Season’s Greetings – December 1, 2010

FOGG hopes all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and friends, and now look forward to celebrating December festivities and Holiday events.

FOGG has much to be thankful for as we close out 2010 – Thanks to the support from so many of you as volunteers and donors in our mission to save our Community’s open recreational space.

We must also give credit to our attorney Sue Hestor for all her research and legal work, and attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley, who has spearheaded the ongoing lawsuit to prevent further development action without the City and developer following CEQA rules that require an EIR be completed before creating specific design plans for approval.

Brad Paul as our consultant continues to work hard and successfully in our efforts to reach out to many in the community for additional support.

The Asian Neighborhood Design group (AND), headed by Fernando Marti, who with the aid and input of our many supporters through a number of workshops is about to present our answer to the Planning Department’s Northeast Embarcadero Study.  AND created a Study that balances public uses and development for the whole waterfront – not just priorities for developers.

Your tax deductible dollars supporting our dedicated professionals is vital to our success as we continue to proceed with a positive and optimistic strategy that has been developed through almost eight years of effort.

It has been a long and challenging battle, but all worthwhile.  The tennis courts, swimming pools and physical activity areas remain open on a daily basis.  Thousands of families, youth, retirees and individual members throughout the Bay Area have enjoyed our beautiful recreational facility.  We are all aware of how important it is to our quality of life.  

FOGG initiated this year a Scholarship Program so that a number of youngsters from low income housing in Chinatown could attend and be a part of the one of a kind Club’s Kid Camp. With the generosity of many of our supporters, Club management and staff, these kids had a wonderful summer experience in a safe, family friendly environment.  

FOGG hopes to continue and expand our support for this community outreach program in the coming years.

Yes, it has been an exciting and really a successful year.  We are sure the developer of the proposed luxury condominiums and underground parking lot is aware of what we have accomplished.

He claims to have spent millions of dollars in his effort to reduce the recreational activity center by over 50%, and line his pockets with the profits by offering the ‘most expensive condominiums in the City’ (his words), and a 420 space underwater parking garage that would only add to the gridlock on the Embarcadero and surrounding neighborhood.  So far he has nothing to show for it.

Therefore, in the spirit of the Season, and with goodwill to all, FOGG urges that the developer take this opportunity to state that he will cease his efforts on the 8 Washington Street project, and look to other venues for a project that would fit his needs and can be supported by the community.

There is no shame in recognizing when you are fighting a losing battle.  Now is the time to realize that the number of neighbors and community organizations opposed to this project will continue to grow.  We urge Mr. Snellgrove to accept the reality of that fact, and with no further rancor take his development off the table.

He also knows that FOGG and our allies will continue to oppose this development which does not benefit our community.  Let us all look to a better future for all – a future that respects and protects our neighborhood’s character, building scale and open space.  

With hope and optimism we look forward to 2011.

Season’s Greetings and A Very Happy & Healthy New Year!

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