Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 5, 2018

Maximizing housing

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am


For those of you that don’t follow housing related California news, this one is a biggie.  From the LA Times:

A dramatic increase in new housing near transit stations could be on its way across California under new legislation proposed by a Bay Area legislator.

Subject to some limitations, the measure would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses allowed to be built within a half-mile of train, light-rail, major bus routes and other transit stations, and block cities from imposing parking requirements. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, said the state needs the housing to address affordability problems, maximize recent multi-billion-dollar transit investments and help the state meet its climate change goals.

While there would be no restrictions on the number of homes that could be built in the areas affected by Wiener’s bill, minimum height limits would range from 45 to 85 feet depending on how close the project was to a station and whether it was located on a main road or side street. The principal supporter of SB 827 is California YIMBY, a statewide pro-housing organization.

From the SB 827 fact sheet:


In case you were wondering, it appears that ferry terminals  are considered high quality transit and possibly a huge swath of Central Alameda running east to west if these transit priority project area maps developed by MTC is any indication:


The bill is still in its nascent stages along with two other bills being introduced by Scott Weiner but it’s a step in the direction of removing local control over housing since local jurisdictions have gotten so adept at not building housing either through restrictive housing policies, adding so many financial concessions to render projects infeasible, or simply delaying the process so much that financing falls through.  While the bill may not make it through all of the committees intact, any version that loosens restrictions to housing building around transit hubs is a step in the right direction.



  1. That map indicates that both the ferries and the 51 are “high quality transit.”

    While it isn’t perfect, or cheap, the ferry is considerably more reliable than the bus. Do you ever see three boats come to the dock within minutes of each other and then no boats for an hour?

    Comment by dave — January 5, 2018 @ 6:14 am

  2. A very encouraging, and long overdue, development. Although I’d prefer more local input into housing developments, too many local elected officials aren’t willing to support development they know is necessary and prefer to pass responsibility for approving housing developments to the state rather than retaining local control.

    Former and aspiring councilmember Tony Daysog has an interesting position – just ignore state laws to retain control. Housing activists and business interests aren’t likely to let his strategy stand. Renewed Hope recently sent a letter to Mayor outlining the ways in which past and proposed City actions on North Housing violate, or would violate, State Law.

    Comment by 2wheelsmith — January 5, 2018 @ 6:27 am

    • I agree. They want, I want people to take public transportation and in order to do so you need to build around the transportation corridors. People in Alameda complain about the traffic in the tube or other places but this is a possible solution. The traffic in the tube is only going to get worse as Oakland is building more residential housing downtown, Lake Merritt and the Oak to Ninth project and I expect that I-80 will have even more cars. We should have buses priority lanes and more parking at the ferries. Although the ferries are pretty much at capacity during the morning and evening commute hours, they recently have bought some bigger ferries (I not sure if any of them will service Alameda but should be addressed in time).

      Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 7:04 am

  3. Pio Pico and Santa Ana must have wondered if they had built out a little more – rather than leaving large, sparsely populated stretches on their frontier – whether they could have held the Americanos off for longer.

    Comment by MP — January 5, 2018 @ 7:57 am

    • Yeah, they should have built a wall.

      Comment by jack — January 5, 2018 @ 8:33 am

      • They will. Trump said so.

        Comment by MP — January 5, 2018 @ 4:55 pm

        • Guess not: Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall
          Highly Cited Wall Street Journal 17h ago

          Comment by MP — January 5, 2018 @ 8:17 pm

  4. High rises on the view corridor of Bay Farm. When pigs fly.

    Comment by vigi — January 5, 2018 @ 9:26 am

  5. Why do they call themselves YIMBY? They don’t have back yards, and they don’t want anyone else to have one, either.

    Comment by vigi — January 5, 2018 @ 11:50 am

    • Better than NIMBYs who don’t want anyone to have any homes.

      Comment by Angela — January 5, 2018 @ 5:48 pm

      • What bullshit. Do you really believe people in Alameda don’t want people to have homes?

