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    Albany’s biggest controversy: Waterfront Planning

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    A statue made out of scrape iron and sticks by amateur artists on Albany Bulb, the tip of a former landfill stretching half-a-mile into the San Francisco Bay. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Waterfront planning is a major issue for the city of Albany. A majority of residents are against extensive commericial development of the 160-acre land by the San Francisco Bay, but their opinions vary on the kind of development they want to be carried out. Most of the land is now occupied by Golden Gate Fields racetrack, while several dozen acres of land were accumulated as a former landfill. Should the area be largely preserved as a park, or  some constructions for urban use be allowed? How to cooperate with the racetrack’s parent parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., who owns a large portion of the waterfront, if at all? And how to fund the projects? Or should the waterfront just be kept the way it is now? These are the questions that have faced the city for decades, and no consensus has been reached up until now. The city recently hired an independent consultant to prepare a framework report for the planning. The report was releaesd in early September, which summarized the issue and described four senarios for its development. (Click for details: Neuwirth & Associates Preliminary Report.) An revised version Neuwirth & Associates Final Report of the report was submitted to the City Council for approval in October. It’s important that the public voice their opinions and get involved in the planning process. Please follow the latest development of the issue and share your ideas here.

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