The Alamedan: Hearings on impact of proposed veterans' facilities start today, March 14, 2013


The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Navy will be taking comments on a draft environmental assessment of plans to build a clinic and columbarium at Alameda Point at a pair of hearings on the USS Hornet today.

In addition to the Hornet hearings, which are being held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, an additional hearing has been scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 10 at the Albert H. DeWitt Officers Club and the comment period has been extended to April 19.

The Navy wants to give the VA 624 acres of Alameda Point on which to build a 158,000-square-foot outpatient clinic and 80-acre columbarium to serve thousands of area veterans. Most of the acreage would remain undeveloped, and negotiations are underway for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – which had once hoped to create a wildlife refuge on the property – to continue managing a colony of endangered California Least Terns that took root on the old runways in the 1970s.