Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 16, 2012

It’s Housing Element, my dear Watson

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Measure A — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Tomorrow night at the City Council meeting, the City Council will be doing a final reading of the 2007-2014 Housing Element.  It’s on the Consent Calendar, but it will be pulled.   I’ve written about this subject extensively and the City has had extensive meetings on the topic including the various components that have led up to this point.

But as what happens in all cases of things having to do with housing in Alameda, if someone feels as though they weren’t properly engaged regardless of the number of meetings about the subject they will attempt to say that there wasn’t enough notice or public process about the process.   Between the last City Council meeting and this City Council meeting, Councilmember Doug deHaan has been making huge waves amongst his peeps to try to build a level of outrage over the Housing Element.   Recall, the City started this process in December 2011 to revise the Housing Element and it’s no surprise that Alameda’s Housing Element has been out of compliance for a long long long time.

Here are just a few places where all this stuff was noticed before and discussed.

Based on a few items I’ve received in my inbox, it appears that someone has been marshalling the troops to come out to Tuesday’s City Council meeting to talk about how there needs to be more input into the process to apparently derail the Housing Element, even though Doug deHaan acknowledged at the City Council meeting last week that Alameda opens itself up to litigation if the Housing Element is not approved.

Even worse, Alameda opens itself up to penalization by regional authorities in the form of grant money, if it does not decide to play ball.

So back to rallying the troops, one of the allies that Doug deHaan was hoping to bring to his side was the folks in the Wedge neighborhood.   This is the neighborhood around the old Island High School site that was the place where Warmington Homes wanted to build their inclusionary housing units.  Apparently Doug deHaan is suggesting that the new Housing Element rezoning and plan would allow for even more units than Warmington Homes was proposing for the site.   As a reminder, Warmington was initially proposing 36 units.

According to the Housing Element and all other documents, the Island High site, rezoned, will have a “realistic capacity” of 17 units, it’s Site number 2 on the chart below:

That chart is the land availability chart detailing out what parcels are available to meet Alameda’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment number.

But in case you thought that was a fluke, here’s a list of all the sites that are to be rezoned under in this Housing Element:

The site will be going from M-1 to R-4-PD.

It is clear that Doug deHaan is confusing the zoning for the old Island High site with the new multi-family housing overlay that was discussed at the Planning Board level a while ago, according to the staff report way back when:

This new zoning district is designed as an overlay zone that can be combined  with the existing underlying zoning for a property. The new zone would permit 30 units per acre and a variety of housing types including multi-family rental housing. If a future proposed residential development project on a MF-30 zoned site qualified for full State Density Bonus, the project may be eligible for a density up to 40.5 units per acre.

The chart I posted above shows which sites get the MF overlay treatment.  Never fear though, the majority of those parcels are on the West End or the Northern Waterfront:

The Bay Citizen wrote an okay story about the subject managing to do what Measure A proponents hate.  Connect Measure A to Alameda’s xenophobic history, but this reporter actually connected it to racism.  I was being polite about the xenophobic thing.

Anyway, this is on the agenda for Tuesday night, it will be pulled.  There will be angry people complaining about not being engaged in the process.   There probably will be people taking about the sanctity of Measure A.   I’m hoping that some prospective City Council candidate comes out to use this agenda item to do a little bit of posturing, probably someone with a strong yay-Measure A position.   This actually may be an issue that gets me to the Council chambers, we’ll see if the kiddos behave enough to allow me a free night.

The point of all this is, Alameda is in a very precarious position with regard to its Housing Element.   Alameda has not had an approved Housing Element for the last cycle and the lack of a Housing Element exposes the City to litigation.   While Measure A supporters may be fearful of how the new multifamily housing overlay may be chipping away at Measure A, the fact is, that has already happened via the approval of the Density Bonus ordinance some years ago, which, ironically, was supported and pushed by one of Measure A’s biggest fans.




