development

Plans could enrich city coffers with millions of dollars

City staff has focused on facilitating near-term construction at Alameda Point, especially in light of the strong regional economy and favorable market conditions. Many of the existing leases at Alameda Point are the result of favorable responses by city staff to inquiries from interested businesses and developers. “These start to make the community’s vision for Alameda Point a reality,” said City Manager John Russo.

Ron Cowan’s Harbor Bay Isle Associates (HBIA) continues its push to move the Harbor Bay Club. The association’s recent campaign at City Hall implies that Harbor Bay Neighbors (HBN) opposes the building of a new Harbor Bay Club. However, HBN is on record as supporting a new club. 

Some 15 years ago when I moved to this town, I heard about this mythical effort preservationists had undertaken in the 1970s to prevent the widespread building of “motel-style apartments” where gorgeous Victorian-era mansions once stood. 

Couched as an amazing feat of preservation, the 1973 Measure A sounded good enough to me. I, for one, didn’t want to live in those non-descript motel-style apartments and liked Alameda for the very reason that the Victorian-era homes remained.

Daysog Holds Office Hours
City Councilman Tony Daysog will hold office hours from 6:30 to 8 p.m. this evening, Thursday, July 3, at the Blue Danube Coffee House, 1333 Park St.

“I will be available to answer questions and offer comments on city issues,” he said. Daysog will also be available at the Alameda Farmers’ Market at Webster Street and Haight Avenue from 9:30 to 11 a.m., this Saturday, July 5. 

Call Daysog at 747-4726 or email him at tdaysog@alamedaca.gov.

In response to Eugenie Thompson’s op-ed piece (“City Must Follow Charter,” May 29), I feel compelled to correct some factual misunderstandings that some people may have missed. Her attack appears to be based on the “fact” that our City Council, people we elected to care for our community, are not complying with the regulations. 

Measure A fact: the City Council has taken actions to reconcile local housing regulations, Measure A and state law. The basis for her distress appears that in doing so, the 40-year-old charter amendment, Measure A, has been violated. 

While some communities around San Francisco Bay are looking beyond a landscape of pavement to better the natural environment, members of Alameda’s city staff have decided to shelve a plan for creating wetlands at Alameda Point. Why? Because they’d rather earn lease revenue from a few buildings.

The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club considers this shortsighted. Postponing wetland creation in the face of both ecological crisis and opportunity is tantamount to denial of history and science. 

The City of Alameda will be able to use $400,000 to develop policies and procedures regarding transportation at Alameda Point thanks to The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The money comes in the form of two grants. 

The first $150,000 will fund staff time needed to develop a Transportation Demand Management Plan which will help create a transit-oriented community that minimizes automobile travel and encourages the use of alternative modes of transportation.  

The most recent attempt by Ron Cowan’s Harbor Bay Isles Associates (HBIA) to justify its application to move Harbor Bay Club outside the Community of Harbor Bay Isle is a plea for “flexibility.”

If that sounds a little odd to you, then let me explain. When Harbor Bay Isle was first proposed, the original plans looked very different from what you see now. As studies were done and ideas evaluated, items were removed from and added to the plans until the City Council, Planning Board and HBIA agreed to move forward with construction of the current Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The plan for a so-called “De-Pave Park” on the western side of the Seaplane Lagoon would be something to cheer about if the park had any chance of ever being created. The concept behind the park is to remove the concrete tarmac and shoreline boulders, allowing for a natural wetland shoreline. The text of the city’s recently released draft Town Center and Waterfront Plan, however, allows existing industrial buildings to remain there “if needed.”

Extending the Bay Trail around Alameda Point has long been one of Bike Walk Alameda’s long-term visions. When the Alameda Naval Air Station closed in 1997, proponents of the Bay Trail project recognized the opportunity to complete a major section of the San Francisco Bay perimeter trail. But with great opportunities came great challenges. 

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