Werder Park (Not Pier)
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Werder Park (Not Pier)
In 1929 the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge was built. At that time it was the longest bridge in the world, measuring 12 miles with 7 miles over water. Can you imagine what that trip was like, a very narrow bridge with no shoulder? Some of us remember driving over that bridge, a real nightmare when there was a stall or accident. In the late 1960s the old bridge was demolished and a new bridge built, then remodeled in the early 2000s to widen it even more.

When the new bridge was built, part of the old bridge was kept and turned into a fishing pier. It was named Werder Pier after the late San Mateo County Supervisor, William Werder. The fishing pier has not been used since 1996 when it was closed to the public and utilized as an equipment staging area by Caltrans for the seismic retrofit of the present San Mateo Bridge. The pier has remained closed to the public due to the liability associated with the aging structure. All that was left was the parking lot.

The pier is still owned by the County but the County had been in negotiation with the City of Foster City about conveying the parking lot and access easement, approximately 2.6 acres, to the City at no cost. The City Council in late 2012 accepted the County’s offer and took ownership of what we now call “Werder Park.”

Okay, now what are we going to do with Werder Park? The City Council has contracted with a consultant to assist us in determining how best to use the property. They will be providing general suggestions and boundaries on what could be done with the property and will be looking to the public to make suggestions on how the area should be used. It must be noted that the cost of this study was paid for out of Park in Lieu fees and not from General Funds. Park in Lieu fees may only be used for new city park needs. It must also be noted that the study will NOT include Werder Pier, as it is still owned by the County, but will include another area of the City that we will call “Destination Park.” Destination Park is approximately 4 acres between the Bay Trail Pedway and Beach Park Blvd., near the terminus of Halibut Street.

The Parks and Recreation Committee will be conducting a series of meetings where the consultant will offer the findings of the feasibility study and members of the public will be invited to offer their input as well. The committee would like you to share your thoughts and insights as to what you think are the best uses of the Werder Park and Destination Park properties.

There already have been several suggestions to improve this unused property; suggestions such as using it as a picnic area or a nature study area all the way to using it as a concession area where you could rent bikes or enjoy a cold drink. There are also some ideas of using these properties for commercial use so that the city could receive some badly needed revenue.

The first public meeting to discuss the potential uses of Werder Park and Destination Park will be held on Wednesday, February 6th, 6:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers. I encourage all of you to attend this important meeting so that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee can hear your ideas on how best to utilize these two properties.

Let me know your thoughts. I may be reached at sokamoto@fostercity.org or at 650-286-3501. I look forward to hearing from you.

Council Corner

February 06, 2013
Werder Park (Not Pier)
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