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Thread: Alameda Marina redevelopment

  1. #11
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    There is a noon meeting at Island Yacht Club today to discuss proposals with business's within the Alameda Marina, invitation only.

    There is a general public meeting this evening at Island Yacht Club which is open to the public.

    From what we can gather, the majority owner of the property lease will insist that the residential development is the only way to save the marina, which we are told is untrue.

    The word in Alameda is the majority of the residents have grown tired of the nonstop land rush on the island and voted out most of the pro development officials in the last election.

    The battle has just begun, let your voices be heard:

    Island Yacht Club
    Alameda Marina
    1853 Clement Ave. Building 14
    Alameda, CA 94501

    Tel: 510-521-2980

    City Of Alameda

    Mayors Office: 510.747.4701

    City Manager: 510.747.4700

    Alameda Planning Board
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  2. #12

    Time to dust off the pitch forks!

  3. #13

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by solosailor View Post
    I bet there are big regrets in the Svendsens camp about bringing in a partner to be able to buy the property only to get pushed out themselves in the end.
    I'm not so sure about that. If you look at the image of the proposed site development. you can see that Svens boatyard, store, rigging shop, metal shop, and indoor storage buildings are all still there (the buildings with the maroon roofs).

    20131203 ALAMEDA SITE PLAN.jpg


  5. #15
    In not so sure about that. If you look at the image of the proposed site development. you can see that Svens boatyard, store, rigging shop, metal shop, and indoor storage buildings are all still there (the buildings with the maroon roofs).
    In one image it's that way, in another it shows residential all the way through. I heard that Svendsen's wants to stay but is being pushed out and is already looking for another location as a contingency if the zoning gets pushed through. They asked about moving the boatyard to the South end and were told that was no good as well from the majority owner (developer).

    Let's hope the anti-development elected officials stop this one. Fingers and toes crossed.

  6. #16
    Hi, there were two meetings todayt at the Marina. I went to the Community meeting this evening, but heard from two tenants of the marina about how the noontime "tenants" meeting went. Both of the business tenants said that the community meeting was quite "friendly" whereas the business tenants met with the actual president of the development company. World from the two guys I talked to was that the developer told them he's coming in with cranes, wrecking balls and bulldozers in 18-24 months and they all have to be out.

    So worst case, there's the timeline.

    He apparently told everybody that he had no choice, the City zoning specified that the site HAD to be "mixed use" housing. Apparently the tenor of the meeting....and remember, I wasn't there, I'm just passing this on secondhand....was along the lines of "I own the place, I'm flattening it, I don't have a choice, get the fuck out." More about zoning later.

    The "Community Meeting" at 7:00 was very different. A panel from the development company plus a woman who served as "moderator"....probably works for the company, tried to make the point that this was the very first discussion about what the community wanted. There was a lot of talk about "waterfront access", the Bay Trail, parking and public transit, and laughably... "honoring the heritage of the site". They then went on to present us all with a series of photographs of the proposed site layout.

    I want to be crystal-clear about this. There is NO provision. None. Zero for any marine industry on the site. OK, maybe a kayak retailer. MAYBE...maybe...a sail loft. Maybe. But dry storage? No. Metalwork? No. Hoists? No. Haulout facilities of any kind? No. The picture on their website that solosailor copied up above was not presented to us. I REPEAT, the site layouts shown us had NO marine industry on the site, it was entirely housing and "mixed retail".

    It's clear that they want to save the boat slips because they're picturesque. They will probably upgrade them.

    The team presented us with four or five 'optional" layouts of the site to choose from. I think I can say without exaggeration that I and everybody else was shocked. All of the layouts differed only in where the "townhouses" were places (around the inlet by the 3 ton hoist) and where the high-density apartments were placed. Or what it single-family homes? It's ALL going to be housing. The streets that come down to Blanding will be extended into the boatyard with little welcoming arches over them so that the community feels welcome. There will be little 40 x 40 mini-parks between the condo clusters that qualify as "open space". The Bay Trail will be extended through the area.....never mind that it stops dead at the south end of the facililty because the Naval Reserve site is there.

    That's their vision. Their questionnaire "did we strongly agree, slightly agree, strongly disagree...etc. etc" with the various pictures they put up showed a massive, fundamental disconnect between the academic "urban planner" mindset, and actual reality. I think you all would be horrified if you saw what they were proposing. In all cases at least 75-80% of the attending people "Strongly Disagreed" with the appropriateness of ALL the housing pictures they showed us. ALL of them. Without fail.

    A lot of local people spoke out about traffic issues. It was pointed out that 5,000 more homes were going in at Alameda Point. There are other developments going on as well. I hear that traffic in the Posey Tube is absolutely insane for a two-plus hour period during every rush hour.

    At any rate, two things became obvious:

    1. the developing companies "team" that came to the community meeting is the velvet glove around the iron hand. They were there to acquaint people with what they believe WILL go in, and to make us feel that the community has a hand in the decision process. We don't, but they want to make us feel like that.
    Well...that's their job. I think they failed.

    2. There's a serious, enormous, grossly obvious disconnect between the developers staff and their "vision" of practically everything, and what the community and marina people at the meeting want to see. One look at the urban planning buzzword orgy on the developers website should show that.

    Finally... what to do about it?

  7. #17
    Finally... what to do about it?

