Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 22, 2010

Attachments in order

Many thanks to Lara Weisiger, City Clerk, for being gracious enough to send over as many of the attachments for the SunCal submission as I was interested in.   So for those who haven’t had a chance to read the transmission letter that was sent as a part of the packet, here is a copy that you can download and copy and paste to your heart’s content, however I have excerpted highlights from the letter:

…The development plan we are submitting today is the same plan that is on the ballot on February 2, 2010. The scope of development is the same; the number of residential units and nonresidential building square footage and other provisions of the plan have not been modified. The public benefits and amenities are the same. The Alameda Point Sports Complex, the Seaplane Lagoon Park and other parks, a new fen’y terminal and transit hub, a new library and other public benefits contained in the ballot initiative are all provided.

As required by the ENA, this application seeks approval of the development plan utilizing MX Zoning, rather than utilizing a Specific Plan. As such, the application includes a Master Plan (together with a zoning amendment to MX Zoning) in lieu of the Specific Plan (and Specific Plan rezoning) that is included with the initiative. The main body of the Master Plan submitted
today is identical to the Specific Plan submitted with the initiative.

The land use plan described in this Optional Entitlement Application seeks the ability to construct, in some locations within the Alameda Point property, multiple dwelling units at a density of more than one unit per 2,000 square feet of land area.

This may be achieved either through an amendment to Article XXVI of the City Charter of the City of Alameda or through application of the City s density bonus ordinance. The state density bonus law expressly applies to charter cities like the City of Alameda for the purpose of encouraging the development of affordable housing, senior housing, and child care facilities. Either of these approaches will further the City s responsibilities under state law in meeting and in complying with regional general welfare requirements and achieving its fair share of regional housing and wil further the goals of the federal base reuse process to create economic growth for the community…

So there are lots of attachments, you thought that the nearly 300 pages of the Initiative was long,  according to the City Clerk’s office the entire packet was more than 480 pages long.   So here are some the the attachments that I thought would be interesting:

In Attachment G, which is the request to change the zoning of Alameda Point to Mixed Use (MX) there is also language that would exempt Alameda Point from Measure A, if the Council choose to place the initiative on the ballot.  If the City choose not to go in that direction, then as stated in the letter, SunCal could opt to move forward with achieving its plan through the density bonus ordinance.

The Development plan, Attachment K, is also interesting as well because it includes this table which tentatively lays out how the phasing will proceed if everything goes to plan.

So, what does this all mean?   Well, as I said before, it means that if Measure B fails, the Plan that folks have said they really like even though they hate the Measure B initiative will have a second chance to be actually implemented.

Whether or not Measure B passes, we are looking toward another long slog.   Basically, this whole ordeal won’t end until either (1) the ENA period expires without the City and SunCal coming to a meeting of the minds or (2) the land is finally conveyed to the City and then the developer.   Otherwise be prepared once the Development Agreement objections are swept away for all the other complaints about developing Alameda Point, at all, are brought back to the forefront.

Also, in other news the Greenbelt Alliance has endorsed Measure B saying this about the City’s election report:

…Greenbelt Alliance commissioned an urban economics expert to review the City’s election report finding that the fiscal impacts of the proposed development would be negative for Alameda. This independent review found that the election report relied on several worst case assumptions. A more standard analysis would have likely revealed that the development’s fiscal impacts would be either neutral or slightly favorable for the City. Our analysis of Measure B also found that, while the measure would convey land use entitlements to the developer, it does not convey ownership rights or other regulatory permits. As such, the City Council or other regulatory agencies could require modifications to the development if further analysis, including CEQA review, indicates that changes to the development plan are warranted based on environmental, health or other concerns…


  1. also, Marie Gilmore came out against this, probably because she wants to be mayor.

    Comment by E — January 22, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  2. did any of you cats and kittens read this hilarious letter to the editor in the paper yesterday? it honestly read like a parody of the No on B side:

    Alameda Point is fine as it is

    I don’t know much, but I know Measure B is all about making money. That is why developers are in business. They do not have our best interests at heart, or the environment. They want to turn a profit.

    All the mail I get to vote for B is printed on high gloss/four-color (pricey) paper. All the phone calls and personally addressed letters cost money. The developers count on out-mailing the opposition, which they likely will do. But I hope people will not be blinded by their shiny mailings and smart talk.

    Why can’t Alameda Point be a piece of land which is just fine as it is? It may not be the prettiest, but who says every inch of ground needs to be occupied by cookie-cutter homes?

