I can’t say I was a huge fan of the housing development at 2100 Clement. It didn’t really register on my radar because of all the other things that are going on. But two things that make the vote on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning notable in reference to this project.
First, naturally parking is an issue in the neighborhood. Because parking is always an issue. One of the things that the neighbors attempted to do was get codified into the CC&Rs for the new developments was — what I like to call — the “peeper clause.” This was a clause that would have made it illegal to use the garage space for anything but parking a vehicle and then would forbid a resident from using the guest parking spaces. I guess there would be a peeper squad to peer into people’s garages to ensure that they were only used for car storage.
Fortunately the Planning Board recognized that there were several problems with that including:
• The condition appears to restrict or unduly regulate residents’ private use of private space within their residences. As written, the original condition would prevent the use of garages for storage even if the resident did not own two cars.
• The condition gives the impression that the City would enforce the requirement, when in fact, the Homeowners Association would be responsible for enforcement.
• It would be hard, if not impossible, for the city to monitor compliance with the condition if current or future residents, or the homeowners association, chose to ignore the requirement or not enforce it adequately.
• The existing residents in the neighborhood do not have such a condition imposed on them, which creates different rules for different residents in the neighborhood.
Anyway, the Council slipped in a modified version of the peeper language:
“The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s) shall include prohibitions and a monitoring process to ensure that residents who own vehicles park their vehicles in their garages. The CC&Rs shall include strict rules and financial penalties to enforce these requirements. Enforcement of this condition shall be the sole responsibility of the Homeowners Association.”
Good luck with the enforcement of that.
The second thing that made the vote notable was that this vote took place after a lot of heartfelt testimony organized by the Alameda Renters Coalition about rent hikes and being pushed out of Alameda because of major housing shortages. Inexplicably Tony Daysog used as his rationale to not vote for the project because he declared that people tell him at his office hours that there is “too much housing.” So, if anyone from the Renters Coalition is reading this, perhaps there should be a concerted effort to attend Tony Daysog’s “office hours” and tell him personally about your housing challenges. While he may be saying the right things on rent stabilization, the solution is multi-pronged and definitely voting against housing projects that can take some of the pressure off the market by declaring that there is “too much housing” is not a viable solution.