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STATEMENT OF ROBERT GONZALES, MEMBER, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. GONZALES. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, Congressman Mailliard, I, too, as a San Franciscan and member of our board, wish to welcome you to our fair city, and may I say that I would like to join with my friends who ordered this fine weather for you so that as you were flying over the bay you could see that beautiful park we are talking about here. I am very happy for that, also. I am very happy to be here to speak in favor of H.R. 9498 which will establish the Juan Manuel de Ayala National Park. I would like to see Congressman Mailliard perhaps amend his legislation and agree to call it Manuel de Ayala, the skipper of the first Spanish ship to come through the Golden Gate.
May I say, Mr. Taylor, when you and the mayor were talking about your parents coming through the Statue of Liberty, I would like to say that my parents were probably here to meet them [Laughter.]
I support transferring all property in the Presidio that is nonmilitary to the Department of the Interior. When you mentioned that the mayor received greater time from your committee because he represents the people of San Francisco, may I remind you that there are 11 supervisors who also feel the same way and of those 11, seven voted for taking the Presidio and those nonmilitary lands and giving them to Interior and only three agreed with the mayor.
I feel, and the reason for my position in transferring this property from the Department of Defense to Interior, is because in looking at the past history, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is my opinion that the Department of Defense has been less than strong in stopping development in the Presidio area. In the 175 years prior to 1950 there were 380 units on the Presidio, 380 encompassing 118 acres, and it took them 175 years to do that. Between 1951 and 1971 the Presidio had an addition of 730 new units and this was only done in 20 years.
In their 1970 master plan they envisioned an additional 546 units of housing and other structures. I think, as we look at the track record of the Department of Defense as it pertains to the Presidio, we find that it is less than impressive in terms of housing, in terms of new development.
I don't know what kind of memorandums of agreement have been drawn by the mayor and the commanding general of the Presidio and I can only go on the Presidio's past record. I do not feel that we can guarantee the people of the area a national park in the truest sense of the word unless we put in those safeguards that are found in H.R. 9498, and those safeguards have been expressed here-you know them-in terms of new construction, et cetera.
May I in passing state that I just received the Mailliard bill and I reviewed it last evening and in reviewing that bill I don't believe that the safeguards that we see in H.R. 9498 are there in terms of any new construction. The bill, as I read it, and as I say, I haven't really had an opportunity to analyze it completely, states that part of the land will be turned over, or the Presidio will be part of the park. Another section of it talks about Interior and Defense negoti
ating as to what will be recreation area and open spaces. A third part then talks about now new construction without an agreement of the Department of the Interior.
The question that I have in my mind is that if the negotiations for the Presidio between Defense and Interior do not designate what is open space, what is recreational area, if they don't reach that agreement, then as I read the bill Defense would be allowed to build new housing, new buildings, new anything they want, because there has never been an agreement between them and Interior over that parcel, this recreational area.
Now, as I say, as I read it that is the way I understand it. If they were to mean what I heard the mayor say and what I heard some of the committee members say, that it would be recreational area, no new building under Interior, I think that would be a step in the right direction.
Mr. TAYLOR. Your 3 minutes are up.
Mr. GONZALES. Basically that is my simple position and the supervisors'-Boas, Mendelsohn, and Pelosi-and other members, seven members.
Mr. TAYLOR. Any questions?
Mr. CLAUSEN. I just want to clarify something that this so-called prohibition agreement in the Mailliard bill will stand on its own if not continued on in any other agreement. I think the record should be made clear. But a lot of this will be worked out.
Mr. GONZALES. Fine. I wish to thank you for coming to San Francisco.
Mr. TAYLOR. The gentleman from Kansas.
Mr. SKUBITZ. Page 17 of the bill says:
There shall be no change in the use of any building or area in the Presidio of San Francisco not described in section 2(b) (3) (A)-(D) of this Act *** without the prior written consent and approval of the Secretary.
The Secretary referred to is the Secretary of the Interior, I presume?
Mr. GONZALES. Where are you reading again?
Mr. SKUBITZ. Page 17.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Actually I believe both the bills make that provision. There isn't quite the amount of disagreement that you think.
Mr. GONZALES. What I am talking about is that although one section talks about turning it over to Interior, it shall be a park, then they talk about negotiating between Interior and Defense as to what will be recreation area and in another section it talks about that no new construction can be begun or even contemplated on recreation area with the Presidio without the consent of Interior.
