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Accusations fly as Belvedere parks officials again approve rubber matting

Belvedere Parks and Open Space Committee member Carolyn Lund objects to the use of rubber matting in an approved renovation of Belvedere Community Park, urging the smaller area of existing rubber matting is instead replaced with sand. She notes that on a visit to George ‘Rocky’ Graham Park in Marin City — which was renovated in 2015 using matting from the same supplier proposed for Belvedere — there are already holes that have allowed the underlying crumb rubber to surface. Lund and Belvedere resident William Rothman say the crumb rubber contains carcinogens and pose a safety hazard to children. (Carolyn Lund via city of Belvedere)

Belvedere parks officials are moving forward with a controversial plan to resurface the playground at Community Park with poured-in-place rubber — instead of a natural material like sand or wood chips — touting studies that show cancer-causing chemicals in the material are benign if it’s installed correctly. Amid finger-pointing on all sides of the debate, the Belvedere Parks and Open Space Committee at a special Feb. 23 teleconference meeting voted 6-1 in favor of the original playground design, approved late last year by the City Council and Planning Commission, over the objection of a local resident who said he now hopes to force a ballot initiative to remove the rubber surface if it’s installed.

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