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August 15, 2006 > Union Square redevelopment moves on

Union Square redevelopment moves on

by Arnie Becker

There were questions answered and understandings reached as the result of the Union City council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8. It was also one of the longest meetings held by the council running until nearly 1:00 a.m. Mayor David Green opened the marathon meeting by introducing, Renee Elliott, the new City Clerk. Thankfully, Elliott didn't quit after Tuesday's five-plus hours!

Key among the items discussed was redevelopment of the area around the present Union City BART station. As part of a joint project with BART, the council unanimously approved spending $11,905,749 of Measure B funds. The council also approved Avalon Bay's proposal to construct a 438 unit apartment complex with office and retail space.

In a mild rebuke to Mayor Green, the council changed the distribution requirements of $600,000 in relocation money paid by Avalon Bay. Originally negotiated by Green without council's knowledge, this relocation money that might have gone to one auto shop owner would be split among all displaced automobile repair shop owners, subject to certain conditions. Actual amounts would be based on costs to move, old rent vs. new rent, and other associated relocation expenses. In a companion motion brought by Vice Mayor Valle, the council agreed to consider establishing an ad hoc sub-committee to deal with any future negotiations with developers. This will be considered at the September 12 meeting.

In other matters, New Haven School District Superintendent, Dr. Patricia Jaurequi, presented a report on district statewide rankings which are above average, but below area expectations. Jaurequi also discussed the trend of declining enrollment and steps the district plans to adjust accordingly, including the planned closure of two schools.

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