Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 9, 2015

Density bonus meeting, with video, part 1

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

A few videos from the big City Council meeting about a month ago regarding the Density Bonus.  Yes, it’s taken me this long to get to it because, well, other stuff.  The Density Bonus meeting is a really interesting one if you’ve ever been puzzled by (1) how can the density  bonus exist when Measure A is still around and/or (2) but we have Measure A that means nothing bigger than a duplex ever!

Staff laid it all out there that Tuesday night much to the consternation of some of the City Council members who initially wanted City Staff to put together language issuing a mortatorium on all density bonus applications until they figured out how to make it impossible to actually issue one…I mean, how to “close the gaps” in the applications process.

The schooling happens with an assist by City Council member Jim Oddie, who I’m pretty sure understands the whole “density bonus” + “State law compliance” thing and he asks if a moratorium can be based on traffic:

The short answer is, it cannot.  The two minute answer is above as explained by City Staff and contains both the layman answer and the legal answer from the City Attorney.

Jim Oddie then lobs another question which I’m pretty sure that Measure A stalwarts were thinking which was, “well if THIS City Attorney won’t risk it, maybe we can find a City Attorney with the courage to battle it out with the state”  The answer from the City Attorney below:

The City Attorney throws some major shade and essentially says “yeah, I know there are a lot of lawyers out there armchair quarterbacking this stuff, but I specialize in municipal law, and just like you aren’t going to see a foot doctor to have heart surgery, similarly the City Council needs to listen to their hired experts in municipal law and not question the city attorneys credentials.”

Then Jim Oddie asks, well, what about if there’s a new City Council or City Manager, will they give a different answer?  Answer from the City Attorney is,

The law isn’t going to change based on who the City Manager is; who the City Council is frankly.  It is the law.





  1. Looks like we can Put those pitch forks away and snuff the torches, there is no storming Frankensteins Castle on this one. Damn.

    Comment by ChrisD — April 9, 2015 @ 7:22 am

  2. really? tell that to Mark Greenside the resident know it all, on all subjects in Sun’s op-ed page. He is all pitch fork all the time, accept when he’s relighting his torch. facts be damned.

    Today’s windy pontificating is about how dedicated bike lanes are evil and will never succeed. I’m not inclined to Google people or dig for dirt. I guess I’m just not curious that way. But this guy begged some sort of verification. The Sun touts him as “retired professor of political science, history and English at Merrit College”. For starters that is sort of bass akwards. Seems he taught poly-sci for a year but was mostly creative writing teacher. That makes a lot of sense since most of what he writes in the Sun is fiction. But he speaks with SUCH authority.

    Seems he wrote a memoir about buying a house in South of France and dealing with remodeling it despite his miserable language skills. I guess it’s his part time residence. Lucky for him it was south of France and not Paris or the rude Parisians would have run him out of town on a rail.. The book was moderately well received. I can’t make sense of him either, but we supposedly speak the same language. Maybe he should consider moving to France permanently where he can get by, nodding and bobbing stupidly, assuming his neighbors are embracing him.

    Comment by MI — April 9, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

  3. He knows nothing about economics, I can tell you that. Really nothing. I find the Sun entertaining, especially the letters page. If nothing else, it makes one feel sane and smart. The best weeks are when you get the trifecta of Howard, Greenside and Tremaine.

    Comment by BC — April 9, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

  4. So the editor of the Sun just happened to go to Harbor Bay Landing with the Mayor and a camera to show us her at work running the city. Now that is really “breaking news”, what a newspaper.

    Comment by John P. — April 9, 2015 @ 10:09 pm

  5. I thought the editor’s note yesterday was interesting, after a letter which was critical of Trish for acting like a “dictator” on the tree thing. Actually it was embarrassing. It was as long as a short article. It was informational and did seem to clarify that Spencer was acting within some sort of reasonable parameter, but what if every letter was followed by that much spin from the editor. They do that with some regularity, but I’ve never seem 5 inch note before. I think they must feel that it is there responsibility to clarify immediately so that misinformation is not allowed to stand, but they are so selective.

    Comment by MI — April 10, 2015 @ 8:11 am

  6. Re-watching this, I’m very impressed by the city attorney. Did Spencer respond?

    Comment by BC — April 10, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

  7. I just watched it. If she did respond it should have been to ask about the water issues in Gilroy. Curious minds want to know.

    Comment by MI — April 11, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

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