Nothing for today, have a great three day weekend!
April 18, 2014
April 17, 2014
You want to know what led to the the beachfront at South Shore looking the way that it does? Look no further than the City Council meeting from Tuesday night. Essentially we have created the draft for a “vision” for the Town Center portion of Alameda Point. I means it’s really not much of a vision other a few form based codes, very general zoning, some height limits, and open space requirements. That’s it. As long as the developer doesn’t violate anything in the “Precise Plan” then it’s open season.
The agreement from last night’s meeting was to open this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), not proposals, because we don’t want to see what people might do, we just want someone who has the financial ability and the past history to have been able to do something to build anything.
Given the scope of the RFQ and the limitations placed on the developers, it’s HIGHLY unlikely that we’re going to get anything visionary, innovative, or special. And given the constrained time line (six months) it’s even less likely we’re going to get anyone of quality and we’ll just get some cookie cutter developer that has some plan they’ve tried out elsewhere that they think they might be able to shoe horn at Alameda Point.
April 16, 2014
Rewinding to a School Board meeting from a few weeks ago, there was a presentation on the demographics report commissioned by the School Board to guesstimate how many more kids will be in AUSD’s future. The TL;dr takeaway? Alameda is going to see a gradual uptick in students.
What was helpful about the demographics report is it did debunk some of the rumors that have long circulated about AUSD. Mainly the whole “OMG there are a ton of Oakland kids using Alameda schools and their parents don’t pay property tax” meme that rears its head whenever it’s time to vote for school parcel taxes or bonds.
April 15, 2014
I guess given the conclusion of negotiations with Charles Co. the City is now looking for someone else to signal their interest in Alameda Point, specifically the Town Center portion of Alameda Point. Tonight’s City Council agenda refers to the start of the RFP process for two parcels at Alameda Point:
April 14, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m horrible with visualizing the size of things in my head. You tell me something is x number of feet long beyond the size of a normal human person and I won’t be able to picture it in my head. So when someone asked me, hey did you know that the entry sign for Alameda Point being proposed by the City is 48 feet long, I knew it was large but I couldn’t figure out in my head how large that really was.
And then I saw the renderings, the first graphic shows where it’s going to be. Looks big but not that big:
April 11, 2014
Tuesday night’s School Board meeting was a doozy — as it generally is — there was a parade of PE teachers that essentially said students need PE or else they will all get fat and lazy (paraphrasing). There was the craziness with the Newark Unified School District which voted to not pass through to an Alameda County consortium of other school districts (Alameda included) money to help credential teachers. From what I understand Newark Unified is the fiscal agent for the consortium Alameda belongs to and they have decided that they’re going to keep the money to themselves. Shame!
But the icing on top of the Alameda School Board cake was at the end for two consent agenda items which should have been straightforward for the school board given that they know and we all know that this school facilities bond measure is moving forward and you sort of need to hire professional consultants to help you draft the language for the measure and advise you on financially stuff.
I hope you all see where I’m going with this…
April 10, 2014
I’m super behind on writing about Planning Board meeting tidbit because (1) one meeting was posted really late and (2) I’m just behind. So this is about the meeting on the 24th of March where one big item was on the agenda, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a smaller agenda item (Alameda Landing residential colors) led to some really inconsistent voting.
First off, the Alameda Landing residential colors, I mean, they are colors who really cares right? But yet there was push back about the colors not being bright enough or possibly not matching with the brightness of the Target and Safeway buildings. First of all, there’s kind of a conflict in wanting everything to be matchy matchy and then complaining that the colors are not saturated enough. You can have both I guess, but that gets into subjective territory about whether neighborhood should look identical. I seem to recall a lot of complaints about housing developments being too “cookie cutter” if they trend toward cohesiveness, so apparently there is no way to please everyone in Alameda. Second, there is no prohibition that the homeowners can’t just opt to repaint their houses whatever color they want to, so all this is moot.
April 9, 2014
According to a twitter report, signature gatherers at the San Francisco Transbay Terminal are telling voters (who ask) that if the ballot measure is successful to rezone Crab Cove/Neptune Pointe/that GSA property thingie to open space a possible lawsuit against the City of Alameda is “no big deal” and that money to pay for a lawsuit is already budgeted in the Parks and Rec budget:
Signature gatherers for crab cove ballot measure telling voters that the three million dollars the city will likely pay is no big deal—
John Knox White (@JKWAlameda) March 28, 2014
April 8, 2014
As part of the Planning Board meeting about a week ago, the topic of the new Housing Element was discussed. Alameda is currently working on completing the Housing Element for the next cycle. Yes, I know it seems like we just completed a Housing Element, but this is the timeline. This time around we have plenty of land supply to meet the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) so that’s not an issue. What did come up during the public comment was that a housing advocacy group in Alameda might be pushing for a “rent stabilization ordinance” like neighboring cities, which essentially means that they’ll be seeking rent control for Alameda to be included in the Housing Element as a way to maintain the affordability of the housing stock.
Possibly what has brought he issue of rent stabilization in Alameda to the forefront was first the very publicized case of Benton Street and the much less publicized case of the SRO units above McGees. Add to that the very public battle in Oakland over rent increases, capital improvement passthroughs, etc it is a very current topic to be discussed.
April 7, 2014
So, I said I wasn’t going to get excited about anything at the Del Monte building again, but, I guess I lied. Tim Lewis Communties’ proposal for Del Monte is all kinds of interesting. It took me a while to get to it because the video from the Planning Board meeting where it was first introduced took a while to get uploaded. But here is the full file. I’ll pull out some renderings that I think are particularly notable.
First, here are inspiration example (not necessarily designed by the architect) but the direction that they are going in for the Del Monte project.