SF Public Press: Huge development on fringe of Bay sparks debate over ‘smart growth’, November 10, 2010


A wide dirt road cuts through the middle of the large, multi-hued salt harvesting ponds that stretch as far as the eye can see. Except for a few heavy trucks that trundle past, and a couple of ramshackle buildings, not much sign of human activity is visible on this stark, sweeping landscape in Redwood City, on the southern fringe of the San Francisco Bay.

Since 1901, a natural evaporation and crystallization process has produced salt from bay waters in these shallow ponds. But now plans to develop this 1,436-acre piece of property has set off an intense debate on how and where to house the Bay Area’s growing population in an era of climate change and rising sea levels.