HOMES Newsletter: March, 2005


Welcome to the HOMES e-newsletter!  HOMES is a grassroots advocacy group dedicated to preserving Alameda heritage at the Alameda Point redevelopment site.  We believe that by offering a variety of housing types in lively, mixed-use neighborhoods, Alameda Point will preserve the historic feel, cultural richness and economic vitality that make Alameda such a wonderful place to live.




1.  Next Alameda Point Community Meeting – March 23rd, 6:30 pm,     City Hall.

2.  Positive and Productive March 3rd Community Meeting

3.  HOMES Notes

4.  Historical Perspective



Next Alameda Point Community Workshop

The next Alameda Point Community Workshop will occur on March 23rd at 6:30 PM in City Hall.  The meeting will be televised live on Cable TV Channel 15.


This meeting will focus on transportation alternatives and will be hosted by APAC (Alameda Point Advisory Committee) and the Alameda Transportation Commission.  As with the other community workshops, the format for this meeting will include a presentation followed by questions and comments from community members.  The presence and participation from HOMES members and supporters at past workshops has made a difference!  This is your chance to learn about transportation alternatives for Alameda Point and provide more input on what you’d like to see for Alameda.  It is also the chance to learn more about how housing types and mixed use neighborhoods will affect public transportation options.


Here’s what the city says about this meeting: “Your ideas and recommendations are needed to decide how best to improve access to and from Alameda.”  Ideas to be discussed include:  underground rail connection to Jack London Square, aerial tram to west Oakland BART and light rail connections to Fruitvale BART 


Positive and Productive March 3rd Community Meeting

The March 3rd Community Workshop was at full capacity.   The meeting covered land-use issues - how the land at Alameda Point will be developed, especially the building of residential units.  Because of the input from HOMES members and supporters, plans compliant and non-compliant with Measure A were shown.  “Trade-offs” were presented around the correlations of housing types, traffic and economic feasibility.


The presentation also focused on historic preservation and open space.  More historic preservation of existing buildings would be possible under non-Measure A compliant plans.  For example, the Bachelor Officers Quarters could be used for their original purpose, as apartments.


Input from the community was positive about continuing to explore Measure A alternatives.  In addition to historic preservation and traffic benefits, there was input as to the increased flexibility and livability of non-Measure A alternatives.  The value of providing housing for Alameda’s middle-income residents – young people, teachers, safety officers, etc. – was discussed.



HOMES wants to spread the word!  Although our members and supporters feel strongly that offering a variety of housing types in mixed-use neighborhoods would have a long-lasting, extremely positive impact on Alameda, we don’t want to make that decision for you.  Rather, we want to spread the word on what’s happening with Alameda Point development and encourage the residents of Alameda to participate in the decision-making process.  With Alameda Point representing one-third of our Island home and being one of the largest urban infill areas in the entire Bay Area, the decisions we make will affect Alamedans – and indeed the whole Bay Area – for generations to come.


We’re asking for your help in improving our communication with all Alameda residents.  Please pass this newsletter along let us know of any individuals or groups you think would like to learn more about Alameda Point development.  Let’s make the decisions about Alameda Point truly be a community-involved process!


Historical Perspective

Transportation has long been vital to the development of Alameda.  In her book, Alameda, A Geographical History, Imelda Merlin states that “At no time did Chipman (Alameda’s co-founder) underestimate the role that transportation was to play in the development of Alameda, and indeed of the entire coast.”  Being an island, it was vital to provide ease of transportation to San Francisco and the interior of the state.  Railroad and ferry connections were the earliest forms of public transportation, with services beginning in 1864.  With these transportation services, the growth of Alameda as a residential community could begin in earnest and Alameda was able to become a more viable business community.  Soon, “Red Trains,” as the Southern Pacific trains were known, and the “Dinkey,” a local street car to Oakland were making loops around Alameda, stopping at every corner where a passenger was waiting.  Trains and streetcars ran every few minutes during the rush hours and half-hourly in between.  It was boasted that Alameda enjoyed the best transportation facilities of any city west of the Mississippi River.


As with the early days of Alameda, effective public transportation makes Alameda an enjoyable residential community.  And design at Alameda Point that supports pedestrian and biking alternatives as well means safer streets, cleaner air and a more active and healthier population.





Please feel free to pass this e-newsletter along.  To subscribe or unsubscribe, email:


Tax-deductible contributions are always welcome!  Make checks payable to:  Ecoventure/HOMES

816 Grand St.

Alameda, CA  94501





HOMES Steering Committee:

Helen Sause, Co-Chair – 510-521-3940

Joan Konrad, Co-Chair – 510-522-3789

Doug Linney, Strategic Advisor, The Next Generation