Instead, they were more interested in the other components of the agreement such as size of the park and the hotel use. Planning Director Tom Mooney said City staff believed nine hotel units “is much more manageable” than the Planning Board’s recommendation of 60 units or 20% of total units whichever is less. Prior to second reading, he said staff could get “an idea of what the operation of those units will be.” Gelber and Commissioners John Alemán and Ricky Arriola said they would support well defined “amenity units” with Alemán suggesting a provision that the number couldn’t increase over time. The other four members of the Commission, Mark Samuelian, Micky Steinberg, Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, and Michael Góngora said they opposed any hotel uses so, for now, the provision was not included.
When Commissioner Mark Samuelian proposed continuing the dialogue over the August recess and having another Finance Committee meeting to review the details of the deal, Galbut said he would take the Baywalk contribution off the table. He was looking for a unanimous vote of the Committee but said he was willing to take a 2-1 vote to move the item onto the Commission agenda in September.
Samuelian said, “I understand we want to move expeditiously but, on the record, this property’s been like this for 13 years… I don’t think an extra meeting would be a problem; in fact I think it would help the deal” saying he wanted “to get it right.”
Following another brief recess, Samuelian was willing to accept the redlined agreement and voted with Arriola and Commissioner John Alemán to instruct the Administration to draft a development agreement that allowed for the vacation of 6th Street and other ordinance changes to send to the Commission for first reading in September.