Neptune Pointe

The City Council is set to decide Tuesday whether to place a citizen-sponsored initiative on the November ballot that will permit only park development at Neptune Pointe – along with a companion measure that staffers say is intended to shield the city from costs associated with any lawsuit that might be filed if the open space measure succeeds.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your Alameda news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

The Alameda Recreation and Park Department's 48th annual Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest was held this past Saturday on Robert W. Crown State Beach, and videographer Donna Eyestone was on hand to capture the action for The Alamedan.

THE STORY: The East Bay Regional Park District and environmentalists are battling to halt plans to develop 48 homes on a 3.9 acre property across the street from Crab Cove, which the federal government is in contract to sell to developer Tim Lewis Communities. So far, two lawsuits have been filed over the property and plans to develop it, and local parks lovers have qualified a measure for the ballot that would prohibit housing development there.

City Council members have ordered a report detailing the potential legal and fiscal impacts of a proposed ballot initiative that would rezone federal property slated for housing to allow only parks – and expressed support for a companion measure that could pause enforcement of the initiative while those impacts are addressed.

“We’re trying to give the residents what they want without potentially blowing our budget,” Mayor Marie Gilmore said.

THE STORY: The federal government made a deal to sell homebuilder Tim Lewis Communities a 3.89-acre property on McKay Avenue. But the East Bay Regional Park District – which has sought the property in order to expand Crab Cove, which is across the street – objected, suing the city to try to undo zoning that would permit housing there and rallying parks lovers and the state to its cause. The federal government has also jumped in, suing to take a street from the state that’s needed to move Tim Lewis’s development plans forward.

Supporters of a park on land slated for development as a residential neighborhood submitted petition signatures for a possible ballot measure that would bar the city from allowing homes to be built there instead.

The federal government plans to sue the state to reclaim ownership of a road that a developer who purchased federal property nearby needs to rekindle its home building plans, according to a letter obtained Monday by The Alamedan.

A group of locals who want Crab Cove to expand on federal property where houses are proposed to be built has submitted language for a proposed ballot measure to the City Clerk.

The group, Friends of Crown Beach, is hoping to gather the 6,000 signatures it needs to put the measure on the November ballot. The initiative, which would change the zoning for the property to open space, was submitted by Doug Siden, a member of the East Bay Regional Park District board; former City Councilwoman Karin Lucas; and resident Wai-Kuan Woo.

Representatives from the city, the East Bay Regional Park District and developer Tim Lewis Communities have agreed to attend mediation in an attempt to end their legal fight over a 3.899-acre property the park district had hoped to obtain to expand Crab Cove.

A pair of community groups is looking into its options for stopping a proposed home development on land the local park district had sought for expansion of Crab Cove – including a potential ballot measure that would rezone the land for park use.

Friends of Crown Beach and the Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club have formed an exploratory committee to consider ways to halt a proposal to develop 48 homes on four acres of government property on McKay Avenue, across from Crab Cove, which the East Bay Regional Park District had hoped to acquire for an expansion.