A proposed commuter ferry terminal and other Port of Redwood City expansions will be in jeopardy should voters approve an open-space measure in November, harbor officials have concluded.
The port administration opposes the Nov. 4 ballot Measure W, which would require a two-thirds public vote of Redwood City residents on all open-space development.
Port officials said the proposed ferry terminal, part of which would be built over the Bay, as well as planned major expansions onto nearby open spaces could all be subject to approval through individual votes by the public.
David Lewis, executive director of Save the Bay and co-creator of Measure W, said the port is incorrect and that the measure would not affect the port or its surrounding areas, including the Bay.
But the official ballot language includes “San Francisco Bay Water” as one of the areas on which development would require a public vote, with exemptions only for “housing obligations, takings and vested rights.”
City officials concluded in a June report that the measure, if passed, would trigger a public vote on “all acts” by port commissioners, but Save the Bay’s legal team also argued that assertion is incorrect. The City Council later voted to oppose the measure and placed on the ballot its own competing initiative, Measure V, which would require a public vote on only the controversial Saltworks development.
The confusion could scare off potential financiers, port Executive Director Mike Giari said.
The port has big plans for its future. The $42 million ferry service would take 1,420 passengers per day to and from San Francisco and possibly the East Bay by 2025, according to WETA.
A report outlines other expansion possibilities Giari said could encroach on surrounding open-space lands, including space for automobile imports as well as a new short-sea shipping terminal.
Port’s long-term plans
Port of Redwood City officials argue passage of Measure W would jeopardize their plans.
- $22 million ferry terminal
- 30-acre terminal for automobile imports
- 25-acre shipping terminal for cargo
- Cargo area primarily for perishables
- Warehouse for imports such as paper
Sources: Water Emergency Transportation Authority, TranSystems consulting group for port