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SunCal Opponents Fill City Hall Chambers at Planning Board Meeting

On Monday evening, SunCal gave a presentation to the City of Alameda Planning Board in a “scoping session” meeting to discuss issues to be covered in a potential Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of SunCal’s alternative plan for Alameda Point. SunCal was met there by numerous opponents of the plan.

Stan Brown, a regional president for SunCal led the SunCal presentation. Until Monday evening, Mr. Brown was unknown to the Planning Board – he explained that he had responsibility for various SunCal projects throughout the southwestern United States. As previously reported, SunCal’s new plan, including units approved under a density bonus application, could put as many as 5,000 homes at Alameda Point.

After the presentation, the Board heard from more than twenty speakers on the project, almost all of of whom spoke out against it, many of whom wore “No on SunCal” buttons and many of whom urged the City to stop dealing with SunCal. David Needle was the first speaker, and he told the Board that “housing and traffic are still the gigantic, big issues, and there’s no solution.” Former Alameda City Councilmember and Vice-Mayor Lil Arnerich, with perhaps the most colorful comments of the evening, told the Board “don’t go in the tank for these suede-shoe boys coming up here, they’re gonna promise you whatever they wanna promise you, and it’s like taking a girl out on a date, beware of the flowers.”

Nancy Rogers, of Alameda, who also spoke out against the plan wrote to Action Alameda News after the meeting:

One point that I didn’t get to make but I think we need to start pushing is the whole transit oriented development. Everyone talks as if transit oriented is a type of development when in reality it is a location for development. Alameda is not a transit oriented community. We are an island. To think that putting some type of transit center at Alameda Point will make it transit oriented simply won’t work. By definition, transit oriented is a location that has easy access to major transportation arteries or mass transit. Alameda has neither. We are trying to put a square peg in a round hole by continuing to think that a transit hub will solve the traffic issues. The MTC [Metropolitan Transportation Commission] has stated that Alameda is not transit oriented. So why are we even considering transit oriented housing development? We are no more transit oriented than Balboa or Catalina Islands in southern California.

In the end, the Planning Board took no action on Monday evening, and continued the item until May 24th.

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