Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 26, 2009

Too close for comfort?

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Measure A — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Francis Collins, the owner of the Boatworks property, is officially the first developer in the City of Alameda to use the Density Bonus Ordinance in order to develop his parcel of land.   The plan will be before the Planning Board tonight.    He is asking for certain concessions and incentives from the City of Alameda as allowed under the state density bonus ordinance since Alameda has yet to adopt one.

They include:

  1. Waiver of development fees
  2. Direct financial subsidy for building the low and very-low income units ($134K (x 20) and $184K (x29) respectively)
  3. Reduction in the minimum parking requirements.

There are no renderings of what the units will actually look like, although there is this vague reference to the “moderne” style.   Which I’m not sure is supposed to indicate the “Streamline Moderne” style like the buildings at Alameda Point or the “Moderne” style that wikipedia says is another name for Art Deco.   I would imagine that it would be the Streamline one and not art deco, as art deco tends to be much more detailed and detailed equals additional money.

So if you take a look at last page on the document linked above you will see the proposed layout for the units.   Some of them do appear to be a bit…um….how do I say this?  Close?   And not just duplex close but triplex and fourplex close.  Now these are just rough rough sketches and maybe there are slight slivers of space that are not evident in the blocked out units.   I’m sure someone will bring it up.


  1. I have only a superficial understanding of the density bonus, but I’d like to mention a couple of issues that might be worth watching for during tonight’s hearing.

    It sounds as if the property owner is asking for both the density bonus and a substantial subsidy, which doesn’t entirely follow. He does get “incentives and concessions” on top of the density bonus, but that’s usually discussed as design and parking issues, not cash.

    The property owner is asking for around 30 units per acre, in lieu of the Measure A allowable, which is around 22 units per acre.

    The city’s Housing Element does offer to subsidize a development by writing down the cost of city-owned land among other options — however, it doesn’t say “We’ll fork over the dough”.

    In addition, the reduction in parking requirements may be defined as a concession, and if that is applicable in this instance, then the property owner may be asking for *3* concessions, rather than the *2* that he’s allowed.

    The 3 concessions are: a waiver of development fees, a direct financial subsidy and reduced parking requirements.

    So I guess I’ll watch and see what the Planning Board has to say.

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 26, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  2. I understand that at the public affairs forum on Saturday night, some residents spoke out encouraging fellow residents to come to the meeting tonight to oppose this. Did anyone at the meeting mention that one of the strongest advocates for the use of the density bonus in Alameda is David Howard? Did he speak out in favor of the development on Saturday night, citing it as an example of how a local community can lose control over a development through the density bonus? They should name the project “Howard houses”.

    Comment by notadave — January 26, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  3. I see as limiting parking to fold, it should encourage public transit, but around The Breakers, it seems most family’s have more then one car, and are parking on Bayport private streets. Most of the streets in Bayport are private streets which we pay for the upkeep not the City. It seems to be a big problem as residence who pay for them and their guest can’t find parking. I think you either you make the parking restricted or make them public streets and if everyone is able to park there the City pays for the upkeep. At Bayport there are only a few public streets which all lead to the School and Park…park there and walk 3-4 blocks to your house like I did for years in SF or let the City take care of them. One other solution is since 5th street is Public get rid of the bike lanes and let people park there.

    My other pet peeve is along what use to be known as Tinker along the back of Alameda College Diesels parking their trucks there every night…they are probably from Oakland and just park there so they don’t have to pay and are relatively safe. Hopefully after they reconfigure this area, there will be parking for only individual cars with meters or something to discourage this.

    Comment by Gunter — January 26, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

  4. #3
    “My other pet peeve is along what use to be known as Tinker along the back of Alameda College Diesels parking their trucks there every night…”

    I thought that there was a city ordinance that prohibited this.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 26, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  5. To be honest I would love to see that parcel developed with whatever, I saw his last designs and liked them. I don’t know what these ones will look like? If the City won’t agree with him after the fire and everything else just rehab the ugly steel building and rent out spaces to park Diesel trucks. Most people didn’t like Bayport, or the housing development across from Marina Village Lucky’s at first. When I first saw it 10 years ago, I thought it was crazy who would buy there, but I know several people who live there and love it.

    I think that plot of land is probably the worst in Alameda, some concessions should be made on both sides. It is full of pollution, dilapidated buildings, vandalism, and hurts the whole neighborhood and beyond the immediate neighborhood…several neighborhood in the area as a lot drive through it. If you are trying to sell your house 15 blocks away, it probably brings down the value of your house. Currently it is the most blighted worse area of Alameda although a lot is going on in that area.

    Warmington is going to build Grand Marina, the houses will go for a lot less if that remains. Just as the renovation of Summer House brought up the values at Bayport in my opinion.

    20 Years you have had this eyesore and maybe we will have it for 20 more years. They just need to rethink the parking situation.

    I am excited about the new marketplace they are developing at Delmonte plant and look forward to it opening. Although you don’t see much progress, if you look behind the upper facade the whole roof on the west side and more have been redone in the last 6 months. They have lumber piled up under a canopy for the rest of the project. I can’t wait until they start on the lower part. I don’t know if they are going to do away with the roll up doors or make them windows, awnings? ect, but it is such a great project in a changing neighborhood. How about the landscaping…I see Canary Palms?

    Comment by Gunter — January 26, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  6. #3, on parking: if the property owner agrees to include affordable units, then the city will have to give him concessions on the minimal level of parking required, which he has already requested. That means fewer spaces than the city would normally require.

    Berkeley has residential permit parking restrictions, which I think is relevant to what you’re suggesting. Neighborhood residents get stickers to place on their cars, and anyone without a sticker can park on the local streets for a maximum of two hours (between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm), or gets ticketed.

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 26, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  7. #6 Indeed, the city of Alameda is considering residential parking permits for the streets around Park St. and Webster. There’ll be more about this as they see fit to inform us.