    I like Alameda Point as it is. It’s an affordable place for artist studios and small companies that can’t afford the outrageous rents in other areas. My taiko-drumming school would not be able to rent in any other centrally located space in this area. I love to hang out in the parks and the waterfront, and I can bike and skate there without having to worry about being overrun by traffic.

    Talking about traffic, has anybody seriously thought of how many more cars this development will bring to the island? Check out the traffic on Webster Avenue. It is scary already how much traffic is rolling through there.

    With more people and cars, we’ll need more/ bigger streets, more parking, more traffic lights, more police, more everything — and we will end up just being one more overcrowded town.

    I have enough shopping, enough gas stations, enough traffic as it is. As far as I am concerned, Alameda is just fine as it is. I’d like to keep it a small town.

    Don’t be fooled, Measure B is all about money, and not about us.

    D. Hale

    I loled for a solid 15 minutes after reading that.

    Comment by E — January 23, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  3. The Rime of the Old No Brainer

    ‘Tis Sunny Cal that comes along
    And stoppeth all of thee
    We’ll take the air base off your hands
    And do it all for free

    Traffic, traffic, everywhere
    The tube’s filled to the brink
    Traffic, traffic everywhere
    The Island’s gonna sink

    One bankruptcy
    Two Bankruptcies
    They total nine times three
    Sunny Cal will add one more
    If you pass measure B

    Toxics, toxics everywhere
    Your teeth will start to glow
    Toxics, toxics everywhere
    Let’s hope the place don’t blow

    Sunny Cal is so off base
    When you total all the cost
    It’s you and me and him and her
    Shall wear the albatross

    So now you know that Sunny Cal
    Is just a crafty feigner
    So voting No on measure B
    Should be a real no-brainer

    Comment by Jan Sutter — January 23, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  4. E Your meanness appeals to my inner demons and periodically I succumb to their call, but periodically with some regret.

    On Conan O’Brien’s final show last night he thanked the audience and talked about his twenty years as a comedian ending with an appeal to the youth in TV land. He pleaded that they not be cynical, saying it is the least attractive of his attributes. Pretty odd coming from a stand up comedian who has spent twenty years making fun of others in his opening monologues every night. But I guess on this occasion he was being more introspective than usual. Anyway, I found it interesting.

    I think there is a place for making fun of others. More restrained or dignified individuals might disagree. It sure is tempting when you get a belly full idiotic behavior, but one is wielding a double edged sword.

    I had only started reading this letter and thought it was from a geezer. I am especially impatient with geezers which is ironic because I have to be on guard from becoming one prematurely.

    Reading your post I realize D. Hale is probably young, and also sincere if a little unsophisticated or naive. The difference in my mind is that a geezer is probably entrenched while a young person can be educated if you don’t put them on the defensive by humiliating them. Maybe I’m being age-ist, but I’m only judging my own mental atrophy after over half a century.

    I think it’s counter productive to ridicule a sincere person even if they are ignorant. Especially youth.

    I agree that this letter reads as a parody, which makes me a little feel badly for the author. The other letter yesterday which had a similar effect probably was written by an older person. It’s hyperbolic rhetoric decried existing gridlock on our streets which will only reach apocalyptic proportions if B passes! In my opinion the author has no relative sense of how good we have it in the world, though I’m sure he would accuse me of the very same.

    My years in local politicking (about 18 of them) have left me exhausted. This Measure B race is sort of the icing on the cake, but what is so awful is that it ain’t over. The duration of the NEA window and upcoming race for local offices is bound to be a real barrel of laughs.

    You keep doing what makes you LOL, E. Just think about the negative ripple effect in terms of making the people you disagree with more bitter, more entrenched and more angry and irrational than some of them often are.

    I don’t mean to preach. These words are just as much to keep me from succumbing to my snarky demons because Alameda always seems to supply plenty to bait them.

    Comment by M.I. — January 23, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  5. 4.
    “Just think about the negative ripple effect in terms of making the people you disagree with more bitter, more entrenched and more angry and irrational than some of them often are.”

    Be honest now Mark, have you ever known anyone who’s had their mind changed by any comment on this blog?

    Oops, I just thought of one that changed my mind…It was Doug Biggs’ answer to my question in his Guest Blogger answer # 8 of October 15, 2009. His answer caused me to analyze anew the APC and what it’s doing. I decided right then and there that here is a decent person and his decency must reflect through him onto his APC.

    Oop, oops, I just thought of another. Mike McMahon, who always provides thoughtful and well researched comments and answers to anyone’s question.

