Pete Bakker's column ("Time to take stalled West Side project from West Park," Oct. 18, Page B-7) sounded sensible, but I've learned to be careful. I went to the Stanislaus County Web site, where they have video available of all supervisors meetings, to watch the hearings on Feb. 13 and 27. Hillwood's proposal to develop the base lost for good reasons.
Hillwood promised to stay within the base footprint -- but showed two options, each more than 6,000 acres, for consideration "later." West Park submitted a 4,800-acre proposal which had no expansion scenarios.
West Park said it would pay for road impacts. Hillwood wanted STIP funds (local road money).
Hillwood says rail must wait, but planned to store 10,000 containers at the base. Hillwood's proposal even had a picture of stacked containers. That's a lot of truck trips over the roads Hillwood won't fix-- with enormously negative air quality impacts.
West Park will fully mitigate any lost agriculture land. Hillwood wouldn't commit to this.
It looks like the county made the right choice -- West Park. But don't take my word for it. Go to http://tinyurl.com/2tdc6b and see for yourself.