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EBRPD Undermines Citizen Efforts to Protect Lake Chabot
Suppose you received a letter from an organization telling you that the construction of housing units in the highly visible ridge areas above Lake Chabot Park was not a significant effect on the park. Also, suppose this same organization then requested that you support their latest ballot measure to fund their operations. What would you do?
Many of us would toss the donation request into our recycling bins. We might even write a letter to the organization letting them know that it doesn't make sense to ask for our support unless their organization is interested in supporting us. We might wonder: What kind of an organization would be foolish enough to adopt such a fundraising strategy.
Well, there is such an organization -- East Bay Regional Park District!
EBRPD Undermines Citizen's Efforts to Protect Lake Chabot
In December 1997, EBRPD planners wrote to City of San Leandro regarding the proposed Boulders Residential Housing Project planned for the quarry area above Lake Chabot. According to the Park District:
"We believe that the elimination of housing units from Bench A, combined with the four existing mitigation measures contained in the DRAFT EIR, would substantially reduce the significant impact to a less-than-significant level."
In effect, the Park District claimed that highly visible housing units at two levels (B & C) would not significantly affect the park!
EBRPD's letter came at the worst possible time -- when citizens groups were in the midst of a battle to stop the City of San Leandro from approving a housing development at Chabot Park.
For years, citizens groups such as, Sierra Club, East Bay League of Conservation Voters, Dunsmuir Ridge Alliance, Fairmont/Lake Chabot Ridgelands Committee and San Leandro Coalition for Responsible Planning (SLCRP) have fought to stop inappropriate housing plans for Lake Chabot's ridge tops. Even EBRPD had expressed concern in the past.
But in 1997, EBRPD changed its position and handed the developer a powerful weapon. As a supposed "expert" source, and supposed steward for our public lands, EBRPD claimed that proposed housing units on the Lake Chabot ridgeline would be "less than significant"!
Fortunately, the Boulders Residential Housing Project collapsed under its own weight before citizens groups were forced to publicly dispute EBRPD claims.
SLCRP has asked EBRPD to review and reconsider its position regarding housing at Lake Chabot. The Park District has not changed its position.
What you can do to help Save Lake Chabot
If you have read this far, then chances are you are a park supporter and would like to protect Lake Chabot from future housing development. Here is what you might do to help.
Send an email to EBRPD officials:
1) Ask them to Protect Lake Chabot by trying to acquire ridgelands that are threatened by development.
2) Ask them to oppose future housing projects that are visible from the lake or surrounding trails.
Make it clear to the EBRPD officials that you want to support them,
For more concerns about East Bay Regional Park District,
visit Friends of Parks website at:
last revised: February 11, 2022