My Word: Latest Coyote Hills proposal as problematic as past Fremont plans
By Dan Ondrasek - Guest commentary
Fremont Argus, December 9, 2009
The Patterson Ranch
development proposal is back.
environmental impact report (EIR) recently was released for development of
Patterson Ranch in front of the Coyote Hills Regional Park. The proposal in the
EIR is just as problematic as all of the past proposals.
Here are just some
of the unacceptable issues with this new proposal:
Nearly 700 new students (358
elementary, 113 junior high and 228 high school
students) would be enrolled into already overcrowded
and under funded Fremont schools. In June 2008, the
developer proposed only $9 million for an elementary
school the developer estimates will cost the school
district $20 million to build. What are the real
costs in today's dollars? Who will make up this $11
The school is proposed in a flood
zone, on lands that are subject to high shaking in
an earthquake. Who will make up the funding
The developer is asking Fremont to
quadruple current zoning to allow more than 870
housing units. This will increase traffic by 4
million car trips annually, degrading air and water
quality. Some of these proposed buildings are five
stories tall. The development will block scenic
vistas of Coyote Hills.
Sea levels are expected to rise by 55
inches in the next century as a result of global
warming. Are we sure that these lands on the edge of
the Bay are truly protected from flooding? Will
Fremont residents have to foot the bill if flooding
The developer is again asking to pave
over the land directly in front of our beloved
Coyote Hills Regional Park. Multiple voter surveys
confirmed that more than 70 percent want no
development directly in front of the Coyote Hills.
Yet the new development places acres of parking lots
and development directly in front of the park.
If this development is allowed to go
forward as planned, pollutants and nuisance species will
invade this special place, forever changing it.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Fremont's planning
commission will be hearing public comment on the
proposed development in the City Council chambers. The
Friends of Coyote Hills ask that you attend this meeting
and make your voices heard on why there should be no
development in front of the park.
Let them know how you feel — it does have
an impact. Without this community's involvement, the
area would have been developed long ago.
We need to protect Coyote Hills.
Once it is gone, it is gone forever.
Dan Ondrasek has been a member of the
Friends of Coyote Hills since 2001. He is an 11-year
resident of the Tri-City area, and now lives in Newark.