Monday's of the was the group's first session since last week's regarding its proposed second campus project.
Several committee members speculated, during the Nov. 28 session, on the reasons behind the decision and what it may mean for the future of Albany's waterfront.
Group Chairman Francesco Papalia said he thought the lab's goal was to give Albany more time to prepare.
"But of course, that's my own personal opinion,” he said.
The five-member group had invited Whitney Dotson, who represents Albany on the East Bay Regional Park District Board, to brainstorm about ways Albany and the Park District can work toward common goals, including a set to include the Bay Trail.
This and other plans, such as the potential for incorporating the Albany Bulb into Eastshore State Park, are on hold due to the possibility that Berkeley Lab may one day have its second campus on the land that now features Golden Gate Fields racetrack.
Dotson said EBPRD is "waiting to see what happens" with Berkeley Lab, but that Measure WW funds offer a "significant amount of money" for waterfront development.
Measure WW is a bond extension, totaling $500 million, for Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Dotson said there is $27 million dedicated to Eastshore State Park: $1.8 million of it for acquisition, $1 million for the construction of the Bay Trail and $4 million for other development.
Residents from Albany, Berkeley and El Cerrito spoke during the public comment section of the evening, sharing their views about what might become of the waterfront.
expressed concern that, if the Park District took over Albany Beach and the Bulb, it may be the end of the current unofficial off-leash dog policy.
Mary Barnsdale of El Cerrito echoed his concerns, stating that, from her observations, dog owners comprise 35 percent of park users.
“We need more unstructured open space, not more picnic benches,” said Barnsdale.
She was met with disagreement from Papalia, who advocated for more structured space to allow for activities and shared uses of space, whether it be for running dogs, playing children or kitesurfing adults.
Dotson seconded that sentiment: “All uses cannot be accommodated in one small area. There's enough room in the overall Park District for everyone to be satisfied.”
There did seem to be universal agreement about the necessity of the Bay Trail for Albany.
“We want the Bay Trail. There's no ifs, ands or buts that the Bay Trail has to be completed,” said Papalia.
Since many of these decisions remain dependent on the outcome of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab decision, Papalia, along with other committee members and speakers, urged the community to get involved in the decision process and let their voice be heard.
The next opportunity will be the on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m.
Read more about dog policy talks in Albany here.
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