    Hmm, I just realized they’re both B supporters. Anyway, those two people (Oh yeah, of course Lauren is included and you too…on occasion) come to mind…, in fact the more I think about it the more I disbelieve my comment about nobody having their mind changed here, so forget it.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 23, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  6. The two things I really hate to see are meanness and hyberbole. I recall that those in opposition to the theater/parking garage were screaming that the building of those two structures would bring on the apocolypse here in terms of traffic, crime, loss of community identity, etc. They launched personal attacks on all those in favor and did not follow the rules of civil discourse (stating your piece affirmatively and offering your arguements rationally.)
    Some of the same stuff is going on in this debate. There are good arguements on both sides; we just need to be civil in offering them. Neither incivility or hyperbole advances the cause of the advocates of either side.

    Comment by Kate Quick — January 23, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  7. Jack, thank you for your very kind words.

    On Thursday night I had the pleasure of presenting my opinions about Measure B (I was in support)At the GABA meeting. Ash Jones represented the no on B point of view. I think it is safe to say the majority of the group in attendance was opposed to Measure B.

    Now throughout this whole campaign, I would imagine there are very few things Ash and I have see eye to eye on, but Thursday night it was honestly a pleasure to share the podium with him, and to talk about life after Feb. 2nd. One of the things Ash pointed out is that no matter the outcome, Measure B has created an interest and a commitment among a number of folks in doing right for Alameda Point and the Community. We don’t always agree on what “right” is, but we want to be involved. And that is a good thing.

    The other point we agreed on, is no matter what your views, if you don’t vote, you don’t count. It is highly likely that less than 50% of the eligible voters will decide this issue. Residents of other countries (and even this county in previous times) have given their lives for the right to vote. How hard can it be to take a few moments to fill out an absentee ballot, or go to the polling place on election day, and vote yes or no on one item?

    Comment by Doug Biggs — January 23, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  8. My friend and role model Doug Biggs is correct–voting is critical, and so is coming together after February 2–whatever the outcome–to move Alameda and Alameda Point forward.

    I hope the City Council and staff will be open to a more constructive and cooperative approach towards our duly selected master developer as well. SunCal has clearly demonstrated in its January 17 application docs that it is committed to the City and community of Alameda.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — January 24, 2010 @ 8:30 am

  9. 6. I disagree with you Kate. One person’s rational and civil discourse is another’s hyperbole and meanness. I see those who enter the public debate, whatever the descriptive adjective of their rhetoric, as an aid in understanding the range of an issue. I cringe when I read of attempts to silence speech. I cringe when I read of what’s happening in the Netherlands and to a lesser degree but still scary in Canada and wonder how soon it will happen here.

    7. I hardily agree with your Ash Jones assessment, Doug. In fact, I voted for him last election. He and Mike McMahan would make great council members.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 24, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  10. #8
    SunCal is not the master developer. The city has not selected a master developer.

    #7 & 8
    Sounds to me like someone(s) is getting ready to spin a loss at the polls.

    Hopefully those who have such great respect for elections will also respect the results of those elections.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 24, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  11. 10.
    “SunCal is not the master developer.”

    Kindly inform Google, ANT.

    SunCal Companies Named Master Developer for Alameda PoinALAMEDA, Calif.,
    May 17 /PRNewswire/ — The Alameda City Council, acting as the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, has selected SunCal Companies to redevelop 770 acres of the former Alameda Naval Air Station near the City of Alameda. The milestone decision on the site, known as Alameda Point, will create one of the Bay Area’s most significant mixed-use waterfront communities.t in California. After more than 50 years of naval use, Alameda Point is moving forward to becoming the
    newest Alameda neighborhood. A reuse plan has been created and SunCal Companies has
    been selected as the master developer. Alameda Point is on its way to becoming a new
    recreational, commercial, and residential asset for our community.

    The City of Alameda selected SunCal in 2007 as the master developer to create a plan based on principles developed by the citizens of Alameda over 16 years of community meetings involving hundreds of Alameda citizens.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 24, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  12. #11

    It wouldn’t be the first time that wrong information was found on the Internet.

    It is interesting how one of SunCal’s major spokesmen could get his facts so wrong.

    SunCal and the City have an agreement to attempt to negotiate an agreement. SunCal is not the master developer — there is no master developer as of yet.

    Click to access ENA.pdf

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 24, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  13. 12.
    Quickly ANT, ask each of the no on B voters who the city selected as master developer for the Point?.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 24, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  14. #13

    Should I ask them at the same time to define an exclusive negotiating agreement?

    There is a difference between being engaged and being married. That would be my answer.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 24, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

  15. #15
    The link goes to a memo regarding the exclusive negotiating agreement.

