The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) announced today that it has filed a request with the Alameda County Superior Court to dismiss its lawsuit against the City of Alameda. The Park District’s lawsuit challenged the City’s residential zoning of a 3.9-acre surplus federally-owned property at the northern entrance to Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach.
The lawsuit had been pending since late 2012, when the City approved zoning which would have allowed up to 129 housing units to be developed within the footprint of the state park. The Park District had long identified the surplus federal property as the only property available to expand the park and open up the shoreline in this area. The Park District suit alleged that the City rezoned the property without considering environmental impacts on the park.
In response to the lawsuit and the rezoning, the Alameda citizens group Friends of Crown Beach gathered more than 6,000 signatures to place a ballot initiative before the voters to change the zoning to open-space. In July 2014, the City Council adopted the initiative instead of placing the matter on the ballot.
The proposed developer announced in November that it was withdrawing its development application and is no longer in contract to purchase the property. “With the open-space zoning in place and the time to challenge its adoption having expired, the Park District’s lawsuit was no longer necessary to protect this property from incompatible development,” EBRPD District Counsel Carol Victor said. Both the Park District and the City have waived any claims for costs or attorneys’ fees.
“We are glad this lawsuit with the City of Alameda has been resolved and that there is a general consensus that the federal property should become parkland if it can be acquired from the General Services Administration,” EBRPD General Manager Robert Doyle said. “We look forward to rebuilding a cooperative relationship with the City of Alameda so both agencies can work together to better serve the public.”
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The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 119,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.
Carol R. Victor, District Counsel