Revitalizing San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help cut greenhouse gases and build a more sustainable community. El Cerrito is drafting a new community plan for San Pablo Avenue and development around the El Cerrito del Norte BART station and on the old Target site.
This is a grand opportunity for mixed-use development concentrating housing around the BART station. Such Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can create a new vision for El Cerrito including:
- more-walkable, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly streets;
- easy access to transit stops and transportation choices so that no one has to depend on a car to get around;
- a mix of shops, services, entertainment, and recreation that create a range of employment opportunities;
- diversity of housing types for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes;
- compact development and higher-density buildings.
With a million new residents coming into the Bay Area over the next 20 years, the Association of Bay Area Governments is asking El Cerrito to do its part by building more housing units. Over 40% of the Bay Area's greenhouse gases are related to transportation, and this is directly related to the imbalance between where people live and where they work. This site is an ideal location to address these needs.
Instead, Safeway is proposing to build a conventional grocery store at the former Target site. Wal-Mart has also shown interest in the property. Unsustainable "big box" is the wrong kind of development for San Pablo Avenue, and even a more conventional grocery needs to be integrated into a mix of uses.
Write to Mayor Sandia Potter and the City Council at:
10890 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530-2323.
Tell them that all commercial development at El Cerrito del Norte should emphasize mixed use with a healthy proportion of housing. This is not the place for big-box stores like Wal-Mart. The San Pablo Avenue Advisory Committee will be meeting 6 - 9 pm, Thu., July 30, at El Cerrito City Hall, and a community workshop is scheduled for 6 - 8 pm on Thu., Aug. 13, also at City Hall.
To join in Sierra Club efforts on this important planning process, contact conservation organizer or call (510) 848-0800, ext. 312
For more information on the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan visit www.el-cerrito.org/planning/Avenue.html