Tuesday, February 15, 2011

City in a Salt Pond

Future Salt Pond Residents Left Holding the (Sand) Bag

As an attorney who has defended Redwood Shores homeowners and who has represented homeowner associations battling over responsibility for flood protection and the resulting damages when that protection fails, I have watched Cargill’s proposed new city-in-a-salt-pond moving forward in Redwood City’s approval process with growing alarm.

Proponents of this development contend that it will be good for the economy, touting the potential shopping and new restaurants from Burlingame to Palo Alto. But from my experience, future salt pond residents will instead be left with massive, unrecoverable costs. This is particularly true given Cargill’s plan to build a levee that will not only have to be maintained, but raised significantly even to meet their optimistic estimate of sea level rise. All of this at homeowners’ expense after Cargill has taken its profits and left town.