Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 10, 2014

When the votes align

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Development — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

I’m super behind on writing about Planning Board meeting tidbit because (1) one meeting was posted really late and (2) I’m just behind.   So this is about the meeting on the 24th of March where one big item was on the agenda, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a smaller agenda item (Alameda Landing residential colors) led to some really inconsistent voting.

First off, the Alameda Landing residential colors, I mean, they are colors who really cares right?  But yet there was push back about the colors not being bright enough or possibly not matching with the brightness of the Target and Safeway buildings.  First of all, there’s kind of a conflict in wanting everything to be matchy matchy and then complaining that the colors are not saturated enough.  You can have both I guess, but that gets into subjective territory about whether neighborhood should look identical.   I seem to recall a lot of complaints about housing developments being too “cookie cutter” if they trend toward cohesiveness, so apparently there is no way to please everyone in Alameda.   Second, there is no prohibition that the homeowners can’t just opt to repaint their houses whatever color they want to, so all this is moot.

But in the end, for “consistency” purposes Board Member Lorre Zuppan voted against approving the color scheme because she wanted the colors to be both brighter but cohesive.   Okay, fine, you want your vote to be consistent with your comments, cool.

Now moving on to the EOC.   This was a DESIGN REVIEW for the EOC, meaning that the Planning Board was supposed to vote on the design of the building.  Fix the issues that are fixable and have the architect come back if necessary.  Somehow though what was supposed to be a straightforward design review vote became a proxy for the existence of the EOC altogether.   Because some people commented on how the design was not ideal.   Wall too high, wall not attractive enough, no front door, crappy landscaping, “token” tree, etc. I mean, Lorre Zuppan straight out called the building “unattractive.”  And Dania Alvarez-Moroni called it institutional and inhospitable.  But  only one person ended up voting against the design for the EOC project,  John Knox White.

I can dismiss the “yea” votes for the Board Members who weren’t phased by the design which included David Burton, Mike Henneberry,  and Stanley Tang.   Kristoffer Koster was not present at the meeting either.   Essentially it was Lorre Zuppan, Dania Alvarez-Morroni, and John Knox White who were supremely critical of the design of the building, but only one of the three aligned his vote with comments made about the design itself.  I’ll note that Dania Alvarez-Moroni — as mentioned by a commenter — pretty much said that the institutional feel of the EOC was okay in that neighborhood (mixed use) because there were already a lot  of ugly buildings there already.  Way to step it up people!


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