Don’t vote our leverage away on development

I am an East End resident writing to express concern about the proposed housing project slated for South Shore Shopping Center. At 1,200 housing units, something about this proposal isn’t adding up. By way of comparison, let’s look at the 1,400 homes slated for Alameda Point.

To mitigate Alameda Point traffic impacts, officials have put into place an expensive multi-pronged approach involving the following concessions. Developers must contribute to:

n New seaplane lagoon ferry terminal that will soon open
n New high-tech bus infrastructure called “bus rapid transit”
n A shuttle contractually guaranteed to come around so frequently that morning commuters will only have to wait on average 7 to 8 minutes
n AC Transit will also continue to separately serve Alameda Point residents, who will receive bus passes from the developer.

We are in a position to obtain these concessions because we own the land at Alameda Point. In the case of South Shore, we don’t own the land, so we don’t have the same leverage over that Southshore developer.

However, Article 26 of the City Charter is one tool we can leverage to force the South Shore developer to come-up with a housing count far less than 1,200 units, and to come-up with multi-pronged traffic mitigations as sophisticated as Alameda Point’s traffic plan.

Please do not vote for the November ballot measure called “Measure Z,” which seeks to eliminate Article 26. If “Measure Z” succeeds, we lose the leverage we have over the Southshore developer. Vote “no.”

— Carolyn Monks