Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 16, 2019

Going to the dogs

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

As a reminder tonight will have the Grand Jury report on the City Council’s agenda so expect public comment to be longish on that item.

Also on the agenda is the West Midway development next steps given that Jamestown has pulled out of the running.

And since this is the last meeting before the August recess, there’s a lot of business on deck. Including:

But the big item, other than the ones I devoted blog posts to is about approving the zoning for an animal shelter in the Harbor Bay Business Park.  From the staff report:


July 15, 2019

Everything must go

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

One of my big takeaways from the discussion of the proposed South Shore project is: do people not follow the news about the death of retail?

I mean, the signs of it are everywhere and people want to assume that retail space owners are simply just charging too much in rent to deliberately keep spaces vacant.

Vox has tracked their own articles featuring the demise of chain retail stores in depth.  From that piece:

In the past decade, the way Americans shop has drastically changed. The rise of Amazon and online shopping, delivery services, and direct-to-consumer brands has given consumers more choices than ever in how and where they shop.

This shift has also helped fuel the decline of once-prosperous chain retailers like Sears, JC Penney, Payless, David’s Bridal, and others that have struggled to evolve and cater to the changing desires of shoppers.

And in more recent news one of South Shore’s biggest big box stores is in serious trouble:


July 12, 2019

Team eggs in one basket

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

And speaking of Jamestown (they’re the folks behind the South Shore mega development to end all that is awesome about Alameda) apparently even though being selected as a finalist for the West Midway project they have decided to pull out of contention for that project.  Maybe to better concentrate on the South Shore plan and not expend political and community capital on two projects but, according to the staff report, they were:

withdrawing from the developer selection process due to uncertainty regarding the viability of commercial development, given the project phasing and increased costs of infrastructure.

Aka Alameda Point is a hot mess and they don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out how to pay for all that infrastructure.


July 11, 2019

Shop til you stop

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

I suppose since everyone else is writing about their experience at the Jamestown aka South Shore mega-development-to-ruin-everything-that-is-good-and-awesome-about-Alameda event on either Tuesday or Wednesday that I should also write about my experience and thoughts as well.

I took no pictures and asked no questions.

Essentially I have no proof that I was there other than my glossy brochure which has surely been thrown in the recycling by my type A neat freak spouse.  So, I guess, none now.

First, I got lost.  Not to South Shore.  I got there just fine.  I got lost finding where the event was held.  I literally walked through the whole of the South Shore center through the dead center then walked around the perimeter until I spotted it.  Suffice it to say I was cranky upon arrival.


July 10, 2019

What do you do?

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

Thought exercise for those that agree that recusal would be the right decision for the two, unnamed but obvious, Councilmembers from the Grand Jury report.   If you were on the City Council and both decided not to recuse, what would you do?

What would you do if only one of the two decided to recuse?  Does it matter if the one of the two is Malia Vella or Jim Oddie?

What if there was a proposal to turn each finding and recommendation into its own separate motion and each vote taken separately.  What would you do?


July 9, 2019

Sit this one out

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

And just like that the Grand Jury report is on the agenda for the City Council to provide a response.  Because it has to provide a response within 90 days of receiving the report and this is the last meeting of the City Council before it heads into its August break when there will be no meetings.  So it’s very important that the City Council publicly determine what the response will be.

From the staff report:

The findings and recommendations are summarized below.  In addition, the City Attorney and City Manager are providing a draft letter with options for the City Council to consider on each finding and recommendation.

For each Finding, it is required that responses shall be either 1) agree, 2) disagree wholly, with an explanation, or 3) disagree partially, with an explanation.

And that is indeed what staff did, they provide options for each finding and recommendation for the City Council to select from.

Maybe I’ll go through the options in a future post but I think that the first elephant in the room to acknowledge is the question of who stays on the dais to run through this exercise.


July 8, 2019

6 – 22 years

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

I feel like most folks don’t understand how development, in general, works.  I mean, I guess they understand the idea that property is either privately or publicly owned but when it comes to large scale development projects in which the private owner is attempting to get some initial feedback there’s a disconnect around who controls what.

This disconnect has made itself painfully evident because South Shore’s owner, Jamestown, has put out their initial ideas and general plans into the internet world before their community meetings have actually happened.  This, naturally, leads to “why is the City allowing this?” or “Why did the City Council approve this?” alongside with the “traffic” and “crowded” conversations.

Naturally it’s always those who are comfortably situated who are the loudest voices of negativity. And it’s those who are comfortably situated who seem to not understand that a private owner can propose anything they want for their property and, depending on the project and the current zoning, the City won’t have a lot of oversight to make outright refusals.   But in this case, the underlying zoning is C2 – Central Business.  Any residential use will need a use permit or a wholesale zoning change for flexibility.

Anyway, there is the first of a couple of meetings tomorrow at 4:00 PM, I believe you have to RSVP in advance but I can’t imagine they’ll turn away folks who haven’t RSVPed.


July 3, 2019

Infrastructure week

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

But, you know, for real and not a distraction from assorted national scandals.

Yesterday Alameda Point Partners aka developer of Site A at Alameda Point sent out a press release about their most recent accomplishment and it’s a biggie.  They’ve completed 50% of the backbone infrastructure for the site and all of the demolition for the site which is no small task.

They’re estimating that all of the infrastructure will be done later this year but all of the vertical developments are slated for groundbreakings really soon.

From the press release:


July 2, 2019

It’s payback time

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

Further fallout from the Boatworks litigation the City Council needs loan some money from the General Fund to the Parks Development Impact Fee since the fees from Admiral Cove needed to be paid back in anticipation of that lawsuit.

From the staff report:

In June 2017, the City Council approved two interfund loans to the Parks Development Impact Fees Fund. One loan was for $900,000 funded by the Transportation Development Impact Fee Fund and used to finance construction of the Cross Alameda Trail – Jean Sweeney Improvement project. The second loan for $1.4 million was funded equally by the General Fund and the FISC Fund and used to finance the Estuary Park Improvements project.

Both of the loans were to be repaid with future DIF revenue collected. In September 2018, the developer for the Admiral Cove project paid Parks DIF, which was used to fully repay the $900,000 loan from the Transportation DIF and make a partial payment on the second interfund loan. Finance and Parks staff were not aware that the developer made the payment of the fees under the protest.


July 1, 2019

Dancing on the (rent) ceiling

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

There’s now a recommendation for the City Council’s consideration on the next step of real rent stabilization.  This would render the RRAC redundant and would give both landlords and tenants certainty moving forward.  From the staff report, the recommendations:

  • An annual general adjustment (AGA) based on 100% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), with a 1% floor and 5% ceiling;
  • “Banking,” or the ability to carry-over any unused portion of the AGA to any subsequent year. However, any banked amount used in a given year cannot exceed 5% in addition to the AGA. Any banked amounts expires if the property is sold or a new tenancy is established;
  • A rent registry (initial registration and re-registration when there is a new tenancy); and
  • A petition process that utilizes a Hearing Officer for upward or downward rent adjustments.


Older Posts »

Blog at