July, 2006 Newsletter

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

In This Issue

  1. Important Planning Board Meeting Tonight (7/24) – Please attend!
  2. City Has Draft Agreement with the Navy for Alameda Point
  3. There IS Precedent For Council Resolution to Modify Measure A
  4. Christ Episcopal Church Hosts Successful Forum on Alameda Point
  5. Next Alameda Point Forum Coming Up
  6. Critical Deadlines
  7. We Really ARE Making a Difference – Please Support Us at this Critical Juncture!

Important Planning Board Meeting Tonight!

Tonight at 7:00 PM, the Planning Board meets and your attendance and support is needed. At the last Planning Board meeting on July 10 HOMES requested that the Planning Board agendize the topic of a modification of Measure A to exclude Alameda Point, discuss the topic and make a recommendation to the Council to place a modification on the November ballot. Numerous speakers expressed views on the proposal.

The July 10th meeting was marked by productive and civil discourse on this controversial subject. Kudos to the Planning Board – we need more of that! This subject is finally out in the open for the serious discussions it deserves. We need your attendance tonight to help ensure that this continues and to encourage the Planning Board to follow-up on the dialogue they’ve helped to create.

City Releases Press Release: Reaching Agreement with the Navy

The following is a press release from the City of Alameda:

“July 20, 2006 (Alameda, Calif.) – Today the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) announced the completion of its obligations under the Conditional Acquisition Agreement (CAA) with Alameda Point Community Partners (APCP) for Alameda Point. Pursuant to the terms of the CAA, the ARRA prepared, and the ARRA Board accepted, a Preliminary Development Concept for the site, and the ARRA negotiated a draft term sheet with the Navy outlining a property conveyance strategy.

"We know that it has taken us a long time to get here," said Assistant City Manager, David Brandt. "With a project of this size, involving such a large federal entity, you have to be prepared for the long haul. We’re ready to continue rolling-up our sleeves to tackle the hard work it’s going to take to integrate Alameda Point with the rest of the city."

To date, the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority has:

  • Implemented an active commercial and residential leasing program that generates over $10 million a year in lease revenue. The city currently leases two million square feet of commercial and residential property and 2,000 employees work on the site of the former naval air station.
  • Supported the Alameda Point Collaborative’s (APC) renovation of 200 units of former military housing for homeless residents. The Collaborative also operates a commercial plant nursery, a community center and a health center for residents. APC provides the necessary environment for the nearly 500 residents to regain their lives and their places in the community.
  • Continued work with the Navy as it operates its on-going environmental clean-up program.

The Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority has been working to integrate Alameda Point (formerly NAS Alameda) – one-third of the island – with the rest of the city through the Alameda Point redevelopment project, a mixed-use development that is projected to produce over 7,000 permanent jobs, create 1,700 homes, and more than double the amount of park and open space in the city of Alameda. Thus far, the developer has made a significant investment toward the future development of the former naval base.

Alameda Point Community Partners has until August 21st to notify the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority of its intent to move forward with the entitlement phase of the project.”

There IS Precedent for Council Resolution to Modify Measure A

The 1973 Charter Amendment that prohibited the building of multiple unit dwellings in the City of Alameda was put on the ballot by a petition drive. People could easily see the destruction of Victorians and lined up to support this initiative.

Critics of HOMES’ efforts have often said we should seek a modification for Alameda Point the same way – via the petition process. However, we are not seeking a new charter amendment, only a modification to an existing one. And the precedent for doing that is via Council Resolution.

In 1990, the Council unanimously voted to add the modification of a 2000 square foot minimum lot size to the exisiting Charter Amendment. Legal experts at the time opined that this was appropriate and the only legal method for modifying this Charter Amendment.

Christ Episcopal Church Hosts Forum on July 9th

The Outreach Commission of Christ Episcopal Church hosted “A Forum on the Status of Alameda Point.” The forum included a review of the PDC (Preliminary Development Plan which reflects community input for the Point); an overview of HOMES’ vision for the development of the Point, which included a mixture of housing types, neighborhood retail and public transportation opportunities; and information on the Environmental Impact Report process which will examine a non-Measure A compliant alternative.

The forum was well attended in spite of short notice. The approximately 30 attendees represented both sides of the issue. Important questions, concerns and viewpoints were shared. Most importantly, people spoke civilly on this issue and were respectful of opposing viewpoints. In fact, people from all sides hung out afterwards and chatted amicably. It was wonderful to see that this issue can be brought into the open and discussed openly and constructively.

Critical Deadlines

  1. July 24, 2006: Planning Board meeting – Further discussion of the Planning Board’s asking the City Council to put the Measure A modification on the ballot.
  2. August 1, 2006: Next City Council Meeting – Exactly why doesn’t the Council put this on the ballot?
  3. August 11, 2006: Last opportunity for Council to put the modification of Measure A for Alameda Point on the November 2006 ballot.
  4. August 21, 2006: If APCP elects to proceed they can start designing Phase I at Alameda Point – 1300 units that will resemble a Livermore suburb, not central Alameda?

We Really ARE Making a Difference –
Please Support Us at this Critical Juncture!

The important topic of Alameda Point and how it will be developed has finally come out in the open and is being discussed throughout the community, in the media and at public meetings. We are on a roll! But it takes financial support to enable HOMES to continue planning events, offering educational opportunities, and communicating with the community via our web site and newsletter. Please help us maintain this momentum by offering a financial contribution.

Donations to HOMES to help us continue our efforts may be made to:

Rose Foundation/HOMES, 816 Grand Street, Alameda, CA 94501

HOMES Steering Committee:
Helen Sause, Co-Chair – 510-521-3940;
Diane Lichtenstein, Co-Chair – 510-523-1115;
Susan Decker, Secretary
Michael Krueger, Treasurer
Doug Biggs, Daniel Hoy, Tom Matthews, Bill Smith