On Monday the Planning Board meeting will be pretty huge meeting. They will get first look at the proposed zoning “purpose statements” for the Alameda Point sub districts. Of course this makes the whole closed session discussion on the City Council’s agenda really odd because we don’t have zoning yet in place but City Staff is already discussing price and terms of payment with not one but two potential developers the very next day. Unless we are pretty much saying that the developer can put whatever they want wherever they want, shouldn’t we really have some zoning or some idea of what we want to put where first? Or do these developers get first dibs because they were first?
So the “purpose statements” are:
Enterprise (AP-E) – This Sub-district provides lands for employment and business uses, including office, research and development, bio-technology and high tech manufacturing, light and heavy industrial, maritime, commercial, community serving and destination retail, on-line sales, and other uses. Development standards in this district are intended to ensure high quality, well designed buildings within walking distance of services, restaurants, public waterfront open spaces, and residential areas. Use standards are intended to encourage and facilitate job growth and limit intrusion of uses that would limit or constrain future use of these lands for productive and successful employment and business use. Residential uses may be conditionally permitted in areas adjacent to Main Street, Atlantic Avenue, or the Enterprise Park, if it can be found that the residential use will not impede or restrict adjacent non-residential uses within the district.
Adaptive Reuse – (AP-AR) – This Sub-district provides lands for employment and business uses, including office, research and development, bio-technology and high tech manufacturing, light and heavy industrial, maritime, commercial, community serving and destination retail, on-line sales, and other uses that support reinvestment in the existing buildings and infrastructure within the NAS Alameda Historic District. Development standards in this sub district are intended to ensure re-investment, rehabilitation, and new construction that is compatible with the character-defining features of the NAS Alameda Historic District. Use standards are intended to provide a wide range of investment opportunities within the district to encourage private reinvestment in the sub-district. Residential adaptive reuse may be conditionally permitted in former residential buildings in the Administrative Core of the NAS Historic District.
Town Center (AP-TC) – This Sub-district provides lands for a mix of uses that include waterfront and visitor-serving uses, including retail, service, entertainment, lodging, recreational, and medium to high-density residential uses. Development standards are intended to create a pedestrian, bicycle, and transit supportive urban environment designed to de-emphasize the automobile. Use standards are designed to create a mixed-use environment that supports the emergence of a transit and pedestrian-friendly mixed-use waterfront neighborhood.
Main Street Neighborhood (AP-MS) – This Sub-district provides lands for a variety of housing types with complementary small-scale neighborhood-serving retail, urban agriculture and parks uses, and a mix of residential densities. Development standards should support development of a walkable, transit friendly neighborhood with safe streets, adequate common open space areas, and site planning that compliments the NAS Historic District Residential Subarea character-defining features. Use standards should support a diversity of household types, including supportive housing, assisted living, and a mix of neighborhood compatible uses, such as community gardens, childcare centers, urban farms, and other uses.
Maritime (AP-M) – This Sub-district provides lands for Public Trust-compliant uses adjacent to the Seaplane Lagoon including maritime and visitor serving waterfront-related uses, concessions related to maritime activities, hotels, restaurants and public open spaces and trails. Development standards are intended to maximize waterfront access for the public, visitor serving, and maritime uses. Use standards are intended to ensure use of these lands and Seaplane Lagoon in a manner compatible with the Public Trust. Residential and non-maritime offices and commercial uses are not permitted in this sub-district.
Open Space (AP-OS) – This Sub-district provides lands for parks, recreation, trails, and large-scale public assembly and event areas. Development standards are intended to support maximum public access, use and enjoyment of these lands, and the protection of natural habitat and wildlife. Use standards are intended to allow for a variety of public open space and compatible uses, such as museums, concessions and parking areas necessary for public use of these lands, in a manner that ensures the protection of the natural environment. Residential, office, and commercial uses are not permitted in this sub-district.
Nature Reserve (AP-NR) -This Sub-district is owned and managed by the federal government. The goal of the Nature Reserve is to maximize the natural habitat of this area to the fullest extent possible, compatible with the protection of endangered species and other wildlife and plant life that may inhabit, make use of, or be permanently established within this area. Uses include seasonal public access, on-going management and monitoring and activities related to education and research consistent with federal requirements. Residential uses are not permitted in this sub district.
And in case you didn’t want to read that, let me summarize, Alameda style:
- Enterprise (AP-E): probably no residential
- Adaptive Reuse – (AP-AR) probably no residential
- Town Center (AP-TC): medium to high density residential, so like condos and lofts
- Main Street Neighborhood (AP-MS): single family homes
- Maritime (AP-M): no residential
- Open Space (AP-OS): no residential
- Nature Reserve (AP-NR): no residential
But still, this isn’t zoning it’s just talking about what we sort of want to see somewhere and given how extremely vague and all encompassing the first three are, it literally says: build anything anywhere you want.
Then there is the preliminary recommendations for the Waterfront/Town Center plan which has lots of cool renderings of massing concepts etc, but again, seems premature when we DON’T HAVE ANY ZONING. So it’s all fine and dandy to say this building should have 3 stories and this building should have retail frontage, but we have NO ZONING.
Did I mention the part about the zoning not being complete yet for Alameda Point?
I have to say it sort of feels like the point is to allow the two developers: Charles Company and Debartolo to dictate what zoning they want for a specific parcel instead of what should happen which is Alameda decides what zoning would go best where and then the developer would have to fit their vision around that. And is no one else concerned that Charles Company builds outlet malls? No one? Really?