Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 20, 2022

Not playing

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

An addition to the HCD is not playing around files, Beverly Hills is the latest jurisdiction which HCD has reviewed its Housing Element, laughed heartily, and said, “yeah, no.”

I thought the part about the “unrealistically high ADU production forecast” and “lack of commitment to constraint removal” was particularly relevant to Alameda since we’ve had folks saying that we’re underestimating our ADU capacity and well…Measure Z anyone?

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January 19, 2022

Getting to yes

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:19 am

Amazingly enough Encinal Terminals is moving forward. There were four votes to move the project forward even though the project was looking grim from the start. After the presentation, clarifying questions, and public comment (all in support of moving the project forward) there was a quick motion by Councilmember John Knox White to approve the project with a second by Vice Mayor Malia Vella:

You might be raising your eyebrow at the “negotiating in good faith” quote but that’s exactly what she said. The Mayor was also curious about this but it was clarified that Trish Spencer had outlined to staff what her concerns were and where her sticking points were and then staff went to the developer to see if there was any movement on their part in order to bring Trish Spencer to a yes vote.

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January 18, 2022

Shakedown, breakdown

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:29 am

Encinal Terminals is back on the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting after being continued after the last meeting even before the meeting started. Nothing much has changed except for the inclusion of a lot more letters from the community asking for the same thing that the Sierra Club did: a shakedown on the project to fund a completely different project three miles away. Specifically this waterfront project is being asked to fund Depave Park at Alameda Point to the tune of millions of dollars.

If this is the cost to approve the Tidelands exchange then no one should wonder why new units are so expensive. Why, this amount alone would add $3400 to each unit and that doesn’t include all the other development fees that are piled on to each new development. I’m fairly sure the City once got dinged about asking developers to pay for park related fees that they couldn’t find a nexus for justifying the benefit to residents of the new project and the fund they were being asked to pay into. I know that City Staff is quite good at massaging language to justify most fees so it will be interesting to see if they can do it in the face of this coverage that these “environmental” groups are giving to — at least two — City Council members to not approve the Tidelands swap.

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January 14, 2022

Paid for by

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

For ACT and AAPS out there trying to sell their SunCal plus plan for the City to meet its Housing Element RHNA numbers, I offer this:

If we know it’s going to be rejected, we shouldn’t even think about putting it in to the housing element if we want to retain local control over development in Alameda (and get those sweet grant dollars).

But I wanted to point to this article in the East Bay Times whatever the iteration it is right now which scoured the Bay Area to try to find the hoards of evil developers (aka property owners) who were knocking down the doors of their local City Halls to start enforcing their SB 9 rights and start subdividing land to ruin all that is special and good about their cities. Turns out, the first place they found was….Palo Alto.

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January 13, 2022

Moving constituents to bcc

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Turn away if you are too fragile to read criticisms of Trish Spencer.  

As I mentioned after the last City Council I put in some PRA requests based on some of Trish Spencer’s Council Referrals.  You see Trish Spencer made it seem like she has already exhausted all remedies before placing the Council Referral.  Like she had actually done work and staff was non responsive and, therefore, she needed to provide some sunshine to disinfect the lack of attention given to constituent issues by staff.  

The one closed PRA request involved Trish Spencer’s referral about RV parking.  She was not satisfied with the response by City staff regarding her inquires about Alameda’s policies about RV parking.

Honestly it appears as though the genesis of this PRA was due to the proliferation of RV parking at Alameda Point which appeared to be folks who did not have permanent addresses more than any real concern about enforcement differences from one end of the island to the other.

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January 12, 2022

What’s old is still old

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

I felt this Atlantic piece deep in my core. As a person who sought out new construction time and time again because of the pain in the ass factor of maintaining an older home, I never understood the romanticization of old homes. Old electrical systems, failing plumbing, weirdo drainage, lack of insulation, no weatherization…hardest of passes. Highlights:

[A] housing market in crisis: Americans are paying ever more exorbitant prices for old housing that is, at best, subpar and, at worst, unsafe. Indeed, the real-estate market in the U.S. now resembles the car market in Cuba: A stagnant supply of junkers is being forced into service long after its intended life span.

In housing circles, one hears a lot of self-righteous discussion about the need for more preservation. And many American homes doubtless deserve to stick around. But the truth is that we fetishize old homes. Whatever your aesthetic preferences, new construction is better on nearly every conceivable measure, and if we want to ensure universal access to decent housing, we should be building a lot more of it.

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January 11, 2022

Neptune’s folly

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I want to highlight this delicious nugget from last night’s Planning Board meeting which touched on the new shopping center overlay that should help with Alameda meeting its RHNA allocation:

Remember when the owners of Neptune Plaza (for those unfamiliar with the names of Alameda shopping centers it’s where Paganos is located) partnered with residential NIMBYs to oppose the Wellness Center. Given the fact that Neptune Plaza has made a lot of advocates in Alameda very cranky and I can’t see their former compatriots providing any sort of support to them in getting Neptune Plaza the maximum densities that are currently being considered under the shopping center overlay.

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January 10, 2022

More than this. (This = A/26)

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:20 am

Despite Tony Daysog confidently announcing after the Measure Z vote that:

So people are concerned about a multi-family overlay on Harbor Bay Landing, well there’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on Harbor Bay Landing. There’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on the Harbor Bay sports facility and there’s not going to be — there might be a multi-family — there’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on South Shore Center. Those areas just are not strategic as they do not, they are not conducive to transit planning. [emphasis added]

Tonight’s Planning Board meeting is considering exactly the opposite of what Tony Daysog predicted in December of 2020: a new overlay of the multi-family variety for Alameda’s shopping centers. The new shopping center overlay will make housing above 30 du/ac by right on all the shopping centers in Alameda. A lot of those parcels I identified in this post from December 2020. From the staff report:

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January 7, 2022

Responsive vous plait

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

And if Trish Spencer not remembering when she was seated on the dais wasn’t embarrassing enough and saying absolutely mind boggling things like:

I was not on council back in March when this came to council that so that was actually prior to me being back on council.

Then you didn’t stick around to hear the referral about HOAs. So here’s some context: Trish Spencer prides herself on “being responsive” to her constituents. Once she returned to the Council and out of the Mayor’s chair it appears that “being responsive” just means throwing up their one email as a Council Referral. I’m not 100% sure about that so I’ve actually put in two PRAs to figure out if these referrals were based on many people emailing in or just one singular person. We know from previous PRA requests that Trish Spencer has made staff reroute one segment of a slow street based on emails from one individual. One. So while I’m not 100% sure the RV parking and the HOA referrals are based on one person emailing in I’m, like, 80% sure.

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January 6, 2022

That shit’s embarrassing

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

It takes a really special kind of person who can say a baldfaced lie and not flinch or display any sort of evidence that they’re lying.

Trish Spencer, who refused to withdraw any of her, largely, moot referrals doubled down on the need to get an “update on purchase of license plate readers”

Literally that’s all the referral asks for:

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