmond Shores;
  • Voted to amend the General Plan;
  • Voted to change the zoning designation from Coastline Commercial to High-density Residential;
  • Voted to proceed with a professionally-facilitated Design Charrette to work to achieve a design acceptable to the Community, to Toll and to the City.

Approximately 150 representatives from the community attended the City Council hearing in a great show of support, wearing blue and white “Charrette-YES, EIR-NO” badges. Nearly 30 people spoke, urging the Council to deny certification of the EIR and to return General Plan, Zoning, Tentative map and Design Review issues to the Planning Commission. We stated, again, that the community wants a project on that beautiful site, but that the Toll design is not the project.

Three staunch supporters of our cause, Councilmembers Jim Rogers, Gayle McLaughlin and Tom Butt, moved to deny certification of the EIR, and to send back to Planning Commission the issues the Commission wished to continue hearing. However, that motion was defeated by the other five Council members, Maria Viramontes, John Marquez, Tony Thurmond, Nat Bates, and Richard Griffin. John Marquez then made a motion, seconded by Tony Thurmond, to take the four actions cited at the top of the page, and the motion passed.

Without a doubt, the vote was a blow.

However, the Design Charrette could be quite interesting, and we are intending to participate fully. It may even provide a better forum than any to date in allowing our ideas to heard.

We will keep you posted on news about the charrette as it is known.

Mayor Irma Anderson Letter
Mayor Irma Anderson has written a letter to CCC Point Richmond in which she states, “The project currently proposed by Toll Brothers doesn’t yet fit expectations of the potential for that site. It does not appear to take full advantage of the shoreline and clearly, Toll Brothers has not been able to find a middle ground with your community.” Click here to read the letter in full. Irma Anderson Letter.

The leadership shown by the Mayor is much appreciated, and she has shown courage in publicly stating that in her view, the current Toll plan is inadequate. She proposes to organize a design charrette in order to develop agreement on a project for Terminal One. A design charrette is a meeting of the stakeholders (The community, Toll, EBRPD, TRAC, the City) in which an independent facilitator works toward generating a design solution while integrating the interests of a diverse group of people. For a more detailed definition of charrette, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charrette.

The community has deserved a significant voice in determining what sort of project will be build in our neighborhood. At last, it would appear that our voice has been heard. Please email the Mayor to thank her for taking this step. Here is her email address. Irma_Anderson@ci.richmond.ca.us

Toll Appeals Planning Commission Decision
On September 18, 2006, Toll filed its appeal Planning Commission’s decision to deny certification of the Final Environmental Inpact Report (FEIR) for Pt. Richmond Shores.  The issue must be heard by the City Council within 60 days. That 60-day window ends November 18, 2006. It remains to be seen whether the Council will hear it before or after the November 7 elections.

Our preference would be to have the Council hearing as soon as possible. However, it is likely that Council members and the Mayor, who are running for re-election, may prefer to avoid taking a public stand on the issue, knowing that a vote to approve the FEIR would be enormously unpopular with voters in the local community.

It will be important for concerned citizens to discuss their distaste for the Toll Project as it is currently designed whenever they encounter a member of the City Council, especially those who are up for re-election, or election, this November. We will keep you informed on this website about which Council Members and Candidates have spoken out in favor of our desire for a more appropriate project, as well as those who favor the Toll project.

Report on Planning Commission Meeting of 9/7/06.

The Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 to reject certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Pt. Richmond Shores.  This is a big blow to Toll’s forward motion on the project.

Commissioner Vicki Winston found numerous deficiencies in the FEIR that rendered it inadequate to serve as the foundation for decision making.  She was joined by Commissioners Jeff Lee, Stephen Williams, and Zachary Harris in voting to reject the FEIR.  In a substitute motion, Commissioner Rao forced a vote to approve the FEIR.  He was joined by Commissioners Virginia Finlay and Ludmyrna Lopez, (City Council candidate) but did not have the four votes necessary.   The EIR was rejected in a 4 to 3 vote.

The Commission took pains to clarify whether they were allowed, procedurally, to reject the FEIR but retain control over the General Plan amendmentZoning changesVesting of the Tentative Map, and Design Review permit conditions.  It is widely understood that if the entire package of decisions were appealed to the City Council, that Toll feels it has the necessary 5 votes to approve the project.  Clearly Ms. Winston and others did not want to relinquish control of those issues.

After lengthy clarification by the Deputy City Attorney, Mary Renfro, it was decided that the FEIR rejection would not also allow the  other issues to be appealed to the Council.  At that point, the Commission voted 4 to 3 to reject the EIR.  It is expected that Toll will appeal it to the City Council before the 9/18/06 appeal deadline.  Ms. Winston’s citation of numerous and specific deficiencies in the EIR will make it more difficult for the Council to simply override the Planning Commission and approve the EIR.  One would hope that the Council will address the content of the FEIR’s shortcomings.

It is possible that the FEIR may have to be re-circulated. If that happens, it would take many months.

