Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of the following letter.

Dear Mayor Spencer 
and City Councilmembers:
At next week’s City Council meeting (Tuesday, Dec. 1) you will consider an extension of the eviction ban, and attempt to close the construction loophole that allowed a San Jose developer to evict 17 Alameda School children and their families. I sincerely ask you to pass as strong and retroactive an ordinance as is legally available.
I would like to point out to you there is more than just the obvious moral issues at stake here. These evictions are costing our schools money! 
Based on the annual revenue of $9,602 per student, divided by 180 days per school year, I derive the average daily attendance revenue for a student to be $53.34. If 17 students leave our school district at the end of December they will miss 109 school days. $53.34 x 17 x 109 = $98,839 loss to our school district. This landlord could cost our schools almost $100,000! If this is the cost of just one landlord action, what is the cost city wide?
Please defend our schools, please defend our kids, please defend our Alameda families. Please close the loopholes, all of them, and stop all no cause evictions in the City of Alameda.
We are depending on you,

Eric Strimling

A local spiritual leader recently helped put this housing crising into perspective for me. Landlords bleeding tenants dry aside, let’s take a moment just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday to sit back and just give each other thanks.
Renters: Give thanks for not having to maintain the property in which you live. You can give thanks that you don’t have to pay property taxes that maintain the roads, schools, fire and police departments, and other government services you depend on. 
Landlords: Give thanks for the people who pay you rent. Without those tenants, you’d have no one to lord over. Without renters, you might not be able to afford to keep the very property you’re renting out. 
We need each other. That’s the point. Don’t forget that this holiday season. 


Coho Jerkins

Community members working on the 2100 Clement Street Project housing plan welcomed Dania Alvarez’s non-reappointment to the Planning Board. As the community committee worked to influence City Ventures to provide us a development that was a better fit for our historical neighborhood, we reached out to Planning Board members. Each member was invited to meet with our group. 
Members we met with were: David Burton, John Knox-White, Kristoffer Koster and Lorre Zuppan. Mike Henneberry replied but was unable to meet.
Alvarez failed to even respond to our email so consequently did not make herself available to hear the community’s concerns with this development. This is a point not lost on those of us working to maintain and enhance our neighborhood.
The Planning Department and all our City Councilmembers worked to encourage City Ventures to improve the development. Major concerns, as with all neighborhoods, were traffic and parking issues. An agreement was reached between the neighborhood, planners and City Ventures that a restriction would be included in the developments Home Owner Association (HOA) rules known as Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R) that the two-car garages must be maintained to allow two cars to be able to park inside.
At the June 22 Planning Board meeting, Alvarez complained that she disagreed with the CC&R restriction because she wanted to be able to use the garages for homeowners storage! Wouldn’t you think as an Alameda Realtor she would be aware of such CC&R rules?
On July 13 the project came back to the Planning Board for a final vote on the tentative map of the layout of the units. In the final minutes of discussion, two other Planning Board members objected to the garage rules in the CC&R. 
As a real estate agent Alvarez should be very aware that garage restrictions in townhome-condominium developments are a standard CC&R rule in California. Alvarez did not offer to correct the misunderstanding. In the last minutes of the meeting, two members also objected and wanted to remove the garage parking restrictions we had worked so hard to have included. 
At this point in the discussion, it was too late for community members to speak on the subject again. The entire Planning Board agreed and voted to remove the restrictions. The neighborhood representative appealed the parking restriction removal to the City Council. 
We were able to provide documentation that indeed Alameda Townhomes do included restrictions requiring that garages be kept available for parking cars so the City Council returned the restrictions to the CC&R.
By law, the homeowners associations can fine residents if they break their rules and have to park their cars on city streets instead of in their garages. 
Alvarez did not make an effort to meet with us to hear the concerns of the community. She made a decision based on her personal opinion to utilize garages for storage instead of tenant parking. We believe she had to have known that CC&R rules did exist in Alameda and are included in almost every Townhome development in the state of California as well. 
I believe Planning Board members work for the residents of Alameda. For the community impacted by the 2100 Clement Avenue development. Alvarez failed to adhere to basic professional standards.


Dorothy Freeman