Development Alert: Clement Avenue townhomes proposed

Development Alert: Clement Avenue townhomes proposed

Michele Ellson
2100 Clement Avenue

In today’s alert, we’ve got a study session on some proposed Clement Avenue townhomes, forward movement on Fire Station 3 and a discussion on the city’s density bonus ordinance.

Clement Avenue townhomes: On Monday, the Planning Board will consider a proposal from Newport Beach-based City Ventures to build 58 townhomes on a 2.78-acre parcel at 2100 Clement Avenue. (City Ventures is the same developer seeking to build townhomes and shops on the site of a former glass factory at 1835 Oak Street.) The developer submitted an application on February 18 that proposes to replace three World War II-era warehouses built for the Pacific Bridge Company’s shipbuilding yard with four two-story row houses and nine three-story row houses. Each unit will have its own two-car garage. Nearly two dozen of the units will have a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom, and eight will be affordable to lower and moderate income Alamedans. The development is also proposed to include 116 bike parking spaces. To manage traffic, residents are proposed to have access to a BART shuttle and to receive AC Transit passes.

What’s next: The Planning Board will hold a study session on the proposed project at its meeting tonight, which begins at 7 p.m. It’s the third of three action items on the agenda. The public is invited to comment on the proposal. Following the study session, planning staff expects to return to the Planning Board for approvals; the board must sign off on a development plan, the design of the project and a request permitting construction of units included in the proposal that would help cover the cost of the affordable housing to be built as part of the project. Environmental review of the project is also required.

More information: Additional information is available on the city planning department’s major projects page.

Density bonus discussion: The City Council is holding a special meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to conduct a housing and transportation workshop. At the workshop, the council – and interested members of the public – will discuss state and city housing and density bonus policies and programs and how they impact traffic, and the council will offer direction on whether to amend Alameda’s six-year-old density bonus ordinance, a local iteration of a state law that allows developers to seek a waiver of certain zoning rules and development standards in exchange for affordable housing. The session is being conducted pursuant to a request from City Councilman Frank Matarrese to review the city’s density bonus rules and to consider a moratorium on granting new density bonus development applications (like the one City Ventures will seek for its newly proposed townhome project) until changes are made. City staff is recommending a trio of clarifying amendments to help people better understand how the density bonus ordinance works, but no substantive changes, and they are recommending the council not pursue a moratorium on density bonus applications while changes are being made, saying the council lacks a legally adequate basis for doing so.

What’s next: The council will discuss and give direction on amendments to the city’s density bonus ordinance and also, whether to impose a moratorium on granting density bonus applications until changes are made. City staff expects to have proposed changes available for the Planning Board’s review in April, with changes to the council for a decision in May.

More information: An agenda and materials are available on the city’s website.

Fire Station 3 moves forward: The City Council voted last Tuesday to call for bids for a new mid-Island fire station and emergency operations center, and to adopt plans and specifications for the buildings, which will sit on a 0.58-acre parcel at 1625 Buena Vista Avenue and 1809 Grand Street. The Alameda Fire Department abandoned its 91-year-old Grand Street station in 2000 after learning it wouldn’t be safe in an earthquake, and it has rented a home next door to house on-duty firefighters since. The city’s current emergency operations center sits in the basement of Alameda Police Department headquarters. The fire station will occupy 8,860 square feet and the emergency operations center, 3,640; the cost for both could top $12 million.

What’s next: Bids on to build both structures are being accepted by the city’s public works department through 2 p.m. March 24 (an earlier round of bids for the emergency operations center only was scrapped). Dates to award a contract and to break ground for the project, originally expected to happen this past fall, have not yet been set.

More information: Information on the bidding process is here; the city staff report on the fire station specifications and the bid proposal is here; and The Alamedan’s coverage to date is here and here.


Submitted by MJ (not verified) on Mon, Mar 9, 2015

With all the mindless development in store for this town, without genuine regard for transportation and surrounding neighborhoods, it is impossible to hear about yet another development and feel anything other than dread.

Further, I maintain that this is the only rational response and not some kind of failure to appreciate a new development as some sort of beautiful and one-of-a-kind unique snowflake.

Now that city government has escaped the confines of Earth's atmosphere with stratospheric levels of development planned, don't expect anyone to hear about a new development and hold a parade - no matter how many cars each garage holds.

Submitted by Ariane (not verified) on Mon, Mar 9, 2015

For various reasons, I am moving away from Alameda soon. All the out of control housing development with various developers using the density bonus loophole to push projects through has definitely played a part in my decision, though not the only reason. I had previously hoped to buy property on the island, but the traffic nightmare just a little ways down the road has made a permanent home here no longer appealing. I know efforts are underway to slow things down. I hope some better long-range planning encompassing the island as a whole will take over soon.