The November 2006 election complicates this for the Council members running for Re-election.  They will have to decide whether they want to take a stand on the Toll project before the election.

Planning Commission Meeting, Thursday, September 7, 2006, at 7 p.m.
Richmond City Council Chambers, 1401 Marina Way South.

The Planning Commission will hold what may be its final hearing on Pt. Richmond Shores on Sept. 7th. There will be a vote by the Commissioners as to whether they recommend approval of the project, or recommend denial of the project, of approve it with conditions.

They must decide whether to accept the Final EIR as an adequate planning source document. We feel it is badly flawed by omissions and by self-serving opinions presented in the guise of objective analysis. We feel it should not be approved.

The Commission must also decide whether to recommend that the General Plan be amended and the Zoning ordinance be changed to accommodate the height of 75′ (in excess of approved 35′) and density of 330 units (currently 242-289 units). These important issues have never been explored in a public forum to determine whether there is justification for increasing the limits. Absent a public discussion and agreement on the standards for development on the Terminal One site, we oppose any change.

The Commission will also consider whether to include various conditions recommended by the Design Review Board. Toll has cherry-picked those few conditions it agrees to, and has declined to follow the others. Some of these conditions relate to stepping back the upper 2 stories of the project on the East edge, the West edge, and the Southern long wings. We support these conditions, which will to some extent step down blocky mass and shape of the hulking buildings.


Contra Costa Times coverage of Planning Commission meeting
John Geluardi, a journalist with the Contra Costa Times, has written another article in his continued coverage of the Pt. Richmond Shores issue. You can read the article online by clicking on the following link:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/business/15223551.htm


Planning Commission Meeting, August 3, 2006

Commissioner Vicki Winston dominated the evening with a superbly-documented presentation which spoke to the inadequacy of the Point Richmond Shores EIR as an acceptable planning document.  She also raised serious questions as to whether the Commission should, or could, justify a General Plan Amendment and Zoning change, changes that would allow a High-Density designation at this site and a building height limit of 75-feet compared to the current 35-foot limit.

Of the five issues scheduled for a vote at the meeting, none was voted on, and the meeting was continued until September 7.  Toll requested an up-or-down vote, knowing that that would place the issue in front of the City Council, where they feel they have 5 votes to approve their development. However, they were denied this request.

The Planning Commission, however, felt there were too many un-answered questions concerning the issues and about procedural questions to be able to make an informed decision. There were questions, for example, about how voting on one of the five issues would affect the decisions on others. For example, approval of the Tentative Tract Map would endorse the High-Density designation; but that designation is possible only if the General Plan is amended–another of the five issues. The five issues were bundled together assuming they would all be approved. But now that questions have been raised by the Planning Commission in individual issues, it is not clear how the Commission is to proceed.

There was also much discussion about whether the sewer system is capable of handling an additional 330 units, given that a lawsuit filed by Baykeeper/West County Toxics Coalition charging Richmond with violations of the Clean Water Act contends that the system cannot handle its current needs.

Also, the warehouse on the Terminal One Wharf was believed to have historical merit under a study performed by a reputable consultant in 2003. However, that study was ignored presumably due to its unwelcome conclusion, and a new consultant was hired to perform the same study. Amazingly enough, the new consultant found that the warehouse had no historical merit. None of this made it into the Environmental Impact Report, whose guiding purpose is to provide information on which decision makers can base their decisions. Tom Butt has stated his suspicion that Redevelopment shopped around until they found the consultant who could give the pre-determined answer they sought. This of course raises questions about the validity of the EIR. 

Toll did not fare at all well in this meeting. Toll’s reneging on completion of the Bay Trail in front of Brickyard Landing has seriously hurt their credibility in the community, and raised questions as to whether they can be trusted to honor other commitments. Their proposed construction sequence for Pt. Richmond Shores has them building one building, then the other building, and after all of that, they claim they would build the Bay Trail along the water. TRAC, the local Bay Trail group, insists that the Bay Trail be built first, so that they do not find themselves in the same position several years from now of having trouble getting the Bay Trail completed. 

To watch the Planning Commission meeting online, click on this link and follow the directions below it.       http://richmond.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

Click on “View Planning Commission meetings on line”, then select the date which in this case was August 3, and select the second video.
Select “Jump To” Point Richmond Shores . You can fast forward or watch it minute by minute.   

West County Times article, July 4, 2006

An article entitled “Condo Plan Draws Opposition” by John Geluardi presents the Community’s dissatisfaction with Toll’s proposed design for Pt. Richmond Shores. John Knox is quoted in an especially colorful description of the blocky and charmless form of the project. http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/contra_costa_county/west_contra_costa/14963928.htm

Planning Commission, June 22, 2006

Toll Brothers fared poorly at the June 22nd Planning Commission meeting.  No vote was scheduled at this “Study Session”, but there was much discussion. 

