CALIFORNIA: BRC Continues Effort To Hold EBRPD Accountable

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August 01, 2013 4:57 PM

Dear BRC Subscriber:

We recently came across this interesting article in The Independent of Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol and Dublin California. BRC's Western Representative Don Amador is clearly still hard at work fighting the East Bay Regional Park District Board's recent attempt to block OHV recreation from the region now being referred to as the Tesla site.

It was "the most extreme decision by a land agency that I've ever has seen," said Don Amador, BlueRibbon Coalition Western Representative. "The decision they made was political," Amador concluded.

We'll keep you posted as the situation develops. In the meantime, the article from The Independent is reproduced, with permission, below:


OHV Advocate Criticizes Tesla Designation

The update of an East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) map designating potential future parks has brought a response from an off-road vehicle spokesman, who said the move would block expansion of Carnegie Park.

The EBRPD approved a list of 16 parks for its master plan on July 16. One was the designation of Tesla, the name of an old abandoned town south of Livermore, where coal once was mined and a railroad shipped it to market.

Tesla is also the area that the state Department of Parks and Recreation acquired in the 1990s for expansion of Carnegie Park, an off-road vehicle park (ORV).

Don Amador, the western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said in a news release that the board's decision was intended to block use of off-road vehicles on the state park's expansion land.

Although the state acquired the land, the area is still closed. EIR documents were begun twice, but never completed.

Amador said that the expansion area is specifically for ORV. He sees the EBRPD vote as a political move to head off the expansion for ORV.

The move by the board "appears to provoke a possible conflict under the California Public Resources Code, which specifically prohibits the district from interfering with a vehicular recreation area," said Amador.

The paragraph that Amador cited states that  the EBRPD board "shall not interfere with the control of any vehicular recreational area or trail that is existing, owned or controlled by a municipality or county in the district." If EBRPD wanted to change things, there would have to be mutual agreement, says the provision.

Amador, who lives in Oakley, served on the state Off-highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission from 1994 to 2000. He said that the EBRPD decision was "the most extreme decision by a land agency" that he has seen. "The decision they made was political," said Amador.

EBRPD assistant general manager Mike Anderson said that the designation of Tesla by the district is marked by a small triangle on the map to show that it's an area of interest, if some opportunity in the future presents itself.

The triangle does not refer to any specific parcel. Further, the land to which Amador refers is under control of the state Department of Parks and Recreation, and EBRPD has no interest in acquiring any of it.

However, if other land in the vicinity becomes available, EBRPD may have an interest in buying it, according to Anderson.

"They are saying that the fact we are interested in this area precludes (them) from what we want  to do. That's not true. We are not interfering with their ability to do anything out there," said Anderson.


Originally appearing in The Independent ( Reprinted here with permission.

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