Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 27, 2021

Let them dodge cars

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

On Sunday Pulse Point registered this collision at Versailles and Otis:

I don’t know the details other than it was some sort of crash involving a vehicle. This location is notable because it used to be the starting point of a Slow Street during the height of the pandemic last year until the entrance to the Slow Street was moved a few blocks away from Otis. Turns out the Slow Street was moved at the insistence of one City Council member: Trish Spencer.

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July 26, 2021

Is it safe

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:12 am

On the Planning Board’s agenda tonight is a review of the draft Vision Zero action plan. The goal? Make the city safe enough so people stop dying or being injured on Alameda streets.

What is good about the plan, other than being brought into existence and — hopefully — its actions actually implemented, is the baseline information that it presented about traffic safety in general. Highlights:

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July 23, 2021

Room for rooms

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

During the RFP process in 2018 we got a glimpse at how much it would cost to just make the Carnegie Library building useable. In 2001 the City dumped $3 million to seismically upgrade the building, test for leaks and give the old building a new roof. Even with that work completed the cost for new electrical systems, heating, disability access and other assorted work is estimated to be around $6.6 million for the more expensive alternative when the City released its Planning Report in 2007. I don’t know how much improvements above and beyond what was slated to put in a fully functional planning and building department would be to add private rooms and common space.

For context Alameda will be receiving $28.6 million in ARPA funding and the estimated cost to purchase and renovate the Marina Village Inn is around $20 million.

But since I do not work for the City and do not need to figure out how to fund this other than suggesting that these one time ARPA funds would go a long way toward rehabilitating this long dormant historic building and providing a much needed resource in our community. But for those who may think that the building can’t possibly hold that many folks, it’s a lot bigger than it looks on the outside.

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July 22, 2021

I’m here to remind you

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:13 am

That the Carnegie Library sits vacant and unused and Alameda has an opportunity to use once in a lifetime funding to do what the private sector has been unable to do: rehabilitate and put the building to use.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about the nearly perfect placement of the Carnegie Library to services, retail, and transit which would make it ideal to providing much needed accommodations for our unhoused population.

And before you say that Carnegie libraries shouldn’t be used for residential purposes I’ll stop you right there and point to a library in Scotland which was converted into “social housing.”

This building is a lot bigger than Alameda’s Carnegie but it just shows that if a city is willing, the work can be done.

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July 21, 2021

Old college try

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

NIMBYs rejoice, Alameda’s application opposing its RHNA has been duly filed with ABAG and its now in their hands to determine the fate of Alameda’s RHNA. But no fear, Alameda is in good company with all the other high resource communities in the Bay Area who believe themselves to be so special that they deserve special dispensation.

Alameda’s own Zac Bowling put together this handy cheat sheet of which communities in the Bay Area have filed appeals and even though Alameda asked for a 50% reduction (aka Tony Daysog’s splitting the difference) we’re not the worst culprit asking for the highest percentage reduction. That honor goes to the City of Sausalito which is asking for an 83% reduction. Danville runs second asking for a 73% reduction.

Our first listed constraint is — what else — A/26. From the letter:

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July 20, 2021

A gathering storm

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

There’s an agenda item that, again, puts the burden on the West End to provide supportive services for the vulnerable members of our community. Under the item: Recommendation to Provide Direction on Constructing or Installing Temporary Shelters, Transitional Housing, and/or Permanent Supportive Housing in the City of Alameda; and Provide Direction on the Type of Homeless Housing Project to Pursue four out of the five site options are all west of Webster street. Only one is east of Webster and it’s on Bay Farm.

From the staff report:

Staff has combed the City for suitable places for transitional/supportive and or permanent supportive housing for the unhoused and has identified five possible locations, plus a multi-site option.  Four of the potential locations are owned by the City or the Successor Agency to the Community Improvement Commission (SACIC).  The privately-owned and the multi-site option (discussed below under Shared Housing Permanent Supportive) would need to be acquired.                     

