Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wasserman Steps In

See Wasserman still not giving up on the A’s and Pacific Commons and Mayor Wasserman steps in.

Useful Web Sites

Fremont Citizens Network http://FremontCitizensNetwork.org/
Facebook Group: Fremont Citizens Network

Highly recommend the following sites for more information:
new A's Ballpark: http://newballpark.org/
From Fremont city web site:

Other web sites:

About This Blog

This blog is a collection of opinions on the Oakland A's stadium proposal expressed by local Fremont residents. Please explore the blog and feel free to use the information to promote public awareness. Please email your comment about his blog to noasws@gmail.com.

  • Oppose Oakland A's plan to build a stadium in Warm Springs.
  • Promote public awareness of the A's stadium project. Many residents still don't know the A's is moving to Fremont.
  • Should Fremont take the risk to approve the Oakland A's ballpark proposal?
  • Protect the rights and quality of life of Fremont citizens.
  • To fight unfair, unjust, irresponsible and bad decisions made by city and elected officials.
  • Be civil. We don't want to alienate local business, the A's, city official and council members.
  • Encourage discussion from different interest groups.
  • Encourage city council and community leaders to speak for the local residents.
  • Explore all possible legal means to make sure our voice is heard.
  • Win by logic and win by law.

Monday, December 22, 2008

No cost to fremont?

[These are the quotes from various sources]

The A's claim they don't need public money for the stadium. They need to claim this so the project "does not requre" a city wide referendum. They can just get the approval easily from the 5-member city council. Is it really "at no cost to the City of Fremont"? Can they really avoid a city wide referendum?

The A’s claim the entire development will come at no cost from the City of Fremont. I don’t understand how they can make such irresponsible promise as they also seem financially stranded in the current economic downturn. Who will pay the large bill on the infrastructure, road upgrade, maintenance, extra police, etc?

Once the project starts, it will be point of no return, whether you like it or not (sound familiar?). Fremont could be dragged down into deep financial trouble. The A's proposal looks appealing, but I don't think city size of Fremont can sustain such big financial impact. It's better to leave it to big cities. We don't want to see our tax money drain down to help the A's.

The Council Members ask several times the how much “money” we spend so far on this project, and the answer is always "the expected $0”. This is good since we can stop the project now with no money loss from the city. True, the city haven't use "any money" on this project so far. But it has already dragged a large amount of time and resource from the city and local community to go through the meetings and discussion. This is a very big “cost” to the Fremont community.

The costs behind this stadium are extremely, well, costly! Especially with America's economy slowly dying, this is one of the last things we need.

Research suggests that though citizens bear the cost for the building and upkeep of stadiums they do not partake of the profits.

A stadium in Fremont will only be a burden to the tax payers and also allow for more conjestion. Studies have been done showing that stadiums are more a burden than an asset.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Council Meeting Video Archive

From http://www.youtube.com/user/fcnwebtv (faster).
From Fremont City web site (usually slow; first 5-6 minutes are intro).
Minutes and agendas. Some hilights:

02/02/09 Joint City Council and FUSD Meeting (public comment)
01/06/09 Lots of folks still oppose A's plan (from 0:22-0:46)
12/16/08 2008-09 budget update
12/09/08 Ballpark EIR work session and meetings
12/02/08 Cho's last day; Chan's first day; Prop 8; night club
11/18/08 Join Prop 8 law suit (from 1:52--2:23)

Ivy Wu Speaks Out

(quotes of Ivy Wu, translated from World Journal 12/19/08, B3)

Fremont Parents Against A’s Building Ballpark at Warm Springs
Journalist:  Zhe Zhou

18th is the deadline for residents to provide comments to City of Fremont regarding Oakland A’s building a ballpark in Fremont.  Fremont Unified School Board member Ivy Wu recently received many e-mails from parents, all of which were expressing their opposition to the plan of A’s building a ballpark at Warm Springs and requesting Ivy as the elected officials to comment.

Ivy Wu expressed on 18th.  She believes that we should first understanding the situation and allow the A’s to propose what your plans are.  She pointed out that there are at least 3 versions of plans regarding to the A’s building a ballpark:  1) original plan at Pacific Commons, 2) plan at Warm Springs, and 3) outside of Fremont.  With regards to the recent publication of the city’s Environmental Impact Report, it is directed only at the Pacific Commons proposal, and does not involve the Warm Springs proposal.

Ivy Wu commented, “A’s has repeatedly expressed the desire to be a partner of the Fremont community.  If the ballpark indeed will be built at Warm Springs, it definitely will bring many problems, such as traffic, public security, and environmental concerns to the community.  The ballpark will be close to the Warm Springs BART station.  However, the Warm Springs BART station may not have been completed by the time that the ballpark is built.

She pointed out, Mayor Bob Wasserman wholeheartedly want to bring the A’s to Fremont.  He was re-elected based on this goal. However, he has not adequately evaluated the impact and influence of the ballpark will be to the local schools and the communities.  Ivy Wu commented, many e-mails received have pointed out to the fact that even though Wasserman was re-elected mayor, he only claimed 40% of the total votes.  Therefore, he cannot represent the opinions of the majority on this issue.

Should the City of Fremont Take the Risk?

