Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 15, 2021

Read my lips: no new towers

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

So Tony Daysog has appended to his Council Referral to run afoul of state housing laws a powerpoint presentation. Click through to the Council Referral itself to download it. It’s a magical wonder of the most visually jarring small caps sans-serif bold font and trying to shoehorn what he wants into existing policy where it doesn’t fit.

This “No Double-Counting of Acres” comes from his Harbor Bay Hotel playbook. Essentially what Tony Daysog is trying to attempt is to establish a policy which says that mixed used projects (aka anything potential at South Shore or Harbor Bay Landing) can’t use all the acreage to calculate housing units for development. Here’s the problem though with that attempt: the Density Bonus Ordinance applies for where “permitted or conditionally permitted by the underlying zoning designation of a site.” Why does that matter? Well, given that we’ve calculated all other density bonus projects using the full acreage and not excluding parking or non residential parts of the parcel, it would be inconsistent to apply a different set of rules for calculating available housing units for mixed use or conditionally permitted parcels simply because Tony Daysog wants it to happen.

After all parking is a “required collateral activity and use[]” for residential developments but in the density bonus application before the City Council the same evening this referral should be heard, the City is using the full acreage to calculate the number of allowed units.


January 14, 2021

National Horror Story: Historic

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

January 13, 2021

Finding out

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

One phrase that has not failed to delight me nearly every time I see it is “fuck around and find out.” It’s simple, it’s catchy, and it’s typically reserved for those who should know better and then are reaping the consequences of their actions.

Most recently a bunch of folks on Alameda Twitter have appended this phrase to news that Governor Gavin Newsom has added to the budget a new enforcement mechanism for jurisdictions which are having difficulty complying with housing laws, specifically:

Additionally, the budget includes a “housing accountability unit,” which the administration can create without legislative approval, to ensure cities and counties are meeting their housing production requirements.

And more:


January 12, 2021

This is Alameda

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

Apparently around the time the Rec and Park Commission was undertaking the issue of the renaming of the park formerly known as Jackson, these flyers went up around said park.

Rasheed Shabazz is, of course, the person who began this renaming journey a few years ago and has been a reference source for the effort. When I first saw this photo a chill ran up my spine. The words “Memorial Park” paired with the name of a Black man who is still alive and kicking and definitely making good trouble out there was upsetting.


January 11, 2021

How many cops do cops need to cop

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

Hey, remember during the campaign in the throes of the Black Lives Matter issue coming to the forefront of the national consciousness and the spotlight being shined on police oversight and conduct specifically related to Black folks and there were some candidates trying to rehabilitate their images by saying they were on the vanguard of asking for police oversight? Of course I’m talking about Trish Spencer and the crime commission she wanted in 2017 in response to social media freaking out over an “increase in crime.”

In 2020 when she was running for City Council Trish Spencer attempted to spin this referral into a police oversight commission, which it was not.

But once seated Trish Spencer’s first Council Referral is to revisit the whole crime thing again and definitely not from a lens of “how can we reimagine public safety in Alameda in 2021 and beyond” which is what the established steering committee and subgroups are working on. No, this is a question about our police force and what we are doing to beef it up. The referral title: Consider Directing Staff to Provide a Police Department Staffing and Crime Update.


January 8, 2021

Guest blog: Did the City name our first park, “Alameda Park”?

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

by Rasheed Shabazz

In his 2001 book Alameda at Play: A Century of Public Parks and Recreation in a Bay Area City, Woodruff Minor details the “modern” history of the site of the park then-known as Jackson Park. According to Minor, Alameda’s first park derived “its name from the short-lived Alameda Park hotel,” established by the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad. In 1867, Alfred A. Cohen created a real estate subdivision, the Alameda Park Tract and “In 1870, Alameda Park was subdivided into smaller lots and renamed Alameda Park Homestead.” Of the park name, Minor writes, “Originally a private commons attached to an 1860s subdivision, the property was acquired by the city in 1894 and opened the following year as Alameda Park. The name was changed to Jackson Park in 1909.” 

