Local News

Point Molate development opponents host Richmond forum Sunday

Point Molate. (Photo courtesy of the city of Richmond)

Opponents of Richmond’s development deal for the city’s Point Molate property will hold a community forum Sunday morning at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St. at Macdonald Avenue.

The City Council approved an exclusive negotiation agreement April 23 with Irvine, California-based developer SunCal to develop the 270-acre site at a historic former winery near the foot of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. SunCal was selected from four development firms that submitted proposals. The company is also the developer of the former Naval Hospital Oakland site known as Oak Knoll.

The developer selection is the latest step in a long saga that started in 1997 and has recently accelerated due to the settlement in April of a lawsuit over a previous development plan for the property.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Upstream Point Molate, LLC and the Guidiville Rancheria, a Mendocino County-based Pomo tribe, after Richmond voters rejected a proposed casino at Point Molate. A federal judge said no to the casino, but required that any profits from development there be split between the city and the casino developers.

The city’s Point Molate Reuse Plan calls for at least 670 residential units and the open-space preservation of at least 70 percent of the 270 acres at Point Molate, a one-time U.S. Navy fuel depot sold by the federal government to the city for $1 in 2003.

Forum organizers with the Point Molate Alliance say they are challenging Richmond’s deal to sell off the last undeveloped Bay Area headland to a Southern California company for “high-risk luxury housing.”

Sunday’s forum will include speakers, discussion panels and action workshops, as well as an alternative proposal for the site. The event begins at 11 a.m.