            Toll presented its “compromise design”, a recently modified design that stepped down the most south-facing elements of the 2 buildings.  It had been hoped that Toll would respond to the expressions of the Community for a project design that was more suitable for the site, and more harmonious with its surroundigs. However, the revision in the design was rejected by the Community at Monday’s Town Hall meeting as being insufficiently changed to be acceptable.   The intent of a stepped-down perimeter was to gradually stair-step from the ground back to the 5th floor. It was felt that the Toll Compromise failed in that regard and still presented essentially a vertical facade because of the decks intruding in the set-backs at the upper floors.  Toll had to some extent reshaped the two facades, and then added back the lost units in the back so that there was no net loss of units.  Density remained at 324 units.

For the first time, the Planning Commissioners asked some probing questions about the project.

  • Steve Duran, Director of Redevelopment, was asked about how a project that was defined in the RFP as a 242-289 unit project grew to 325 units.   Mr. Duran said that the encouragement for high-density came from the City Council.
  • Mr. Duran went on to state that another development comany actually had made a higher bid for the property, but as their project had fewer units than Tolls, Toll was favored, and that developer was rejected.
  • The Commissioners asked numerous questions about Toll’s failure to make good on its agreement to build the Bay Trail section in front of Brickyard Landing.  They strongly suggested that Toll honor the spirit of the agreement and complete that section of the Bay Trail, rather than try to welsh on its obligation.
  • Several Commissioners stated concerns about whether the sewer infrastructure in Richmond could handle the additional hook-ups.  A lawsuit against Richmond was filed in January of 2006 by BayKeeper and the West County Toxics Coalition claiming violation of the Federal Clean Water Act.  If their claims are valid, it may raise public health concerns.
  • The failure of the EIR to even mention the sewer problems calls into question its credibility as a planning document. The EIR states, “The increase in water (treatment) demand would be easily accommodated by the city’s existing water treatment plant. Therefore, the peoject would result in less-than-significant impacts to water treatment faciities.” (Page 199, Draft EIR, Pt. Richmond Shores)

Town Hall Meeting, June 19th. Rejection of the Toll compromise design.

Approximately 100 residents from Brickyard Cove and Pt. Richmond voted unanimously against the Toll compromise that offered some stepping back of the longest wings of the two buildings. People expressed dissatisfaction at the very moderate change offered, the encroachment of decks into the set-back zones, and the lack of any stepping down on the western edge of Building 1 and the eastern edge of Building 2, near the yacht club. Concerns were raised about the safety of Ferry Point Way, which has 4 driveways on a curve with visibility limitations. The huge mass of the building could be tolerated only if moved back against the hills, over what is now Brickyard Cove Road.

It was felt thatToll could mitigate the perception of a lack of meaningful listening to, or acting upon, what the community wants by using this as a starting point to make further changes in the project. Significant changes would perhaps make the Pt. Richmond Shores project more palatable to the residents into whose midst Toll would like to build this project.

Notice of Town Hall Meeting, 7 p.m. , Monday, June 19, Schooner Building, Brickyard Cove

Recent meetings of City Staff, Council members, Toll Brothers and CCCPR have caused Toll Brothers to propose an alternative as a compromise to the four main points of our position.  CCCPR has always advocated  1) Making the shoreline road the main entrance to our community,  2) Moving the project back toward the hills onto what is now Brickyard Cove Road,  3) Stepping the buildings back on their West, South, and East perimeters, and  4) Not approving any General Plan amendment or Zoning Change absent a comprehensive area plan with public input.  

 The essence of the compromise is to provide the road along the waterfront, close Brickyard Cove Road to through traffic and use it for Bay Trail and emergency vehicle access only, step back the ends of the two southern-facing building wings resulting in a loss of five units, but not require Toll to move the project back onto Brickyard Cove Road.  The concern regarding moving the project back is that Toll or the City would have to buy the land underlying the road from the BNSF railroad, re-design the project footprint, and face potential toxic contamination issues, resulting in substantial additional risk, delay and expense.  Richmond’s new City Manager, Bill Lindsay, will provide the City’s perspective, and explain why the City favors this compromise solution.           

The purpose of Monday’s meeting is for you to review Toll’s compromise plan, understand what’s involved in moving the project back and decide as a community if the proposed plan provides an acceptable compromise.  

This is an important opportunity for us to have public input on what happens in our neighborhood.  Please come and be heard.  It will demonstrate the strength of our community and may very well determine what happens on the Terminal One site. 

Planning Commission Meeting to consider Pt. Richmond Shores
The Planning Commission meeting was postponed per Toll’s request. The new date is Thursday, June 1, 2006. All supporters of CCC Point Richmond should plan to attend this important meeting. It will be held at City Hall in Marina Bay, 1401 Marina Way South.

Sierra Club Endorses CCCPR
On April 26, representatives of CCCPR appeared before the Sierra Club to present our Community’s objectives with respect to Pt. Richmond Shores. We are delighted to report that the Sierra Club endorses our efforts to open up the shoreline apron between the water and the buildings, to get the project moved back and massed against the hills. We appreciate the support of Norman LaForce and the Sierra Club.

