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Things I Like About the Alameda Point SunCal Specific Plan (Sarcastic)

The following is intended to be read with a rich sense of irony and sarcasm… we do not support SunCal’s ballot initiative.

“Things I like about SunCal’s Initiative.”

1. SunCal’s Traffic Plan

They simply say that since they are providing 5,000 units of needed housing for the region, then it is the region’s responsibility to provide solutions for the traffic. Wonderful. Evidently, they have no responsibility to provide transit solutions after profiting from building the housing.

2. The Toxic Cleanup

The Navy’s goal is to clean the base according to the NAS Alameda Community Reuse Plan adopted in 1995. SunCal’s initiative includes a new reuse plan called the Alameda Point Community Plan. This plan changes the uses and so now they are expecting that the Navy will redirect their clean up efforts to a higher standard for housing everywhere. Nice trick if it will work. The Navy is doing the “heavy-lifting” on the clean-up, not SunCal, and there is no indication the Navy is about to clean up Alameda Point to a higher level of safety to support SunCal’s plan.

Also, since the Navy dug only two feet down to remove Poly Aeromatic Hydrocarbons around Miller School and the Coast Guard Housing areas, Sun Cal is saying that they are only responsible for the first 2’ of soil. Not going to be a problem according to their reuse plan because the whole area will either be built on, paved or landscaped. Guess who is responsible for everything deeper than 2’ once the homeowner buys the unit? The clue is that it won’t be Sun Cal or the City. I love it. Expect a cluster of sick people a few years down the road, like Midway Village in Daly City, or Willits, CA.

3. Measure A

To get 5 story apartment houses around the seaplane lagoon they are asking the voters to create an exemption from our housing density ordinance, Measure A, for Alameda Point. Five story apartment houses in that area, you say, but what about the bird sanctuary? No problem. Most of Chapter 9 of the Alameda General Plan was deleted including the prohibition of tall buildings near the bird sanctuary. The rest of Chapter 9 is devoted to Alameda West which is the area across Main Street next to Coast Guard housing where the Alameda Point Collaborative is being moved. Like this? It all gets better as we go along.

4. Historic Buildings

Only the buildings located north of Midway Avenue will be considered for reuse and restoration. The rest of the historic buildings will be demolished including most all of the hangers and warehouses. Only a couple of the “big whites” will be preserved. All of Chapter 9 relating to the historic buildings was deleted and a very tightly controlled section on the subject was included in their new Chapter 11, which is included in its entirety in their initiative, will direct the policies at Alameda Point. Most people have never seen this new Chapter 11.

5. Interfering Activists

This initiative also creates the Alameda Point Specific Plan, also included in the initiative, which is a way to shut out anyone trying to have a say in what goes on out there. I think Collette Meunier, our former City of Alameda Planning Director, said there was a 3 day appeal process but Sun Cal is not required to give any notice. She said it would keep everyone vigilant. Her legacy lives on. The City has already increased the cost of appeals for commercial projects to $2,500! I told you things would get better.

6. The 100 year Flood (When the Delta Levee’s fail. Or if you prefer, If it Keeps on Rainin’ the Levee’s Gonna Break)

They are planning to contour the land to direct the runoff into the estuary and the seaplane lagoon in connection with a system of storm drains. The landscape and paving will be permeable to help prevent runoff. With a little nod to what could be an impending disaster, they make flood insurance available for everyone. How generous of them.

7. The Deep Pocket

a. They are asking the city to create several districts to pay for things. A geologic district, a landscape and lighting district etc. The last time we created a district in Alameda, we all ended up paying a healthy sum to keep the hospital afloat. Who is going to pay for the bonds that these districts issue? Any guesses? What fun this all is.

b. The collaborative is looking to be relocated across Main Street. SunCal has offered to help them get settled. This will happen if the City takes title to the land and former enlisted housing and leases it to the collaborative. Then, guess who has to pay for the infrastructure?

c. The 140 acres of parks and landscaped areas are all part of the re-ordered tidal trust land that the City cannot sell. Sun Cal has agreed to minimum care. Guess whose dime covers the rest? Taxpayers.

d. The homeowners will be charged for a monthly bus pass and a Mello-Roos assessment to pay for infrastructure. When the developer in Vallejo went belly up, they had only built a small portion of the homes but each of the homeowners got something like a $10,000 assessment to pay for the infrastructure. The Sun Cal Corporation has suffered 27 bankruptcies. Gives you pause.

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