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Council Approves Ordinance Implementing Zoning Disricts with Measure A Override

In a four to one vote, Alameda City Council last night approved an ordinance that introduced new zoning districts in Alameda that override long-standing restrictions on high density housing in the city, commonly known as “Measure A.”

Amendments to the city charter enacted in March 1973 and in 1991 prohibit the construction of multifamily housing units in Alameda, and limit the density of housing to one dwelling unit per 2,000 square feet of land. The new multifamily overlay zoning districts sidestep those amendments.

City staff assert that the ordinance is necessary to bring the City’s Housing Element into compliance with state law requiring cities to identify sites for affordable housing growth. “The State doesn’t care how unique Alameda is,” Mayor Marie Gilmore said.

Councilmember Doug deHaan cast the dissenting vote against approval. He and City Manager John Russo engaged in some terse exchanges regarding notification of hearings on the development of the ordinance and the housing element. In an angry monologue, Mr. Russo complained that members of the public were unjustly impugning the motivations of city staffers by questioning the timing of agenda items being brought to council; the first reading of the ordinance was on the evening of July 3rd, the day before the holiday.

Councilmember Rob Bonta voiced the motion to pass the ordinance and was seconded by Councilmember Lena Tam.

43 comments to Council Approves Ordinance Implementing Zoning Disricts with Measure A Override

  • DHL

    Again….why are our city elected officials and workers not working for us? spending our tax dollars and their time on things that 1) are a waste of our money and 2) are not what we want.

    I thought city government were supposed to follow what city residents want. Why doesn’t our city do that? Why do they do everything possible to sneak stuff we don’t want past us? It’s a planned program, not a one-off. This, Measure, C, etc., etc., is valid grounds for a recall.

  • Karen

    What do we have to do to recall these clowns? I’m willing to go door-to-door with a petition.

  • Betty

    I am all for a RECALL. We elect these people to govern Alameda. This is going to destroy this town. We are going to look like all the ugly new developments around us. When I retire we’re out of here. I am sick of these clowns that are elected to office. Who votes for these idiot? When Doug is gone Alameda is down the toilet. Just flush this town away.

  • Gregg de Haan

    In baseball the players get three strikes before they are out. This will be Russo’s, Gilmore’s, Tam’s, Bonta’s and Beverly’s 27th strike.. Time for a recall.. Betty thank you for the kind words regarding my father.

  • Karen

    Betty – I wonder, too, who votes for these idiots? The newbies that came in from San Francisco with their stop-sign-running and speeding SUVs? Old people who don’t care? I would really like to know.

    I moved to one town and it’s becoming another. Really, really sad. I’m all for progress, but real progress, not just ruining a town to line people’s pockets.

  • Betty

    Greg, you are welcome. When Doug leaves office the City of Alameda is going to lose the only council member that cares about Alameda.

  • Pat Berton

    Out curiosity, if the state is handing down the numbers to the counties, then from there to ABAG, & finally to eac city, how does Alameda meet the requirement w/o the state taking all our abilities to develop away. Even with Measure A, does the state get the right to make these demands in Alameda and other cities. I’m confused.

  • Alameda Neighborhood Preservationists,

    Although I support the Council’s action last night to permit condos, apartments and townhomes at 10 sites outside of traditional residential neighborhoods, I also support maintaining the character and charm of residential neighborhoods. Like you, I’m committed to working to protecting the character of those neighborhoods, just as I was committed to working with you to defeat SunCal’s ill-conceived ballot measure.

    The results of that election, an 85-15 defeat for SunCal, show that when preservationists, housing advocates and many environmentalists work together, we can protect our community when we agree that their is a grave threat. I propose that we once again work together to protect the built environment in our traditional neighborhoods by insuring that the multi-family overlays are appropriately applied.

    I’ve already benefited from ‘working’ with you on this blog. Your land use expert Darcy Morrison (DLM) is concerned with how the multi-family overlay will work. I wasn’t concerned before reading her comments – now I am. Is the overlay permanent? Can it be lifted once applied to a property and then applied somewhere else? I would join you in actively opposing application of the overlay to existing residential neighborhoods, and, if you are interested, I would enthusiastically explore with you the possibility of moving some of the multi-family overlays to Alameda Point when the Point becomes avaiable.