Should the City of Fremont Take the Risk? Written by Vinnie Bacon, post on his website. Excerpts:
The project proponents have tried to defuse the traffic issue by saying that the currently approved use on the site would generate as much traffic as their proposal. However, more residential development will undoubtedly mean more trips from Fremont to high-tech jobs in the South Bay and on the peninsula. This will aggravate the existing commute patterns. If this area were filled with high-tech jobs, more Fremont residents might not even have to leave town to get to work. A's fans coming to evening games from the South Bay would undoubtedly use 880, adding to what is already a bad evening commute. Increased traffic problems would make it more difficult to bring in other business into the City. NUMMI, the City's largest employer, has already indicated concerns about the traffic generated by the project.
Jobs – Unlike the high-tech jobs that Cisco, or other high-tech employers, would have brought to the area, the retail and ballpark jobs that this project would create are virtually all lower-paying, service-sector jobs. They're not the kind of jobs that typically would allow one to buy a house in Fremont. Thus, these workers would likely be coming from other locales, adding hundreds of additional cars to the local freeways and parking lots.

The A's have stated that their project will create 13,000 full-time equivalent jobs. However, this is only for the construction period. The economic report prepared by the A's consultant [5] doesn't provide the number of jobs that will be permanently be created.
Distribution of revenues – An analysis of economic and fiscal impacts of this project, prepared for the Oakland Athletics [5], predicts that the completed Ballpark Village project would bring roughly $19 million per year (in 2007 dollars) into the City of Fremont, assuming that housing, retail, and ballpark resources are all fully utilized. This is a questionable assumption given that many retailers are currently in a major down-sizing mode.

First, it should be noted that economic analyses such as this are simply models that claim to predict the future. If the economic downturn that we're in continues, this would undoubtedly affect the retail sales which are a large part of the assumption.

Secondly, the study assumes that 75% of all retail sales for the project would be new to Fremont. This might be plausible for a game day. But remember that 3 out of 4 days of the year are not game days. If 75% of retail sales at the Ballpark Village on non-game days come from outside of Fremont, this would create significant additional traffic on 880. In reality, this project would undoubtedly pull retail dollars away from the existing retail centers in the City's historic districts.
Before approving this proposal, the city needs to take a serious look at how to address the traffic issues, whether this development will generate enough funds to cover its costs, and whether it might not be a better idea to preserve this land for businesses that could provide high paying jobs to Fremont residents.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Day Left For Letters

We only have ONE day left for the public comment on A's stadium plan. Please encourage your friends from all parts of Fremont to speak out their voice. Do you want Fremont become the next Oakland? Do you think the A's stadium will make your house value go up or down? For the supporters, do you live in Fremont? Have you look at their plan? Many people don't even know the A's is moving to Fremont!

Please write letters to speak out. We have a few sample letters on the right. We need different kinds of letters:

(1) No Stadium In Warm Springs, very strong stance. Even recommend to drop it from Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
(2) Need more letters to provide evidence and hard facts why their plan won't work and will bring Fremont's future into disaster.
(3) Encourage the City Council to speak for the voice of local communities. Residents don't want it. Retailers and business don't want it. What's the benefit of a stadium? to whose benefit? and at what cost?

Please focus on their plan, not just "not in my backyard" attitude. You can endorse the letters you like and email to city, and/or hand deliver to them, as mail is probably too late now.

- For A Better Fremont (actually, my house value $$$;-)

Note: If you have times, please read Mercury News article 12/11/08 and Mercury News article 12/14/08 for more info. Currently, there are 3 possible sites: San Jose, Pacific Commons and Warm Springs. Don't let Warm Springs become their "path of least resistance". You might also enjoy An Inconvenient truth. Please share with us with your letters/comments: noasws@gmail.com or Yahoo Group. We also encourage you to start a new blog/wiki/forum.

Fremont Budget Deficit

Fremont's budget situation turns dire, $11.2 million deficit expected next year. (from Mercury News). The city might want to use this to emphasis Fremont needs extra revenue. We can argue since Fremont is already in big deficit, don't waste extra cost! We can not afford such a big project. Comment?

Related News

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12/16 Concil Meeting Note

See 12/16 Concil Meeting Note. We should continue keeping on the pressure. We have good writers and reporters everywhere;-)

Efforts Have Them Worried!

A's Coming To Warm Springs!

A's is meeting with local business try to convince them now (see the meeting note below). Please spread the news to local stores when you visit. I heard there is even a local elementary school principle supports the Warm Springs site (need his clarification?)!

Hurry up, Mission San Jose, Irvington, Weibel, Warm Springs residents, your house value is already dropping like a rock now, in just a week. No one is willing to put a buying offer in our neighborhood because Warm Springs is being considered as one possible site for A's new stadium, based on a local real estate agent.

After joining the online petition, please write letters to speak out. We only have 1 days left until the public comment deadline! We need different letters:

(1) No Stadium In Warm Springs, very strong stance. Even recommend to drop it from Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
(2) Need more letters to provide evidence and hard facts why their plan won't work.
(3) Encourage the City Council to speak for the voice of local communities. Residents don't want it. Business don't want it. What's the benefit of a stadium? to whose benefit? and at what cost?

