On Monday evening, the Alameda Planning Board approved a density bonus application, and a tentative parcel map for the “Boatworks” project, a 9.48 acre, 182 residential unit project at the corner of Clement Street and Oak Street.
The controversial project, and the first project approved under Alameda’s State-mandated density bonus ordinance, provides for 182 units on 154 lots configured as 46 single family home lots, forty duplex or “duet” homes, and 67 attached town homes grouped in rows of three to six units. The plan as approved takes advantage of state law and a 2010 local ordinance to bypass Alameda’s 1973 density-limiting charter amendment, commonly known as “Measure A,” to build higher-density multifamily units in return for building affordable housing units.
The property owner, Francis Collins, agreed to provide 13 very-low income housing units, or 9%, out of the base plan of 140 housing units, thereby qualifying for a 30% density “bonus,” allowing the project to increase from 140 to 182 units. That figure is down from a proposed 242 unit project proposed by rejected last year. The project also provides for 8 housing units for moderate-income families, for a total of 21 affordable housing units.
Critics of the plan have pointed to a 1991 City of Alameda General Plan provision that called for the City to buy 4.5 acres of the property to contribute to a planned 10-acre park. However, the City of Alameda has said it has been unable to raise the funds to buy the land for the park.
Dorothy Freeman, a neighborhood resident opposed to the project who wanted the 10-acre park, wrote to Action Alameda News before the meeting, “The Boatworks project will allow 182 non-Measure A homes to be built, including an apartment building for rentals and condos. The project has decreased the park/open space along the Estuary from 4 acres to just 2 acres. The open space provided is nothing like the 10-acre vision of an active park with recreation and a “Marina Green” atmosphere that was placed in the General Plan in 1991. The open space will be maintained by fees paid by the Boatworks property owners giving the impression to them that they own the land and not the public. And, one could wonder what actions the City of Alameda will take in 10 years when the property owners decide they no longer want to pay for the maintenance?”
The Planning Board voted 5-0 to approve the application and map.