Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 10, 2018

Retaining parcel wall

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

You know what makes the Trish Spencer Council Referral even worse than its existence at all?  That Trish Spencer actually knows the answers to every vague assertion in that referral.   Apparently the City Council already had a document prepared for it by one of the city attorneys and then a fact sheet was put together to share to the community which Trish Spencer could have easily forwarded to her “constituents.”

In case you don’t want to click through here are some of the answers to some of the real bad information that has been circulating from folks like the Friends of Crab Cove who, evidently, don’t really care if they’re putting out bad information:

Didn’t Measure WW Require EBRPD to Acquire the Project Site?

No. Bond Measure WW was a 2008 ballot measure that authorized the East Bay Regional Park District to issue and sell up to $500,000,000 in bonds to complete the East Bay Regional Park District Master Plan for parklands and open space. Measure WW identified funds for the acquisition and development of surplus federal property adjacent to Crab Cove to expand and improve Crown Beach.

Wasn’t the Project Site rezoned to Open Space in 2014?

No. In 2014, the proponents of the “Initiative for Expansion of Open Space at Crab Cove” circulated and qualified an initiative to rezone a 3.899-acre parcel of surplus federal property (“EBRPD Site”) to Open Space. The property was bounded by multi-family residential uses to the west, federal office and research buildings utilized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the north, an EBRPD visitor center and parking lot to the east, and an EBRPD maintenance facility (corporation yard) and building called “Glory of the Seas” to the south. The EBRPD Site was improved with two federal office buildings and a parking lot, and subsequently conveyed to the East Bay Regional Park District.

On July 1, 2014, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3102 approving the rezoning rather than placing the initiative on the ballot. The only property that the ordinance rezoned to Open Space was the EBRPD Site. No other land in the City was affected.

Here’s some important bits:

What is the Settlement Agreement that everyone is referring to?

On October 21, 2015, the federal government, the State of California, and the East Bay Regional Park District entered into an agreement to resolve disputes arising out of the federal government’s filing of a Declaration of Taking for the parcel known as McKay Avenue and an adjoining sidewalk easement (“Settlement Agreement”). The City of Alameda is not a party to the Settlement Agreement.

Does the Settlement Agreement address the EBRPD Site and the Project Site?

Yes. The Settlement Agreement addresses both sites, but refers to the EBRPD Site as “Neptune Pointe” and the Project Site as the “Retained Parcel.” The Settlement Agreement describes the transfer of Neptune Pointe from the federal government to EBRPD and specifies that the federal government will continue to own and operate the Retained Parcel.

Section 5 of the Settlement Agreement states the following:
The Retained Parcel may be subdivided and fully developed in the future;
EBRPD and State Parks will not interfere, legally or otherwise, with the use or transfer of any portion of the Retained Parcel, including any use consistent with the neighboring area by a private purchaser;
EBRPD and State Parks shall not participate in or seek to influence any change of zoning for the Retained Parcel as long as the parcel is owned by the United States or a direct purchaser from the United States; and
EBRPD and State Parks will not oppose a project of a Direct Purchaser of the Retained Parcel on a wholesale basis.

And after definitively saying that that retained parcel is not zoned open space:

What is the zoning designation for the Project Site?

The Project Site is zoned Administrative Professional (A-P), which is applied to areas where administrative and professional offices, and medical and related facilities are the proper uses.

Because the Project Site is currently owned by the federal government, its General Plan land use classification is Federal Facilities and its zoning designation includes a Special Government Combining District (G) Overlay, which indicates that the land is owned by the federal government.

What is the City Council’s role in the process?

When any federally owned property in Alameda is transferred to private ownership, the City Council must hold a public hearing to change the General Plan designation (Federal Facilities) to be consistent with the underlying zoning and remove the Government Combining District (G) zoning designation.

Essentially because there is no longer a government use there, the City Council MUST removed the government overlay on the parcel.  I don’t know how long the City Council can delay that process since there have been no government uses since 2017.

Also if Doug Biggs is right, and I’m sure he’s right, and EBRPD puts out an announcement that they want nothing to do with the property and are in full support of the APC project what — at that point — will be the strategy of the opponents to this project?  Ask the City at that point to build a park next to a park?

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