Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

Thank you for running the piece on sea level rise and Alameda ("Locals Plan to Hold Back Sea Level Rise," Aug. 14). Our city officials remain in firm denial. The idea that taxpayers should pay $600 million to keep the now-shuttered Naval Air Station above water for 25 years is ridiculous.

The base should not be developed at all. It should be returned to tidelands to soak up the invertible and rising high tides and storm surges that are coming. Instead of working 24/7 on behalf of developers, the city should be working with Save the Bay and the Nature Conservancy to add wetlands.

Our collective self-deception means that we are drifting to banks redlining the entire community since they will be looking at a prospective window of some 30 years which is the duration of most home loans. What lenders will be looking at is what credible plan there is to save the entire city and not just one piece of it.

David Baker

Editor:

Recently the Alameda Home Team (AHT) invited Tim Lewis Communities (TLC), the developer of the Del Monte warehouse, to make a public presentation to the community on the proposal and take questions.

This development is so very important to Alameda. Situated at one of the most desirable waterfront properties on the island, the warehouse is one of our few historic island icons. It has also become a long-languishing eyesore.

Revitalization of Alameda’s Northern Waterfront, includes the Del Monte warehouse and was included in the city’s 2007 General Plan. TLC proposes to renew the warehouse and help realize the city’s vision of connecting neighborhoods to the water, improving the street network and revitalizing these former industrial areas. They also will make a significant contribution to Jean Sweeney Park. This win-win development is way overdue!

Under the city’s Housing Element of the General Plan, the Del Monte warehouse site is one of few properties rezoned in 2012 to allow multi-family housing. TLC is proposing 308 units in the warehouse, and up to 106 units on two adjacent parcels on Sherman Street. Importantly, the plan calls for 55 of the units to be affordable rentals, a commitment that supports stable homes of lower-income residents and contributes to the diverse economy and vibrant neighborhood.

TLC is working with the city to create a transportation plan for the entire Northern Waterfront that would facilitate the use of alternative modes of transportation.

The community members attending the presentation, expressed enthusiasm for the plan, and the revitalization of Del Monte warehouse that would provide much-needed housing for all incomes, about 20,000 square-feet of retail space, make helpful changes in transit alternatives, launch Jean Sweeney Park and initiate the revitalization of the Northern Waterfront.

AHT will be urging the Planning Board and City Council to move swiftly on this highly beneficial project.

Helen Sause, President Alameda Home Team

Editor:

I just read Peter Johnsons’ letter to the editor ("Let the residents decide the vote," Aug. 14)) a few minutes ago and had to immediately respond. I wholeheartedly congratulate him on expressing one of Alameda’s pressing problems: a single union using their status, "boots on the ground" and financial support to elect the majority of the city council.

Why is this a problem? Well consider that less than 18 percent of that union are taxpayers in this city. So they elect and we pay. That is the only time we see them personally, when they drive in from out of town and show up on your door step (or call on the phone) asking for your vote.

Also because of the cyclical nature of electing our city council members, almost every member of the council has had this union’s endorsement. And so it goes, if a majority of the council approves the choice for city manager’s negotiated benefits package for this union, one wonders, who is paying for this choice? Anyone who lives, works, shops, pays taxes? It’s your guess.

Nice going, Peter Johnson!

Mitch Sanders

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