My position is that it is not clear that if there is no agreement. between Interior and Defense as to what is recreation area, then since there is no agreement, Defense can go ahead and build whatever it wants, and perhaps I don't think that that is the intent of the bill but as I read it that may be it and it was mentioned the committee can certainly work out the language to insure that the intent is in there.
Mr. CLAUSEN. We don't see any problem.
Mr. TAYLOR. Fine
Mr. JOHNSON. Just one further question.
Would you be willing to have the city and county of San Francisco donate those lands that are now owned by the city?
Mr. GONZALES. I can just say as one member of the board I agree with the mayor in his position, that we will be more than willing to donate public lands to a viable recreational area. I certainly would support that without any problems at all.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
(Prepared statement of Robert E. Gonzales follows:)
STATEMENT OF ROBERT E. GONZALES, MEMBER, Board of SUPERVISORS,
The President of the United States, in his 1971 State of the Union Message, proposed a program, unprecedented in extent, "to expand the nation's parks, recreation areas and other spaces in a way that truly brings parks to the people where the people are."
The preservation of open spaces through an expanded national park system is especially critical in San Francisco, a core city of an urban region of almost five million people, whose economy and population are in a stage of rapid growth. The nine Bay Area counties are losing 25 square miles of open space each year, so that the need to protect sites of natural beauty and historical significance is at a critical point. We must act immediately to provide for maintenance of these open spaces so that they may be preserved for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations of Bay Area residents.
I am speaking in support of HR9498 because its enactment will serve to preserve the Bay Area's unique natural beauty by establishing the Juan Manuel de Ayala National Recreation Area. Named in honor of the captain of the first Spanish ship to enter San Francisco Bay, the park will encompass the area from Fort Funsten to the northern waterfront of San Francisco and along the bay and ocean to Point Reyes in Marin County.
I fully support the immediate and complete transfer of all non-military property within the Presidio of San Francisco to the Secretary of the Interior for inclusion in the recreation area. There is no desire to eliminate the Army from the Presidio, but simply to transfer those areas critical to the creation of a continuous strip of public area around the west and northern sides of that peninsula. The Department of Defense has not been scrupulous in its protection of open space lands in years past. It has expressed a ready willingness to permit other agencies to acquire lands as cheap building sites. The preservation and maintenance of these lands, on the other hand, would be of prime concern to the Department of the Interior.
I further support the point that any construction in Presidio areas not included within the national recreation area require the written approval and consent of the Secretary of the Interior and prior demolition of a building of equivalent size on the same or equivalent site.
This point is important in light of the fact that in the 20 years from 1951 to 1971, the Army has constructed almost twice as many housing units as were constructed in total during the preceding 175 years. In the 1970 Master Plan, the Army proposed the construction of an additional 546 units. It is of further note that when the Walter Reed West research facility is completed on a site immediately north of the new Letterman General Hospital, additional post-located housing will be in demand.
Mr. TAYLOR. Our next witness is Donald Dillion, vice president, Association of Bay Area Governments.
On deck, Grace McCarthy.
STATEMENT OF DONALD DILLON, COUNCILMAN, CITY OF FREMONT, CALIF., VICE PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF BAY AREA GOVERNMENTS
Mr. DILLON. Mr. Chairman, I have full remarks which are included in the record. I will not take your time to read them all. I will attempt to be brief.
I appreciate your being here. I stand as a councilman from the city of Fremont but in this connection today as the vice president of ABAG, the Association of Bay Area Governments.
We have been involved as a regional organization for a good many years dating back to 1962 on this whole concept of the open space planning as well as, of course, overall land use planning for the entire bay area, and copies of our approved regional plan are in your record now as well as the ocean coastline study.
I think one of the things that I would like to emphasize at this time is that this park as it is contemplated goes well beyond the lands involved with the Presidio. You have indicated, as a committee, your concern about this whole program and I would hope that the whole measure will not depend on which agency, Federal Government or the State government, who own lands or the local governments who already own lands, as to what will happen in the area. These are already public lands and I am sure that the intramural activity between the various bureaus and agencies can somehow be resolved to the point where we can find out that the intent can be carried out which is to preserve these lands for proper open space. Our concern in ABAG is a greater one than in connection, say, with coastland. In this area only 28 percent of the region's coastline is publicly owned, 28 percent. This is quite low as compared to 40 percent throughout the State of California as a whole and certainly a consideration that has to be taken into account is that at least half of this, 50 percent of this land now privately owned is quite capable, even quite desirable, to be developed and urbanized, and this to me is the threat.