        Comment by Jack — January 5, 2018 @ 8:09 pm

        • Jack, the de facto result of density-discouraging Bay Area housing policies for 40-50 years has been exactly that: denying thousands of people a decent, affordable place to live.
          Many Alamedans have said — repeatedly, on the public record–thet they only want people to live in Alameda if they can afford to buy a single-family residence here. “We don’t want THAT KIND of (multifamily, affordable, higher-density) housing here” = “We don’t want THOSE PEOPLE living here.”

          Comment by Jon Spangler — January 10, 2018 @ 8:44 am

        • All the folks who own single-family homes and take advantage of the federal home loan interest deduction are recipients of one of the USA’s biggest “welfare subsidies.” Yet many of them yell and scream about “the traffic” or “those people” coming to Alameda if multi-family housing is built and, God forbid, these wealthy land owners (at least in relation to the majority of the world’s population) have to “share the wealth” (the benefits of living in Alameda) with “the great unwashed” who live in apartments, coindos, and townhouses.

          Comment by Jon Spangler — January 10, 2018 @ 8:51 am

        • “Many Alamedans” have said on the public record, Jon Spangler? Name three [none of whom can be named Pat Bail].

          Comment by vigi — January 10, 2018 @ 10:33 am

    • some advise trump not to stake his presidency on the performance of the stock market. he probably also ought not to stake his legacy on his legacy, if he even gets one of those

      Comment by MP — January 5, 2018 @ 8:12 pm

      • Trump don’t give a shit what lefty Califoricators want, as well he shouldn’t. California will fuck themselves…how can a state with the 6th highest economy in the world have the highest poverty rate in the country? The socialist jerks in this state are bound to fail like any and all socialist experiments.

        Comment by Jack — January 7, 2018 @ 5:32 pm

        • I always enjoy anti-socialist screeds when they come form a person who has collected government checks his entire life, enjoys services that his neighbors subsidize for him, and would howl like raccoon skinned alive if justice prevailed to take away his welfare checks.

          Comment by dave — January 8, 2018 @ 6:31 am

        • Yeah, I was in the Navy during the Vietnam war, flew three tours mostly in the Gulf of Tonkin and during that period received Hostile Fire pay along with per diem and regular enlisted pay. Got out of the Navy and went to work for the Department of Defence in the Air launch missile department on the base until it closed, If draft dodging small d dave considers that ‘welfare’ pay he’s besmirching one hell of a lot of Alamedans.

          Comment by Jack — January 8, 2018 @ 8:11 am

        • Military pay was a government check (that’s why I used those words) while Prop 13 and the checks you live off now are Welfare, capitalization intentional.

          The point is you’ve been a drain on the public treasury your entire life, and yet have the gall to use the word “socialism” even while you both live off the rest of us & have no idea what the word “socialism” really means.

          Comment by dave — January 8, 2018 @ 8:28 am

    • The pictures of the homeless under the freeways is more the legacy of California Democrats than Obama’s. Thank you for posting the link to a graphic illustration of the disastrous effects of local housing policies.

      California’s Democrats are beginning to realize the futility of current housing policies and are starting to do something about homelessness – taking away local control of development. Regardless of whether a government is socialist or capitalist, there will be homelessness if zoning policies and permit approvals rely on those who want jobs and no housing. That’s the root of the problem. Capitalism hasn’t solved the problem because even if capital is available, the permits to build housing to satisfy market demand are not. Neither will socialism solve the housing problem without major changes in policy.

      Very few are talking about an alternative solution that requires the construction of little new housing, banning new jobs in the region and encouraging existing employers to move elsewhere. That, though, is the current de facto solution, with the brunt of the cost of the policy disconnect falling on those with the lowest (and increasingly higher) incomes.

      Comment by 2wheelsmith — January 7, 2018 @ 7:29 pm

  6. I don’t trust anything Weiner proposes. He is also the guy that wants to make the bar cut off time 4am.

    Comment by michonnekatana — January 5, 2018 @ 8:38 pm

  7. If it wasn’t for men like Jack, willing to “provide for the common defense”, as it says in the constitution; men like dave would be living in a socialist state, unable to enjoy the luxury of badmouthing the military.

    Comment by vigi — January 8, 2018 @ 9:50 am

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