There is nothing wrong with Elings Park wanting to help out at Las Positas Municipal Tennis Facilities. But the city seems hell bent on allowing Elings to develop and operate this park as a fully private tennis club. The planning department appears drunk with the prospect of private money being thrown at this public park to the point of forgetting or dismissing our local zoning and planning ordinances. Banner signs — no problem; freelance grading and wall building — go ahead; dangerous entry conditions — we’ll get to it; extra large building – okay; private name — show me the money.
Las Positas’s current zoning does not allow many of the elements proposed in Elings’ design program. The planning department is somehow willing to consider these unnecessary improvements and cram the 3,500-square-foot structure through the limiting restrictions of the zoning designation. Additionally, future environmental mitigation could be required by this development, and it seems that this is not even on the city’s radar as a consequence.
Currently, Elings Closed Landfill is required to mitigate unsafe levels of gas and water contamination. High methane levels have been detected around the park perimeter, and this project could very well cause more problems than solutions. Buildings within 1,000 feet of the landfill require special scrutiny and an obligation to public health and safety. The extra large building, the loose interpretation of the local zoning and planning ordinances, and the glossing over of the environmental issues seem directly related to an extra large private donation hanging over the park.
Unfortunately for the public users and surrounding community, the city appears ready to cut the ribbon and let the money drop.