    You can argue the wording all that you want, but SunCal has no right to develop Alameda Point. It is unclear what they are master of.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — January 24, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  16. Well, if you ask the “no” voters they’re the masters of our destiny.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 24, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  17. ANT: In order to enter into an ENA a Master Developer needed to be selected first. That RFP process began in October 2006 after the first Master Developer APCP withdrew and concluded in May 2007.

    While they do not have the “right” to develop until the DDA is negotiated and signed off on, the intention of the ENA period is to lead up to that.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 24, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  18. To be precise: the ENA Amendment that added Shaw (the 2nd Amendment) identifies SunCal as the development _manager_. The partnership between SunCal and Shaw (the LLC) which Shaw controls is identified as the developer.

    Comment by dlm — January 24, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  19. DLM: To be precise, the 2nd amendment to the ENA transfers ownership from SCC Alameda Point LLC to Cal Land Ventures which is a partnership between DE Shaw and WM Development Group. WM Development Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of SunCal.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 25, 2010 @ 7:10 am

  20. To be even more precise: Cal Land Ventures (comprised of SunCal and Shaw) is identified as the “Developer” in the 2nd Amendment to the ENA, and DE Shaw is identified as the having the “ultimate authority for all decisions” within that joint venture.

    SunCal is identified as the “day-to-day manager”, and Shaw can “remove” it from that role under certain circumstances.

    So basically, DE Shaw is the controlling party of the “Developer”, and SunCal is in a subordinate role.

    I’ll post some quotes below from the 2nd Amendment to the ENA.

    Comment by dlm — January 25, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  21. This relationship between SunCal and Shaw continues thru the term of the ENA, whenever it ends. After that, it’s not clear what the relationship would be.

    Anyway, here’s some quotes. I should edit this but I’m tired of looking at this stuff.

    The Developer is proposing to transfer ownership of SCC Alameda Point LLC to a new
    entity called Cal Land Venture, LLC (Cal Land). Cal Land is a joint venture of D.
    Shaw Real Estate Portfolios 20, LLC (D. E. Shaw) and WM Development Group, LLC, a
    wholly owned affiliate of SunCal (SunCal). Cal Land wil be the sole owner of SCC
    Alameda Point LLC. The new ownership structure is based on an Amended and
    Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement (Operating Agreement) between D.
    Shaw and SunCal. The Operating Agreement was provided to Alameda under separate
    cover and will be discussed in a special closed session on October 7 , 2008. SunCal
    has identified this document as confidential and not a public record. Pursuant to the
    ENA, the Developer is obligated to bear all costs associated with a dispute that the
    document is a public record.

    Consistent with the executed term sheet, the Operating Agreement provides that
    SunCal will retain responsibility for day-to-day management of the project. During the
    term of the ENA, D. E. Shaw is precluded from removing SunCal as the manager except
    for specific cause, including gross negligence , willful misconduct, or fraud. In addition
    there are a number of “Member Issues , referred to in the term sheet as “Major
    Decisions , contained in the Operating Agreement. If SunCal refuses to implement one
    or more of these Member Issues, such refusal is also a basis for removal as manager
    during the ENA term.

    The Operating Agreement acknowledges that SunCal has contributed not less than $1.
    million of equity to the Alameda Point project and other projects in which Cal Land has
    an interest. The Operating Agreement also states that Cal Land expects to invest $10
    million to meet its obligations under the ENA. However, the Operating Agreement
    further says that such expectation to invest $10 million is not a commitment or covenant
    to make capital contributions to fund the project.

    While the Operating Agreement addresses key Alameda concerns, such as retaining
    SunCal as the day-to-day manager, obligating SunCal to retain an equity stake in the
    new venture, and providing adequate capital to conduct all of the Developer
    obligations under the ENA, D. E. Shaw will have ultimate authority for all decisions on
    behalf of the new venture. Recognizing that the term sheet, and ultimately the
    Operating Agreement, would limit the scope of key provisions essential to successfully
    implementing the obligations pursuant to the ENA, the ARRAICIC/City Council directed
    staff on August 19, 2008, to amend the ENA to ensure that the ENA, to which Alameda
    is a party, has strict performance standards that can be enforced.

    Comment by dlm — January 25, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  22. I went ahead and posted all the documents/attachments associated with the “Optional Entitlement Application” process SunCal recently submitted itself to. Much of the documents are similar to what was in the ballot initiative — but I thought it’s important to go over and then post all documents in single place where they are easy-to-get by dial-up and high-speed.

    For what it’s worth, when you go to published Attachment N (Development Agreement) of the OEA, you don’t actually get a copy of the revised development agreement largely because this is subject to negotiations, although key details of Attachment N were discussed in this (blogging bayport) and other sites (The Island & Alameda Journal).

    Comment by Tony Daysog — January 25, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

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