    Comment by RM — January 27, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  8. The city is moving in the wrong direction with the various restrictions in parking and movement. It has always bothered me when only people who live somewhere are allowed to park there. This creates exclusivity, residential enclaves, a tendency which is fundamentally contrary to an open, accessible environment. Bayport is like that, and the development across from Marina Village, whatever its correct name is, and the Collins property seems to be going this way too. The only example I can think of that fits completely seemlessly in the grid is the housing that got built on the north side of Buena Vista, west of Sherman.

    I don’t know why developers think people need to be “protected” from the surrounding neighborhood, by walls, cul-de-sacs or red curbs, but more importantly why the city keeps making the same mistake over and over, despite all the talk about traditional grid, seamless integration and so on. Pretty words, not actions.

    Comment by AD — January 27, 2009 @ 8:58 am

  9. AD: There’s a hell of a long list of things that bother you.

    I work in a small commercial area that’s surrounded by residential areas. If there weren’t residential permit parking, all the parking would be taken by commuting workers, who would choose not to pay to park in the commercial lots.

    Similarly, people living near Park St. may be seeing their parking taken by increased numbers of visitors; it’s certainly harder parking downtown (hence the usefulness of the parking garage). Perhaps these residents have asked for permit parking. Pretty simple, really.

    I agree with you that walls around developments are bad and that developments should be integrated into the overall city. The wonderfully named “California Heritage Bay” is really just a couple of streets and should be integrated into the street layout. Its “Private Street” sign across from the shopping center encourages me to use it as a through street.

    Comment by BC — January 27, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  10. Would you be happy to know that people who come to park on MY street when they have business there do not bother me at all? And a lot of them do (I’m next to a school and a park). Sometimes, we have to park around the block. It’s OK, really.

    In the situation you describe, I don’t mind if residents have permits and can park at meters without paying all day long, but others can park there too (and pay) if space is available. What bothers me is to see what is common in Berkeley, whole blocks where parking is verbotten unless you have a certain kind of sticker. Similarly, red curbs as they have in Bayport I have a problem with, as well as the whole notion of “private streets.”

    Like you, whenever I see a private street I drive right through. If it’s dead end, all the better, I make a 7 point turn, and enjoy the consternation on the face of whoever is watching. A wicked little pleasure.

    Comment by AD — January 27, 2009 @ 10:16 am

  11. The red curbs are to indicate that you cannot park there because an area is bulbed out. If someone were to park there it would turn a tight two laned road into a one-way road. Red curbs are there because one would think that common sense would be enough that folks would understand that parking is not allowed in those bulbed out spaces, but sometimes common sense is not enough.

    The streets are private in that they are privately maintained. That means that YOUR property tax dollars do not go towards funding MY street repair (or street cleaning.) Additionally parking violations do not get taken care of by Alameda PD either. If you have an issue with “private” streets please feel free to lobby the City Council to ask them to take over the maintenance of the private streets in Bayport. Hopefully, if you are successful, my homeowners dues will be substaintially reduced.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 27, 2009 @ 10:22 am

  12. well, darn, why the bulbouts in the first place?

    And which one works for you better, private street, or having the city maintain it?

    Comment by AD — January 27, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  13. Why would anybody drive through a road that says no outlet just to make a 7 point turn? The look on the face is not consternation … it perhaps says “gee, what a dimwit”.

    Some people do have a lot of time on their hands (as is perhaps all to evident).

    Comment by alameda — January 27, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  14. 10. “Would you be happy to know that people who come to park on MY street when they have business there do not bother me at all?” I would not be happy to know that but maybe curious because that must be one of the few things which doesn’t bother you.

    AD, I think the neighborhood parking permits in Berkeley apply after two hours, so “aliens” are allowed to park there, just not to stay longer than two hours. One has to wonder the labor cost involved in enforcement. Perhaps there are enough tickets generated to cover costs.

    Comment by Mark Irons — January 27, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

  15. Yes, the parking permits in Berkeley apply after two hours, and they’re necessary in neighborhoods near UC to keep on-street parking available for residents. I was a bit aggravated w/ Berkeley tho when they instituted permit parking around the Ashby and No. Berkeley BART stations, making it that much more difficult to use BART. Of course, the lots fill up very early.

    As for tickets covering cost: I would definitely think so. Berkeley has revenue from parking tickets figured into its budget, and a ticketing quota for its “meter maids”. Of course, the parking situation there is so bad that it’s like shooting ducks in a barrel. I don’t know how that compares to Alameda.

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 27, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  16. DL Morrison,
    I am not saying the affordable units shoudn’t be allowed to park on our streets if the complex or City was paying for part of the upkeep, neither is happening. And the ones who are can’t find parking the their selves or their guests. I believe the bulbed out sections at Bayport were designed to slow down traffic. The red painting of the curbs, wasn’t part of the original plan, but after people were parking in the bulbed out areas making 2 line roads into 1 lane they decided to paint them.

    As for the sound wall on Atlantic (Ralph whoever memorial parkway) it was so that you could drive 35mph down that street rather then 25mph. I like it and I think it looks quite a bit better than those on the other side of Alantic – Summerhouse, and the other complexes on that side of the street. There are many gated/walled/fenced communities in Alameda…just look around they are everywhere. Bayport only has one wall…with many openings.

    Comment by Gunter — January 27, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  17. DL – I’m sure you’re aware that Bezerkeley has the “JKW/HOMES-headed” influence running rampent. Not only do they want to take out the 2-center lanes from Telegraph (to encouge bus ridership and deveistate retail and commercial property owners there), but now they have ripped out a parking lot at Ashby Bart to build vertical.

    Private developers with our tax dollars – a mix our dumb-ass skool kids will git to deal wit afta dey gradiate.