    The City has received a $200,000 planning grant for the Alameda Point Town Center. I suggest that we consider working together to craft guidelines for development of the Center. If we do work together, I’m convinced that the resulting Center will better serve Alameda’s needs than if we only one or the other of our groups is involved.

    Bill

  • Joe

    In their Rush to satisfy developers, the mayor and council forgot to ask where will the Children play ???

    Recall now

  • Bill – I think the fear that many people have is “overlay creep” – it’s only a dozen sites or so today, but the entire city tomorrow… There isn’t much to prevent that. All Council needs to do is put it up for a vote and blame the State, apparently…

  • Alamedans Unite to Make City Hall More Transparent!

    Below is a note that I sent on Wednesday evening to City Manager John (Heated Monologue) Russo. I copied City Council, Planning Board members, Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas and the editor of this blog on the note.

    If you agree with the note, I encourage you to let City officials and staff know. This would also be a good topic for the Sunshine Committee. Could someone post the names of members on the Committee on this blog?

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Bill
    ==========================================
    Mr. John Russo,

    Re: Suggestion to make Alameda Noticing of Public Meetings Best-in-Class

    As one articulate speaker who opposed the multi-family overlays pointed out at Tuesday’s council meeting, there is room for improvement in our noticing. The formal notices about housing elements, and planning documents in general, are complex and difficult to follow, even if one is an expert.

    The speaker pointed out that it was impossible for a layman to know from the description below of the item in the agenda that a multi-family overlay that overrode the charter in limited areas was included in the housing element.

    =======================
    5.Q. Final Passage of Ordinance Amending Various Sections of the Alameda Municipal Code Contained in Chapter XXX (Development Regulations) to Ensure Consistency Between the State Housing Element Law, the City of Alameda General Plan and the City of Alameda Municipal Code. (Community Development)
    =======================

    One needed to scan through a long attachment to discern that this item used CA housing law to include a multi-family overlay not permitted by Article XXVI of our charter. The rewritten summary description below is an easy fix. The simple rewrite highlights what all involved in the preparation of the housing element knew would be the main item of controversy in the housing element – the multi-family overlay.

    =======================================
    5.Q. Final Passage of Ordinance Amending Various Sections of the Alameda Municipal Code Contained in Chapter XXX (Development Regulations) THAT OVERRIDES THE CITY CHARTER BAN ON MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING to Ensure Consistency Between the State Housing Element Law, the City of Alameda General Plan and the City of Alameda Municipal Code. (Community Development)
    =======================================

    I appreciate staff’s desire to provide information in context, but first one has to capture the attention of the citizenry to create the opportunity to provide the context. Highlighting, rather than obscuring, controversy is one of the best ways to create that opportunity.

    I suggest that we encourage our staff to include clear summaries of the main points of interest to the community, like the phrase in ALL CAPS above, in summary descriptions of agenda and items. I also recommend that staff use the minimum required, almost unintelligible, technical jargon required to comply with State meeting notice laws.

    Staff has done a wonderful job making agendas available at least 10 days in advance of a meeting. By adding clear summaries of highlights of interest in layman’s terms, our agendas would serve our community even better and serve as examples of best-of-class for other Cities.

    William J. Smith
    Alameda, CA 94501

    (510)522-0390

  • Barbara

    Recall now!
    It is our time to get them out!
    I will put ALL my free time to walk and help in any way I can! I will donate too…
    Time to act!

  • carol

    Bill: the Sunshine Comm is now known as the Open Government Commission. Kurt Peterson, also on the RAB, is Doug DeHaan’s rep on the OGC. He will listen.

  • carol

    This link should work=
    http://www.cityofalamedaca.gov/City-Hall/Open-Government-Commission

    All commission members are listed there, with links to the complaint process.
    [Maybe this topic will get this commission to actually meet!]

  • JC

    A Recall is overdue … save Alameda now before it is too late

  • Barb

    You can sing about SUNSHINE all you want, but it is not happening here. The GILBONTAM majority is looking for backup in the form of Attorney Cambra who led the SUNSHINE COMMITTEE. What a joke. Do as we say, not as we do.

    The Mayor/council snickering and giggling while RUSSO gets away with bullying the only voice on the council that appears to care about the City. Add to that RUSSO’s rudeness to the “MISINFORMED” public. The council carefully schedules meetings so as to minimize the time for the public to ferret out data about calendar items. Add to that a City Attorney whose interpretation of the Public Records Act is a joke.

