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Belvedere residents voice opposition to infrastructure project, proposed tax

Several Belvedere residents have raised concerns about the equity of a proposed new tax to fund the city’s planned multimillion-dollar seawall and levee project, and one group of neighbors says it’s planning an organized effort to stop the project altogether.

Resident Dave Flaherty said he and several of his neighbors have formed a nonprofit opposition group, “Accountable Belvedere Residents — Stop the Sea Wall Tax 2022,” and plan to collect donations to hire an attorney and create a public-relations campaign opposing the city’s effort.

“Nobody I’ve talked to has any plans on voting for this, and our goal is to never have (the tax) on the ballot to begin with,” Flaherty told the City Council at its March 22 meeting.

The meeting was held to provide an update on the planned $24.7-million infrastructure project, dubbed “Protect Belvedere,” and allow for questions and comments from the public and members of the City Council.

The city wants to beef up its protection against earthquakes and sea-level rise with a plan that calls for short, exposed seawalls and shoreline pathways along San Rafael Avenue and Beach Road as well as flood fixes on stretches of West Shore Road. As part of the work, metal sheet pilings would be drilled down at the shoreline along a third of San Rafael Avenue and the entirety of Beach Road to protect the streets and utilities underneath from earthquake damage.

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