  1. This is the start of the Rob Bonta recall campaign

    Comment by Dr Poodlesmurf — July 16, 2012 @ 6:17 am

  2. In the East Bay, where foreclosure levels are some of the highest in the region, Alameda County had 37,411 vacant homes or 6.4 percent and Contra Costa County had 24,899 or 6.22 percent vacant homes.

    Silicon Valley had some of the lowest vacancy levels. Santa Clara County had 27,716 or 4.4 vacant homes and San Mateo County had 13,194 or 4.9 percent empty homes.

    In terms of people per housing unit, San Francisco had the lowest rate of 2.1 people per housing unit while Santa Clara had the highest with 2.8 people per housing unit.

    Overall, the six counties combined have 6.1 million residents and 142,355 empty homes

    1 in 7 American Houses Are Empty, 1 in 402 Americans Are Homeless


    According to a CNBC Article dated 01/31/11, Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty, the amount of homes being empty have been steadily increasing. There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 ’10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), so of the nearly 131 million housing units in this country, 112.5 million are occupied. More so now within the last year with short sales and foreclosures going on, many occupants are now moving back in with family or with friends. In addition to that, many major lenders such as Fannie and Freddie are holding on to hundreds of thousands of properties and no one knows when they will release them to the market thus increasing the number of vacant properties further.

    According to the 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, 650k to 800k homeless out of 305m total population in the US (2009) = .2%-.26% homeless = 1 in 500ish to 1 in 380ish americans who are homeless. So therefore, there are about 750k homeless persons for the 18.4 million houses available which is shown in the photo above of 24.5 houses per person.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 7:43 am

  3. There Are 24 Empty Houses for Every Homeless Person in America

    Lloyd Alter writes on Treehugger:

    That is what the census says. Andrew Leonard in Salon notes that it is a bit misleading, that “4.7 million are for “seasonal use” only, the Census tells us — unoccupied vacation homes, in other words. 4.1 million are for rent, 2.3 million are for sale, and the remaining 7.5 million “were vacant for a variety of other reasons.”

    The census also lists the total number of homeless in America as 759,101, so there are 24 empty houses for every homeless person in America. What a shocking mis-allocation of resources, materials and energy

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 7:52 am

  4. Alameda Schools don’t mirror xenophobic and either do the neighborhoods.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 8:07 am

  5. Alameda Ca

    Population Demographics Jump to: Population Demographics Household Distribution Crime Statistics Neighborhood Housing Characteristics Rental Information Population by Race & Gender
    African American 4,102 (7%)
    Asian or Pacific Islander 14,247 (24%)
    Indian 446 (1%)
    Mixed Races 3,792 (6%)
    Others 2,157 (4%)
    White 33,791 (58%)
    Female 30,340 (52%)
    Male 28,195 (48%)

    Household Income Levels
    Less than $30,000 6,680 (27%)
    $30,000 to $74,999 10,472 (42%)
    $75,000 to $149,999 6,326 (25%)
    $150,000 or More 1,600 (6%)

    Neighborhood information for the ZIP code 94501 is based on data from the Census and the FBI Crime Database

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  6. How to Reinflate the Housing Bubble.

    VIDEO: Destroying Homes to Save the Housing Market,32068,1129073220001_2090492,00.html

    The Administration recognizes that distressed inventory is holding back the housing recovery and has made efforts to minimize the number of homes facing foreclosure. Recently, the Home Affordable Modification Program was expanded so that more underwater homeowners would qualify for assistance. President Obama is pushing a mortgage-refinancing program to allow homeowners to reduce how much principal they owe, and the Fed recommended that lawmakers enact a government-sponsored program to rent out foreclosed properties. Owners who defaulted on their loan could potentially rent their old homes, which might otherwise be sold by the banks at a loss or fall into the category of vacant shadow inventory. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also revised their forbearance program that will allow owners who’ve lost their job to opt out of paying their mortgages for up to a year.

