Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 15, 2022

Seriously

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

Someone over the weekend reminded me as to the existence of this “resolution” from the Harbor Bay HOA and as I scrolled I remembered that City Council Candidate Bill Pai had signed the resolution, what I was surprised to see was that City Council candidate Paul Beusterien also signed the resolution.

If you remember this was the Harbor Bay HOA’s collective attempt to get the City to, essentially, exempt Bay Farm from doing anything at all regarding the Housing Element. It’s an interesting document to review in light of both these gentleman running to be elected to the City Council to represent ALL of Alameda considering that they signed on to a document which wanted their own neighborhood to abdicate all responsibility to help to meet the RHNA which was allocated for all of Alameda and not just the main island portion.

And it wasn’t even that they were concerned about the Harbor Bay Club alone, it was also the shopping center. So while shopping centers across the City were going to take an overlay, Harbor Bay HOA was saying that they should be excluded.

What is even more puzzling about this position from these two candidates is that, in addition to saying “not Bay Farm”, Paul Beusterien also wrote an op ed (which he’s been gleefully advertising on his Twitter, but, notably, not responding to questions about his position) about how the “upzoning” of residential zoning is overreaching:

Of course of Paul Beusterien had his way, I suppose, that the only agreeable option would be to put it all at Alameda Point which demonstrates that he hasn’t been paying attention to any of the discussions about the Housing Element and particularly affirmatively furthering fair housing which is definitely troublesome and problematic.

25 Comments »

  1. I’d appreciate if you would ask before making incorrect assumptions about my positions. I’m reachable on Twitter and at paulb4alameda@gmail.com. I’d also appreciate if you give more than 14 hours for a response. That letter was written over a year ago before there was a 2023-31 Housing Element. I and many others in Harbor Bay understand that Alameda needs to add 5353 homes and we want to do our part. We also understand AFFH requires housing to be spread across the city.

    Comment by Paul Beusterien — August 15, 2022 @ 7:49 am

    • Then the right thing for you to do would be to inform the HOA you wish to withdraw your support of that resolution. i get that you want to be friends with everyone, but that’s not what a politician is supposed to do. Take your stands and own them. If you want to keep exclusionary housing policies in place, then embrace that position and let your support and opposition coalesce. By trying to be for all things, you are actually showing leadership in nothing.

      Comment by notadave — August 15, 2022 @ 7:58 am

    • Dude what? The resolution was not written a year ago before there was a 2023 Housing Element. We’ve been working on the Housing Element for since, like, November 2020. I’ve been writing about the process here and tagging posts here: https://laurendo.wordpress.com/tag/he-2023/.

      The resolution was literally a response to staff floating sites they believed would be needed to meet RHNA for, you know, public comment. At this point what you are suggesting is to pull our Housing Element and tell HCD that we’re not going to do what they’re asking us to do which would place our Housing Element and General Plan out of compliance. I feel like a candidate for City Council should understand what are the consequences of his public positions.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 15, 2022 @ 8:56 am

    • Anytime politicians have a disagreement with someone, they 1) accuse the person of not understanding the issue, and 2) direct them to an email or phone number as a placebo effect where they cannot be further held accountable publicly. Oldest trick in the political playbook.

      Comment by NeverTrish — August 15, 2022 @ 9:15 am

      • Personally, I’ve found verbal and face-to-face a much more effective way of resolving disagreements than blog threads or Twitter – and I’m happy to do that with anyone who wants to have a discussion.

        Comment by Paul Beusterien — August 15, 2022 @ 5:36 pm

        • Personally, I have found written (by adding a degree of precision and documentation) is a much more effective way of resolving, or at least deliniating, disagreements than verbal and face-to-face where one can get away with being imprecise and inconsistent depending on the audience.

          Comment by pro-wellness center — August 21, 2022 @ 8:37 pm

    • Paul- you seem like a reasonable guy. Read Lauren’s past coverage of HBI as well as her well known disdain for the people who choose to live there. In her mind, your otherwise legitimate concerns about rising sea levels, carbon footprint, property values, recreational space, energy costs, traffic and schools are all negated by AFFH. Prepare to be called names, be mischaracterized and taken out of context.

      Comment by Really — August 15, 2022 @ 10:30 am

      • Really? How do “rising sea levels, carbon footprint, property values, recreational space, energy costs, traffic and schools” all get negated when you spread new homes across ALL neighborhoods instead of stacking them all to one neighborhood? By your logic, we can solve global warming by not allowing any of those new homes on Harbor Bay.

        Comment by Really? — August 15, 2022 @ 11:08 am

  2. There is one issue related to building more homes at Harbor Bay that relates to the entire City that merits discussion. 50 years after the new homes are built, will they be inhabitable? Currently there is no generally accepted answer to that question, as pointed out in the HOA resolution.

    So the question becomes is it economical to build homes that may only inhabitable for a few decades? A tentative answer is yes, we can continue to build homes for as long as mortgages used to finance them can be paid off before they become uninhabitable. Another answer is yes, so long as they can be insured against flooding by the government. Regarding government investments in buildings, what should the minimum expected useful life for these buildings be, including rec centers and affordable housing?

    Comment by William Smith — August 15, 2022 @ 8:15 am

    • Tons of people would love to call a place their home for 50 years. Look at your property history. How many times has it been sold? Mine shows about 5 different families in those 50 years. That’s a lot of folks being housed. And where else could you build houses? Elk Grove? Manteca? Areas that are going to have extreme temperature levels unfit for human habitation some time in the next 50 years?

      Comment by NeverTrish — August 15, 2022 @ 9:11 am

  3. Wait – why would anyone need to make your what your position is when you signed that letter only 1 year ago? How are we to trust that you won’t flip-flop on other positions in a year. This does not build confidence. In fact it is a red flag, a big red flag Paul. I have seen your posts and your claim of being even keeled but honestly you tilt in one direction – NIMBY.

    Comment by YourShipIsTilting — August 15, 2022 @ 8:55 am

    • Representing Harbor Bay homeowners is not always aligned with representing the city of Alameda.
      2022 is different than 2021.
      Many of the concerns raised in the 2021 document are still serious concerns, as has been pointed out in other comments.
      Andrew Thomas did a good job of communicating the urgency of complying with the Housing Element to the Harbor Bay community
      Bay Farm residents want to contribute to solutions for Alameda.
      I’ll continue to listen, learn, and dig out the facts in order to make decisions to improve the city for the future.

      Comment by Paul Beusterien — August 15, 2022 @ 5:34 pm

  4. Anyone who writes that letter and then subsequently runs for city council is intending to do one thing – deflect as many new homes away from Bay Farm as possible, and failing that, to slow down the process. These candidates are not in the interest of serving all of Alameda, only their own neighborhoods. And I’m not convinced that either of them believes AFFH is a real thing.

    Comment by NeverTrish — August 15, 2022 @ 9:05 am

  5. Paul “be-4” Alameda indeed.

    Comment by WickedWitch — August 15, 2022 @ 11:24 am

  6. Paul, now would be a great time to post your current position on draft Housing Element as it is ‘today’.
    It would be great to know.
    And also wondering are you running on a slate with your ‘Co Signer’ of the resolution?

    Looking forward to a reply!

    Comment by Ron Mooney — August 15, 2022 @ 11:37 am

    • I’m curious about how ACT/ABA will figure out their slate this time. Will it be the ever reliable perennial slate member Tony Daysog and Amos White, who they had on their slate last time? Or out with the old and in with the new with this BFI HOA slate? Or will they do something crazy like endorse all 4 candidates for 2 open seats, maybe 3 if Trish somehow wins, and call it the Paul “Four Man” slate?

      Comment by Election Season Already? — August 15, 2022 @ 12:14 pm

    • Ron I’m generally supportive of the Housing Element as a good way to allocate the 5353 state-mandated housing units across Alameda. It focuses on filling unused space, addressing decaying industrial spaces, revitalizing shopping areas, and increasing affordable housing capacity.

      I have an open question about Section 15b which has a dramatically different density impact than the rest of the Housing Element. It up-zones 15,000 homes to add 270 contingency units to increase the HE total to 6384 units, well over the required 5353. Given that Alamedans made their views about density clear in the Measure Z vote, I believe the city should provide a clear explanation about why those 270 units are needed to the voters.

      Comment by Paul Beusterien — August 15, 2022 @ 5:30 pm

      • I’m sure I answered your open question before about “Section 15B” which, for people who don’t want to look, is the removal of A/26 on residential zoning. The answer is AFFH. That’s why Program 4 exists which results in Section 15B of the Projects and Site Descriptions table and staff has estimated will result in maybe 34 units per year which is less than the ADU estimate at 50 units per year.

