Thursday, November 30, 2006

Advancements in the EIR Process to Occur at Next City Council Meeting

At next Monday's City Council meeting (12/4), the Council will be asked to approve a contract with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) to conduct the environmental impact review (EIR) for the proposed Baylands Specific Plan and project alternatives. At the November 6th meeting ESA and their land-use planning sub-consultant Dyett and Bhatia made a presentation regarding a new and different approach to developing community-based project alternatives.

The City of Brisbane has decided to embark on a robust project alternative process to provide an opportunity for the community to formulate project alternatives. In January and February of 2007 we will be having a series of three community presentations on subjects that will assist all of us in formulating project alternatives. As you may recall, last summer we hosted "An Evening with James Wines", a renowned architect and author of the book 'Green Architecture'. Our upcoming workshops will be in the same vane. Subject areas will be Parks and Recreation facilities and programs- the value they add to a community; economic vitality and sustainability- how to make a project successful and durable over time; alternative energy resources- harnessing energy which may have less damaging impacts on our environment.

Beginning in February/March the City's consultant Dyett and Bhatia will be hosting a series of small meetings with community members and Community workshops to work on truly community based alternatives. From this work the City Council will adopt project alternatives to study in the EIR. It is anticipated that the EIR will take approximately a year and that public hearings on the draft EIR would commence sometime in early 2008. Of further note, the EIR would be at the expense of the applicant not the City of Brisbane.

An adopted EIR is a first step in the process to make use of and remediate this property. Further steps include adoption of one or more specific plans and the application for planned developments which will require subsequent environmental review. As the process moves forward we move from more general discussion of possible uses of this land to more specific proposals. As you can see, this is a multi-year process.

The City of Brisbane will continue to update our website, concerning the Baylands, which hosts all material to date over the past 4 years including proposed plans, staff reports, contracts, minutes, etc. The staff report with the scope of services and timeline will be available online at the City's website tomorrow in the City Council Agendas section (dated December 4, 2006). We will be using channels such as our website and this blog to update the community. We encourage participation of everyone and are available to answer any questions. Feel free to contact Clayton Holstine, City Manager ( or John Swiecki, Principal Planner ( with your questions or concerns.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


If you think about it, our country is in a similar state as it was nearly 150 years ago when Abraham Lincoln was president. But the difference is that we'll be celebrating another Thanksgiving whereas in 1863, President Lincoln had just called upon the American people to observe the first Thanksgiving ever in history. And this was at a time where there was little to be grateful for - the nation was embroiled in war and dark shadows were cast on the prospect of peace. But in the battlefield, President Lincoln delivered his famous battlefield address, where he reminded the people that although they were divided by many things, they were still united by the American ideal. There, in Gettysburg, Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation, setting aside one November day for the people in the North and the South to join together and forget their differences.

This Thanksgiving, as American families celebrate life's bounty, may we remember the men and women on the fields of battle who are eating meals under enemy fire. As we sit on sofas swapping stories, they sit in humvees, patrolling streets. While we gather around televisions watching football, they huddle under cover watching snipers. In the face of these great challenges, may we, like Lincoln, put gratitude first.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gearing Up for Month 2

We started this blog nearly a month ago, and have been quite pleased with the amount of viewership we’ve had with it (if you haven’t already noticed, there’s a tracker on the bottom of the page). The blog has been averaging around 150 page loads a week, with half of those being first-time visitors. So, to ensure that we continue to blog on the things our readers are most interested in hearing about, we invite you to forward any suggestions for blog topics to Caroline at Thanks, and here’s to making this blog a timely news resource provided to you from the Staff at City Hall!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Vote "By the People"

The word Democracy means literally "by the people." This is the basis of our government and society. It is what this country was founded upon and what makes us American. It is not just our "right" but also our duty to speak out and voice our thoughts and opinions. Participating in the electoral process, electing responsible leaders, and making your voice heard are probably the greatest fulfillments of one’s civic duty in America.

Yesterday, Brisbane residents came out to cast their votes and allowed their voice to be heard. 73.28% voted No on Measure B, and 26.72% voted Yes. The result of that vote is that no housing will be built in the Quarry.

We thank you for taking the time to exercise your civic duty and coming out to vote yesterday. We will update this entry with the number of Brisbane residents who voted when that information becomes available. (EDIT: of the 2,395 registered voters in Brisbane, 1,522 total ballots were cast, resulting in a 63.5% voter turnout).

But in the meantime, click here to see the rest of the voting results.

Friday, November 03, 2006

City Council to hear from preferred EIR Consultant

On Monday November 6, 2006 at about 7:30 pm the City Council will hear a presentation from Rajeev Bhatia of the firm Dyett and Bhatia regarding the process for the community to develop project alternatives at the Baylands. Dyett and Bhatia is the firm that will probably be recommended to City Council to conduct the alternatives development portion of the Environmental Impact Review for the Baylands Specific Plan. Prior to presenting the contract to Council for approval, the Council will hear about the process that will be used to develop project alternatives. This is one of the most extensive alternative development processes ever used. It will include in excess of 30 meetings including meetings with City Council, Planning Commission, a Community Issues and Visioning Workshop, Interviews with individual stakeholders, a Community Workshop on preliminary alternatives, Neighborhood/key group briefings, and a Community “Open House.”

Please attend Monday’s Council meeting or watch it on Channel 27 to find out more about this important process. The citizens of Brisbane have an opportunity to help shape the future of our community. Please take the time to participate.