Councilwoman Urges Planning Commission to Defend General Plan
Councilmember Jac Asher has waded into the swamp that is the Emeryville Center of 'Community' Life (ECCL) project in a pointed 15 page letter to the Planning Commission today. The Commission is ready to consider the merits of the contentious project this Thursday at 6:30 pm at City Hall. Ms. Asher is opening the letter for public review in a new blog site she has set up today at jacasher.com.
Among a long list of concerns enumerated in the letter, the Councilwoman's chief concern appears to be that the ECCL site is too small. The School District is heavily relying on "space sharing" between the City and the District and she worries the District is using the sharing idea to cover up a lack of space at the site. The Councilwoman states she doesn't wish to see kids forced to be "more efficient and take up less space in our community."
|Vice Mayor Jac Asher|
"Space sharing between the City and the
School District should not absolve the ECCL
project from the standards & goals
of the General Plan."
She goes on to excoriate the School District for their less than transparent agenda regarding 'Phase II' of the project, calling it a "fiction". Tattler readers may remember the School Board has promised to build a General Plan required bike/pedestrian path (ECCL Path) during Phase II but Ms Asher reveals, "because of bonds the District has already issued, the reality of that repayment schedule means that the earliest Phase II could be constructed would be more than 32 years from now, after 2045" and therefore should not factor into the decisions made by the Planning Commission Thursday night.
The School District, Ms. Asher informs us in her letter, is taking great pains to tell the Planning Commission that the ECCL project is following the "intent" of the General Plan while downplaying the obvious violations. But intent should not require "mental gymnastics" to understand she says as she notes the constant use of the word intent really is no different from simply ignoring the Plan. She says accepting the ECCL project as proposed renders the General Plan "a document without any meaning."
In addition to the litany of identified problems with the ECCL project, Council member Asher encourages the Planning Commission to impose the following conditions:
1. Crossing guards at 47th and 53rd street during drop-off and pick-up.Read her full letter at her blog and come to the Planning Commission meeting this Thursday at 6:30.
2. A traffic monitor at the pick-up drop-off curb on the Elementary School side.
3. The District should create and publish a parking and drop-off/pick-up guideline (complete with maps and illustrations). This should be distributed to families at least two times a year and should be readily available on the District’s website.
4. Drop-off and pick-up should not be allowed on San Pablo.