HOMES hosted a booth for Earth Day on April 25th at Washington Park. Thanks to the many who helped set up and monitor our booth and who came by to visit! HOMES felt it was important to talk about key issues related to Alameda Point and our environment, such as the elements that make up an environmentally sustainable community.
In case you missed it, here they are:
- De-emphasis of the automobile
- Self-contained community
- A jobs/housing balance
- Wise use of resources
- Carbon neutrality
If promoting sustainability is important to you, we invite you to learn more about how the Revitalize Alameda Point plan incorporates these principles at: http://www.alamedapointcommunity.com (download the master plan from the bottom left).
What If? A Quiz
Many who oppose the Revitalize Alameda Point plan point out the "what ifs" as the basis for their opposition. Letís take a look at some of those questions and what the real alternatives would be.
What if SunCal goes bankrupt?
- The City will have to bail out the project.
- There will be no money left for fire or police.
- We will have a community plan.
Answer C. We will still have a community plan.
If SunCal goes bankrupt, it will go away. But as long as the plan is passed by the voters in November, we will still have a plan which must be followed by any developer.
This initiative is called the Revitalize Alameda Point plan and not the SunCal plan because it is a plan for Alameda Point. Sure, SunCal looks to make a profit--and it should. But itís important for Alamedans to determine if this plan is good for us. Our community has spent more than 15 years developing a list of guidelines for Alameda Point, including sustainable development, job creation, traffic mitigation, walkable neighborhoods and open space. The Revitalize Alameda Point plan is indeed built upon our planning principles, and HOMES believes it is good for Alameda.
There is a legal agreement that the development will be fiscally neutral for the City. That means that the neither the City nor residents will pay a penny for the development. New property taxes from owners at Alameda Point will be the ultimate funding for the development over the many years of its build-out. No city services will be affected by the project and no bailout will occur. There are no subsidies from the City. In fact, the plan will save the City money and generate income.
Currently, Alameda must pay for the growing cost of deteriorating roads, sidewalks, pipes, sewers, waterlines, flood plain and other infrastructures and facilities at Alameda Point, a burgeoning drain on City resources. New residents and businesses at Alameda Point will generate revenue for services without increasing taxes for current residents.
What if the initiative does not pass?
- We will get a new developer
- The land will continue to sit there as it.
- The Navy will do whatever they want with the land.
Answer All of the above are possible.
a. Probably the Navy will try to sell the land to other developer(s) who would not be obligated to fulfill the community vision but would be obligated to follow city zoning and building regulations.
b. Upkeep of aged and deteriorating buildings and infrastructure will continue to cost the city money in upkeep and maintenance, with this drain increasing as facilities continue to deteriorate.
c. The Navy has indicated that, after 12 years and several plans, it is losing patience and is anxious to complete this project, but it is unclear just how the Navy would proceed.
Donít throw the baby out with the bathwater!
SunCalís initiative-gathering techniques and local outreach efforts may leave something to be desired. But letís not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The nuts and bolts of the actual plan are exemplary, including the incorporation of community principles and the geo-technical, seismic, flooding, historical preservation, sustainability, economic viability and job creation strategies. How much we like particular signature-gatherers is not the issue; the issue is how good is this plan for our community.
The plan takes into account our vision of a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood with waterfront access and recreational uses, that creates jobs and stimulates our economy. In essence, it is Alamedaís plan, no matter who ends up doing the actual building. Of course, this is so only if the plan is approved by the voters in November 2009.
We need to decide: †Is it better to have a plan that can be implemented now, or let it revert to the Navy who can try to auction or sell it to whomever can pay the price, and that will need to start at square one all over again? †Is it better to create new residences and businesses that will generate income or let the deteriorating site continue to drain city resources?
Letís focus on the actual plan. And what is best for Alameda.
HOMES Needs Your Help
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.
Our expenses are minimal, but there are costs to maintain a web site and produce our newsletters and other materials. Please help us keep this discussion moving forward. We rely solely on the donations of individuals for support.
Donations may be sent to:
HOMES, 816 Grand St., Alameda, CA 94501
Donations are tax-deductible.