        Comment by Lauren Do — August 15, 2022 @ 7:24 pm

      • AFFH. AFFH. AFFH. Measure Z’s defeat does not trump AFFH state mandate. And I believe 5353 is just the bare minimum. The state wants us to put in a cushion of 10-15% additional units in case any of the other allotted new units fall through. Case in point, recent AAPS shenanigans. Otherwise, I do agree with your first paragraph, and I’m assuming this also includes Harbor Bay Landing.

        Comment by Peach Cobbler — August 15, 2022 @ 10:11 pm

      • So you have listened to Andrew’s discussion, right?
        What do you mean “… to the voters.” – Are you saying another election?

        To be clear, are you supportive of adding housing above the BFI shopping center if the owner desires to add such?

        Let’s get real – adding 270 in the whole City is nothing, especially contingency. Do you believe we will need to add more that 5353 housing units over the next two decades? More than 6500?

        And is a slate campaign coming?

        Comment by Ron Mooney — August 16, 2022 @ 8:13 am

        • I joined several of Andrew Thomas’s community outreach events. I’m supportive of adding housing to Harbor Bay Landing as long as the supermarket, pharmacy, and other retail is retained. My issue with the 270 is that it is being used as reason to invalidate Article 26 for a large part of Alameda shortly after being reaffirmed by the voters in Measure Z without clear communication of why it is needed to meet the 5353 requirement. There might be continue to be a housing shortage in eight years, but dynamics like an economic recession and increasing remote work might change that. I’m not personally planning to campaign as part of a slate, but I am aware of groups considering endorsing sets of candidates.

          Comment by Paul Beusterien — August 16, 2022 @ 8:50 am

        • My issue with the 270 is that it is being used as reason to invalidate Article 26 for a large part of Alameda shortly after being reaffirmed by the voters in Measure Z without clear communication of why it is needed to meet the 5353 requirement.

          It’s not. It’s literally not.

          Please, for the love of everything, read the section of the Housing Element on AFFH.

          Comment by Lauren Do — August 16, 2022 @ 8:52 am

        • In support of Laurens remark, “for the love of everything, read …AFFH,” (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Law)

          If Alameda does not open up single family neighborhoods to affordable housing, it will be denying under-resourced communities access to better schools and other neighborhood amenities. That violates AFFH and the state is planning to aggressively enforce AFFH for this cycle – and has been refusing to sign off on many cities housing elements for failure to comply with AFFH. The state’s new housing enforcement division, which works closely with the State Attorney Generals Office led by Alameda native and resident Rob Bonta, recently announced it was investigating why San Francisco takes longer than nearly all (if not all) cities in the State to permit new housing.

          The decision of Alameda voters to retain the our ban on multi-family housing in the 2020 election sets us up for special scrutiny by the State – and makes us an especially appealing target should we decide to ignore the AFFH requirements. They have been on the books for decades, but this will be the first year that they will be aggressively enforced. Regarding the will of the voters, there are many examples of voters supporting discriminatory measures over the years, or in Alameda’s case, with the charter ban on more affordable housing in 2020, reaffirming discriminatory and greenhouse gas producing measures.

          Comment by William Smith — August 16, 2022 @ 9:10 am

        • Honestly you’re gonna owe me a box of donuts for this free labor I’m doing for you. Here’s the Housing and Community Development (HCD rep) talking about AFFH and Alameda’s precarious position with things like A/26 in place. https://laurendo.wordpress.com/2022/05/12/fine-let-them-sue-us/

          Comment by Lauren Do — August 16, 2022 @ 8:59 am

        • Paul Beusterien – “My issue with the 270 is that it is being used as reason to invalidate Article 26 for a large part of Alameda shortly after being reaffirmed by the voters in Measure Z without clear communication of why it is needed to meet the 5353 requirement.” For the last time, Paul, please study up AFFH. It has nothing to do with opening up for more units, but removing barriers that have historically contributed to a segregation of our community by preventing lower-income people from living here. The state is cracking down very hard on this, and they don’t care about Measure Z. Actually, they DO care about Measure Z. They are gunning for us because of our re-affirmation of an exclusionary law in a 2020 election, a year after AFFH was passed. That was the whole impetus of the Measure Z campaign. Nobody wanted to do that campaign but saw the writing on the wall. Honestly, I do not think you are ready for council if you are this far behind on what is supposed to be your biggest issue to champion on.

          Comment by AFFH — August 16, 2022 @ 9:33 am


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