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Could Cowan get Mif?

Submitted by on 1, February 18, 2009 – 8:00 am4 Comments

Last night’s City Council brainstorming session on the fate of the just-closed Mif Albright nine-hole golf course ended with a suggestion that didn’t appear in the staff report: Trade it to Ron Cowan to build his stalled-out Harbor Bay Village VI development.

The council was slated to discuss the potential exchange during a closed-door meeting but deferred the discussion for a later date.

Mayor Beverly Johnson said the council ought to consider the idea, which was offered in a later public session by leaders of Harbor Bay’s business and homeowners associations, who this past spring came out to oppose Cowan’s plan to put the 104-home development smack in the middle of the business park.

The 12-acre spot also sits a half mile from the main runway at Oakland International Airport.

“What we’re asking the mayor and council to do right now is to consider taking that strip of land and putting sports and recreation fields on it, and to have Ron Cowan build his (development) on the golf course, in what some would call a land swap,” Mel Grant, a business owner who spoke for the group, told me after the item was heard.

The group included Grant; Mike Robles Wong, president of the Community of Harbor Bay Isle board president; Islandia Homeowners Association president Elizabeth dos Remedios; and Barbara Price, a consultant on development and governmental affairs and Islandia resident who also reportedly ran the mayor’s 2002 campaign.

City staff had laid out a list of potential options for the 12-acre Mif that included sports fields, a BMX bike park, a dog park and open space.

The suggestion came moments after a kind of dramatic exchange between Johnson and Golf Commission President Jane Sullwold, who said she’d heard rumors that just such a thing was in the works. She said the city should let the contractor it hired to run the Chuck Corica Golf Complex study whether it could run the short course at a profit.

“You know of course, the rumors that have been flying around for years that the Mif Albright property is a goal of Ron Cowan for a new Harbor Bay Club,” Sullwold told the council. “I’ve been getting calls and e-mails that what’s really going on here is some kind of land swap, that they’re going to get that property, tear down the Harbor Bay property, and build homes there. Everyone thinks that’s really what’s going on.”

“We’ve heard that. There are a lot of rumors going on around the golf course, and we’re aware of that,” Johnson responded.

More to come on this, we’re sure.


  • Vince says:

    If it would benifit the city then possibly not a bad idea, but what worries most me is that this has already been discussed and that it's coming down the pipeline in a quite fashion. The Miff location for any park/sports field is better than the windy parkway but if Cowen is willing to exchange and build whatever that would be a great.

  • Jason says:

    I heard that some judge said Cowen has the right to build his 104 homes. That makes little sense to me. Cowen built homes too large to fit the whole lot on land he owned that was zoned residential – to me that sounds like he chose himself not to build the maximum number of units allowed. Why would the city be obliged to rezone or swap various tracts to appease this man's greed? Rather than trying to find ways to satisfy him, why doesn't the city fight for its rights and appeal?

  • YouDirtyRatU says:

    This **** makes me sick – and so does your "reporting".

    Truth is important – and again you report that this was mentioned at a CC meeting by the president of a home-owner assoc, but AGAIN you fail to report he was only representing his own opinion – that when asked by CC if there was any vote or even discussion by the group he "heads", he admitted there was not. Yet you still try to build credibility to those comments although clearly none existed. I doubt these groups would support this plan because it creates the same problems that brought them together to fight Cowan’s Village 6 plan last time around.

    You are an extreme disappointment as a "reporter", you have displayed biased to such a degree you have already gutted your own credibility. Because of your own actions, you have shown you are not worthy of the title "reporter" – you are merely a story teller who speaks of only one side of the story – If you were in print your writing could be used to line bird cages or to absorb spills – here you even lack that level of value.

    Good bye to you and your distortions -you suck as a reporter if you can’t be truthful. “Reporting” has no room for “situational integrity.”

    How can you be proud of a motto like “Some of the truth, some of the time”?

  • Lauren Do says:

    Take a chill pill. Michele didn't write that the whole homeowner's association endorsed it. She was just attributing what the titles were to the two folks that spoke.

    Seriously, if you think you can do a better job reporting, you do it. You don't have to read Michele's site, you can take it off your bookmarks or RSS feed or whatever. Reporting is more than simply reporting what you (not "you" in the general sense, but "you" as in commenter "UDirtyRat") want to read if anyone's bias is showing, it's yours and the way that you process the information that Michele is presenting to you.

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