Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 4, 2020

Risky business

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

As I mentioned the other day, watching Tuesday’s meeting is really important for anyone who has even a bit on an opinion on RHNA and how we’ll certify our Housing Element moving forward. This particular section is Tony Daysog’s closing comments. This is important because it shows him attempting, as others have, to read too closely into the vote. To ascribe to voters what may have been his intent when he cast a vote against Measure Z, but without evidence to support that claim. But the reason why this is the second video and transcription from the 12/1 meeting is because there are a few bits of information which are just incredibly incorrect but also appears to show that Tony Daysog simply did not pay attention to the staff presentation.

Before I get into the transcripts, here are two important slides from the presentation which I will have a video and transcript for in a future post. The first slide shows sites that have been identified by the City which could be counted toward the RHNA allocation. There are certain issues for a few sites like Boatworks which may render it ineligible, but that’s for a future post. As you can see after identifying all sites which already have existing MF overlays and there is an understanding from the owner of the land that they want to move forward with construction if feasible there remains a gap of 2800 units. And the major problem is the gap is for low, very low, and moderate income units.

Here is the list of potentially available but the City would need to contact the owners site by site to determine if they would be interested in developing the site if all the land use barriers were removed.

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December 3, 2020

Same as you

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

Given how weighty this next Housing Element certification is going to be given the sheer size of Alameda’s RHNA allocation for the upcoming cycle, I’ve started to tag my posts for anything related to the Housing Element under HE 2023. Hopefully it will be helpful for folks as I intend to write quite a bit about it.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Tuesday night’s meeting about this issue, you should. Even if you think you know the answers to how we get our Housing Element certified this time around, it’s still worth a watch because you will get a general sense of how each City Council member intends to approach this process moving forward. I’ll be posting a series of videos with the transcripts so that people understand some of the topics that arose around Alameda’s Housing Element certification.

This is part of the clarifying questions period and is in response to outgoing City Councilmember Jim Oddie question about whether other cities think they are unique and therefore should receive lesser allocations. The “unique Alameda” thing came up in the public comment.

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December 2, 2020

Unaffordable by design

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

I don’t know why I could not find this post before the election because the subject of affordable housing came up time and time again around the subject of Measure Z. See, while folks on the no side of Measure Z were lobbing every single disingenuous argument at Measure Z which usually stopped and started with TRAFFIC! There were folks supportive of Measure Z who were systematically trying to address every concern people could think of around development in general.

Which is why, as I pondered the failure of Measure Z I realized that the topic was way too complicated and way too entrenched to ever be able to clear A/26 from Alameda’s Charter. When I look back and see how many people couldn’t even understand that policies like the density bonus ordinance and the multifamily housing overlay were designed to protect A/26 and the City of Alameda I suppose I should not have been surprised about the outcome of Z. But I digress.

What came up time and time again during the discussions around Z were questions about whether Z would guarantee affordable housing. The answer was always, of course not, that Z promised nothing other than to remove A/26 from the City Charter. Of course that answer was then met with responses along the lines of “well I’m not voting for it if it doesn’t guarantee affordable housing” to “we don’t need any more housing for rich people” etc and so forth. So, to do a proper explanation required like a mini-lesson on affordable housing (aka subsidized affordable housing) and housing that is affordable by design. See how Measure Z was already going to fail on the messaging if answers required this much work to establish a shared understanding of the language being used?

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December 1, 2020

What left to overlay, part 2

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

I know some people were really counting on Alameda Point to bear the weight of all the RHNA housing allocation and leave the rest of Alameda alone. As I pointed out yesterday there’s not that much left to overlay at Alameda Point and it’s unclear if, given the per unit penalty for housing units, if HCD would consider Alameda Point units as sufficient to meet Alameda’s RHNA. In this exercise, we’re making the assumption that we can’t count on any units at Alameda Point because of that per unit penalty.

So, where else could Alameda place some MF overlays? Well the obvious is South Shore:

At one point the former owners of South Shore had floated a development for 1215 units which would put a small dent in our RHNA number which could be anywhere from 3500 – 4800. Of course the entire zoning would need to be changed for that site (a vote of a majority of the City Council will be needed) and, naturally, the MF overlay.

This would leave another 2285 – 3585 units to find land to overlay. Arguably, the South Shore site is the biggest site available of what remains.

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November 30, 2020

What left to overlay

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

Added to the question of who will decide on adding more overlays — I think it should be the voters of Alameda, other think that a majority of three City Councilmembers should do it even though we were told during the election that removing A/26 would leave Alameda vulnerable to that sort of density tyranny from the City Council — there is the larger question of what land is left to overlay.

