The plan would remediate the site, a former salt-harvesting operation, as a combination of housing, schools, parks, ball fields and restored wetlands. Calthorpe argued that the development would place affordable housing near existing jobs and integrate with transit, making it among the most environmentally sound options for the Bay Area — a region, he pointed out, that has been exporting housing to outlying areas for years.
Lewis agreed that we need to increase housing in dense urban/suburban areas and look to transit-oriented design to do so. But he argued that the Saltworks project is the wrong plan for the wrong location. He said the site should be restored to wetlands, pointing out that it lies in the path of sea-level rise — on land that state and federal agencies have called an important biological resource.
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