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27 November 2007

Good ole' Gus strikes again

Opposition has to come from somewhere, and its most consistent form appears to be former Fremont mayor Gus Morrison, who wrote a letter to the Fremont City Council criticizing the A's Community Specific Plan. In this round he assesses the A's parking plan as inadequate, citing the A's as having "only 5,800 permanent parking spaces identified for the proposed 32,000-seat ballpark."

Those who have been reading these pages for a while know that 5,800 permanent spaces only tells part of the story. As mentioned in a previous post, here's the true parking breakdown:
  • Interim/opening day buildout: 21,450 spaces (11,304 ballpark/10,146 non-ballpark)
  • Final buildout: 20,646 spaces (10,500 ballpark/10,146 non-ballpark)
The interim plan includes the use of the 41-acre West Cushing parcel, which will be gradually built out into mixed development over several years. Just as the City of San Jose has an agreement with the Sharks to maintain a certain number parking spaces, the A's will have a similar agreement with Fremont. Early indications are that the right number is 10,500, which is more than the current Coliseum lot capacity. There are options available to bridge the 4,700-space gap:
  • Use of the 40-acre city-owned parcel next to the planned rail station. The lot will be somewhat remote and the city may want to open it up to more uses than just parking (for instance, a public park) which would limit the space available. As the A's negotiate with the city and the school district on space allotted for public use and parking, it's likely the city-owned parcel will be divvied up in a manner that suits all parties. Should that not work out the A's can also...
  • Build garages. Keith Wolff has indicated that this option exists if demand calls for it. Keep in mind that they're already building 10,000 parking spaces in garages for residential and commercial use. They'll have agreements in place to preserve required parking for both of those uses, so the ballpark requirement won't be able to infringe. Additional garage space may become a necessity as the West Cushing parcel is developed. That responsibility won't fall on Fremont, it's up to the A's. In the end, having adequate amounts of parking is sound business. At least in this case, the A's have the better part of 10 years to plan and adjust accordingly. Then there's also yet another option...
  • Buy additional surrounding lots. I pointed out in my breakdown of the CSP that the A's haven't bought all of the Brandin Court properties yet. Having only 2/3 of that area alone accounts for the aforementioned 5,800 spaces. Add in the remaining properties and you add another 1,000 or so. Having one large contiguous space near the ballpark allows for flexibility if/when a garage comes into play.
For some reason, Morrison seized upon this bit from the Parking Facilities description:
It should also be noted that there are approximately 8.4 million square feet of R&D/Office, Industrial and Warehouse space within 1 mile of the proposed Cisco Field with an estimated 12,000 parking stalls. It is very common for a portion of surrounding commercial owners/tenants to sell parking for ballpark related events in evenings and on weekends when their parking stalls are not in use.
He then took the time to count 4,199 non-retail spaces within one mile of the ballpark site, based on calculations using Google Earth. While I applaud Morrison for using such a good application, his worry appears to be misplaced. He's probably right about his estimate, especially now that a large swath of previously industrial-zoned land in the area is being converted into commercial (the old Creative Labs warehouse comes to mind). Still, nowhere in the CSP do the A's factor these third-party, privately-owned spaces into their parking estimates. Nor do they say this type of use will become part of the eventual parking plan. There may be possibilities there thanks to the fact that much of the land in the area is owned by ProLogis and Lam Research, who can act as go-betweens (ProLogis is helping on the parking plan for the existing Pacific Commons center). Even if there isn't a single space that comes from these third-party lots, there will be over 20,000 spaces available for the entire ballpark village. Then there's also this nugget from the same paragraph:
It is also anticipated that a portion of Cisco Field attendees would shop/dine at the Mixed Use District prior to the game and would qualify for a discounted validation to park within the Mixed Use District as they are also patrons of that district.
How many fans would take advantage? There's no estimate and that's a good thing. Fans who choose to take this option end up with a win-win, as they lighten the load on the ballpark parking facility, they get (likely) discounted parking, and they stick around a little longer before and/or after the game to lessen the strain on road infrastructure.

Morrison's next salvo will involve traffic. I hope (and expect) it to be more enlightening than his crying wolf about parking.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

chirp...chirp...chirp

Anonymous said...

what's that chirping sound ... the sound of any progress being made on this development?

Marine Layer said...

*sigh* Come back when you've learned how the process works, anon.

transic said...

There is a Spanish saying that goes like this: No le tires mucha cabeza

Which means that there will always be critics on any imaginable subject, especially a stadium project.

Keep up the information train. Certainly appreciate it. It would be interesting to see between this process and the one the Rays are about to embark on(sorry to bring it up again here), which one would be done first or whether it wouldn't matter. Check out their website: http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/default.aspx

Not a bad effort at least in terms of snazzy graphics.

Jeff said...

Hey ML,

What's the former mayors angle here? Is he a former politician trying to be a potential politician once again? Does he hold a financial interest somewhere in the development process, or is he beholden to someone who does?

It has been a little quiet the last couple of weeks. It feels like either everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop or that the Fremont site is accepted by the vast majority of folks and everyones just anxious for the process to start. I think its the latter.

Anonymous said...

THIS PARTY IS SEEKING UNDESERVED RECOGNITION AND IS USING FALSEHOODS REPEATED OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO HAVE HIS DAY IN THE SUN/PRESS. YOU WOULD THINK A FORMER MAYOR WOULD SUPPORT THE PROCESS THAT THE CURRENT ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE ALL AGREED TO FOLLOW OR RUN AGAINST SOME ONE. PERHAPS LITTLE OF VALUE WAS DONE ON HIS WATCH. I DO NOT KNOW. HE SEEMS TO ENJOY THE PRESS ATTENTION. MAYBE THAT IS A GOOD THING FOR HIM AT HIS STAGE IN HIS LIFE.

Anonymous said...

There are some long time landowners near the decrepit half mile radius area around Fremont Blvd/Mowry Ave who have tried unsuccessfully to build a destination Fremont " downtown " there for decades . There is no " downtown " Fremont since the town was created anew out of 5 local farming villages 50 years ago. They see the ballpark village , with it's wide regional draw, as a final act in dashing their laughable, parochial dreams. Look closely and you see long time ties between some old time politicians and some old time landowners.

Anonymous said...

seems to me the former mayor is just telling it like he sees it ... this plan is flawed due to the traffic and access problems.

Marine Layer said...

I've taken apart Morrison's analysis. The least you can do is address mine instead of taking someone else's words and adopting them as your own.

Jeffrey said...

Originally, as I recall Morrison's first complaint about the project s that it would pull resources away from "Downtown" Fremont.

Marine Layer said...

Morrison made his name as an anti-development mayor during his tenure, though at that time he was mostly focused on preventing development in the Fremont hills. For that effort he should be lauded. Fremont doesn't need additional McMansions on its hills. He's also opposed big box stores.

But he's also represented big money interests too, especially in the case of 2006's Measure K. Measure K would have rezoned the Patterson Ranch land agricultural and would have prevented subdivisions for homes. It was supported by the Sierra Club and the Transportation and Land Use Coalition. The opponents? Current mayor Bob Wasserman, the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Cargill, Patterson, and representing Patterson - former mayor Morrison. Measure K was defeated in a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Without dissent you cant have a truly democratic process, if the former mayor is right about everything or only a few things or nothing at all, at least he's speaking up and forcing everyone involved to stay honest. I want this stadium to happen, but as an American and a fan of the constitution and our rights as Americans I am happy that there is a different point of view. Besides that, it helps our cause because it only points out how right and good this project is when dissent is met with the right answers.


-Jesse

Marine Layer said...

BTW, the council opposed Measure K because it generally frowns on "ballot box planning." Sound familiar?

anon-a-mouse said...

I think his issue is what anon 10:53 and Jeffrey mentioned: he views this as the death nell for a downtown Fremont near The Hub. He has long championed this dream (one that I find admirable yet unrealistic) and campaigned on it more than once. If all he really wants is a downtown for Fremont, he should get behind this idea because it's the closest he's ever going to see. But he seems vested in one particular location. It makes me wonder if he has a financial interest in the Hub area that would benefit.

