Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 22, 2021

In good company?

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

A bit of an older article but this details the jurisdictions fighting their RHNA allocations. Unsurprisingly it’s all of the most well resourced communities who are claiming that they don’t have the resources to accommodate more housing. From the piece:

Across the region, 27 towns, cities and counties filed formal appeals with the Association of Bay Area Governments last month, seeking to lower new housing goals. Among those seeking the biggest reductions are Saratoga, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, the cities of Alameda, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill and most of Marin County.

“The appeals are very heavily concentrated in the wealthiest communities,”  said Aaron Eckhouse of the pro-housing group California YIMBY. The group found 11 of the 18 cities with the highest median household incomes in the region are protesting their housing allotment. “Not a huge surprise.”

The appeals, disputes, fights and policy skirmishes could play a large role in how and where Bay Area cities develop new homes and apartments during the next decade. Amid record-high home prices and rents, economists and planners are urging more development or the region will risk stifling its innovative and booming economy.

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September 21, 2021

I’ve had two years to grow claws

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

Tonight’s agenda has a lot of Council Referrals because it’s been tough to get through previous City Council meetings so they all roll over until they’re actually discussed. Because no one seems to ever remove a Council Referral even though it may be moot because, I dunno, some elected officials like to sit around all night reveling in the sounds of their own voices.

Anyway, first up the mental health outreach program is back. This is the program that will help divert some calls for service which would normally go to the police department to another entity in order to reduce the contact (and therefore conflict) with the police department. Recall that there were two options the last time around, I think the City Council was hoping that Felton (the non AFD respondent) would work with AFD to provide the mental health outreach part of the program. They did not but Alameda Family Services did. Staff is recommending the most robust staffing proposed to allow for 24/7 coverage which seems like an excellent idea.

Also on the agenda is authorizing matching funds if Alameda is awarded a grant for Depave Park. Fine whatever, I’m agnostic about Depave Park other than to remind folks that the stakeholder group which was pulled together to give input didn’t include residents that lived closest to Depave Park at that time: the Alameda Point Collaborative and residents of the Big Whites. This is the first time I’ve seen that shortcoming addressed and it is still sort of a grudging acknowledgement after literally every step of the process short of funding has already been largely completed. From the staff report:

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September 20, 2021

Prime the pump

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

Over the weekend we visited family who live in Placer County and we popped into a grocery store in Rocklin. Reader, it was harrowing after being in the fairly safe bubble that is Alameda. Heck, we’ve also been down to the Little Saigon in Orange County and it was, like, 80% less scary than the public supermarket in Rocklin. Apparently in addition to Placer County’s vaccination levels being not great, evidently the fully vaccinated percentage is a little less than 60% and one dose is a hair less than 65%, they don’t have universal indoor masking mandates. Compared to Alameda County which has full vaccination at 76% and one dose at 89%. And Alameda itself at 80% fully vaccinated and 93% with one dose.

They had a sign at the door of the market which said that masking was only necessary if you weren’t vaccinated, but this is, of course, an honor system and I’m pretty suspect of people on the honor system in a county where only 65% of the population has one dose of the vaccine considering that at least 50% of the people in the store were unmasked. Also, there were kids under 12, unmasked, with unmasked adults strolling through that grocery store and I’m fairly sure those under 12 kids (not babies) were unvaccinated. Given the vaccination numbers it didn’t given me a high level of confidence that the unmasked folks in the store were actually vaccinated.

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September 17, 2021

Where we’re at

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

Sometimes the internet produces the most amazing resources. For example:

It’s really a very neat tool.

It revealed that while the Black population of Alameda has continually dropped every decade there was one tract where the Black population actually went up.

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September 16, 2021

Oh Bay Farm…

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

Unsurprisingly the area in Alameda which voted to recall the Governor in the highest percentage is….

Bay Farm

It’s actually higher than the rate the whole of Alameda County together, but at least it’s under 20%.