There are a few sample letters on the right. Please focus on their plan, not just "not in my backyard" attitude. Please share with us: noasws@gmail.com or Yahoo Group. We also encourage you to start a new blog/wiki/forum.

- For A Better Fremont (actually, my house value $$$;-)

Note: If you have times, please read Mercury News article 12/11/08 and Mercury News article 12/14/08 for more info. Currently, there are 3 possible sites: San Jose, Pacific Commons and Warm Springs. Don't let Warm Springs become their "path of least resistance". You might also enjoy An Inconvenient Truth. You can endorse the letters you like and email to city, and/or hand deliver to them, as mail is probably too late now.

A's 12/15 Meeting Note

Thanks the person for providing the following info:
I attended the 12/15 meeting this evening and took notes of what was discussed. Please note that these are minutes of the meeting as I heard it to the best of my ability. However the overall summary is that Warm Springs is in the As mind definitely the preferred site.

It seemed that the main reason for coming was to get signatures on standardized letters of support for the As before the Thursday 4.00pm deadline. Also As did not offer any specific incentives but made general statements of incentives to the community at large once they come. This meeting was clearly for soliciting support for the As to come to Warm Springs and only open to those specifically invited. Now for the minutes and I apologize for wrongly spelled names:

Present and who spoke are:

Nina Moore, who is with the Chamber of Commerce - many probably
remember from school district days also. . She has been on the
committee of As for Fremont for the past two years. She states that
she believes that As is a good thing for economic purposes.

Jim Kaneen - consultant with the As

Paul Meneker - senior VP of Wolff Urbans and Senior VP of As

Steven Lloyd -Fremont Citizen, formed As to Fremont Support Group,
local realtor

Gloria Ritchie - consultant and resident of Fremont

Steve Cho was there as a guest and listener as was I.

There was about 12-15 other people there as guests.

Jim Kaneen and Paul Meneker spoke:

Need a baseball only stadium. First thought of Pacific Commons as
Cisco was ready to let them use their field. After great effort it
has now become apparent that there are legal obstacles as Catellus
have prohibited development of the baseball stadium on the land and
they have rights as to use of the land. So the baseball village idea
looks improbable after last Tuesday's city council meeting as that is
when Catellus officially voiced their objection. Also during the
course of research on pacific commons, feedback from other agencies
and regional leaders was that the stadium should be in a more transit
friendly site.

So now in their minds Warm Springs is the preferred site with pacific commons as the alternative.

Warm Springs seems like a great place because
-allows them to stay in Alameda County
-being on the southern tip it reaches out to fans in the South Bay as
well as possibly getting new fans.
- is much more transit friendly as can ride bart, get onto 680 more
than one way, can get onto 880 more than one way

They want to build an intimate small baseball stadium with a capacity
of 32000, and this vision is the same whether it was pacific commons
or warm springs.

Fremont is perfect for all of us because-
-we want to play in Alameda County
- we can get south bay fans and new fans to come
-create new opportunities for Fremont - construction and permanent
- can create a transit friendly stadium if at Warm Springs as
-will have housing, complimentary retail and elementary school
brought to Pacific Commons, Fremont
-can incorporate Cisco into our plans.

We plan to study both sites in equal details and make a informed
decision based on the facts, even though realistically pacific
commons may be out as catellus has asserted their rights in this
matter after 36 retailers voiced their objections to the stadium.

The residents and people of Fremont need to understand that regardless of what we do, there will be development around the warm springs station. That land will not remain empty.

Not decided exactly which part of the Warm Springs land. Only need
12 acres to build the stadium, so which 12 acres has not yet been

Bart expected in 2014.

Somebody asked if As have talked to Nummi. They said that they have met with Nummi many times and have had productive working sessions with us. Both sides are looking for win-win solution. This is in progress. Nummi' main issue is that they do not want housing at their site, but we plan on keeping the residential part at Pacific Commons anyway. Also need to understand that Nummi would be against any development in that area, didnt want Bart, no development of any kind at warm springs, stadium nor anything else nor at pacific commons as they have the just in time delivery system.

They also explained that there will be a sudden surge in traffic when entering and then when leaving but does not last long as we would have paid people quickly ushering fans' cars into parking lots. Probably will be done in 15-20 minutes.

Oakland Colliseum has about 9000 parking spots and the most that they have ever had is 8000. Cars come in quickly and leave quickly and with all the exits, traffic shouldnt be a problem.Also most games will be evening games so less of an imposition.

Bart ridership currently to As games is 20%

When moved to Warm Springs expect Bart ridership in the short term to be 15-20% in the short term but then move to 30-40% in the long term.

There will be 81 games and the season is April through September.

Will not allow access to the residential neighborhood except for residents and can possibly have resident stickers to distinguish.

We will work actively on transportation issues with our resident neighbors.

Regarding Noise -will do a technical studyon sound source. As sounds from stadium and sounds from freeway may not necessarily be additive due to bouncing, in fact may there may be some noise cancellation even

Lighting - thanks to new technology there should be limited glare

Security - will have our own private security or police - not sure
which but we will definitely have a lot of security.

Havent made detailed plans yet on parking. May come up with plan of shared use parking with Bart. Need to discuss as this may be good for us and extra revenue for Bart.

Guest asked if they would build a parking structure? They said it is too early to say. Maybe not if there is lots of land, then can just have surface parking. Have to wait and see - not got that far in
their plans.