The funny thing to me is that he's diminishing his own argument by attacking the lack of parking. If I was going to argue for a Hub/downtown vs. Lew's PC vision, I would harp on traffic and connectivity to BART. His downtown would only be about 4 blocks from the existing station and no stadium would of course have less traffic. If I were him I would argue that there's TOO MUCH parking around PC, which creates even more incentive to drive. And if his next argument is about traffic, while he's saying there needs to be more parking, then he's just a hypocrite throwing arguments in the dark hoping one will stick.

Fremont resident 101 said...

Wait, he opposes the stadium because of the Hub? That's a riot. The hub is no more downtown Fremont than any other strip mall in the US can call itself a downtown. If anything the development around Cisco Field will be as close to a downtown as Fremont is ever likely to get. It's obvious that Gus just misses the spotlight and is going to use this as his way back to it.

Anonymous said...

Heck, if this doesn't make the former Fremont mayor happy, nothing will...Pacific Commons with Cisco Field will be more of a downtown than downtown San Jose! Imagine that Mr. Morrison: not only a new downtown Fremont, but an exciting destination place that is more saught after than the one claimed by the much-larger metropolis to your south.

Anonymous said...

I THINK THIS GUY IS SADLY ILL AND NOT AGING VERY WELL. THERE IS NO DOWNTOWN FREMONT, UNLESS YOU CONSIDER HOOTER'S AS THE HUB.IT WILL NOT BE THE DEVELOPER THAT DETERMINES THE NUMBER OF PARKING INCLUDED, IT WILL BE THE ZONING RULES, CITY COUNCIL AND THE PROCESS.

Jeffrey said...

Jesse

I agree. I am all for dissent. At times I come off as if I am not. I just would like to understand the dissent.

In this particular case, I don't get what all the fuss is about. So I am trying to understand Gus Morrison's stance of anti stadium from day one.

I am pro stadium from day 1 and for the reason I believe the A's in Fremont is better than the A's in Tuscaloosa. It is icing on top that I live in Pleasanton, work in San Jose and drive through Fremont everyday.

anon-a-mouse said...

Of course there's no downtown Fremont. He knows this as well as anyone and he wants to see one built. He's not senile, but he wants it in an area that has long been discussed on some vacant land behind the shopping centers across from the Hub (in the area of the Hub, not the Hub itself -- sorry if that was unclear). That's all fine and dandy, but there's no solid plan, no developer lined up for this. Nothing but talk (something like 15-20 years of talk). Now here comes Wolfe with a real proposal and and a solid funding plan and Morrison is against it. That leads me to believe he has a financial stake in the other location. If that's the case, then he hardly has the best interests of Fremont at heart.

Fremont resident 101 said...

What's funny is that the Murk even bothered to publish this. I mean look at what Morrison used to do his research. Did he hire pros or contract out to study the parking around the Cisco Field site... no he used GoogleEarth. I mean come on, this guy is a joke.

He uses Google and suddenly he's the expert on parking around the site, even though the A's are paying 3/4 of a million bucks for the city to hire pros to do this, and we're supposed to trust Morrison and his laptop? Please.

Anonymous said...

Well at least Gus is willing to speak his mind and air his concerns about traffic and parking concerns ... unlike those that only echo scheister wolffie's words.

Marine Layer said...

anon - Obviously you don't attend the city council meetings. Many there expresses their opinions, and many of them don't agree. They choose to use the proper forum instead of working through the media. Wolff actually met with Morrison to hear his complaints. There's isn't much more he can do.

Then again, Morrison spent 8 HOURS misdirectedly looking up parking spaces on Google Earth. Does he really have that much time on his hands?

Anonymous said...

do you???

Marine Layer said...

Based on the frequency of blog posts from the last month, not much. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

funny how you seem to feel the need to respond to each and every one of my posts. flattering really, even if it seems a bit defensive.

Marine Layer said...

You asked a question, I answered. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

bingo. I rest my case.

defensiveness is such an ugly trait.

Marine Layer said...