Lands that are already publicly owned we shouldn't have to be worried about, whether we are going to build apartment houses on them or not. It is the other areas in which we would be concerned and this covers the rest of this vast map that is shown here.
We see that some 280,000 acres of land, according to our estimates, will be urbanized in the bay area between now and 1990. It will be my concern then
Mr. TAYLOR. Your time has expired.
Mr. DILLON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will conclude by saying I would hope that in your considerations you will take and continue to look at the broad picture, make sure that appropriations can be forthcoming after the establishment of the principle that a wide range regional area will be saved from urbanization.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
(Prepared statement of Donald Dillon follows:)
STATEMENT OF COUNCILMAN DONALD DILLON, CITY OF FREMONT;
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is a council of governments with a membership of 84 cities and 8 counties in the San Francisco Bay Region. The Association is the certified areawide planning agency and Federally designated Metropolitan Clearinghouse for the 7,000 square miles and 4.6 million citizens of the Bay Area.
Open space, to serve the needs of Bay Area citizens, has been a concern of ABAG since 1962 when ABAG completed the region's first inventory of parks and open space. Studies since that time have included the 1969 Open Space Element and Agricultural Resources Study and the Ocean Coastline Study completed last year.
Regional Plan 1970-1990, the approved regional plan for the Bay Area, places a high priority on permanent open space to serve a number of purposes, among them:
-conservation of the land and its resource features
-historic and/or scenic purposes
-shaping and guiding urban development
The Association's policy is that all lands in the region's permanent open space system should be under public control. It is particularly important to allow public ownership to protect the following environmental features:
-Waterways and flood plains
-major recreation areas
-the ocean coastline
-selected Bay and river shorelines
-areas outstanding natural attractions
-strategic areas to guide urban expansion.
First priority should be given to the acquisition of open space in and immediately around existing urban areas.
Only a small proportion of the undeveloped land in the Bay Area is publically owned. (See Exhibit I). The open space data from ABAG's 1970 public lands inventory show only 408,057 acres are in public ownership. The land use survey done in 1965 by the Bay Area Transportation Study indicated that of the 4,449,200 acres of land in the Bay Region, 4,105,700 acres or 9.9% were undeveloped. However, of the region's 400,000 plus acres of open space in public ownership, only 56.2% is considered permanent and is actually park land.
ABAG's Ocean Coastline Study shows an even less favorable picture. Only 28% of the Bay Area's 300 miles of ocean coastline is in public ownership. (This includes bay, estuary and lagoon shoreline). This figure is low compared with the State of California as a whole, which has 40% of its ocean coastline in public ownership. The heavy recreational use of privately owned ocean frontage that occurs in the region, indicates lack of adequate public shoreline facilities. As demand for recreation increases, public access to the shoreline over private land will be an even more critical issue.
The Association's Ocean Coastline Study found that almost 50% of the region's coastal zone land could be developed. Of the 138,000 acres with a slope of less than 30%, 12,000 acres are publically owned and 15,000 acres are already urbanized.
Loss of open lands to urbanization is a critical factor in planning for a future Bay Area where the quality of the living environment will be maintained. The California State Development Plan reported that 120,000 acres of open land were absorbed by urbanization in the nine county Bay Area from 1954 to 1964. The plan forecasted that an average of 14,200 acres a year would be absorbed by urbanization between 1964 and 1973. At this rate, 284,000 acres of open land would be urbanized between now and 1990.
During the same period, the population of the Bay Area is projected to increase from 4.6 million to 7.4 million. By the year 2020, just fifty years from now, a population is projected for the Bay Area of 11.9 million. (See Exhibit III).
The Association of Bay Area Governments recommends as standard for the Bay Region-for open space for public and private parks, recreation, and other health, welfare and well-being purposes-100 acres per 1,000 persons. By 1990, this would mean a need of 747,700 acres committed to permanent preservation. By 2020, 1,192,500 acres of open space are needed in the Bay Area.
This projected demand for open space is based on population growth. Increased leisure time will also generate a greater demand for public open space. It is estimated that the general recreation demand will triple in the Bay Area by 1990. Demands for recreation opportunities "a half-hour from home" may increase ten fold. This will be due to the compound effects of living in and around cities, with more leisure, higher incomes and greater interest in outdoor recreation activities.
A Bay Area study in 1966 by the California Department of Parks and Recreation on present and prospective recreation activity and behavior found that more than 40% of the demand for recreation occurs within the zero-to-one hour travel zone. With more than 90% of Californians living in Metropolitan areas, recreation needs close to urban centers are increasing.