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Enviro fight over waterfront project
Friday, May 27, 2011
The Bay Conservation and Development Commission is putting the final touches on a controversial plan to protect Bay Area communities from rising water levels caused by global warming.
But while the policy debate is largely abstract at this point, there is one project for which the BCDC plan has become something of a proxy battle: the proposed Saltworks project in Redwood City.
In the second half of 2010, DMB, the developer of the Saltworks, spent $230,000 on lobbyists to influence the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. David Smith, executive vice president of DMB, said the lobbying money reflects the need to keep informed on all BCDC activity.
"We are a large company and we have a lot of interests and are exploring interests throughout the Bay Area. (Saltworks) is just one project potentially influenced by the BCDC policy," said Smith.
On the other side of the debate, DMB's biggest nemesis, the environmental group Save The Bay, has been pushing for the BCDC plan to discourage all development in low-lying areas susceptible to seawater levels rising, a policy that could be a death knell for the Redwood City salt flats project.
Save the Bay Executive Director David Lewis said the DMB lobbying was "unprecedented, as far as I know, on any policy issue before BCDC, where there is ample opportunity through the public process for input."