Feb 7 2011

Opinion: Save Blair Park Rally Saturday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m

A Press Release received from Friends of Moraga Canyon:

Piedmont and Oakland residents will gather at Blair Park on Moraga Ave. on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. to get the facts about the proposed Moraga Canyon Sports Fields at Blair Park and to show support for saving the last remaining open space in Piedmont.

Tall “story poles” are being erected to show the size and scope of the proposed $6 million project.  A guided tour will show the extent of the project that would destroy 155 trees, including 55 mature oak trees, and construct a 25-foot high “berm” along Moraga Ave.

Speakers will briefly describe objections to the project, including:

• fiscal liabilities for Piedmont taxpayers if promised private donations do not cover full costs of building the project, paying for permanent maintenance, costly replacement of artificial turf, and possible structural damage to hillside homes above the project;
• safety hazards for pedestrians, especially youngsters, attempting to cross busy Moraga Avenue;
• permanent destruction of natural habitat for birds and other wildlife;
• impacts of 80-foot cut into the hillside and construction of 35-foot high retaining wall.

A short walking tour of Blair Park will give residents a chance to fully envision what is being proposed for this peaceful open space.

Two Piedmont Commissions are scheduled to discuss the project this month: Planning Commission, Feb. 17, at 5:30 p.m.; Planning Commission, Feb. 24, at 6:30 p.m.  The Piedmont City Council is expected to vote on the fate of Blair Park soon after these Commission hearings.

The rally is sponsored by Friends of Moraga Canyon, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit www.moragacanyon.org

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