    What's apparently driving the housing issue is zoning. In 2012 the whole north shore of Alameda and Alameda Point was rezoned for "mixed use housing". You can't have "light industry"...meaning boatyards and metalworking shops in "Mixed use housing". At least, that's what we were told. You CAN have "light retail"...starbucks, for example. And a couple of tony waterfront restaurants.

    Well, the developer has only one thing on his mind....Make Money. He can make money by razing all of the Alameda Marina and replacing it with "mixed use housing" and "light retail". What's driving this is zoning. ZONING.

    The former vice-mayor of the City of Alameda was there. He pointed out that the PR committee for the development company had quietly neglected to tell us that SOME of the property at the Alameda Marina is actually OWNED BY THE CITY. He also pointed out to all of us that Zoning laws and regulations are not handed down by Zeus from the mountaintop. They can be changed. So it became obvious that the way to get this stopped is not to go to the developer, but instead, go to the Planning Commission, Planning office and City Council for the City of Alameda.

    The developer could give a shit about the Marina or the place it occupies in the boating community. He's there to Make Money. He will Make A Shitload Of Money if he replaces the admittedly funky Alameda Marina with another cookie-cutter set of apartments and townhomes planned by some architecture wonks. However, he can make a slightly Smaller Shitload of Money by doing a big redesign of the Marina, consolidating but not removing services, kicking out the RV storage and adding some buildings.

    But he's not going to do that UNLESS THE ZONING FORCES HIM TO.

    So friends, if you don't want to see the Alameda Marina bite the dust, you need to tell the City of Alameda what you think...loudly, and often. And RIGHT NOW. Apathy, giving up and rolling over will get you nothing but a townhouse development that you can't afford to buy into.


  8. #18
    The guys from the development company appeared to be somewhat taken aback by the intensity of the objections, but I'm cynical and I suspect it was all an act. The woman who served as moderator did her job well...kudos to her for moderating the meeting, but it's obvious that she's employed by the development company. She too, could give a shit about the marina or its services.

    I think that they accidentally let slip that zoning was driving the process to be specifically ALL housing. Then again, that might have been an act. Whether it's an act or not, the truth is that if the City changes the zoning....which they might not be able to do, the Developer might sue the City if they do that....but if they do it, then the Way To Make Shitloads Of Money would change, and that's what we want.

  9. #19
    Nice work Alan.

    It's time to get the ball rolling!

  10. #20
    I want to be clear about a few things.

    It became incredibly obvious last night that the developers staff has no concept whatsoever of the value and irreplaceability of the Alameda Marina. They do not value it. They think that maybe, if they're forced to do it, they can just relocate a couple of the industry services somewhere else in the Bay Area and that will be just fine.

    They value their urban planning buzzwords. Here they are, copied from the developers website.

    "The Alameda Marina Master Plan serves as a transformational guide for this key site along the Oakland Estuary. The visions, developmental alternatives, and policies outlined in this masterplan establishes a strong planning framework by defining goals and objectives to support significant development and new public waterfront open space while maintaining marina and boat repair operations as well as urban design connections to Downtown Alameda and other sites along Clement Avenue. The design team explored development options that are pedestrian-oriented and fosters use of alternative, sustainable transportation modes and practices including an optimum mix of uses that support market feasibility and environmental stewardship to minimize impacts to the Bay. EHDD is working closely with City staff, key representatives of the Planning Commission,BCDC, and the local community to ensure that all stakeholders take ownership of the masterplanning effort."

    The first time I read that I almost gagged, but I need to point out that most of it is either fantasy, or an outright lie. Again, there is NO provision AT ALL for ANY marine industry on the site. It is 100% housing and light retail. "Public Waterfront Open Space" means more or less what's between the South Beach YC and the harbor....a wide concrete walkway with nice landscaping.... and no ACTUAL access to the water.---- Just a nice view of it, and the pretty boats, of course.

    I need to emphasize that the developer does not care about the Marina, Svendsens or any of the services offered there. It's obvious that their vision is basically to clone a residential version of a hybrid of Marina Village + some trendy downtown SF neighborhood + high density silicon valley type condos. They propose to extend some bus lines down there to ease traffic, but of course have no promises to offer, nor can they force any of the transportation districts to do that. They tout the phrase "work, live, play" but there is NO space allocated for any "work" besides minimum wage retail. The people working in the kayak rental shop will not be able to afford the townhouses they are building.

    THEY DO NOT CARE. It's obvious that nothing that is said to the developer is going to change anything. The only way to effect change is by changing the city zoning. GO TO THE CITY OF ALAMEDA and tell them what you think.

    I think that everybody reading this thread understands that Alameda Marina is not just a marina, it's a hub for the industries that support our sport. As the years go by, fewer and fewer of those industries remain. It will cost a mint to move the services anywhere else and the developer is under no obligation to do so. Move it to Alameda Point? What you all don't know is that the entirety of Alameda Point...the whole thing, is also zoned for "mixed housing and light retail". It's zoned exactly the same as the strip of land that the Alameda Marina is on. That is by law incompatible with any medium-sized marine industry. The City of Alameda City Council, in 2012 has decreed that they want to cover the remaining parcels of land on the island with housing and little shops, and nothing else. We CAN'T move a replacement for the Alameda Marina out to Alameda Point, the zoning won't allow it.

    If the boating community does nothing, the Alameda Marina and all its services will disappear in two years. That's the plain, flat-out truth. So if you don't like that idea, this is not the time to sit back, have a beer and complain about how horrible things are. It's time to make some phone calls and write some letters. NOW.

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