    It’s hard to gauge which, if any, of these programs will make much of a difference in the housing market. Considering the staggering amount of distressed homes and shadow-inventory properties around the country, there really is no quick-fix solution — and likely, no way that housing prices are going to rebound substantially in the near future.

    Read more:

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  7. We might need Business to come back to California instead of driving them Away… 100K New Applicants

    Oakland Housing Authority’s Section 8 Wait List Opens: An Overview of the Program

    At 8 a.m. today, the Oakland (California) Housing Authority began accepting applications for Section 8 assistance. People who want to request help through the rent-subsidy program need to act quickly: The list closes at 5 p.m. Saturday.

    Earlier in the month, Oakland Housing Authority director Eric Johnson told a local newspaper that he expected as many as 100,000 applicants. “We know that our families have been hard hit. We know there is a large need out there,” he said. Indeed, this afternoon the Oakland Housing Authority website went offline briefly, perhaps because of heavy traffic.

    In Oakland, 11,000 families receive Section 8 subsidies and approximately 10,000 more will be added to the wait list this week.

    As the effects of the recession send more people in search of housing assistance, Surge Desk decided to investigate some common questions about the Section 8 program. Here’s what we learned.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  8. John: I am unclear as to why you have posted the previous comments. This post is about the Housing Element which comes up for a final reading tomorrow night. Alameda is required to have an approved Housing Element per state law. Part of that housing element must address the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers that were allotted to Alameda. Alameda has not had an approved housing element in years. The state has recently changed the penalties for not having an approved Housing Element.

    If you want to discuss homelessness or Section 8 or vacant housing, I’m sure I have other open threads that would be a better fit — such as this recent one. RHNA and the Housing Element in general does not only address low-income housing, it is about all ranges and types of housing. If you want to rail against the state for requiring an approved Housing Element, it might be better if you just wrote that, instead of cutting and pasting a bunch of disparate articles that most readers will just end up skimming over.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  9. I was trying to find what the penalties for City non-compliance with the Housing Element are. I didn’t get the info from today’s post, though a link may show it. Nearest reference is this, “The point of all this is, Alameda is in a very precarious position with regard to its Housing Element. Alameda has not had an approved Housing Element for the last cycle and the lack of a Housing Element exposes the City to litigation.”, near the end of the post.

    I did a little search and found this:

    7. What happens if a jurisdiction does not adopt a Housing Element or the Element does not comply with State law?
    Limited access to State Funding. Both the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (CIEDB) and the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) award funds based on competitions that 111216 jb 0130896 2
    111216 jb 0130896 3 [sic[
    Lawsuits. Developers and advocates have the right to sue jurisdictions if their Housing Element is not compliant with State Law. Recent Bay Area cities that were successfully sued include Corte Madera, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Alameda, Benecia, Fremont, Rohnert Park, Berkeley, Napa County, and Santa Rosa. According to a memo from the Santa Barbara County Council, there has never been a city that has successfully argued that they do not need to comply with Housing Element law (July 2007, Housing Element Law: Mandates and Risks of Defiance). There are several potential consequences of being sued, including:
    Mandatory compliance – The court may order the community to bring the Element into compliance.
    Suspension of local control on building matters – The court may suspend the locality’s authority to issue building permits or grant zoning changes, variances or subdivision map approvals.
    Court approval of housing developments – The court may step in and approve housing projects, including large projects that may not be wanted by the local community.
    Fees – If a jurisdiction faces a court action stemming from its lack of compliance and either loses or settles the case, it often must pay substantial attorney fees to the plaintiff’s attorneys in addition to the fees paid to its own attorneys. These fees can easily exceed $100,000.

    The question is, are these penalties any worse than doing whatever the city decides to do without worrying about ABAG and their mean big brother, THE STATE (broke though the STATE is, they can always find funds to sue a city into compliance with a law that will make the state (and the city) even more broke)?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  10. Lauren

    Sorry I posted……. I was just looking at the Bigger Picture….Looking at the whole housing issue. Sometimes you can’t see forest when looking at one tree from a 1/4 inch away.

