The writ asks the court to set aside an Alameda City Council resolution from July which re-zoned property on McKay Avenue, and other parcels in Alameda, for high-density housing. The resolution created new zoning districts that ignore long-standing restrictions against high density housing in Alameda.
The McKay Avenue parcel is owned by the United States General Services Administration, but was declared surplus and put up for auction. A housing developer, Tim Lewis Communities, was declared the highest bidder for the property.
The Parks district says that it tried to bid for the property at the auction to provide improvements to Crown beach, but that at the last minute, the bidding process was changed, allowing Tim Lewis Communities to win the auction.
EBRPD asserts that the rezoning of the property was done without proper notice and without completion of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing the impacts as required by CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act).
Parks District General Manager Robert Doyle claims that high-density development at the location, right beside the park, isn’t consistent or compatible with the recreational and natural resources operated by district.
Crown Memorial State Beach and the the Crab Cove Visitor Center and a portion of the Bay Trail are currently the only recreational facilities managed by EBPRD in Alameda.
For its part, the City of Alameda issued a statement today declaring the court action frivolous and a waste of taxpayer money. The resolution that re-zoned the land was one that also adopted a new state-required Housing Element, which the State of California has already approved, the City said.
The case is RG12655685 in Alameda County Superior Court.