WHEREAS, the City of Oakland has, through years of extensive public outreach and receiving volumes of public input from the residents of Oakland, adopted the Estuary Policy Plan and developed the Lake Merritt Park Master Plan for the purpose of preserving and enhancing open space, recreation and economic development activities along Oakland's lake and water front and protecting the environment and water quality;
WHEREAS, the Lake Merritt Park Master Plan states: "Lake Merritt is a park for all of Oakland. The Master Plan promotes a park concept that strengthens the natural resource value for wildlife while providing a unique outdoor experience to people who use the park. As a part of the downtown urban fabric, the park becomes a central green - a place of respite for residents and visitors alike. Recommendations carefully balance the needs of human users with provisions that improve habitat value. ";
WHEREAS, the Estuary Policy Plan has been incorporated as part of Oakland's General Plan so that: "The Estuary Policy Plan calls for a system of open spaces and shoreline access that provides recreational use opportunities, environmental enhancement, interpretive experiences, visual amenities, and significant gathering places . . .
Further, the Estuary Plan proposes a variety of uses that strengthen Oakland's position as an urban center, accommodate economic growth, and encourage development that complements the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods.";
WHEREAS, residents of the City of Oakland, through opinion surveys and City Council public hearings, have strongly expressed support for youth recreational facilities and programs in order to provide youths with positive recreational activities, and the City Council has conducted numerous public hearings to plan and develop the East Oakland Aquatic Center and the Studio One seismic improvements and renovations.
WHEREAS, creek protection and restoration projects reflect the priorities of the City's watershed improvement program, which include water quality improvement, hydrology, flood prevention, and wildlife habitat preservation and which program has the support of community organizations and a variety of county, state and federal agencies;
WHEREAS, it is desirable to implement public priorities pursuant to the Estuary Policy Plan, the Lake Merritt Master Plan, and develop public recreation facilities, and to ask voters to approve public investments for the implementation;
WHEREAS, the City of Oakland has certified three previous programmatic environmental impact reports that broadly cover the potential, adverse, significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed improvements described herein. These EIRs are as follows: The Estuary Plan EIR (6/ 99) , the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE) EIR (6/ 98) and the Coliseum Area Redevelopment Plan EIR (6/ 95);
WHEREAS, in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Section 15162, the City has completed a review of the proposed projects using the three previously certified EIRs as a basis to prepare an addendum to each certified EIR which demonstrates that there will be no new significant environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously identified significant effects as the result of implementation of the proposed projects;
WHEREAS, the Oakland City Council has reviewed the following environmental documentation for the proposed project:
- The Estuary Plan FEIR (6/ 99)
- The Land Use and Transportation Element EIR (6/ 98)
- The Coliseum Area Redevelopment Plan EIR (6/ 95)
- The Addendum to the Estuary Plan EIR, the LUTE EIR and the Coliseum Area
Redevelopment Plan EIR Prepared for the Clean Water, Safe Waterfront Parks and Recreation Trust Fund bond measure (6/ 02);
WHEREAS, the City Council on July 9, 2002, unanimously adopted Resolution No. 77253, entitled a "resolution of the City Council of the City of Oakland determining and declaring that the public interest and necessity demand water quality improvements, recreational facilities, Lake Merritt, Estuary and creek rehabilitation and restoration and open space acquisition and improvements to be financed through the issuance of general obligation bonds (the "Resolution");
WHEREAS, pursuant to said Resolution the City Council found and determined that the cost of these improvements would require City expenditures greater than the amount allowed for by the annual tax levy of the City and that public interest and necessity demand the rehabilitation, restoration, acquisition and completion of these improvements;
WHEREAS, in order to provide for the issuance by the City of Oakland of general obligation bonds to finance the improvements and acquisitions described in said Resolution, it is now necessary for the City Council to pass an ordinance ordering the submission of the proposition of incurring bonded indebtedness for such purposes to the qualified voters of the City of Oakland at an election held for that purpose; and
WHEREAS, the City Council therefore desires to submit said ballot measure to the qualified voters of the City at a general municipal election to be held on November 5, 2002.