31 March 2006

Assorted newsbites

Mayoral debates were held in Oakland and San Jose earlier tonight. I couldn't make it to the SJ debate but the Merc's Phil Yost ran a running commentary. Candidate/BBSJ member Dave Cortese (remember the Wave article from earlier in the week?) got the baseball question. His response sounded much like his stance during the 3/1 study session, but he also got a plug in there for soccer. That can't be a bad thing for the Quakes fans who felt like they got the shaft on Tuesday night.

It would be nice if the Oakland Tribune had a similar blog for the Oakland mayoral debate.

Got a few more bits of information on Pacific Commons. Real estate firm Colliers Parrish still has their Pacific Commons website up though it has some outdated information. It should give you a sense of the property's size and location. Here's a map I clipped from the site:

The building layout is reflective of the campus plan for Cisco. It's different from the typical Valley industrial park plan in that the buildings front the street. Most of the time these buildings are well-recessed from the street and act as islands surrounded by parking. On the map above, the areas on the left side are already developed. The bottom left has a planned park (green), a water treatment facility (blue), and an Amtrak/ACE station (orange). Surprisingly, that station is the same "crow flies" distance from the main street Pacific Commons as the planned BART station on the other side of 880. Tomorrow I'm lobbing a call into a local firm that designs and builds people-movers. Seriously.

As for the ballpark village, I found out that:
  • 1600-2200 housing units is the target depending on the amount of land acquired
  • A hotel and meeting facilities are planned
  • A baseball museum would be integrated into the footprint
Lastly, the Merc's poll has "Yes to Fremont" beating "No" 66% to 34%. More tomorrow.


gojohn10 said...

The merc results aren't too surprising since it is a south bay paper. The baseball museum sounds interesting. I wonder whether it will be specific to the A's, bay area baseball (there is quite a bit of history if you consider the Pacific coast and California state league), or just baseball in general.

Jeff said...


Would it be possible for you to superimpose the projected ballpark on the PC site? I would be curious to know the potential views from the park. I know that depends on orientation of the park, as well as the height. What would most likey be the visual focal point? And what is that body of water in the photo from the PC website? I am really unfamiliar with the area, but it appears to be an estuary.

peanut gallery said...


If you're referring to the overhead shot on the main page, those bodies of water are all salt evaporation ponds just off the southern end of the bay.

I too am interested in where on this site the stadium would go. Would it be built on the wetland preserve to the south? If so, I would think they would have to mitigate against this by purchasing and preserving similar wetlands elsewhere. Is that so?

murf said...

Jeff, re: wetland mitigation...

If the project proponent were to build on existing wetlands (an almost impossibility, for regulatory reasons) they would have to purchase a 3:1 ratio of restorable wetland and pay for its restoration to natural conditions.
So if the development encroached on 1 acre of wetland, 3 acres of "new" natural wetland would have to be created, not merely protecting existing juristictional wetland, which is already protected by state and federal law.

peanut gallery said...

So that's not likely. Makes sense. And looking at ML's new posting, he has the stadium basically to the far south of the Pac Commons site, so that also answers my question. Thanks!

Jeff said...

Thanks PG,

Are the evaporation ponds a commercial enterprise? If so, it would seem to give the area an appearance of being a desolate wasteland...though that doesn't seem to be an accurate impression. I see that ML has oriented the park to reflect a view of foothills. Are any water views out of the question? Wetlands seems to be an euphamism for "deserted vacant lot with a road going through it". Is that accurate?

gojohn10 said...

The salt ponds are owned by Cargill Salt. It seems to me that a water view is would be problematic since the home plate would be facing northwest and the sun could get pretty brutal during sunset.

murf said...

Deliniation of wetlands is done by sampling the soils and observing species of vegetation, and its protection is more about the potential ecological benefits of restored wetland than what exists there now.

It may be ugly, but if it has potential for restoration, it's protected. Resource agencies know there of plenty of capital improvement and commercial projects looking for mitigation sites.

Marine Layer said...

If memory serves me part of the Catellus deal dictated that several hundred acres west of Cushing Pkwy (the road on the right) were reclaimed and given to US Fish and Wildlife. You'll also notice that Cushing turns white at a certain point. That's because a causeway was built over the wetlands instead of a plain road through them - also a point of negotiation. That road is the best southern approach to the site and I frequently take it when I have lunch in the area. Beats taking 880.

Hmmm... maybe at some point I'll arrange a site tour, just as we did with the Diridon South site. murf, your expertise would be much appreciated.

murf said...

ML, I'd be happy to be of any assistance I can.

A good map of the Cargill ponds and former salt evaporators turned over to USFWS, CDFG and the Coastal Conservancy for restoration is available here:

Joe said...

You mentioned that ou weren't able to attend the SJ Mayorial debate - I threw it out there as a podcast, if ou are interested in that kind of thing. <-drag and drop into iTunes, if you are so inclined)