San Francisco Chronicle: Treasure Island utopia gets reality check


Treasure Island didn't even exist 75 years ago. And if sea levels rise, significant steps will need to be taken to keep the former naval base from vanishing into San Francisco Bay.

But now the 400-acre man-made island is closer than ever to becoming San Francisco's newest neighborhood through a partnership between the city and private developers to create an environmentally sustainable utopia with about 6,000 homes, a 60-story skyscraper and its own organic farm.

Skeptics question whether a recently announced deal that will pay the Navy at least $55 million to transfer most of the island and part of neighboring Yerba Buena Island to the city is a good idea.

Is it smart, they ask, to pay millions for an island with postcard views but built out of seismically unsafe sand and gravel while the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission predicts climate change will raise sea levels more than 4 1/2 feet by 2100?

Absolutely, says Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration.