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 only alternative: Get voter approval to change it.
Over the past two years, the City Council has taken two defiant steps toward approving nearly 4,000 new residential units primarily in the West End.
First, on the eve of Independence Day — July 3, 2012 — the council rezoned 17 parcels with an overall site inventory capacity of 2,525 residential multi-family units outside Alameda Point for the city’s 2007-2014 housing element cycle.
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.
At last Tuesday’s meeting the city council considered a staff proposal to begin a major construction effort at the eastern entryway to Alameda Point, formerly known as the East Gate. The proposal seeks approval to solicit qualified developers for two parcels totaling 150 acres that would bring 800 new homes and a major sales-tax generator.
Last week, the City of Alameda announced it is approaching completion of plans for Alameda Point’s Waterfront Town Center area. Officials expect this area to become the heart of Alameda Point featuring retail establishments, attractions for visitors, waterfront promenades and transit-oriented multi-family housing.
The plan addresses the areas of the Point that front on Seaplane Lagoon, defined as a focal point of the new community to be developed. Planning staff has identified this location as a primary attraction among the new developments because of the waterfront.
Oakland’s most beautiful, wild stretch of waterfront is about to go under the bulldozer. Notices have been posted around the neighborhood which warn that Signature Properties is applying for special permits to begin development on the land, without actually calling it development; so they can get around the restrictions in the environmental impact reports that have been filed for this contaminated, yet beautiful spot on the Oakland Estuary.
"You’re representing developers’ interests, not the public’s, therefore we’ll take over and do it ourselves."
I recently attended a planning meeting for people who volunteered to carry petitions to place a referendum on the November ballot to save Crown Beach and stop the City "leaders" from giving public land to a private developer — just as we did with the Chuck Corica golf course, when we, the public, told our "leaders" to stop trying to give the golf course to Ron Cowan.