Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 22, 2018

Heartbreak hotel

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

On the Planning Board agenda tonight is, yet another, hotel application on the Harbor Bay site that that, after a call for review of the Planning Board’s decision to approve the project: the City Council upheld that decision.  The Bay Conservation and Development Commission eventually “denied” the project per the staff report.  Although, technically, based on the vote of BCDC the majority of members who voted actually voted to approve the project, the problem was there weren’t enough votes to approve the project, not that the majority actually voted against it. There are a lot of BCDC reps so it takes a lot of votes to actually get the technical majority it needs for approval.  Anyway.

So staff is indicating that the only way to approve this project to clear BCDC is to rezone the parcel to provide consistency with the Settlement Agreement between Harbor Bay Island Associates and BCDC, from the staff report:

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January 19, 2018

National Horror Story: “values” voters

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

We must be #MAGAing now right?

January 18, 2018

“Love the project to death”

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

The North Housing second reading happened on Tuesday night with a few last ditch efforts by some City Councilmembers to sway the 3-2 vote and come up with a different outcome than last time. Specifically City Council Frank Matarrese asked why the City Council couldn’t consider reinstating the cap for the Carmel Partners parcel while keeping the eliminated cap on the affordable housing parcel.

Because, as Malia Vella stated, she already asked that question and was given the answer of, it would be very complicated do attempt that on what was a whole unified parcel.

It was also great to hear someone — in response to the City Council always attempting to extract more concessions from developers like a kid in a candy store — point out that those concessions almost always make building the development less feasible. So what if the City Council is able to wrest a commitment of 30% inclusionary housing units from the developer or a pony for all Alameda residents named Stan? If the project is not buildable then the 30% inclusionary units will never get built either.

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January 17, 2018

Into the Baylands

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

Hey remember when Trish Spencer voted against the Plan Bay Area 2040 and accompanying environmental impact report?  Her convoluted rational for voting against it was that she didn’t believe staff when they told her where the numbers for the City of Brisbane originated.  She kept doubling down on the — incorrect — gut feeling that the numbers originated from the developer.  So, she voted against the  Plan Bay Area 2040 document because of one non-Alameda related reason: Brisbane.

Interestingly enough Brisbane — since that vote — has been feeling the state level legislative heat, from a Brisbane staff report:

Upon becoming aware of the possibility of the 2017 legislation, the City focused its efforts on educating policy makers about the very real, significant and difficult issues the City was working through in reviewing the developer’s Baylands proposal, including the fundamental need for comprehensive environmental site remediation, significant infrastructure improvements and securing scarce water rights, as well as the lack of a financing plan from the landowner.

The legislative housing package passed in September and did not include a bill to force residential development on the Baylands. But our lobbyists report that the threat of such legislative action remains for 2018.

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January 16, 2018

Housing is a human right

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

Four housing related items on the City Council’s agenda tonight and one item which references the need for affordable housing.  First is the North Housing second reading which should elicit the same 3 – 2 vote as it did the last time around.

The second item is asking that the City Council vote to put in writing its commitment to provide a funding match to two Site A affordable Housing projects.

The third item is a doozy: a 133% rent increase for a condo on Bay Farm.   The RRAC eventually recommended a 50% rent increase (because the tenant agreed to that if they were offered a two year lease).  But, according to the staff report:

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January 15, 2018

Happy MLK, Jr. Day

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:33 am

Happy MLK, Jr. Day, no extensive post today, but Alameda is having an event in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy if you’re interested.  The Facebook page is here, but the details are below:

NOW IS THE TIME! Activating the Legacy of Martin Luther King

Join the Alameda Race Violence Task Force and the Alameda NAACP Organizing Committee for the 39th annual MLK Service Day celebration from 1-3p.m.

This year’s theme, “Now is the Time!” The program will feature presentations, singing, dancing, speakers, and other activities.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., (1963)

RALLY
12PM, Haight Elementary School, 2025 Santa Clara Ave.
MARCH
12:20PM, Haight Elementary to City Hall (10min)

PROGRAM
1-3PM, Alameda City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara St., third floor, council chambers.

DIRECTIONS:
Alameda City Hall
2063 Santa Clara Ave (near Oak Street)
Third floor, Council Chambers
Alameda, CA 94501
Accessible by AC Transit buses No. 51, O, or 19, 20, & 21. This space is ADA accessible.

January 12, 2018

National Horror Story: such presidential

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

January 11, 2018

Bikesharing is caring

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

So about those dockless bike shares, here’s a good piece from CityLab. Although this is specifically about Washington DC it’s relevant to Alameda because we have dockless bike share and because some people have their panties bunched about some of the parking jobs, we might see some scaling of how dockless bike share will function in Alameda. In fact I think there’s an outstanding Council Referral on the topic. Highlights:

Since the dockless bikes arrived, I’ve been seeing more and more black Washingtonians, particularly youth, on two wheels. That has not been a common sight in the past. Among commuter cyclists, white men have been largely overrepresented across the country. And city bikeshare initiatives have suffered from even starker racial disparities: In D.C., a city that until 2015 boasted a predominantly African-American population, black riders represent a tiny fraction of bikeshare patrons.

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January 10, 2018

Demand driven

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

This was published last December, but wanted to get it up anyway since we’re typically discussing the housing crisis from the point of view of folks who are more vulnerable.  Here’s the look from the other end of the spectrum which ultimately affects those who are more vulnerable.  From the Mercury News:

There are 42 percent fewer premium homes available in San Jose today than at this time last year — the biggest drop among U.S. cities studied, according to real estate website Trulia. Experts say the disappearance of those high-end homes means higher prices and tougher competition for all homebuyers, not just those in the market for Silicon Valley’s priciest mansions.

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January 9, 2018

We can work it out

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

Rewinding to that City Council meeting last Tuesday, there were some cringe worthy moments that elicited this commentary on Twitter as the meeting was happening:

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