Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Stadium In Warm Springs

Dear Mr. Diekmann, Mayor and City Council Members,

Please remove Warm Springs as off-site consideration for the A’s stadium in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

After hearing all the strong opposition from our local communities, we feel the Fremont residents have not been fairly treated. Most of us are only aware of this last week! The city has not made sufficient notice. We were not made aware of the Alternate Site, let along it being considered as a serious possibility, in such a short time frame. We request the Warm Spring off-site to be removed from EIR immediately on the following reasons:
  • There are overwhelming opposition from local communities already.
  • The Warm Springs site obviously is much worse than the original Pacific Commons site (as analyzed in the second part of this letter), with only one benefit, closer to BART. However, the off-site will only bring 10% more riders than Pacific Commons, and the BART station is still a few more years away. There is no valid reason to make Warm Springs a better choice than Pacific Common.
  • The separate of village and stadium totally deviate their original plan. Will need a totally new development plan, and new EIR.
  • A's request a quick decision. Considering Warm Spring will only lengthen their process and waste the whole city of Fremont a lot of unnecessary time and resource cost, although they keep claiming "$0 money from the city". What's the reason to still allow them to consider the Warm Springs as an alternate site, which is much worse than the Pacific Commons?
  • Local housing price is already dropping because the city is considering the Warm Spring site now. All the buyers have serious concerns about the new stadium. They won't put an offer until the city stop considering the Warm Springs alternative. We would like to remove Warm Springs from consideration as soon as possible to avoid further financial damage.
  • Any council member still allows Warm Springs off-site stay in the EIR is certainly not putting local residents at its best interest.
Here are the reasons why Warm Springs off-site is worse than the Pacific Commons site:
  • The A’s and BART are big proponents for the Warm Springs site. The site might increase the BART ridership from 10% to 20%, but it will create even bigger traffic gridlock from the other 80%-90% of people driving to the stadium.
  • This site will not have enough space for other development either. Since it’s not a “ballpark village” anymore, the place will be deserted during non-game days. The only BART passengers might be the one or two thousand people during game time. We don’t want our new BART station turn into a place like the current Oakland Coliseum station, which will not benefit our local business at all.
  • We can foresee the city will have future plan for business/residential development along the new BART station. There are already some business and retailers in the nearby area. We can accept a shopping center or business park. But building a stadium will not be the best use of the land, and certainly not the best interest of the local communities.
  • The site is within walking distance (1 block, about 0.5 mile) to a renowned elementary school. It takes decades to build the current nice, clean and safe neighborhood. But it will just need a bad city planning decision to ruin it.
  • The South Fremont area is best known for its good schools and nice residential neighborhoods such as Mission, Irvington, Weibel and Warm Springs. With a new stadium so close to the residential areas, it will have treacherous impact on traffic, noise, security, air quality, environment and property value. We have seen many stadium projects are developed to rebuild an urban area, or build on a new site. It will be very unwise for the City of Fremont to bring in a new stadium to devastate the existing well establish neighborhoods. The loss of property value in this area alone will be even much larger than the cost of the stadium.
  • As pointed out by several Council Members during the meeting, the Warm Springs site had been under study in the past and the current Pacific Common was chosen as a preferred site. Why does the A’s choose to bring up the discussion again? It will definitely waste the City a lot of time and resource and also delay their process for the current preferred site, let along the strong opposition from thousands of residents in South Fremont.
We urge the City Council to speak for the voice from local communities and ask the city to remove Warm Springs site from the Draft EIR. Otherwise, the residents in Warm Springs areas will have no choice but to enact Sunshine Law to demand all the conversation and meeting records about the decision to allow Warm Springs as off-site consideration. 

We also recommend the City Council to reject the stadium plan and vote for "No Project Alternative- Existing Entitlement.  Many of us are A’s fan for decades. We would like to see what is best for the A’s. The current location in south Fremont is bad, and the plan does not properly address the traffic impact, crime and financial consequences. We have many studies indicating the current improperly planned stadium could bring Fremont into deep financial trouble and irreversible damage. The City of Fremont does not have enough infrastructure and resources to endure such impact. After hearing these strong opposition from local residents and retailers, please reject the stadium plan to save the city further unnecessary time and resource cost. Otherwise, please let our local residents know the answers to the following questions:
  • Who are the supporters of the new stadium in Fremont?
  • What are the benefits of a stadium in Fremont?
  • Does the current plan properly address the traffic impact, crime and financial consequences?
  • What are the “true cost” of having a stadium in Fremont?
Then we the Fremont citizens can have public debate and city wide referendum to make the final decision.


1 comment:

  1. The volume of your letters (we need thousands) are the most clear and potent message we can send to the council members that WE OBJECT. A SAMPLE LETTER CAN BE FOUND ON THE no_stadium_in_warm_springs yahoo group site.

    Send your written protests including YOUR NAME and address to:

    Kelly Diekmann, Senior Planner
    City Of Fremont
    PO Box 5007
    Fremont, CA 94537


    Fax to 510-494-4402