    Comment by ratpunked — January 27, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  18. I have a couple of things to mention regarding the density bonus:

    First, It’s possible that the density bonus may override Measure A restrictions on both the total number of units per site and the number of units per building. I think Andrew Thomas made a reference to that during the Planning Board meeting on Monday — tho I don’t recall exactly what he said. In any event, since a developer can ask for more cost-effective design standards, that include 3+ multi-unit housing, I’m speculating.

    Second, the density bonus would presumably apply to any housing built at Alameda Point, I’m also speculating. For example, under the density bonus in general, if a developer built 4500 homes, 25% of which were affordable, then it would have a right under state law to build roughly a third more units. So presumably any exemption to Measure A would have to include a waiver of any rights under the density bonus.

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 27, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

  19. Question: Since BayPort owns its own streets, is each homeowner given the authority to write parking tickets to aliens who park in red zones?

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 28, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  20. Yes. They can also perform marriages & hang mutineers.

    Comment by dave — January 28, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  21. # 11
    “Additionally parking violations do not get taken care of by Alameda PD either.”

    # 16
    “… but after people were parking in the bulbed out areas making 2 line roads into 1 lane they decided to paint them.”

    Since, per Lauren Do/Gunter, “THEY” decided to paint the curbs red and there is no (apparently) parking enforcement mechanism in BayPortzerky it would follow that you all wasted a lot of red paint or you should either paint all the curbs in front of your own homes or you should cut a 50/50 deal with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department to ticket red parkers for the obligatory $250 fine which could then offset some of your homeowners dues.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 28, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  22. “I believe the bulbed out sections at Bayport were designed to slow down traffic.”

    Gunther, please don’t believe any of that. A bulbout does not slow traffic down any more than a parked car does. It’s a fallacy, like “the rain will follow the plow” or “if you build it they will come.” The only thing the bulbouts in Bayport do is limit the number of cars that can park on the street. This, along with your wall and the fact that there is no car access from both the east and the west effectively prevents strangers from driving through Bayport or lingering in your neighborhood. You may find this desirable; I find it exclusive and wrong.

    #19-21. If tickets really cannot be issued, let all go and have a park-in. It could also be a good way for people who have been cruelly ticketed in red zones elsewhere to feel empowered again.

    Comment by AD — January 28, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

  23. That’d be Gunter. Whew! Hate for the spelling squad to come get me.

    Comment by AD — January 28, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  24. What are you talking about no car access from the East or the West?

    The West is bordered by a stretch of park, the East is accessible from Neptune Garden off Fifth Street, beyond that is the College of Alameda, what road(s) precisely should be linked on the East or West that currently are not? Perhaps a random intersection should be created on the West to link Bayport up to the borded up buildings on Avenue F?

    Why are strangers needing to linger in the neighborhood? Plenty of people drive through Bayport (see parents dropping off their kids at school or playing at the park) but the idea that every single street should result in an intersection or outlet in order to make one person feel included is puzzling.

    Jack R., amazingly enough, after the curbs were painted red, hardly anyone parks in the bulb outs anymore. I guess a little bit of paint does psychological wonders.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 28, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  25. What I’m talking about can easily be seen an any google map. Here’s a link

    For starters, I’d make RL Stevenson and Jack London Avenues extend all the way through from 5th to Main. I’d open Glenview and Ocean/Austin onto Tinker and Atlantic. Lets not forget that the park that borders Bayport was man-made, not god-given. It can be intersected. We can argue whether or not that’s a good idea. I say why not, if Bayport will eventually blend seamlessly into Alameda Point? I’m not touching the cul-de-sacs for now. They happen in of the traditional Alameda grid, but not nearly with the frequency they occur in the Bayport area. Bottom line is, Bayport does NOT match the traditional Alameda grid. If you are going to defend its features, you certainly cannot use that line.

    Re: why strangers need to linger in the neighborhood? How about, why not? If Bayport matched the rest of alameda, strangers will linger as much as they do in other places, which probably isn’t that much anyway but at least the possibility is there. You know, peoplewatch, check out the paint job on their house, stop to ask about their landscaping–stuff like that. It happens randomly, sometimes when people drive through and see something interesting. It’s good for community.

    Comment by AD — January 28, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  26. Seriously? Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London Avenue? Just don’t tell the multiple homes in the way that you want to bulldoze through their living rooms in order to make the streets more inclusive for cars.

    That park is part of the Bay Trail so if you want to two more streets to bisect it take it up with ABAG.

    Bayport matches Alameda as much as Bay Farm or Heritage Bay or Marina Village or the Big Whites or even the Coast Guard Housing matches.

    If you are ever in the neighborhood and feel too intimidated to drive through because of the “exclusive” nature of the street design, let me know and I’ll act as your emissary so that the denizens don’t make you feel unwelcomed.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 28, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  27. The Park you refer to is actually a drainage area that was created because of flooding in the area, I don’t think it could be intersected without causing some problems. Also why would anyone want to dissect a Park, weather its in the West End or East End.

    Comment by John Pizaili — January 28, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

  28. Here are some photos I took of the Bayport area in mid-2008.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — January 28, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  29. Of course I’m not suggesting that houses be bulldozed. I’m describing what should have been planned before houses were even built. This particular, not fully connected layout was approved by the Planning Board, when Mr Piziali here was on it. Maybe he can explain why the board decided to yield to what I assume were Catellus’s demands for a certain kind of neighborhood. One question I’m curious about is why the speed limit on Atlantic wasn’t simply changed to 25 mph, thus negating the need for a sound wall.

    Comment by AD — January 28, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  30. From Mike’s photos (# 28), looks like someone forgot to add plastic people to the potemkin village. Can’t spot one humanoid.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 28, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  31. #16: I’m only suggesting permit parking as one means of making parking available to neighborhood residents (assuming that a city can provide enforcement). I’m not making any other assumptions about who would be allowed to park and who wouldn’t.

    #17: Yes, Rob Wrenn and Berzerkley have been hard at work eliminating parking spaces for years now, and it’s not doing Shattuck any good. I was surprised to see all the parking on Oxford gone for the Brower building (since I hadn’t been over there for a while).