    State has alot bigger issues to worry about than putting a microscope on a Housing Element in Alameda when you have 100K families just over the Bridge or thru the Tube needing Section 8 Housing in Oakland and the Wait List is 6 Years in Alameda. Not counting the hundreds of other Cities facing same Problems in California.

    The Problem is everyone skims right thru the much Larger issues. They need to be dealt with first.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  11. If Alameda is successfully sued over the lack of an approved Housing Element, the penalties would absolutely be worse. Alameda has a chance to drive its own destiny with regard to how housing is built. If the courts intervene and find Alameda at fault, then Alameda loses control over how and what can be built in its own city. And of course anyone can sue. Pleasanton was not sued by the state, they were sued by a non-profit organization.

    The big thing to remember about these Housing Elements are that this does not mean that development is in the pipeline, only that Alameda does not throw up unnecessarily burdensome roadblocks to building housing. If we look at projects that have been entitled for years now, but there have been little to no movement on (Boatworks, Alameda Landing, etc.) removing barriers does not equal actual development. It just means that Alameda is taking steps to control what can happen on these sites and not leave it up to outside entities.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  12. “The question is, are these penalties any worse than doing whatever the city decides to do without worrying about ABAG and their mean big brother, THE STATE (broke though the STATE is, they can always find funds to sue a city into compliance with a law that will make the state (and the city) even more broke)?”

    Jack said in a sentence the point I was really trying to make…..I’m just not that bright.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  13. In a twisted way, LDo, you stated the truth in #8.You seem to have an undue reverence for what “the State” requires of Alameda. This makes you sound like a Communist-are you North Vietnamese? [Oh yeah, now I sound like a Racist]Or at least a Socialist. But as a 3rdGeneration Alamedan/Californian & a card-carrying Native Daughter of the Golden West, I figger I’m what makes this state Great.[me & Jack Richard & John, at least]. I couldn’t care less what the current unelected regional planners “require” & “approve” if it doesn’t work for Alameda. If you review Alameda’s population census over the past century [contained in the Housing Element] you find unexplained dip in population during the Vietnam era when the base was open. So I do not put much stock in “Regional Housing Needs Allocations” as predicted, usually by someone from New York City. I see no reason to build housing which will stand empty as Alameda goes bankrupt conforming to some unrealistic regional planners’ concept of its future.

    Measure A is about preserving the historic character of Alameda. That includes more than just its Victorians & Craftsman bungalows, but also its former NAS & northern waterfront.

    What are you afraid of, Lauren?

    Comment by vigi — July 16, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  14. I’m as American as you are vigi.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  15. Oh, I see. Lawsuits. Tell us, of all the cities being held over us as a Sword of Damocles because they have been sued, which of them are Going Bankrupt? Pleasanton? Was it lawsuits which bankrupted Mammoth Lakes, San Bernardino, & Stockton?
    Every night on KCSM-TV, @ 7:30pm, there’s a PBS program called “California Gold” with Huell Howser. Been running for years & it seems impossible to see them all. You really should watch it in order to gain some appreciation for the state in which you now reside.

    Comment by vigi — July 16, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  16. Mammoth Lakes files for bankruptcy

    The High Sierra town of Mammoth Lakes said Monday that it filed for bankruptcy because it cannot afford to pay a $43-million breach-of-contract judgment against it brought by a developer.

    In a prepared statement, Mammoth Lakes officials said “bankruptcy, unfortunately, is the only option left” for the town, whose largest creditor, Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, had won a state court order requiring full payment by June 30, 2012.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  17. Do you mind stop calling people communists / socialists. You DO NOT KNOW what you are talking about.

    PS. now I will be called liberal for reading NYTimes

    Comment by oleczek — July 16, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  18. Better yet, Lauren, you should read today’s “Action Alameda” 4-page post:”Letter Regarding Overlay Exceptions to the City Charter”. Wish I had written it!

