After losing an open competitive bid process to acquire federal property for a parking lot, the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) has now dragged the City of Alameda into the fray by filing an irresponsible lawsuit against Alameda to set aside its Housing Element. The Housing Element, which allows housing development at the parking lot site near the end of McKay Avenue, is required by state law and has already been certified by the State of California.
“I'm disappointed that the Park District would waste taxpayer dollars suing us when the lawsuit is not necessary. The City Council’s rezoning of the land to allow for housing does not prevent the Park District from using it for park purposes. They just need to acquire the land from the federal government. Alameda was pulled in because EBRPD wants to reverse the land sale," said Mayor Marie Gilmore.
The current zoning of the property is consistent with what EBRPD would have wanted to do at the site. If EBRPD had been able to acquire the land, they could have used it for parking. Instead, they opted to fund a frivolous lawsuit against Alameda’s Housing Element in their effort to scare away the winning bidder for the federal property.
The taxpayers of the City of Alameda will now be required to waste precious tax dollars to fund Alameda’s legal defense. Additionally, EBRPD taxpayers throughout the region will be paying the price of very expensive attorneys to bring this nonsense lawsuit, while the Park District fails to properly supervise activities at its existing facilities due to “lack of funds.”
“This is a complete misuse of the legal system. The City will vigorously defend this lawsuit. We will not be bullied into setting aside the Housing Element after the full and fair public process that lead to its certification by the state,” said City Attorney Janet Kern.