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Alameda Does Not Have an Oversupply of Job-Generating Lands

Read the text below supplied by the City of Alameda Planning Department staff to the City of Alameda Planning Board:

Land Supply and the Jobs/Housing Balance: The requested General Plan amendment proposes to remove 12.2 acres of land zoned for job-generating business use from the City of Alameda. It is in the Citys best interest to maintain an adequate amount of land for job-generating uses and other commercial enterprises. Once land is converted to residential use, it can rarely if ever be recovered. A common approach in evaluating the adequacy of the land supply for business and residential uses is to measure the relationship between jobs and employed residents or jobs-housing balance in the community. The concept of the jobs-housing balance is that a city should attempt to provide enough jobs for its residents and that if a balance between residents and jobs is achieved, then commute traffic on and off the island will be reduced. Typically, providing one job for every employed resident in the city is considered the ideal jobs-housing balance.

In 2005, the State Department of Finance and the Association of Bay Area Governments estimated that the City of Alameda had approximately 27,400 jobs and 38,190 employed residents, a ratio of 0.72 jobs per employed resident. The discrepancy between the number of Alameda residents who are employed and the number of jobs available on the island indicates that Alameda most likely does not have an oversupply of job-generating lands and that the morning off-island commute hour auto congestion that is currently being experienced might be lessened by increasing the number of jobs in Alameda.

What land is this? Alameda Point, with all it’s former Navy buildings so well-suited to commercial and light-industry use? No, of course not! Alameda City Staff are talking about 12.2 acres of land on Bay Farm Island that Harbor Bay Isle Associates wants re-zoned from commercial to residential. (Note that to bring that jobs-housing ratio into balance would require another roughly 10,600 jobs – jobs that nobody in City Hall is working on developing.)

But this is what Action Alameda has been saying about Alameda Point for a long time – we have a bad jobs-housing imbalance within the community, causing congestion during commute hours. And creating 4000 homes on Alameda Point will only aggravate that. So why does City Hall insist on going forward with building housing at Alameda Point?

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