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 28, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  32. Well there is a lot more parking available on ‘The Ave’ – I couldn’t believe how many vacant and shuttered storefronts are ‘blighting’ the walkable urban landscape. And it seems anyone can now park in the yellow curb zones with little effort by the police to enforce code there. I guess everyone knows you don’t need commercial parking where there is no commerce.

    Not surprising north Shattuck’s “Hillside Village” can’t dump their properties in this market either – another failing of New Urrbanism with it’s mostly empty block after block “3 residential stories over empty commercial / retail surface level” – walkable to everything – but no one much wants to live there…

    Comment by Dave Kirwin — January 28, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

  33. AD out of the HOA Manual, “there are four public street accesses to Bayport Community. The public streets are maintained by theCity of Alameda. All other streets and alleys within the community are private (restricted for owners and guests) and maintained by the homeowners’ association.” I beleive the four streets are Mosley, Coral Sea, Jack London Ave and Robert Louis Stevenson.

    #26 it also matches much of the Gold Coast with limited canal crossings and the area between Webster and Park. I also hit dead ends in the Fernside area.

    AD, if you want the streets to become public pony up some cash. We are paying quite a bit monthly in a reserve account for street maintenance. The City didn’t want to pay for the maintenance so that is why they are private.

    You tell everyone going to the ferry or to the flee market or Bladium to go 25mph down Alantic they would laugh at you. And while you are at it why don’t you tell summerhouse, woodstock school and everyone else to tear down their fences so you can drive though quicker?…seems very silly huh? Get rid of the Baytrail…drainage ditch, widen the roads, maybe than you will be happy. Oh and maybe where you live there may be a shortcut so we should rip into half your house to accommodate people and make it a private road so you have to pay for the upkeep.

    Catellus wanted to put the School on one corner of the project but settle with it in the middle…otherwise we would be paying for more private streets.

    BC encouraged to drive though the private streets of Heritage Bay for spite, just show what little respect he has for the homeowners there, and how selfish he/she is in general. Tell me where you live so I can drive though your yard and park on your driveway…isn’t that something you maintain not the City? Even though I guess I should fell free to do so?

    I am sure when the base is built out there will be many private streets as the City will not what the responsibility of maintaining them. If you want to pay for it out of the City Budget let the planning board/Counsel know…you are willing to pay.

    Comment by Gunter — January 28, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  34. That’s a shame regarding Shattuck — with all the foot traffic from the University you’d think businesses could manage, but that’s clearly not enough. The Ross store left not long ago, so now it’s off to Emeryville or El Cerrito (by car) for that kind of shopping.

    The students (and their parents) are supposed to provide unlimited demand for rentals and small condos, so I guess that’s not working out. Some of the condos on/near Shattuck were built w/ very limited parking, and I wonder what the effect of that has been — for example, 60 units and 16 parking spaces — since all the urban amenities are supposedly so close at hand, except if they leave.

    Comment by DL Morrison — January 28, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

  35. #30
    “From Mike’s photos (# 28), looks like someone forgot to add plastic people to the potemkin village. Can’t spot one humanoid.”

    It could be worse.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 28, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  36. #30
    “From Mike’s photos (# 28), looks like someone forgot to add plastic people to the potemkin village. Can’t spot one humanoid.”

    It could be worse.
    (No, this isn’t the old NAS)

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 28, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  37. Gunter — name ONE dead end in the Fernisde district. One.

    Comment by oracle — January 28, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  38. I went down one street there is a park. I went down other streets and there are canals…consequently everytime I have been in the Frenide district, have gotten lost.

    Comment by Gunter — January 28, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  39. #26 – “it also matches much of the Gold Coast with limited canal crossings and the area between Webster and Park. I also hit dead ends in the Fernside area.”

    Geez Gunter – lighten up. As you can see bridging a swale would be no big deal. Streets cross the bay trail often as they also “interfere” with bike paths, damned roads.

    Remember – Catullus wanted to put the school on top of a toxic plume – damned uncaring developers.

    Gunter, did you also know that the lagoons you lament were created by developers too? They were not part of the “Gold Coast” – get it? That was the ‘coast’, from the lagoons west is all landfill. That was a big battle the people lost in the 60’s. Those developers also promised the residents who were losing their bay view that there would be a “minimum” 300 ft width across the water for them. Well, there is another reason people don’t trust whatever developers promise.

    In case you were wondering how such a huge project like could have been approved despite the outcry of residents – Some of the deciding development voters (City Council) also sat on the board of the bank that was funding a big chunk of the developers. In fact during some of the decisions on phase in ’64, not only was Mayor Godfrey then on the Board of Directors of Security Savings and Loan, but Council member Terry LaCroix was then the vice president of Security Savings and Loan which was instrumental in financing stages of those developments they were voting on. Of course the city attorney, Frederick Cunningham, said there was no conflict of interest in the vote….

    Sometimes I wonder, other times I just wish the inherent greed of human nature could somehow change…

    From the comments in the rest of your posts Gunter you seem content to mimic the problems of the past. Sure hope you are not a stellar example of a typical “Bay Porter”.

    Comment by David Kirwin — January 28, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  40. Gunter – that wasn’t a dead end – it was a parking lot. Man, you ARE lost.

    Comment by Pssst, here lost man. — January 28, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  41. Gunter, there are no dead ends in the Fernside. Maybe you don’t know where the Fernside is.

    Comment by dave — January 29, 2009 @ 6:13 am

  42. DK,

    How many dead ends, walls, ect in your area…maybe we should open all those up? My whole point is they are private streets because we pay for them not the City…I guess that went by you.

