A unanimous 7-0 board vote July 16 approving the East Bay Regional Park District's 2013 Master Plan was the last step in a lengthy public process to update a policy document that guides the District in future expansion of parks, trails, and services.
“Since 2010, through surveys and a series of public meetings, we have listened to the full range of public opinion on the Master Plan. I am pleased that we have developed a plan that balances the needs and is acceptable to the majority of our diverse population,” said Park District Board President John Sutter.
The Master Plan is a long-term “road map” that defines the vision and mission of the Park District and sets priorities for at least the next decade. The policies set forth in the Master Plan help guide the stewardship and development of current and future parks to maintain a careful balance between the need to protect and conserve natural resources and to offer recreational use of parklands for all to enjoy.
“This Master Plan provides the public a very clear, readable and accessible document which defines the district’s long term vision and all the policies to manage a large and diverse park and open space system,” said Park District General Manager Robert Doyle.
Accompanying the plan is the Master Plan Map which outlines several proposed new areas within the Park District's jurisdiction, including 16 potential new park sites, approved by the agency's board.
Potential new park sites include the Alvarado wetlands near Fremont; the Oakland shoreline at the foot of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge; a closed portion of the Concord Naval Weapons station; part of Jersey Island north of Oakley; and a series of now active gravel pits in Pleasanton.
Before it can buy land in an area, the Park District must first list it as a potential park site. A future park may be considered because it has valuable wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, or cultural resources to preserve.
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. The system comprises more than 114,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.
The East Bay Regional Park District’s Master Plan is online at http://www.ebparks.org/planning/mp.