What is the “Bulb”?
The Albany “Bulb” is located at the foot of Buchanan Street at the Albany waterfront (map). The Albany Bulb was previously a construction debris landfill site until operations were ceased in 1984. The Regional Water Quality Control Board worked with the City and community members to achieve the requirements of a landfill closure order and establish the area as a public park.
In 2002, State Parks adopted a General Plan for Eastshore State Park (now McLaughlin Eastshore State Park) which includes the Albany waterfront and bulb. The Plan outlines how the area is intended to be maintained and utilized as an open space public park, identifying both conservation and passive recreation areas. In addition, the Albany community, through the lead of the City’s Waterfront Committee identified a number of planning goals for the Albany Waterfront as documented in the 1995 “Proposal for the Albany Portion of Eastshore State Park”.
Transition to Public Parkland
Both the State Parks General Plan for Eastshore State Park and the Proposal for the Albany Portion of Eastshore State Park underscore the primary goal to provide an open, usable parkland area for the enjoyment of the community at large. The site is currently owned by the City of Albany and is open to the public for recreational use. East Bay Regional Parks serves as an agent of the State Parks system to manage adjoining areas of the waterfront.
The City owned portion of the Albany waterfront is designated to be part of the Eastshore State Park. The transition has not been implemented due to concerns regarding uneven ground, protruding metal, unregulated art projects, construction debris, and recent homeless encampments. In preparation for transferring City lands into the State Park, the City Council requested that the Police Department begin enforcing the City’s no camping policy on the Bulb, and existing homeless encampments have been removed. Click here for information on the Albany Bulb Transition Plan.
The Albany City Council has reviewed matters related to the Albany waterfront and bulb over the course of the last several years. Most recently, on June 3, 2013, the Council approved the Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Manager to represent the City Council in discussions with the East Bay Regional Park District (District) and State Parks (State) for the purpose of planning the Albany Bulb as a park and planning the transfer of responsibility to the State. The ultimate goal is to carry out the language in the Eastshore State Park General Plan as well as the Proposal for the Albany Portion of Eastshore State Park to ensure the park is available and usable to all park goers.
As identified in the Eastshore State Park General Plan, the park area is to include multi-use trails, scenic vistas and allow for passive recreation while balancing park usage with protection and enhancement of upland habitat for wildlife. Park hours are outlined in the Albany Municipal Code, and closed between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. The Albany Municipal Code prohibits overnight camping at public parks. Per City Council direction, the Albany Police Department will begin enforcing the no camping Ordinance beginning in October 2013. A list of frequently asked questions regarding enfocement of the City's no-camping ordinance at the Albany Bulb has been developed.
For information related to homeless outreach & engagement please visit the City's Human Services webpage.
View a photo slideshow of recent work at the Albany Bulb to help cleanup the park and ensure safe access for all park users.
Battle of the Bulb - San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/24/13
If Albany Bulb Becomes a State Park, What Happens to Its Homeless? - KQED, 9/24/13
Time to flip switch at Albany Bulb park, city says - San Francisco Chronicle, 9/9/2013
Albany City Council approves funding to help relocate Albany Bulb residents - The Daily Californian, 9/5/2013
Albany: City stands by plans to remove homeless camps in October - Contra Costa Times, 9/4/2013
Council Reaffirms Plan to Remove Albany Bulb Homeless Next Month - Albany Patch, 9/4/2013
With eviction imminent, Albany's shoreline shantytown residents plead to be left alone - Contra Costa Times, 9/3/2013
Video: Homeless march from Albany Bulb - Albany Patch, 9/3/2013
ALBANY: Community torn over homeless encampment near waterfront - KTVU Channel 2 News