The Alamedan: Development Alert: Planning Board to consider Site A plans, North Housing cap, May 11, 2015


With a pair of agenda items going before the Planning Board on Monday, the city’s staff is attempting a grand bargain of sorts that would allow the far West End of the Island to begin its transformation into something other than a shuttered military base.

This bargain must not only prove acceptable in a political climate driven by residents’ concerns about how long it takes them to get through the Posey Tube in the morning, it also needs to stay in compliance with 30-plus years of federal, state and local laws and agreements that govern housing development in Alameda.

First, the board will consider a development plan for Alameda Point’s Site A, a 68-acre property that generally extends from the northeast corner of the Seaplane Lagoon to Main Street and West Tower Avenue. The board will also be asked to recommend a density bonus waiver that would allow developer Alameda Point Partners to set aside

Sec. 26-2. Exception being the Alameda Housing Authority replacement of existing low cost housing units and the proposed Senior Citizens low cost housing complex, pursuant to Article XXV of the Charter of the City of Alameda.

Sec. 26-3. The maximum density for any residential development within the City of Alameda shall be one housing unit per 2,000 square feet of land. This limitation shall not apply to the repair or replacement of existing residential units, whether single-family or multiple-unit, which are damaged or destroyed by fire or other disaster; provided that the total number of residential units on any lot may not be increased. This limitation also shall not apply to replacement units under Section 26-2."
">Measure A in order to build multifamily housing; comment on the development’s transportation management plan; and recommend a development agreement for the City Council’s approval.

In addition, the board will consider several amendments to the zoning code intended to clarify the city’s rules for granting developers waivers from planning and zoning rules in exchange for affordable housing and to limit the amount of housing that could be built on another portion of the shuttered Naval air station. This site, known as North Housing, comprises 36 acres of former Navy housing located just west of the Alameda Landing development.

The first agenda item would authorize the construction of 800 new homes while the second item would eliminate the possibility of a roughly equal number. The latter proposal came out of the March 10 City Council meeting through a motion made by Vice Mayor Frank Matarrese, who is seen as a crucial vote for the approval of Site A, which needs the approval of four council members to move forward.