San Francisco Chronicle: Editorial: Alameda's Measure B is off base
The developer enlisted by the city to oversee the transformation has put an initiative on the ballot that would severely constrain the city's influence on, and revenue from, a project bringing more than 4,300 homes, 350,000 square feet of retail and 3.1 million square feet of commercial operations.
If Alameda voters reject Measure B in a Feb. 2 special election - as they should - the city probably will be looking for another master developer when its exclusive agreement with SunCal expires in July.
Examples of how Measure B clearly benefits the developer - but not the city of Alameda.
-- Public benefit. Limits the amount the developer must contribute to pledged "public benefits" - parks, ferry, library, trails, off-site transit improvements - to $200 million, well below city's cost estimate.
-- Fee limits. Identifies which city fees the developer must pay, leaving out about $80 million that would ordinarily be required. Locks in rates on the fees the developer will pay.
-- Control. Changes to the nearly 300-page initiative would require a public vote - unless the developer asks for them.