    Wake up folks, don’t just write the words recall. Act. The concept of dense housing somehow mitigating the pollution of the traffic it creates in an island city such as Alameda is a cruel hoax perpetrated by people who people in the tooth fairy.

  • Carol,

    Thank you for the contact on the Open Government Commission. If you could please send Kurt’s e-mail address to my personal account at WJASmith@aol.com, that may speed things up.

    On Lauren Do’s blog I was surprised by the responses given by bloggers and one elected official to my suggestion that staff include the highlights of an agenda item in simple English. One blogger said the technical description was adequate and the elected official said it was up to the elected official, not staff, to notify their constituents of items of concern buried in staff reports.

    It’s clear that our community still has a long way to go to really embrace open government – many of us are still trying to limit information to gain an advantage rather than to promote community and critique each other’s solutions to very difficult problems we face.

    Bill

  • David,

    I wish I was as concerned about overlay creep as others appear to be!

    As much as I would like to see the multi-family zoning overlays applied to Alameda Point after 2014, I don’t see how that could happen. My read is that the charter housing ban is still very much in effect for all areas except those to which the multi-family zoning overlay was applied Tuesday night. Those MF overlays are likely to satisfy he RHNA numbers, and hence State law, through 2021.

    City staff and Mayor Gilmore and other council members were correct that the best way to preserve the charter ban on condos, apartments and townhomes is to get the State to certify the housing element. As much as I wish I could, with the housing ban still in the charter, I don’t see how to use State Law to override the charter ban to create more overlays than were approved Tuesday. Those overlays are likely to satisfy the RHNA numbers through 2021.

    If someone successfully challenges the multi-family overlay zoning in court, that would once again put Alameda out-of-compliance with State law. That would then offer housing advocates like myself a chance to convince a court to declare the charter housing ban null and void throughout the City. As I have confidence in our historic preservation laws and the CEQA process to guide development to enhance our quality of life and to protect our historic neighborhoods, I would not hesitate to strike the housing ban from the charter completely if offered the opportunity.

    Bill

  • Bill – what’s to stop council from coming back with another ordinance that applies the MF overlay zone to Alameda Point, or other areas in town?

  • David,

    Your question as to what’s to stop the City from adopting another ordinance to apply the MF overlay to Alameda Point is best addressed to the City attorney.

    In my personal view, the MF overlays are at best a kluge – a legal kluge if used with restraint – an illegal kluge if abused.

    My presumption is that as long as the City maintains a valid housing element (e.g. zones to accomodate the state housing numbers), the charter ban on housing applies in full force everywhere outside of the areas designated in the housing element for multi-family housing. I believe my presumption is in keeping with the remarks of the City Attorney and the City manager, as well as Mayor Gilmore at Tuesday’s meeting.

    If,nonetheless, the Council did in my personal view abuse the MF overlay and zone additional areas for multi-family housing, more than needed to provide a small cushion to assure compliance with the numbers required by the State, I would not want to be the City Attorney defending that zoning change – just like I would not want to be the City Attorney arguing that our Charter trumps State Housing law.

    I would expect a legal challenge to a swap of areas to which the MF overlay is applied to be murkier. Owners and developers losing the MF designation might consider such a swap to be an illegal taking. Such swaps would also undermine the case that the MF overlays were applied systematically and legally to meet state or city imposed housing requirements, rather than as someone mentioned on this blog, as random or pernicious and illegal spot zoning.

  • JC

    This is developer payback from some politicians who soak up developer contributions all the time … Where will the children play? They don’t care let them play in the streets. Not even one swing or merry go round Poorly conceived… and a sneaky approach
    The should have sent a letter to each house to fully inform the public … now I hope they hear from the people more than 300 feet away with a RECALL
    Save Alameda from Mega-Density … Where will the Children play mayor gilmore?

  • Barbara

    …what’s to stop council from coming back with another ordinance that applies the MF overlay zone to Alameda Point, or other areas in town?…

    ELECT DIFFERENT COUNCIL, educate public, expose empty suits and NEVER STOP fighting for our Alameda, which is under attack!!!

  • cg

    The new MF overlay does mean someone can buy the DelMonte bldg, tear it down, & replace it with apartments fronting on Buena Vista, doesn’t it? How many stories high can they be?

