Nov 6 2020

Opinion: Why Rush 801 Magnolia Lease?

Piedmont Resident Urges Transparency, Hearings and Public Input before Lease of City Building at 801 Magnolia –

Nancy Lehrkind’s letter raises several questions/issues.

  • If the current lease does not expire until June, 2021, why is there such a rush to decide on the use and control of the site?
  • And why does the process at least seem to be less than transparent, with few or no public hearings?
  • And, if the West Wing building was unused 70% of the time, how can this be when such space is in short supply in the City?
  • And, who currently manages the choices of users and who will decide in the future?
  • And, who would receive the mentioned $260,000 per year which might be realized and how much financial support and space would then be available by adopting the commercial rental option?
  • And, given the passage of UU, would it make sense to defer usage decisions until the UU pool development can be coordinated with the 801 Magnolia Avenue site?

So many questions…so many reasons to have significantly increased public input. Transparency is a virtue in this case. Public hearings would be a welcomed start.

Aaron Salloway, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

4 Responses to “Opinion: Why Rush 801 Magnolia Lease?”

  1. Aaron’s last point reminded me of a project t I worked on when on Council – the Civic Center Master Plan. One element of that plan is the replacement of 801 with a new building and the conversion of that section of Bonita to a pedestrian plaza. Lost parking is replaced by a parking garage under the tennis courts. The idea was to develop a community center with some commercial service. Coordinating pool development with a long term plan for 801 makes a lot of sense.

  2. I agree with Nancy.

  3. Given that a new pool is now confirmed, the best option is a public discussion through a Town Hall type meeting before City Council takes this up.

  4. These are excellent points. I hope the commenters will provide the City Council with written and oral comments.

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