So are your denigrating attacks. Tsk, tsk.

Fremont resident 2007 said...

I like the Rays to New Ballpark. I wish we have Cisco Field has 34,000 seats or more. I Like the Roof for the Stadium and provide a shelter from sun & rain and capture bay breezes while retaining the character of an open air ballpark & preserving sweeping views of the skyline and waterfront. We should have a Virtual Tour. Right now for Cisco Field Virtual Tour, it doesn't have tour outside and inside for the Ballpark.

Jeffrey said...

ML,

As the blogger,when something is being posted by a 12 year old... can't you just delete it so we don't have to read it?

Marine Layer said...

My comments policy has only been to restrict comments to those I don't consider inflammatory. For the most part, that restriction has mainly covered city or region-bashing comments, and that's probably where it will remain. Over-the-top attacks on individuals sometimes cross the line as well, but I don't always kill those comments. That means some of the more annoying, insipid comments will come through. Them's the breaks.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Jeffy ... not 12 either.

Anonymous said...

I still think that the A's can and will be in Oakland down the road.
The fact of the matter is that Oakland has nothing to do right now but wait
for the process in fremont to run its course.There are options for a downtown ballpark in Oakland,but it will do no good to persue them right now. It is not in Wolff's interest right now to look at other proposals while He has all His focus in fremont. The process has not even started. In about ten or so months it is probable that Wolff
will see that the fremont fantasyland plan has no
chance,and will be looking at plan B,C or D.
Las Vegas,Portland,or anywhere else are not viable options now,nor will they become viable.
Sacramento,maybe.
The fremont plan will most certainly die if the zoning change goes on a ballot,that's a fight that
wolff does not want.
No done deal,no worries.

Anonymous said...

Who is 12 year old?

Fremont resident 101 said...

Anon,
You assume the zoning changes will ever see a ballot. Zoning changes aren't an election measure, they're the pervue of the city council. And you're assumption it would fail in the event it somehow ever made it to a ballot is also false. So far all the polls show Fremont residents support the stadium plan.

Face it, the plan has it's issues, but they're not that hard to resolve. And Oakland is no longer an option. They had their chance of the last decade and blew it miserably.

Fremont resident 2007 said...

hahahaha Im a 12 years old I leaving this blog that never see me funny me.

Jeffrey said...

I was not calling anyone 12 years old directly. I was bemused by the, "I made you post, neener, neener" crap by the anon.

Anonymous said...

Is this similar to 2006's Measure K ? I wonder why Low Wolff hire Gus Morrison's daughter to be Cisco Field's political consultant.

http://fremontangus.blogspot.com/2007/11/update-and-apology.html

An Update, and an apology
When I started this on-line newsletter, I didn't intend it to be always about the A's coming to Fremont. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of my time these days is spent messing around, in some way with the issue. So, give us some time to deal with this one and I'll try to add some variety as time goes on.

In a unique bit of irony, we now have a family situation regarding the A's. Jim Cunneen, a former Assemblymember now doing governmental relations for the A's, approached John Dutra looking to retain him to help with their project. John wasn't interested, but he referred Cunneen to Gloria. After a discussion, the A's retained Gloria's firm, TBW, to do public relations for the project. Gloria and I talked and since she has two college students (well, Meghan is going to graduate school in the fall), rent to pay, and no pensions coming in, she should work on it so long as we don't ever talk about it. It has been hard, kind of like ignoring an elephant in the room, but we have kept the issue from our conversations. I tell people that I taught her everything she knows, but I didn't teach her everything I know.

My work with Management Partners and Jan Perkins is ramping up. I did a boards and commission training for the City of Albany a month ago (this one with Les White, former city manager of San Jose) and this week I will participate in a council training workshop for seven cities including Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, Morrow Bay, Goleta, and, for some reason, Santa Rosa. This will be a two day session in Santa Barbara on Wednesday and Thursday.

