City of Eureka Balloon Track Zoning, Measure N (November 2010)
The Balloon Track is a 43-acre property that was once a rail yard. It is located off of Waterfront Drive and the foot of the downtown commercial district in Eureka, a port city with about 27,000 residents known for its proximity to California's redwoods and its plethora of Victorian homes.
"Clean Up Eureka VI", an affiliate of Security National Properties, wants to develop Balloon Track by converting it into a mixed-use development that would include a Home Depot; office, residential and retail space; and 11 acres reserved for wetlands. For this to happen, Eureka's general plan and local coastal program would have to be amended and the zoning of Balloon Track changed. The development is referred to as the Marina Center.
Measure N changes the zoning and says that any changes in the zoning would have to be approved by a majority of Eureka's voters.
Humboldt Baykeeper and the Environmental Protection Information Center filed a lawsuit against the City of Eureka in Humboldt County Superior Court in July 2010 for putting the measure on the ballot.
The lawsuit says that the Environmental Impact Report approved by the city is flawed. It goes on to say that since the EIR is flawed, so is any ballot measure written based on the EIR.
Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols said, "”The hasty decision by the city of Eureka to place this issue on the November ballot without considering the potential environmental impacts is a disservice to the citizens of Eureka. The voters should know the ramifications of their decisions at the ballot box."
Security National Vice President Randy Gans said, "This is just another lawsuit by fringe environmental groups and their fee-loving lawyers to stop Marina Center. How else could one explain these so-called 'environmental groups' recent opposition to the clean up and restoration of wetlands on (the) long neglected Balloon Track property. The EIR document was prepared by the finest environmental consultants on the West Coast. This bogus lawsuit is just another attempt to silence the voice of the people."
- Contra Costa Times, "Balloon Track zoning, tax increase on November ballot; campaign finance reform to go into effect next year", June 16, 2010
- Northcoast Journal, "What's Measure N for?", October 21, 2010
- Northcoast Journal, "Baykeeper, EPIC Sue Eureka Over Balloon Track Ballot Measure", July 21, 2010
- The Times-Standard, "Baykeeper sues Eureka over Marina Center ballot measure", July 22, 2010