I found a part of this comment, while only one example of one experience, rather interesting in light of the discussion around Trish Spencer’s approval of more housing units in her first six months in office than Marie Gilmore’s entire four years:
The supporter responded that development is now being done right with Trish in office because she asks the difficult questions of city staff and demands the changes to proposals that Marie Gilmore would not have had the vision or fortitude to demand on behalf of the citizens of Alameda.
One example of this, I suppose, are the questions that she asked during the Alameda Point vote a few weeks ago. One of the main contention points for Trish Spencer was the make up of the housing units: rental vs purchase and how many units would be available for “moderate” income individuals and families. Oh that and what floor the laundry would be on.
But here’s where the facts get in the way of the narrative that somehow development is superior under Trish Spencer than any previous Mayor because: Trish! There’s nothing in the Development Agreement that legally memorializes anything about the percentages of rental vs purchased housing units.
Nothing. Read it. It’s long so if you just want to do a word search for the term “units” I’ll wait.
So if you’ll notice the only percentage that is in the Development Agreement is 25% affordable housing (of course the percentages for the breakdown between the varying categories of affordable housing as well). Which is what is required for Alameda Point per an existing City Council policy. There is nothing that makes the promise that x percentage will be rentals as opposed to y percentage. And income affordability levels are set by the HUD and not individual developers. While Trish Spencer will take credit for getting this done, in truth, nothing has been done. Lowering the percentage of rentals and upping the number of units for sales does nothing for true affordability. And even if what she proposed was somehow meaningful in the grand scheme of Site A, it’s not in the four corners of the Development Agreement which means that while the developer might have said that that’s what they are going to do today, there’s nothing that locks the developer into those arbitrary percentages in the long term, nor, honestly, should.
If that is Trish Spencer’s big accomplishment when it comes to Alameda Point’s Site A, she may want to reconsider being too proud of something that had so little impact.
As to the issue of traffic mitigation: other than making the correct traffic sensitive comments (“traffic bad! Grr!”), she placed nothing in the Development Agreement that is significantly different than anything that the document started off containing when it comes to “traffic.” The Gilmore administration drafted the Transportation Demand Management program and there are no earth-shattering changes that have been added by Trish Spencer who has been so adamant about no new cars through the tube. In essence when it comes to Alameda Point and Site A Trish Spencer really has not made good on her campaign promises regarding traffic or development.
Which is a long way of saying, oh yeah, at tonight’s City Council meeting there will be the second reading of the Alameda Point Site A stuff. Will we get the same unanimous vote?