No Albany Counter-Initiative Planned, Says Measure Foe By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday March 07, 2006

Despite reports that the Albany Waterfront Coalition (AWC) plans a counter-intitiative to oppose a ballot measure being circulated by environmentalists to block a proposed shopping mall at Golden Gate Fields, no such proposal is in the works, says the group’s spokesperson. 

Architect Howard McNenny, a former member of the city’s Waterfront Committee and a 33-year Albany resident, said there are no plans to offer a counter-measure to the Albany Shoreline Protection Initiative that a group of environmentalists plans to start circulation next week.  

Albany City Attorney Robert J. Zweben told the Daily Planet last week that he had heard the McNenny and his group were planning a counter-proposal for voters. 

The environmentalists’ November ballot initiative would impose a moratorium on development at the track’s northern waterfront parking lot where Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso and Magna Entertainment are proposing to build an upscale, open-air shopping mall. 

Citizens for the Albany Shoreline (CAS) filed notice of their intent to circulate the petition last week in hopes of qualifying the measure for the November ballot. 

The CAS proposal would impact all proposed waterfront developments on land not owned by the city—and the sole private landowner is Golden Gate Fields, which is owned by Magna Entertainment, a Canadian firm.