Steve Lloyd from the As for Fremont spoke

He said that no money is to come from the Fremont Tax payer. It is on this condition that As are allowed to come here. [blogger note: THIS IS BIG LIE! They claim this, so it "does not require" city wide referendum, just need the decision from the five council members. We can still call for city wide vote!]

Stadium is to be privately financed by the Wolff family and private investors.

They love to support Fremont Communities -have already done a health fair with Washington and some other community event.

However the Warm Springs Area will get special treatment including the businesses, Little League, Schools etc.

Someone asked timeframe and Paul Meneker replied not sure. Originally thought 2012, but this may be a little optimistic, as will have to file all over again and depends if there are hurdles along
the way etc.

Stadium will be available for concerts and community events such as high school graduations, Little League playoffs etc

Someone again voiced their concern of noise for the residents and the As repeated that study will have to be done and they have a feeling noise may not increase by much and may even have noise cancellation.

Another guest put forth that the main problem is that the residents are very unhappy and how are you going to convince and satisfy them otherwise? The As replied that they realize that they need to reach out to the residents and plan to do this in small groups and listen to their concerns and address them by finding solutions.

Some guest pointed out that it may be inconvenient to get access to their neighborhood. Residents will always get access was their reply.

Again the As pointed out that here would also be either security guards or police, signs, resident stickers etc

Another guest, Michelle from Baskin Robbins stated that you need to understand the resident concerns and need to solve the traffic issues.

Paul Meneker answered saying that when they built the San Jose Sharks, the residents of the Rose Garden there had the same concerns and now they are so happy and not one complaint. This is because we made sure all their concerns were addressed.

Nina Moore mentioned that the main thing to be done tonight is to get letters of support for the As in before the deadline of December 18, 4.00pm. If you can please sign the letter we hand out and give it back to us before you leave preferably.

Nina also mentioned that she would love to come into our homes and talk to small groups of residents about your concerns.

Nina - don't worry about residential to be built at Pacific Commons. Will have their own elementary school and will feed into Walters Middle and Kennedy High School.

Steve Cho asked - When is an economic study to be done? Wasn't clearly answered and As clarified that the Wolff family will 'front' the funding of the stadium until the money comes through on the building and sale of units of the residential complex at Pacific Commons.

Guest asked - When will the decision to "can" the original proposal of the stadium at pacific commons take place. Since Tuesday it has been pretty obvious that Pacific Commons will not work due to legal obstacles and that Warm Springs has now become the preferred

The As again asked if before leaving if we could sign the standard letter and leave with them before we leave. I have a copy of the blank letter if needed by anyone. Also Steve Lloyd asked us to sign up for www.TheFremontBaseballVillage.com with your name, address, email, phone etc and they will keep us updated on developments and city council meetings etc

Adjourned 7.30pm

End of minutes

Well it looks like the fight is on!!!

Protest: The Sunshine Law

Dear Mr. Diekmann,

As we near the deadline for EIR submissions, I would like to lodge a formal protest regarding the handling of this Alternate Proposal Plan for the ballpark in Warm Springs. Please add this to the ball park EIR.

1. The residents of Fremont were not made aware of the Alternate Site, much less it being considered as a serious probability. Evidence for this is clear as I for one only found out last week, and the nearly 2000 flyers we distributed last weekend were met with resounding surprise. If this is such a benefit for Fremont, why are we not letting the residents aware? I do not believe that mentioning our site as an alternative in line "q" of a proposal addressed to the council is "sufficient" notice.

2. The level of scoping on this issue as pertains the residents is also uniformly insufficient. Monday's (12/8) last minute presentation of the alternate site (one day before the council's decision to study the alternate site) was neither informative, nor did it suffice as a "forum". Questions and replies were given to individuals and unavailable for public notice, much less debate. A few maps posted on a wall with only two city representatives (speaking to individuals), for a couple of hours does not qualify as "public scoping", even if you do leave comment sheets. I cannot say how long the "event" was on the schedule, but I only found out about the meeting that day, and only from concerned neighbors.

3. The Sunshine Law and Brown Act requires that all materials and conversations (written and verbal) regarding this proposal be made public and available for review. After repeated requests, we have yet to receive copies of (or opportunities to view) all reports currently on file regarding the ballpark project. On such short notice, ten days from "scoping" to the deadline for inclusion in the EIR, you are clearly not giving the public a chance to find out about the proposal, much less object.

What provisions have been made for financial responsibility from the A's, if the projects overrun the A's budget (as projects are apt to do) with the project incomplete?
What happens if the parts they haven't paid for are the parts that remediate city concerns? Can you make them bond the necessary city improvements, and the possible future remediations?
Will the A's be held responsible for the cost of additional infrastructure (surface roads, overpasses, exit ramps, sewers, water, electric, city services (labor)) after the initial construction of the project?
Since the major attraction is being cited as the BART access, can the project be held off until the completion of BART (best time frame still after 2014)?
Without BART, the traffic issues raised by the CATELLUS independent EIR will remain whether at Pacific Commons or Warm Springs. They might be worse because it will cause gridlock through the town as well as the highways--impacting all Fremont businesses in the Warm Springs and Irvington Districts.
Please extend the deadlines for the EIR submissions and hold a PUBLIC FORUM so that the residents of Fremont can learn of the proposal, ask questions, and express their concerns over the possible impact on their lives before you impose this decision upon us.

Kind Regards,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Comments To Environmental Impact Report

We are home owners and residents in the City of Fremont. Here are our comments and questions to be included in the scope of the Draft EIR on the A's proposed Ballpark proposal. My questions and comments are specifically focused on the alternate proposed site at Osgood and South Grimmer Boulevard (“alternate site”).

  • Aesthetics
    • The project will change the visual characteristics of the neighborhood. The Warm Springs neighborhood consists of low-rise residential and retail and office buildings. As ballpark stadiums are iconic structures, this will impact the feel and visual character of a residential neighborhood. The sheer size and mass of the ballpark structure will overpower the neighborhood.
  • Population, Employment, Housing 
    • This area is in extremely close proximity to residential neighborhoods and several local public schools, daycares and kid-camps.  
    • We believe that this construction of a 32,000-capacity ballpark in such close proximity of a quiet, residential neighborhood will change the fabric of this neighborhood by changing the demographic characteristics of this neighborhood. By changing the demographics of this community, there will be demand for changes to the local entertainment and other services, for example, increase in demand for alcohol serving establishments open late at night. This will divide an established community, as this area will no longer be an attractive, safe place for Fremont families to live and bring up their kids in.  We believe that this will have an adverse impact on the local community.
    • “City leaders in the United States devote enormous public resources to the construction of large entertainment projects, including stadiums, convention centers, entertainment districts, and festival malls. Their justification is that such projects will generate economic returns by attracting tourists to the city. Although this economic expectation is tested in the literature, little attention is given to the political and social implications of building a city for visitors rather than local residents. A focus on building the city for the visitor class may strain the bonds of trust between local leaders and the citizenry and skew the civic agenda to the detriment of fundamental municipal services.” Research reference include Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, 316-333 (2000) DOI: 10.1177/107808740003500302, The Politics of Bread and Circuses, Building the City for the Visitor Class, Peter Eisinger Wayne State University.
    • The alternate site is in extremely close proximity to residential neighborhoods and local schools (such as Weibel, Warm Springs Elementary, Leitch Elementary, Mission Valley Elementary, Horner, Hopkins, Irvington and Grimmer Elementary) and much less than that for local parks (example Aqua Caliente). What will be the impact to crime rates in the neighborhood after the ballpark has been built? What are the crime rate statistics in the Oakland ballpark area?
    • What will be the impact on local schools and child-care facilities of the ballpark serving alcoholic beverages in such close proximity?  
    • Recent research has also shown that the average price of home near a ballpark declined after ballpark construction. Will you impact assessment include loss of property due to decline in home values. Research referenced THE IMPACT OF STADIUM ANNOUNCEMENTS ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY VALUES: EVIDENCE FROM A NATURAL EXPERIMENT IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH CAROLYN A. DEHRING 1, CRAIG A. DEPKEN 2 MICHAEL R. WARD 3,* 1 Dehring: Assistant Professor, Department of Insurance, Legal Studies and Real Estate, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Depken: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Belk College of Business, University of North Carolina–Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223.  3 Ward: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, 76019.
  • Transportation and Circulation – We believe that this project will have an adverse impact on traffic, circulation and parking patterns in the project vicinity:
    • The report from the A’s entitled: Revised conceptual site plan and revised mitigation measures, dated November 2008, estimates that the average attendance will be 26,000 people, leading to an increase in approximately 11,000 cars in the freeways and exits leading to the ballpark. (This is based on an estimate of 2.5 people per car). What is this estimate of 2.5 persons per car based on? 
    • We believe that the number of cars & trucks will be higher as there will also be traffic resulting from employees of the ballpark, vendors and suppliers (including 18-wheeler trucks) to the ballpark, increased buses and taxis serving the area on game-days. This additional traffic has to be added to traffic assessment.
    • This area is served by I-680 and I-880 with three primary exits: AutoMall, Stevenson and Fremont Boulevard. In the report from the A’s entitled: Revised conceptual site plan and revised mitigation measures, dated November 2008, it is noted that traffic from I-680 will be directed to use I-880 North. This area is already severely congested and especially so during peak commute time. For example, it takes approximately 20 mins currently to travel from I-680 Mission exit to the I-880 interchange currently. The traffic conditions during events, such as Fry’s Black Friday Sale, are so adverse that there has been an ambulance on stand-by. Majority of the internal city roads from these exits leading up to the alternate site are single lane roads or in a few cases, or double lanes. How will these exits and roads handle approximately 11,000 more cars during game time which coincides with weekday, peak, office traffic.
