Memo from City Manage to City Council Regarding Recommendation to Award Contract in the Amount of $256,292 to Urban Planning Partners, Inc. to Prepare the Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan for Alameda Point, February 17, 2015
In November of 2014, after a competitive selection process, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) awarded a grant of $250,000 to the City of Alameda to prepare the Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan (Specific Plan) for a 100-acre area (Exhibit 1) at the former Naval Air Station Alameda, commonly known as Alameda Point. A specific plan for the Main Street Neighborhood must be prepared and approved before new development can occur in the Main Street Neighborhood Sub-district, as required by the Alameda Point Zoning District (Alameda Municipal Code 30-4.24). A detailed specific plan was also required for the Waterfront Town Center sub-district, which was adopted by the City Council in July 2014 (Town Center Plan). As with the Town Center Plan, the proposed Specific Plan would lay out the development guidelines and regulations for future development within the Main Street Neighborhood. The Specific Plan does not commit the City to developing the area, nor does it diminish the City's absolute authority as landowner to decide how and when to pursue any development within the Main Street Neighborhood in the future. It merely determines the regulations under which future development could occur.
Over the last several years, the City engaged in a robust community outreach and participation process in drafting multiple documents that outline the community's vision for the mixed-use and transit-oriented development of Alameda Point. These documents, which were approved last year, include a Zoning Ordinance Amendment, which created the Alameda Point Zoning District, a Master Infrastructure Plan, an Environmental Impact Report, a Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point, and the Town Center Plan.
The Specific Plan would adopt form-based, transit supportive standards and regulations for the arrangement of public and private streets, public open space and parks, infrastructure, and associated private development consistent with the City's existing plan and policies for Alameda Point. The Specific Plan will also address how development within the Main Street Neighborhood will allow for the preservation and integration of historic structures - such as the former senior officer housing known as the "Big Whites." Additionally, the Specific Plan will create the planning framework and regulations necessary to cohesively incorporate the current plans to redevelop and consolidate the three existing supportive housing communities within the Main Street Neighborhood and enable these plans to come to fruition. Without it, their path forward remains uncertain.
As with all planning work, effective community participation will be essential for the successful adoption and implementation of the Specific Plan. For this purpose, the City will follow a broad-based community engagement strategy for Alameda Point, consisting of public hearings and workshops, stakeholder meetings, especially with the supportive housing providers, email blasts and social media, and newspaper articles and announcements. The City Council and Planning Board will be the primary bodies, working in close collaboration with MTC, to lead the planning effort and balance competing needs and priorities. However, all relevant boards and commissions will be consulted at key milestones in the planning process and the broader community will also be engaged.