Letters to the Editor: Why the rush to build?

Letters to the Editor: Why the rush to build?

Letters to the Editor
Del Monte warehouse

This letter was submitted to The Alamedan for publication.

To the members of the Alameda City Council and Planning Board,

As members of our city leadership, I would like to ask if the concept of “maximum capacity” is a part of your decision-making process when considering the numerous, high density development projects that are either underway or close to being underway all across our Island? I recognize the need to allow for incremental growth and to “do our part” to address the ever increasing population of the Bay Area, but the current rate of growth currently planned for our Island far exceeds what is required by the Association of Bay Area Governments. In their current projected plan to address population increases over the next eight years, the City of Alameda is only required to increase our population by a total of 1,723 housing units which you can see very clearly in Appendix C of their Regional Housing Need Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area: 2014‐2022. Yet we are potentially going to be meeting this increase requirement with just one of the projected planned projects!

With this in mind, I know we have room for development, but unlike most other Bay Area cities, our unique geographic circumstances lead me to believe that we have already exceeded safe levels of maximum capacity that is a required safety measure for all confined spaces. Particularly for central and western Alameda, where all residents primarily use an aging tube to vacate, this is of extreme concern. I would request that we start remembering that we live on an Island, a confined space, which requires some measure of discussion about what our ultimate limits and abilities to accommodate truly are. The argument that we “already don’t have enough egress off of the Island to safely address the needs of the current population in the event of a major catastrophic event, so why should it matter if we add more?” doesn’t sit well with me.

If ABAG recognizes that incremental growth, 1,723 additional housing units over eight years, is sufficient to the needs of the Bay Area, why the hurry to build, build, build? How are you prepared to address the traffic and parking congestion that is taking place across our city now, let alone after these multiple density housing projects are finished? You say you want to encourage a “green” city by reducing the ability (or desire) to have a single occupancy vehicle (car) yet I, as an avid cyclist, walker, scooter-er don’t see this city doing anything tangible to reduce car dependence. Where are our zero pollution days? Or our commute to work days? Or our bike to the grocery days? Come on city leaders, we need more pro-action, take a stand and talk less.

Heather Little