Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 27, 2016

Keep your friends close

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

The Renters Coalition has done it, they successfully submitted almost 8000 signatures to get their Rent Control measure on the ballot.  From Alameda Magazine (which apparently at Robert Gammon at the helm is trying to really up the amount of daily content which is always a good thing):

The group initially tabbed the number of signatures at 8,057. However, the city clerk’s office later pegged the preliminary number at 7,882.

The figure is slightly below the 25 percent additional signatures recommended to ensure a minimum number is validated. Members of the renters’ group said they are comfortable with the number since they had already eliminated a number of clearly invalid signatures—for instance, entries listing non-Alameda addresses.

The rent control measure backed by tenants would cap annual rent increases in Alameda to no greater than 65 percent of the rate of inflation. It would also prohibit no-cause evictions, but provide landlords with recourse to evict bad tenants.

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May 26, 2016

Free ice cream, seriously.

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

Nothing for today except for an extremely gratuitous plug for Ruby Bridges Elementary PTA’s Art-a-la-Mode and Silent Auction which is today at 6:15 p.m. in our Multipurpose Room.

The public is invited and welcome to attend, you can view art work by our students and stay around for the free ice cream.  More important stick around for our silent auction which proceeds will help fund enrichment and assorted extras at Ruby Bridges.

We’ve had some extremely generous donations from the local community and from regional and national businesses as well.  Come and check it out, you can preview some of the packages up for auction at our Facebook page.

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May 25, 2016

Straighten up and “by-right”

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

Big news in development news and which will confuse a lot of anti-development, anti-labor folks as to what/who they despise more: developers or unions.

The big development news: Governor Jerry Brown has floated a proposal to make certain types of housing development in certain areas by right which means that “quality of life” opposition would no longer be sufficient to derail development.  Here’s the short summary from the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition:

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), the measure would make housing that meets the following conditions “as-of-right”:

  • Conforms with existing general plan and zoning rules
  • Multifamily housing of greater than two units
  • Qualify as infill housing
  • Meets certain affordability requirements (20 percent on-site below-market-rate housing or 10 percent on-site if located within half-a-mile of a transit stop)
  • Not applicable to certain locations such as farmlands, wetlands, hazardous waste sites, etc.

The legislation gives local jurisdictions clear and strict timelines for opposing an as-of-right development, expedites design review, requires relocation assistance for displaced households and, yes, eliminates CEQA review.

Here’s the full analysis here from the LAO.

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May 24, 2016

Jenny, I’ve got your number

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:28 am

Not content to sit on the sidelines, it appears that the Alameda Citizens Task Force (ACT) has anointed its candidate of choice, someone that is arms length away enough from it to make it seem like a “fresh” and “new” candidate, but close enough to the organization that it will have a solid voice on the City Council if this person is elected.

The candidate?  One Jennifer Roloff who might be familiar to the Franklin Elementary community.

The ACT tie?  Gretchen Lipow’s daughter.  The goal, I’m assuming, is to provide a contrast to Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft since I’m sure that they’re fairly pleased with Tony Daysog as a Councilperson.

Her tagline, get this: is “Progress and Preservation” which really just means preservation because “progress” always ends up getting caveated to death so that there isn’t any real progress made.

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May 23, 2016

At sixes and sevens with you

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

As Site A inches closer and closer to a reality it is getting more exciting.  Tonight at the Planning Board on the agenda is a request for direction on the Site A townhouses.  No commentary, just graphics, see below, it’s a combination of Site 6 and Site 7 graphics:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 2.41.49 PM

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May 20, 2016

Take care

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

On Tuesday, a Encinal High School freshman died after a pre-season football practice.  From KGO:

Giovanni Pulido, 15, collapsed and died Tuesday as players were finishing spring conditioning drills. The coroner’s office is trying to determine the cause of death. In the meantime, school officials tried to make sure that students and staffed were cared for.

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for expenses if you are interested in contributing.

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May 19, 2016

My own private public parking space

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

Even though the initial genesis of this blog was to initially talk specifically about Bayport it sort of veered off from Bayport fairly quickly. So here’s a chance for this blog to return to its original intent at least for one day.

On Tuesday night, the City Council directed the staff to look into updating a residential parking permit program, which I’m fine with.  My only issue is that residential parking permit programs, because the idea is to privatize a public resource (street parking), that the permit program should pay for itself.

The sole speaker that night was one Bayport neighbor.  She mentioned that there are parking problems in Bayport that are so bad that people have moved out of the neighborhood.  She mentioned, almost as justification, that the house the she lives in has turned over three times since being built.  Coincidentally, that house she is referring to used to be my house.  We sold the house in 2007 after purchasing another house in Bayport so no we didn’t move because there were parking problems.  In fact we moved to a section of the neighborhood where we don’t even have parking in front of our house as many homes in Bayport have similar circumstances.  The family that bought the house after us — the person played for the Raiders — also didn’t appear to have moved because of parking problems, but possibly because his contract had ended.

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May 18, 2016

The connection is made

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

The Planning Board will get a first look next Monday at Catellus’ plans for the other Alameda Landing parcel, you know the one where ClifBar was supposed to go.  The scope and scale of this new project is greatly reduced from the one that was envisioning 345,000 sq ft of commercial.  From the staff report this is what is being planned for that waterfront section:

375 housing units;
A 124 room hotel;
15,000 square feet of retail/services;
10,000 square feet of office/work, and
An 8-acre waterfront park.

So this vastly different plan will require a new development plan, but as with anything in Alameda, this will require many levels of approval (and appeals) and will probably stretch on, here are the steps:

The current Catellus land use proposal for the waterfront differs from the land use plan originally envisioned in the Master Plan adopted by the Planning Board and City Council in 2006.  Catellus is proposing to change the uses in the waterfront area to maximize the value of the land. Catellus has notified the City that it is necessary to increase the value of the 40-acre property in order to financially support redevelopment of the property and construction of the public waterfront park.

Catellus intends to submit applications for Development Plan approval by the Planning Board.  The Planning Board retains the discretion to approve or deny the proposed changes after considering whether the changes are in the best interests of the larger Alameda community.  The Planning Board may approve the future Development Plan application without amending the Master Plan if the Planning Board is able to find that the Development Plan is generally consistent with the General Plan and Master Plan and will not result in any new or more severe environmental impacts than were disclosed in the prior EIR for the project.

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May 17, 2016

Managing expectations

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

Here’s a Council Referral that I’m actually glad to see, although the increasing number of Council Referrals is a bit problematic considering that the City Council is often unable to get through the entire normal agenda without all the extras.

Recently there have been a lot of Calls for Review of Planning Board decisions, probably because even though Mayor Trish Spencer has been able to populate two of the seats with *her* people she is still not in control of the majority of the Planning Board, which given some of the comments from at least one of her appointees, is a good thing.

Anyway, Councilmember Jim Oddie who is competing for the title of most Council Referrals ever has suggested reforming the way that Calls for Review of Planning Board decisions are handled.  From the Council Referral:

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May 16, 2016

I can’t ignore the teacher next door

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

Conveniently SF Chronicle has produced a wonderful piece on teachers being priced out of the Bay Area.

Not to be missed is the great graphic that shows which cities don’t pay their teachers enough to afford to live there, if we use the commonly accepted metric that no more than 30% of your salary should be spent on housing costs.  AUSD is not on the dot graph, but I figured I would pull some numbers here.

Here are the median rent numbers in Alameda for all units and a breakdown by type of unit:

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