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October 14, 2009 > Planning Areas 3 and 4 in Newark

Planning Areas 3 and 4 in Newark

By Meenu Gupta

Newark's Areas 3 and 4 are of high interest and the subject of debate by residents of Newark and neighboring cities. This approximately 950-acre site is located in southwest Newark, bounded by Mowry Avenue on the north, Cherry Street on the east, Stevenson Boulevard on the south, and salt flats on the west. The area is earmarked for an 18-hole golf course, approximately 1,260 detached single-family homes of various densities, an elementary school and open space wetland mitigation areas while retaining the existing light industrial, institutional, City Fire Station, park, and community center uses.

"This project is undergoing environmental review right now. The environmental document should be released for public review and comment by the end of 2009," said Community Development Director, Terrence Grindall. The City Council will review the proposed development April 2010.

Newark resident Margaret Lewis is opposed to the development saying, "The city has continued to ignore the unsafe conditions which would make development of Area 4 a burden to the city. The high water table, subsidence of the soils, the location of the 100-year flood zone and ancient agricultural levees are other constraints."

"As the City continued to press for development of Area 4, a group of Newark residents came together in 1999 to place a measure on the ballot to protect the open space and wetlands from rampant development. Measure C sought to prevent Newark politicians from unnecessary development and burdening the City with more debt. The measure failed at the ballot box with barely a 16% voter turn-out," explained Lewis.

"A golf course or other recreational facilities on Area 4 would be another economic drain at a time the City cannot afford it. Housing would also put pressure on City resources," she added. "Newark staff and politicians would like to spend at least $400,000 dollars on a Specific Plan for Area 4. More money down the drain. Even the City's plan for a utility users' tax wouldn't bring relief. It's in the City's best interests to cease spending limited municipal resources on planning development in Area 4."

There have been numerous community meetings about this project and additional opportunities for public comment before the City Council considers the project.

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