Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 13, 2016

Come when I Call for Review you

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

The other day I wrote about how this City Council in the last two years has had an unprecedented number of Calls for Review.  Jim Oddie attempted to rein in the number with this Council Referral which was not taken up by his colleagues.  In fact on Frank Matarrese’s blog he claimed that there have been “very few” Calls for Review and that the process seemed to be working.

The problem with the statement “very few” is that without a frame of reference what is considered “very few” in Frank Matarrese’s mind.

As I pointed out in that last post:

The Call for Review has been used eight times in 17 months, more than 60% of the Calls for Review were initiated by Trish Spencer. The other 40ish% were initiated by Tony Daysog.  Jim Oddie has one, but his overlapped with a Trish Spencer Call for Review.  Essentially 100% of the Calls for Review were initiated by only two members on the whole City Council in the span of 17 months.  Only one project had a wholesale rejection, the container project at the entrance to Park Street, but every other vote ended up upholding the decision of the Planning Board.

According to the City Clerk’s office the Call for Review for the senior housing on Harbor Bay will be scheduled for the first September meeting.  This is purportedly a Trish Spencer call for review as well.

Anyway, context is everything particularly if one is going to make judgments like there have been “very few” Calls for Review and that the process is working.  So I did a search of all the Calls for Review that I could find.  When I did a first pass I didn’t find them all so I did a second search and uncovered what I believe is the full list.  If anyone knows of historic Calls for Review that are not included, let me know and I’ll go digging for it.

Based on what I could find here is the complete list from 1998 to 2014.   Based on a search of the City Council meeting agendas and minutes there have been 14 Calls for Review in the past 16 years, which averages to about one Call for Review a year, but in reality some years there were no Calls for Review and some years there were a few.

The Call for Review-iest years were 2000 and 2001 when there were three lodged each year.  Two by Barbara Kerr and one by Beverly Johnson in 2001.  In 2000 there was one Call for Review apiece between Barbara Kerr, Beverly Johnson, and Ralph Appezzato.   It took 24 months for that City Council to cobble together as many Calls for Review as was lodged in 2015 alone.

While exactly 0% of the 2015 board or commission level decisions were overturned, in the 24 months of 2000-2001 50% of the board or commission level decisions were overturned.

So if by “very few” means that in a 17 month period this City Council, and really, two members of the City Council have managed to lodge more than half of the number of Calls for Review that were lodged in a 16 year period then yeah, I guess the “system is working.”

The list with links is below, I added a fun 1998 snip from public comment after the listing:

March 16, 2010

  • Doug deHaan
  • Kohl’s operating hours
  • Planning Board decision upheld

November 17, 2009

  • Frank Matarrese
  • Park Street Convenience Store (now the Himalayan Gift Shop) use permit
  • Planning Board decision upheld with conditions

May 5, 2008

  • Unknown, possibly Beverly Johnson
  • No recommendation from Transportation Commission regarding Central Avenue (in front of Alameda Theatre)
  • City Council adopted staff recommendation

June 5, 2007

  • Doug deHaan
  • Alameda Town Center Safeway gas station Mitigated Negative Declaration
  • Planning Board decision upheld

February 4, 2003

  • Beverly Johnson
  • Decision to not include building on Historical Building Study List
  • Historic Advisory Board decision overturned

December 3, 2002

  • Unknown
  • Relocation of bus stops
  • Transportation Commission decision upheld

September 4, 2001

  • Barbara Kerr
  • Infill development as staff level approval
  • Planning Board decision upheld

August 20, 2001

  • Beverly Johnson
  • Private home construction variance
  • Overturned Planning Board decision

January 16, 2001

  • Barbara Kerr
  • Interim Use Permit for soccer field use
  • Planning Board decision upheld

June 20, 2000

  • Beverly Johnson
  • Denial removing houses from Historical Building Study List
  • Historic Advisory Board decision overturned

March 21, 2000

  • Ralph Appezzato
  • Design review of Assisted Living Facility and Beery Dry Boat Storage building
  • Planning Board decision upheld

January 18, 2000

  • Barbara Kerr
  • Webster St use permit of auto repair shop
  • Planning Board decision overturned

December 2, 1998

  • Al DeWitt
  • Mitigated Negative Declaration and Monitoring Plan and Major Design Review for Webster Street Auto Body Shop
  • Planning Board decision overturned


July 7, 1998

  • Ralph Appezzato
  • Interim Use Permit for Antiques by the Bay
  • Planning Board decision upheld with conditions




  1. I never knew Frank had a blog. Thanks for the tip.

    Comment by dave — July 13, 2016 @ 6:26 am

    • I never knew Frank had a desk

      Comment by vigi — July 13, 2016 @ 9:44 am

  2. 18 years ago, and I still have the same opinion.

    Comment by John P. — July 13, 2016 @ 7:20 am

    • Good call John, back then and now.

      Comment by Jack — July 13, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

  3. Trish Spencer is a master of oppositional politics — to her, being even seemingly against something makes her feel that she is “for the people.”

    Comment by SFB — July 13, 2016 @ 10:06 am

    • So says Sigmund Fraud

      Comment by Jack — July 13, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

      • Jack- name-call all you want, but it’s still true.

        Comment by SFB — July 14, 2016 @ 2:53 am

  4. FYI: My Call for Review of the Alameda Point Site A Development Plan was not to challenge parts or all of it, but rather to celebrate it. Given the historic nature of the matter, I felt it was necessary for Council to give its imprimatur to the item. So, rather than 3 Call for Reviews, I really pulled that trigger on two. Thank you. – tony

    Comment by tony daysog — July 13, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    • ps: thanks for the trip down memory lane!

      Comment by tony daysog — July 13, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

    • Tony, no need to call for review if you agree with an issue, quit wasting time and get on with the business at hand. Take your finger out of the wind.

      Comment by John P. — July 13, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

      • Agree, Tony thinks too much.

        Comment by Jack — July 13, 2016 @ 7:28 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: