Memo from City Manager to City Council Regarding (1)Execute a Letter of Support to the United States Navy for Modification to the Surplus Determination of Land at the Former Naval Air Station Alameda; (2) Approve a Non- Binding Term Sheet... March 5, 2013


Upon closure of Naval Air Station Alameda (NAS Alameda) in 1997, the United States
Navy (Navy) intended to transfer approximately 550 acres of upland property -- primarily
comprised of the former runways -- to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) for a wildlife refuge via a federal-to-federal transfer. Additionally, the Navy
intended to convey the remaining land west of Main Street to the City of Alameda to
implement the 1996 Community Reuse Plan (Reuse Plan). The negotiations between
the Navy and USFWS did not result in a federal-to-federal transfer for a wildlife refuge,
primarily due to an impasse over long-term environmental liability issues. As a result,
the Navy entered into discussions with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a
federal-to-federal transfer to allow the VA to construct an outpatient clinic, administrative
offices, columbarium, and Conservation Management Office (VA Project) on the
property (Exhibit 1).

Concerns were raised about the proximity of the VA Project to the endangered
California Least Tern (Least Tern) colony. By constructing the VA Project a sufficient
distance from the Least Tern colony, including on land that the Navy had planned to
convey to the City in the Northwest Territories, the VA will be able to construct the VA
Project at a greater distance from the Least Tern colony. As a result, the Navy now
proposes transferring 624 acres of former runways at the former NAS Alameda to the
VA via a federal-to-federal transfer (Federal Transfer Parcel). The VA proposes
constructing the VA Project on 112 acres of the Federal Transfer Parcel to serve the
needs of veterans throughout the Bay Area, including 74 acres of land that the Navy
had planned to convey to the City in the Northwest Territories (Flex Parcel) (Exhibit 2).
The remaining 512 acres of the Federal Transfer Parcel will remain undeveloped and be
reserved for the long-term conservation of the endangered Least Tern.

1. Map of VA Development and Base Reuse Plan
2. Map of Flex Parcel
3. Biological Opinion on the Proposed Naval Air Station Alameda Disposal and
Reuse Project in the City of Alameda, Alameda County, California, August 29,
4. Letter of Support for Modification of the Surplus Determination for the former
Naval Air Station Alameda
5. Formal Term Sheet between U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the City of
Alameda, California
6. Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority Resolution of Support for VA
Project, September 1, 2010