Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 13, 2021

Fear mongering at its finest

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 5:03 am

A new email is circulating around Bay Farm/Harbor Bay Isle warning its fair residents that the big boogeyman of density is coming for them and their idyllic slice o’ Alameda:

In case you’ve been asleep or in a pandemic induced daze for the last few months (understandable) this is to preempt efforts by the City of Alameda to meet its RHNA housing allocation which is somewhere in the 5400 unit range. Because it can’t go in Bay Farm’s backyard it must go somewhere else.

Remember this is what we’re working with here, we have *possibly* 2000 units accounted for. The blue bucket mainly contains projects that have already been approved. The yellow bucket requires four votes of the City Council to make happen, leaving a remainder of 2400 units if the yellow bucket does not receive the four votes. Here’s the thing. I suppose the City Council could also vote to add an oversized MF overlay at both the Encinal Terminals and Site A locations to cover the remaining units but then you’re looking at true skyscraper level developments which, I mean, I guess if it saves people’s precious neighborhood character maybe they’d be into that.

The thing is that if there’s not four votes for Encinal Terminals and Site A then there will need to be more MF overlays or MF overlays with higher units per acre. And Bay Farm won’t escape that because otherwise Alameda won’t meet its RHNA numbers.

Folks are going to have to start making some tough decisions and by “folks” I mean the City Council. I feel like we should be getting the determination letters from HCD soon. I don’t know if it will move the needle on doing what is right but it should be fun to read.

12 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the post…..I just went to the Alameda General Plan site and made a comment in support of housing/RHNA numbers and development anywhere in Alameda that fits and makes sense. It can’t all go on Alameda Point and I’m oh so tired of the NIMBYs in this town (and on City Council) who think they can continue to be exclusionary with the supposed ‘quiet quality of life’ in our ‘semi suburban small community’.

    Comment by UrbanPlanningforthewin! — May 13, 2021 @ 8:58 am

  2. Help me understand something… We can meet the RHNA numbers if we continue to use multifamily overlays… Didn’t the HCD director recently say that multifamily overlays will not likely get our housing element approved?

    Comment by Reality — May 13, 2021 @ 9:29 am

  3. Huge political problem for Vella and Bonta if they wish to get the Alameda vote if rammed through city council.

    Alameda voted 60-40 against Measure Z and more development with most of vote from East End and HBI.

    AG Bonta suing to enforce more housing would be a bad look indeed.

    Comment by Political Reality — May 13, 2021 @ 9:54 am

    • Bonta does not care a whit about looking good in Alameda. He cares about:

      -Rob Bonta first & foremost (he’s facing AG election in ’22 without much statewide name ID)
      -Mia Bonta second, she only has to get elected once, after that she is golden for 6 terms
      -Sufficient money to meet the above goals, plus an extra truckload just for fun

      He will follow the wind. If the wind is blowing toward tearing up our town, that’s where he’s sailing.

      Comment by JM — May 13, 2021 @ 11:06 am

      • Allow me to retort bwahaha/salty: Bonta got 85% of vote, Z got less than half that. There will be lots of Bonta voters who would be salty.

        Comment by Math is hard — May 15, 2021 @ 8:50 am

    • Bwahahahah, the only people who will be salty if an AG Bonta sued Alameda because we are unable to meet our RHNA numbers are people who don’t like him in the first place.

      But you tried.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 13, 2021 @ 1:02 pm

    • I can tell you that more and more Alamedans are coming around on Measure Z with a better understanding on why it had to happen. The mood on NextDoor is changing – “No Z” leaders (Trish & Tony, Sylvia Gibson, Beverly Johnson, Karen Lithgow, Conchita Perles, Reuben Stob, etc) have basically disappeared, offering no solutions for how to address the upcoming RHNA and housing element issue.

      If we were to hold the same election again in a year or two, we might see an even split. Remember that 5 years ago we couldn’t even talk about repealing Article 26 – to know that it came within 5,000 votes of full repeal is still progress.

      That said – Vella and Bonta can easily win elections, especially if they are outside of Alameda – Alameda’s housing NIMBYs are not representative of the 18th district and in fact are very conservative compared to the inner part of the East Bay (Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro) – some Bay Farm neighborhoods even have the highest concentration of Trump voters. Whether Vella actually wins comes down to if Oakland puts up a half-decent candidate with a stronger name recognition or vote splits between similar candidates. Vella would easily win in a runoff election.

      Comment by Reality — May 13, 2021 @ 3:35 pm

      • You’re joking, right? I met in-person with JKW and have plenty of solutions. I’m sorry your universe is limited to ND.

        Comment by Reuben Stob — November 23, 2021 @ 5:46 pm

        • And I’m sorry that your ND has been limited.

          Comment by Reality — November 29, 2021 @ 10:36 am

      • I appreciate your regret that I’ve pulled back from social media; I learned more about what various factions will and won’t do talking with JKW for an hour or so than I’ve learned on ND or FB in a lifetime. I disagree with JKW on some key things and will readily call him out. But at least he (like me) has the decency and confidence to use a real name. If I had a vote (I get that I don’t), that would be requirement here.

        Comment by Reuben Stob — November 30, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

  4. This is insane. What a perfect place to build more housing. I saw a post on an Earhart school FB group where someone posted about this and suggested imagining the horror of increased traffic while dropping off and picking up kids if this was to be developed. Un-fucking-believable how selfish and senseless people can be. I am off to write and call in my support for development there now.

    Comment by bjsvec — May 13, 2021 @ 12:24 pm

  5. The South Shore Shopping center is where I see great opportunity to create a vibrant newly designed and reconfigured mixed use beachfront development. I recommend that we make the 800 homes RHNA allocation at South Shore Center.

    In addition, I agree that the Encinal Terminal and Site A amendments should be approved since these sites have already been approved for the MF overlay.

    Finally, as I have stated before, I think most the RHNA allocation should go to Alameda Point, where millions of dollars have already been risked and invested on new backbone and transit infrastructure. Because of the investments made by the Site A developers, Alameda Point is shovel ready for new projects.

    In addition to adding more density in the Alameda Point waterfront district, we could add more housing on and near the West Midway site, thereby maximizing the infrastructure already planned, approved, and installed.

    I believe this cluster of new housing could be planned and designed to provide a mix of new housing, parks, and neighborhood serving retail and commercial that would satisfy most of the remaining RHNA allocation.

    The remaining allocation could be reserved for ADU’s, Park Street and Webster Street districts.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 13, 2021 @ 12:54 pm


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