  • 3 stories or not more than 35 feet

    Unless they qualify for a 35% density bonus, then it’s

    4 stories but not more than 45 feet

    or in the case that projects have 50% of units deed restricted for 55 years to very-low and low income households, and a 60% increase by way of density bonus, then it’s

    5 stories but not more than 60 feet high

  • Barbara and CG,

    As I pointed out in my message above on July 20th, I expect that a lawsuit would stop the Council from applying the MF overlay to Alameda Point or any large areas outside of where it has already been applied.

    CG, whenever I’ve talked to City staff about the Del Monte Building, it has always been about adaptive reuse. I’m aware of no plans to tear it down – I am aware of plans to adapt it to residential use – which the multi-family overlay applied to that property will facilitate.

    Bill

  • Possible Ways To Apply Multi-family Overlay to Additional Areas

    In my judgement, there are three legal ways to apply multi-family overlays to additional areas beyond the initial 10 approved Tuesday by the Counci.

    The first is if one of the 10 areas is developed at densities much below 30 units per acre. Then the City would need to apply an MF overlay elsewhere to meet its RHNA numbers – and the area to which the overlay is applied would have to be developable – which rules out nearly every existing residential neighborhood in the City.

    The second possibility is if more than about 700 units are built before mid-2014 on the areas to which the MF overlays have been applied. The preliminary RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) assignment requires Alameda to permit 1700 new units between 2014 and 2021.

    There may be sites for 1700 units within the areas to which the MF zoning overlays have been applied still available in mid-2014. Then, in my judgement, state housing law could not be used to override the Charter housing ban anywhere else in the City, even Alameda Point. From her comments Tuesday, the City attorney appears to agree with me on this point. In fact, if less than 700 housing units are built before mid-2014, the City may have difficulty defending the continuance of all of the 10 MF zoning overlays applied Tuesday night beyond 2014.

    The third way to apply MF overlays to areas beyond the initial 10, would be if ABAG increased Alameda’s fair share of the RHNA allocation for the 2014-2021 Housing Element from the current preliminary assignment of 1700 to above 2000. Alameda could most easily meet the increased allocation by applying the MF overlays to Alameda Point.

    This scenario, an increase in the RHNA numbers beyond 2000, is the future scenario that I, as a housing, environmental and business advocate would prefer as the MF overlays can facilitate urban infill at Alameda Point. I would join you in opposing the application of these overlays to historic residential districts, which to me means nearly every residential district except for a few near the GABA, WABA, and Park Street business districts.

  • Barbara

    If only people were more informed, this would never happen… They made very calculated effort to make sure that public was in dark…

  • JC

    When you want to reach voters, you send them slick political literature, like what we received in the last election. When you want to avoid voters you use blogs, newspapers with vague information and then only inform those within 300 ft … that is deceitful and lacks transparency

  • Barbara,

    I agree with the first part of your lament that “If only people were more informed, this would never happen ….” My vision of what would happen if people were better informed almost certainly differs from yours.

    In my vision, the multi-family overlays would never have been proposed because we would have long ago allowed condos, apartments and townhomes to be built in redevelopment and business districts as well as on former Navy property at the Point.

    Bill

  • I share many of the concerns with development raised by contributors to Action Alameda News. These shared concerns include

    1) transportation circulation, especially the time required to get on and off the islands (Main and Bayfarm) during rush hour,

    2) security of person and of property as more low income citizens move to new affordable housing in Alameda,

    3) preservation of the character of Alameda’s priceless and irreplaceable older residential neighborhoods, and

    4) skepticism that City government, without the constant oversight of harried citizens, will address the above concerns, not just through the next election cycle, but consistently for decades thereafter.

    Where I may differ from many readers of and contributors to this blog, is my conviction that all of these concerns can be satisfactorily addressed by an informed citizenry actively participating in our City’s government, as many of us did at last Tuesday’s Council meeting. The Council’s action at that meeting to cut short the just emerged, but spirited, public debate on the many aspects of the complex multi-family overlays did not end the debate. Rather, that action may have prematurely moved the debate out of our community and into a more adversarial forum, a court room.

    This premature closure of the debate in raucous, but basically collegial community workshops and hearings, deprives those of us who support the multi-family overlays of an opportunity to bring our strong case directly to the public. Instead, the second reading on the multi-family overlay zoning ordinance was more like a school yard shouting match where the decisive arguments were chiefly my bully (state housing law and affordable housing lawyers) is stronger than your bully (the City charter and private lawyers). More constructive debate on the core issue, how to guide development (both how much and of what type) to best serve our community was obscured.

    Now there is a good chance further debate will be among lawyers about legal kluges, such as the MF overlay, in an adversarial court room out of the public eye rather than in full view of the community in a raucous, but basically collegial, community hearing room. Especially because of the Council’s vote to cut short the formal public discussion, I thank all the readers and contributors to this blog for the opportunity you have given me to bring my case for multi-family housing directly to you on this blog.

    During the coming weeks, I intend to discuss each of the four above areas of shared concern – highlighting points where we agree, and proposing, for your consideration, possible steps to increase our mutual confidence that Alameda’s City government can better manage the concerns with further development that we share.

  • Barbara

    They (our representatives) are for themselves and their political future. They ignore the will of the people they supposed to represent. They have their OWN AGENDA!

    There is HOPE! Vote them out! I will :)

    Every single vote will add up.

  • Barb

    People can talk (write-email) all they want. One only has to have to leave the island,(Heaven forbid!!) ala Park(NIGHTMARE ON PARK STREET?), High or Fruitvale to know that we are at level E/F for level of service at the intersections leaving town in the East end. (Need 3 or more green lights to get out) We do not control the I80 corridor improvements, and they certainly were not designed to help Alameda. Try driving TO the island from HBI in the AM, that’s also an F. Then FROM the island. FF

    Let’s not even talk about the tubes. They are worse. Whatever idiot drummed up the red light trigger for cars coming into Constitution from behind the tube, should be placed in the market place in shackles, next to a bushel of rotten tomatos. Everyone sits there from Constitution, stopped at a red, while NOT A SINGLE CAR OR TRUCK goes though the green light they triggered.

    If there is an accident, one can shoose to wait 1/2 hour, or more, or drive to the other end of town.

    Our City has displayed a complete lack of engineering common sense, and management, thus far. I look forward to the DEDICATED express lanes on Lincoln. Especially where Lincoln reduces down to one lane. Why don’t we just ban all cars on the island? Makes more sense.

    Developers have dreams of bigger $$$$$ and the people have pay with traffic overload. The developers fund the State legislature which has passed this for them. Then they use their SUPERPAC money to run campaigns for their lackeys and YES men, like BONTA.

    Write all the comments you want, the truth is in the existing traffic. Increased density will not alleviate anything, except reduced profits for developers and reduced contributions to spineless uncaring politicians. We already have enough of both.

  • Bill – it’s hard to take you seriously when you and your group write on the Renewed Hope website:

    “Measure A was passed in 1973, ostensibly to preserve Alameda’s Victorian housing stock, and forbids anything more than duplexes from being built. It has been strongly defended by many people in town and viewed as racially tinged by activists.”

    The only activists I can think of that repeatedly and reliably promulgate the Measure A is racist theory is yourself and the rest of the Renewed Hope group. I seem to recall you yourself telling me that you believe Measure A is racist. Yet your website reads as if it’s some anonymous “other” group of activists who hold this theory.

    Will you and the rest of Renewed Hope at least own up to it?

  • Karen

    Crickets.

  • dlm

    Bill — explain something — as I understand it, ABAG issues a new housing allocation every 7 years and it’s cumulative. So we get 1000 or 2000 units to be accommodated in some fashion, and then we get another “x” number of units for the following 7 year “cycle”. So it keeps adding up, right? Is there a reason why we’d skip the allocation?

    For the next housing cycle, we’re getting another 1700 units to accommodate, right? Is that going to go away for some reason?

    I’m asking because the council majority plus Andrew Thomas and John Russo kept referring to these allocations as “penalties”, implying that if we don’t meet the existing allocation, we’ll get a “penalty”. It’s not a penalty, it’s just the routine allocation, and it’s not going away.

    I have no clue what they mean by this, other than an effort to be misleading.

  • Barb

    Inez Kapellas was hardly a racist. An impoverished single mother of six. Then came Chuck Corica, our Sicilian barber turned Mayor. Elected 5 times. The people who worked on the three campaigns in support of Measure A, were teachers, laborers, retirees, real estate persons, business persons, and one notable Dr. Challen. She delivered more babies in this City than anyone else ever. Renewed Hope doesn’t have a clue as to what poverty is, who lives in it, or what it does to a family. Our former housing officials mismanaged the Authority, and when investigated, it turned out they had done the same thing in their previous jobs elsewhere. These housing hopefuls claim altruistic purposes, but in reality are simply the pawns of the developers who sit back drooling at such unrealistic stupidity. Let them bear the brunt of the campaign for low income housing and then the money will come in, build the units, which may or may not ever go to low income housing, and the developers will take their profits to their own cities. Which oddly enough, don’t tolerate low income housing.

  • Barbara

    David, you are absolutely right!

  • Barb

    DLM: How many new units have been allocated (and not built) in Piedmont every year by ABAG?

    Don’t tell me, they are racist right?

    Nope, just a totally built out community run by a Council that represents its constituents. Developers live in Piedmont, and do not want increased housing in their neighborhoods. And they have immediate access to two freeways, 580 and 24, and maybe 13. That would make it three. Why not send Bill Smith to that community and let him sell his high density BS there? Include the bus lanes too. Plem is they are smart enough to laugh him out of town, and have lawyers willing to back up their laws. As opposed to Gilmore, Bonta, Johnson, and Russo, the four lawyers who think it is OK to kiss off the voters (and behave insubordinately and unprofessionally to the one councilmember who stands for the citizens) in Alameda at nearly every meeting.

  • Darcy,

    The question “Are the RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) number cumulative or not?” is confusing. The short answer is – they were but now they are not. Since the State certified the housing element this month, the RHNA goals are no longer cumulative and the 2400 housing units assigend to Alameda will zero out for the next housing element, which covers 2014-2021.

    Had the Council approved a 2007-2014 Housing Element that the State refused to certify, the 2400 units (minus the few hundred actually built between 2007 and 2014) would have carried forward and been added to the 1700 assigned to the 2014 – 2021 period – that is the RHNA numbers were cumulative for Alameda until the State approved our housing element this month. Now that we have a housing element approved by the State, the RHNA numbers are no longer cumulative.

    Now that the Council adopted a housing element that the State certified, our preliminary housing allocation numbers for the next period are around 1700 rather than around 4,000. Practically, what this means is that no additional multi-family overlays may be required for the State to certify the 2014-2021 housing element.

    For those who share my views that a future Alameda would be better off with more compact housing development at Alameda Point, the Multi-Family overlays are a short term bridge. We will require community support to promote compact development of housing at Alameda Point – we won’t be able to rely on State Housing law. Hence my interest in engaging with the readers and contributors to this blog.

    Bill

  • David,

    Thank you for highlighting the statement on the Renewed Hope website that Measure A was “racially tinged.” I will suggest to the Renewed Hope board that all references to race as a motive for the Measure A restrictions on housing type be removed from the site.

    Whatever the motives behind the original enactment of the housing restrictions in the charter, it’s the future consequences of the restrictions that are most relevant to shaping our community’s future.

    The housing restrictions make it harder for businesses to find employees of any race who can spend their time working and contributing to their communities rather than commuting. A solution to the problem of housing for workers will go a long way to removing the disparate impacts of the housing restrictions on citizens of different races.

    I agree that speculation of past motives is not particularly helpful to discussions about Alameda’s future in a diverse, multi-cultural society.

    Bill

  • >>The housing restrictions make it harder for businesses to find employees of any race who can spend their time working and contributing to their communities rather than commuting. A solution to the problem of housing for workers will go a long way to removing the disparate impacts of the housing restrictions on citizens of different races.

    Bill – as I’ve mentioned before, (putting aside the motivation issue,) there is empirical evidence this doesn’t work out as planned. Look at San Francisco, one of the most dense cities in the country, after Manhattan. “Lack of affordable housing” is still a problem in San Francisco, and Manhattan, for that matter.

    And I think it is problematic, as I pointed out via those Brookings Institute reports, how compact, multifamily, transit-oriented housing limits income mobility for low-income occupants, by limiting their access to jobs accessible only by transit. That sounds to me like the low-income residents aren’t being well-served by this housing after all – rather, it locks them into their place on the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

    Of course, those sort of developments greatly benefit builders/developers who profit from them.

  • Mark

    I am most concerned that the proposed sites (I have not seen a list of all of them anywhere) are not all appropriate for the density proposed. Increasing density should be done in areas that are or can be made more accessible to transit and in areas that are or can be made easy for cyclist and pedestrians to carry out all their daily needs. If people living in dense areas have to get into cars to do everything then it will not be affordable or pleasant to live in those areas.

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