Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 3, 2018

Ends don’t justify the means

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

On Thursday afternoon the City added to Tuesday’s agenda an action item to review the next steps for the Friends of Crab Cove’s ballot initiative.  The Registrar of Voters at the county level certified the signature and the law requires that the City Council take  action at the next scheduled City Council meeting, which is Tuesday.

As others have mentioned the Friends of Crab Cove’s signature gathering operation relied heavily on misinformation to get people to sign the petition to “save open space in Alameda.”  It was really not quite different that the folks that told citizens that signing the petition to put Measure K on the ballot would “protect rent control.”

There are three distinct actions that the City Council can take, per the staff report:

Since 10% of the qualified voters of Alameda signed the petition, pursuant to Elections Code Section 9215, the City Council may: 1) adopt the ordinance, without alteration, tonight or within 10 days; 2) submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters by adopting a resolution placing the measure on the ballot; or 3) order a report on the effect of the proposed initiative, which must be presented to Council within 30 days.

Clearly option one is a no go.  There is an active application on deck for a largely ministerial action by the City Council to remove the G overlay.  Arguably it should never have taken so long for the application to have wound its way through the process to get to the City Council that these two items would be presented at the same time.  The Planning Board voted to recommend removal on October 8, 2018.  The were many City Council meeting between then and now when the City Council would have taken up this issue.

Option two would finish off the agenda item relatively quickly but it could end up being very expensive and would still leave questions about the impacts of making this decision considering the legal exposure to the City because of said open application.  Oh, and this is where the possible costs to the City crop up:

Placing the measure on the ballot for the next general municipal election on November 2, 2020, would cost approximately $25,000 for translation, typesetting, and printing the measure. The costs for placing the measure on a special election could range from $580,000 to $720,000 if there are no other matters on the ballot, but may fall below that range if the measure can be consolidated with another item on the ballot.

Yes you read that right, the City Council could opt to place the initiative on the 2020 ballot which would be the least expensive and only cost the City $25K, or if a majority of the City Council insists on a special election (and you know the Friends of Crab Cove are probably going to insist on a special election) it could range between $580 – $720K.  If anyone votes for this option with the push for a special election they have officially given up the ability to talk about fiscal restraint and conservatism when it comes to the City’s budget.  Or let the Friends of Crab Cove pay for that special election cost.

The only, reasonable, option for the City Council to take is option 3.  To order a report on the impacts and liabilities of the initiative.  That way, when the City Council must take the other two options then the City and its citizens understand the impacts of the ballot initiative.

And, of course, the City Council should continue down its course of business and adopt the Planning Board recommendations for the Respite and Wellness Center which should be a priority tomorrow evening.


  1. From a land use perspective, as I mentioned before I believe the Respite Wellness Center would be better served at the North Housing parcel where a new community is being created.

    The North Housing project will include several acres that will be transferred to the Alameda Housing Authority for the development of affordable housing, and a Habitat Housing parcel.

    In addition, the North Housing Parcel includes a site for 90 Homeless/Transitional Housing units which will be developed in Phase 1.

    Along with these benefits, its proximity to the Alameda Point Reshap project across the street from the North Housing Parcel and the many collaborating partners (APC, Building Futures, Operation Dignity) make a strong case to include the Respite Wellness Center at either of these two sites so it can benefit from the array of collaborating partners and social programs being offered. There is also additional State funding being proposed for homeless/transitional housing in the pipeline, so having these projects in close proximity to each other could help expedite the development of these projects as well as reduce infrastructure costs.

    Here’s the link to the North Housing project:

    Click to access 4-A%20Presentation%20on%20the%20North%20Housing%20Parcel.pdf

    Comment by Karen — December 3, 2018 @ 7:34 am

    • Or it’s exactly perfect where it will go and will allow the project to be opened sooner than any project at North Housing would allow AND doesn’t silo all homeless services into one location.

      Comment by Lauren Do — December 3, 2018 @ 7:56 am

      • Maybe, but Carmel Partner’s project appears to be shovel ready. We could also offer him an incentive to build the Respite Wellness Center by giving him entitlements to build more housing units since the cap has been removed.

        Comment by Karen — December 3, 2018 @ 9:09 am

    • Karen – you’re trying to reframe the question as, “which two locations would be better?”

      The only question that should be asked is, “why isn’t the medical respite center deserving of this particular location?”

      And aren’t you the author of that fantastic Alameda Sun letter claiming that the project shouldn’t happen because of forest fire danger? I guess straws are getting harder to grasp now that those things are banned.

      Comment by JRB — December 3, 2018 @ 8:38 am

      • No that’s not me.

        Comment by Karen — December 3, 2018 @ 9:03 am

  2. It’s a medical center, very similar to the ones on Willow Street, directly across from residential areas. I am confident that it will be perfect exactly where it’s planned to be.

    Comment by Angela — December 3, 2018 @ 8:06 am

  3. The NIMBY people told 5 different things to 5 different groups of people to secure their signatures. It will be a hilarious election – if it even gets that far – once they’re forced to do consistent messaging for everyone. 20% will say, “yup, that’s exactly what I signed up for” and the other 80% will say, “excuse me, but what the [bleep]?”

    Comment by JRB — December 3, 2018 @ 8:19 am

  4. I see nothing wrong with this project going forward in the location proposed. I don’t see keeping all the people that are in need of our help contained in one isolated area of the city. I already know all the arguments in favor of (in my opinion) keeping everything together for convenience. but I somehow get the feeling that it is really for our convenience.

    Comment by JohnP.TrumpisnotmyPresident. — December 3, 2018 @ 11:09 am

  5. I like it where it is going. I saw 2 elderly people pushing shopping carts (not drunk or on drugs as far as i could tell). I also saw a elderly man getting off Bart and he had obviously wet himself. We need places to serve these people who many have medical problems.

    The Nimby thing doesn’t work for me they need to spread it throughout the City. Most of the low income housing is on the West End and is concentrated around Bayport/Alameda Landing. We have the Alameda point collaborative, Shinsei Gardens, Breakers At Bayport, Stargell Commons, all within in the same areas.

    Comment by Jake — December 3, 2018 @ 11:35 am

    • So Jake you see a pattern here?, this is so typical of Alameda. Every thing is in the West End, and that is fine with me. Try putting anything like this past Grand and you will see a shitstorm. Just the way it is .

      Comment by Johnptrumpisagoodcomic — December 3, 2018 @ 3:01 pm

      • Can the same be said of the retail cannabis dispensary opening up next to the martial arts studio on Webster/Haight, but not Park Street?

        Comment by Alan — December 3, 2018 @ 4:44 pm

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