Planners Debate Treasure Island Troubles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jeremiah Zimmerman

    Despite concerns over cost-cutting and the possibility of an 8,000-car daily traffic jam, the Planning Department signed off on a Treasure Island Environmental Impact Report last night.

    The report was approved by a 4-3 margin, and now moves to various committees before being considered by the full Board of Supervisors in June. It's likely to face a tough audience: all three negative votes were by commissioners appointed by the Board, while the 4 affirmative votes came from Newsom appointees.

    The $1.5 billion plan would construct high-rise apartments on the island, which was entirely construction out of dredged bayfill several decades ago. Part of the construction would involve driving deep pilings to anchor buildings in the event of an earthquake.

    Aside from the safety concerns, critics are worried about the potential for congestion. The plan calls for parking equivalent in size to an 8,000-car parking lot. That's roughly equivalent to the long-term parking capacity of an airport.

    Although bus service will be provided to and from the island, it's not clear whether there will be a dedicated transit lane on the bridge, allowing commuters to zip past traffic jams.

    In addition, 400 affordable housing units were cut from the plan. That's roughly 5% of the proposed housing.

    Expect more hotly contested debate over the island in coming weeks. Just reaching a 4-3 vote last night required debate long into the night.