Nearly a year ago, Redwood City decided to shelve its draft Inner Harbor Specific Plan after Committee for Green Foothills, other groups, and local residents objected to various aspects of the plan – including Harbor View, a massive office project of four 9-story towers and two parking structures. Now, although the Inner Harbor Specific Plan is off the table, the massive Harbor View office project is back. It’s been scaled down slightly (the four office towers are now 7 stories instead of 9), but it is still the wrong project in the wrong place.
Harbor View sits directly across the street from the Cargill salt ponds in Redwood City. Several years ago, Cargill proposed turning these 1,400 acres of salt ponds, which provide wetland habitat for thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds every rainy season, into a city of 30,000 residents (which is the population of San Carlos or Los Gatos), plus office buildings and retail space. Together with many other groups, we fought against that proposal, which was temporarily withdrawn in 2012.
Harbor View suffers from many of the same issues as the Cargill project. It proposes massive development – even more square footage of office space than was in the Cargill proposal – adjacent to the Bay, in an area vulnerable to sea level rise, and far away from public transit centers. Moreover, with the Peninsula and Silicon Valley experiencing a severe housing shortage, allowing massive office development on this site will only make this crisis worse. We fear that Harbor View will be used as an excuse to bring back the Cargill development proposal, with the argument that nearby housing needs to be provided for all those thousands of office workers at Harbor View.
We are working with Redwood City organizations and residents to defeat the Harbor View proposal. Stay tuned for updates on this issue and how you can help!