Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 28, 2015

The 6%

Filed under: Alameda, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Despite the feeling that folks in Alameda have that we’re building way too much housing according to a report from the SF Business Times a few weeks ago, Alameda did not fare so well in the infographic when it came to actually building housing units based on the RHNA allocation.  From the report:

The entire region – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties – permitted about half the units they needed to in order to meet projected population growth.

“It’s a litany of failure across the map,” said Matt Regan, senior vice president for government relations at the Bay Area Council, a pro-business group.

“We’re so far behind the gap. The past seven years before that we also didn’t build enough either. We’re in a huge deficit so we do need much more of the lower income housing to compensate for the fact that we haven’t been producing it over the years,” said Sarah Gudernatch, communications manager for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California.

Looking at the ABAG numbers for Alameda County Alameda actually did the best (out of all the categories) in building Very Low units (17%), but only built, overall, a total of 6% of the RHNA allocated units.  Alameda even did a bad job of building market rate housing (Above Moderate) which most of the cities had no problem meeting a large percentage of their RHNA numbers.  Even Piedmont which has been notoriously bad about building any new units achieved a 98% rate and built more than the required very low housing units.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.41.23 PM


So between 2007 and 2014 that means that only 125 permits have been issued for housing in Alameda.  125.

That’s it.


And yet, to hear some folks talk about it it’s like someone has plopped down a manhattan sized skyscraper next door to their house.



  1. It’s not just Alameda- not just our politicians. Have you heard about the statewide water crisis declared by Governor Brown? Why are we building at all?

    Comment by Breathless — April 28, 2015 @ 7:01 am

  2. Uh, because families and people are losing their housing at an alarming rate because not everyone makes a six figure salary.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 28, 2015 @ 9:09 am

  3. Uh, Piedmont has a whopping RNHA number of 40. That number is such an outlier it has no place in this analysis. And RHNA numbers have been proven wrong for other parts of the Bay Area (Marin County) only after the housing was built. Slavish obedience to RHNA numbers in the face of dwindling resources makes no sense.

    Comment by vigi — April 28, 2015 @ 9:20 am

  4. So let see Bayport , the old drive in theater with house built o top of each other , the old oil refinery ,

    the countless house which have been split up into multiple dwelling such as the one on the corner own by the Famous partner from al capone joint , which transformed a 2 bedroom house into a 2 story house I believe 4 units ,
    the guy across the street which transform a single family house into a duplex , I like to know how you would feel if someone was building housing and be able to take a pick in your house , not very comfortable feeling .
    the one down the block added an entire rental unit ,
    the other one who raised the house to make it a duplex ,
    the real estate agent who cut a single family in 2 houses ,
    the other one on top of the street which excavated the entire basement filing fake permit demolishing a studio to transform it into a 3 bedroom house , fortunately got caught in time , not by the tax man yet as they have tripled the size of sqft leaving space , that will be a painful reality chock , these don’t count ? it is only an average of 21 more car .

    This is one block only and none new with parking …no one ride bicycle ? Hello!!!!

    Number are truly meaningless just you manipulate which ever way you want to accommodate one’s need .

    Lauren with all due respect you have been too busy bashing the Mayor to pay any attention with reality .
    not all of us want to leave in a shanty town .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — April 28, 2015 @ 10:23 am

  5. Perhaps we need to look at what percent we already have in each category. The west end of Alameda sure has so much section 8 and subsidized housing already. The graffiti and trash on the streets, is that what we want more of??

    Comment by Elaine — April 28, 2015 @ 10:44 am

  6. I think California, if not the world, is at or above the carrying capacity of the environment. Continuous growth is not sustainable, in a finite environment. The truly scary thing is that even given our current drought, we are pursuing the same growth agenda.