September 15, 2021

Resource high

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

One of the things that I both like and dislike about Planning Director Andrew Thomas is that he always couches difficult topics in an optimistic way. For example, in the Planning Board’s discussion about the General Plan and the deluge of letters they received about the Harbor Bay Club he never closes the door on any possibility while actually laying out the difficulty of continuing to prop that door open.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked out this before but the Harbor Bay HOAs have mobilized lots of folks who go around asking cryptic questions all over social media or getting them to send letters asking for the nearly impossible of the City. Specifically right now they want the City to rezone the Harbor Bay Fitness Club so that housing cannot be built there. Now, if you weren’t aware of this the Harbor Bay Club is privately owned. This is not City land. Someone owns this. Also the owners of Harbor Bay Club have publicly said that they need to do something else with this land. Yes, they did have plans to move the club and build housing at the site but from the sounds of it they might be interested in redeveloping the site with a club but with housing.

Now city staff is saying that the discussion is wide open regarding the Harbor Bay Club site and nothing is precluded, even if the Planning Board wants to recommend rezoning to exclude zoning, however they made it very clear that moving in that direction would be very problematic for the City being able to certify its Housing Element. But we really can’t put it past Alameda to opt to keep something illegal on the books even if it means we can’t certify our Housing Element.

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September 14, 2021

In this house…

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

This was an excellent op-ed on how being “liberal” in California oftentimes doesn’t always translate in people’s backyards. Written by a UCLA professor of urban planning it gets to the heart of the issue of development and NIMBYism. From the SF Chronicle:

California’s housing shortage threatens to make a mockery of its other progressive accomplishments.

Our state remains deeply segregated by income and race. Its poverty rate,when living expenses are accounted for, is the nation’s highest. Soaring rents and home prices force many people to live far from where they work, contributing to long commutes and climate change. Most visibly and tragically, in a state that prides itself for offering opportunity, over 150,000 people are homeless. They live in cars, sidewalk tents, or rough encampments next to freeways and under bridges.

These problems stem, at least in part, from California’s longstanding hostility to development.

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September 13, 2021

Your buildings’ so ugly…

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

If you haven’t see the Vox explainer about affordable housing was made illegal in the US, you should really take the time.

In the meantime, there’s another really great piece on Vox about the conflation of aesthetics and gentrification by the TikTok set. It’s really relevant in light of a super robust and frustrating discussion on Alameda Peeps about affordable housing which blended into an aesthetic argument on top of the lack of understanding about affordable housing in general. From Vox:

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September 10, 2021

cc: AUSD

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

The second largest school district in the nation is now going to require all students aged 12 and up be vaccinated:

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education voted unanimously to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible students.

The vote is a landmark move for the nation’s second-largest district, which has over 600,000 students and operates 1,200 schools in the LA area.

All students ages 12 and up will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, unless they have a “medical or other exemption,” the school district said.

Given that Encinal has had two exposures since school started, this should have been something AUSD considered once the Pfizer vaccine received FDA approval.

According to that same article it looks like Oakland Unified will be considering the proposal as well:

In the Oakland Unified School District, Sam Davis, the Vice President of the Board and Director of District 1, proposed a vaccine mandate at a board meeting Wednesday night. The proposal will be discussed at a Sept. 22 meeting with a potential vote, he told ABC News.

And I don’t know how they did it but apparently SFUSD has had no recorded no Covid outbreaks.

September 9, 2021

Time sensitive

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

As you can imagine Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was a complete and utter shit show. Just a master class in obstruction and trying to delay the inevitable brought to you by City Councilmember and future candidate for Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer. It started off by Trish Spencer pulling as many items off the consent calendar as humanly possible in order to delay the hearing. Actually I think it started when Trish Spencer attempted to bring the Council Referrals in front of the regular agenda items and she was rejected by the Council majority (with the exception of Tony “abstention is leadership” Daysog).

So we had two hours of items that were on the consent calendar but then ended up in discussion land because Trish Spencer wanted to stall for time and try to push off the Wellness Center to yet another meeting. According to a speaker when the Wellness Center was finally heard, it appears that Trish Spencer and friends were trying to push the Wellness Center project past September because they thought the lease between APC and the GSA would be up and the project would die. What was announced that night was that APC had successfully negotiated an extension so these machinations were all for naught.

What was even worse that these silly shenanigans was the absolutely lame explanations/excuses offered by Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog as to why they released the two other items which were on the same agenda and subject to the same agenda “failures” as the Wellness Center. Both Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog went around in loopy semantic circles but in the end failed to say anything meaningful rather than offer up a weak explanation that an example had to be made of that PB agenda because of the one wrong dial-in phone number but the other two items — (1) a commercial setback on Harbor Bay and (2) the community garden concerts on Webster Street — were “time sensitive” but that the Wellness Center project was not.

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