On Tuesday, both the Richmond City Council and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will weigh in on the dispute over the future of a long-dormant BNSF rail line in Point Richmond’s Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline Park.
BNSF and the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) have been in a legal dispute over the ownership rights of the rail line within the public park established in 1974.
A recently developed land use plan amendment for the scenic shoreline park in Point Richmond includes turning the rail line into a segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail. That is facing opposition by BNSF, which has indicated an intention to reactivate the rail line in the near future due to expanding business at the Richmond Terminal.
BNSF offered a “joint-use solution” that would move the rail line away from the shore, allowing for the construction of a trail in the current rail line location.
In March, however, the EBRPD board of directors voted in favor of a land use plan that assumes a future without a rail line in the park.
Both the city and county governing bodies are set to vote today on whether to adopt a resolution opposing BNSF’s plans to reactivate the rail in Miller/Knox, citing the health risks to local families who frequent the park.
The county’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Board Chambers Room 107, Administration Building, 651 Pine St.
The Richmond council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Services Building, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
During the Richmond council meeting, a coalition of community leaders, including Retired Congressman George Miller, plan to speak out against reactivating the rail line. The coalition includes representatives from the Sierra Club, the city council, Coronado and Point Richmond neighborhood councils and park district board of directors.