    • We are concerned that the additional traffic generated by the usage of the ballpark during weekday games will cause severe traffic delays on I-880 and I-680 freeways as well as on local streets such as South Grimmer, Paseo Padre, Auto Mall Parkway and Fremont Boulevard. These delays will prevent working parents from picking up their kids from schools and childcare centers on time.
    • Additionally, there will be people who use surface streets to bypass the congestion on I-880 and I-680 (for example, Warm Springs Boulevard, Fremont Boulevard, Paseo Padre, Mission Boulevard) – these streets are internal city streets and are not equipped to handle huge amounts of game-time traffic.
    • The report also mentions that there would be road closures, to prevent game-attendees from coming into the residential areas – these barricades would be staffed by security personnel to allow access by residents.
      • How will you monitor who is a local resident? How will you prevent ballpark visitors from seeking free parking on residential streets?
      • What about the guests of local residents including caretakers for their kids, disabled residents and local daycare service providers? How will they be able to go through the barricades?
      • This will cause undue delays and is NOT going to mitigate the traffic congestion as the game –attendees will be clogging the streets getting to the residential areas.
      • People seeking future employment in this neighborhood will be dissuaded by the traffic congestion and this will have an adverse impact on the economy of this area.
    • Fremont residents will be prisoners in their homes (or out of their homes) during ballpark usage days.
    • Please provide us with a copy of the Prologis/Catellus Traffic impact report discussed during the Council Meeting on Dec 9th, 2008.
    • The adverse traffic issues identified by ProLogis/Catellus alternate traffic study will also apply to the alternate site as the same freeways and exits serve the alternate site. If ProLogis was not able to mitigate all the concerns, how will the City of Fremont be able to address or mitigate the concerns?
    • What is the current Level of Service for the exits and roads coming into the proposed ballpark area? How will the Level of Service degrade as a result of ballpark usage? What will be the penalties to the A’s for vehicular delays in excess of defined Level of Service? Will these penalties be given to the residential neighborhoods impacted by the ballpark?
    • Will there be an independent, third-party arbitrator appointed to hear citizen’s concerns and complaints regarding vehicular delays and other issues regarding noise/pollution as laid out below? Who will pay for this arbitrator?
  • Air Quality
    • Construction of the ballpark will increase significant dust, exhaust and organic emissions LESS THAN 0.5 MILES FROM HOMES, SCHOOLS AND DAYCARES.
    • Air-quality will be degraded by diesel-powered equipment and vehicles which will be heavily used during the construction and operation of the ballpark
    • Even after the construction, there will be emissions concentrations through increased traffic and– especially so close to homes, schools and local parks.
    • This will have a potential impact through increase in asthma, bronchitis and other related respitorial illnesses in Fremont’s kids and seniors.  Odors from the ballpark food facilities and other restaurants will also affect air quality. This will have an adverse impact on the health of Fremont’s kids and seniors. There are already several days annually when air pollution exceeds the state or federal air quality standards (from Bay Area Air Quality Management) in Alameda county, this will only serve to increase the pollution.
  • Noise and Light pollution
    • Noise from the stadiums public address system, activities and crowd noise will disturb peace in this quiet neighborhood and its close proximity to homes and schools and daycares will definitely exceed the short-range noise quality standards for a residential neighborhood.
    • Additionally, fire-work displays will increase noise and pollution.
    • Noise impact form concerts and other activities in the stadium on off-game days would be significant and unavoidable.
    • Additionally, lighting from night-time operation of the stadium will increase light and glare (“light pollution”) in the predominantly residential neighborhood.
    • Additionally, will the structure block the sun/natural light to our schools and homes?
  • Hydrology and Water Quality
    • Where will the stadium get its supply of water? What will be the impact on the water pressure to surrounding homes?
    • What will be the impact on water quality and will discharge requirements be met? How much will the City of Fremont pay to set up the water and drainage requirements?
    • Will it require relocation of our existing electric substation? Who will be paying the costs for any infrastructure changes required by the ballpark.
    • What will be the City investment for water, electric substation and garbage removal for the ballpark?
  • Infrastructure, Utilities and Public Services
    • What will be the increase in Police and fire department personnel during ballpark usage days?
    • What is the cost of additional staff required to maintain level of service? Who will pay the additional cost? What if increase in staff is needed to maintain the level of service? Who will approve the increase and who will pay for the increase?
    • There are concerns about existing services provided by Fremont police and Fire – there will certainly be a degradation of service levels due to additional demands of the ballpark. How will the City of Fremont address these concerns?