If you’re looking west to Alameda Point, there’s not that much left. Alameda recently went through a whole entitlement process for Alameda Point, designated large swaths of it as commercial and manufacturing.

Here’s the color key:

https://www.alamedaca.gov/files/sharedassets/public/alameda/comm-services/formsandhandouts/planning/zoning_map_edited_6_2016_resize_100dpi.pdf
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November 27, 2020

“Only you, the voters, can do this”

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

So remember how folks were warning during the election that, without the protections of A/26, three City Council members could futz with the density of Alameda. And how we’re now being told that the City Council members MUST uphold the “status quo” by violating the City Charter and approving more multifamily housing overlays (“increased density”).

Turns out that when A/26 was strengthened in 1991 to add the 2000 sq ft requirement, the argument was it was necessary to avoid the three City Councilmembers from futzing with density. From the January 2020 staff analysis of A/26:

It was, of course, the decision to put 26-3 on the ballot which appalled folks who were “willing” to remove 26-1. At least, that’s what they were telling everyone at the time. Had the City Council not overreached, folks like AAPS and ACT were saying that they would have gladly supported a ballot initiative to remove the “no multi-family housing” part of the Charter.

But it’s the 21 du/ac that is the piece that is the sticking point.

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November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

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

Thanksgiving is salavaged somewhat this year because of this:

Stay home.

November 25, 2020

Make up your mind

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

Since it’s highly likely that Trish Spencer will be on the dais in December (she’ll also need to unblock me from her Facebook page as well) I just wanted to have a place to capture her thoughts on Measure Z and A/26 because it probably won’t last for long on her campaign website.

It did remind me though of one of the key arguments of folks who were pushing no on Z though: that all the protections the exist for historic homes or design review could be undone with a simple vote of the majority of the City Council. From Trish Spencer’s campaign website:

The warning that without A/26 a City Council majority could do whatever they wanted and put up “twelve-story, multi-million dollar condo developments in established neighborhoods, shopping centers like South Shore, blocking our views of the Bay and light for many established homes.” I mean, technically, the majority of the City Council could have done that anyway and A/26 still exists but details, details.

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November 24, 2020

Apparently forgot to title this one

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

Remember how I mentioned here that City Councilmember Tony Daysog refused to answer a question about the “state 30 acre requirement”? And then rather than answer the question Tony Daysog responded thusly:

“I asked @tonydaysog to clarify what the ‘state 30 acre requirement’ is and I have not received a response.” . . . The City of Alameda went over this extensively in 2012 (roughly July) when it discussed the Housing Element. I suggest you go on the web-site and look that up. You can also google . . try the following search terms:

Section 65583(c)(1) 30 units per acre

Good luck in your research!

And when I pointed out that he didn’t answer the question, he replied:

Ugh . . .. like I said, this was vetted in 2012. I can’t do your research for you. In Alameda, it’s 30 units per acre. Again, good luck in your research!

So I asked help from City Staff to answer the question that Tony Daysog would not. Specifically:

I received assurances from the City Manager that someone on staff would respond and sure enough, I got this response.

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November 23, 2020

Overlay overestimation

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

What has been amazing about this post-Z process is to see how the narrative has changed around the multi-family housing overlay and its role in preserving A/26 and allowing Alameda to have a certified Housing Element. The way that folks like City Councilmember Tony Daysog and ACT would have us all believe is that the multifamily housing overlay was something that everyone in Alameda totally agreed to and that the expectation was that a no on Z vote was that A/26 would remain and everything that circumvented A/26 was a-okay as well. That a campaign that warned against traffic jam and developers tearing down historic buildings knows, for sure, that an Alamedan who voted on no understood the nuances around how Alameda can have a certified Housing Element and by violating the charter amendment that they just voted to uphold and are okay with that.

But given that there’s a fair percentage of people who believe that there was widespread voter fraud and that somehow Donald Trump has won the presidential election I’m gonna go with most people probably have no idea what a Housing Element is. Probably don’t understand what RHNA is. Probably wouldn’t be able to tell you what a multifamily housing overlay is. And probably couldn’t tell you why the City of Alameda adopted a Density Bonus Ordinance. And probably don’t even understand how multi-family housing units were built in Alameda when they were asked to vote on a Measure to remove an amendment in the charter which says that multifamily housing units can’t be built in Alameda.

So let me take you back to July of 2012 when the multifamily housing overlay was being discussed and voted on. This comes three years after the State of California rejected Alameda’s Housing Element as being non compliant in 2009.

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