    Comment by Gunter — January 29, 2009 @ 6:37 am

  43. Perhaps folks should ask AD where those cul-de-sacs/dead ends are on the East side, since the issue came up here:

    Also on the east end, it’s about time to open the cul-de-sacs that come against Fernside and Otis. I believe they are Calhoun, Washington, Peach. (I have to go look.) This will alleviate the Otis and Fernside “speed ramps” from Harbor bay bridge.

    And here:

    I argued for opening up the cul-de sacs on the west side and letting cross traffic on Fernside.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 29, 2009 @ 6:43 am

  44. Gunter: That’s California Heritage Bay. Give it its full and glorious name.

    Comment by BC — January 29, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  45. And more seriously, Gunter, my point is simply that developments should be a regular part of the town, not have the feel of separated enclaves. The road through California Heritage Bay is a through street in that it links two streets. The KB development near Buena Vista and Grand has city streets and fits in fine. And yes, I realize this all costs money. I’m not against paying for these things. I’m not an anti-development person and am very much a fan of the goals of New Urbanism (especially when I think of the results of the alternatives). I just think there are better and worse ways to develop. Peace.

    Comment by BC — January 29, 2009 @ 8:08 am

  46. Re #43: Fernside (its top part specifically) is an offshoot of another developer pet project–Harbor Bay. It was made to carry folks in those fancy new homes straight to the bridges, pronto. We are dealing with its problems (speeding, notably) even now. Not in a very smart way, as I keep saying, but everybody acknowledges the problem. I don’t know the exact history of the cul-de-sacs there (heavy lobbying by influential citizens?) but there are three (Calhoun, Filmore and and Peach) that could be opened to ease up the traffic on Fernside and Otis.

    Alameda has been screwed by developers more than once-that much is clear. The question is–when is it going to stop?

    Comment by AD — January 29, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  47. Correction to post #39. The west of lagoon landfill was done in the 50’s. South Shore opened in ’58. The surrounding developments were being done in the 60’s, including the development along the estuary from South Shore to Otis Bridge to Bay Farm Island that has cul-de-sacs. -That one was approved in ’64, and was the reference in post #39.

    Comment by David Kirwin — January 29, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  48. Hey BC, you are willing to pay…send some money into the HOA of California Heritage Bay and put your money where your mouth is or quit being an ass and driving through just for spite? How many other taxpayers in Alameda are going to agree with you to pay? Probably in my estimate less than 10%.

    Developers didn’t screw Alameda, developers developed Alameda, many from the late 1800, early 1900…nothing has changed, just different players.

    Comment by Gunter — January 29, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

  49. Nein.

    Comment by BC — January 29, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

  50. OK Gunter, I’ll meet you half way: How about some developed it and some screwed it. Now we have to agree on which did what…

    Comment by AD — January 29, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  51. Gunter – you are partially correct – developers did develop Alameda. However many of them were built by owner-builders, or people bought property, (much of it at auction) and built their home, and sometimes a few other homes. – Also look at the styles, not the architectural styles, but the ‘form-base’ of the developing neighborhoods as they were established in Alameda. Not until building began by mass scale developers, on ‘bay-fill’ west of Clinton and Harbor Bay, was there ‘block-after-block of cookie-cutter sameness’. So the ‘form’ of development has certainly changed, that’s for sure. Another ‘for sure’ change is the amount of vehicle traffic on the island and how further development has a much more dramatic effect.

    Comment by David Kirwin — January 29, 2009 @ 9:42 pm

  52. Fernside and Otis is not in the Fernside district. The boundaries of the Fernside district are, roughly, Versailles, Fernside, High, and Lincoln, but it does not go all the way to High on Lincoln. You can see where it stops from the transition from 1920’s houses to Victorians on Lincoln. There are no dead ends in the Fernside district, although there are several in the East End.
    There have been small and large developers throughout Alameda’s history. Chipman and Aughinbaugh were somewhat unsuccessful developers in the 1850’s. To quote Imelda Merlin’s book, “Already in 1871 and association was building homes in the West End and selling them ‘on time’ in the modern manner, much as if the buyers were paying rent.” p. 57. I understand what DK is saying, that was before the mass developments such as South Shore and Harbor Bay, but still, developers made this place what it is now.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — January 31, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

  53. Kevis,

    I think you over-looked the main premises of my agreement w/ Gunter that “developers did develop Alameda.”

    You are correct that I pointed out that for most of it -“ not until building began by mass scale developers, on ‘bay-fill’ west of Clinton and Harbor Bay, was there ‘block-after-block of cookie-cutter sameness’.”

    The main point that I thought was self-evident is that Alameda is now developed. We have a full city, a community government (although it currently seems to represent developers better than the citizens on every item the developers take interest.)

    We no longer need “land-grabs” to settle a community or build local commerce.

    People like Aughinbagh purchased large tracts of land, built a number of homes (usually a low number) and sold off other parcels of land to other ‘owner-builders’ who in turn would build one or a small number of homes. Thus there was a more organic slow growth style, punctuated with some ‘spurts’ of growth, such as Leonardville. True, there were many “developers” who helped form Alameda –Fritz Boehmer was a ‘pioneer of Park St’, and there are many other familiar names like Hibbard, Minturn, Bartell, and Leonard.

    These and men like them were the ‘development firms’ that developed Alameda, and with that style of development, which in its day developed all of what existed as Alameda, there was no “cookie cutter remains of their action. Maybe not perfect, but it created the ‘seamless Alameda’, and the small local developers cared about the results. Some of the families of those ‘developers’ still live in Alameda.

    I have some copies of the “parcel maps” circulated when what is now known as ‘old Bay Farm Island’ went to auction at $100 / 10 acre lot. Obviously this was long before the Utah Mining Company built out the western shore from Clinton – the former beachfront, then doubled the size of Bay Farm and formed Doric and Harbor Bay, and partnerships Don Hawley and City Council members who profited from allowing his plans, or other politician-developer partnerships like Perata / Cowan, and now CC & City Developer staff and companies like SunCal and Catullus.

    Alameda indeed does have an interesting history.