Design Review Board (DRB) Meeting, Feb. 22, 2006: Report
The standing room-only crowd sent a clear message to the DRB, to Toll and to the Planning Dept. that the community is strongly behind the changes to the Toll plan consistently advocated by CCCPR.

Despite having to endure several excruciating hours of an arcane discussion of the signage specifications for a new Target store, most people hung in there until Toll made its presentation. The item regarding Target was technical and should have been scheduled after the Toll item as there were no members of the public there for Target and over 100 people had to wait for the Toll project issues. It may have been a deliberate move to test our resolve and tire us out.

The outcome of the meeting was this: The project was unanimously approved with 47 conditions that limit the scope of Toll’s project. The conditions are in the process of being transcribed by the Planning Department. We will post them as soon as we receive a copy. In general, they required stepping down of some 4th and 5th floor units, carving back the project somewhat, classifying the shoreline road as a more major road and diminishing the classification of the current Brickyard Cove Road. .

It was outside the jurisdiction of the DRB to force Toll to purchase the BNSF land and to move the project back against the hill (the right thing to do on this site), and outside its jurisdiction to force the abandonment of Brickyard Cove Road, as we had proposed. We will continue to fight for these things when the project goes before the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council for its approval.

The Conditions imposed by the DRB are strictly advisory. As such they can be ignored or overridden in the future by the Planning Commission and City Council. But they were unanimously adopted and indicate the DRB opinion of the project.

The many community members who addressed the DRB articulated their objections to the Toll development in a most excellent manner. We were proud to have such an impressive group of individuals speak their minds as they did. Thanks to all who spoke and to everyone who attended.

Crane Story Pole along Brickyard Cove Road (February 2, 2006)
In order to demonstrate the building height and proximity to the road of the proposed condos at Terminal One (Pt. Richmond Shores), a crane has been positioned next to Brickyard Cove Road. The American flag flying atop the crane is 80 feet above ground, which is the height of the proposed buildings. We feel it is important for people to see for themselves how tall an 80 foot building will be, rather than to be shown a simulated drawing on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Although a single flag atop the crane cannot represent the length of the buildings (740 feet) or the extension toward the Bay (400 feet), or their mass, the flag will provide a visual reference when seen from various vantage points around Brickyard Cove, and allow one to use one’s imagination.

Residents should take a look at the crane and flag from Sandpiper Spit, from Ferry Point, from Brickyard Cove Road, from Dornan Drive, and from the East Bay Regional Park hills. From the bench on the hillside, the Bay view will be completely blocked for the length of the building.

CCCPR has never been against development. But we do feel it should be done responsibly and by taking into consideration the impact on the community. The crane will be up for the weekend of February 4-5, 2006.

Notice of Design Review Board (DRB) Meeting: February 22, 2006
Pt. Richmond Shores will be the topic for consideration by the DRB. This will be an important meeting to attend.
The DRB has held several “study sessions” at which Toll presented its plans, and CCCPR and many others have commented on the location of buildings on the site, building design, traffic circulation, view considerations, public access to the waterfront; density, plans for the wharf, and other issues.

The February 22 meeting will likely see a vote from the DRB on whether to accept Toll’s plan as it is, to accept it with conditions, or to reject it. Please plan to attend, either to support CCCPR, or to address the DRB yourself with your own comments. You must sign up just before the meeting starts, by filling out a card and handing it to the clerk. You will be given 3 minutes to have your say.

Meeting time & location:

  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2006
  • 1401 Marina Way South, City Council Chambers

Petition Drive
In order to assess the degree of support in the community for CCCPR’s key issues, we have undertaken a petition drive.

The petitions were circulated by volunteers in December, and many signatures were gathered. We plan to contact people who were away for the holidays and those who were missed in the coming weeks to complete our work.

An enthusiastic response was given by nearly all neighbors contacted. The community reveals itself to be extremely well versed in the development issues we have raised, and expressed its strong support. Below are the statements presented in the Petition:

  1. I am in favor of relocating Brickyard Cove Road toward the shoreline and abandoning its current location;
  2. I am in favor of massing buildings against the East Bay Regional Park hills;
  3. I am in favor of stepping down buildings toward the perimeters;
  4. I oppose any amendment to the Richmond General Plan allowing increased density and higher building heights until a comprehensive planning study of the Richmond waterfront from Ferry Point to Marina Bay, conducted with community participation, is completed and adopted by the City.

Petition Results to date (5/30/06):
603 = Individuals who have signed the petition to date.
503 = Household addresses in Brickyard Cove.
Less than 10 = people who declined to sign the petition, often because they work with or have business with the City of Richmond.
99% = Awareness of development issues regarding Toll Brothers Point Richmond Shores & Seacliff Marina projects, based on reports of volunteers.

Pt. Richmond Shores Draft EIR
The draft Environmental Impact Report has been completed and as of October 17, it is available for viewing in Richmond’s Planning Department, or can be purchased at the Planning Department desk for $2.00 (CD) or $31 (paper). The public has 45 days to comment in writing on the report. Letters of comment should be sent to the Planning Department, Attention:  Lamont Thompson. A hearing for comments on the DEIR is scheduled for December 1st.

