3.6 out of 10

Point San Pablo

37.9620165418506 -122.426534615941
Great for
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
Who lives here?
  • No ratings yet


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5

"The Chevron Refinery"

Right around this area is where the Chevron Richmond Refinery sits, right at the western edge of Richmond. This last weekend, as everyone who lives in Richmond and the immediately surrounding areas now knows, there was a big fire at the refinery that spewed toxic back smoke up into the air. Luckily it wasn’t a windy day or it could have been much more wide spread though lots of people who were here are looking to get some redress from Chevron. They suffered respiratory problems and eye irritation.

(Here is a link to news about the fire: http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_21287738/chevron-refinery-has-history-fires-and-pollution-releases)

Luckily for us, me and my fiancée that is, we were visiting family out of town so we didn’t experience it directly, though we are suddenly much more aware of yet another of the big drawbacks of living near Richmond. The refinery is as old as Richmond, having opening at the beginning of the 20th Century and it has a history of chemical releases and such problems.

For locals, their issues with the refinery are very direct. For others on the West Coast, the closing of the refinery (one of California’s largest) will be felt in their pocketbooks. Gas prices jumped 5 cents the day after the fire and Nor Cal, which already has some of the highest gas prices in the country, is likely to continue to feel the sting well into the fall.
Point San Pablo is basically a green space just to the west of the refinery—there is even a little marina, but to the east of here are the large round containers of the refinery and the dock where the crude is delivered to be refined. It is nicely set up for Chevron’s purposes.

It is a pretty ugly spot right by the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Even though you will not find any houses here or shops, or anything that you would normally think of in terms of evaluating neighborhoods, it is probably one of the biggest determinants of why the property values in Richmond are unlikely to every rise very far.

It is also the reason, probably, why there is a higher rate of asthma in Richmond than in other cities in California.

Put simply, no one wants to set down roots near an oil refinery where their health might be at risk. It is a little bit like living next to a nuclear power plant. You forget about it until you get that shelter-in-place warning and then, those who can, find a place to live farther away from the danger zone. That is the sad fact.
  • Big Local Employer
  • Some Green Space
  • A LittleMarina
  • Pollution Worries
  • A Bit of an Eye Sore
  • Drag on Property Prices

Unanswered Questions in Richmond

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More