    Another interesting piece of history is that a few years ago when CC and the Alameda re-development dept was dealing with APCP to develop the former NAS, a key concern was traffic (duh!). Remember the “gondola” solution? They wanted to build a ‘sky-tram’ from the Point to West Oakland BART station. Of course our Alameda re-development dept was all for it, because with the planned 1600 homes traffic was going to be a nightmare, or at least terribly inconvenient to all who live here. So Debbie Potter in 2001 said we would bneed additional to get people across the estuary.

    I guess she drank the JKW Kool-Aide and was brain-washed into believing that we only had to triple or quadruples the number of homes to reduce the impact on the commute. Otherwise it was perhaps her employers who ‘trained’ her into a new set of sound bites to speak favorably for over-development on a toxic flood zone subsidized by the taxpayers to insure the private developer’s profit.

    The full article is here:

    The tramway is being proposed by Alameda Point Community Partners — a consortium consisting of Morgan Stanley, Shea Homes, Centex Homes, and the Industrial Realty Group — that was picked by the Alameda City Council in August to be master redevelopers of the former base. Over the next fifteen years, the Partners hope to build some 1,600 units of housing, four and a half million square feet of industrial and commercial space, and more than 100,000 square feet of retail shops on the 775 acres now called Alameda Point.
    Getting to and from all that new activity poses a problem, however. The island’s three bridges and the Webster and Posey tubes already are jammed at rush hour. Debbie Potter, manager of Alameda’s Base Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, believes the bridges and tube could accommodate the initial phases of the conversion. “But if we’re going to build out the full plan — especially the commercial and retail — we would need the additional capacity,” she said.

    At least one thing they planned right – in accordance with the of BRAC – the purpose of the transfer was to create good-paying industrial jobs.

    Do you think the Navy might have had a clue that the space they were providing was too contaminated to be made clean enough for residential use? Are you aware that the Navy used land at the Alameda base not only for its own waste, (like solvents, and radioactive waste – not old shoes and compost), but they also brought that kind of waste from other area bases like Mare Island, Treasure Island and Hunter’s Point?

    Toxicity and Transportation – That’s just two of many reasons not to even consider the SunCal plan. Then there is the Tax burdens and tidal realities….

    Educated and informed people could go on and on, but City Council will never listen because it is not in their personal interest. At least that how it always seems.

    Comment by David Kirwin — January 31, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  54. “…but they also brought that kind of waste from other area bases like Mare Island, Treasure Island and Hunter’s Point?”

    DK, what’s your source on this statement?

    Comment by JR — February 1, 2009 @ 8:30 am

  55. I should have clarified that Fernside Ave and Fernside district is not the same thing-Kevis is correct. I’d say Ferside district starts north of Encinal, includes both sides of Fernside Ave, and loops around to about Versailles, and includes Gibbons and North and Southwood. Am I correct? Generally, you can tell because it’s the area with nice old street trees. Is there a Fernside home association that makes sure trees are kept and taken care of?

    Comment by AD — February 1, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  56. Here’s the link to the Fernside HOA. It includes the original CC&Rs and a map.

    Is the deleted clause sixteen the one that limited ownership of homes to White Christians?

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 1, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  57. Yes, it is the clause that has been illegal & unenforceable since 1948, which despite its status a complete non-issue, you are fixated with.

    Yeah, that clause.

    Comment by dave — February 1, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  58. Jr – These are well known facts, I’ve attended public meetings where the clean up, (and lack of it in very toxic areas), and poor solutions offered by the NAVY has been discussed. I believe it has also been a topic on this blog before.

    Most recently the public was reminded at an open meeting covering some of the current concerns of Alameda and the problems of Redevelopment. (Toxicity, sea level rise, current city budget…) One of the speakers was George Humphreys of Restoration Advisory Board who made the statement that Alameda NAS was used to dump materials from other local bases including Mare Island and others.

    I had spent a lot of time at Mare Island when I worked on a number of films including, “JACK”, “METRO”, “PATCH ADAMS”, and “SPHERE”. We knew there were ‘hot spots’ – co-workers heard the Geiger counters going off when testing was being done within the dry dock where we were originally building the underwater sets for “Sphere”. Months later, after almost 6 months of set construction, the whole production was shut down. It was the only time I ever worked on a film where they “pulled the plug”. A few months later production construction was re-started but they instead built huge concrete tanks in some of the other buildings in which we then built the under water sets. Actors and crew were not going to be in water contained by concrete walls spiking the geiger counters. Over the course of working on these films I was in several buildings on Mare Island (Maybe still under a dozen) We knew that some of the areas were ‘very hot’ and were more securely made off-limits. The main building which housed set construction on Sphere after the construction was restarted had 3” -4“ circular patches all over where core samples had been taken. I only worked one film at Hunter’s Point – “JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH” where we built some sets, (and the giant peach which was then barged to Treasure Island to work with the “hill set”) They handed out maps that listed areas of the base that were very toxic and radioactive, and we saw the workers dressed in ‘space suits’ who must have been testing in those areas.

    In short – that statement was made last week by George Humphreys of Restoration Advisory Board. You can Google RAB or George Humphreys, or other members of RAB. They are our fellow island residents, very well trained, and doing extensive volunteer work. What is of concern is their reports are not being heard and Leslie Little wants it that way. Our RAB probably needs community support for their efforts to have impact – the developers, and therefore CC and the redevelopment dept just want a piece of government paper saying it is all okay. Maybe you can just call George – he’s probably in the book.

    Other concerns I have is that Leslie Little is now trying to shut down the Alameda Film Commission, and she should not have the right to do that. Is she afraid that they could bring more meaningful employment to the base? Instead of meeting at ‘her City Hall West’ as a city commission they can have free use of a room at the library, and Lesile Little’s staff does not have to participate.

