Memo from City Planner to Planning Board Regarding Design Review and Use Permit Applications for Construction of a Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility, Emergency Operations Center, Outdoor Fuel Storage Area..., March 23, 2015



The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is proposing to construct a Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility to serve as the central San Francisco Bay base for WETA's ferry fleet, administrative offices, Operations Control Center (OCC), and Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The proposed project would provide maintenance service such as fueling, engine oil changes, concession supply, and light repair work for WETA ferryboats operating in the central San Francisco Bay. In addition, the proposed project would be the location for WETA's central San Francisco Bay administrative and operational activities, including day-to-day management and oversight of services, crew, and facilities. In the event of a regional disaster, the facility would also function as an EOC, serving passengers and sustaining water transit service for emergency response and recovery.

The proposed site for the facility is immediately adjacent to the berthing site of the USS Hornet and the U.S Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) fleet at Alameda Point, on land that is currently owned by the City of Alameda. (The property is part of a small area called "Term 1" that was leased, not sold, to the Navy. When the Navy departed Alameda, the lease terminated and the land reverted back to the City of Alameda). The Navy constructed a small-boat floating marina with a landside building for maintenance and a snack bar on the site in the mid-1950's. The facility was used for small recreational boating for base residents until the base closed. The small building was demolished a few years later. Currently the site is vacant. The project site is bound on the east by the East Bay Regional Park District Trail and an undeveloped park, and on the north by a paved open area and West Hornet Avenue.

In 2010, the Planning Board held a study session to review and comment on the initial proposal. On March 3, 2015, the City Council introduce on a first reading an ordinance approving a lease between the City and WETA for the subject property. A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for March 17, 2015. The lease would be effective 30 days after the second reading. Pursuant to the lease, WETA must obtain Planning Board Design Review approval for the project and building permits before work can begin at the site.