1.    What are the criteria used by the City Council to build an iconic commercial landmark such as a ballpark in the alternate site, a site in extremely close proximity to several residential neighborhoods and schools and child-care facilities?

2.    Is there a detailed study on the revenues that the city will earn and what are the tax breaks/concessions that City will grant the A's? Can we have a copy of the City’s projected Profit-and-loss-Report for the ballpark updated?

3.       Page II-7 of BallPark Village Economic Analysis Report says the following:

Ballpark. The Athletics intend to purchase the land for the ballpark and then enter into a long-term arrangement with the City of Fremont and Alameda County to ensure that the team remains in Fremont for the next 30+ years. Under the terms of this arrangement, the Athletics will be responsible for the cost and development of the new ballpark subject to limited negotiated assistance from the City and County.

The Athletics intend to pay the City of Fremont an annual amount of $1,000,000 per year in order to further support City services with regard to the Ballpark Village project. The Athletics will be responsible for all costs associated with the direct operation the ballpark throughout the term of the arrangement without any on-going financial obligations required of the City and County to maintain the ballpark.

What does the “limited negotiated assistance from the City and County” imply? Please give a detailed breakup of all assistance to be provided for the ballpark construction and maintenance. 

4.    The new proposal of building the ballpark at the alternate site is decoupled from the original ballpark village project that comprised of residential, retail and elementary school. What will the A's invest in Fremont for its development and growth?

5.    Has the City considered revenues from other types of developments like, commercial buildings, retail establishments or residences in the same location? What would be the return on these compared to the ballpark. Please share the detailed analysis with the residents of Fremont. Also, who will be responsible for the preparation of such analysis – will these be prepared by an independent, reputable third-party. 

6.    What happens if Oakland A’s go bankrupt and ask City for assistance in the maintenance of the ballpark in the future? What kids of risk-mitigation measures or insurances will the City of Fremont take-out to prevent usage if taxpayer money to maintain the ballpark.

7.    Does the current downturn in economic climate factor into decisions by local businesses to set up establishments here to provide increased revenues to the city?

8.       Table III-4 of BallPark Village Economic Analysis says the following:

ATHLETICS FRANCHISE 2005 EMPLOYMENT And Employee Residence By County

Total Payroll in 2005 $10,891,862

Total Payroll (2007 $s)  $11,305,613

Total Employment 432 100.0%

Employee Residence Number Percent

Home County Alameda   207   47.9%

This shows only 47% of payroll IS generated in Alameda county (and not EVEN Fremont specifically). What is the plan for current A’s employees, who presumably reside in cities other than Fremont? Will there be a lay-off of existing employees from other cities with new Fremont employees hired? If not, then how will this increase employment for Fremont residents? Also, what percentage of payroll will actually flow to Fremont city coffers?

9.    What type of jobs will the ballpark create? How many of these jobs will be held for Fremont residents? Research by experts on economics and public policy concur that the benefits provided by such a stadium to a community are often inaccurate and unrealistic. For example, the great majority of the jobs that the stadium creates will be part-time, sporadic, temporary, low-wage, non-union jobs, not the type of jobs the city needs.

10. The A’s and their economic consulting firm ERA have presented their study titled “Analysis of the ECONOMIC AND FISCAL REVENUE IMPACTS OF A PROPOSED BALLPARK VILLAGE ON THE CITY OF FREMONT AND THE ECONOMIC BASE OF ALAMEDA COUNTY”. Has the City of Fremont performed an independent evaluation of the economic impact study? For example, the city of Santa Clara appointed Keyser Marston Associates to do an independent study on the San Francisco 49’ers proposal for a ballpark in the city of Santa Clara.

House Value Dropping Fast!

Hurry up, Mission San Jose, Irvington, Weibel, Warm Springs residents,
your house value is already dropping like a rock now, in just a week. No one is willing to put a buying offer in our neighborhood because Warm Springs is being considered as one possible site for A's new stadium, based on a local real estate agent.

We need to make stronger voice: Don't even dare to mention Warm Springs as an alternate site! Remove Warm Springs from their plan. Don't even start to consider it. Any councilmember still allow this intriguing idea alive certainly did not put the local residents as best interest.

We only have 2 days left until the public comment deadline! There are a few sample letters on the right. Please focus on their plan, not just "not in my backyard" attitude. Please share with us: noasws@gmail.com or Yahoo Group. Wow, we start to see more comments and new posts today. We also encourage you to start a new blog/wiki/forum.

- For A Better Fremont (actually, my house value $$$;-)

PS. If you have times, please read Mercury News article 12/11/08 and Mercury News article 12/14/08. You might also enjoy An Inconvenient Truth. Currently, there are 3 possible sites: San Jose, Pacific Commons and Warm Springs. We cannot let Warm Springs become their "path of least resistance".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Drop The Stadium Plan NOW

Dear A’s and Fremont city officials,

As much as we all love living in the Weibel/Warm Springs neighborhood, I believe that the following issues would drive anyone, including myself, to relocate.  The mere threat of bringing these issues to bear will cause uncertainty, sell-offs, and property devaluation.  Please define exactly how you plan to remediate the following items:


1)     Is this the best use of the space?


a)     Only 43 game days / year--will sit vacant for 322 days a year –how does this site benefit Fremont when vacant? Does not generate revenue, business opportunities, or ridership on BART when vacant


b)    This project does not have any business, retail or residential component.  Where does the city make money?


c)     business/walking friendly retail/commercial/urban housing will increase BART traffic and bring increased value and revenue to Fremont year round.  This is not part of this proposal and this project specifically precludes such improvements because it uses up all the valuable space around the station.


d)    Only 20% ride BART (when it arrives, possibly 3+ years later); how much space must be dedicated to parking for remaining 24,000+ attendees?  Is there enough space to even consider 10,000 parking spaces?  Am I the only person who does not see this as a ridiculous use of this space?  Where are all these cars going to park…when they finally get to the site?


2)     infrastructure


a)     Fire and police were at my last A's game where a lady had a heat stroke in the row above me.  How often are city services called to respond to incidences at the park?


b)    How many additional fire and police staffing will you pay for on game days?


c)     Hetch Hetchy runs along the site--how are you prepared to deal with water emergencies?


d)    City is very proud of emergency preparedness--how will you evacuate this mob in case of fire/earthquake/flood with the roads locked up? 


e)     How will you evacuate rest of community?


f)     Will the impact of 30,000 visitors flushing (water and sewage) in a short time overload our system?


g)    Will you pay to change/improve our water/sewer infrastructure to accommodate?