    And I never said you weren’t American. So are people from New York City.

    Comment by vigi — July 16, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  19. OK, I’ll give you Mammoth [pop 8,234]. But it’s a boom town which depens entirely on tourism. It’s 1888 pop went down to Ten People. I’m surprised a developer doesn’t just own the whole place. If the ski resort closes, it’ll disappear. Alameda doesn’t fluctuate like that. Our pop of around 75K[+/-10K] is pretty stable. You’ll have to do better than Mammoth Lakes.

    Comment by vigi — July 16, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  20. Vigi, I don’t know, maybe its just me. But I think your post #13 sounded pretty Racist. You ask Lauren if she’s North Vietnamese?, I kinda figure people like you don’t make this state great at all.

    Comment by John P.(L) — July 16, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  21. Her comments are racist – there is no getting around it. But of course to Vigi, everyone is either stupid or an idiot – so it’s not surprising these are her views.

    Getting back to the discussion about the Housing Element, I wonder if the Alameda developer can choose to opt out and pay a fee to avoid building the affordable units like they do in San Francisco?

    Comment by Karen Bey — July 16, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

  22. Hey, I’m German, you Dorks [20 & 21]. That must make me a Nazi. What’s wrong with being North Vietnamese-they won, didn’t they? I wanna know why Karen Bey wants only unaffordable Harbor-Bay style housing at AlPo, as she has said at so many public meetings. It’s pretty funny when she stands up & speaks against Lois Pryor.

    Comment by vigi — July 16, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  23. Karen: There is the in-lieu option, there is a good summary about it here, but here’s an excerpt:

    In-Lieu Fees. For Residential Developments of nine (9) or fewer units, including Inclusionary Units, the requirements of this section may be satisfied by paying an In-Lieu Fee. The fee will be set by the City Council by resolution and shall be sufficient to make up the gap between (i) the amount of development capital typically expected to be available based on the amount to be received by a developer or owner from Affordable Housing Cost or Affordable Rent, and (ii) the anticipated cost of constructing the Inclusionary Units. Fees shall be paid upon issuance of building permits for Market-Rate Units in a Residential Development. If building permits are issued for only part of a Residential Development, the fee amount shall be based only on the number of units then permitted.

    Then there is the option to do what Warmington wanted to do on the old Island High site which was to move the inclusionary housing units off site.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  24. Setting lawsuits aside, another problem with allowing off the Island entities determine housing needs in Alameda is do we really know what these faceless bureaucratic are using for their Ouija board predictions. It seems to me that it’s counter-intuitive to keep building more and more housing when the population of the world, the United States and California is in steep decline.

    “How bad are things in California? California’s domestic migration has been negative every year since at least 1990. In fact, since 1990, according to the U.S. Census, 3,642,490 people, net, have left California. If they were in one city, it would be the third largest city in America, with a population 800,000 more than Chicago and within 200,000 of Los Angeles’ population.”

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  25. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about Housing Allocations before, but here is a quick link to ABAG on how the RHNA is calculated. And, ABAG, the entity that allocates these numbers is made up of all government and nonprofit organizations.

    Of course the larger Housing Need allocation for the region is allocated by the state, ABAG just breaks up those numbers throughout the Bay Area.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 16, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  26. Actually, all of ABAG’s executive board are elected officials representing cities and counties around the Bay Area.

    Comment by jkw — July 16, 2012 @ 1:37 pm


    Alameda To Be Appointed

    Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore

    Council member Beverly J.

    I remember the Council Meeting when they Drew Straws for these positions.

