Mare Island Preserve

Is there an update on the fire restoration?

The City provided an update on the fire restoration at the December 17, 2019 City Council meeting. The presentation can be found here

What is the size of the Preserve?

The Mare Island Preserve site is currently  approximately 124 acres. The Navy anticipates transferring an additional approximately 200 adjacent acres to the City over the next four years that are earmarked as public open space, eventually increasing the size of the Mare Island Regional Park to approximately 300 acres.  Please click here for a map of the Preserve.

Will the land remain open to the public?

Yes, the Mare Island Regional Park (also known as the "Preserve") will remain open to the public as park lands.  Per the City’s agreements with the Navy and State Lands, the Regional Park lands are earmarked as Public Trust Lands to be used for purposes of a park open to the general public. The City is currently designating the roughly 320+ acres as a Priority Conservation Area.

When funding is available for upgrades to the Preserve?

On September 25, 2018, the City Council identified approximately $80,000 in code upgrades that were needed for Building 167 at the Preserve; however, no funding allocation was made. The FY 2019-2020 Budget, adopted in June 2019, included a $80,000 line-item for the “Mare Island Regional Park.”   The City was assessing the best use of these funds when the fire hit, redirecting the focus to immediate fire and safety restoration.  The $80,000 in funds will be applied toward the total costs of life/safety building upgrades and fire restoration required prior to public access.  

What will it cost to operate the Preserve when the Navy turns over the rest of the land?

The Regional Park lands, including the future Navy transfer lands, require a significant amount of resources and investment as most of the structures have significant capital investment required to upgrade and meet current building safety codes.  The City anticipates that the organization selected through the  Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process will restore, operate, maintain and manage the current site, as well as strategically plan to integrate future transfers of 200+ additional acres, while creating a sustainable fundraising strategy that avoids General Fund subsidies.

What buildings can be refurbished/used and which ones will be closed to the public?

All of the structures within the Preserve require upgrades to meet the current building safety codes.  The City is currently assessing priorities and alternatives with a focus on Building 167, the Visitors Center, which has a minimum of $88,000 in upgrades required.

When will the Preserve be reopened?

The City has assessed the fire damage to the Preserve, identifying tree removal, property and debris removal, and site security.  Once the initial cleanup work is complete the City anticipates reopening the Preserve in Spring 2020.  A Visitors Center will be opened once all the necessary life safety work is complete.

Will the Nimitz Group be able to build houses on the Preserve?

No.  Private developers are not be able to build residential homes on the Preserve as it is earmarked as a park open to the public, identified as a Priority Conservation Area, and owned by the public. 

What caused the fire?

A Vallejo Fire Department investigation concluded that the fire was arson, started when copper thieves cut down electrified poles on the adjacent Navy property in the South Shore Area. 

How many trees will be removed?

Based on the arborist's assessment of the trees damaged in the Preserve fire, it is anticipated that approximately 124 trees have severe fire damage and will need to be removed because they will not recover and pose a life-safety hazard. 

When will the RFQ be issued?

Per the City Council’s 2019-20 Goals & Priorities and Council direction provided at the May 28, 2019 City Council meeting, staff was directed to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for organizations to provide long-term operations, maintenance and management of the City-owned Mare Island Regional Park Lands.  Staff was finalizing this RFQ when the fire broke out on the Preserve lands.  As a result of the fire, the RFQ will need to incorporate land management requirements.  All interested parties, organizations, and groups are encouraged to submit through the RFQ, either individually or in collaboration.  

The City anticipates issuing the RFQ soon, but is focusing resources on getting the Preserve prepared for re-opening as quickly as possible, and expects the Preserve will be re-opened before any RFQ is issued and/or organization selected. 

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