Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

How does Alameda deserve such a creative and imaginative housing plan? ("Boatworks Plan before State Board," Jan. 8). This is so much more intuitive than the Love Canal. The contextual advantages of this rectilinear thrombosis will stand as a paean to mediocrity everywhere.

Ethan Cliffton

Editor:

I am very concerned over the constant cry for development here in Alameda.

I feel I need to remind people that we are an island (or rather two islands) which naturally means we are of finite space. How crammed or crowded do we want to become?

There are no plans on the horizon for a new bridge over or tube under the Oakland Estuary, meaning any new development will greatly affect our neighborhoods. More development means more cars, more cars means more traffic.

Last Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. it took 15 minutes in the Webster Tube to reach the sunshine on the other side. After the planned developments at the Boatworks and at Del Monte and at Alameda Point, how long will such a trip take? 30 minutes? 45?

The reality is there is no way this island can absorb the number of additional cars proposed for our neighborhoods. Do we really want to have much longer lines of vehicles idling exhaust at stop lights or stop signs, waiting to inch through the next intersection?

I fear our infrastructure cannot handle more people. We assume there will always be enough water, but at this time Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 20 percent reduction in water consumption and Alameda has not even met this goal.

How will more people here help? If we keep going forward with these development proposals I fear we will have very little left of what makes Alameda a unique place to live.

M.E. Goodan

Editor:

A plan for the Del Monte warehouse was approved by City Council on Dec. 16 after 12 public hearings over nearly a year and countless meetings with community members. I attended one of those early public meetings and was excited to hear of the positive changes coming to this part of the Island.

The project benefits are documented: jobs, much needed housing (including 55 affordable units), neighborhood-serving shops and restaurants, $20 million in public benefits and a restored waterfront to the middle of the Island. This project rightfully should be moving ahead.

Never mind that the plan was reviewed and approved at multiple levels. Are some on the new Council playing by different rules? Rules that care less about process, community input, or even fairness. Or are they trying to "send a message" to developers and those of us who support smart growth on the Island.

Is this message that in Alameda, a deal is not a deal? If a newly elected body doesn’t like what’s been done, they will just undo it without cause. So developers, entrepreneurs and businesses alike, be warned. Pack up and go home. Tenants, that means you, too. Forget about finding a place to rent in Alameda. And for prospective homebuyers, just when you thought prices couldn’t get any higher, get ready to be priced out of this market.

The new Council should be concerned with new projects coming before it for consideration, not overturning decisions of the previous administration, which will only leave the city forever stymied. Is this the message Alameda wants to send?

Let’s not be fearful of change. We can help our community continue to thrive and grow and we can have both our paradise and progress in Alameda.

Nik Dehejia

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