Workshop #3!

A healthy democracy equals civic participation and engagement.   Monday evening was the Point Molate Community Visioning Workshop #3 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium in the Civic Center Plaza.  With a new development proposal hugging the Bay, Point Molate’s unique location has the potential to celebrate and respect its history and environment.  However, the area remains unknown to most residents.


From the City of Richmond’s Point Molate Community Visioning website: “Point Molate is a 270 acre site located on the San Francisco Bay, North of the Richmond – San Rafael bridge, in the City of Richmond, CA.  It has long been recognized for its beach and beautiful Bay views, unique plants and wildlife, and historic buildings.  It was formerly a navy fuel depot and a winery distribution center.”


My first introduction to Point Molate was the first Community Visioning Workshop in late June.  The day included a bus tour of notable locations such as Winehaven Castle, warehouses, wetlands, Chevron facilities, rolling hills, and much more.  Native American and Chinese Shrimp Camp histories live here.


According to the City of Richmond’s website in regards to future Point Molate development: “The Reuse Plan contemplates a development scenario at Point Molate with 670 residential units and preservation of at least 70 percent of the 270 acres at Point Molate as open space.  The precise number and location of any residential units at Point Molate will be determined during the public process, but the 670 residential units called for by the Judgment must comply with the City’s inclusionary housing ordinance…”


Speakers at the third workshop included Eric Govan (City of Richmond Fire Marshal), Chris Castanchoa (City of Richmond Building Official), Ryan Smith (City of Richmond Director of Water Resource Recovery) and Aaron Winer (Northern California Area Manager of Veolia North America).  Questions from the community explored the logistics, costs, constraints, and impacts of this property.  Point Molate is a blank canvas void of basic services neighboring a massive Chevron refinery.


Estimated infrastructure development in Point Molate could reach $100 million dollars or more.  A discussion explored tax increment financing and the property taxes needed for basic infrastructure along with maintenance.  The workshop shared potential financing models and possible long-term revenues.  The final costs and benefits to Richmond residents is unknown.


The workshop shared two Point Molate concept alternatives: Winehaven Commercial District and Intergenerational Winehaven Neighborhood & Enhanced Beach Park.  The options will have to address public access, transportation needs, site logistics, and environmental realities.  The heart and soul of Richmond must be represented.  Additional workshops and outreach is desperately needed for accurate representation.

Point Molate’s legacy needs your voice.


Overall, the aesthetics of Point Molate must respond to the history and be inclusive to Richmond’s diverse identity.  Who should define a community?  The time is now for citizens to shape a vision.  Point Molate reflects who and what Richmond can be…

Post Point Molate questions here: