The Planning Commission voted Thursday to allow the Dumbarton Quarry to be converted into a 91-acre regional park.
The issue now will go to the City Council for final approval at a meeting scheduled sometime in September, Fremont officials said.
Dumbarton Quarry Associates, a company that operated a crushed rock aggregate quarry at the Ardenwood neighborhood site, has to pay all costs to construct the park. They also have to fill the 300-feet-deep quarry pit, which is approved to receive as much as 6 million cubic yards of soil.
That part is simple enough — who would be against converting an ugly quarry pit into a nice extension of nearby Coyote Hills Regional Park?
Here’s where it might get complicated.
As this story and comments posted here have noted, some are concerned that the contaminated soil from the Patterson Ranch development might be allowed to be dumped in the quarry. That toxic soil has not been approved for dumping, but it’s just a Regional Water Quality Control Board decision away from receiving the green light. If approved, the contaminated soil might expose visitors and nearby residents to a health hazard — not exactly what nature lovers have in mind when camping for a weekend.
The Patterson Ranch soil, which will be moved somewhere while 500 homes on the east side of Ardenwood Boulevard are constructed, was not directly part of the item voted upon at the Planning Commission meeting, nor will it be considered when the City Council votes on it in September. It bears repeating that the agenda item is, instead, directly related to approving the filling of the quarry pit and approving the 91-acre park plan next to the Dumbarton Bridge and the Newark border, on the northwestern edge of Fremont.
Will that invite the Patterson Ranch soil and other material that raises the ire of environmental groups to be dumped there?