Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 30, 2019

And the costs too great

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

More from the TL;dr files aka stuff that the FOCCers don’t want you, average voters, to know.  Or stuff that the FOCCers don’t know themselves either and are continuing to barrel down this road of ballot initiative because they think that abandoned buildings are the same as open space.

In December 2018, and in response to an application submitted by APC, the City Council changed the land use designations to allow for private use of the Site for a Wellness Center. As a result, the General Plan designation is Office and, effective January 17, 2019, the Zoning Ordinance designation will be Administrative Professional. APC is currently leasing the property from the Federal Government. However, the lease provides that once the property has been rezoned to permit APC’s program, as it now has, APC “shall submit a request to Lessor [the federal government] to acquire the property by Quitclaim Deed which will be processed by the Lessor without undue delay. The request shall include a statement that the Lessee is ready, willing and able to fully implement the Lessee’s program of use….” Lease Contract No. 09-CA-2332 at 6-7. Thus, it is possible that at the time the Initiative is considered by the voters, APC will have title to the property.

This very well means that this could happen:

In brief, APC or the Federal Government potentially could bring an inverse condemnation action (a takings claim) against the City claiming that the City, through the Initiative, deprived APC or the Federal Government of substantially all economically beneficial or productive use of the Site, and could seek damages for certain costs expended in building the Wellness Center and in the loss of value in the property. In such a claim, APC or the Federal Government would allege that the City committed a “taking” of a valuable property right in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 19 of the California Constitution. APC or the Federal Government could claim the City should purchase the site at its fair market value.

So how much could all this cost the City if Measure B were to pass?

According to the analysis, the City could be on the hook for a wide range of expenses including:

  • The costs incurred to build the Wellness Center once discretionary approvals have been issued by the City
  • The cost of delaying the use of the Wellness Center
  • The loss of value in the property
  • Attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.
  • If a court rules that the City has taken the land via the ballot initiative and forced rezoning, the City might be responsible for the fair market value of the property

In the case that the last bullet happens, the City would also become responsible for the maintenance of the not yet open space abandoned buildings, those costs could be (but would not include any construction costs:

  • Estimated costs for maintenance and security are approximately $20,000 per month or $240,000 per year for evening security and grounds and facility maintenance.

And if the City decided to go down this path and build an actual park, the costs for that are staggering and the City does not have this money currently earmarked or available:

  • Cost of acquisition ($5.6 million)
  • Demolition and asbestos abatement ($3.2 million)
  • Development of a new City park ($2.9 million)

Anyone who is endorsing Measure B is not looking out for the well being of the City of Alameda and its citizens.  They’re exposing the City and its citizens to a whole lot of liability for reasons that don’t include empathy to those less fortunate than themselves.


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