* HOMES continues to urge support for revitalizing Alameda Point. This op-ed written by Alamedans for Alameda Point Revitalization, appeared in ďThe IslandĒ on January 21st and well summarizes the benefits of moving forward with this project Ė and the risks of delay. The complete article is at The Island
The time is now to transform the former Navy base into a thriving new neighborhood in Alameda. And with Measure B we have the plan to do that.
The Base was decommissioned in 1993 and closed in 1996. Since that time, hundreds of Alamedans through hundreds of meetings have provided input into what theyíd like to see at the former Base. The result of this input is a community vision, embodied in community principles that are now part of the Alameda General Plan. These principles include: waterfront access for all Alamedans; de-emphasis of the automobile and a walkable, transit-oriented community; seamless integration with the character and tradition of historic Alameda; a mixed-use community; job creation; and a sustainable, green development.
The Revitalize Alameda Point is built upon these principles. The plan will provide waterfront parks and trails; new retail and restaurants; a state-of-the art sports complex for youth, students and adults; a library; civic spaces; and new schools. It will do this with a mixed-use, compact design that encourages walking and biking, local shopping and a vibrant street life.
And jobs! Just the almost $700 million in infrastructure work alone will create thousands of jobs for the area, and once the project is developed, there will be many more jobs in industry, retail and commercial fields, all of which are part of the plan.
But a plan is just a vision unless it is buildable and economically viable, something no other plan created or proposed for Alameda Point has ever been.
In-depth, expert analysis of such things as geotechnical issues (e.g. unstable soil, flood plains, rising sea tides), toxic cleanup, and historical preservation went into the design of this plan to ensure that it is indeed buildable.
And the project is financially viable. By law, the Revitalize Alameda Point project must be fiscally neutral. In addition, the project will create essential revenue for our City and our schools. Right now, the City spends over $14 million a year on maintenance and security at the former Base, while it takes in less than $12 million in lease revenue. This is a steady drain on city coffers that will only increase as the area continues to deteriorate. The Revitalize Alameda Point plan will stop the drainage on our meager city funds and will generate revenue through property, transfer and sales taxes. Parcel taxes, which we currently do not collect from the Point since the Navy owns the land, will aid our struggling schools.
In any development project, the entity that owns the land has the control. Right now that is the Navy. But if this plan is approved, the land is conveyed to the City. The City will have absolute control of the release of the land for development. It will be up to the City to be sure that before any land is released to any developer that the plans are in the best interest of the community. In addition, the City holds the cards for what developer(s) the land is released to Ė the plan names no developer.
The Revitalize Alameda Point plan is a community-developed plan that will provide access and amenities for all Alamedans, will stop the drain on City resources, and will provide jobs for citizens and revenue for the City.
The time is now to move forward with implementing this plan.
Alamedans for Alameda Point Revitalization
Doug Biggs, Josh Cohen, Kevin Gorham, Barbara Kahn, Diane Lichtenstein, Ron Matthews, Kathy Moehring, Honora Murphy, Helen Sause, Brad Shook, Jon Spangler, Chris Seiwald
* Lauren Do shares more reasons for supporting Measure B in her blog on January 28th:
I always find that endorsement pieces tend to be the most difficult posts to write. Not because I donít know how I intend to vote, because often times I am reluctant to tell other people how to vote.
Personally, I have already voted yes on Measure B, and while I am hopeful that the result will be in Measure Bís favor, Iíve already resigned myself to the inevitability that it will go down in a massive blaze of glory.
But itís not because the development isnít good or that the land plan isnít solid, itís because SunCal allowed the debate to be about the Development Agreement instead of what is really important: the vision for Alameda Point.
While some would mock the term ďvisionĒ it is rather important when we are collectively talking about changing one third of Alameda. When the remains of Measure B are cleared away and we move forward to talk about the exact same land plan that was contained in Measure B, the question becomes, do you like the vision that SunCal has created for Alameda Point, which includes:
- Mixed use environment
- Open space
- Park and recreation facilities
- Diversity of housing
- Sports Complex
- Vibrant, activated community
- Completely updated infrastructure
If yes, it is important to make clear to the decision makers in Alameda City government that the time for stalling has gone on long enough and that the status quo simply is no longer acceptable. And that a rejection of Measure B does not equate to a rejection of the redevelopment plan for Alameda Point.
But back to Measure B, some of the reasons I voted yes on Measure B, despite the deficiencies is that I know that the Development Agreement, despite itís official sounding name and the efforts to recast it into something that it is not, is not the be all end all for the Cityís attempts for negotiation.
I voted yes on Measure B because an exemption to Measure A is the best way to provide a diversity of housing type for people on all levels of the socio-economic scale.
I voted yes on Measure B because the City does not have the resources to fix the infrastructure out at Alameda Point for new and especially existing residents and businesses at Alameda Point.
And most of all, I voted yes on Measure B because Alameda deserves an amazing development for the Western third of the Island.
Alternately, you can just go to Pasta Pelican tonight and have Jack Richard convince you to vote yes.
* And, if you want to know what we at HOMES think about it all of this, just click here.
Housing Opportunities still Make Economic Sense
Just a few short years ago, people said we would never be able to talk about the many possibilities now present for the future of Alameda Point, that the backdrop of Measure A would prevent the community from even being able to consider an environmentally sustainable, walkable, transit-oriented development. But we are! And HOMES has been at the forefront of promoting this open, inclusive and often exciting discussion.
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