On Point: City getting land for sports complex
Got a note over the weekend from a tipster who pointed out that the process for transferring a piece of the former Naval Air Station Alameda to the city is finally headed toward completion – a decade after the city asked for the land.
Richard Bangert forwarded me this notice the Navy published on its Base Realignment and Closure website:
Former NAS Alameda: On May 21, 2009, Department of the Navy assigned approximately 44 acres of land and structures at the former NAS Alameda to the Department of the Interior/National Park Service. The Park Service will subsequently convey the property to the City of Alameda Park and Recreation Department for the ultimate development of a community sports and recreation complex. According to the City’s plan, once developed the local community will be able to enjoy a world-class complex with multi-use playing fields (including soccer, football, baseball and lacrosse), tennis courts, skate park, gymnasium and a BMX/mountain bike skills park.
Turns out the city submitted its application for the land – and this use – on December 1, 1999. “It’s been a long period of cleanup going on there,” said David Siegenthaler, the National Park Service official in charge of the land transfers in the Pacific West region.
Siegenthaler said the city could get the deed for the land, in the northern part of the base (at the eastern end of the runway) in a month or two; Assistant City Manager David Brandt said he hopes to get the land by the end of this year. The city does not have to pay for the land.
“I don’t think it should take long at this point,” he said.
In its application to the National Park Service, the city had to show that its plan reflected a public park and recreational use and that it has the ability to maintain any park it creates. It also had to promise to use the land for recreational or park uses in perpetuity. The plan then went to the Navy for its approval.
Major changes have to be run by the Park Service, but as long as the city can justify the changes (and they’re still park uses), they’re likely to be approved, Siegenthaler said. If the city chose to do something else with the land, it would revert back to the Navy, he said.