    The look on Mayor Gilmore face after she had to be on the committee was that of someone who just lost their dog…..Beverly Johnson accepted being alternate due to nail appointment.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  28. It is amazing what you can do stats, reports and numbers taken out of context. “How bad are things in California? California’s domestic migration has been negative every year since at least 1990. In fact, since 1990, according to the U.S. Census, 3,642,490 people, net, have left California. If they were in one city, it would be the third largest city in America, with a population 800,000 more than Chicago and within 200,000 of Los Angeles’ population.” Yet overall California popoulation has grown from 28.8 million in 1990 to 33.8 million in 2000 and 36 million in 2010 per US Census.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — July 16, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  29. Jack, you and John always seem to forget certain parts of the things you paste on this blog. Thanks Mike.

    Comment by John P.(L) — July 16, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  30. The first site on the list (Neptune Pt.) has so much potential. But 95 units is the “realistic” capacity? Yikes. The traffic on McKay would be awful.

    Comment by Kristen — July 16, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  31. John P I also notice some never address the real budget issues.

    “Because our methodology generally assumes no cost-of-living adjustments, our projections probably understate the magnitude of the state’s fiscal problems during the forecast period.”

    Ongoing Annual Budget Problems of $20 Billion Persist
    Similar to our forecast of one year ago, we project annual budget problems of about $20 billion
    each year through 2015‑16. In 2012‑13, when the state must repay its 2010 borrowing of local
    property tax revenues and the full effect of Propositions 22 and 26 hit the state’s bottom line, our
    forecast shows the operating deficit growing to $22.4 billion. Because our methodology generally
    assumes no cost-of-living adjustments, our projections probably understate the magnitude of the
    state’s fiscal problems during the forecast period.

    Jack we are taking away your Crayons for an hour……After thousands of posts the School Department found a Error.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  32. “it is what it is” and there is no point whatsoever in speculating that Alameda could make its own rules, avoid what every other community is expected to do, and not adopt a housing element that meets the various criteria. I do not think we can secede from the County, State or Federal levels of government and become a true “island”. A lot of hoopla is being generated over something that is pretty straightforward, and no one seems to remember that no project will be built without many City levels of review and approval. Designating land use in a plan is a long way from going through all the planning commission, public works, and permit processes.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — July 16, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  33. 28/29
    Instead of refuting with facts, two more California people are evidently Kool-Aid drinkers.

    From the same article:

    “Most people outside of California haven’t drank from this vat of the economic equivalent of LSD-laced Kool-Aid. People know that a state is in trouble when it has persistent intractable budget deficits, chronic domestic net out-migration, and 30 percent higher unemployment than the national average. Indeed, California’s joblessness, chronic budget deficits, governors, and credit rating have made the state the butt of jokes worldwide.”

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  34. John, my #24 speaks of “domestic migration” as in Califfornia citizens who chose not to go on welfare but left the state to seek jobs paying. The only people coming in are those who need to get away from somewhere outside the US.. This state is rapidly becoming a state for the very wealthy and those who rely on government housing, food and pay.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

  35. 13. Ugly nativist.

    Comment by BC — July 16, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  36. 34

    Jack your right…..again…..and these Household Income Levels prove it.

    About 70% of Total House incomes probably fall into Poverty and Section 8 Qualifications.

    Household Income Levels for Alameda Ca 94501
    Less than $30,000 6,680 (27%)
    $30,000 to $74,999 10,472 (42%)

    Keep bringing in Targets and Box Stores we will only Have People Working For City, County , State and Federal Government and Utilties making a Living versus a Giving with a few Exceptions that work in Private Sector. Alot of those derive their Incomes doing work or consulting for a government entity.

    I certainly don’t have all the Answers. I know more and more are ready to Bail.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  37. 35
    So that’s what people with nothing to say, say.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  38. Today’s post:
    “The Bay Citizen wrote an okay story…”

    From the ‘okay’ story…

    “The Naval Air Station, which was once at the center of the city’s business and civic affairs, has been closed for 15 years.”