Report on Richmond’s DRB Study Session, September 28, 2005
Project: Seacliff Marina
Toll presented its revised plan. New features include the following: Stepping down the top two floors of Building 1, reducing the unit count to 296 from 300; Adding door stoops to interior 1st floor units; Architectural style defined as Craftsman-lap siding or shingles over a stone base in earth tones.

However, the public response as well as that of the DRB members was that the modifications had not gone nearly far enough, especially in addressing building mass and height. Comments included: 1) The buildings should be reconfigured to take into account future development plans for the Port property and Rosie-the-Riveter Park site to the east. The current site plan creates a wall against the Port property rather than a connection. 2) Buildings are still too massive and monolithic for the site. Two DRB members suggested reducing density, and the third felt the density could be retained in a more sensitive design. But all felt the plan must be reconfigured so that it doesn’t look so monolithic. 3) Traffic flow and parkingalong the water are still very much at issue. Toll proposes a spur and turnaround, with parallel parking on both water and project sides. Without a secondary access through the Port property, it is feared that the shoreline road will create major traffic problems. 4) The Bay Trail in this plan skirts the water except for the area of the so-called “Great Lawn” where it takes an inland arc. It was felt that the Bay Trail should follow the water all along the route. 5) 5-stories over podium are too high for the area. Views from Seacliff Estates would be blocked. and the uninterrupted roofline mass would overwhelm the site. 6) It was pointed out that, just because Toll started with 300 units, a reduction of four units to 296 does not mean much. Current zoning allows approximately 21 units per acre on the 10.2 acres of dry land which would allow a maximum of 214 units. The remaining 15.1 acres of the site is submerged land.

Report on Richmond’s Joint Planning Commission and Design Review Board, September 14
Project: Pt. Richmond Shores

The issues raised by CCC and the public were largely endorsed by all Design Review Board members who commented at the end of the meeting. Toll should move the buildings as far back against the hill as possible; The existing Brickyard Cove Road should be abandoned and used for emergency vehicle access and Bay Trail commuter lane; The building mass should be reduced by stepping down on the perimeter of the project; The shoreline road should be re-designed to be a wider, safer, median-divided road with more study of vehicular and pedestrian safety. The direction from the Design Review Board members to the Toll design team was specific and well articulated.

Report on BCDC Design Review Board Meeting, September 12
Project: Pt Richmond Shores

The Design Review Board basically gave Toll approval for their design. BCDC’s jurisdiction extends to 100 feet inland from the mean high tide line. Within their purvue is the roadway and the wharf and pier structure, and very importantly, the Bay Trail. All of the buildings in Toll’s design are outside BCDC’s right to comment. However, informal comments by Board members included suggestions that the buildings be massed back against the hills and stepped down toward the perimeters. The DRB’s comments are advisory in nature, and can be contradicted by the Commission. Before the project can go before the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which must grant a permit to build, all City entitlements, the EIR, and all other local approvals must be completed. 

September 14, 2005. Richmond Design Review Board & Planning Commission. 6:00 p.m. , 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond Council Chambers.
The latest plan for Pt. Richmond Shores will be presented by Toll. CCCPR will comment on the Toll Plan and present our own alternative plan.
It seems inappropriate for any agency to consider a development plan that does not conform to the General Plan and Zoning ordinances in effect, before the environmental impact of any proposed General Plan amendment and Zoning change has been considered. The City should commission an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to analyze the environmental impacts of amendng the General Plan and changing Zoning ordinances now in effect . The purpose of an EIR is to bring to light all sorts of impacts that need to be considered. Absent that information, how can sound planning decisions be made?
The City has the cart before the horse: Project plans are being considered before the criteria have been defined for evaluating such a plan!
We feel the order of events should be as follows:
1. Complete EIR on the impacts of amendments to General Plan and Zoning changes for the Brickyard Cove area.
2. Define any appropriate amendents/modifications to General Plan and Zoning ordinances with community input.
3. Implement amendments/modifications to General Plan and zoning ordinances, if neccessary
4. Developers submit plans that conform to General Plan and Zoning ordinances, as modified.
5. Once a new project is vetted by the City, the plan can undergo an EIR to consider it’s specific impacts.
6. Project goes through the public review process.

The RFP process needs to be re-opened. When Toll and eight other bidders responded to the RFP, they were told that the General Plan and Zoning ordinances allowed a 35-foot height limit and a density of 242 units. The responding developers based their purchase bids on those criteria. In their latest plan, Toll proposes 327 units, a 35% increase in units over the RFP criteria.
If other developers had known this project could balloon to allow them to build 327 units, their bids might have been substantially higher than the winning bid. Thus by changing the rules after selecting a winning bidder, the City has left a substantial amount of money on the table. Can this City, in obvious fiscal difficulty, afford to leave millions on the table? Is this fair to the tax-paying citizens of Richmond? Is this not a gift of public funds, effectively giving away millions of dollars …to Toll Brothers?
Toll’s winning bid was $13 million. However, Trammel Crow just offered $20 million for a 2.3 acre site in Emeryville on which they plan to build 300 units. And the Emeryville site has no beautiful water view. The RFP Process needs to be reopened to make sure this site is not given away in a sweetheart deal, and the Citizens of Richmond receive fair value for one of its most unique and valuable development sites.

