Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 1, 2013

In the sweet sun power

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

Next Tuesday August 6 at 6 p.m. at the Main Library there will be a meeting — not hosted by the City but there will be City reps there — about an upcoming proposal at 1835 Oak Street.  First you’ve heard of it?  Me too.

So this is the parcel, it’s the warehouse-y thing with the A marker in front of it:



You can kind of see where it is off Oak, it’s between Buena Vista and Clement.   The developer is hosting this because they want feedback from the community about their infill plans.   The developer is City Ventures which is a “green” builder out of Southern California.   Supposedly they build all solar power homes, which I have to admit is kinda neat.   However, their site plan is all kinds of whack:



It has zero interaction with the rest of the neighborhood and literally is just turned inward as its own little enclave.    According to the City, they have filed an application to rezone the parcel to residential — it’s probably Industrial now since it’s a warehouse — and they want to apply for the density bonus.  Good location given proximity to amenities for density, poor execution.


  1. It has zero interaction with the rest of the neighborhood and literally is just turned inward as its own little enclave


    Comment by dave — August 1, 2013 @ 6:36 am

  2. And while the city is going about rezoning this parcel for the proposed 45 units, maybe they can also substitute this parcel for the McKay Avenue Crab Cove site in the Housing Element. The McKay site has 48 units being proposed on land that should never have been included in the Housing Element in the first place.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 1, 2013 @ 8:19 am

  3. The lots to the left have yards backing on to existing yards. That seems reasonable. The lots to the north are screened from a commercial site. That seems reasonable. The lots at the bottom have green space backing on to existing yards, that seems reasonable. There is on site parking which will reduce demand for on street parking, that seems reasonable.

    Comment by notadave — August 1, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  4. we should revisit the work live ordinance and consider lift the restriction to rehabbing existing buildings. West Berkeley is peppered with small enclaves of office/studios built by small builder developers. They were mostly built in the 1980s before the current proliferation of larger buildings which are more controversial, but still in much better scale for Berkeley compared to Alameda. What are the parameters for rezoning? Slap solar on it and call it green. whoopee.

    It may not be possible to dictate what sorts of uses are economically viable, but at least Berkeley took a creative stab at retaining a mix. I believe one of our PB members has an office in this West Berkeley corridor.

    Comment by MI — August 1, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  5. clarification. The stuff in Berkeley was developed through the 1990s, even past 2000. I was trying to say we should consider lifting our restriction on work/live which currently has restrictions on the ratio and proportion of work to living space and also only allows that use when an existing commercial use if obsolete, as opposed to building them as new development.

    Comment by MI — August 1, 2013 @ 9:50 am

  6. #4-5 I agree with work-live spaces. This has been the MAJOR flaw of Measure A. We need young people to live in this City. You look at the areas of Oakland that are thriving (Temescal, College Ave, Piedmont Ave) and they all are bordered by affordable housing. We have a demographic in Alameda of old people and young families. These two demographics watch their spending. Younger people have expendable incomes and have less traffic impact. Once here they generate new business and restaurants that cater to that demographic.

    Comment by frank — August 1, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  7. Measure A?

    With density bonuses, surrender to ABAG, and city leaders who are ambivalent to downright hostile to it, it’s become the Holy Roman Empire of zoning laws.

    Comment by dave — August 1, 2013 @ 10:35 am

  8. 7. all that said, existing work/live ordinance is lip service to the notion, not viable economically and in fact really meant to discourage it. Rhythmix at old Clamp Swing was Janet Koike’s labor of love and if you ask her if she had a clue what she would be put through if she would still have taken on the project she will tell you no, or at least that was true when I asked a few years back. Maybe if the council at the time it was approved had any real creative vision they would have done a better job. When it was being discussed Barbara Kerr pushed the WORK over live proportions and other restrictions and Measure A was the justification. The late Dr. Chalip and Pat Bail testified “that work/live stuff” is not suitable for Alameda because we are too special, too unique, too heads up our butts. Few developments are more unique than Rhythmix.

    We’ve had seven years since Rhythmix to wake up. Ironically, Francis Collins of Boat Works fame was partners with developers of 4th Street in Berkeley on developing old Phoenix foundry into live/work before it was condemned for the replacement of Cypress structure after Loma Prieta.

    Comment by MI — August 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  9. You might consider Oakland, San Leandro, Stockton, or Texas. They have plenty. I’m sure you’ll find your price point somewhere. Good luck!

    Comment by dave — August 1, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

  10. truth is the City wanted these 2400 houses at the point regardless of the conscequences ……they are doing it very slowly every where , there is not a neighbohood in the City with a major development coming up , why not stop the hypocrisy and simply say it , it will be funny the day the bridges are down ….
    by the way why is the City no longer informing neighbors when a single family house become a 4 units and no parking ……….? since they are talking about affordable housing every rental unit which do not provide parking for all their tenants should have the price of a paking credited to the City that is $200 a month , did you say we had a defficit and needed to raise money for the out of town pancake flipper’s benefits .

    Comment by mijoka — August 2, 2013 @ 9:16 am

  11. 9. context? plenty of what?

    Comment by MI — August 3, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  12. Mark:

    There had been 1 line post in there, something like “I demand affordable housing.” I was just sarcastically offering help to find some. No idea where that post went, but know that 9 had nothing to do w/ what you said about Rhythmix.

    Comment by dave — August 3, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

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