In 2018, I relied on this book when I wrote to the Recreation and Parks Commission and called on them to rename Jackson Park. Briefly overlooking the park’s history as private property and Minor’s omission of Andrew Jackson’s historic treatment of Black and Indigenous peoples for another discussion, I have recently questioned whether or not the City government ever adopted the name “Alameda Park.” According to Minor, “The landscaped grounds, christened Alameda Park, served as the city’s only municipal park for the next fourteen years.” However, although the subdivision and its park was sometimes called “Alameda Park,” the City may not have actually adopted a name for the park until 1909. Newspaper articles from 1890 through the 1909 christening of Jackson Park show that papers referred to the park by multiple names.


January 7, 2021

National Horror Story: WTF

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

I mean, we went from sheer joy about the flipping of the Senate to storming of the Capitol building.

This is not a functioning country.

January 6, 2021

Making moves

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

Folks we may have a special election soon to pick a replacement representative if Assemblymember Rob Bonta is selected to replace Attorney General (incoming HHS Secretary) Xavier Becerra.

Shortly before Christmas, the Sacramento Bee had a short article about the endorsement list building for Rob Bonta, a snip:

A number of criminal justice advocacy groups also announced their support for Bonta on Tuesday, citing his leadership in the Assembly fighting to outlaw private prisons, end cash bail and reform sentencing laws.

And I just saw this come up on Twitter which may appear that Rob Bonta is starting to look beyond the political realm for those public endorsements.


January 5, 2021

Real Alamedans who love Alameda

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

Apparently Alamedans who love Alameda don’t care what allocations are given to Alameda by ABAG. But, unfortunately, RHNA numbers are not just academic exercises which can be scoffed away by these real Alamedans who love Alameda (RAWLA). There are actual real world consequences that perhaps are unknown to RAWLAs or perhaps they are willing to risk these consequences in an effort to show Alameda how much they love Alameda.

For the rest of us non-RAWLAs who understand that actions have consequences and that Alameda doesn’t not exist in a separate time or space Brigadoon-like let’s examine what happened to one city who thought it could thumb its nose at these pesky State regulations and come out on top: Huntington Beach. In 2019 Huntington Beach was sued by the State of California for downzoning a site they had identified in their Housing Element for affordable housing. The Housing and Community Development Department decertified Huntington Beach’s Housing Element which started the clock ticking on a lawsuit. From an AP story:

[W]ealthy Huntington Beach, which dubs itself “Surf City USA,” has been considered out of compliance since 2015, when it slashed the number of affordable housing units from a development plan for its northeastern area, reducing them from more than 400 to just 70.


January 4, 2021

Upping the difficulty level

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

It looks like Tony Daysog is doubling down on the pronouncement he made in December about where he will consider multi family overlays in preparation for Alameda trying to meet its RHNA numbers. Just in case anyone thought it was a fluke or misstatement or any excuse you want to make. A reminder:

So people are concerned about a multi-family overlay on Harbor Bay Landing, well there’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on Harbor Bay Landing. There’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on the Harbor Bay sports facility and there’s not going to be — there might be a multi-family — there’s not going to be a multi-family overlay on South Shore Center. Those areas just are not strategic as they do not, they are not conducive to transit planning. [emphasis added]

At the first City Council meeting of 2021, Tony Daysog has decided to downzone shopping centers in preparation for the RHNA and Housing Element discussion. His Council Referral entitled: “Consider Establishing a New Methodology by which the Number of Housing Units are Calculated for Parcels Zoned C-2-PD.”

Now you might be asking, “well, Lauren, what shopping centers are C-2-PD?” I’m glad you asked that. The answer is: every shopping center in Alameda with the exception of the west of Grand Street Marina Villa Shopping Center and Alameda Landing Shopping Center. West End resident Tony Daysog caping, as usual, for his Bay Farm and East End base.

So what’s in Tony Daysog’s referral? Well, it’s convoluted but the TL;dr is downzoning by limiting the calculation of the density/intensity of the project to only the acreage in which the housing will occur rather than the whole project site. We saw a little of this tortured logic during the discussion about the Harbor Bay hotel project and Tony Daysog’s insistence that they shouldn’t be able to combine three smaller parcels to their larger parcel. Tony Daysog’s rationale for forbidding this combining of parcels would have made the hotel project smaller. And that’s the same sort of logic he’s working with here.

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