September 12, 2005 BCDC (Bay Conservation & Development Commission) Hearing on Pt. Richmond Shores
BCDC’s Design Review Board considers Toll’s latest design. A new road that follows the shoreline, and a smoother path for the Bay Trail are features CCCPR approves of. However, the road shown in this latest plan is a narrow road with no divided median and is not the primary road. The road needs to be a wider, safer median-divided road that replaces and becomes the new route for Brickyard Cove Road. The existing Brickyard Cove Road should be abandoned. Toll needs to move it’s buildings back against the hills, on top of what is currently Brickyard Cove Road, to allow room for a proper road and adequate open space along the shoreline. This is now possible due to CCCPR’s obtaining BNSF Railroad’s offer to sell the land under the current Brickyard Cove Road.

August 29, 2005 IMPORTANT NEWS:
BNSF (Burlington Northern/Santa Fe) Railroad has formally offered to sell the land underlying Brickyard Cove Road.
The availability of this land is a very significant development. If added to the Terminal One property, it expands the footprint of the site so that buildings can be massed further back toward the hills. Buildings located back against the hills would provide a much better design for the community and allow room for a bit more density which would aid the developer.

August 9, 2005. Pt. Richmond Shores EIR Scoping Session. 7 p.m., City Hall, Richmond. Because the 2004 Toll Brothers’ plan has changed significantly, the City of Richmond recognized that a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was needed to reflect the new features in its analysis. Thus a session to determine the scope of the analysis was held to provide an opportunity for public perspectives on the impacts of this development.
The session was unusually well attended. At an event that typically draws 5 or 10 people, there were 130 interested people in the audience, which seemed to surprise Mr. Lamont Thomopson, Senior Planner, City of Richmond. Many people in attendance wished to express their negative reactions to the project. Mr. Thompson continually reminded everyone, however, that the focus of this particular meeting was the impact of the Pt. Richmond Shores project on the environment within certain pre-ordained categories. These categories, set by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), include the following: Aesthetics; Biological Resources; Hazards & Hazardous Materials; Mineral Resources; Public Services; Utilities/Service Systems; Agricultural Resources; Cultural Resources; Hydrology/Water Quality; Noise; Recreation; Mandatory Findings of Significance; Air Quality; Geology/Soils; Land Use/Planning; Population/Housing; and Transportation/Traffic.

Once it became clear that the form of the questions had to be framed in terms of how an element would impact the environment, the categories of concern became apparent. Primary were Aesthetics, (massing, building height, density, views, design, materials, appropriateness to context); Traffic; Population (density); Public Services (fire & police), Recreation (Bay Trail, use of Wharf) , and Transportation (relocation of Brickyard Cove Road along the water).

Much discussion concerned the fact that the current plan deviates significantly from the current zoning ordinance, and General Plan, and that both will have to be changed before this plan can be approved. By what right, it was asked, does the City entertain and even encourage a non-conforming plan without consulting with the community into which it may be placed? By current guidelines, 242 units built to a height of 35 feet are allowed. The Toll Plan proposes 327 units, built to a height of 75 feet.

More discussion concerned the need for the EIR to consider the cumulative effects of all forseeable projects. Those projects include Seacliff Marina and the PG&E/KBHomes development. 

July 27, 2005 The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council met on Wednesday, July 27, 2005. It was the first time the PRNC held its meeting in Brickyard Cove. There was a large audience of 140 people in attendance. The size of the group shows the acute level of interest in upcoming development plans in the area. Typically a Neighborhood Council meeting attracts 20-40 people.

Tony Craig, Project Manager for Toll Brothers’ Seacliff Marina, presented the Toll plan. (Click on SEACLIFF MARINA above to view the plan.) There was a great deal of discussion and concern about the plan and its effects on the Brickyard Cove community. Traffic, views, massing, scale, architectural style, Bay Trail, secondary project access, landscape buffers, and shoreline access were discussed. Mr. Craig assured the community that he and the other representataives of Toll, Ben Helber and Brett Foley, were listening to the comments, and would be modifying the plan to respond to those concerns. Mr. Craig can be reached through the Brickyard Cove Toll Brothers office: 510-243-7118.

July 21, 2005 Community Meeting at Richmond Yacht Club This event was held to provide information about three significant condominium developments that are planned for Brickyard Cove: Pt. Richmond Shores (Toll), Seacliff Marina (Toll) and the PG&E property (KBHomes). Members of CCCPR talked about their activities to date with respect to Pt. Richmond Shores (Terminal One property), and the plans for Seacliff Marina. A question and answer session followed the presentation. There is much interest in this issue as evidenced by the large group of about 175 people who attended. 

