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Planning Board Surprised at 36-Unit Apartment Proposal

At last night’s Planning Board meeting, board members expressed surprise that residents were speaking in opposition to a proposed 36-unit rental apartment complex at the former Alameda Island High School site at the corner of Eagle and Everett. Evidently, City Staff did not inform the planning board of a presentation by AE3 Partners at the Alameda Main Library on Wednesday, July 23rd.

But somehow, AUSD Board Members Mike McMahon and Tracy Lynn Jensen (also a candidate this year for City Council) were notified. And three City of Alameda staffers were present, including Planning Director Andrew Thomas and Redevelopment Services Director Leslie Little. Also there was David Day, project manager for Warmington Homes, who initiated the transfer of all the very-low and low-income homes out of his Grand Marina Village project into the Island High site.

In hindsight, it’s not clear who sponsored the meeting on July 23rd:

  • There was a sign-in sheet, but it was on blank paper – no letterhead to identify who was collecting names.
  • There was no public notice of the meeting published on the City of Alameda website – the only notice appears to have been a mailing direct to the neighbors of the Island High site.
  • Planning Director Andrew Thomas indicated that the City provided the mailing addresses/label to AE3 Partners to send direct mail notifications to the Island High area residents.

Who sponsored and paid for Library room rental for this meeting? Was it Warmington Homes? AE3 Partners? The City of Alameda? Why wasn’t the Planning Board aware of this meeting?

However, the Planning Board shouldn’t have been surprised to hear talk of 36 units on the Island High site. At the June 23rd Planning Board meeting, when Warmington Homes got approval in theory to transfer the lowest income units out of Grand Marina, Project Manager David Day indicated that although he was looking to build at least 9 units at the Island High site, he wanted to build “many, many more.” Further, the draft affordable housing agreement between the Community Improvement Commission of the City of Alameda and Warmington Homes – which was provided to the Planning Board as part of their June 23rd packet – clearly states that Warmington wants to build “16 to 36” units at the site.

Clause of CIC-Warmington Homes Agreement 

At last night’s Planning Board meeting, many board members asserted that they did not approve a 36-unit project at the Island High site – but by approving the transfer of units from Grand Marina to Island High, and the banking of additional affordable housing units at the site against future Warmington Home projects in Alameda, that’s effectively what they did. Did they not read the draft CIC-Warmington Homes agreement in their packet?

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