Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 29, 2022

Zoning code switch

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

I read with great excitement the news that AB 2011 was signed by the Governor. AB 2011 (explainer here) is a law that makes it easier construct housing on parcels which are zoned commercial. But, honestly, it’s not really going to do much in Alameda unless someone decides to build 100% low income housing on one of the existing commercial sites because we don’t have a lot of sites which meets the base criteria for market rate housing and that is wide streets.

So everyone who complains about narrow streets but also hates new housing being built now you have something to love about street calming and road diets.

The trigger for AB 2011 is a parcels adjacency to a road with a minimum width of 70 feet. As you can imagine there are not a lot of roads in Alameda which are 70 feet or greater. The only parcels which *may* meet AB 2011 criteria are the Harbor Bay Shopping Center:

The Harbor Bay Club could claim adjacency to Island Drive but I think that might be a stretch.

Marina Village Shopping Center:

And this little Webster Street parcel:

Then there is the signing of SB 886 which would exempt housing projects on state owned colleges from CEQA which would be huge. As we all know there’s a bunch of empty space on the College of Alameda campus, perhaps the record low attendance at community colleges would rebound if community colleges had space for students to live like a four year college rather than force them into the expensive communities around them.

Anyway these state laws are important because we don’t know what the results of this upcoming election are and we don’t know if the folks in the majority will continue to do what is necessary to keep Alameda in compliance with state law. The worst, worst case scenario which has a high probability of happening particularly if this is a low turnout year is Trish Spencer winning as Mayor, Tony Daysog being re-elected and then Paul B winning the second seat. A more progressive candidate will take the 3rd slot and would take over Trish Spencer’s remaining two years but that leaves the Council with three development skeptical, if not all out hostile, members. Look, I’m not buying Paul B’s “I’m balanced” schtick, he’s already shown his cards and those are all anti-development so, like, own it dude. While HCD has tentatively approved Alameda’s Housing Element, they can always rescind that depending on what we do about the rezoning process and actually memorializing what we said we’re going to do in the Housing Element. I fear that if we get the worst, worst case scenario that we’re going to end up out of compliance and, well, that will just be a tragedy for Alameda in more than just losing local control.


  1. Number of cities in California:482
    Number of cities compliant with Housing Element: 5
    Number of cities taken over by State of California for noncompliance: zero

    Number of times Blogging Bayport has threatened the State will take us over: 100+

    And I thought you and your friends thought, without Mataresse, it was an Ashcraft landslide, and that motivated progressive voters would flood the polls.
    Now it’s “High probability with a low turnout election Trish will win, with a progressive candidate sliding into Trish’s vacant seat.”

    Comment by Really — September 29, 2022 @ 10:08 am

    • You clearly don’t understand how consequences work. I mean, most boomers don’t and so have lived their lives without thinking about the consequences for future generations for so long now, why start now?

      Also, low turnout elections are where people like Trish Spencer win (see Marie Gilmore vs. Trish Spencer). Her base (old and conservative) have nothing better than to vote to continue to keep the status quo the status quo which have benefitted them for so many years.

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 29, 2022 @ 2:42 pm

    • Trish sure is doing a great job getting her lawn signs out there quickly. That woke up the electorate to take the election seriously and now there’s a flood of Ashcraft signs. A high turnout election is exactly what we need. Never Trish.

      Comment by Trumpers for Trish — September 29, 2022 @ 4:06 pm

    • Your stats here are hilariously wrong and your point is dumb. Far more than 5 have been accepted. Closer to 50 my last count and over 70 are in review to get into compliance. More than half the state is not even at their deadline yet. While some cities are dragging their feet only a few cities are only being openly defiant in not getting into compliance. A lot of Southern California was late because state law changed after they started but then they got a year long extension.

      Comment by Zac Bowling — September 29, 2022 @ 7:08 pm

  2. No no no … You are measuring wrong Lauren. You it’s the width of the “right of way”, not just the curb to curb. You can include with the sidewalks in that 70 foot assessment. Also switch to Satellite view. Road view isn’t to scale with widths. Most of Park, Broadway, Lincoln, Central, Encincal, Shoreline, Webster, etc are all 70 foot right of aways.

    The 70 foot criteria only matters for market rate housing. You can do 100% affordable by right without input from city council or planning board on any property off zoned commercial if you use union labor too.

    Comment by Zac Bowling — September 29, 2022 @ 5:33 pm

  3. “…don’t understand how consequences work. I mean, most boomers don’t…”

    Comment by pro-wellness center — September 29, 2022 @ 7:08 pm

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