Letters to the Editor
Recently a letter was sent to the members of The Community of Harbor Bay Owners Association (CHBIOA) regarding a traffic study related to the proposed move of the Harbor Bay Club (the club). In that letter the consulting firm (REDS3 Consulting, LLC) states that they have been retained by "Harbor Bay Isle" to perform the study.
Subsequently, I have received numerous questions as to why CHBIOA commissioned such a study.
I would like to clarify the situation. The traffic study was commissioned by Harbor Bay Isle Associates which is the owner of the club and also has proposed the move of the club to a new site. CHBIOA has not commissioned any studies on any subjects related to the move of the Harbor Bay Club at this time.
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter.
Dear Mayor and City Councilmembers:
I was present at last week’s City Council meeting. I was emotionally moved by the courage of local renters who came before the council and testified about the struggles they are facing.
The current spate of no-cause evictions and astronomical rent increases is having a negative impact on our community. I will speak from my personal experience and I’d like to address the larger picture, too.
Today I am an Alameda homeowner and business owner, but I am distinctly aware I can only claim such status because I was first a renter in Alameda for over ten years. Having once been in the position of facing a no-fault eviction shortly after our son was born, I can attest to the stress that local families are experiencing. At the time, we were lucky enough to be able to quickly find alternative housing, but these days that is often not possible.
As homeowners now, our quality of life is affected as our friends and neighbors are forced to uproot and leave the community. We all lose out when there is no longer a path from renting to home ownership, as scores of residents depart and relationships are destroyed.
As business owners, my husband and I hire locally whenever possible, and losing local renters has a direct impact on our ability to grow our business. This concerns more than our own bottom line, as the city loses out on revenue when our business doesn’t expand. I’m sure you can appreciate the larger implications for businesses throughout Alameda.
Alameda renters are not some form of sub-human species. They are workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, mothers, care-givers, artists, volunteers, seniors, veterans, the disabled, and more. These are the people who help keep our community vital and diverse. They are also future homeowners, business owners and elected leaders. Their current state of insecurity has larger impacts on the strength of our community and our local democracy.
I hope you will have the compassion, integrity and vision to take action on this issue before even more families are uprooted from our community. A moratorium on no-fault evictions and enacting stronger just-cause eviction rules would be small steps in the right direction.
Other actions such as rent stabilization efforts should be on the table for consideration, particularly in relation to large, multi-unit buildings.
I have lived and worked in Alameda and the Harbor Bay Isle development for many years and enjoyed the services of the Harbor Bay Club for many years.
I am sad to see the disrespect given to the visionary who bought this special development to Alameda. Ron Cowan’s vision included giving property to develop beautiful lagoons, parks, walking paths and shoreline paths for the enjoyment of the residents of the city of Alameda community. Land was given to schools, the Alameda Fire Department and the Harbor Bay Ferry Service.
This project needs to be evaluated for how it will benefit the community and add value to all of the property owners in town. A bigger, improved club will provide swimming, exercise, food, tennis, spa services and a destination for families to come.
Eighty new homes will mean less traffic on the street, which will also be quieter after the club moves. The old club is deteriorating and needs much more than a facelift. Rebuilding it where it is would not allow for growth and would never give us all the improvements of a new facility. I support a new Harbor Bay Club and the ongoing vision of the developer.