    Interesting that she claims she doesn’t have the resources to host film commis meetings or to type the minutes for their quarterly meeting. Personally I think the film commission needs to meet much more often to be effective, I hope they have at least linked with Ami Zinn, the full time Oakland employee who runs the Oakland Film Commission with a volunteer staff. – Yet Leslie Little, the San Jose resident and empress of Alameda Redevelopment, just volunteered $100k of her budget to fund the “Alameda Financial Sustainability Committee”. Think she wants to influence that? – Why is that part of her prevue?

    Comment by David Kirwin — February 1, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  59. #57
    Check your dates.

    De facto discrimination took place well into the 1990s. Talk to realtors who worked the neighborhood a decade or so ago.

    The legacy of past discrimination carries over into the present. The Fernside is still the most segregated neighborhood in Alameda.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 1, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  60. 56. Thanks! There is indeed a reference to trees: No tree over 12 inches in diameter shall be cut without the consent of the HOA and the Oakland Bank. Very good–you can see the positive result of that. The city of Alameda should adopt a similar ordinance.

    Clause 9 is interesting: No more than one residence per lot, with certain exceptions. Suppose measure A gets overturned–would that affect the HOA rule?

    Comment by AD — February 1, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

  61. # 58
    DK- Are you suggesting other military installations brought toxic waste to Alameda for burial? Or, for ship transport to offsite disposal areas? Two completely different scenarios. I know the Base has toxic areas and some areas very toxic but this is the first time I’ve heard that other military installations sent their toxic material to Alameda burying at the Point.

    Mare Island toxic waste is a whole different ballgame than Alameda’s. Nuke submarine construction compared to aircraft repair. I think someone who suggests that nuclear waste from Mare Island is buried at the Point should have hard evidence. I do not consider hearsay or google hard evidence.

    Comment by Jack R — February 1, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

  62. Jack, I am not suggesting anything. I am reporting what the RAB has documented, and reported – that other military installations brought toxic waste to Alameda for burial.

    I gave you the source, if you want to argue it – go to them! Or go to the City and insist they tell you what action they have taken, or why they haven’t taken action.

    If you have the time to do that during city work hours, please report the results back to readers of this blog.

    Thank you for your time.

    Comment by David Kirwin — February 1, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  63. #60: Just general comments and nothing more: Most cities have zoning for single family and multi-family districts, and I assume that Alameda would/could retain its conventional, historic zoning without Measure A, but minus the absolute enforceability of a charter amendment. The city would determine when and how to grant a variance or amend the zoning itself. Residents could appeal City Council or Commission decisions, but the city would have the final say. Residents could bring lawsuits as well, but as a practical matter most neighborhood groups don’t have the means to launch an effective legal offensive.

    Berkeley, for example, does not have any real equivalent to Measure A, but it definitely does have restrictions on construction of multi-story residential buildings, which (I think) fall under the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance. The NPO was enacted for a purpose similar to Measure A, at roughly the same time, and restricts large buildings to the main thoroughfares.

    Usually when a large project is proposed, it undergoes several years of battling back and forth between the adjoining neighbors on side streets, the developer and the city, then possibly a lawsuit, then more battling. Wealthy people tend to win these battles and less wealthy people tend to lose.

    Anyway, city and state law would normally preempt an HOA restriction.

    And in that regard, note that the Second Unit Ordinance, whatever final form it takes, will preempt Measure A and any HOAs (just as the Density Bonus will do), meaning that even if Measure A is never overturned, it may be permissible by right to build a second unit on lots that comply with the ordinance.

    Comment by DL Morrison — February 1, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

  64. Jack – I should have said if you want more, better information, 1st hand, go to them. You may not have been trying to be argumentative, and blogs should attempt to be without emotion, sine that aspect is almost all interpretive.

    Of equal concern is how the Redevelopment dept is trying to control that situation, like they are trying to control the film commissioni and city fiscal reports from Kevin Kennedy’s Committee on the sustainability of our city finances. Kevin Kennedy also pointed pout how ‘interpretive’ that can be as well.

    When the rep from AFD union pointed out that AFD consumes only 7% of Alameda (total)Annual Budget, Kevin took exception because that figure excludes the future financial liabilities being created with the present H&W package which is part of the AFD union contracts.

    Comment by David Kirwin — February 1, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  65. Another error – It was Kevin Kearny not Kevin Kennedy also pointed pout how ‘interpretive’ that can be as well. (At the last Alameda Public Forum)

    When the rep from AFD union pointed out that AFD consumes only 7% of Alameda (total)Annual Budget, Kevin (Kearny) took exception because that figure excludes the future financial liabilities being created with the present H&W package which is part of the AFD union contracts.

    Comment by David Kirwin — February 1, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  66. DL – Watching the action of CC, without MA there would be no real control – It never seems to do any good to go to CC if you are agruing against a major developer.

    That’s just a lost cause which is why the only solution for the people is to maintain MA.

    It may be a “blunt tool” but it is only one that the citizen’s wield, and staff and elected officials have shown that on some issues they cannot be trusted to do what the majority of voters want.

    Comment by DK — February 1, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

  67. #66: Yes, thanks, that’s essentially what I’m getting at. You described above how a handful of influential people controlled not only development but the reshaping of Alameda, and that’s exactly what would happen again. The battle over the megaplex is a good example, and the “concrete” result is a good visual metaphor.

    As I said too, the relative effectiveness of neighborhood resistance depends a lot on who the neighbors are, and that kind of stinks.

    In any event, I would not complain that Measure A falls short in some ways — it’s still better than the alternatives.

    Comment by DL Morrison — February 1, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  68. Re 59:

    60 years

    Comment by dave — February 1, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  69. #68

    Read it again. The case was a stepping stone against discrimination, but essentially the Supreme Court said that it was okay to not sell to Blacks or Asians or Jews or… but don’t expect the courts to order that those people be removed from your neighborhood in case someone makes the mistake of selling a home to them. Not a great ruling, but a step in the right direction.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 1, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

  70. If you want to discuss cul-de-sacs and private streets in Alameda, then you need to include the closure of San Antonio Avenue between Chestnut and Lafayette to Saint Joseph’s for their exclusive use and the more recent closure of Chestnut between San Jose and San Antonio for their exclusive use during school hours. Try mapping it on streetview on Google. The streets were closed and access denied.

