Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 5, 2021

“Potentially perilous”

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

In the most puzzling vote I think I’ve ever seen — and I’ve watched a lot of votes and a lot of City meetings — at the conclusion of the Housing Element agenda item at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting there was a motion made by Vice Mayor Malia Vella to get guidance and clarity from the State of California Housing and Community Development Department. The last time Alameda had received advice on A/26 from HCD was in 2009. This was a recommendation from City Staff.

The motion was seconded by Councilmember John Knox White and both Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog voted against the motion.

Typically when you have policy makers making policy you really want them armed with as much information as possible to make fact-based decisions. But not these two City Councilmembers. No way. Getting advice from the state agency which is going to be determining if our Housing Element is in compliance? What for? And naturally, neither of them explain this inexplicable vote against GETTING INFORMATION.

Perhaps it was because the representative from HCD at the meeting that night said there were five issues in the statute that were “potentially perilous” with A/26. I mean we should have known that Tony Daysog, at least, preferred to be kept in the dark about possible pitfalls. His response to the HCD rep saying he could go into more detail if Tony Daysog wanted him to was a vigorous shake of the head saying, “that’s okay.”

But wait, those the five “potentially perilous” issues?

  1. Statute requires zoning for a variety of housing types including multifamily housing. If there is no zoning for all types of housing, HCD will not find the Housing Element in compliance. A/26 says “no multi-family housing.”
  2. Density levels required to meet income standards. 30 du/ac is the minimum to demonstrate zoning for low and very low income units for urban areas (of which Alameda is). A/26 caps density at 21 du/ac.
  3. A requirement to analyze potential government constraints including the whole regulatory framework on development, maintenance, and improvement of housing and he says that, as part of this, HCD will see A/26 itself as a constraint on the supply and cost of housing and Alameda will need to show it has programs to counteract this constraint.
  4. AB 686 (affirmatively furthering fair housing) which says that General Plans will need to analyze and action plans to combat housing discrimination. He also mentioned earlier that as part of AB686, HCD will look at how Alameda’s demographics compare with its surroundings and broader region and what has led to that and what meaningful actions Alameda will take to bring it in line with regional demographics. It’s notable that the HCD rep points this law out as potentially conflicting with A/26 and it means I get to pull out my regional comparison infographs for future posts.
  5. SB 330, this is the one about reducing the intensity of sites that I’ve talked about before.

I mean, yeah I guess when it’s all laid out there if you want to wave your hands in the air and announce “everything’s fine” while the world is crashing around you then sure. You don’t want HCD to put this in writing so you have to explain how you’re going to save A/26 in light of ALL of that. So better to vote against getting guidance from HCD to put a proverbial finger in the proverbial dike and hope the adults come along to actually do their jobs to actually fix the problem.


  1. The thing is, Tony Daysog has been at this a long time. He knows the issue, and he knows what’s coming. He also really likes that chair up on the dais, so despite the harm he’s causing this city with his willful ignorance (it’s really more playing possum, if you’ll allow the folksy metaphor) – he just keeps at it. He could make a different decision at any point, and for the sake of this city I hope he does.

    Comment by Gaylon — February 5, 2021 @ 7:52 am

  2. The audacity of these adults to disturb these poor ostriches, who only wish to keep their heads buried in the sand.

    Comment by Reality — February 5, 2021 @ 8:12 am

  3. I am reminded of the time Trish Spencer, AUSD Board Trustee, voted against RECEIVING a report from an auditor noting that the district had spent more money than it took in because she did not approve of spending more than you took in. Pure genius.

    Comment by cw — February 5, 2021 @ 11:57 am

    • “You can’t overspend if you don’t know about it!”

      Comment by Reality — February 5, 2021 @ 12:16 pm

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