Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 17, 2022

To the pain

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Lest you guys think that I’m only picking on Paul B, I’ve got plenty of critique for other candidates as well. Next up, Bill Pai, who I almost always now want to type as “Bill Pain” because of this:

I was hoping, given Bill Pai’s business-y bent he would understand how things get funded, but alas, his bit on housing and sea level rise shows that he does not. However it is interesting that the two Bay Farm candidates are so concerned about sea level rise and yet reluctant to take truly meaningful attempts to combat climate change and sea level rise, instead using it as an excuse of why we can’t build in Alameda.

I enjoyed how he made it appear that Alameda alone could have gotten ABAG to adopt a natural hazard negative factor and that, somehow, Alameda in uniquely vulnerable to natural hazards. It’s not and I wrote about ABAG’s response here which was: look everyone has natural hazards, we’re not telling you where to site your housing units or how to build so if you know there’s some place in your city that’s tough to build don’t build there or have requirements to mitigate. See how that’s much more sensible than the NIMBY reaction of “omgwecan’tdoanythingherebecauseitmightflood” like Amsterdam is built below sea level, they’re doing just fine. Are Alamedans really saying that Americans can’t be as innovative as the Dutch?

What Bill Pai failed to point out (or maybe he doesn’t know) is that Alameda’s strategic appeal was designed to elicit promises from ABAG to assist financially if Alameda needs to pay for sea level mitigation as well as assistance in getting the Navy to lift the housing penalty. This sort of political brilliance requires people to understand what they’re asking for, what is available, and what is required to get certified.

You know what won’t get us certified, if Bill Pai gets elected and thinks it’s okay to unwind the lifting of A/26:

Most of the decisions on the current Housing Element plan will be made prior to the November 2022 election and seating of the new City Council in December. However, the Housing Element can be amended so long as the 5,353 unit RHNA allocation is met. I will seek to remove the vastly increased density proposed for all of our old established residential neighborhoods and provide the 270 new units projected for them in other vacant or under-utilized land in the city.

As I’ve mentioned to Paul B ad nauseum, that part of the Housing Element is not there to meet the RHNA, that part is to meet the affirmatively furthering fair housing part of the Housing Element. HCD has already put Alameda on notice that A/26 is “potentially perilous” and this particular program is really the only leg Alameda has to stand on when it says it’s trying to AFFH. I thought, based on some of the comments from Bill Pai during those forums, that he understood that, but his public facing platform shows that he does not.

Essentially what Bill Pai is telling you, dear voter, is that his first move once elected would be to immediately put Alameda’s Housing Element out of compliance and trigger all the bad stuff. I appreciate the honesty that Bill Pai is putting out here, but we should all be afraid of the election of someone who would want to take local control away from the City of Alameda because he didn’t understand why the Housing Element has Program 4 in it.


  1. Seriously, who is going to be worth voting for in this upcoming election. Am I going to have to vote for Daysog? I don’t think I can do it.

    Comment by Sleepy+Moe — August 17, 2022 @ 10:21 am

    • Nah, don’t forget Tony Daysog was open to allowing HCD to sue Alameda.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 17, 2022 @ 10:55 am

  2. Another dumb talking point by housing advocates: The State is going to sue us!”

    Number of California cities sued for violating AFFH by Bonta? Zero

    Number of California cities that are non- compliant with AFFH and the housing element? 98%(only six cities in the entire state).

    Number of first time AG candidates who are stupid enough to sue their own city or any city in an election year? Zero

    And by the way, the smirky criticism of Pai’s name as well as pointing out the “misspelling” is racist by your own guidelines….

    Comment by Really — August 17, 2022 @ 11:12 am

  3. With two HOA president’s running with identical platforms, Alameda will get to decide if they think the entire City should operate like the highly intrusive, very conservative and overreaching HOAs of Harbor Bay .

    Comment by tdca — August 18, 2022 @ 7:39 am

  4. HOAs operate on the premise that conformity and uniformity equal high property values. I believe the beauty of Alameda’s most expensive neighborhoods is that they have many house shapes and sizes, a variety of yard treatments, colors, and so on. I am happy to have my neighborhood be varied, multicultural, and interesting. My home has great value, not because it is large (it is) or exactly like every other home on the block (it isn’t) but because it is clean, in good repair, and has a tidy, if a bit eccentric, yard. HOA people often have narrow, closed minds.

    Comment by Kate Quick — August 20, 2022 @ 5:11 pm

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