Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 11, 2017

Just the two of us

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am


The Planning Board is getting a first look at the revision to the Call for Review process which I would argue has been pretty abused since Trish Spencer became mayor.  Perhaps due to the attention given to all her Calls for Review, she’s slowed her roll a bit and of course there’s no longer Tony Daysog on the City Council to add to the increased Call for Review count.

If allowed to proceed the process would be that any decisions made by the Historic Advisory Board and/or Planning Board would only be Call for Review-able if two members of the City Council decide on their own that they believe that item needs a final say from the City Council.  Staff is suggesting that any staff level decision should still be reviewable if one member of either the Planning Board or City Council wants to perform a final review.  Not a bad suggestion.

But the two people City Council Call for Review isn’t even the biggest thing, this section is:

A call for review shall be filed in writing with the Community Development Department and shall state how the decision being called for review may be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter as stated in Section 30-1.2.All costs associated with the call for review, including staff time, technical assistance, and noticing the public hearing shall be funded by the General Fund and shall not be charged to the project applicant.

So while there was never a cost to the City if the City Council decided to call, let’s say 10 projects up for review in two years, moving forward the City will bear the cost for any Call for Review and the person calling the item for review will have to actually state why they believe that the decision was inconsistent with City guidelines as opposed to just not liking the project.

This is a good place to remind folks as to why the Planning Board composition is so important. Because if you have more board members who simply vote with their guts and not with what is required based on existing City documents that the developer is relying on to base their projects on, this could end up getting very expensive for the City to clean up after a willfulness to do whatever the board members wants as opposed to what they should do.

Also on deck is an affordable housing development to replace an existing development on Buena Vista near Webster.  The existing number of units is 40 and the new development will bring 60 much needed affordable housing units to Alameda.  I expect all of the people who come to City Council meetings to say we should stop building luxury housing because we need affordable units to come out in strong support of this project.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 5.50.27 PM.png

Here are the exterior styles under consideration, the Housing Authority Board likes the Kottinger, I’m not a fan:

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 5.51.35 PM



  1. Any information on where the people living in the existing 40 units on Buena Vista will go while the new development is constructed? The people living there now get automatically put to the front of the line to get a unit in the new dev, right?

    Comment by brock — September 11, 2017 @ 9:42 am

  2. Another thought – not generally a fan of big parking lots but the one in the drawing would be a nice way to cut through the block from Buena Vista to Eagle on a bicycle without having to go on car-heavy Webster or Constitution.

    Would be nice for someone (i.e., me) trying to casually bike from Lincoln Ave area to the Starbucks or Levy’s Bagels.

    Comment by brock — September 11, 2017 @ 9:48 am

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