Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 29, 2021

Bonus meeting

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:23 am

Because the City Council can’t seem to complete agenda items in a reasonable amount of time we get an extra bonus City Council meeting this week in order to get through some truly important agenda items which would have been left languishing behind the insistence of some City Councilmembers to ask one million questions on a consent calendar item.

The meeting tomorrow starts at 5:00 PM and I fully anticipate this meeting to run long. There are only two agenda items but both are bound to bring out the most disingenuous actors Alameda which you can already view in the attached correspondence for both agenda items.

The first item is the draft Housing Element which contains the City’s proposed strategy on how to meet Alameda’s RHNA numbers. If you read through the public correspondence there is a concerted effort to not up zone R-2 through R-6 zones, which will be problematic if two key projects (Encinal Terminals and Alameda Point entitlement) do not get approved early next year. Those folks asking for no up-zoning of largely single family unit areas are asking, instead, for the City to concentrate on Alameda Point, shopping centers, and the business districts. Interestingly enough we have a business district (Webster Street) asking for no up-zoning there which is a huge mistake on the part of Webster Street to ask because if any area needs some built in density to keep its businesses afloat, it’s Webster Street.

Interestingly enough the folks who are now saying we need to concentrate development at Alameda Point and along the estuary (this means the Encinal Terminals project) were the same folks tanking the project a few years ago by urging the City Council to not approve the Encinal Terminals tidelands exchange. Now they are signaling their pocket Councilpeople (Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer) that they would prefer units to be shuffled there rather than in their character-filled neighborhoods.

The second agenda item should be a short one but it won’t be because some Councilmembers don’t like to ask clarifying questions in emails prior to the meeting and would rather subject all of us to hours upon hours of words that could have been emails because they don’t have to be awake at 8:00 AM. Certifying the EIR for the General Plan should be a no brainer but…alas…

As a reminder before you go into the meeting, if you hear anyone saying “hey, there’s a referral by Trish Spencer which has been bumped from meeting to meeting about talking to the Navy to lift the housing cap at Alameda Point which should be a priority to the City Council for this Housing Element” just understand that the city staff was working on lifting the housing cap well before Trish Spencer put that Council Referral on the agenda. And even if the City were to successfully get the housing cap lifted for Alameda Point in time for this Housing Element the specific call in these Housing Elements to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) would preclude the City from concentrate ALL the housing units at Alameda Point. This has been a point the City has tried to get to stick but we can see that even those folks who have sat through meeting after meeting; hearing this point time after time are disingenuously using this line of attack even though they know it’s meritless and it won’t work to certify Alameda’s Housing Element.

10 Comments »

  1. The answer to the referral requesting that the City work with regional and federal partners and the US Navy to remove the US Navy fee on housing at Alameda Point — can be found on page 19 in the draft Housing Element. It will be done sometime in the future, but not part of the 2023-2032 Housing Element.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 29, 2021 @ 8:10 am

  2. I don’t believe that is entirely accurate. The goal is to get the cap lifted but for planning reasons, for now, just so we can move forward we need to not count those eggs before they have hatched just yet. It wouldn’t be prudent. If at some point we determine it’s reasonable that the cap will be lifted (as in we know will HCD accept that it’s reasonable that the federal government will likely remove the cap in the next few years and we show we will upzone in turn) then we can very much include additional units in the site inventory out there. That doesn’t negate our responsibility to allow housing in other parts of Alameda either way so it likely won’t change everything that much but if something else fails to get approved or developed it may keep us from slipping when the mid-cycle assessments come up.

    Comment by Zac Bowling — November 29, 2021 @ 9:07 am

    • Zac, these are your words. What it says in writing on page 19 is — “in the future”. If what you say is true, it would have been nice to hear these words from city staff or the Mayor or an action to hear the referral (s) to provide a status or an update.

      Because we’ve heard nothing from city staff or the Mayor — it will happen just like it says in writing — in the future and will not be part of the new Housing Element. Furthermore, in the future does not detail a date certain.

      Comment by Karen Bey — November 29, 2021 @ 10:25 am

      • There have been updates during other agenda items about staff already talking to the Navy. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Andrew Thomas speak about this multiple times.

        Comment by Lauren Do — November 29, 2021 @ 11:34 am

        • Andrew Thomas definitely spoke on this during the most recent ABAG meeting. I interpreted it to mean within this current housing cycle. That said, it’d be foolish for anyone to think this alone will solve our RHNA problem, as it would still violate AFFH. Stop delaying by targeting this one issue, and let’s get to work on other housing solutions to meet the RHNA total. The business districts, shopping districts, the athletic club, what homeowners elect to do under SB9 and SB10, etc. “Alameda Point” needs to stop being the solution for everything.

          Comment by JRB — November 29, 2021 @ 11:51 am

      • Hi Karen, city staff has already started these discussions. Sounds like the draft is incorrect.

        Comment by jkw — November 29, 2021 @ 6:29 pm

  3. My favorite part of all this so far has been watching Reyla Graber burn up $200,000 of her own – excuse me, her father’s – money for no damn good reason except to scratch her NIMBY itch.

    Comment by Seabiscuit — November 29, 2021 @ 12:17 pm

    • she is throwing that money away, but it makes her feel good that she can try to defeat a tidal wave that is coming.

      Comment by John P. — November 29, 2021 @ 4:11 pm

  4. Again, I’m reading from the written text in the draft Housing Element — please refer to page 19. If there are updates, it should be reflected in the current draft for discussion.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 29, 2021 @ 12:46 pm


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