Letters to the 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.
The city recently transferred title to the Navy’s bachelors officers’ quarters (BOQ) to the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) without authentic public discussion.
This building has great historical significance. During World War II, all unmarried naval officers could live there. It should be of particular interest to women, since Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) officers lived there.
My mother was paymaster for the supply corps at Alameda Naval Air Station (NAS) in the 1940s. She lived in the BOQ until she met and married my father, a fellow Navy officer, in the base chapel.
There are many stories like this about NAS the families, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to put them, so I am sharing mine here.
I attended the April 10 meeting about the final design of the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park. I came away concerned about the plan. My main concern involves the interaction between bicycles and pedestrians.
At the beginning of the process we were asked for input about what kind of park we wanted. The residents of Alameda overwhelmingly indicated that they wanted undeveloped open space consisting of mainly hiking trails. Now I feel, the park is disproportionately tilted toward bike usage.
In the final design plans bikes have use not only of the Cross Alameda Trail and the Bike/Walk Trail, they also have use of the so called Bike Skills Loop (an obstacle course). The plan’s “circulation diagram” shows the Bike Skills Loop completely encircles the Walk Loop Trail. This leaves no way for a hiker to access the walking trails without having to dodge bicyclists at numerous crossing points.
I have been assured that there will be signs telling bicyclists to slow down where pedestrians are present. But, who will enforce the rule? Bicyclists regularly ignore the signs on Shore Line Drive where the path is shared. I think a lot of future conflicts would be alleviated if the Bike Skills Course was completely separated from the walking areas.