Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 24, 2020

National Horror Story: the trial thus far

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

January 23, 2020

A/26: the alternatives, part 2

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

Continued from yesterday’s post

One of the concerns I’ve seen around A/26 disappearing is the potential for skyscrapers to be built next to a two story house.  A/26 does not protect neighborhoods from skyscrapers.  Alameda’s zoning ordinance does.

Each zone has a height maximum, so you’d know from the zoning what the height cap is for that parcel.   So for ease I’ve listed the maximum height limits for the relevant zoning:

  • R-1: Not to exceed thirty (30′) feet
  • R-2: Not to exceed thirty (30′) feet
  • R-3: Not to exceed thirty-five (35′) feet
  • R-4: Not to exceed thirty-five (35′) feet
  • R-5: Not to exceed forty (40′) feet
  • R-6: Not to exceed fifty (50′) feet
  • A-P: Two (2) stories, but not to exceed forty (40′) feet
  • C-1: Two (2) stories but not to exceed thirty (30′) feet
  • C-2: Eight (8) stories, but not to exceed one hundred (100′) feet


January 22, 2020

A/26: the alternatives, part 1

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

This is an excellent comment/question about what ordinances currently exist on the books to do what A/26 has been credited with doing.   So here is my attempt at trying to piece that information together, but I’m relying on this document from the City’s evaluation of A/26 to inform the research.  This will probably extend over multiple posts.

From that document:

The adoption of Measure A in the early 1970’s was just one of many changes in City and State regulations during the 1970s and 1980s related to development review, including, but not limited to:

  • Historic Preservation. The Alameda Historic Preservation Ordinance established new processes and requirements for the public review of changes to historic buildings in Alameda;
  • Design Review. The Alameda Design Review Ordinance established new processes and requirements for the public review of any design changes to an existing building in Alameda or the proposed design of a new building in Alameda;
  • CEQA. The California Environmental Quality Act established new processes and requirements for the public review of the potential environmental impacts, including traffic, from any new development; and
  • BCDC. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) established new public processes and regulations for the filling of the San Francisco Bay.


January 21, 2020

The failures of A/26

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

I think this may have been the first time I’ve seen any body, who typically writes about how A/26 is integral to the character of Alameda, acknowledge the failures of A/26 to do what folks have claimed it was supposed to do for years: save historic buildings.  The Alameda Sun is planning on coverage of the Planning Board meeting from last week, but uploaded this piece to their website last week.

It picks up from previous Measure A history by discussing some industrial buildings in Alameda.  Specifically the Red Brick building.  From the piece:

In 1948, the shipyard closed its doors, although work fabricating structural steel continued in the Red Brick Building. That work ceased in 1956, and Bethlehem Steel sold the entire property that once housed its shipyards to Calpak, Del Monte’s parent company. The sale included the Red Brick Building.

Calpak planned to demolish the building and replace with high-rise apartments.


January 20, 2020

Happy MLK, Jr Day

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

First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

January 17, 2020

Room to grow

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

On Monday night, one of the most disappointing phrases that was repeated in multiple public comments was “rat trap” to describe multifamily housing.  A second speaker went on to compare these units to Styrofoam cups as well.   It was incredibly dehumanizing language to use and, while it’s not surprising that it would be used by A/26 supporters, the language became problematic when it was used by a Planning Board member from the dais.

He was, rightly, called out about it and he quickly apologized for using the language.



January 16, 2020

Data trends

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

I finally listened to the Planning Board meeting, I have thought which I’ll get to later.  It was, as I suspected, difficult to listen to but did make me slightly nostalgic to the days when A/26 fans would religiously attend City Council meetings and rail against any and all development.

One of the things that came up during the Planning Board members’ comments was something I referenced yesterday: that the demographics of California and the US as a whole has changed, so saying that A/26 doesn’t have a racial impact because Alameda has become more diverse is probably an analysis that needs more examination.

So, I tracked the data asked for that night, what the trends were for the region and the state as compared to Alameda.   I used numbers from Oakland (our closest neighbor), Alameda County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and California as a whole.


January 15, 2020

That’s a stretch

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

As part of the new and improved messaging around Measure A/Article 26, A/26 boosters would like you to know that A/26 cannot have negative racial implications because Alameda is less white.  Yes, this is an actual argument that I think A/26 supporters actually believe.

While the demographics have shown that Alameda has gotten less white, California and the United States in general has become less white.  That doesn’t mean that the United States still doesn’t have a problematic legacy of racial inequity, it just means that there are more people of color living in the United States as a whole.

The ACS populations are really interesting because the estimates for the Black and Latino populations make very large leaps compared to the growth captured for the actual census counts.  The estimates also show the Asian population dipping where the census count decade after decade showed increases.  So I’d caution using the ACS numbers as a definitive marker of actual Alameda demographics.


January 14, 2020

Giving consent decree

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

A few years ago I linked to an old sample ballot from 1982 about a Measure I.  Measure I, for those that do not remember, was an attempt to force a referendum on every single subsidized public housing development proposed in the City of Alameda.  The only types of development excluded would have been developments for seniors and people with disabilities.

This was clearly in response to a consent decree forced on the City in response to a lawsuit files by “low-income” individuals.  I had asked for a copy of the consent decree a while ago and received it like five years ago.  Somehow it was buried in my email and I couldn’t remember if I had ever devoted a post about the consent decree itself.  After a quick search it looks like I had not.

It’s here: HOPE v City of Alameda Consent Decree


January 13, 2020

47 years later

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

Tonight!  Planning Board!  Measure A/Charter Article 26 discussion.

The letters that have been sent in support of Measure A/Article 26 are so much lower in volume than I anticipated.  But does contain the necessary buzzwords about Alameda including “unique” as one of the key reasons to not eliminate Measure A.

It’s a little strange how Measure A/Article 26 has reached mythological status in the mind of some Alamedans that it protects every thing that they think is good and righteous about this City.  It’s seems a particularly backward looking position in light of State requirements and legislation that has slowly chipped away at the heart of Measure A/Article 26: a ban on multifamily housing.


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