Alameda has finally succeeded, after two 7-year planning cycles, to develop and approve a housing element to its general plan that is acceptable to the State of California, with sites where housing affordable to low and moderate income families can be built. Since the most recent census shows that the median income in Alameda is $77,868, too low to afford the median-priced home of close to $500,000 in the city, there are many residents who could benefit from the construction of more moderately priced homes.

The new document does not invalidate the 1973 city charter amendment banning multi-family development, known as Measure A, but exempts a small portion of still-available land for development in line with the requirements of state law. Now, both private developers and developers of exclusively affordable housing for lower income people, will be able to built multi-family housing on those sites. It will enhance their ability to build housing that is suitable for a wider range of people than has been available in Alameda for some time.

With Alameda Point having been transferred to the City at no cost, the housing element becomes all the more imperative. A plan for providing housing to future and present citizens in an ecologically and economically sensible manner is called for. The large-lot suburban home or duplex is the only type of housing allowed under Measure A and it runs counter to the housing needs of future Alamedans, including aging baby boomers, young single people and immigrant families. It is the wave of the past.

The documents presented to the left help to understand some of these issues. If you want more clarification of the issues involved please e-mail or call us, using the information on the contacts page.

Missed Opportunities  

Doubtful Promises – Although SunCal included a model plan for economically and environmentally sustainable development in its Measure B initiative, it went beyond modifying the City charter to dictate terms for a development agreement that are usually negotiated between a City and a developer. Given the development terms set by SunCal, Renewed Hope doubted that the plan’s great promise could be realized. We documented our reasoning in a report titled “Doubtful Promises.”  That report  provided the policy foundation for a campaign that in 2010 unified traditional adversaries in Alameda and resulted in an unprecedented 85% to 15% defeat of the SunCal initiative by Alamedans at the polls.

Alameda Point EIR Settlement Agreement – To settle the suit brought by Renewed Hope and Arc Ecology to remedy deficiencies in an Environmental Impact Report for the former naval air station, the City of Alameda agreed to Renewed Hope’s request that 25% of the housing built at Alameda Point be affordable.



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