July 13, 2005 Study Session, Seacliff Marina: Toll Brothers plans for Seacliff Marina in Brickyard Cove were presented for the first time to the public at a joint meeting of Richmond’s Planning Commission and Design Review Board. Speakers from the community raised numerous issues: Building mass (monolithic shapes with no articulation in the roof line); Building height 5 stories of condominiums atop a 1 story concrete parking podium creates a 73-foot tall building, out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood; Toxics concerns; Blocked viewsnon-conformance with the General Plan and Zoning; the need for a Specific Plan for Brickyard Cove to define the entire area for planning first, before proceeding on 3 new projects on a piecemeal basis; Traffic along Seacliff Drive (noise, safety, congestion); the Architectural Style is considered too ‘suburban’ and contributes to the loss of authentic reference to the area’s maritime industrial history; Road circulation needs to consider a connection with the Port road behind the site which connects to Canal Drive; Bay Traillocation and alignment need work; need for better thought out use of the beach front for kayaking and other recreational uses. Toll heard these comments and will come back with a plan that responds to the concerns that were raised.

July 11, 2005 Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), Seacliff Marina: Toll Brothers presented its plan for Seacliff Marina to BCDC’s Design Review Board. CCCPR raised issues regarding building massing, Bay Trail design, inappropriateness of such large buildings for a waterfront development (unfortunately the buildings are out of BCDC’s jurisdiction), how views would be affected, both from the area to the Bay and from the water toward Brickyard Cove, eliminating parking on the Bay side of the road. The DRB explored the public access value of Toll’s design, road extension and parking issues, whether the design reflects the context appropriately (it doesn’t), and whether the design adequately enhances the visual quality of the waterfront experience for the public. Toll heard these comments and will come back with a design that responds to these concerns.

June 20, 2005 update:

Pt. Richmond Shores design: Toll Brothers has modified its plan so that a road and Bay Trail element skirting the water is included. While these steps are in the right direction, Brickyard Cove Road remains in place as the primary road and the proposed road is really a secondary internal road with parking on both sides blocking views. It is not the divided boulevard that should be there.

Rose Foundation: The Rose Foundation has approved CCCPR for fiscal sponsorship which extends their charitable non-profit umbrella, under IRS Code 501(c)(3), to our organization. Contributions to CCCPR will be eligible for a charitable tax deduction as a result of this approval. Look for our organization to begin fundraising activities soon in order to bolster our heretofore self-financed activities. We look forward to the involvement of community members who endorse and show financial support for CCCPR’s activities.

Seacliff Marina Development: Toll Brothers has proposed a 300-unit, five-story condominium project on the site at the foot of Seacliff Drive where it intersects Brickyard Cove Road. The proposed development will be considered at a meeting on June 29, 2005, at City Hall. Anyone who wishes to see the plan, comment on the development as it will affect the local environment, traffic, services, or any other way should come to the meeting.

PG & E Property: The P G & E property, located between Brickyard Landing and Seacliff Estates has been purchased for condominium development. The developer is KBHomes, formerly known as Kaufman and Broad. We have no details of their plans.

Terminal One (Pt. Richmond Shores) Toxics Remediation: The remediation of the most higly toxic area of the site has commenced. On June 8, Terra Therm, under the direction of GeoMatrix, began increasing the temperature in the heater wells. They will essentially cook the ground for 100 days. The idea is that at very high temperatures, the toxins will volatalize, and the vapors extracted from the ground will be cleansed in charcoal and potassium permanganate filters to remove contaminants.

Point Richmond Business Association: Representatives of CCCPR addressed the PRBA at its June 8 luncheon meeting. The group, representing business leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, and others, enthusiastically received the information about the Coalition’s goals for the Pt. Richmond Shores site, The PRBA passed a unanimous resolution in support of CCCPR and it’s vision. We are most appreciative of the support given by PRBA.

BCDC (Bay Conservation and Development Commission) 
Meeting:  6:30  Monday, March 7, 2005
BCDC Conference Room, 50 California Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco
This is BCDC’s second meeting with Toll Brothers, who will present their revised plan to BCDC’s Design Review Board.

It was an interesting meeting.  Not a clear win for us, but our concept clearly influenced the Design Review Board’s thoughts about the potential for the site.

 Toll presented its revised plan in a slick PowerPoint presentation.  There are 2 major features of their revision:  1)  The Bay Trail moves further east along the shoreline before heading north through the project’s interior, where it eventually connects with Brickyard Cove Road; 2) The 9 buildings have been arranged along a grid, which by virtue of lining up blocks of buildings, opens wider views of the water from BCRd.  (This was one of the principal criticisms by BCDC of Toll’s last plan that they tried to mitigate. 

Chris Curtis and Bruce Ross from CCC presented the alternative plan.  They showed how, by moving the road to the shoreline, the need for view corridors through the buildings is removed by bringing the public to the water itself.  Public access to a park apron is enhanced, and the Bay Trail is located appropriately along the water. 