    Comment by Chris Muir — April 28, 2015 @ 11:05 am

  7. These numbers are assigned to Alameda in spite of the fact that, as an island with limited access points, we cannot hangle that kind of growth. The quality of life is already being impacted. Look at the local Facebook pages. Crime appears to be up. Tensions are rising. The more people you cram into a space that is not designed to handle it, the worse things will be for everyone.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — April 28, 2015 @ 11:49 am

  8. People move. They often move to where the jobs are. Every community, including ours wants jobs; good jobs. Companies with those jobs want amenities like no-commute housing, restaurants, shops, good public transit and entertainment to agree to locate in the community. So jobs and housing are locked together, unfortunately for those who see the difficult side of growth in housing. The numbers for housing set by regional entities are set utilizing a host of factors. They have been complained about for decades by many cities who don’t want growth, but they are a reality we have to learn to work with. (There are mitigations we can offer.) All those good points raised, such as the impact on natural resources (water, in years of drought for example) or sea level rise make for hard work and expenditures to mitigate.

    Comment by Kate Quick — April 28, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

    • Kate, I’m glad you brought up the rise in sea level. It’s not a matter of IF it will happen, but how much, and how soon. Should we, as a society, be building in areas that we KNOW will be at risk over the next few decades? Politicians tend to think in election cycles, and eschew unpopular long term policies, but I feel we need some tough love.

      Comment by Chris Muir — April 28, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

  9. 7. “Look at the local Facebook pages. Crime appears to be up.” LOL. Seriously! Also, look at all the white women going missing. In the 70s, I never saw a single story on CNN about missing white women, now there is one every week on Anderson Cooper!

    Or, perhaps, 5 years ago, you had 20 Alamedans in your Facebook feed and now, you have 5000, so you hear about every property crime.

    Comment by BMac — April 28, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

  10. 7. Curious to know what facts are you citing regarding crime in Alameda. According to, Alameda’s crime rate’s high mark for this century through 2012 was in 2002. In 2012, Alameda had the lowest crime rate west of the East Bay Hills. That wild, rollickin’, rootin’-tootin’ outpost called Piedmont had more crime. We peaked at four murders in 2009, and otherwise have had no more than two in any year this century. Rapes are down, robberies are down. I’m not selectively citing data. It all shows that Alameda has an extremely low crime rate given that we are smack in the middle of a major metropolitan area.

    My wife and I were talking about Alameda this weekend, appreciating how lucky we are to live here. We moved here in 2000, so we’ve seen a lot of change for the good. Growth was a major component to that improvement. There are better restaurants and there’s more to do than there was 15 years ago. Even the schools are better. My daughter doesn’t know how lucky she is to live near the ocean and in a diverse community. Better amenities and more diversity are only possible if more people move here. Unless everyone spends more of their income, businesses, whether locally owned or chains, will not move to this island. If you can’t afford to buy more goods and services, we need more people—not less—and not the same number as before.

    A lot of the opponents to growth also opposed the movie theater. Somehow we survived a multiplex (okay, I’ll say megaplex for fun), restaurants popped up, and downtown has never looked better. I was filling my car with gas at one of the stations near the Marketplace and realized that ALL the buildings on the opposite side of Park Street were built or renovated since the movie theater opened. A lot of movie theater opponents are now big supporters (Hi, Doug deHaan!). This is the same mentality that opposes more housing in Alameda. Make dire predictions, then claim amnesia when the parking structure permits you to shop and go a restaurant downtown.

    Should we build like crazy and add skyscrapers? Of course not, but no one is proposing that. 125 permits in seven years won’t kill us. My daughter and I can still ride our bikes to Blue Danube and meet up with a friend.

    Comment by Larry Witte — April 28, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

  11. 10. “Like”

    Comment by MI — April 28, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

  12. Copied from APD Facebook Feed
    Alameda Police Department
    April 7 at 10:11am ·
    City wide CRIME alert!!!
    We have been experiencing a rash of car burglaries over the past few days. Patrol officers have responded to over ten vehicle burglary reports in the last 24 hours alone. The incidents have not been within a specific area, but rather spread out over the entire city. All incidents seemed to follow the same practice where the suspect broke one of the vehicle’s windows to get inside.
    Please remember to remove all items of value from your vehicle when leaving it parked; Practice “T.L.C.”
    – T ake out valuables
    – L ock your vehicle
    – C lose all vehicle doors and windows
    The following are items which are stolen from vehicles frequently:
    *GPS Devices
    *MP3 Players
    *Laptop Computers
    *Cell Phones
    *Fast Track Transponders
    *Garage Door Openers
    *Gym Bags
    Call the Alameda Police Department @ 510-337-8340 to report suspicious activity.

