A group of residents frustrated with the pace of development of the Hercules waterfront will take its grievance to the City Council on Tuesday, hoping to prod city officials to show they are committed to the project.
"Our goal is to cause the council to take an active role on an ongoing basis in seeing to it that the Waterfront Project and the Intermodal Transit Station are built as promised without further delay or alteration," said resident Bill Kelly, spokesman for the Promenade Homeowners Association.
Promenade is adjacent to the future Hercules Bayfront, which is supposed to include more than 1,200 homes as well as restaurants, stores, offices and an intermodal transit center with buses, Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains, and ferries linking Hercules and San Francisco.
A series of city-sponsored, public planning charettes in 2000 culminated in what is currently the governing vision for Hercules' waterfront. Since then, the timeline for many of the vision's showcase elements -- such as the transit center and a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly village of homes, restaurants, and shops -- have receded further and further into the future.
"We're way behind schedule," Ethan Sischo, an official with AndersonPacific LLC, the developer of Hercules Bayfront, said at an Aug. 26 meeting of the Promenade HOA, to which the public was invited.
One eight-year resident of Promenade said he was told when he moved there that the train station would open in
Ostensibly to expedite development, the Hercules City Council in July 2008 adopted, by ordinance, the AndersonPacific-sponsored "Waterfront Now Initiative." Billed as a "New Urbanist, Smart Growth" concept for the waterfront, the initiative enjoyed broad popular support; it is only conceptual, and its details are subject to California Environmental Quality Act review and the city's entitlement process.
Tuesday's council meeting agenda includes discussion of a communication by the Promenade HOA that reflects its members' concerns.
At the Aug. 26 HOA meeting, residents complained that the city has refocused its energies on the transit center to the exclusion of the waterfront development. Noting that Assistant City Manager Lisa Hammon is the "point person" for the transit center, they lamented the absence of a "champion" in City Hall for the waterfront development. The city last week posted a draft environmental impact report for the transit center on its website; the public comments period ends Nov. 1.
The residents group wants the city to complete the environmental report for the waterfront development as well.
Many residents say that relations between AndersonPacific and the city have gone sour. Sischo declined to go into detail about his relationship with the city. Hercules spokeswoman Doreen Mathews said only that the council will discuss the HOA's communication Tuesday.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760.
WHAT: Hercules City Council meeting
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 111 Civic Drive
DETAILS: The draft environmental impact report for the proposed Hercules Intermodal Transit Center is available on the city's website at www.ci.hercules.ca.us/index.aspx?page=604.