Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 28, 2020

Housing crisis manager

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

I know a bunch of folks are expecting that COVID-19 fallout and the recent news from large tech companies about permanent work from home options means that the housing crisis may not be much of a crisis for much longer, but I think our housing shortage is much more entrenched then even this pandemic can “solve.”  Besides, even though big players like Twitter and Facebook are okaying working from home, there’s a tweet I always revisit (can’t find it now) but it tempers any real hope that working from home is going to help solve Bay Area housing issues.  In a nutshell the tweeter said that as long as the CEO and other leadership are still coming in to the office or centralized around a central HQ, there will never truly be a global work from home policy for that company.

Anyway, the California legislature is still chugging along with housing reforms (and Alameda is still dithering about whether we want to keep on our books a piece of legislation that continually is undermined by state action).  From Cal Matters, this one should send folks into a tizzy:

 A new jointly-authored bill from Atkins and Wiener would force cities to allow homeowners and developers to convert single family homes into duplexes or even fourplexes, if the property is big enough. Those conversions would not have to be reviewed for environmental impacts by local governments, an often lengthy and expensive process.

I don’t know if this would be in addition to or in lieu of the ability to build an accessory dwelling unit, but would be massive if both are allowed.  As mentioned in the piece, this is really a way for the state to encourage more housing at no cost to the state (other than litigation if someone sues of course).   The cost would be on the property owner who wishes to turn their single family home into either an investment or the ability to subdivide a larger house into two smaller ones to accommodate multi-generations.

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May 27, 2020

Clement connector

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

Just so that no one can say that there was no notice about it, the Transportation Commission will be meeting tonight to vote on the final design for Clement. There was not a ton of public correspondence but the majority of it was positive.

There will be a removal of 145 spaces out of 300 but if you’ve ever used the Clement bypass you’ll know that there is rarely any parking issues on Clement until you get closer to Park Street.  And even then it’s not that terrible.

From the staff report:

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May 26, 2020

Worth it

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

Over the long weekend we took some walks around Alameda Point, particularly all of the new construction.  It was fenced in as it appears so we just walked around the perimeter.   However on Sunday I was given a helpful tip that there is one side of the project which is not fenced in so one could potentially take a closer look.

Readers, from what we could see it’s going to be pretty darn awesome.  The protected bike paths, the lighting, the bus stops, the view corridor, it’s really nice.

I didn’t take photos because I’m not good at it and someone else did alerting me to the fact that that particular part of the project was nearing completion:

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May 22, 2020

The worst takes

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

True to form Tony Daysog has, yet again, opted to take the most cowardly way out of any controversial vote and decided to abstain on the safe parking for unsheltered families proposal.   Just so we’re clear, everyone else voted for the safe parking program, Tony Daysog abstained.   What’s even the point of being a policy maker if you’re going to not take a stand on issues that should be easy to vote for or against?  Don’t want homeless people to be able to have a secure place to park their car?  Vote no.  Want homeless people living out of their cars to not have to fear that they’ll be hassled while trying to get some sleep, have a functioning toilet, and some dignity as a human being? Vote yes.

Don’t want to be accused of voting against the most vulnerable in our community but actually want to vote against the most vulnerable in our community?  Pull a Tony Daysog and just abstain.

From an East Bay Times piece:

Cars will be allowed to park in the lot, which will have security, Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Those taking part will be required to sign a document that they will adhere to a code of conduct, which will include no camping, no guests in vehicles and no barbecues or open fires.

The idea is for people living in vehicles to have a safe place to stay overnight. But no recreational vehicles will be allowed, city spokeswoman Sarah Henry said.

“If the program is successful, we could consider expanding to the weekends at a later date,” Henry said in an email.

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May 21, 2020

Trust the voters of today

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

I’m a bit behind on my city meeting viewing.  Mainly because I’ve decided that the main way to distract me from all this COVID-19 business is to listen to true crime podcasts.  I’m deep into the back catalog of Dateline NBC episodes.  However, I did take a break from all that in order to listen to the meeting on May 7.  This is the “should we allow the voters of today to revisit a charter amendment which was voted in before some of us were even born.”