Others made excellent points in their public comments:  The location of a 5-story building on one side of the road would create a canyon with the bluff of East Bay Regional Park on the other side.  20 years from now, people will drive through a canyon, or along the water, depending on the decisions made today.  In addition, multiple-unit buildings in the area, such as Brickyard Landing and The Pinnacles, are located against the hills, affording views to all of their residents, and no visual obstacle to passers-by.

Bruce Beyaert of TRAC endorsed a Bay Trail location along the water.  

The Design Review Board then discussed the project as we all watched and listened.  It was clear that they were drawn to our solution of moving Brickyard Cove Road.  By various questions they posed to Toll, the Board revealed an interest in seeing uses for the pier that relate to the water.  Toll has proposed a grassy garden.  The DRB’s desire for an active use for the pier, rather than a passive use, was obvious. 

    The Board had to continually be shepherded back by staffers to its area of jurisdiction–public access with respect to the Pt. Richmond Shores project as presented by Toll.  There were many riffs on the possibilities of the site, and one could tell that they would like an active interface with the water for the public.  But, in the end, the BCDC staff focused the DRB on addressing the project at hand, not what might be.

        BCDC’s Comments at the end of the meeting:

  •  The Bay Trail, they said, should not be between buildings, but should skirt the shoreline. 
  •   The two buildings near Richmond Yacht Club should move west to make room for the Bay Trail. 
  •   The revised ‘view corridors’ did not work for BCDC.  Rather, they suggested, Toll should reroute its interior roadway along the water, and push to the site interior all of the outlying buildings, squishing them together.  BCDC said it would trade off the view corridors from BCRd in lieu of having the small interior road skirt the water.   

I do believe that if we had been able to report with certainty that BNSF had agreed to sell, that BCDC would have encouraged pursuit of our plan.


Other Past Events

Pt. Richmond Neighborhood Council meeting,
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 
Pt. Richmond Community Center, 139 Washington Avenue

CCC was invited by PRNC present its design alternatives to the Toll Brothers Pt. Richmond Shores plan.
Our original schematic has been fleshed into a real, buildable project with the same density as the Toll Plan. With an equal density, we felt our plan could not be dismissed on the grounds that the developer would be financially penalized
We have been assisted in the revision of Jonathan Livingston’s schematic by architect Bruce Ross. As a founding partner of BAR Architects who has considerable expertise in high-density project design, Bruce makes our alternative credible. He believes that moving Brickyard Cove Road to skirt the water, and moving the building mass back toward the hills, are very important design elements.. As he described the plan to the PRNC, he cited his experience in Tiburon where, as mayor, he was involved in ensuring that the road be moved to the waterfront, contrary to the ideas of the developers.
Chris Curtis described how the CCC plan corrects the shortcomings of the Toll Brothers’ plan.
We felt encouraged by the positive response to our plan by the members of the Pt. Richmond Neighborhood Council, and appreciated the opportunity to meet with them.


Date: February 8, 2005
Redevelopment Agency Meeting
We attended a Redevelopoment Agency meeting, which followed the regular City Council meeting. A “Status Report” on Pt. Richmond Shores was scheduled, and we wanted to be present and to comment if appropriate.
It was clear that the City is anxious maintain momentum on the Toll Brothers development , and admonished Redevelopment to move it along as quickly as possible. The City’s motivation for “fast-tracking” the project is its desire to receive the revenue from the sale of the site to Toll Brothers. But the sale will be finalized only after toxic remediation is completed, and after the project has received City Council approval to proceed. Therefore, any delay would prolong the process. Our introduction of an alternative plan was viewed as an unwelcome delay.
Several Council Members were upset that the Design Review Board gave consideration to the CCC alternatives which they felt were outside the purview of the DRB. Even though the DRB meeting was a Study Session at which no vote would be taken, the Council Members were incensed that our non-conforming plan was allowed to be presented
The CCC proposal was villified by several Council members as being incompatible with the City’s agreement with Toll Brothers, and the implication was that any consideration of our plan should stop.
We felt that there was a great deal of misconception about the DRB meeting on the part of several Council members. If the public’s ideas are not allowed to be expressed at a Study Session, just what is it for?


Date: January 12, 2005
Design Review Board Study Session Meeting
At this meeting, CCC first presented design alternatives to the project proposed by Toll Brothers. Our formal comments were nearly identical to the commentary on the “Our Plan” page. The intention was to present design alternatives which would rectify major design flaws of the Toll Brothers’ plan.
The Terminal One/Petromark site is important because it provides the entrance to the Brickyard Cove community,. If Brickyard Cove Road stays in its current location with the Park bluff on one side and nine tall 4 and 5-story buildings on the other side, Brickyard Cove Road will become a virtual canyon.
It pained us to see the opportunities of this beautiful site squandered on a development that seems neither to appreciate the views from it, nor through it. So we decided to see what we could come up with on our own that could provide a vision of what was possible.
That was the genesis of our group. And on January 12, 2005, we presented our ideas to the Design Review Board.
We received favorable comments from many of the members and from the public who felt our ideas had merit and deserved serious consideration.