City goes to bat for Bayview renewal 

City officials are aggressively promoting a $1 billion-plus Candlestick Point and Hunters Point revitalization plan — which will be presented to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency today — with hopes of starting the environmental review process in June.

On Monday, the ambitious plan for 276 acres at Candlestick Point and another 495 acres at the site of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard was presented to the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee.

"We’ve held a ton of public meetings," Michael Cohen, of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said. "In the last two months we’ve had about 20 public meetings on the project."

The City and its master developer, Lennar BVHP, are working on an ambitious timeline to get the dual waterfront projects through the approval process, since one includes space for a proposed NFL stadium for the San Francisco 49ers, who have said they want a new home by 2012.

Although the 49ers are also now in talks with Santa Clara about building a stadium adjacent to the Great America amusement park, the team has resumed negotiations with The City — which proposes to build the stadium at Hunters Point Shipyard, while keeping a previously proposed revenue-generating development at Candlestick Point.

At Monday’s meeting, Bayview resident LaRhonda Smith said she was pleased to hear Lennar official Kofi Bonner talk about "Bed Bath and Beyond-types of shopping opportunities" for the neighborhood, since her two daughters, ages 18 and 21, were having difficulty finding work.

"I think this will be very good for families," Smith said.

Others in attendance Monday expressed strong concern about the environmental health hazards at Hunters Point, a Superfund site that has polluted soil filled with toxins from its former naval use. To date, the Navy has spent $500 million cleaning up the first 66 acres of Hunters Point currently under construction.

Brian O’Flynn, who organized a referendum campaign against the Bayview-Hunters Point Redevelopment plan that was approved last year by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Gavin Newsom, said no project should move forward until the entire city has a chance to vote on the overall redevelopment plan.

Last year, O’Flynn and others gathered enough signatures to put the redevelopment plan on the ballot; however, the City Attorney declared the effort invalid since the book-sized redevelopment plan wasn’t attached to the petition. The referendum group filed a lawsuit that is scheduled to go to court later this year.

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Bonnie Eslinger

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