3)      litter


a)     Wind will carry all the garbage everywhere--can you control the wind?


b)    Litter problem is not controlled at the current site in Oakland—the surrounding area is terrible with litter.


4)     impact to local businesses



a)     Impassive traffic will shut down local businesses on game days.  How will you compensate them for their loss of revenue?


5)     noise/light pollution


a)     Most of the residences are up hill from site--how do you propose to contain the noise from cars as well as 30,000 people?


b)    Noise and lights are bad enough in the day, but late into the night will disturb neighborhood quality of life.


6)     parking


a)     Are you prepared to construct 15-20,000 parking spaces, if not, where will all these people park?


b)    Clearly, people will try to park in the neighborhood; not only because they don’t want to pay for parking, but also because there won’t be enough parking to accommodate all at the site.  How can you guarantee that our neighborhoods will be off limits?  Will you pay for guards at Paseo Padre/Mission, Grimmer/Mission, Durham/Auto Mall, Arapahoe/Durham?  Will you pay for permitting, meter maids and towing contractors to get them out of our neighborhoods in a timely manner?  How will you keep them out of the other business parking lots on Warm Springs and Osgood?


7)     property values


a)     Please cite one example of a thriving residential neighborhood where values have increased because a ballpark went in within a mile of its doors.


b)    Please cite one example of a ballpark constructed in a residential neighborhood of million dollar homes.


c)     All ballparks we could find are built in areas of business/commerce around other commercial venues to REBUILD economically disadvantaged areas--Arlington, SF, etc. not to decimate established neighborhoods.


d)    A's claim that it will INCREASE property values…how?!  What other comparable sites can you give as an example?


e)     What will happen if A's start winning and fan base grows, again? I have only heard of new parks of 60K seat capacity (e.g. Arlington,TX).  Why are you proposing a stadium of half that size and what will you do if you “outgrow” it?  If you move, what is this stadium good for?  Oakland will be looking at a useless, vacant structure.  Are we next?


8)     safety


a)     We need increased police presence in the neighborhood to ticket/tow, prevent crime, watch for predators at any major “event”; every game will be an “event”—Fremont cannot afford the staff.


b)    Vandalism in our neighborhood will surely increase.  How will you compensate for this?


c)     How will you accommodate fire and police to access the victims in case of emergencies while roads turned into parking lots.


d)    If our few police/fire are busy increasing security in our neighborhood, what happens to rest of city?


e)     How many people get drunk at each of your games?  I've seen drunken misbehavior at very game I've been to.


f)     Eventually, these drunken people get released -- what keeps them from driving? Starting fights? Urinating in our streets?


9)     threat to schools


a)     Weibel Elementary and Agua Caliente Park are <1mile style="mso-spacerun:yes">  Children play unsupervised in these playgrounds at all hours.  What is to keep them from harm?


b)    The reputation of Weibel will deteriorate as our neighborhood becomes less desirable.  This will create a vicious cycle to bring down the value of the neighborhood. 


c)     Any new school built on the proposed residential site is also going to be less than a mile away from the potential misbehaviors of ballpark guests.


d)    It is clearly unethical, but is it even legal to sell liquor this close to schools--see safety concerns!


10)  traffic volume on highways


a)     Access on//off highways is insufficient as it is.  New ramps do not relieve congestion at Warm Springs/Mission Blvd or Auto Mall exits.  How will adding 30,000 visitors who all need to get in their seats by at the same time help this situation?


b)    Warm Springs/Mission is banked by commercial—there is no room to increase lanes at this intersection


c)     If BART doesn't come in until 2014, at best, how many more lanes, exit ramps, widened lanes, etc will you need to build to accommodate 30,000 people descending by car?


11)  traffic congestion on surface roads


a)     There is a clear lack of thoroughfares in this area.  Many dead ends, and cul-de-sacs cause people get lost, and roam causing frustration and further congestion.  As one parent noted, there was a shooting in a cul-de-sac precisely because of this reason.

b)    Residential congestion--Paseo Padre, Fremont Blvd, Warm Springs/Osgood and Mission Blvd are the alternate routes north/south in this area.  Already, when 880 & 680 back up (at least one day a week), these roads are gridlocked. Our lights are not timed, and we have had to sit through as many as a dozen light cycles to get through some of these intersections. How will adding 30,000 visitors help this situation?  There is no room to widen, nor do we want to pay for the widening to accommodate 45 days/year.

c)     The FUSD has designated our schools to be in the Irvington area.  This project will block us from picking up our children from school.  Do you have a budget to pay the teachers who will have to stay late to watch them?  The schools will not be able to schedule any events on game days because 40% of its most active students will physically be blocked from attending.  Hope parents and students don’t mind scheduling graduations around game days.

d)    Residents of this area heavily patronize Fremont businesses after work and on weekends.  Our children attend hundreds of local classes and lessons offered in the afternoons/evenings.  If we can’t even get home from work, or leave our homes, none of these things will happen.


Many of these issues cannot be resolved.  Please realize the infesibility of this proposal and drop it now, before we waste more tax-paid hours on the study and discussion of this  impossible proposal. Thank you.

Kind Regards,