All else is well. I try to get to the gym every other day and I have lost about 30 pounds since July. Both Meghan and Garrett came home for Thanksgiving and we had a nice quiet day of family and turkey at Gloria's. They both will come home for Christmas again. Garrett is at Pacific Northwest Art College in Portland and Meghan is living in Brooklyn and working for the Episcopal Diocese in Manhattan while she applies to grad school, probably at one of three universities in New York, Columbia is one and I'm not sure of the other two. A writer and an artist - I asked if at least one of them would take something that might lead to employment upon graduation. There was no good answer.

Fremont resident 101 said...

So Gus's own daughter now is working on the PR FOR the stadium plan? Wow talk about a divide in the family. Hopefully the apple fell far from the tree and she does a good job beating her old man.

anon-a-mouse said...

I was down in Fremont last weekend and walked around the site a bit. It helps to actually see the location. I walked along what will be left field. I have a much better sense for how nicely the village is tied into the existing retail/restaurant developments at Pacific Commons. It's been laid out perfectly for this purpose, and I can definitely see eating at one of those restaurants then walking over to the park for a game. I can also now visualize the beautiful view of the hills, which will be a welcome return to this fan's experience.

A couple of other observations: this development is massive -- much bigger than I imagined looking at the maps. The entirety of it has been turned and graded, except the small plot between Bunche and Curie hasn't been graded yet. There is a sizable amount of construction equipment parked just south of Christie. It looks like they have roughed out some roads, but I assume those were done just for moving equipment around as they didn't seem to match the plans I've seen.

My question to you, ML: was all that grading done for Cisco's previous plan or was it done by Lew? It seems to me that if it was done for the previous site plan, that equipment would have been gone long ago. If it was done by Lew, isn't that a little premature given we're in the very early stages of the process? Neither of those makes much sense to me, and I figured you'd either know for sure or have a good idea who did the work, why and when.

Thanks.

Anthony dominguez said...

Great article today all in the Mercury News/Sports regarding the Giants new stake in FSN Bay Area; to the tune of $100 million dollars! Where in the hell are these guys getting their money? So much for being poor because of their "$20 million debt payment." The Giants will now make money off A's telecasts on FSN (as well as the Warriors and Sharks). I don't know, but something fishy is going on in the Bay Area sports underworld.

Anonymous said...

The current grading work of the past two weeks is to transfer the mountain of dirt accumulated in building the first part of Pacific Commons from 2003 to 2005 that included the Costco, Old Navy,Claim Jumper, Lowe's Kohls,Fremont Pediatrics,PF Changs etc, etc. They are moving it onto the former Cisco land across Bunche Rd to even out low points in that parcel.

anon-a-mouse said...

Thanks, anon 6:30. It looks like they're just about done with that. There is only a small pile of dirt left in what will be the village area.

Anonymous said...

I heard that they're moving dirt to fill in the toxic waste left behind by the former tenant as well as filling in various swampland mess.

Transic said...

More OT: things in S.Fla begin heating up again.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/baseball/marlins/sfl-flspmarlstad1214sbdec14,0,3634733.story

Probably the 500th plan or something like that (joking!) but keep that ballpark meter ready just in case.

I guess having Wolff as an owner is still much preferable to who those folks over there have to deal with.

Jeffrey said...

I heard there is a creature that lives in the swampland mess that was created by the toxic waste and it is coming to eat us all.

anon-a-mouse said...

And thank you, anon 8:53, for adding nothing to the discussion. You'd better get busy picking a new team to root for when the A's move a few miles south.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the swamp creature is a little crusty looking guy that lies, cheats and steals and his first name is Lou.

James said...

Anon 1:28:

Please enlighten us. When has Lou lied, cheated, or stole? If you're going to make accusations like that, you'd best be prepared to back them up with facts.

anon-a-mouse said...

Marine Layer, what is the point of having comment moderation if you're just going to allow juvenile, baseless nonsense like this? This blog is much better as a reality-based, mature discussion forum. If we wanted to read this crap, we'd just go over to the OAFC.

James said...

It's been 72 hours since I asked Anon 1:28 to back his accusations that Wolff has cheated, lied, and stole. I will take his his lack of response to mean that he has no evidence or knowledge of such.

These bashing anons amaze me. You simply ask them to back up their statements and they can't do it.