Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 3, 2022

Change my mind

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:11 am

Happy new year everyone, may your 2022 be vastly better than your 2021.

Anyway, 2022 is starting off with the first real test to Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer’s commitment to keep extra housing units from being zoned into the East End and Bay Farm. That’s right people, it’s time for the Tidelands Exchange for the Encinal Terminals project! Remember this is the exact same project that Trish Spencer voted against when she was Mayor and Tony Daysog spoke out against during public comment at that same meeting. The tidelands exchange takes four votes to make happen so, honestly, if there’s no signal that either will vote for it at the beginning of the agenda item it will just be a waste of everyone’s time to allow discussion and questioning and answering of staff.

To back up for people who don’t understand what is being voted on the tidelands land on the Encinal Terminals parcel is in the middle of the project site, as it was years ago. The only reason to vote against the swap, which would move the tidelands parcels to the actual touching the water part of the property was to tank the project altogether, which was what happened during Trish Spencer’s Mayorship on the City Council.

In fact, the tidelands trust would receive 18.7 acres miles of land (including submerged land) in exchange for 4.5 acres miles of interior land. Seems like a better bargain.

Now what happens if AAPS and ACT can’t convince Tony Daysog or Trish Spencer to vote for this project? Well, then it makes the math a lot more tricky for finding enough units for Alameda’s RHNA allocation. This project alone will shave off 589 units. Even though the site is already entitled for 589 we know that it is infeasible to build in the current site configuration with the donut hole of public tidelands in the middle of the project. From the staff report:

Under state housing law, sites that are financially infeasible to develop cannot be included in the Housing Element to meet the City’s RHNA; therefore, Encinal Terminals in its current configuration cannot be included in the upcoming Housing Element.  The recommended entitlements enable the reconfiguration of the property lines to make the site financially feasible to develop and therefore eligible for inclusion in the upcoming Housing Element.  Per HCD guidelines and staff communications with HCD staff, Encinal Terminals will be eligible for inclusion in the 2023-2031 Housing Element if the Council approves a financially viable project entitlements for Encinal Terminals. 

Failure to approve the recommended ordinances and approvals will prevent the City from including the Encinal Terminal site on the site inventory for the Housing Element update.  To compensate for the loss of the 589 units at Encinal Terminals, the burden on other sites and in other existing residential and mixed-use neighborhoods to accommodate the RHNA will be increased by 589 units.

Should be an interesting to see who changes their messaging from the last time this was before the City Council. Remember the Council approved a project previously with much taller buildings than is being proposed in this plan so the big sticking point was the deal killer of not approving the tidelands exchange.

7 Comments »

  1. Miles?

    Comment by dave — January 3, 2022 @ 6:13 am

  2. It appears to me that the exchange would actually put the “tide lands” over the water. With that configuration the city can see some revenue out of it by leasing the tide lands to a water oriented use like marinas or a boat yard/ dry boat berthingthat Alameda sorely needs since the demise of Alameda Marina on Clement ave.

    Comment by Wol Polinski — January 3, 2022 @ 7:03 am

  3. It appears to me that the exchange would actually put the “tide lands” over the water. With that configuration the city can see some revenue out of it by leasing the tide lands to a water oriented use like marinas or a boat yard/ dry boat berthing that Alameda sorely needs since the demise of Alameda Marina on Clement ave.

    Comment by Wol Polinski — January 3, 2022 @ 7:04 am

  4. Idle curiosity only…

    What is definition of tideland? Is it land exposed at low tide but underwater at high tide, or something else? Can a person own it free & clear, as with dry land, or only via possessory interest, such as long term lease?

    Comment by dave — January 3, 2022 @ 7:09 am

    • Looks like this is how the State defines it: https://www.slc.ca.gov/land-types/#sovereign

      Tidelands are one type of sovereign land held by California. These are the lands that are lyrically described as those covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tides. Practically, tidelands are those lands situated between the ordinary high water and ordinary low water mark of tidal waters. In California, some of the tidelands are in private ownership. Those that are were authorized to be sold by the Legislature. These sales occurred prior to both the 1879 constitutional amendment and the United States Supreme Court’s 1892 ruling in Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois both made clear that sovereign lands cannot be sold.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 3, 2022 @ 9:00 am

  5. I’ll be watching this meeting with great interest, to see how Trish & Tony vote. It will go one of two ways:

    1) Vote yes – they can be reasoned with and truly care about their Bay Farm and East End constituents, and recognize that the RHNA is a real thing and that we need to be adults about it.
    2) Vote no – they’re myopic politicians pandering to the fringe that wants no more housing at any cost, damn the consequences, even if it means Bay Farm and East End end up with more housing units, but it will not be on their watch.

    I don’t have a vested interest either way, but this will be an interesting way to gauge their level of intelligence.

    Comment by Reality — January 3, 2022 @ 9:31 am


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Say what you want

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: