FOGG Open Letter – March 23, 2008

Two important meetings are coming up in April that we wish to make you aware of.  They both concern the Port’s disposition of Seawall Lot 351 for possible development.

This is the present 2/3 acre parking lot on the corner of the Embarcadero and Washington Street.  It is also the parcel that San Francisco Waterfront Partners (developer Mr. Simon Snellgrove) wishes to remove from under Public Trust control, so he can build 170 luxury condominiums and a 500+ space underground parking garage.  This development would be on Seawall Lot 351 and on a large portion of the present open recreational space – the GGT&SC.

The meetings are:

1 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2 – 5:00PM.  It will be held in the Bayside Room, Pier 1.  This meeting is being sponsored by the Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group (NEWAG).  The San Francisco Waterfront Partners 8 Washington Street project will be on the agenda.

2 – MONDAY, APRIL 14 – 5:30PM.  It will be held in the Port Commission Room, 2nd floor, Ferry Building.  This meeting is sponsored by the Port.  The Port is calling this a Planning Workshop, and request for proposals (RFP).

You should be aware that FOGG is challenging the way this action is being taken now, since the Commission was specifically told to take no action at their December 11, 2007 meeting, when they were presented with a range of options on how they could proceed.  They took no vote at that time.  However, Port staff treated SWL351 as a matter that would be handled in a specific way, in less formal situations, known as “copping a consensus”.  A decision is announced, rather than voted on formally.

In any event we urge our members to put these dates on your calendar, and make every effort to attend either one or both of the meetings.  We need good turnouts at both.

IN OTHER NEWS: The Club (GGT&SC) has sent out a survey on use of the Club.  We urge you to go to the survey by clicking on this link:  Club Survey  even if you previously used their mail form.  It is a different format and one wonders if the questions as shown online are geared to the future proposed remaking of the Club if and after development occurs. (Call us paranoid.) Online you can also express your concerns about losing the Club in the comment section.

In our next OPEN LETTER we will expand on both the CalSTRS (California State Teachers Retirement System) plans to finance the proposed development and how FOGG is proceeding to dissuade their efforts; and an update on the recent purchase of Western Athletic Clubs by KSL Capital Partners.  The Club is managed by WAC.  We are still gathering information as to their intentions.

In closing, we do wish to sincerely thank all those who made their generous tax-deductible donations to FOGG over the past few months.  It really means a lot, as we continue the fight to preserve the open recreational space we all love.  It will continue to be a necessity to raise the funds that are used to hold off the developers.  Remember, your tax-deductible donations can be made either on this web site, or make your check out to AGAPE/FOGG, note on the memo line tax-deductible donation, and send to Jim Eggert, Treasurer, 550 Davis St. #46, San Francisco, CA, 94111.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the April meetings.

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