Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 21, 2018

Can’t stay here

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

Did everyone catch this CBS piece on the tiny homes and livestock near the entrance to the tube?

If not, you’re welcome.

Personally, I have heard about the Alameda Maker Farm but I guess my mind never contextualized that it existed as a physical space with pigs and llamas.  Nor did I mentally place the space next to the tube entrance in an industrially zoned area with tiny homes.

Because even though it sounds like a great community what we’re really talking about here is squatting.

I mean yeah, the emotional support pig that was trotted out to the City Council meeting is totally adorable, but if this really feels like an entitled case of asking for forgiveness rather than asking for permission.  Let’s put it this way: if the residents of the Alameda Maker Farm weren’t hipster looking white people (and Asian lady) and instead were some of the much more careworn faces of the long term homeless individuals around town we wouldn’t be having a conversation about “more time.”

While I am super sympathetic to anyone struggling to find housing and completely empathize with a feeling of desperation that would lead folks to plopping down four walls wherever they can, this is definitely not the way to do it.  I would say that there is space somewhere for a community like Alameda Maker Farm, but you have to follow the rules just like everyone else has to when it comes to building anything that will be housing people and particularly anything involving livestock.  If they want to change the zoning, apply to change the zoning.  If they want space at Alameda Point: find it and lease it.  But plopping down residential units with pigs and chickens and things into an industrial space is definitely not the way to be good neighbors or community members.


  1. If “property is theft” everyone has a right to live here-perhaps in front of your house or your children’s school…

    Comment by Nowyouknow — February 21, 2018 @ 6:23 am

  2. If its a farm they should move it to Bay FARM Island.

    Comment by Jack — February 21, 2018 @ 7:39 am

  3. The Raiders are leaving Bay FARM Island so tear down their corporate headquarters and move the farm team in.

    Comment by Jack — February 21, 2018 @ 7:43 am

  4. Let’s put it this way: if the residents of the Alameda Maker Farm weren’t hipster looking white people (and Asian lady) and instead were some of the much more careworn faces of the long term homeless individuals around town we wouldn’t be having a conversation about “more time.”


    The “careworn” homeless in the Belt Line park were given quite a bit of extra time and some amount of assistance to vacate.

    Comment by dave — February 21, 2018 @ 9:18 am

  5. “…you have to follow the rules just like everyone else has to when it comes to building anything that will be housing people…”

    That logic has justified redlining, zoning exclusions, deed restrictions, and other racist and classist “rules” to exclude minorities and members of ethnic groups from
    many communities. (My American-born maternal grandparents, who were of German descent, faced “No Germans Need Apply” restrictions on many apartments when
    looking for a home after they were married following World War I. My grandfather had served in the US Army France during the Great War.)

    We see the same “rules” applied today by some corporate and other greedy landlords who have raised rents on Alameda tenants by 25 – 35 percent in successive years
    as recently as 2010-2013, because they can: landowners have more power and can set their own rules without reasonable governmental limits on greed and legalized larceny.

    We have established speed limits on our roadways to reduce speeding and laws prohibiting price-gouging in many areas of our economy. But there are precious few restrictions
    (think Costa-Hawkins) keeping greedy landlords from extracting high rents and steep rent increases from tenants, many of whom are on fixed and nearly-fixed incomes in this
    anti-worker economy. To keep things hunky-dory for the landed class, property owners have fed our legislators lots of money so they will support the false idolatries of
    “private property rights uber alles” and unfettered “free” enterprise in order to keep the lock on landlord’s ability to unduly control peoples’ lives and extort rent increases from them.

    Perhaps, instead of following unjust rules, we should be looking at changing the ones that keep people imprisoned along racial, class, economic, social, and political lines? Or keep
    people from finding shelter in an unused property when nothing else is available to them?

    Comment by Jon Spangler — February 21, 2018 @ 11:39 am

    • It’s not unused property. It’s a “storage facility.” Using your logic then the applicant who wanted to build the senior facility on Bay Farm should have just done it and not gone through the proper channels only to be rejected by the City Council.

      As I wrote above, if the current property users wanted to have a farm, apply to change the zoning. If they want to have legal housing there, apply to change the zoning. Asking for forgiveness rather than permission is the ultimate sense of entitlement and privilege that folks faced with redlining, zoning exclusions, and other racist and classist rules wouldn’t dare to ever attempt because the costs and repercussions would not be a simple slap on the wrist.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 21, 2018 @ 11:51 am

  6. It’s called “squatting”, or trying to take someone else’s land by adverse possession. Never a good idea!

    Its more common in rural areas where there is lots of vacant land, but it’s still very hard to accomplish. You can get kicked off the land at any moment.

    The better approach is to pool your money with other like minded individuals and purchase a piece land or a small farm and create the kind of co-housing community you desire.

    Focus on what you want instead of focusing on what you don’t want.

    Comment by Karen — February 21, 2018 @ 12:46 pm

  7. Are they actually squatting or do they have the land owner’s permission?

    Comment by dave — February 21, 2018 @ 12:54 pm

  8. No they are actually squatting. They are not landlords, they are land owners.

    Comment by Karen — February 21, 2018 @ 1:02 pm

    • The word “squatting” means they do not own nor have permission from rightful owner to occupy.

      If they own it, they are not squatters. Maybe they’re code violators, but not squatters.

      Comment by dave — February 21, 2018 @ 1:39 pm

      • I think that squatters, if they are not removed from an owner’s property within a regulated amount of time, they gain certain squatter rights (depending on local or state law) and are free from being evicted.

        Comment by Jack — February 21, 2018 @ 5:35 pm

      • So do they own the land or not? I haven’t been able to find this information. I agree they would be code violators not squatters, if they do own the land. Even if they don’t own the land, and they have permission from the landlord, they still aren’t squatters.

        Comment by michonnekatana — February 23, 2018 @ 12:21 am

  9. When it comes to animal control regulations in the city code this is my favorite:

    It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or person having possession or control of any stallion, jack or bull, to allow any such stallion, jack or bull to serve any animal within one hundred (100°) feet of any dwelling house occupied by another than such person, or in any public street or alley, or within sight of the same, or contiguous thereto so that such service be exposed to the view of any person passing in the street or alley located at the window of any house adjacent thereto.

    Comment by Gerard L. — February 21, 2018 @ 1:07 pm

  10. As long as the llamas don’t get into the tubes, they should be fine. I hope they bring a llama to the next council meeting.

    Comment by vigi — February 21, 2018 @ 1:12 pm

  11. I think it’s fine to have them there. I’ve walked by the space a number of times, it’s clean, well kept, and if they did not have a sign I would not know there were animals there. Not everyone can own a quaint Victorian or pay over $2,000/mo for a single bedroom apartment. I would rather see something like this than the tent cities overflowing with trash and human excrement I see in the local homeless encampments.

    Comment by HouseThePeople — February 28, 2018 @ 1:47 pm

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