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  39. It is obvious from reading the comments that the Housing Element is both very emotional and often misunderstood more than it is accurately comprehended. (It sure brought out the feelings, and some are not very pretty at all to read…) Some folks need to put away their pitch forks–or at least edit their posts more carefully and think about how they will be read/received before they post…

    I agree with Kate Quick, Karen Bey, Lauren Do, and John Knox White, and am not afraid of what having a legal Housing Element might bring–greater self-determination, smarter transportation options, less auto congestion, lowered greenhouse gas emissions,
    and greater housing opportunities for working people and lower-income folks who now cannot afford to buy or rent anything here in Alameda.

    The Housing Element’s multifamily density overlay does not guarantee that housing of a moderate density will be built–it merely identifies locations where it makes sense to build multifamily housing, for which there IS a market. (Single family residential is in oversupply but multifamily housing is not available in sufficient quantity.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — July 16, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  40. From the Bay Citizen a few weeks ago.

    Risk of foreclosure looms over 700,000 Californians

    Report finds nearly 100,000 Bay Area homeowners delinquent on mortgages

    California’s housing crisis isn’t over, with 11 percent of borrowers in the state at risk of foreclosure, according to a new report released this week by the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending, a Washington-based think tank.

    The report found nearly 700,000 California homeowners were at least 30 days delinquent on their mortgage payments. That number includes nearly 100,000 Bay Area homeowners, about half who live in the East Bay. In Los Angeles County, more than 180,000 borrowers are delinquent.

    In an interview, Paul Leonard, the center’s California director, said his organization timed the report’s release to coincide with last-minute lobbying efforts aimed at legislation that Attorney General Kamala Harris calls the “Homeowners Bill of Rights.” Harris, who successfully negotiated $18 billion in relief to California homeowners as part of a settlement with banks charged with mortgage fraud, has pushed hard for the legislation, which she says is designed to protect Californians at risk of losing their home.

    “There are those who say just rip off the Band-Aid because the economy is starting to get better, but there is a big number of households that are still at risk,” said Leonard.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  41. “If Alameda is successfully sued over the lack of an approved Housing Element, the penalties would absolutely be worse. Alameda has a chance to drive its own destiny with regard to how housing is built. If the courts intervene and find Alameda at fault, then Alameda loses control over how and what can be built in its own city. And of course anyone can sue. Pleasanton was not sued by the state, they were sued by a non-profit organization.”

    This argument is simplistic baloney. The city may in fact have to comply with state law, but the manner in which it does so is open for discussion. There is no rush to get this done at tomorrow night’s meeting. Nothing prevents the city from spending a couple more months on this issue and spelling out the terms of compliance with state law, and the manner in which the new zoning overlay is applied. I don’t see anything like that in the proposed ordinance, and I don’t see what prevents the city from revising the ordinance in that regard.

    Comment by dlm — July 16, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

  42. Darcy,

    Regarding time, the City is living on borrowed time regarding compliance with state housing law. Still a couple of months for a more complete discussion of the manner in which it complies with State law may be possible. Will be listening carefully to the comments tonight.


    Comment by William Smith — July 17, 2012 @ 5:28 am

  43. This matter has been discussed by planning board, council and in the press for many months now. There is no need to “kick the can” down the road in hopes that the need to adopt a general plan will go away, or that the consequences of not doing so will somehow lessen if we “wait it out.” The matter has had great transparency and the rules are clear.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — July 17, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  44. dlm,

    You spoke before the council two weeks ago, tonight is a second public hearing at the council, what alternative manner for meeting the state’s requirement do you support, and will you be proposing it tonight?

    Comment by jkw — July 17, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  45. 13. can you brag about how much your forefathers were paid for Injun scalps during Modoc Indian Wars? If not, you aren’t a real Californian. maybe yers were just placer miners responsible for the tons of silt at the bottom of the bay which is still puked out of the delta to this day. Go yahoos… er Niners! rah-hrah-rah!

    Comment by M.I. — July 17, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  46. You woke up to post THAT?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 17, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

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