A local chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed the "Initiative for Expansion of Open Space at Crab Cove," a ballot measure that Alameda residents hope to put before voters in November to help protect open space at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach.

Supporters of the measure want to prevent the construction of approximately 100 residential units on about four acres of surplus federal property along McKay Avenue near the East Bay Regional Park District's Crab Cove Visitor Center.

The initiative calls for zoning the neighborhood as open space under Measure WW, which Alameda and Contra Costa county voters approved in November 2008 to protect and expand open space at the park district.

Roseville-based developer Tim Lewis Communities secured the property near Crab Cove for about $3 million in 2011 during a General Services Administration auction, and city officials later rezoned it so that it could be redeveloped.

The sale has not been completed, however.

"The people of Alameda voted for the East Bay Regional Park District to buy this property when they approved Measure WW in 2008," said Norman La Force, chair of the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter East Bay Public Lands Committee. "This land is important for the operation of Crown Beach park.

Unfortunately, the federal government is ignoring the 70 percent of voters who approved the Crown Beach open space protection by selling this parcel to a private luxury home developer."


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The Friends of Crown Beach, a citizen's group, plans to begin collecting the 6,000 valid voter signatures it will need too place the measure on the November ballot next week.

-- Staff reports