    Comment by frank m — April 28, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

  13. Denise wants to kill off everyone over 50…then there would be room…but I think she is older then me so where does that leave her. My Grandparents had 16 kids, my parents had 6, I have like 80 cousins, my sister has 4 and my brother 1…so what do we do have my sisters tubes tied…I guess we become like China and kill our daughters…because we can only have one and they want a son to carry on the name? What they need to do in my view is quit taking up farm space and build in urban areas. The water…Dubai has de-saltation plants and water…why not here? Build more houses unless you want to make the choice on who to kill off. Denise I will let you live today. With advances in medicine we see people living longer…maybe we should have quit awhile back. The oldest person ever is said to be 127…

    Comment by Jake. — April 28, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

  14. 13. that’s real, but could be a spike. Check again in two weeks and then in a month to see about a sustained trend. I think CNN is transfixed on Baltimore with occasional update from Nepal so our crime wave does not rate.

    We moved from a house on Aileen Street in North Oakland to Alameda in 1991. We were there in pretty much the peak of crack. My neighbor had a car window punched but we were there two years and were spared, though schools are why we moved.

    Ironically, I’m working on Aileen Street now. Our house was below MLK and BART which is a couple zones DOWN from this job which is between Telegraph and Shattuck in old Idora Park neighborhood, contiguous tract of cute stucco houses like Fernside. A two plus bedroom house on the same block of Aileen just sold for $900K! But two weeks ago I came to work and there was car glass at five sites. At 10 pm some junky was rapidly punching car windows. He was scared off, got next to nothing. In Idora Park it comes in waves.

    We never regretted moving here, though we’ve had a speed freak who beat his girlfriend and various other unsavory neighbors, including a sort of frat house scene of twenty to thirty somethings who emptied the local bars at 2pm and migrated to the house across the street to party ’til 4 a.m.. That went on for over two years.

    I think it was B.C. who recently posted that Trish Spencer can see Oakland from her kitchen window. In a nut shell.

    Comment by MI — April 28, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

  15. #11. ‘Like’

    Comment by Cat6 — April 28, 2015 @ 9:44 pm

  16. 13. That’s not serious analysis. That’s like Sen. James Inhofe bringing a snowball to the U.S. capitol as proof of no global warming.

    Comment by Larry Witte — April 29, 2015 @ 7:46 am

  17. @17???? 13’s post is not analysis at all. It is the APD Facebook post verbatim.

    Comment by vigi — April 29, 2015 @ 9:51 am

  18. 18. Thanks for making my point. It’s not analysis. I try to make decisions based on sound reasoning and consistent data, not FB. I expect nothing less from our leaders.

    Comment by Larry Witte — April 29, 2015 @ 10:14 am

  19. A crime alert does not a crime wave make.

    Comment by Li_ — April 29, 2015 @ 5:50 pm

  20. #19, #20.. I neither provided commentary or analysis with my Post. I simply copied an “Alert” that was posted on the Alameda Police Facebook Page. If there is a problem I suggest you contact them. Associating my simple Post with Inhofe is absurd.

    Comment by frank m — April 29, 2015 @ 6:15 pm

  21. 21. if everyone is going to rebut my facts with FB posts about a week’s crime spree, I will hold them to their word. Next time provide context so I know you’re not serious.

    Comment by Larry Witte — April 29, 2015 @ 8:51 pm

  22. When the Cineplex and garage were being discussed, the opponents assured everyone that their presence would create a crime uptick as they would attract “undesirables” to come into town. Lots of City Hall speakers and letters to the editor about this surety. Two years after they were established, I asked the then Chief of Police how things were going crime-wise. He told me that crime was down in the Park Street area, as there were more people, and so more “eyes.” And, he opined that it was not the number of people that made crime go up, but more the economy, when it is bad. Compared to many areas surrounding us, we are pretty safe. We can never expect no crime, particularly property crime, but look at what you see – people out walking their dogs at night; people strolling on the streets with kids; things left out in yards going untouched (yes I know the occasional plant or object is stolen, but we are not afraid to leave decorative objects out, generally).

    Comment by Kate Quick — April 30, 2015 @ 9:33 am

  23. #22 My Post had nothing to do with yours.

    Comment by frank m — April 30, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

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