    In the meantime, the city directs almost all low-income housing to a small area bounded by Constitution, Buena Vista, Main and Atlantic. The main commercial route in this area, Webster, is denuded of trees and a wasteland of broken sidewalks, liquor stores, gas stations and fast-food restaurants. Somehow the money to improve Webster ran out at Pacific and now there is no money to continue the project north into the city’s poorest area. The history of racism and discrimination is just as much a part of the city’s history as the Victorian homes — but that unpleasant history is ignored.

    What gets built where is subject to who lives where. Neighborhood preservation is too often code for continuing discriminatory housing practices.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 1, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  71. #59: “De facto discrimination took place well into the 1990s. Talk to realtors who worked the neighborhood a decade or so ago.”

    Clause 16 was deleted decades ago – yet when I bought my home in the Fernside in 2005, my realtor mentioned it as if it was still in the CC&Rs. Makes me wonder exactly what passes for fact in the realtor community.

    “The Fernside is still the most segregated neighborhood in Alameda.”

    I suppose you have the statistics to back that statement up?

    Comment by Colorblind — February 2, 2009 @ 7:32 am

  72. In that area you describe, I know of 1 (one) liquor store, at Webster & BV. The nearest fast food place, KFC, is no longer, the sidewalks are in vastly better shape than those on bourgeois Gibbons Drive and if gas stations are such a only-in-the-downtrodden-West-End stain, why does Park Street have a similar number of them?

    Get of your deconstructionist bunker, you might notice a significant qualitative improvemnt in the commercial offerings on Webster in the last several years. It might occur to you that the previous history of Wesbter & the West End was dominated by a large entity called the Navy (ever heard of em?)

    But nah, that takes mental effort.

    Comment by dave — February 2, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  73. #71
    “I suppose you have the statistics to back that statement up?”

    Check the census tract data.

    Patterns of discrimination do not disappear overnight.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 2, 2009 @ 7:43 am

  74. #62 Dave, I was at the Public Affairs Forum as well, and I have attended over 80% of the RAB meetings over the last 5 years (they meet once a month), and I don’t recall offhand ever being a discussion of waste from other sites being dumped at Alameda Point, nor do I recall George saying that at the forum. However since there is a RAB meeting this Thursday, we can find out from the source!

    Comment by Doug Biggs — February 2, 2009 @ 8:03 am

  75. #72, RE “The nearest fast food place, KFC, is no longer…”

    Within the boundaries of Constitution, Buena Vista, Main and Atlantic, you may dine at the following fine establishments:

    Taco Bell 1900 Webster
    Burger King 1901 Webster
    Togos, 730 Atlantic
    Jack in the Box 1826 Webster
    TK Buffet 1925 Webster

    Comment by Susan — February 2, 2009 @ 8:31 am

  76. Fair enough, I made a mental error on the location of a few eating places. Point still stands: it is foolish & inaccurate to call the commercial offerings on Webster a legacy of discrimination.

    Comment by dave — February 2, 2009 @ 8:40 am

  77. ANT, I am as upset by the daytime privatization of Chestnut street for school purposes as you are. The islands they’ve installed at the corners of San Jose and San Antonio are in-your-face intrusion into the right of way of drivers. You can tell there are influential people whose kids go to Saint Joe.

    It is not news that low income residents have less to no influence over what’s done in their neighborhood. This is partially due to mobility-people likely to move are less invested in their surroundings. I wouldn’t blame attempts at neighborhood preservation on racism–this play right into the hands of those who will jump to say that Measure A supporters are racist elites, and you know that’s not true. People adopt preservation ordinances because they recognize certain values they want to maintain. Racism could sometimes be perceived as being part of this, but it’s not the basis in my experience. Lifestyle matters s lot more than skin color.

    FYI, I’ve taken your advice and started a blog. Only not to run a counterpoint to Lauren’s pro development viewpoint but to discuss tree issues in Alameda. Trees have always been a concern of mine, I’ve spent so much time talking and writing about it privately, I might as well make it public. Feel free to bring any tree concerns, comments or rants over there.

    Comment by AD — February 2, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  78. #74. Yeah, DK was correct: Treasure Island and Oak Knoll debris was dumped at Alameda Point.

    Comment by E T — February 2, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  79. #71. In 1969, Kenneth Kofman, a member of Alamedans With HOPE (Housing Opportunities Provided Equally), was instrumental in having the race restriction clause removed from the Fernside Homeowners Covenant.

    Comment by Lois Pryor — February 2, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  80. The Fernside is so segregated because no houses have changed hands since then.

    Comment by Master of the Obvious — February 2, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  81. #78
    My question in my # 61 was about DK’s assertion that Mare Island’s nuclear waste is buried at the Point. I asked for his source and he named George Humphreys and the RAB. Up to this time, to my knowledge, Mr. Humphreys has not confirmed that he stated Mare Island’s nuclear waste is buried at the Point.

    IMO, perhaps the dumping of toxic waste has ceased at the Point but it continues unabated here.

    Comment by Jack R — February 2, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  82. #81. I was just speaking to what George said at the 1/24 meeting. What I heard and wrote in my notebook was Oak Knoll and Treasure Island.

    Comment by E T — February 2, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  83. I was not referring to your post in my #78, ET, although it would be nice to know what George’s sources are.

    NAS Alameda was a NAVAIR command, Mare Island and TI NAVSEA. I don’t know what command Naval Oak Knoll came under but authority to dump nuclear waste had to come from a higher authority and that gets into the political realm.

    Comment by Jack R — February 2, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

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