•                     Site 1 – Alameda Point Tennis Courts – This City-owned site is located on Main Street almost halfway between the Alameda Point main gate and West Midway Avenue, and next to the O’Club. 

•                     Site 2 – Bottle Parcel – This SACIC-owned site is located at 2350 5th Street, adjacent to the field track at the College of Alameda. The site abuts the College of Alameda’s recreation areas. It is also across the street from the Bayport housing development.  The side yards, backyards, and garages of Bayport homes face the bottle parcel.

•                     Site 3 – Grand Pavilion – This City owned site is located at 300 Island Drive.  It is at the far end of the large parking lot of the old Grand Pavilion and abuts the Corica golf course.  There is a Park and Ride lease in place on this site until November 1, 2021.

•                     Site 4 – Alameda Point Camp Grounds Parking Lot – This City-owned site is located near West Hornet Avenue and Skyhawk Street.  The site abuts storage.  This parking lot is held by the City through the tidelands trust, and therefore, if transitional or supportive housing units are located here they must be removed in five years.

•                     Site 5 – Marina Village Inn – This privately-owned site is located at 1151 Pacific Marina and was the location of Project Home Key.  It previously housed women and children during the COVID crisis.  It is a self-contained area that can be closed off from the public during evening hours.

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July 19, 2021

Blast from the past: 1982 housing prices

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

This house has a Redfin estimate of $1.45 million because it just sold in March.  According to Inflation Tool $169K in 1982 is equivalent to $471K today.

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This house has a Redfin estimate of $1.43 million. According to Inflation Tool $167K in 1982 is equivalent to $465K today.

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July 16, 2021

Blast from the past: failure to comply

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

In 1984 after a failed vote to exempt the historic Red Brick building from A/26 so that the developer could rehabilitate the building and create much needed multifamily housing family the City of Alameda decided that it would nope out of complying with the Federal government and providing subsidized housing. But Alameda, in the peak of its Alamedaness, even under threat of losing funding, seemed wholly unconcerned with its responsibility to make room for all people.

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July 15, 2021

Blast from the past: subsidized housing moratorium

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

I think I had already typed out some of one of the articles I’m linked to below but it’s all I could find in the lead up to Measure I which really contained very little press coverage in the months leading up to it.  I could only find one article (that I’ve already posted about the whole ballot), one article about Measure I by itself, and one Letter to the Editor.

It was, all in all, very low key for a ballot measure which looked to make it more difficult for the City of Alameda to help house vulnerable community members during a time when renters were already clambering for a rent control ordinance and complaining about the ineffectiveness of the RRAC.  So don’t trust anyone these days who try to tell you that they really don’t oppose ALL development they just want all new development to be of the all affordable variety.  Because when Alameda had a chance to develop affordable housing it said “nope AND we’re gonna make it impossible to build low income housing by putting all low income housing projects to a city wide vote.”

The first LTE is written addressed directly to a gentleman by the name of Fred Scullin who was the only person who signed ballot arguments against Measure I.  Which I’m impressed that he was willing to put himself out there in, what seemed to be, a fairly hostile environment to being pro-development.  The fact that this letter writer decided to try and seek him out and call him seemed a bit on the creepy side but maybe that was acceptable in the 80s.

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July 14, 2021

Blast from the past: no really, a literal blast

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

Here’s a fascinating bit of Alameda history that I had never heard of until the anti Wellness Center folks started dredging up all the Merchant Marines history behind the general McKay site area. But did you know that at one point that area housed the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Richard Oakes, one of the main organizers of the occupation of Alcatraz, bombed the building to highlight job discrimination at the Bureau of Indian Affairs? Richard Oakes and 11 others attempted to take over the BIA office in Alameda but were arrested.

I can’t wait until the library is fully open so I can use the microfilm machines again, I wonder how all of this was reported in the local papers

Link to source

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