Don’t rush Del Monte

Editor:

We should not rush the review of the proposal to convert the Del Monte warehouse to 309 residential units (“Former Del Monte Warehouse Redevelopment Plans Unveiled,” May 1). This is a huge project for the Northern Waterfront. The city should give community members adequate time to consider the proposal, provide input and work with decision makers to ensure we welcome a quality project to our neighborhood.

To give an idea of the scale of the proposal, a typical residential block in the neighborhood has about 30 homes, so the Del Monte conversion would have about as many households as 10 city blocks.

There are several areas of concern with the proposal. One primary concern is parking. The shortage of parking is causing the city staff to propose neighborhood permit parking. That is, the neighbors would need to obtain permits to park on the street. How will this work? How will this affect Alameda residents visiting Littlejohn Park?

A second concern is circulation. The plan shows a realignment of Clement Avenue, but the proposed location of the critical intersection of Clement and Sherman is owned by Wind River, not by the city or the project applicant, Tim Lewis Communities. 

What happens if the Wind River piece is not made available?

There are other concerns, too, and I am sure all of them can be resolved satisfactorily with time. However, rushing this project does not allow neighbors, staff, or the applicant to work together to create the best possible project. The Del Monte conversion is possible because the adoption of the Housing Element in 2012 created an exception from Measure A at certain sites. 

This is the first project to come through using this exception. Let’s take the time to get it right.
 

— Stuart Rickard