UPDATED On Point: Unsigned
Updated 12:38 p.m. Thursday, September 10
A local group that opposes developer SunCal’s redevelopment plan for Alameda Point has convinced more than 500 people to take their names off ballot initiative petitions the developer circulated this past spring.
The folks from Protect the Point, which opposes the plan, say they have gotten 520 people to take their names off the petitions for a proposed ballot initiative that lays out SunCal’s development plan. Deputy City Clerk Lana Stoker said her office had received 522 removal requests.
“With the City Manager saying that the city has not been able to negotiate in its best interests, and because of the overly aggressive nature of the SunCal signature drive, people are grateful for the opportunity to remove their names from the initiative. Many residents feel like they have been misled,” Reyla Graber, who has actively been working to get people to take their names off the petition, was quoted as saying in a press release.
“We don’t necessarily think we can stop the initiative from moving forward, but we want to give residents an opportunity to remove their names from this risky and costly proposal,” Graber wrote.
SunCal’s reps have said they collected 8,083 signatures for their ballot initiative; they need 6,600 valid signatures to move forward. And a SunCal rep says the company plans to submit their signatures by their end-of-September deadline.
“We plan to submit the signatures by the deadline to forward our initiative to the ballot sometime in early 2010. This submission will ensure that all Alamedans have their chance to vote on the future of Alameda Point,” SunCal spokesman Joe Aguirre said. “We are confident that we have more than enough verified and valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.”
The proposed initiative spells out SunCal’s plan for the former naval air station, which includes more than 4,500 homes, a sports complex, 145 acres of parks and a wealth of retail and commercial space.
But opponents have charged that the measure, if passed, could limit the city’s ability to negotiate a good development deal for the Point and that it could cost the city millions it doesn’t have. And they fear the development could lead to traffic problems and trouble with neighboring communities (Oakland) who have opposed the city’s development plans in the past.