From the jump, City Councilmember Tony Daysog wanted a reason why we should change A/26 altogether.  If many many discussion about A/26 and lack of alignment with state law (and therefore being problematic and time consuming for the City to bring into conformance) is not enough to convince him, then I’m fairly sure that Tony Daysog will never hear any argument that will convince him to change A/26.  Tony Daysog has a base he plays to and he’s sticking to them and what they want.  It’s a tactic and it’s very Tony Daysog. But then again, the people who voted for Tony Daysog didn’t vote for him to be politically brave or to even do the right thing based on sound political instincts.  They voted for him because he will always vote for what his old Alameda politics base wants him to do and he always obliges.

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May 20, 2020

Enlarging the gap

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

Well it’s final, AUSD will end on May 29 instead of June 8 (which was the dumbest date chosen for a last day of school ever since it fell on a Monday).  Between you and me, we were actually going to cut out early any way pre-COVID-19 and fly out on June 5 but those plans have been put on permanent hold until a vaccine is available.  Because, honestly, with the way that the US as a whole has been proceeding with COVID-19, I don’t know if any other countries will be necessarily open to Americans until said vaccine.  But I digress.

Here’s the video with scary Fall projections about cut budgets as well:

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May 19, 2020

Sharing spaces

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

Tonight, in COVID-19 related agenda items, the City Council will be making a determination on the operator for a Day Center and Safe Parking site for unsheltered Alamedans at Alameda Point.   From the staff report:

The goal of the Safe Parking Program is to provide individuals experiencing homelessness, who are living in their cars and vans, a place to legally park their vehicles in a safe, secure, sanitary and welcoming environment. Overnight parking hours for the Safe Parking Program lot are Monday through Friday from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Individuals wishing to park their car or van in the Safe Parking Program lot will be required to adhere to a code of conduct. The On-Site Code of Conduct and Expectations – Safe Parking Program Agreement, to be signed by participating individuals, is attached as Exhibit 1.

The goal of the Day Center is to provide a safe, sanitary, secure and welcoming place for homeless individuals to relax, get information, connect to services, and be supported by staff and peers. The Day Center may offer meals, showers, laundry, computers, phones charging, Wi-Fi, and access to health care and social services. It is anticipated that the Day Center will be open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s not clear if the City is anticipating that the same population will be using the Day Center and Safe Parking site but if they are there’s a weird gap from 5:00 – 7:00 PM where overlapping users will be forced to leave the site and just hang out somewhere else for two hours.  I don’t know if that’s by design or a mistake.

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May 18, 2020

West Midway Mania, redux

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

After Alameda Point Partners pulled out of the West Midway project the City Council had several options about what to do.  They decided to solicit the development teams who put in proposals the last time around to see if those teams were still interested in the project. As a reminder the West Midway project is important in order to help the RESHAP project (aka consolidation of Alameda Point Collaborative et al) build the needed backbone infrastructure.

From the staff report:

On March 3, 2020, the City Council directed staff to conduct a three-week Request for Qualifications (RFQ) solicitation for the development of the West Midway project by reaching out to the three development teams who responded to the previous RFQ and continued to express interest in developing the project.  An updated RFQ was prepared and two development teams submitted Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) – (i) a partnership of Brookfield Properties and Catellus, and (ii) Cypress Equity Investments (CEI). Upon review and evaluation of the submittals and interviews with both teams, staff recommends that the City Council approve the Brookfield/Catellus team for development of West Midway and authorize the City Manager to negotiate an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) consistent with the form of the ENA included in the RFQ.

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May 15, 2020

Al fresco

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

Giant. Outdoor. Dining Room.

Folks this is what Berkeley is planning to do in order to support its small businesses.  I think this could totally work in Alameda.  Maybe we don’t close off the main drags but some of the parking lots could accommodate an outdoor dining room for some of the local businesses.  Like this one across from the movie theater:

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Or simply allow for the businesses not close to a city owned parking lot to take the parking spaces in front for parklets and outdoor seating.

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May 14, 2020

Early end

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

This was an interesting tidbit from Tuesday night’s AUSD meeting:

I think this would be a great idea.  Per #1 daughter and #2 son distance learning has been sort of a mixed bag depending on the class and the teacher.  I think the district has done a — to borrow a term from Tony Daysog — yeoman’s effort on getting out something for students during these challenging time and with very little notice.  I think the time left would be better spent performing postmortems on what worked, what didn’t work and how to improve on remote learning for the next school year.

I mean, I guess I’m assuming that there will be more of the same next school year or perhaps even staggered classes but that there would be remote learning in some form.

More:

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